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Basic Information

Derived from the medieval French for "person who practices divination", sorcerer (f: sorceress) is typically used as a synonym for wizard in many places but - like many synonyms in English, is occasionally reserved to imply something not exactly the same.

For example, a sorcerer may derive his powers from an innate talent whereas a wizard's are the result of academic study. Alternatively, the sorcerer may specialise in spirit mediated magic. Depending on the setting, this may be a distinction without a difference or a very big deal indeed.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • The sorcerer/wizard/witch/cleric distinction could be a setting element. Maybe (for the talent-based version) sorcerers are considered "blessed" or tend to be royalty, or maybe they're considered cursed or lazy1.
    • What "sorcerer" means could even vary from one place to another. Maybe one country uses the word to mean someone born with magic, while another uses it to mean someone who draws magic from infernal sources, and a third uses it to mean someone who practices black magic regardless of source.
  • Runequest treats the sorcerer as being, essentially, the same as a wizard, the civilized magic user whose practice involves trapping, compelling and occasionally destroying spirits - as against shamen (who bargained with them) and priests, who dealt with spirits that served their gods as colleagues.
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