[Sorcerer] Grimoires and Sorcerer

Started by johnford19, August 30, 2011, 01:04:41 AM

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Hi everyone, new to the forums, I look forward to exploring Sorcerer with many of you considering it isn't as popular as I wish it was! My dad use to play it and it was something I sort of got into but kind of put to the side until I got a bit older, now my interest in the game has spiked :) so I look forward to get back into, unfortunately though it wasn't like I use to remember with the PDF and now I have to order soft/hard cover book so hopefully by the end of a couple of weeks I will order it and get it in the mail asap :)

So what I wanted to introduce, or kind of ease in is the idea of Grimoires. I'm not exactly talking in game Grimoires, but real Grimoires used by real magicians as a source guide and inspiration guide. So what I will be kind of introducing you is just something that might interest some of you in maybe incorporating into your game to give it more of that story feeling, maybe even a little more depth.

In this case I will use one of my character's as an example. His father is opposed to sorcery altogether and his mother was a sorceress (and through her writings he studied sorcery), long since divorced now though, so what his mother left behind for him (using the help of a demon; kind of his kicker in essence) is a Grimoire called the Heptameron and a small journal with notes and experience, basically explaining it all to him to the best of her knowledge and experience.

So without taking away from the original source of the demons (such as possessors, objects, parasites etc.) the idea of using Grimoires, specifically the Heptameron, is more as a description of those demons.

So using the Heptameron as an example (I know not making much sense but hopefully I will be able to clear it up!):

The Heptameron demons are very similar to that in the Sorcerer game in that you don't really summon a particular demon (such as in the Goetia) but a typical demon that corresponds to that day of the week. So in this case the idea of the type of spirit (possessor, object, parasite etc.) is more of that type, where as the day of the week regards more of what to expect when summoning sort of thing.

Described below will be a description of the spirits, and things that are associated etc.


day of the week--sunday
color--yellow (such as candles, altar cloths)
astrological sign-- aries (associated with the strongest months and times of summoning)
crystals--tiger's eye, citrine, topaz, carnelian, amber, orange calcite
incense (or perfume of art)--Red Wheat (red sandalwood)

The Spirits of the Air of the Lord's Day (sunday) are under North Wind: their nature is to procure Gold, Gems, Carbuncles, Riches; to cause one to obtain favor and benevolence; to dissolve the enmities of men; to raise men to honors; and to carry or to take away infirmities.

The Spirits of the Sun for the most part appear in a large, full and great body sanguine and gross, in gold color, with the tincture of blood. Their motion is as the Lightning in Heaven; their sign is to move the person to sweat that calls them. But their particular forms are: a king having a scepter riding on a lion, a lion, a cock, a yellow or golden Garment, a scepter, caudaius.

day of the week--monday
astrological sign-- cancer (associated with the strongest months and times of summoning)
crystals--moonstone, pearl, abalone, aquamarine
incense (or perfume of art)--lingum aloe bark

The Demons of Monday are subject to the West-Wind, which is the wind of the Moon: their nature is to give silver, to convey things from place to place; to make horses swift; and to disclose the secrets of persons both present and future.

They will for the most part appear in a great and full body, sof and phlegmatique, of color like a black obscure cloud, having a swelling countenance, with eyes red and full of water, a bald head, and teeth like a wild boar. Their motion is as it were an exceeding great tempest of the Sea. For their sign, there will appear an exceeding great rain about the Circle. and in particular their shapes are: a King like an archer riding upon a doe, a little boy, a woman hunter with a bow and arrows, a cow, a little doe, a goose, a garment green or silver-colored, an arrow, a creature having many feet.

day of the week--tuesday
metal--iron, steel
astrological sign-- aries, scorpio (associated with the strongest months and times of summoning)
crystals--ruby, garnet, bloodstone
incense (or perfume of art)--black pepper

The Demons of Tuesday are under the East wind: their nature is to cause wars, mortality, death and combustions, and to give two thousand soldiers at a time; and to bring death, infirmities or health.

They appear in a tall body, cholerick, a filthy counternance of color brown, swarthy or red, having horns like Harts horns, and Griphins claws, bellowing like wild bulls. Their motion is like fire burning, their sing thunder and lightning about the Circle. Their particular shapes are: a king riding upon a wolf; a man armed; a woman holding a buckler on her thigh; a hee-goat; a horse; a stag; a red garment; wool a cheeslip.

day of the week--wednesday
color--orange or purple
astrological sign-- virgo, gemini(associated with the strongest months and times of summoning)
crystals--opal, moss agate, aventurine, sodalite, fluorite
incense (or perfume of art)--mastick

The Demons of Wednesday are subject to the South-West wind: their nature is to give all metals; to reveal all earthly things past, present and to come; to pacify judges; to give victories in war; to re-edify; and to teach experiment and all decayed Sciences; and to change bodies mixt of Elements conditionally out of one into another; to give information or health, to raise the poor, and cast down the high ones, to bind or loose spirits, to open locks or bolts, their virtue is knowledge.

The demons are among the most terrifying, middle stature, cold, liquid and moist, fair and with an affable speech; in a human shape and form, like unto a KNight armed, of color clear and bright the motion of them is it were silver-colored clouds. For their sing, they cause and bring horror and fear unto him that calls them. Their shapes a king riding a bear, a fair youth, a woman holding a distaffe, a dog, a shee-bear, a magpie, a garment and sundry changeable colors, a rod, a little staff.

day of the week--thursday
color--blue (such as candles, altar cloths)
astrological sign-- sagittarius (associated with the strongest months and times of summoning)
crystals--lapis lazuli, amethyst, turquoise, sugilite, sapphire, sodalite, azurite
incense (or perfume of art)-- saffron

The Demons of Thursday are subject to the South-Wind: their nature is to procure the love of women; to cause men to be merry and joyful; to pacify strife and contentions; to appease enemies; to heal the diseased and to disease the whole; and procureth losses, or take them away.

Demons of Jupiter do appear with a body sanguine and cholerick, with horrible fearful motion, but witha  mild countenance, a gentle speech, and of color of Iron. The motion of flashing lightning and thunder, their sign, there will appear about in the circle. who shall to be devoured. Their particular forms is a king with a sword, a stag, a man, a maiden, a bull, a peacock, azure garment, sword, box-tree.

day of the week--friday
color--green (such as candles, altar cloths)
astrological sign-- taurus, libra (associated with the strongest months and times of summoning)
crystals--emerald, rose quartz or any gem
incense (or perfume of art)--pepperwort

The Demons of Friday are subject to the West wind, their nature is to give silver, to excite men, and incline them to luxury, to reconcile enemies through luxury, to make marraiges, to allure men to love women, to cause, or take away infirmities and to do all things that have motion (such as sex).

They appear with a fair body, of middle stature, with an amiable and pleasant demenor, they are among the most dangerous and most alluring of all the demons. They are very beautiful. Most clear like a star. a king with a scepteter riding upon a camel; a maid clothed and dressed beautifully, a maid naked, a shee-goat, a camel, a dove a white or green garment, flowers, the herb Savine.

day of the week--saturday
color--black(such as candles, altar cloths)
astrological sign-- capricorn (associated with the strongest months and times of summoning)
crystals--onyx, black tourmaline, apache tears, obsidian
incense (or perfume of art)--sulphur (red sandalwood)

The Demons of Saturday are subject to the South-West wind: they should never be called. Their nature is to sow discords, hatred, evil thoughts and cogitations, to give leave freely, to slay and to kill everyone, and to lame or main every member.

king having a beard, a dragon, old man, hog, owl, hook or sickle, juniper tree......

..... So this is just brief stuff and of course you can expand on it, it is just a good basis for people who want to put a little more story in their game, and might not know where to begin. Assembling the required materials is always a first step in Sorcerer for me and among the most important and fun parts.

Basically because you have two shops, one that is like Wiccan oriented that may not have reliable tools, herbs etc. but a good way to get the stuff, another might be an undergorund BLACK MARKET where you would get all your Sorcerer equipment.

By using or utilising a Grimoire system in Sorcerer I have found good structure in the game by implementing it, and this helps describe and classify the demons further in my humblest of opinions. I hope you enjoyed this!


Quote from: johnford19 on August 30, 2011, 01:04:41 AMHi everyone, new to the forums, I look forward to exploring Sorcerer with many of you considering it isn't as popular as I wish it was! My dad use to play it and it was something I sort of got into but kind of put to the side until I got a bit older, now my interest in the game has spiked :) so I look forward to get back into, unfortunately though it wasn't like I use to remember with the PDF and now I have to order soft/hard cover book so hopefully by the end of a couple of weeks I will order it and get it in the mail asap :)
1. Welcome to the forums! Seems like we don't get so many posts here anymore, but it's always nice to see new faces and new ideas!

2. If you were playing from a PDF it was probably the "Apprentice" version. Ron knows the differences best, but the Apprentice version is very different from the published hardback version of the game and the Apprentice version is really unsupported and obsolete. You will certainly want to buy the core Sorcerer hardback rule book and maybe one or more supplements. Sorcerer's Soul deals with humanity in the context of the pulp detective genre. Sorcerer and Sword deals with pulp fantasy (Swords & Sorcery) settings. Sex and Sorcery deals with gender issues. Once you master the basic rulebook, pick a supplement that seems most appealing to you.

3. Your ideas are really interesting, but don't quite seem to follow the Sorcerer style. Again, Ron is best qualified to explain the differences, but I think the key is that Sorcerer is a game of internal conflict and the campaign is supposed to revolve around players having to make tough choices. While the demons you posted are cool, I don't see how they tie in with those choices. (This may be a flaw in my reading, not in your design. Perhaps more details on how these demons fit into a particular campaign setting would make things more clear to me.)

Hope this helps some. Welcome to the boards!
Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * Dresden Files RPG * Amber Diceless
Forge Member since 2004
OD&D Player since 1975

Ron Edwards


My apologies for not getting back to this sooner.

I think the PDF reference is actually to the 1998 product, which is definitely not as developed as the book version, but is not as off-message as the Apprentice. As a side note and good news, the Sorcerer books are now being developed into PDFs as well, at long last.

Now for the stuff to talk about: this is excellent Color work for a given game's "look and feel" for Sorcerer. I did something a lot like it when I effectively ripped off Garth Nix's Abhorsen trilogy for a modern-day necromancy game a few years ago. This kind of work rarely if ever has any effect on the actual rules in terms of mechanics, but it can be wonderfully effective and orienting for the group in terms of how those rules are used. So my response is simply, "Cool!," which is the not-very-good reason I hadn't replied earlier.

I think what made a few readers blink, and what Marv is tentatively responding to, is your use of the term system, which can be inferred as a mechanics issue. My interpretation is that you are providing material that the characters can and will perceive as constraining or defining for sorcery, but for the players, is a useful orienting and coloring device that doesn't actually constrain the mechanics

Best, Ron