Would you be a Witch or a Sorceror?

And if so, what direction would you specialize in? What familiars would you prefer? Would you want to become a free-caster? Or, perhaps you’d have a specialty?

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My answer: I’d want to be a witch, frankly. I’m too much like Waverly. Every animal is cute! Even the weird and slimy ones! The jumping spider hanging out in my room has a name (Ted) and I garden to create frog habitats. I used to keep madagascar hissing cockroaches, and would let one or two chill on my shoulder while I did yard work to repel solicitors. My bestie has Mexican hairless dogs, and they’re the cutest little weirdos I’ve ever seen.

I can’t help it. I would absolutely lose it over a mini-griffin or a unicorn, and you’d probably have to restart my heart if I saw a drake. I’d definitely be one of those witches who set her sights on contracting a dragon familiar, but settled for a drake forever after figuring out that dragons are more of a pain than they’re worth - and probably way beyond my capabilities. I doubt I’d even care what the drake’s capabilities are (flight, fire, etc?), I’d just be head over heels for a tiny, flying death-lizard.

I’d probably want to settle in to do research and read and learn everything I could. Maybe study and then eventually teach history? Or, perhaps, alchemy. Or take S’s suggestion and find a way to use magic to create unusual and fantastic foods…

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Given the various disciplines of thaumaturgy in the books I think I might actually prefer to be an animist.

Siobhan doesn’t know a whole lot about animism, but from what has been mentioned they seem to to bind themselves to a general area/domain/plot of land and then through that connection with the land communicate with and guide the plants and animals on that land. They don’t use circles or spells or structured magic to do that guiding but Siobhan thinks it is probably something akin to her will projection.

That sounds great to me. Living out in nature tweaking and adjusting a little magical permaculture mini-ecosystem, conversing (in a sense) with all the trees and animals sounds like a fantastic life. It probably wouldn’t be a particularly safe life, given the magical beasts around, but it would be worth it to me.

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For me there are a few unanswered questions before I know the answer.

  1. Do Familiars help with the Sacrifice as well as the will?
  2. We’ve heard witches are WORSE at non thematic stuff, but how much worse?

If they are let’s say “half as good” so if you could cast a spell at 9k thaums, but you get a familiar and then your familiar stuff gets freecasting and maybe less/no sacrifice required and you can cast up to 12k, but you can still cast other stuff at a 4.5k level (not that a 9k sorcerer would become a witch but you know what I mean) I would take that deal.

But if you are casting non familiar themed spells at like 1k thaums instead, that’s too much lost versatility and I’d struggle along as a mediocre sorcerer instead of taking a familiar.

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Is there a rule that says you can’t be both a witch and a sorcerer? In other words…you get a familiar and use their help when it’s beneficial, but revert to using a standard celerium conduit when it’s not?

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I think the thing that people are missing about familiar contracts from a pure power perspective is that you’re giving up something on your end too, which is going to make you weaker in other ways.

Even if there isn’t some direct magical mechanism that weakens you to fuel the growth of your familiar, you’re almost definitely going to be sacrificing a big chunk of your time. Your end of the bargain hypothetically might be spending hours a day brushing their coat, or hunting with them, or obtaining magical plants they like to eat, or obtaining magical reagents they need to advance their form (unicorn to pegasus for example) etc.

Whatever it may be, you’re probably going to be spending as much time working to fulfill your familiar’s desires as your familiar is going to spend working towards yours. And that means a lot of time that you probably can’t spend practicing sorcery or learning about different types of magic and time you don’t have to raise money for new conduits and materials outside of your familiar bond.

If your desires and those of your familiar are particularly well-aligned, then that probably isn’t much of a sacrifice, and you can probably spend a lot of the time you spend helping them also learning about their magic.

But if you just try to form a bond pragmatically to gain power while also pursuing sorcery then because you have so much less time you’re probably going to end up significantly weaker than if you had focused on one or the other.

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I love this topic!

Modern sorcery and its sub crafts: Very versatile, the easiest path to find information on and access new spells. We’ve seen a lot of this in the story so far.

Witchcraft: There’s a reason witches aren’t just overpowering sorcerers everywhere. As Keid said, there are things you give up for what you get in exchange. But you get companionship and extra ability in some particular area. High chances of shenanigans involved if your desired familiar is powerful.

Gestura: Just think Avatar: The Last Airbender but with a lot more work put in to get the spells down and a lot more variety in the eventual effect. A lot of group casting to create powerful effects. This one is probably the hardest of the bunch, honestly. But you get to throw a fireball, run at the speed of a train for half a day in a group with your buddies, or send someone to sleep by poking them in the belly button. And you can create really amazing art of movement, adding visuals and sound to your gestures in some dances.

Animism: Very powerful within their domain, given enough time to build up. You get to pet baby deer and maybe ride a bear or something, once they learn to trust you. But you’d lose almost all your power if your section of forest was chopped or burned down, for instance, and greedy people will always want to be invading your space for the natural wealth and abundance that comes along with this path.

Shamanry: Investigations via calling upon “spirits”, dream walking, and lots of…substances. Summoning and invocations. Quite dangerous but also difficult to get guidance on unless you can find someone willing to teach you directly. There are a lot of charlatan shamans. But if you manage it, there’s some truly cool and “flavorful” magic you could wield.

I’m away from my huge file of notes and I may have forgotten one or more of the more esoteric paths.

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Gestura: Hah! I knew it!

How many more rituals before Siobhan can enter the Avatar state? :grin: