the Blood: Choosing a Race
potential to command sorcery seems present in nearly every humanoid race.
Even monstrous humanoids like goblins and kobolds are known to have sorcerers
among them; it's far more likely to find a sorcerer than a learned wizard
among such savages.
one may possess the gift, or the Talent (as it is often called) are unknown,
although many theories and stories attempt to explain where sorcery came
from. One of the most popular bits of lore suggests that sorcerers are
descendants of dragons who took humanoid form and humanoid lovers in ages
past. Certainly, many dragons are powerful sorcerers capable of assuming
human form. But if the tale is true, no dragon has ever said so. (Then
again, what dragon would ever admit to having mortal kin?) Other stories
claim that sorcery is inherited from another source, such as the blood
of outsiders from other planes (good, evil, or otherwise), powerful spirits,
or even the gods themselves. No one can say for certain.
Masters may decide for themselves where sorcery comes from, or leave it
a mystery for the players to ponder. For example, in your campaign sorcerers
might truly have the blood of dragons in their veins, or they might be
descendants of demons, celestials, or something else altogether. In the
end, it doesn't much matter where the power comes from: It exists, and
that is enough for most sorcerers.
the potential for sorcery seems to exist in all humanoid races (and a
number of non-humanoids as well, like dragons), some make better sorcerers
than others. Sorcery is less a matter of intellect and more a matter of
force of personality; a sorcerer must have wit, daring, and the soul of
a poet to shape the forces of magic. Sorcery is a true art, so artists
make the best sorcerers. It is the spirit that matters, not the body.
does your character think sorcery comes from? He might believe a particular
theory or legend, or might not care. Ask your Dungeon Master where sorcery
originates in the campaign, but don't be surprised if it's a secret! Maybe
your character can discover the truth during the game.
character race has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to sorcery.
make good sorcerers. The have the advantages of a bonus feat (good for
picking up a useful survival feat like Dodge or Toughness) and bonus skill
points. Humans can also ignore their highest class level when determining
multiclass experience point penalties, meaning that human sorcerers can
most easily multiclass without penalty.
sorcerers have to deal with a -2 Charisma penalty, which can make things
a bit difficult for them. But they get a +2 Constitution bonus, which
improves hit points and Concentration -- making dwarf sorcerers more effective
in combat. Their bonus to saving throws against spells and spell-like effects helps them. Dwarf society reflects this, with a deep distrust of arcane magic. Dwarf sorcerers are also likely to be outcasts because of their chaotic natures. Dwarves make good fighter/sorcerer combos, especially if they take fighter as their first class to get the benefits of higher hit points to start with, although they suffer spell-failure penalties for wearing armor.
elves have magic in their blood, they tend to make better wizards than
sorcerers. Still, an elf can make a fine sorcerer. Their Dexterity bonus
helps improve their Armor Class and their weapon proficiencies (particularly
the bow) can prove quite useful. Elven sorcerer/wizard combos have access
to a broad range of spells, both prepared and spontaneous.
make better sorcerers than their dwarf cousins. They have the Constitution bonus of dwarves without the Charisma penalty and a bonus on Alchemy checks. A gnome sorcerer with a 20 Constitution
and the Toughness feat starts out with 12 hit points. Gnomes with an Intelligence
of 10+ can also cast three additional cantrips: dancing lights, ghost
sound, and prestidigitation, allowing them to learn other cantrips
as sorcerers and expand their spell list. The DM may optionally allow
a gnome sorcerer to use her regular daily allotment of cantrips to cast
these innate cantrips more than once per day each.
their human and elven parents, half-elves make good sorcerers. In some
cultures, sorcery may be believed to stem from having elven blood (since
elves are often credited with inventing wizardry). Half-elf sorcerers
have the same multiclass benefits as humans, allowing them to easily take
a second class without penalty.
half-orcs appear unlikely sorcerers, and have to deal with their penalties
to Intelligence and Charisma, sorcerers are more likely than wizards among
half-orcs, since sorcery is inborn while wizardry must be learned (and
not many wizards are likely to take on a half-orc student). A half-orc
sorcerer is also likely to use his innate power, rather than hide
it. Half-orcs in human or mixed communities often face prejudice, so they
see the gift of sorcery as a true asset. A half-orc's Strength can also
prove quite useful, particularly when most people don't expect sorcerers
to be all that strong. Half-orc barbarian/sorcerers can be truly dangerous
gnomes, halflings make good sorcerers based on their size and speed. Their
Armor Class bonuses from Dexterity and size allow them to easily get by
without wearing any armor. Also, their favored class is rogue, one of
the most effective multiclasses with sorcerer (see Winning
Races: The common races aren't the only ones who number sorcerers
among them. As the Player's
out, sorcerers are found among the monstrous humanoid races as well, and
even some non-humanoid races such as dragons. In fact, sorcerers are far
more common among other races than are wizards, since wizardry requires
the trappings of civilization (books, schools, and teachers) to study
and learn. Sorcery, an inborn ability, can appear anywhere. Humanoid sorcerers
-- those who survive to adulthood, anyway -- are likely to hone their
abilities and use them to gain power and influence among their kind. They
may be multiclassed (with barbarian and rogue being popular combinations)
and they're sure to use their abilities to their own advantage against
adventurers. An enemy sorcerer can help liven up any encounter.