Sorcery vs. Psyker Powers - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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  1. #1
    One Awesome Dude hotspike18's Avatar
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    Sorcery vs. Psyker Powers

    Ok, so, I know this seems like a stupid question, but -

    When talking about Magnus and sorcery and his whole story, what is the difference between a psyker power and a sorcerous power? Do they not both draw from the warp? I don't understand.

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    I don’t think there are any specific references in the fluff to the difference between psykers and sorcerers, but I think it is safe to presume that there is one, since the Imperium uses psykers but abhors sorcerers.

    A theory I heard some time ago that I am inclined to agree with is that whereas psykers manipulate the warp using nothing but their own innate powers, forcing the warp to conform to their desires through sheer strength of will, sorcerers instead affect the warp by utilising the powers of others, summoning warp entities that are much more powerful and skilled at manipulating warp energies than human psykers. Through complex rituals the warp entities are bound by the sorcerer and directed by his will, thus negating the risk of possession, or else placated with offerings of sacrifice or worship. A sorcerer must likely also be a psyker in order to perform the necessary rituals, or else depend on the warp entities to do all the work for him, which probably increases the risk of possession and/or demands of servitude from the daemons whose powers the sorcerer seeks to utilise.

    Working with daemons is a risky business, much more so than merely working with the pure energy of the warp itself, although a sorcerer can achieve far greater results than a psyker of the same strength because he uses the powers of daemons rather than his own to manipulate the warp. The Emperor, who Himself was a psyker, forbade Magnus to perform the sorcerous rituals, fearing that the close proximity to daemons might taint or infect the Primarchs’ mind and spirit. And this is probably exactly what happened in the end when Magnus refused to stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grephaun
    A sorcerer must likely also be a psyker in order to perform the necessary rituals, or else depend on the warp entities to do all the work for him, which probably increases the risk of possession and/or demands of servitude from the daemons whose powers the sorcerer seeks to utilise.


    ~Grephaun.

    I think this might be the main distinction in that a sorcerer doesn't have to be a psyker (i.e psykers have a particular ability whether they want it or not). A sorcerer uses forbidden magics and rituals to aid him in manipulating the physical world whereas a psyker can rely on his own abilities. However a psyker can supplement his own powers with sorcery as many of agents of chaos do. As an example in the Inquisitor rulebook it gives the story of an inquisitor who tracked down a merchant cabal who used sorcery to become more powerful, it seems unlikely that they were all psykers so they must have achieved the same effect using magic rather than inherent psycic abilities.

    As a general rule of thumb psycic abilities you are born with sorcery you can learn
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    Senior Member Zartas's Avatar
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    As far as i know psykers use the warp and sorcerors do the "magic" themselves
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zartas
    As far as i know psykers use the warp and sorcerors do the "magic" themselves
    I’m not entirely sure I understand this idea of yours; after all, there is no such thing as ‘true’ magic in the 40k universe, only warp powers. Witch and wizard are just other words for psykers who use the warp to affect the real world, and sorcerers who lack psychic powers still manipulate the warp through daemonic intermediaries bound to them by rituals; everything that would appear magical to us is in fact done by using warp energies.

    The ‘magical’ spells and items that are sometimes used by sorcerers are not magical at all but function because they somehow create a resonance in the warp that can then affect the real world; such ‘magic’ can be bound in items, in drawings and writings, even in spoken words and names, but the fact remains that regardless of their form they all affect the warp in some way or other. This is the true nature of things such as penta- and hexagrammic wards, summoning spells, glyphs, True-Names, rituals and chants that psykers and sorcerers alike use to manipulate the world around them by manipulating the warp.

    ~Greph.
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    No both types use the energy of the warp, its the way they channel it that is differrent.

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    The Uncivil Servent Mikhail The Heretic's Avatar
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    I have to agree with greph on this that a Psyker will manipulate the energy of the warp, where as a sorcerer will use all kinds of powers granted not just by the manipulation of the warp but from deamons and the chaos gods.

    A point that hasn't been raised though is dependant upon the point of view, to A puritan heriticus (or Radical) inquisitor will take the view that all Pskyers are sorcerers and Witches, where as a more moderate might not take that view, at the end of the day it all comes downt to the side that you look from.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikhail The Heretic

    A point that hasn't been raised though is dependant upon the point of view, to A puritan heriticus (or Radical) inquisitor will take the view that all Pskyers are sorcerers and Witches, where as a more moderate might not take that view, at the end of the day it all comes downt to the side that you look from.
    Very true, some "chaos" sorcerers no doubt are just psykers as opposed to using additional rituals etc that would make them "true" sorcerers. Thinking particularly of chaos sorcerers attached to armies with no mark of chaos or prehaps chaos undivided.
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    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    Sorcerors obey the Warp. Psykers force the Warp to obey them.
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    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    I don't think there is much of a difference.

    The implication is that all chaos 'sorcerors' were once Space Marine Librarians (yes, the thousand sons did have a Librarian leading every single squad) so clearly, psychic power is a prequisite for practicing sorcery.

    From the thousand sons fluff I'd guess that, like Greph suggested, a sorceror is a psyker who draws on or bargains with the daemonic powers of the warp to enhance their own natural abilities. If this is so, there are 'sorcerors' within the Imperium (note the daemonology psychic power school in Inquisitor.)

    The other alternative is that the term 'sorceror' is merely a term tacked on to psykers who happen to serve chaos, to try and distance them from the sanctioned psykers, Inquisitors, librarians and other psychic servants of the Imperium. After all, all psykers are, to a greater or lesser degree, channelling daemonic energy from the warp, it's just a matter of scale.
    Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; March 28th, 2006 at 16:33.

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