Sorcerers vs. Renegades

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Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby Havard » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:24 pm

What's the difference between these two?

Was the magic used by Regengades unlawful use of the magic from the Moons? Was it related to Wild Magic at all?

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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby Big Mac » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:49 pm

Havard wrote:What's the difference between these two?


Good question.

To be honest, I've always been a little bit confused by the term "Wizard of High Sorcery" (as it contains both the words "wizard" and "sorcery") but I don't think that sorcery existed, as a D&D thing, back when Dragonlance started. Then you had the Sorcerer class being a core class in 3rd Edition D&D and Dragonlance Campaign Setting made that class a valid option (alongside the Wizard class, for qualifying for the Wizards of High Sorcery Prestige Class. That just made me think: "Woah! Shouldn't these guys be illegal spellcasters?"

Page 158 of Towers of High Sorcery has an interesting way to deal with this new D&D spellcasting class:
Towers of High Sorcery page 158 wrote:Sorcerers are said by many to wield a new form of arcane spellcasting, when, in truth, thy are wielding one of the oldest forms of magic to be found on Krynn. The primordial arcane magic left over from the creation of the world resides within the very bones of the world. This magic has not always been accessible, however. The passing of the Graygem made it available to mortals during the Age of Dreams. It was during this age that the Scions were born. The Scions and their students learned to manipulate these primal magical energies. Unfortunately this magic proved to be destructive and escaped their control during the Second Dragon War. At this tim, the Gods of Magic stepped in to teach the mortals how to handle the magical energies safely, through ritual and word. During the Age of Despair, when the Irda foolishly opened the Greygem and released Chaos, the god touched the world and reestablished the access to primal sorcery that had faded into oblivion.

When Takhisis stole the world, High Sorcery ceased to function as the world was spirited away from the Gods of Magic. During the years that followed, primal sorcery was rediscovered and a new spellcasting tradition took hold. For nearly half a centuary, primal sorcery was the only form of arcane spellcasting available to magic-users on Ansalon, until the gods of Krynn found the world and restored access to High Sorcery. Now both wizards and sorcerers walk the lands of Ansalon.


So what you have here with Sorcery, is a few things:
  • It is "earth magic" (or magic from Krynn),
  • It was originally blocked (or discoraged) by the Moons of Magic,
  • Chaos unblocked it during the Ag of Despair,
  • It was the only form of magic that worked, when Krynn was moved out of Krynnspace and away from it's moons.

In order to actually discuss Sorcery and the Wizards of High Sorcery, in a Dragonlance context, you are forced to pick a point in the timeline. You don't get one answer. The answer you get varies in time.

Before the time when "Magic Defends Itself", the Sorcerers are obviously not treated as "illegal" or as renegades, as the Orders of High Sorcery didn't exist.

The fading of the use of Sorcery after that, is an interesting period, as you would initially have just three Wizards of High Sorcery, and they would have needed to go to Sorcerers, who were using primordal sorcery and persuade them (somehow) to switch from using the power of Krynn to the power of one of the three moons.

ToHS seems to assume that GMs will be running games in a much later era, when the Orders of High Sorcery are not powerful enough to destroy everyone who converted from Moon Magic to primal sorcery (during the time that Takhis moved Krynn out of Krynnspace) and that they have decided to go for a soft approach and encourage them to join their organisation.

(To me, this seems like a way to explain the use of both spellcasting classes, alongside each other, but it kind of fits in with DL themes.)

One thing that this makes me wonder is what is going on over on the continent of Taladas. If the Orders of High Sorcery never bothered to set up there, then their could theoretically have been both wizards and sorcerers, who were not even aware of the Wizards of High Sorcery, at various times in history. Wizards in Taladas would loose power, when Takisis moved Krynn out of Krynnspace, but would sorcerers ever loose power, without the Orders of High Sorcery doing anything to discourage them?

Renegades is a different thing. These are not a type of spellcaster. These are spellcasters who have been asked to comply with the Orders of High Sorcery and who have refused to comply. Here is what page 156 of Towers of High Sorcery says about them:
Towers of High Sorcery page 156 wrote:The Orders of High Sorcery were created to protect magic and protect mortals from the mishandling of this powerful Art. Strict guidelines were laid down for the use of magic, as well as to protect the wielders of the arcane arts. Renegades are individuals who wield magic with regard for these guidelines or who betray the Orders of High Sorcery. Every renegade has a different motive for wielding arcane magic outside of the Orders of High Sorcery. Some are simply afraid of taking the Test. Others simply dislike authority and prefer to work on their own, without interference. Still others view the Orders with distrust, fearing that other wizards are spying on them, out to steal their hard work. Whatever the reason, they choose to remain outside the laws of the Conclave, renegades have been a problem for the Orders of High Sorcery since their inception.


So while primal sorcery is something that has almost always not existed at the same time as High Sorcery, renegade wizards have only ever existed during the power of the Orders of High Sorcery.

I won't say the two things are mutually exclusive (as they are not quite) but depending on what year you set your Dragonlance game in, you probably will not have one of the two.

Havard wrote:Was the magic used by Regengades unlawful use of the magic from the Moons? Was it related to Wild Magic at all?


I think that you could have rengade Sorcerers, as well as renegade users of High Sorcery (depending on what era you go for).

If you go for the late era that ToHS was talking about (where primal sorcery and High Sorcery were being used alongside each other) any Sorcerers invited into the Orders of High Sorcery would be expected to follow certain rules. The rules for them would probably need to be different from the rules applied when only High Sorcery was around (as primal sorcery was probably outlawed at certain times) but if a powerful Sorcerer was a threat to Sorcerers and Wizards, the Conclave might meet to decide if they wanted to declare that person a Renegade.

If you look at the Renegade Hunter Prestige Class, on page 32 of ToHS, they have a Lunar Censure ability that works one way on spellcasters that have access to Moon Magic, and a slightly different way on spellcasters that do not have access to Moon Magic. That means that they could use their abilities to combat Wizards of High Sorcery (who have broken laws), wizards using High Sorcery, who have never joined the Orders of High Sorcery and Sorcerers.

I'm not sure where Wild Magic comes into this. I've been a fan of Wild Magic, since I bought Tome of Magic, but I thought that the only campaign setting this was ever really used in, was Forgotten Realms.
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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:58 pm

Not necessarily. If you are a wizard/magic-user, and don't take the Test, you are branded a Renegade, even if technically you could have qualified as a WoHS.
Sorcery as a world-concept didn't exist before the Dragonlance SAGA game. Then with 3e, WotC forces MW to essentially make the 3e sorcerer as the Dragonlance SAGA sorcerer (although the authors were of a different mind.)
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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby Boneguard » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:15 pm

Kind of a problem, when you are trying to retcon a class that didn't exist at that time.

Back in 1st ed. Every Wizard in Ansalom had to take the Test to become a Wizard of High Sorcery with 2 possible outcomes
- Failure, which usually meant death (otherwise you could retry (IIRC) or be branded a renagade).
- Success in which case you aligned with one of the Moon and continue your progression as a White, Red or Black Mage.

Renegades where magic-user of 3rd level or higher that had not taken their test or were offworlder or were from Taladas. Essentially they were "guildless" or "unlicenced" magic-user who were not aligned with the Moons (and progressed as regular Magic-user, except those from Taladas who has a connection to the moon, but no organized Body to govern them).

3rd Edition Sorcerer kind of monkey wrenched that as now you had sponteneous caster. IIRC, they could technically take the Test and qualify for the Wizard of High Sorcery Prestige Class, but most ended up being Renegade due to how the spell works and their inability to qualify to any of the Order.

The 1st ed stuff I,m 99.9% certain I got my fact straight, I might be off a bit for the 3rd ed stuff, I have it, but it's not the system I'm most familiar with.
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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby Havard » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:44 pm

I agree that this becomes more confusing because different editions use the terminology differently.

Sorcerer/Sorcery means one thing in 1st edition, another thing in SAGA and a third thing in 3rd edition (and beyond).

However, I am mostly interested in the nature of magic independently of how it works in the rules.

Wizards of High Sorcery: This is the dominant group of arcane magic wielders on Krynn untill the Chaos War. They draw their magic from the Three Moons and the Gods associated with them.

Renegades: These are wizards who end up not taking the test and joining the Order of High Sorcery. Does their magic still come from the Moons? My impression from the novels is that their magic was both more powerful, but also more unpredictable and dangerous. In our 2nd edition days we talked about using Wild Mage rules to simulate this group, but that was not official. In 1st/2nd Edition, any wielder of arcane magic not having passed the test would be considered a Renegade which got us into discussions about 2nd Edition Bards etc.

Sorcerers: These spellcasters used a form of magic developed by Palin. It was made clear that this was a kind of natural magic that had existed before the Age of Mortals as well, but something that had been largely ignored(?) by the Order of High Sorcery. In 3rd, 4th and 5th Edition I suppose these would most likely be identified with the Sorcerer Class, but that class had not yet been developed when the Age of Mortals was invented so it does add an additonal layer of interpretation of what this form of magic really is.

So how does magic really work? How is it best handled in different editions? And how do Renegades fit into all of this?

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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby Boneguard » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:47 am

Havard wrote:.

Renegades: These are wizards who end up not taking the test and joining the Order of High Sorcery. Does their magic still come from the Moons? My impression from the novels is that their magic was both more powerful, but also more unpredictable and dangerous. In our 2nd edition days we talked about using Wild Mage rules to simulate this group, but that was not official. In 1st/2nd Edition, any wielder of arcane magic not having passed the test would be considered a Renegade which got us into discussions about 2nd Edition Bards etc.
-Havard


No.

They are basically your run-of-the-mill magic-user from the PHB. Their magicl ability and the magic ability of 1st ed Illusionist were absolutely not influenced by the moon in anyway.

The waxing and waning of spell casting ability following the moon cycle (as well as the alternate spell progression and school limitation) kicked in only after graduation front your test.
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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby Havard » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:43 pm

Boneguard wrote:
Havard wrote:.

Renegades: These are wizards who end up not taking the test and joining the Order of High Sorcery. Does their magic still come from the Moons? My impression from the novels is that their magic was both more powerful, but also more unpredictable and dangerous. In our 2nd edition days we talked about using Wild Mage rules to simulate this group, but that was not official. In 1st/2nd Edition, any wielder of arcane magic not having passed the test would be considered a Renegade which got us into discussions about 2nd Edition Bards etc.
-Havard


No.

They are basically your run-of-the-mill magic-user from the PHB. Their magicl ability and the magic ability of 1st ed Illusionist were absolutely not influenced by the moon in anyway.

The waxing and waning of spell casting ability following the moon cycle (as well as the alternate spell progression and school limitation) kicked in only after graduation front your test.


I am aware that this was how it was handled in 1st Ed (and I guess also 2nd Ed). However, do you interpret this as only the added magic from the moon chart being the only aspect of magic that was drawn from the moon? I always assumed that ALL magic came from the moons.

My description of the magic of Renegades being more powerful, but also more dangerous comes from the novels rather than the rulebooks. To me, the Dragonlance novels by Hickman & Weis always represented the true Krynn while none of the rules versions were really able to similate this fully. But you are right that no ruleset (even the d20 line?) adressed what made Renegades so feared and hated.

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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby Boneguard » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:46 pm

Havard wrote:I am aware that this was how it was handled in 1st Ed (and I guess also 2nd Ed). However, do you interpret this as only the added magic from the moon chart being the only aspect of magic that was drawn from the moon? I always assumed that ALL magic came from the moons.

-Havard


Well, in 1st ed at least, The Mythology was that the 3 Gods of Magic walked the earth. And when they saw the Gods aligning themselves in Heaven, the left but wanted to remian close thus they became the moons and set guidelines of a Magic Brotherhood, where every Wizard should stand together, that led to the order of the Wizards of High Sorcery. So yes, they are the Gods of Magic, but nowhere do they explicitely state that they are the Source of (Arcane) Magic.

Havard wrote:My description of the magic of Renegades being more powerful, but also more dangerous comes from the novels rather than the rulebooks. To me, the Dragonlance novels by Hickman & Weis always represented the true Krynn while none of the rules versions were really able to similate this fully. But you are right that no ruleset (even the d20 line?) adressed what made Renegades so feared and hated.

-Havard


A student can rise at the level of Initiate (3rd level) before declaring his alignment and declaring loyalty to the Conclave. If he doesn't seek greater power he can remain a 3rd level student for the rest of his life without having to take the Test or declaring his alignment or Loyalty to the Conclave. If he wants greater power he must past the Test and become either a White, Red or black Wizard.

And that's where the Renegade and Illusionist (all Renegade by default) comes in. They are magic-user who refuses to declare alignment or allegeance to the Conclave, who seeks to gain greater power on their own without the sanction of the Conclave. They are considered a Threat to the Blance of Magic that the Conclave of High Sorcery is promoting. That,s why they are fear and hated - They are Rogue Agent.

There is no ruleset as the hatred is not mechanical (aside from different xp and spell/level table AND the ability to choose any spell with no restriction of School) but Ideological.

A White wizard will attempt to get the Renagade to joing the Order, whereas a Black Wizard will simply destroy him.
Last edited by Boneguard on Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby rabindranath72 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:08 pm

Well if you look at the evolution of the concept in the original sources, it seems it passed from not having any significant effect in terms of rules (original DL modules) to being quite a big deal (in DLA). In the latter, WoHS were restricted from accessing all schools, so a Renegade was at a very significant advantage over WoHS, at least in terms of spell choice. WoHS on the other hand could benefit from the effects of the moons (not always beneficial, though.)
Something thematically similar happens in DL3e, where the WoHS PrC requires specialisation; obviously in 3e, specialists are supposed to be "balanced" with generalists, which may be true or not depending on the challenges the players face.
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Re: Sorcerers vs. Renegades

Postby redking » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:33 am

Both are renegades, for different reasons. Wizards that don't take the test by 5th level (IIRC) become renegades, while Sorcerers can't take the test at all and are renegades by nature.

The current diffidence of the Conclave in dealing with these renegades is political. Currently there are many renegade Sorcerers, and not many Wizards of High Sorcery. As the WoHS strengthen you can expect them to take their traditional intolerant approach.
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