Is A Lawyer-Sorcerer Viable?

Hi folks,

I’m planning to start GMing my first game of Burning Wheel in a couple of weeks, and I’m currently in the process of helping players create their characters. One player has a strong concept for a lawyer character, but would also like to use magic because he likes the system. We’ve had a lot of difficulty trying to get appropriate lifepaths for him, since the obvious ones (Sorcerer and Court Lawyer) both have fairly hefty requirements. Per the rules advice we’re going to start with four lifepaths, and we can’t seem to fit them all together.

Is there anything I’m missing, or is this simply asking too much of a single character?

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Hi Echo, and welcome to the forums!

A sorcerer-lawyer is definitely possible in 4 LP, though you’ll need to skip over the actual Sorcerer lifepath.

Two quick options are:
Born City > Student > Neophyte Sorcerer > Advocate
Born Noble > Arcane Devotee > lead to Court > Student > Court Lawyer

You’ll have to buy ranks in Sorcery with General skill points since it’s not native to the LPs, but should have more than enough skills for good lawyering on top of that.


Thank you! We will give these a go, and report back on how it looks. I appreciate your help!

The player may also stop short of being an actual lawyer or advocate and write a Belief about becoming one, if you’re interested in playing out that kind of origin story. Phoenix Wright doesn’t have his first case until start of play; maybe that’s true for this character, as well.

Doesn’t have to be that way of course; I’m just trying to give you options.


If I was opposing counsel, I would petition the judge for a mistrial as soon as the Magic Lawyer stepped into court…


See this badge?


This badge is proof of membership with the judiciary as a defense attorney (1D Affiliation) and authorizes me to practice the law in that capacity. Whether I also happen to be a channel for magics most foul has nothing to do with it! Justice is blind!


There are actually a lot of ways to go about that, as the only requirements are whatever is needed to get to the lawyer lifepath of choice, gifted, and 1 general point. If you wanted, you could even build this character in 3! Born Gifted (City), Student (City), then either Advocate or Court Lawyer. My recommendation would be to focus on lifepaths that give strong FoRKs to what will likely be an underpowered Sorcery. Arcane Devotee, City Student, and Young Lady are all really good lifepaths that give either Symbology or Astrology. So talk to your player, and see what kind of lawyer they want to be, how they want to have learned magic, whether they’re a noble, how many spells they want to have (rps are very important to non art magic sorcers) etc. The character burner is shockingly flexible!

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Another viable path is available if you allow Practical Magic. Simply have the sorcerer choose the “School of Thought” and possible “Academic” and “Social” Schools of Magic. No Advocate LP required!

No way! Practical Magic just gets rid of skills as a mechanic, no fun in being a lawyer if you’re just rolling sorcery all the time for everything


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