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Old 07-08-2002, 02:47 AM
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Difference between a Sorcerer and a Wizard?

Well, my question is as the title says. IS there any difference between a "Sorcerer" and a "Wizard"? Besides the fact that "sorcerer" sounds cooler? there a feminine version of "Wizard," or is "Sorceress" the best there is?

Well, thanks for your time,

Old 07-08-2002, 03:10 AM
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Mostly just nation of origin:

Sorceror is derivide from French, Wizard from Old English. They both mean pretty much the same thing.

Unless your playing D&D.

Old 07-08-2002, 03:12 AM
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1.sor·cer·er Pronunciation Key (sôrsr-r)
One who practices sorcery; a wizard.

2.wiz·ard Pronunciation Key (wzrd)
One who practices magic; a sorcerer or magician.
A skilled or clever person: a wizard at math.
Archaic. A sage.

............but these two words are used heavily in fantasy, and nothing in fantasy is really set. They differ from story to story, game to game, and in each person's mind.
Old 07-08-2002, 03:20 AM
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Well, since your question is about something fictional (I'm making the assumption that you don't mean "wizard" as in someone that is very good at performing a task), the answer would depend upon which author of the fiction you want.

In 3rd edition AD&D(that pencil and paper roleplaying game) there is a difference between the two, mainly in the way they use their spells. I've never actually played AD&D, but i believe a wizard has to sit down and memorize a spell each time they'd like to cast it, and forget the spell immediately after use, whereas a sorcerer can repeatedly cast the same spells, but has a more limited selection than the wizard.

If you're talking about fantasy literature (Tolkien, Salvator, Eddings, Jordan, Goodkind, whoever the hell wrote those Harry Potter books, etc.) there are far too many viewpoints from the various authors for me to want to list, it's all a matter of the writer's view of the genre.

As to a female wizard, why not wizardess?
Old 07-08-2002, 03:21 AM
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Sorcerers cast based on Charisma, and Wizards on Intelegence. Boccob's Eye, man, do you know nothing?

Old 07-08-2002, 03:22 AM
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Dammit...took 1 minute to compose a post, and I'm beaten to it.
Old 07-08-2002, 03:24 AM
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Perhaps one could differentiate by their origins:

Wizard comes ultimately from `wish`, literally a wish-ard, one who makes wishes reality.

Sorcerer descends from the word `sort`, in its sense of destiny, fate, lot, so is in effect somebody who can control fate, alter a person`s destiny.

Myself, I prefer the word `warlock`, from the Old English word `waer`, covenant, ie somebody who makes a covenant with the devil.
Old 07-08-2002, 03:42 AM
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aldi...was that a joke?

Wizard is derived from the same word as "wise". It is old english/germanic for "wise one"...or perhabs, "wiseguy".

Sorceror is derived frome an old french word for 'fate'...I think it means something along the line of 'seer' or 'prophet'

Warlock actually menas "oath breaker" or "covenant breaker"...presumably ones covenant with God.

Old 07-08-2002, 05:17 AM
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To a wizard a trick's jus a trick, but to a sorceror tricks usually starts with rouxs.
Old 07-08-2002, 05:56 AM
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To paraphrase the great Terry Pratchett: the word Wizard come from the ancient word Wiz-Ars, meaning literally 'One who is, at the bottom of it all, Wise'

Terry also has Sourcerers (note spelling) who actually create magic (they are a source of magic) rather than merely use it like wizards do
Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)
Old 07-08-2002, 06:20 AM
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In 3rd edition AD&D(that pencil and paper roleplaying game)
Ain't no such thing. There's 3rd edition D&D, but no 3rd edition AD&D. Wizards of the Coast apparently decided to merge the two games into one when they came out with the d20 system.
Old 07-08-2002, 02:26 PM
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It's not so much that they merged the games, but that non-Advanced D&D hadn't been made for so many years, they figured that the A in the name was just worthless information.

Just for a brief rundown, in Tolkien, "wizard" is used to translate "istari", which has a similar "wise" etymolygy, and used of Gandalf and his ilk. "Sorcery", on the other hand, is black art, which can, potentially be used by anyone.

In D&D 3E, wizards are "book mages", who use their intelligence to go through the arcane procedures outlined in their spellbooks, whereas sorcerers have inherent magical ability, shaped by their own force of will or personality.

In several computer/video games I've seen, a sorcerer specifically deals with flashy, unsubtle magic like fireballs and lightning bolts, which mostly just do damage, while a wizard is a more general term.

I believe that the Old Testiment differentiates between various sorts of wonder-working (most of which is forbidden), and the words "wizard" and "sorcerer" are sometimes used to translate the Hebrew words. For example, Pharoh's "sorcerers" were able to replicate the staves-to-snakes "trick", but Moses' staff-snake ate their staff-snakes.

In some books (such as Brust's Jhereg series), there exist sorcerers, but not wizards, or vice versa.

In some other books (Harry Potter, Xanth), there is no distinction made between the two, or other magical sorts such as magicians and witches.
Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
--As You Like It, III:ii:328
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Old 07-08-2002, 02:58 PM
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In Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, a wizard is the eighth(*) son of a man, your general-purpose spellcaster who can manipulate magical energies.

The eighth son of an eighth son is a sourcerer (note spelling), who can create magical energies -- a source of magic, as it were.

(* = IIRC, traditional western lore says a wizard is the seventh son, but Discworld features eight as a magic number instead)
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Old 07-08-2002, 05:37 PM
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I was about to say:

"Wizards have better PR men"

until the OP said:
Besides the fact that "sorcerer" sounds cooler?
It is probably one of those generational things!
Old 07-08-2002, 05:42 PM
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I was about to say:

"Wizards have better PR men"

until the OP said:
Besides the fact that "sorcerer" sounds cooler?
It is probably one of those generational things!
Old 07-08-2002, 07:50 PM
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Re: Difference between a Sorcerer and a Wizard?

Originally posted by Ranchoth there a feminine version of "Wizard," or is "Sorceress" the best there is?
Wouldn't that be "witch"?
Old 07-08-2002, 08:18 PM
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Sorcerer show up in English just a wee bit sooner than wizard.

And, sorceress shows up before sorcerer.

Sorcerey shows up before 1300 as sorcerie which was borrowed from Old French, which borrowed it from Vulgar Latin(sortiarius, which meant one who influences lot, fate, or fortune, from the Latin sors, meaning lot, fate, fortune. That is where aldiboronti's SORT came from.

Sorcerer shows up about 1425 as sorcerour.

Sorceress show up about 1380 as sorceresse in Chaucer.

And certainly sorcery meant witchcraft from the beginning.

Wizard shows up before 1425 as wysard which meant wise man or sage.. It was formed from MIddle English wys,wise wise. A wizard who has magical powers doesn't show up in print until about 1550.

All info from Chambers.
Old 07-08-2002, 08:32 PM
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The best answer is that it depends on whose doing the writing (as someone mentioned earlier).

That being said, however, one of the best "explanations" of the differences that I ever read was Master of the Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy. It has been many years since I read it, but he had some really cogent explanations for the differences between Thaumaturgy, Sorcery, Wizardry, Alchemy, and Magic (think that was the fifth - again, it's been many years since I read the thing). However, remember this is HIS definition - other people's definitions may vary significantly, so the best answer is probably the good ol' YMMV

Old 07-08-2002, 09:08 PM
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I posted a reply in this thread.

(Ashy subtracts a perception point from his character sheet.)
Old 07-08-2002, 09:19 PM
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As per D&D definitions, the sorceror has an innate talent (or bestowed by a deity) while the wizard has studied to learn his trade. IMO, sorcerer's are more of an enchanter type who charm other's to do their bidding, which is probably why in D&D the skill is charisma based rather than intelligence based.
Old 07-08-2002, 10:57 PM
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A wizard is one who practice the Wize-art, while a sorceror is one who stores power. (Sheri Tepper's True Game. )

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