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The Power from Within

Copyright Travis Took ©2002

Edited by Jamie 'Trotsky' Revell for The Guild Companion

Of all the spell casters from the System Reference Document, the Sorcerer bothers me. He doesn't get his power from arcane training, or from a divine Power, he has the power within him. It would seem to me that this power should be different in each person, and, to some extent, it is. A person with a high Charisma can cast more spells than someone with a low score, but the person on the low end can still reach the ability of the higher one by gaining levels. There is no real limit to this power. If this power is really innate, then there should be a bottom, which would be different for each individual.

Here are some changes that will fix this problem:

  1. During character creation, the GM rolls 1D3+2 for every player that starts with a Sorcerer.
  2. If a 5 is rolled, roll 1D3 and add it to the previous result.
  3. Repeat step two until a number other than three is rolled. The total is the max number of levels that this character can have in Sorcerer.
  4. When a character tries to advance his Sorcerer level beyond the maximum, he is told that he has reached his limit, and that he must pick a level from a class that he already has.
  5. Every fourth level, a player may increase his level limit by one instead of raising an Attribute by 1. This represents him focusing on his magical abilities rather than on physical or mental ones.
  6. If a player wants to gain the sorcerer class for the first time outside of character creation, the GM instead rolls 1D6-2, with negative results being counted as 0.
  7. If the result is 4, then roll 1D6-3 and add that result. Again a negative result is counted as 0. Repeat until a number other than six is rolled. The total is the Maximum level for this person.

It is harder to obtain a high level if you don't start as a sorcerer, because if a character has a high amount of magical potential, it would have manifested itself early in their childhood, which would then be the direction they would take. The GM may allow you to use the rules as if you were creating a character if your character comes from an environment where magical upbringing would be discouraged or prohibited.

Most Sorcerers will probably become wizards when they can no longer advance their inner power. Any sorcerer will get an added benefit from classes that can cast arcane spells.

I will use a sorcerer becoming a wizard as an example.

  • Firstly, all spells that are known as sorcerer spells can be cast as wizard spells of the same level, unless they are not on the Wizard lists.
  • You cast spells as a wizard, but cannot directly benefit from your sorcerer spells per day (SSpD). In other words, you only have access to as many spells as a single-classed wizard would.
  • You may use your SSpD slots to cast other spells or to enhance spells with any metamagic feats you have.
  • You may enhance a spell by trading a sorcerer spell slot for the metamagic feat. For instance, to prepare a second level spell, you could use a SSpD to make it a Still Spell. That way it is still a second level Wizard spell.
  • You must use one spell slot per level that the metamagic feat would normally raise. For example, Maximising a spell would take three spell slots from your SSpD.
  • You may not use level-0 slots to enhance spells of higher levels as above, but you can exchange 2 level-0 slots for the equivalent of one slot of a higher level to be used for metamagic only.
  • To cast additional spells you may use your SSpD, but at a two-for-one ratio. You must do this to cast spells that are not on a Wizards spell list. For example, to cast another second level spell, you would have to use two second level or higher spell slots from your SSpD.

These Rules would also be used if the sorcerer trained to become a Bard as well; just replace Bard with Wizard.

The GM may allow a Bard or Wizard player to begin the game with as many "illusory" sorcerer levels as his character may have. These levels only give the character the SSpD that a character of that level would have, but no other benefit. Also the XP total given to this character is modified by -15% per level. e.g. I have a level-1 Wizard. I choose to give him his full amount of 3 Sorcerer levels. I will have an extra 6 level-0 spell slots and an extra 5 level-1 slots that I can use for metamagic Feats or for extra spells; however I will lose 45% of the XP that I would normally gain.

A player that starts this way may remove some of the penalty by actually gaining a sorcerer level, but they do not have too. For instance, they may gain a level of Sorcerer to take their XP penalty to 30%. They will then gain all the physical stats, skills, abilities, and spells that a first level sorcerer would normally have, but will not advance to level-4 spells per day. If they can have 4 levels of sorcerer, they could keep the 45% penalty and advance every aspect one level if desired. This makes for more powerful characters, but at a trade-off of level gaining.


Appendix A

This article: "The Power from Within", Copyright ©: 2002 by Travis Dunnahoe, is an Open Gaming article. This article is covered by the Open Gaming License. The title "The Power from Within" is Product Identity, all other material in this article is Open Game Content. Portions of this work are derived from the System Reference Document, Copyright © 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, and are used with permission.


The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc ("Wizards"). All Rights Reserved.

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Open Game License v 1.0 Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. System Reference Document Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. "The Power from Within", Copyright © 2002 by Travis Dunnahoe, first published by The Guild Companion (


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