Sorcerers in a DL Reboot

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?

About Dragonhelm

Trampas “Dragonhelm” Whiteman is best known for co-creating and administering the Dragonlance Nexus fan site. He is co-author of three Dragonlance books – Holy Orders of the Stars, Knightly Orders of Ansalon, and Races of Ansalon.

When not evangelizing Dragonlance and other settings, Trampas is a husband, father, podcaster, and web designer. Trampas also enjoys reading comics, reading fantasy and scifi novels, and playing D&D.

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2 Comments

  1. I think your idea would work just fine, but I would like to see sorcerers still be a kind of taboo in Dragonlance. Just because WotC says they have to be available in the setting doesn’t mean they have to be common place.

    Kind of like what Eberron did with Orcs/Half-Orcs. They are in the setting but you’ll only find them in one small part of the main continent, there aren’t that many of them, and they aren’t really in conflict with the local human population.

    I think having a sorcerer have kind of a life on the run/hide in secret adds another dimension to the class. It’s not like they’d be hiding all the time. Wizards of High Sorcery aren’t everywhere. If i want to play a generic sorcerer I’ll just use any of the other DnD settings.

  2. The use of sorcerers would really depend on how a reboot was handled.

    In the age of dragons timeline the term sorcerer could be used for a magic user that has not taken the test yet or an apprentice. I would define the sorcerer then as a rudimentary user of magic till such a time that he has been accepted into the orders. A renegade would be a magic user already accepted into the orders but has now gone against the teaching of the conclave or is a threat to the existing structure of the WOHS, I would classify the knights of the thorn as renegades.

    If the reboot has an alternate source of magic besides drawing strength from the moons then the alternate user of magic could be referred to a sorcerer.

    IMO does a sorcerer belong in a reboot of dragonlance i would say no but i would have no problem with a character who is not a member of the WOHS who had basic training in magic of knowing a low level spell or two.

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