Keep in mind that the GM determines what is possible and how difficult it would be to succeed for each character. For example, a knight might be faced with a D1 Persuade or Societty test to engage the Countess while his Gunderman companion, lacking the proper vestments, etiquette training and bloodline might face a D4 for the same action.
In the same way, a GM must first decide if the action is even possible for that character. Leaping Mt Yimsha is not a D5 Acrobatics test, after all.
If knowledge of some piece of information is impossible for a character, the GM just needs to say so.
I'd still disagree, due to the superstitions, etc. Where sorcery is frowned upon, there is still knowledge of it to protect one from it. Not that this knowledge is all correct, but the more something is feared or hated, the more protections from it are sought.
I definitely understand your point, but really you could apply it to any skill, because nearly all the skills in this game can be used for knowledge. The skinny merchant with Brawn 7 could get a lucky roll for Athletics knowledge. The warrior with Intelligence 7 could get a lucky Lore roll and outwit the scholar on Stygian dining etiquette.
I totally agree with that Doug Justice. I just wanted to clarify that some rolls shouldn't be allowed or at extreme difficult. For me personally a barbarian playing properly his character would more likely care about the closest brothel or discuss about how he would use his loot than trying to figure out about magic. Afterall anything that bleed dies, and mages and horrors bleed.
The example you mentioned about leaping a mount with acrobatics is exactky tge same i discussed with my group. Another example is someone who never saw blood and never used heal obviusly wont be able to perform the hardest and most complicate open heart surgery.
Exactly David Thomas. Giving false idea is the most common thing in taboo and superstition knowledge but this isn't true skill knowledge. Obviously in dark ages people knew about magic and witches but the common folk were talking about 2 meters high witches with fangs of serpent and eyes red as hell (folklore and superstition is commonly non valid knowledge not true). But the system suggest that if you succeeded at a role trained or untrained you gain valid knowledge.
Yes you actually can apply this to almost all skills for the extreme ones tho (like jumping over a mountain) but magic is different in conan. For example you can easily attempt to jump a wall with untrained acrobatics but its way harder to know about magic (beyond of it's existance) in cimmeria.
My suggestion is that there should be noted under the sorcery skill this difference just as it's noted under the lore skill where it say "...the gamemaster is encouraged to provide you with the kind of information that ordinary people in the setting would know". So basically someone who duels in cimmeria would know a whole different story using untrained sorcery skill than someone in stygia. I think the same sentence should be added to sorcery.
Under lore skill it's clear that you most likely hear stories that common folk talk about on a subject (hence not akways true stories even if you succeeded at your roll) but in sorcery skill it's unclear and from what i get is that if someone succeeded in an untrained roll he would get valid information system wise.
Since you have to have the Patron talent before you get the Sorcerer talent to cast spells, and Patron requires you to have Sorcery Expertise 1, I don't think it is even possible to cast spells without training...
And it is possible for someone to know about Sorcery via superstitions and therefore can have some passive(untrained) knowledge of it.. We know about superstitions even in today's modern world. It's just that we know them to be false...
A high Sorcery skill without the Patron--->Sorcerer talents just means he/she can recognize the spells being cast/supernatural creatures/etc. You can even help conduct rituals if you have the Ritualist talent, but unless you have the necessary talents, you can't cast spells yourself. Imagine a sorcerer's assistant who hasn't been enlightened yet...
But there is no way an untrained barbarian is going to be able to show up a trained sorcerer. Just not gonna happen.
But in the end, you can play the game however you like; no-one gets to tell you that you can't.
Why does it seem like a lot of people need everything spelled out for them or to have their hands held? The system for the most part lets you do a lot without codifying everything little thing that comes up; the rest is up to the GM/players. You're given a lot of freedom with just enough rules to provide a sturdy framework.
The whole point of my post was to discuss the system rules. Obviusly gm can change whatever he likes that's not the point here though. I happen to be a very experienced gm since dnd first edition. Discussing over a system and clarifying rules and explaining details that for us might be obvious it doesn't mean that it's obvious for the novices that would buy the books. Keep in mind that this is why the company invest lots and lots of pages explaining the way of the cimmerians, they (company)obviously aren't doing it for me or you who possibly have deep knowledge of the conan setting but for those who doesnt.
The whole content of the post was not about casting spells or participating in rituals this is totally out of topic obviously you need the patron talent to be patron but you dont need the patron talent as a high willpower barbarian to roll untrained sorcery and identify what Toth Amon ring does.
You are wrong about needing high sorcery skill to know what spell is cast. You dont even need to be a mage or even someone who ever bothered with magic or supernatural before (based on the system) a barbarian who for a nonimportant reason has 12 willpower can get the momentum from the common pool or get 3 momentum with doom and roll 5d20 with TN 12. Which for a barbarian the chances are good enough to know that this mage cast this spell that does this effect. Imagine now how weird it is roleplaying wise for having such a barbarian. Yes as gm i can change that but thats not the point here:)
Sure a barbarian might know that someone is trying to Summon a Horror; maybe from hearing tales around the campfire or just superstitions acquired from the culture.
It doesn't seem weird at all to me that a barbarian might know such things. How do you know what Conan knows about magic is not common knowledge among Cimmerians or Nordhiemers? It seems to me that everyone in the Hyborian age knows exactly what sorcery is(unnatural) , what it can do (great and terrible things), and why you should avoid it(drive you insane/eat your soul). They may not be able to cast spells, but they sure as hell can know when spells are being cast and they might be able to realize what is being cast in general. That's one reason why the spell names are semi-generic.
I don't think barbarians in this game have any resemblance to the Barbarian character class in AD&D; I think AD&D got them wrong :-).
Knowledge from superstition in a nordheimer camp : "never trust sorcerers, their souls are black like abyss. Their eyes are red as hell. Close you hears when they talk with their serpent like tongues or they will make your mind a human puppet"
This knowledge has some truth but it's been pumped with superstition data. This is also generic stuff. This is what you will hear in nordheimer campfire.
Knowledge from succeded sorcery skill roll : "Toth Amon is the leader of the black circle society. A secret necromantic society of stygians. Toth Amon has a ring at his right hand that has a figure on it of a beast. Once per month this ring has the ability to summon that beast and chase Toth Amon`s enemies"
The second phrase is what you get from succeed on a sorcery skill . As the system say it doesn't matter if you roll it as trained mage or untrained barbarian. The first phrase is what you get from superstition. I hope you see the difference.
There should be added under the sorcery this phrase "from untrained rolls the information obtained is from generic local superstitions and not true and valid knowledge"
What you told me already is that barbarians know about magic from superstitions. I agree that's what I'm saying too. But you need to understand that superstition gives you generic and knowledge with tons of false data in it. The system though doesn't say that. It says that if you succeed at the roll the gm has to give you the answer truthfully as in any other roll that has been succeeded. If you check under the Lore skill you will see that it's the only skill that clearify "what ordinary people would know".
Rolling Sorcery untrained means that every 19 and 20 are a Complication.
Complications can mean that you have the wrong knowledge (Akivasha is a lycanthrope)
Failure means you simply do not know at all. (Who's Akivasha?)
Success means that somehow you do actually have that piece of information correct. How is up to the players and GM. (the PC knows Akivasha is a powerful vampire because the PC's grandmother told stories about her to scare the children)
People still speak about magic & magicians in the Hyborian Age, but speak of such things in hushed tones and curses as if uttering such things could be overheard by the the subject of your speech. In the People of the Black Circle, every time the circle or mages were mentioned, all who heard mention of them knew what was being spoken of. They might spit on the ground or cross themselves, but they still knew of them. Sure, they will not know details of magical formulae or the names of creatures of the outer dark. Info of that nature should still be a Lore test or require the Spellcasting talent. Or, you should not be asking for a skill test from your players at all to see if they know such things.
Look at the talents for those trained in sorcery. Almost all of them, save for the talent trees in the sorcery chapter, are for a non-practitioner who uses superstitious lore to fight against demons & wizards.
Also, in none of the Conan stories I have ever read do they speak of burning witches. The suggestion alone that someone practices magic is enough to keep most at a healthy distance from them, for fear of the unspeakable horrors they might visit upon them.
Targetting a hit location should be a strong tactical choice but it seems better to use momentum for penetration or more damage. Thats pretty boring and not very tactical.
I suggest dropping the damage and penetration momentum spends and also reducing cost of called shots to 1 momentum. The penetration spend could be used by groups using the no hit location alternative rules.