[Regional Sorcery] Brice

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[Regional Sorcery] Brice

Post by Skyrock » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:20 pm

"You cannot take your Spell Book with you, as the sorcerers of Analand cannot risk its falling into the wrong hands of Kakhabad"
- Sorcery! Introduction, "Equipment and Provisions"

"Each country's sorcery is one of its most closely guarded secrets."
- Sorcery! 3: The Seven Serpents, entry #8

One idea I always liked is the notion that all the nations of the Old World have their own kind of sorcery they keep secret from outsiders - a sorcery that reflects the needs, culture and history of the country.

This would be the following:
- Brice
- Femphrey
- Gallantaria
- Lendleland
- Mauristatia
- Ruddlestone

(I will skip Analand as it is already covered by the main rules. Kakhabad will be skipped as it isn't really an unified nation.)

What this will be for now is just a brainstorming to get a basic grip on the concept of the individual sorceries, one thread at a time. Once all of the Old World is covered by a concept, I'll see what concrete stuff can be come up with.

Don't sweat overlap in spells, especially very basic ones. Ideas like the wheel or picking up a stick to whack someone have developed simultanously all around the world. Likewise, zapping someone with a lightning bolt is a very basic idea that is likely to be similarly popular.

I'll begin with...


The country
Brice is a constantly warring nation, led by dictatorial leaders and poor in resources.

As such, we can assume that there is very little in terms of artisans, merchants and cities. Industry needs resources, commerce requires industry, and cities only thrive where a lot of commerce is found.

Conversely, there will be a lot of peasantry, as
a.) tolling the earth doesn't require many resources,
b.) the greatest challenge in keeping up a large standing army is feeding it, and
c.) serfs are the traditional backbone of medieval armies.

"Aristocrat" and "warrior" will probably be used interchangeably. A sword is in and of itself already a badge of honour, even more so in a country poor in resources. Whatever iron and steel is available is likely to go into the arms of the nobility first, and into the plows of the peasants only as a far second.

There isn't really a straight real-world analogue to Brice.

The first real-world country that comes to my mind is Sparta of King Lykurg: A piss-poor country (Spartan coins were made of iron), prizing martial prowess above everything else and being led by an aristocracy of fighters.

Russia and Switzerland fit in parts, but only in relatively minor parts.

The spells of Brice
As a country that prizes martial prowess above everything else and depends on warfare to thrive, you can expect that military application is a primary concern.

That doesn't really mean direct attack spells (although there is bound to be a good selection of them). Why waste rare magical talent on ZAP, when the same job can be done by a bunch of disposable serfs with slings?

Rather, think about the things that would be impossible without magic, the things only a sorcerer can do. You need to get that peasant army inside that impenetrable walled city? Don't go wands blazing through the gate, dig a magical tunnel beneath the walls.
Primary constraints of large scale warfare are terrain and logistics. As such, movement and creation spells will be highly prized to give Team Brice an edge in battle.

Conversely, using terrain and logistics against the enemy will be of special concern. Dig pits and create magical walls to slow down the infantry. Conjure fog to cover your troops and weaken the aim of the enemy archers. Turn their swords into snakes - even if the spell only lasts a couple of combat rounds, it will make continuing battle tough for them if they toss away their equipment, can't recover it and the quartermasters have hardly enough spares.

Essentially, Brice sorcerers fulfill the role of a super-pioneer. They don't crush whole armies with flashy spells - rather, they play it dirty and shape the situation to enable their troops to crush that whole army.

The components of Brice
Brice is poor in natural resources, and logistics are a primary concern in a militaristic society.

As such, components in Brice would either be those easily found in nature, or carried by an army. POP with its pebbles and MUD with its quicksand might be popular.

As the backbone of a medieval army are the peasants, farm equipment might also play a vital role. A sorcerer might use a horseshoe for good LUCK, flash a scythe to call down death, and sow wooden splinters to summon a magical palisade.

There is certainly still the one or another powerful spell requiring a very rare component (and be it just for balancing reasons).


Any thoughts so far?
Last edited by Skyrock on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:41 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by bottg » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:43 pm

I like it. If i had unlimited time, i would create a set of spells for each nation! But i agree that each nation should have a distinctive Sorcery

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Post by John.F » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:30 am

This is great! I'll be reading eagerly...

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Post by torus » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:56 pm

I like the idea of 'Battle Sorcery'. Maybe another aspect would be spells to create flashy illusions and deafening noise, to demoralise the enemy and inspire your own side on the battlefield.

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Post by Skyrock » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:22 pm

parkusuk wrote:If i had unlimited time, i would create a set of spells for each nation!
That is actually what I plan to do in the long run, at least for the sorceries that seem fun in concept.

However, I will approach that methodically by first deciding the general concept and guidelines behind each national sorcery, and only then assigning spells.

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