|Images of sorcerers|
Source: Core Rulebook, pg(s). 70-77
Where other arcane spellcasters gain power through study, research, and diligent practice, the sorcerer draws forth her astounding magical prowess from within herself. Regardless of the source of her arcane bloodline—a deity's special favor, a powerful magical lineage, a celestial or horrifying progenitor, or simply the whim of fate or a quirk in the magical weave—the sorcerer is the product of an innate and unbreakable connection to the arcane that other spellcasters must devote their lives to mastering. And yet this very boon is also the sorcerer's potential undoing; the sorcerer is defined by her connection to the arcane, but can be just as easily consumed by it. Their sorcerous gifts and abilities manifest in numerous individual ways, reflecting their diverse sources of arcane power, and while some strive through disciplined practice and meditation to control their power, others give in to the temptation of unfettered magic and allow their power to control them.
Sorcerers may come from nearly any race or species, although some species may be more or less likely to produce sorcerers owing to their degree of interaction with the sorcerous creatures that are believed to spawn sorcerer bloodlines, or simple evolutionary adaptation. Dwarves, for example, tend to possess markedly less affinity for arcane magic than most other races, while among Varisian humans, sorcery is more common, due to their connection with the magic-rich traditions of ancient Thassilon.
Sorcerers can be found, with greater or lesser relative frequency, in nearly every inhabited part of Golarion. Sorcerers are very common on the island of Hermea, where pervasive social engineering by the gold dragon Mengkare nurtures the development of arcane abilities. Nations and regions such as Geb, Nex, Sarkoris, Varisia, and the Worldwound tend to produce sorcerers more frequently than their neighbors, possibly owing to the influence of centuries of magic in those areas.
Abilities and characteristics
Sorcerers cast spells and create magical effects by tapping into and controlling the same arcane power sources as wizards. This arcane manipulation ability is innate to the sorcerer, rather than acquired through research and study, so the sorcerer can cast any spell she knows without needing to study and prepare each spell prior to casting as a wizard must. Because the sorcerer need not develop the focus and concentration that comes from the wizard's daily regimen of study and preparation, however, the sorcerer is generally more limited in the number of spells she can comprehend and memorize, or that she can cast before exhausting her reservoir of arcane energy.
Additionally, many sorcerers develop early the ability to cast spells without using the consumable material components that most wizards require for successful spellcasting.
Bloodlines and bloodline abilities
A sorcerer's arcane abilities derive from her bloodline, a taxonomic term for identifying the inherited source of such abilities. At least 20 independent bloodlines are widely known to exist across Golarion, most involving a progenitor of highly advanced magical ability or belonging to an arcane or extraplanar race. Some theorize that a few regions may have additional bloodlines native to and largely confined to such regions.
What is widely accepted, however, is that as the sorcerer gradually gains mastery over her arcane abilities, she may learn spells, gain supernatural powers and spell-like abilities, and sometimes even manifest physiological characteristics reflecting the historical source of her inherited power. Sorcerers claiming an aquatic bloodline, for example, have demonstrated a marked affinity for water-based magic, and there are verifiable accounts of such aquatic sorcerers whose very bodies have developed abilities to withstand the cold and pressure of a deep-water environment.
Whether because the time, focus, and dedication required for arcane mastery leaves the sorcerer with little time for physical development or combat training, or simply because the sorcerer learns to rely on her arcane powers rather than force of arms, most sorcerers are capable of using only the simplest weapons, and even those with little proficiency. Additionally, encumbering armor and shields make it difficult if not impossible for the sorcerer to make the gestures and other body movements necessary for successful spellcasting. While it is not unheard-of for an adventuring sorcerer to undertake some combat training during the course of her career, many surround themselves with companions or hirelings to take care of hands-on defense and protection while the sorcerer relies on offensive and defensive spellcasting—from a safe distance.
The sorcerer's spellcasting flexibility and reliance on a small selection of favored spells makes her highly valued as a battle mage.
- Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 70. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
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- Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 70–71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
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- Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
- Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (1E), p. 71–77. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
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- Jason Bulmahn. (2010). Advanced Player's Guide, p. 136. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-246-3