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Sorcery vs Psychic

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Sorcery vs Psychic
« on: January 28, 2010, 02:23:57 PM »
 

Frowny

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Hey,

Reading more about the thousand sons, it says they are sorcerers, and were ultimately disliked because of it. I was confused about how this interplays with psychics, which are at least somewhat accepted in the imperium. How is this different from being a psycher? Could someone be a powerful psycher and powerful sorcerer? Does sorcery have to do exclusively with the more demonic side of things, or are they merely different names for the same thing. If so, why were the sorcerous thousand sons disliked, given that the emperor himself is a psycher...

Any help would be appreciated
 
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 02:25:13 PM »
 

Awfully Dandy

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I'm pretty sure the sourcery thing refers to forming daemonic pacts to give a psyker additional strength. I could be wrong though.
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 02:29:23 PM »
 

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That's the way I see it. Sorcery involves bargining the power of another (Chaos God, daemon etc) for your own use. Psykers use their own power (with warp connection it appears) rather than anyone elses.
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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 02:30:30 PM »
 

Awfully Dandy

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Just to add this on all sorcerors are psykers but not all psykers are sorcerors.
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 02:30:37 PM »
 

LordDarigarn

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Of course, there isn't anything to stop someone being a psyker and a sorcerer - a naturally gifted psyker can easily make himself far more powerful through pacts with a daemon (which, as a matter of fact, is what is more often shown).

Edit: ninja'd.
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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010, 04:28:21 PM »
 

Foalchu

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The simplest way to view this is through the anthropological lens.  In this, psychic powers are "magic" in that they influence the material world not according to its laws.  Sorcery is defined as magic that has intent to harm.  Thus, the K-sons were sorcerers, as their psychic activities (in hindsight) were known to be harmful.
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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2010, 04:33:54 PM »
 

The Ecclesiarch

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The Warp and Chaos while connected are two differant things, those that traffic with Chaos are Sorcerers while Psykers draw on unfettered Warp energy. Psykers can serve as conduits to Chaos which demonstrates the connection but they are still differant.
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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010, 05:52:24 PM »
 

Benis

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The simplest way to view this is through the anthropological lens.  In this, psychic powers are "magic" in that they influence the material world not according to its laws.  Sorcery is defined as magic that has intent to harm.  Thus, the K-sons were sorcerers, as their psychic activities (in hindsight) were known to be harmful.

This sounds quite blurry and doesn't really suit as a definition, psykers such as Farseers do harm as well (perils of the warp or Eldritch Storm for example) so it doesn't really work.

The Warp and Chaos while connected are two differant things, those that traffic with Chaos are Sorcerers while Psykers draw on unfettered Warp energy. Psykers can serve as conduits to Chaos which demonstrates the connection but they are still differant.

Sorcerers seek out daemonic entities within the warp and makes pacts with them to further their powers, you could, theoretically, be a chaos worshipper but still only use psychic powers without resorting to sorcery.
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010, 06:03:54 PM »
 

The Ecclesiarch

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Theoretically yes they could but the distinction between Sorcerer and Psyker is a neccesary one, if they are contaminated through contact with Chaos they become Rogue Psykers...I guess its fair to observe that its their souls that become property of the Chaos Gods and that they could still use Warp powers away from sorcery. I think the term sorcery probably more applys to the Chaos Marines rather tahn ordinary Psykers.
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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010, 06:09:30 PM »
 

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Theoretically yes they could but the distinction between Sorcerer and Psyker is a neccesary one, if they are contaminated through contact with Chaos they become Rogue Psykers...I guess its fair to observe that its their souls that become property of the Chaos Gods and that they could still use Warp powers away from sorcery. I think the term sorcery probably more applys to the Chaos Marines rather tahn ordinary Psykers.

Once again, the term sorcery means to seek out daemonic entities in the warp and bargain for power with them, it has nothing to do with being a Chaos Space Marine or not, and a Rogue Psyker isn't necessarily into chaos worship and he can be a sorcerer, if he has made such pacts. What defines sorcery is the enhance your psychic powers with the help of daemons.
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2010, 06:56:13 PM »
 

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I think one thing that hasn't been mentioned, although it's 1am so excuse a possible rehash of information, is that one doesn't even have to be psychic to become a sorcerer -- Disciples of the Dark Gods details how this can work, although it does inevitably end up in daemonic pacts one way or the other (forbidden lore tends to be a solid start point...)
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2010, 03:31:31 AM »
 

Underhand

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That was my understanding too.  You don't have to be a psyker to practice sorcery.  Though no doubt it would make it easier.

Theoretically - a totally ordinary human could come across some sort of sorcerous grimoire that has instructions for sorcerous rituals, and if he performed them correctly would be able to do magic type stuff.

I assume that Kyril Sinderman did something similar in the first few Horus Heresy novels to summon those Horrors, albeit totally unintentionally.
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2010, 03:47:20 AM »
 

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yes, sorcery is not dependant on psychic abilty, it can be utilsed with incantations etc.

aemos in the eisenhorn books summons cherebeal even though he is not a psycher.
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2010, 01:20:30 PM »
 

Rummy

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Which is what makes sorcery so dangerous. Anyone can have a go at it and, if successful, might a right mess for someone else to clean up. As a very loose example consider driving a car. Most anyone can do if trained yet even an untrained person can have a go with potentially disastrous consequences.
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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2010, 09:46:48 PM »
 

Kage2020

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It's been a while, but what the heck.  The 40k hobbyist boards seem to be on a bit of slump at the moment and the question seemed interesting.  With the caveat (as always) that this represents my own reading of the disparate background materials, though I shall try and make it clear where personal interpretation intersects with the official 'fluff.'

So, what is sorcery?  It seems that one of the first places to start is what Foalchu referred to as the "anthropological lens."  As most of our information comes from the perspective of the Imperium of Man (even, arguably, the information on the xenos breeds), it is not surprising that in many ways the buck stops there.  Thus, in the Imperium of Man, the term "witch," "sorcerer," "wizard" etc. seem to be bandied around regardless.  Generally speaking, for them, it seems that any form of monkeying around with the warp is bad mojo

So, form the perspective of the Imperium it's really a question of who is throwing the name around as to whether you're engaged in sorcery or not.

In terms of the wargame mechanics, there isn't a whole lot of difference given the level of granularity of those mechanics--the powers of sorcerers and psykers are represented in a similar fashion.

What about the roleplaying game, Dark Heresy (or Rogue Trader for that matter)?  Well, there it shares the same level of confusion.  Sorcery is just represented as a type of psyker power that you need "Sorcery" Talent for.  It doesn't really address the question nor is it, IMO anyway, particularly flavoursome.  Quite the opposite in fact.

On the other hand, there are bits in earlier bits of the book (Malleus section of Disciples of the Dark Gods that allude to some form of connection between sorcery and ritualism, or at least Chaos rituals.  More on that latter.

It has been suggested that sorcery is directly related to dealing with the powers of Chaos (or perhaps other warp entities).  Dark Heresy would counter that suggestion, since it defines--not very well, but it does--between two "paths" of sorcery: the left-hand path, which deals more with summoning and binding of spirits, and the right-hand path which deals more with apotropaism (hexagrammic wards, producing swords that work against daemons, etc.).

Personally?  My interpretation is still being formed, since it is partially formed around RPG rules in an alternate system.  On my own benefit, the primary difference between a psyker and a sorcerer relates to the premise of ritualism.  A sorcerer, by default, works through the proxy of rituals regardless of whether they are themselves a psyker.  Through the use of rituals they are able to do things that otherwise they might not be able to do, e.g. work at a distance, generate more power then they alone could do, etc.

While some have the "talent" for being a sorcerer, there is nothing stopping Jo(ann) Q Imperium from picking up a malefic codex (or other book) and using it to whatever intent is codified therein.  (Well, other than the Inquisition.)  They are now a dabbler, darned their heretical eyes.

Of course, different people have different abilities, so I'm sure that there are those individuals that are more "gifted" at Sorcery than others.  These are the true Sorcerers, not just dabblers, and they come in different ranks, e.g. Adept, Master etc.  (See Disciples of the Dark Gods where it uses "Master Sorcerer," though again seems to miss out on any flavour.)  I would imagine that higher "ranking" Sorcerers might be able to replicate similar effects to psykers, e.g. taking less time, not requiring all the symbolic materials and associations, or not requiring that it be done in a specific locale or under propitious astrological (or whatever) situations.

Erm, I'm rambling.  Anyway, in answer to the original poster:

Quote from: Frowny
Could someone be a powerful psycher and powerful sorcerer?
Yes.  In Dark Heresy being a sorcerer adds to your Psi attribute, which makes you a more powerful psyker.  It doesn't quite explain this, but there is precedent in the setting at least.

Quote from: Frowny
Does sorcery have to do exclusively with the more demonic side of things, or are they merely different names for the same thing.
No, hence the two "paths" of magic: left and right.

Quote from: Frowny
If so, why were the sorcerous thousand sons disliked, given that the emperor himself is a psycher...
Because the Emperor didn't like Sorcery, because he defines it as bad.  Except the good kind, but we don't talk about that. :D

Quote from: PMF
I'm pretty sure the sourcery thing refers to forming daemonic pacts to give a psyker additional strength. I could be wrong though.
I would imagine that it might definitely be a component.  Indeed, the summoning of a "daemonic familiar" is specifically mentioned in the Radical's Handbook (another Dark Heresy 40k RPG supplement).  One imagines that many malefic codices deal specifically with how to get in touch with daemons. 

Certainly, though, I would imagine that a pact with a daemon would give one access to all kinds of abilities, perhaps even those that replicate that of psykers without actually having to go through all the rigmarole of becoming a "Master Sorcerer."  Of course, there are things to be said by taking the slow and sure path rather than the quick route to power.  It might even be proverb.

Quote from: iDrunk
That's the way I see it. Sorcery involves bargining the power of another (Chaos God, daemon etc) for your own use.
Wards, hexagrammic/pentagrammic/octagrammic (or whatever they're calling them now) are all related to sorcery.  Whether this involves a subconscious bargain with an entity is up for grabs in individual interpretations, I guess.

Erm, I'm going to stop there.  Feels a bit weird to post something here. :D

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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #15 on: February 3, 2010, 06:05:50 PM »
 

Zerohour

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I always thought that that is was cannon that the difference between a psycher and a sorcerer was demonic pacts but now that I have read all the examples and point of views now I am not sure anymore.  One example I can give from the Eisenhorn trilogy is that alpha plus psycher have the power to actually fuse or take control of lesser daemons (my interpretation anyway) by absorbing them and as such are alpha plus psychers are incredibly powerful.  They were not considered sorcerers but rather dangerous psychers so it is possible it requires more than just demonic influence for a person to be dubbed a sorcerer.
 

Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #16 on: February 3, 2010, 08:09:57 PM »
 

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Making "demonic pact" is a common definition of sorcery in the real world, i.e.

Quote from: dictionary.com
..the art, practices, or spells of a person who is supposed to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits; black magic; witchery.

So it's not really surprising for the confusion.  It's just that it is not required in Dark Heresy.  With that said, however, they're not the most inspiring rules on the subject so take with a pinch of salt. 

What would you prefer sorcery to be?  I think that's by far the most important question to answer. :D

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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #17 on: February 4, 2010, 01:16:34 AM »
 

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To me, sorcery is composed of the various acts, rites, rituals, etc that involve direct dealings with Daemons.  Thus, wards and the like are still related to sorcery as they are the inverse of making contact with Daemons, actively and pre-emptively repelling them instead.

I like this as it makes Magnus the Red's and other sorcerers' assertion that sorcery need not be inherently evil, wrong, etc more valid.  Certainly studying something to learn its weaknesses is common, but harder to do in the face of an other-dimensional intelligence that could be doing the same thing back.  Still, makes it less cut and dry as to who is right or wrong in such circumstances.
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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #18 on: February 4, 2010, 11:24:48 AM »
 

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To my mind, sorcery is not so easily defined as being 'evil' as some sources would have us believe.  I think, therefore, that sorcery can be split into two groups, one which fits the stereotype, linking it too pacts with daemons, summoning rituals, arcane arts, and similar activities; while the other is just a different type of psychic ability.

I would argue that sorcery is potentially more powerful, thus it can be more dangerous, especially to the caster, but this does not inherently make it bad.
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Re: Sorcery vs Psychic
« Reply #19 on: February 4, 2010, 11:31:01 AM »
 

Kage2020

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Quote from: Irisado
To my mind, sorcery is not so easily defined as being 'evil' as some sources would have us believe.  I think, therefore, that sorcery can be split into two groups, one which fits the stereotype, linking it too pacts with daemons, summoning rituals, arcane arts, and similar activities; while the other is just a different type of psychic ability.
I agree, and so too does Dark Heresy, even if it is lacking in flavour.  Don't get me wrong, pacts with daemons may be a very common feature of Sorcery, but I don't see it as definitive of it.

Quote from: Irisado
I would argue that sorcery is potentially more powerful, thus it can be more dangerous, especially to the caster, but this does not inherently make it bad.
Agreed again.  One of the advantages of sorcery, for me, is that you can build a great deal more energy up over a prolonged period...

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