I want to say up front that I think the Fifth Age design team did a marvelous job dealing with magic considering the constraints they were under. Likewise, the 3.5 design team worked within their own constraints, and did an excellent job of using the D&D sorcerer as the Fifth Age sorcerer. I only wish they had more time to really delve into the topic.
With Dragonlance being dormant in the last few years, the topic of what a re-launch of DL would look like. I’ve given this some thought, including where sorcerers are concerned.
So let’s say we had the chance to start all over again where arcane magic is concerned. What would you do the same? What would be different?
I think it’s safe to say that the foundation of arcane magic in DL always has been, and always will be, the Wizards of High Sorcery. It’s also safe to say that WotC will mandate that the core arcane classes (presumably wizard/mage, warlock, and sorcerer) will be in DL. We can address the warlock at another time.
So, let’s ask the question…Do sorcerers add something unique to the Dragonlance setting? That’s kind of a tough one. Sorcerers tend to be more individualistic, and have the luxury of working outside of the Orders of High Sorcery. Okay, but how is that different than a renegade?
Though sorcerers are more individualistic, do sorcerer organizations add anything? The Academy of Sorcery no longer exists. Now, in a reboot, it could again. There’s the Legion of Steel. Legion Sorcerers tend to work in a master/apprentice scenario. The Knights of the Thorn have had both wizards and sorcerers in their time.
Now, for the flipside. Do sorcerers take anything away from Dragonlance? I am going to say yes. They don’t have the mystery and flavor of the WoHS. There is no danger, as there is with the Test of High Sorcery.
Sorcerers may be individualistic, but there is no reason you can’t have this within the Orders. Maybe the sorcerer only shows up for the required meetings, and otherwise, stays the heck away from the Towers. If you want to operate outside of the Orders, we have renegades. If you want conflict, we already have that with three different orders. Academies? You can have that with the WoHS. Master/apprentice relationships? Sure, why not?
All in all, I feel that while the sorcerers of DL do add to the setting, it just isn’t enough. I think they take away more than they add.
This is not to say that we get rid of sorcerers. In fact, in a reboot, I would simply have wizards “kill sorcerers and take their stuff.” Or, to be more precise, I would have the WoHS be open to any arcane class. This way, you can still play a sorcerer the way you want, but we stick with the flavor that made DL so great to begin with. We can have an Academy of High Sorcery, and add the Realms of Sorcery to the list of wizard spells, making them schools of magic.
This is also a solution that works in the Age of Dragons timeline.
So what do you think?