Grey Shade Sorcery in Chatacter Burning.

My goal is to create a unassuming young sorcerer who doesn’t realize the true scope of his powers.
I would like to use 3 or 4 life paths and make him be nominally practiced to competent to start. If I shade shift to grey sorcery will that cause grey damage, or does that require a grey will ?

Requires a Grey will.

Good! That fits what I was aiming for.
So how would my intrepid young sorcerer eventually develop his grey will?
(I’ve not done much with shades before).

See Epiphany​ on page 69.

I prefer truly low starts for discovering one’s true potential. Going from B2 to G6 feels bigger than going from G2 to G6. Or to W6, for that matter.

And shade-shifted magic is disgusting.

I would prefer to not even screw around with shades. If my character has a black shade sorcery skill that just means that he has a mundane skill in using magic. But he is still using MAGIC which, by definition, is not mundane at all. (Even black shaded sorcery can affect spirits, unlike mundane weaponry.)
But the concept is for a young sorcerer who has the potential to be greater than he knows, or can even imagine. That potential is what will be a driving factor in his story line as people try to manipulate and use him, or try try to forge alliances with him or desire to forge dragon blades with his blood.
If there is a better game mechanic to represent this concept than grey shading his sorcery skill, please let me know.

Another problem I have with the grey shade sorcery concept is that mechanically speaking, his success ratio becomes too high too fast. What I really need is the potential to do grey or even white magic from the start, and that potential needs to exist in such a way that it causes the afore mentioned complications.

Grey will is only required for damage right? If you grey shade his sorcery he’s doing grey shade sorcery. What do you want him to do in play to unlock the higher ability?

Do you think I could get my concept accomplished with reputations/affiliations, written belief statement about his potential, and the Driven (C-O) trait to prove that potential? (Using Artha to ultimately get there and occasionally shade shift to show the potential)

You express potential in BW by having at least one Belief about developing potential and using the skill. That’s it. You could take Driven, but that’s not saying you’ve got potential for greatness, it’s saying that you’re, well, driven. You can be driven without greatness or great but laid back about it. The apprentice who’s lazy but whose master recognizes boundless potential is also a neat idea, and it leaves room for conflicting Beliefs: one about becoming all-powerful, one about slacking.

If you want flashes of greatness, you spend artha on rolls. Those artha accumulate towards your epiphany to shade-shift. If you want flashes of absolute brilliance, you save artha for aristeia. And that’ll help you shade-shift later too!

In BW, as in other games, you don’t want to “play before you play.” In a game about potential power, you don’t want to play with that potential somehow already unlocked. You’ve just got potential, and it’s up to the game to determine whether and how you unlock it. Regular sorcery will do just fine. Even B1 sorcery, so you fail a lot before greatness!

Larkin, I took your statements to mean that you wanted him to be some kind of chosen one, with a hidden gift just waiting to be unlocked in game. If so, my first question is what does the character have to do to unlock this potential? Without that, I’m not sure what’s best here; perhaps just model it with Beliefs and a rep about some hidden talent. Or maybe a hack, where if they accomplish this thing they have a trait that shade shifts both sorcery and will immediately.

I think the driven trait, or something similar to it, would work out as it is a call on it could only be used under certain conditions (like when using Artha to aide sorcery.) Other than that I think I’m all set. Thanks for the insights.

Thanks for the advice. I’m planning on following a lot of it! (4 lifepaths: Peasant Born and Peddler, City lead to Neophyte Sorcer, Outcast lead to Rogue Wizard) Mostly B3 skills with B4 stats except for his B6 will (to show potential), and at least one belief about pushing himself to fulfill his destiny.

Don’t start grey-shaded. Sorcery is already open-ended, which leads to explosive results with an already powerful ability.

Nope, I’m burning in black!
I checked into shades more thoroughly as I’ve never had to really use them beforehand. They are not what I thought they would be. (I had thought that a heroic shade would just mean that you could do damage to heroic things, so a grey shade eould do the same damage to a mortal as it would to a creature with grey defenses (kinda like a silver bullet would work equally well against a man or a werewolf where as a mundane bullet only affects the man. But ther is no way I would concider it now.
(A G1 equals a B17 ! ? ! Seriously? I’m sure there must be a good reason but, REALLY !!! )

Oh yeah, the whole realizing his untapped potential came about in play testing. Thanks to the “Wheel of Magic” When he failed casting his Wyrd Light spell to light up the harvest festival in his village (Garbled Transmission, clockwise, four). He caused stones to rain down around him for 1/2 Presence around him (about a 30’ diameter stone shower doing damage of 1/2 will plus 3, v a 3, sustainable. Fortunately, he suffered a may not when he got clobbered with on of the stones.
By the way, we worked the garblef spell kinda like a steel test with special circumstance so that if he accidentally conjures or casts anything that he could just dismiss (like the sustainable stone storm) the errant spell continues to feast on his ability for as long as he would have to stand and drool. (Basically in shock and awe of what he has done.)
I like this complication for this character, but question its legality. (Reasonable?)

I think that is a better way to drive the story. If that is the main story line, I can only hope that your storyteller will engage in interesting failure conditions to colour how powerful magic really is. Think of it as the sorcerers apprentice in disney. he has great potential. But with the cleaning up failure… I wouldn’t give that character more than a B2 in sorcery, maybe even a B1. Mickey must have learned something from that experience. :slight_smile:

In any case. I would personaly burn a player at the stake if he creates a Gray shaded sorcerer :slight_smile:

Yeah, I can see that now. Open ended skill dice with a two-thirds success ratio is too much like over kill. Not to mention that half the fun of running Galen (peasant born son of a blacksmith turned wizard) is in all the things that go wrong (like raining rocks when you screw up wyrd lights). I thought that grey skills just let you handle grey threats. I was so wrong!