Putting Sorcery in the Game

TLDR: Make spells work internally like weapons, with cooldowns, requiring players to have a set level of corruption to use that give you greater power the more physically weak you’re willing to be. Armor restrictions for balance, new light armors for flavor/theme, and utilize as much of the existing technical framework as possible to make it easier to implement.

Dear Funcom,

I really would like to see Sorcery in game in some form. Having been playing since EA, and remembering that you guys said something about technical hurdles that were too difficult to overcome, I wanted to see if there’s a way that it could be implemented into the existing technical framework AND remain thematically friendly. That being said, here’s my personal idea:

  1. It still requires corruption to utilize, but not as a finite resource, rather as a state-based check to see if a player is eligible to use a given “spell”. I propose corruption level “landmarks” at 5 different points - 10% of total health, 25%, 35%, 50%, and 75%. Levels could be titled as "Tainted → Befouled → Impure → Rotted → Corrupted. Corruption will now be capped at 90% with a title of Decrepit at that point. If you’re running around the map with 90% corruption, then seriously that’s your problem.

  2. At each landmark, a player is eligible to use a tier of “spells” They must maintain this level of corruption or spells at that tier are disabled. New sources of corruption will be implemented in food as well as placeables. A Befouled Pillar, can be placed to generate corruption at the same rate as an Obelisk’s aura (Yes I know there’s potential for spam/abuse but dbags will be dbags no matter what). However, Eating/Drinking will be the fastest way to gain/maintain corruption. In keeping with thematic elements, Sorcerous exiles would best benefit from staying away from Entertainers and remaining reclusive in order to maintain their levels of corruption.

  3. Spells are achieved through used of craftable “items” that are either placed in a hotbar and utilized like weapons or utilized from the inventory screen. Some examples: For the spell “Corrupt meat”, a player must use spoiled meat, blood, ichor, bones, and papyrus to create an item with .01 weight that appears in their inventory. When utilized from inventory, the game will check to see if any meat items are in inventory (based upon similar algorithms used in furnaces to detect hierarchy for smelting priority) and convert a piece of meat into rotten meat. It terms of combat spells: By combining Blood, human flesh, bone, ichor, and papyrus) the player creates a exhaustion spell item that weighs .05. It has no use in inventory, but when equipped to a hotbar, allows a ranged attack that applies the cripple debuff for x seconds, balanced for factors.

  4. “Combat spells” would have cooldowns to prevent spam, balanced for factors. AND they would have limited maximum usages before decaying by tweaking their durability so that powerful spells would allow 2-3 uses before “breaking” and minor spells more uses before breaking. The spells would be “recharged” by gathering the requisite materials and “repairing” them back to “full durability”. Spells are guaranteed to hit, necessitating cooldowns. Multiple instances of a spell on a player’s hotbar/inventory SHARE cooldowns, making it pointless to carry more than 1 copy of each spell.

  5. Sorcery itself would be a discover-able feat in the exiled lands, with 5 levels all located in increasingly tougher zones. Reagents/Materials for spells would all be thematically related stuff already in-game: Blood, Bones, Bonemeal, Human Flesh, Hides, Severed Animal Heads, Tar, Demon Blood, Powder of Corruption, Corrupted Bones, Witchfire Powder, Spoiled Meat, Skulls, Oil, Ichor, Raw Ash, Silver Dust, Gold Dust, Brimstone, Corrupted Stone, Heart of a Hero, etc.

  6. A new crafting station (we’ll call it the Profane Altar for now, learned with Witch Doctor) would be used to make Sorcery items/spells. The Altar would accept any priest as it’s thrall, and each priest would bring a religion specific spell at T4. Also, T2 + up would allow exceptional/flawless versions of spells called Enhanced and Intensified that deal slightly greater effects for combat spells.

  7. A new flag must be applied to players: Armor level. Wearing Heavy or Medium Armors would disable use of Sorcery. Also, add in robes and other cloth-based light armors for the base game AND DLC’s (does not need to be re-purchased) for thematic elements. If possible a new status effect “Stoic” could be implemented with Sorcerous armors that makes a player IMMUNE to Entertained.

Examples of Spells:

10% tier (learned with Witch Doctor) - New Recipe: Bone Quill: Using Bone and Blood, create the quill that will allow you to write scrolls of profane sorcery (Spells are written onto papyrus and used to represent either “combat spells” or “utility spells”) It functions similar to the glass mold at the furnace in that it is never consumed, Corrupt Flesh (create a rotten meat from any meat), Extract Blood (create blood from any uncooked meat), Corrupt Powder (create powder of corruption from bonemeal), Exhaust (Apply a cripple effect to any actor for 5 seconds, 10 sec. cooldown), Bone Splinter (Created from Bone, Feathers, and Blood - Fire a splinter of bone at a target for base 13 damage w/no cooldown - Alternate attack launches 3 splinters but requires a 3-second charge to fire and causes 3-second cooldown), Hideskin (Increase Armor by 15% for X time, Cooldown would last for Y seconds that allows a short window where the caster is vulnerable before they can recast, all balanced for factors),

25% tier - Floor of Blood (Spell which replicates effects of a Grease Orb except it is directly targeted, and does not enhance fire effects - Cooldown balanced on factors), Torchlight (create a placeable “wall torch” that expires after 1 min. - Could be represented graphically as a simple ball of light stuck to a surface - 1 min. cooldown OR no cooldown but re-casting will cause previous torchlight to fizzle), Deluge (A targeted version of a Water Orb), Witching Hand (Launch a spiritual hand that deals base 35 damage and applies a 5-second cripple - 7 second cooldown), Haven (gain Full Sheltered status for 30 seconds - 1 minute cooldown and buff is lost when hit in combat).

35% tier - Befouled Air (targeted version of Gas Orb - cooldown based on factors), Pain of the Sands (Applies 5 stacks of Bleeding [7 for enhanced, 10 for intensified] Holding the secondary attack for 5 seconds will apply a full 20 stacks - Cooldown based on factors), Corrupt Stone (created corrupted stone by yourself), Rot Armor - (Deals 35 damage and applies 5 stacks of Sunder - cooldown based on factors), Leatherskin (Same as Hideskin but 25% armor increase), Fishgills (30 minutes of waterbreathing), Crack of the Whip (Move as fast as a mount at full dash but WITH their momentum restrictions for 10sec. -meant as a retreat method, 5 min. cooldown), Raise Minion (when Humanoid followers die, they leave now a corpse item with their loot similar to how animal followers do. These corpses can now be converted to an Unstable animation with this spell)

50% tier - New Recipe: Befouled Pillar (a placeable mini-obelisk [Think of Egyptian Style] that generates corruption identical to the obelisks of the Giant Kings), Wyrm’s Gaze (targeted version of Demonfire Orb - Cooldown based on factors), Burden of the Slaves (Applies Cripple, 5 stacks of Bleed, and 2 stacks of Sunder - Cooldown based on factors), Adder’s Kiss (Deals base 10 damage and applies 5 stacks of poison - cbof), Sleep (No effect on players or Interact-able NPC’s - renders targeted NPC unconcious [Sorcerous Uber Truncheon!] - 2 minute cooldown), Stoneskin (same as Hideskin but 50% armor increase).

75% tier - New recipe: Corrupted Guardian (Crafted at the Altar, create a golem of corrupted stone with base stats of 20 Str and 50 Vit, has 100% growth chance for those stats, and will ALWAYS learn Brute, Fierce Vitality, and Might of Giants), Doom of the Slaves (Deal base 15 damage and apply Cripple, 20 Bleed, 5 Sunder, 10 Poison, cbof), Emaciate (Works only on Players: Applies Heatstroke for 7 seconds, Headache, Sets Hunger and Hydration to 0 - 45 minute cooldown and applies Cripple to the caster for 10 sec.), North’s Embrace (Same as Emaciate, with Frostbite instead of Heastroke, shares same cooldown), Corrupt Blood (Create Demon Blood from Ichor, Blood, Human Flesh, Brimstone, Oil, and Powder of Corruption), Conflagrate (Targeted version of a Grease Orb combined with a Demonfire Orb combined with a Gas Orb, cbof), Ironskin (Hideskin with 75%)

90% tier - 1 spell only: Iron to Gold (Convert 20 Iron Ore to 1 Gold Ore).

Religion Specific Spells:
Fangs of Set - A more powerful version of Adder’s Kiss.
Ymir’s Blow - A more powerful version of Witching Hand.
Derketo’s Embrace - Sleep with a 45 second cd (no effect on players still)
Madness of Yogg - Applies 2 Bleed, 2 Poison, 2 Sunder, and Cripple with a Gas Cloud.
Skin of Jhebbel Sag - A version of Hideskin that gives 250% of your armor.
Mitra’s Blessing - Heal 75% over 4 seconds of health on a 2.5 min. cd.
The Strength of Crom (Craftable only if no other religions are unlocked) - Creates a regular, everyday, vanilla, Stone Club, occasionally may result in a Stone Sword.

I hope even a shred of what I propose is even possible in the UE, and I hope this gave you guys at Funcom some ideas. Cheers!


Actually, Funcom:

If you could find a way to apply Heatstroke/Frostbite to NPC’s, that’d be cool too.


I think the idea is quite good.

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I like to point out I like the idea but can you think about this in goal sorcery should be 60% bad 40% good and to add to it I say each spell used increase corruptions at a flat rate of 2% rate but spell are tiered and changes depending on corruption and once you reached 90% you go into what called madness zone pretty much what this mean is between 90% and 100% there is a chance that your character will force kick your controller from interacting with your character and depend on which religion you are with you will be transform to that type minion and then an ai takes over and start to attack anyone in anyone in line of sight for 5 min oh and your char basically get beefed up during this and in local chat your char will speech craft in your own religion wording and line making no sense and you are unable to use chat window during this time and all you do is watch and pray someone take you out or it expire and then you are locked out of your spells usage for 24 hrs even if you cleanse yourself as your spirit will be broken and need time to heal from that. Thus would play out in the roles of mastering the balance of corruption and life also depends on religion they should have their own school of magic and no cross magic make religion to impact per player and their socercy way this would make combat really entertaining this. To be a sorcerer means you have to have check balance disrupt that balance mean taking a risk in your body


I like the idea that using the spells would also increase one’s corruption. Not for the reasons you give though, but to balance out the possibility that people will start dragging Entertainers to strategic positions to discourage Sorcery. IMO if it were me I’d enter every fight at +5% sorcery over my threshold to counter dancers, along with carrying some corrupting brews. But having spells grant small ticks of corruption works well to keep the theme of sorcery eating at one’s body and soul. This may also encourage heavy Vit and Sur builds to keep a decent health pool, thus reducing the likelihood of Sorcerous Melee Builds (which would be extreme glass cannons). A possible avenue for risk vs. reward would be at 75% corruption, food no longer heals you. At that point, you have power, but your life is at considerable risk. This level of Sorcery could provide specific food items, which are only half as effective as real food, to restore what little health you have. They would all be rotted and spoiled foods (and maybe we’ll finally have a use for spoiled gruel!)

Your other suggestions are cool, but anything that takes agency away from players gets met with negativity. Also I’d like to give the servers as little to track as possible and a 24-hour lockout, while punishing, would piss off players and be one more thing for the Server to have to manage.

At 90% corruption, I envision the player is also perma-afflicted with Cripple and Headache until they go to 85% where you only have Perma-Cripple. You’re literally a walking husk at that point. Thematically, it’s assumed that somebody who has delved far enough in the dark arts is only interested in immediate Power and is completely disinterested in preserving their own long-term well-being. The give and take of power is represented inherently by the dramatically nerfed health and stamina pool of a Sorcerer.

Ultimately, I envision two things:
First: Players who choose Sorcery will be rewarded with a selection of spells, both practical and combat oriented, that will grow with their investment in sacrificing their physical being. Drawbacks will come from the game’s existing pool of debuffs (with slight tweaks in how/when they are used), in order to make it as easy as possible to implement in-game. I would like to see a Max-Level Player decked out in the best legendaries be able to take on a Max Level, 80% corrupt Sorcerer in a close fight and vice versa. In fact, if the most powerful spell “recipes” dropped from the same sources as legendaries, I wouldn’t mind at all.

Second: Sorcerous Thralls would appear in-game, with T4 being on par with a 50% corrupt player’s spell pool.

In order to prevent Befouled Pillar Spam, perhaps they could share the same properties that prevents thralls from being placed too close to each other?

I wouldn’t do thrall as ai are really bad …but the idea of the 24hr lock period would be a single tick of event since it would check timestamps and current time in one fluid movement you can see this with the large chest loot box for example…they can do lots of things oh and to counter the argument of dancer cleansing corruption funcom should add in that you need full shelter buff in order to get the cleansing from dancer so that player can’t like bring a pocket thrall that could negate the corruption although you could have dancer thrall being only able to dance if their state was called to dance … I personally feel dancer cleansing corruption is a horrible idea

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Totally agreed!

Here’s another idea for a spell: Recall the Slave: Apply cripple to the caster for 3 seconds and another debuff called “recalling” for 3 seconds. When “recall” ends, the caster is teleported to a random obelisk. Useable at 75% corruption.

Here’s a doozy idea for 75% spell - Rot the Soul: Apply 10% corruption to the target (works only on players unless we can get corruption on NPC’s and has a 45 second cooldown).

Another way to make this useful is to have self-buff spells, like +Str/Vit/Grt, that would be short lived but would put somebody temporarily on-par with an uncorrupted player.

Conjured weapons would be neat too, ones that have about 20 swings before breaking and cannot be repaired (necessitating re-conjuring).

First off, amazing job just coming up with this and the details in it. I personally am thinking they will put sorcery as a whole as a learnable feat from the guy you learn the set religion from, he speaks all about sorcery and leaving this map together. Id rather u have to travel places to get different unique spells tho like you stated.

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The thing about sorcery in the Conan universe, though, is that it’s not like modern RPG spellcasting. Wizards in Conan lore didn’t toss fireballs or lightning bolts on battlefields - they conducted prolonged, dangerous rituals with dramatic effects, from summoning monsters or demons to causing earthquakes and floods (although the latter was reserved for only the most powerful sorcerers of all time, such as Xaltotun - and even he found such feats taxing). The Black Circle grandmaster was able to shapeshift and rip his opponent’s heart out telekinetically. There’s only one instance of a wizard casting a fireball in Howard’s books, and even that may have been more akin to a fire orb in the game.

Many “wizards” in the original stories were really more scientists with some sleight of hand tricks, alchemical poisons, etc.


thatis very true but you can say that in the exile land with the un-named city being a polluted ground of corruption it can alter the way the world of conan could be which is why it regarded as a exile land to send them to here and also to keep those who want power out or something

THIS on a fundamental level.

NO flashing lights, no uber particle effects with dynamic shading! In fact, use as much of the existing graphical assets as possible!

That, and spells like that would just be OP as a baseline. Not looking for that. I’d want to see something that emphasizes the power tradeoff from self-harm.

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Here’s a thought:

A placeable “totem” that switches your view to the immediate area of the totem for 30 seconds. During this time you lose control of your character until the time expires or the debuff is cancelled by pressing “interact”. Probably learned around the 35% corrupted tier.

Quite a bit of thought behind this.

I’ll admit I skimmed over the actually spells, as I think the foundations for a systems such as sorcery are more important (spells can be tweaked and/or expanded upon later). Having said that, here’s some feedback, and alternative thinking.

  1. Utilizing Corruption: Dislike how you’re suggesting this be implemented. Corruption is a “punishment” and should still function as such, to both sorcerers and non-sorcerers, while not overly hindering either (especially at 90%!).
  2. "landmarks": A decent idea, but why not link abilities to level? (ie: Recipe requires X Level to learn, and therefore craft and use - this is a system already implemented.) Maintaining ‘landmark’ 2 (25%) to use one particular spell seems rather tedious. Sorcerer shouldn’t be a tedious matter (at least in this way).
  3. Craftable Spells: Absolutely! The items your suggest as base ingredients are great too! Perhaps a way to elaborate on this: Spellcrafting requires multiple stages, 1) Craft the Papyrus, Paint Brush, Ink (this could be where you use the ingredients unique to the spell; Demon Blood, Ichor, etc.), 2) Craft the specific spell Scroll, 3) “infuse” said scroll with Corruption to turn it into a Spell. Also agree on Thrall involvement, maybe instead of “greater effects” more uses / longer decay timer (see decay timer under Spam Control).
  4. Spam Control (part 1): No Cooldowns! Balance shouldn’t be in limiting how often a power is used. I do like the idea of multiple uses per spell, but limited in a different way: DECAY TIMER! (time until the corruption wears off the crafted scroll, destroying it), and each use could further reduce the time (corruption left in the scroll).
  5. Discover-able Feat: Agree here. Though I would remove level unlocks in each zone and rather go with stand-alone recipes scattered about the lands.
  6. (covered in 3.Craftable Spells)
  7. Armor Limits: Disagree, strongly. Armor is broken, and “sorcery armor” shouldn’t be designed on a broken system. I understand the desire to limit sorcery to light armor, but still would like the choice to be a spell wielding juggernaut. Honestly think you could forgo the “sorcery armor” all together. (“Stoic” effect not a bad idea with your outlined “landmark” system)

Overall, I believe the “landmark” system would come off as stale, with too much focus on “X% Corruption”.

That was excellent food for though, here is my take on a few changes:

  1. Hidden effect: Corruption increases the effectiveness (damage / duration / etc.) of sorcerer spells by 2% per 1% of corruption gained.
  2. Using sorcery GAINS the user corruption; amounts varying, but staggering (ie: 10% max health mid-effect spells), if the caster is at max corruption, they instead take twice that damage to max health (ie: 10% corruption gain or 20% health lost if already at max corruption).
  3. After gaining corruption from a spell, the caster is affected with a debuff preventing the removal of corruption from all sources for X duration (could be 5 minutes - 2 Hours, possibly varying on the spell and stacking to X duration?).
  4. When using a spell, the player is LOCKED IN PLACE for the duration of the spell’s channel time (longer channels on powerful spells), animations of the player chanting would be awesome too! Channel can be interrupted!

Well, these are my thoughts for the moment, hope I wasn’t overly critical. Thanks for the discussion!

EDIT: Fixed Typos

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I think sorcery should also give us a spell, or conjuring, to resurrect dead thralls, pets and horses.

Agreed in that it should have drawbacks. And philosophically, I also agree that it should be a punishment, however my thoughts stem from the POV of how the lore treats Sorcery in that those who choose the path willfully forgo their humanity for the power tradeoff. TBH I honestly don’t care how they implement the sorcery resource, so long as it functions and is light on bugs. If they wanna go with “corruption as a mana pool” similar to how stamina currently works, then so be it. If they wanna go with an infusion system like you suggest, then heck yeah, so long as it works.

Although I’m still adamant that if some fool wishes to run around at 90% corruption that is THEIR problem.

My base thoughts on this are there must be some sort of tradeoff for balance. One of the major things I’m hoping Funcom considers is how somebody of equal level will kill a sorcerer. I don’t want them to be all-powerful beings of terror, owning the map by blasting people from a distance before they take a hit. I want fights to be a dance of skill and timing. I’m looking at this at being another avenue of gameplay, rather than the meta.

Just a suggestion, I’m not married to it. Again, as long as they get a system in place that functions, that’s the most important factor.

Absolutely not married to this, but again, I want Funcom to consider balance. From a player perspective, I want to feel the power from Sorcery, but from a gameplay perspective, I shouldn’t dominate among a field of peers. I’m okay if there’s a spellslinging armored juggernaut, but I also need to know that there’s a reasonable weakness to exploit.

Whatever solution they come up with, so long as its fair to both the user and their opponents, I’m cool with it.


No, thank YOU. I want to see this kept alive as a constructive discussion to give the devs ideas. They’ve already said there were technical hurdles in the past, I want to propose solutions and ideas to those hurdles, rather than just demand Y U nO dOo SUrCarY?!

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That would be amusing, but extreme. I don’t think Sorcery should be powerful enough to compensate that, let alone how it would effect all other play. I do agree that using a sorcery mechanic should have consequences that need to be dealt as “THEIR problem”.

Warrior, Archer, Sorcerer? No - I don’t want to see a trinity of stereotypical Melee / Ranged / Caster. Not saying Sorcery shouldn’t be capable of holding its own, but the principle should be more similar to Religion / god Avatar summons, than a designated attribute class (ie: Strength or Accuracy) - it should work with the attributes as they are now.

For that reason I suggested Corruption - and having it function similar to the Strength and Accuracy attributes (with no Perks and obvious drawbacks).

The remaining issue would be what happens when Corruption reaches its cap? To which I say: