First off, a clarification from Chad Underkoffler, one of the authors of the game:
Point of fact: Chicago is not fully game-statted as Baltimore is, but itâ€™s got a METRIC TON of cool, real-world (not necessarily series-based) weirdness in it.
My bad, folks. I was skimming the sections for the previous post, and missed this. Thanks to Chad for setting me straight.
Now, on to questions:
Question: Does the magic section talk about the limits of magicâ€™s interaction with technology?
What Iâ€™m talking about is the magic items/foci/whatever-theyâ€™re-called that interact with technology to work.
(Specifically, Elaineâ€™s chain thingie that she charges in a light socket.)
Well, there are rules for hexing, which covers the basics of magic and technology interacting. Elaine’s chain would be an enchanted item, like Harry’s force rings, I believe. There are no explicit rules for how it charges up in the light socket, just like there are no explicit rules for how Harry’s force ring charges from him moving his arms, because really it’s just jazz. Looking at the guidelines in the section on hexing, though, I would rule that it might cause problems around sensitive electronics, but not more than Elaine herself would. That is, unless I was using it to throw a complication at the player, in which case I’d give him or her a Fate Point to go with it.
Hey Rick! I lost the URL for your site, Iâ€™m really glad to be back.
Welcome back! You’ve been missed.
The DM chapter, does it talk about how to make adventures? To be honest, the DFRPG scares me in terms of GMing, because coming up with a cohesive mystery every â€œweekâ€ is really daunting! I know â€œTie it to your players aspectsâ€, but for instance if they smoke one PCâ€™s nemesis, that aspect â€“ that avenue â€“ is gone. Same thing if they shut down something one player is very concerned about, then itâ€™s hard to bring back. Not to mention other matters of maintaining a good Noir/Mystery/whatnot feel to the game, like clues and how to make things not obvious, does it address this well?
Lenny Balsera actually posted a really good answer to this in the comments of the post. Thanks, Lenny! About all I can add to what he says there is that, at the end of the city creation process, you will have so many good locations, themes, threats, and NPCs that ideas for adventures are fairly squirting out of your ears. And if you get the players involved, then they’re going to have a lot invested in those things, and their own agendas – more rich and fertile ground for adventures. Also, the section on advancing cities talks about how to deal with changes to the established environment like killing off a nemesis or solving a major problem in the city. In short, the advice in the book is very good on this subject, but the rest of the book supports the idea of making good stories so well that really it’s just the icing on the cake.
Are Pure Mortals the only ones that can take mortal stunts?
Anyone can take mortal stunts. They’re called that because there’s no supernatural powers involved. Having said that, supernatural characters are less likely to have mortal stunts because they’ve spent their Refresh on supernatural powers instead.
How is Sponsored Magic different? Is it a template that can be dropped onto any PC? Or access to new stunts/powers? It handles stuff like deals with Fey too, right? Or is that just â€œHey, look at Emissaryâ€.
Fluff-wise, Sponsored Magic is different because it’s something that originates with an outside power source, like an angel, demon, dragon, magic talking sword, or, yes, one of the Fey. Emissarys are one of the templates that have the option of taking Sponsored Magic, but Changelings and Knights of Faerie also have it. Crunch-wise, you get a little extra oomph in some of your spells, but you are subject to the whims of your patron – if they don’t want you to work a spell, it just don’t work. And they can attach any strings they want to it. For example, if you’re the Winter Knight, and you want to use your Unseelie Magic in a manner that your Lady disagrees with, she can just not let the magic work. Or, she may allow it to work, but demand a favour in payment.
This is also a general question for you. You talk about multiple character creation sessions. How do you deal with players who want to Get to the Game RIght Now? A lot of people I know would not be patient enough for spending more than x hours doing that sort of thing. And, doing City AND character creation simultaneously sounds veryâ€¦ ADD. How do you organize that?
Good questions. There are options for quick play, when you don’t want to spend the time up front building the city or the characters. In these cases, the characters and city get built during play, on the fly, adding Aspects and Skills and whatnot as they come up in the story, and paying any Refresh cost then. If you’ve seen the quick play options in Spirit of the Century, then you’ve got the basics.
Now, as for the time involved, character creation goes pretty quickly – the sessions I’ve run have all taken less than three hours, and that includes explaining the system to the players. And the character creation system is fun, in itself; in fact, the game takes the point of view that making the city and the characters should be part of the play, and as much fun as all the other parts.
Doing city and character creation together would be a little taxing, I agree. The way it’s spelled out in the book, you work it in stages: once you get to a certain point in creating the city, you have enough of a framework to build characters that really fit in with what you’re doing with the city. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in a single session, either; I can see doing portions of the city creation (like, say, research) independently, getting together in a session to work up to the point where you’re ready to build characters, then having another session to build characters and finish off the city stuff. Two sessions.
James Cartwright says:
Great write-up, canâ€™t wait for these books.
Thanks! I’m anxious to get my hands on the physical versions, myself.
Are there stats for â€˜Mouseâ€™ in the books and is there the ability to make your own temple animals like â€˜mouseâ€™?
Yes, there are stats for Mouse. There’s also an extensive write-up – almost a full page – on Temple Dogs, that would make it very easy to create other Temple Animals. There’s also a note in the in-characters notes that, as statted, Mouse is a viable player character, if you choose the right power level.
Jon Hammersley says:
So how are enchanted items handled? Some (potions) are obviously single use items but how do you limit something like Harryâ€™s ring that stores kinetic energy?
Each crafter has a number of slots allowed to them, based on the kinds of powers you’ve taken, which they can fill with enchanted items. By default, enchanted items have a limited number of uses per session. You can remove that limitation by having it take up more than one slot. Expending extra slots can also increase the power and flexibility of items.
Does using a specific created foci (ritual knife, blasting rod, staff, etc) decrease the difficulty of controlling magical forces and how does it do so?
Okay. Magic is comprised of two phases: gathering the energy and controlling the energy. When you create a focus, you choose whether it will help you gather energy or control it. If it helps you gather energy, then you can safely call in one more level of power than you would otherwise be able to. You can still exceed this amount, but then it starts causing problems, like fatigue. If you choose to make a focus that helps you control energy, then it gives you a bonus level to the skill that you roll to control the power. And if you fail that roll, bad things happen to you, your surroundings, or both.
So, that’s all the questions I’ve received so far. I hope the answers are helpful.
Let me know if there are other questions I can answer, but I won’t get to them before tomorrow evening.