Learning new sorcery spells

Does a character with the Patron Talent just spend XP on the Sorcery talent multiple times to learn multiple spells? (In addition to paying the Resolve cost.)

To learn a new spell, you have to purchase either the Pact or the Barter Your Soul Talent.

  • Pact has less drawbacks, but can only be purchased once for your original Patron or twice for each new Patron.
  • Barter Your Soul has no restrictions, but it reduces your total Resolve by X+3 where X is the number of spells you already know.

Shran has it mostly correct. During step 9 of character creation PCs can trade talents gained prior on a one to one basis for sorcery talents using the Weed of Sorcery optional rule- p44.
Patron- Sorcerer- Pact- Barter Your Soul is the skill tree progression that gets you spells. Patron and Sorcerer can only be purchased once. Sorcerer gets you 1 spell at the permanent cost of 2 dice of resolve (0-4). Pact gets you 1 spell or petty enchantment. You don’t have to buy the Patron talent again, buying the Pact gets you a new patron who will teach you twice (pay for pact again) before you need a new instructor. You must pay upkeep for these patrons- I presume this is the Demand of 5 dice of gold, vigor or resolve described on p170. Note this is not permanent loss.
Barter your soul nets you 1 spell at the cost of X+2 dice of permanent resolve loss, where x= your new total of spells known.
The whole progression to gain spells is very poorly explained and is spread all over the rulebook. One of my players gave up on generating a sorcerer because he couldn’t figure out how to get more than 1 spell. We now have 2 sorcery talent trees and no explanation for xp costs for those trees. Does a patron cost 200xp? I was hoping the Book of Skelos would clear all this up, but did not. I haven’t generated a sorcerer PC yet but looking at it the resolve hit for Barter Your Soul will be very stiff if done more than once. That’s why you don’t barter away your soul…

Thanks! All of this sounds familiar, I’ve read the sorcery chapter twice and turned it into a cheatsheet, but must have skipped the bit about Pact and Barter your Soul on the second reading.

Thanks again!

So what happens when a character’s permanent Resolve goes to 0?

I guess each time they case a spell or suffer mental damage, they suffer a two Traumas. As a GM, I would not let a player character reach 0 Resolve this way.

I see two options

  1. make the character an NPC as power has driven them criminally insane.
  2. give the PC a permanent insanity of some sort, kind of equivalent to a Trauma, and restore their Resolve to full. If they go to zero again, another insanity and another permanent Trauma. Once they get to 5 total permanent and temporary Traumas, their mind breaks and the character is dead.

Depends on how much Sorcery you want. Go for the second one if you want a lot of sorcery.

Toby, that was the very question I asked as I finished my reply. I don’t see it in the book. Any new addition of the rulebook should also simply include a line for each talent with the base cost in xp since those are known depending on place in the tree, or better yet a master list with data including cost.

So is there no way to recover or repy permanently lost Resolve?

Also, when a spell description reads “Cost to Learn/Cast: 1 Resolve” does this mean that you loose one Resolve permanently (when you learn the spell) and one temporarily (when you cast it)? In comparison other spell descriptions read “Cost to Learn/Cast: 1 to Learn and 1 to cast”.

Thank you for any advice.

Technically you could spend xp to increase your discipline (which would increase your Resolve). That being said, I agree with the previous statement. Reducing your Resolve to 0 would basically mean you have no mental health and are either a) criminally insane or b) brain dead. I could see an npc doing this and using sacrifices to power their spells but as a GM I wouldn’t allow a player to do this to themselves.

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Resolve is only lost permanently when a spell is learned, not when it is cast.

If you were the worlds least capable sorcerer you would still be able to learn pretty close to 6 spells before you had your resolve reduced to 0 (ie not especially likely), vast majority of spells cost 1 resolve to learn. 6 is an INSANE amount of spells to have IMHO.

If you are NOT an incompetent Sorcerer, it’s not hard to be have your willpower at 13 and a few points in Discipline giving you 15-16 resolve, and as pointed out above it’s probably not a bad idea on propping up your Discipline Expertise as you learn new spells to counteract that effect.

That’s another point I hadn’t thought of but is very true. The spells in Conan are generally very versatile. They went with a bunch of adaptable spells instead of the thousands of spells in D&D because of the nature of magic in Conan. In my opinion it works fantastically and you are absolutely right. Having more than 2-4 spells for the average sorcerer is kind of insane. I crafted a charlatan character who could only pretend to cast magic and his resolve hit 12 without me even trying during character creation. 6 spells is a lot. 12 is ridiculous and a character probably not only just known around the world but probably both feared and hunted.

Yes exactly, and generally attacks are going to come from Ddismember" and Alchemical weapons. And the Alchemical weapons don’t have that resolve cost.

Thank you for your replys! This makes more sense to me now. I am looking forward to test this in game.


Also, the Book of Skelos has the Necromancer Talent tree- and the Talent “Beyond Madness and Sanity” (p. 75). It allows a Sorcerer to buy back Resolve lost in exchange for spells for 200xp a point… But it also says that this process also requires a process which is “Utterly Debased”- which I interpret as “decide what the comfort zone of your group is and then describe a ritual that lies outside it”.

It seems pretty clear that this isn’t meant for Player Characters, but rather is a mechanical explanation for how a Sorcerer of legendary power gets that way. Unless you run the sort of group that actually wants to go there…

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I still wouldn’t allow it to player characters for another reason: it is not clear whether the sorcerers who pick this still retain their free will. After all, they cannot be expected to follow the patterns of human reasoning. For instance in the Corebook Thoth-Amon is described as a tool of Set; PC who take it might be “possessed” or at least infused with a shard of the power of an Outer God, thus allowing them to function but having some control over them.

One of my players might ‘go there’ but it will be late in the campaign when his character may in fact become an antagonist. We’ll have to see how it plays out, but as a GM I’m ok with the idea of players using this as long as it will ultimately make for a more dynamic and exciting story.

(and of course as long as they are in agreement)

This was helpful but as a newbie I have one further question. In some of these they note that you roll a combat die and multiply it for lost resolve. But if it comes up 3 or 4 does that mean there’s no loss since it would be a result of 0 damage? Or am I totally misunderstanding this mechanic?

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Correct, combat dice can come up as 0.

Cool; so in fact there’s a chance that you won’t lose further resolve when casting due to the vagaries of dice rolls? I like the element of chance in there.

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