DFRPG Q&A 2

Just one set of questions today:

Iorwerth says:

How do weapons and armour work? Do they just add stress levels / subtract stress levels?

Yup. The system is pretty chunky – what I mean is, there aren’t extensive weapons and armour lists. Each has four categories, rated from one to four, that tells you how many stress levels it adds or mitigates. Given how much difference a single level can sometimes make, this is about as detailed as you really need in the game. And with the idea of setting up the kinds of cinematic, rollicking action scenes you see in the novels, that’s about the level of detail you want to keep things simple and fast.

As to magic, when drawing down power do you need to roll, or do you just draw down a level equal to the relevant skill, whatever that skill is?

Once you have drawn down the power I believe you roll your control. Do you need to get a score above the power level to control it? if you don’t, I presume it spills out and has unforseen effects, and may do the caster damage?

With a stress inducing spell, does it do the power level in stress points, or the level of control you have, or something else?

Okay. Quick-and-dirty breakdown of spellcasting. First, you decide how much power you want to use. If this is an evocation, you take one point of mental stress for drawing up to your Conviction skill rating, then an extra point for each level above your Conviction.If this is a thaumaturgical ritual, you don’t take that first level of mental stress, so if you stick to using power equal to or less than or equal to your conviction, actually calling the power doesn’t give you any stress for thaumaturgy.

Then, you need to beat that power down with the strength of your sovereign will and force it to do what you want. This is a Discipline roll, where you have to equal or exceed the levels of power you have called. If you don’t, you either take the difference as backlash (hurting you as either mental or physical stress) or give it to the GM as fallout (hurting the environment and maybe your buddies – this is how Harry manages to burn down buildings). How things are split up is your choice – you can be selfless and take all the damage, selfish and take none, or somewhere in between.

There are, of course, other factors, like focus items and preparation and taking extra time, that can come into the mix, but those are the basics. Basically, even a minor spellcaster with plenty of time to research and prepare can accomplish a great deal safely, while even a fully tricked-out badass wizard caught offguard can push himself over the edge pretty quickly, wearing himself out and melting his brain.

Just like in the novels.

That’s today’s questions. Keep ’em coming.

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8 Responses to DFRPG Q&A 2

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  2. Lanodantheon says:

    When I asked my question earlier I never got around to mentioning that your playtest campaign greatly amused me 2-fold. I loved the characters and the stories and because my family’s originally from Winnipeg. Reading about it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

    Anyway, I got some more questions I hope you could answer:

    1. You mentioned that Conviction determines the power you can draw in and Discipline determines your control of backlash, but what does Lore do? I read somewhere that it has something to do with your spell selection.

    2. Items of Power, magical foci and intellect spirits in skulls. How much are these things? I know that crafted items like blasting rods are slot based from the magical abilities you have but what do you use to buy them(in system)?

    3. related to 2: Say I’m a 2-bit Sorcerer character who hit it big and scored a major magical item. How expensive are the major magical items like a Shadow Cloak and a broom…no Hockey Stick of Flying.

    4. I’ve asked this in other places and the typical response is, “Wait and see”. Any sign of RPG-specific material aside from Magical Baltimore, etc?

    5. What advice do the books give on putting the supernatural into the Mundane? I’d like to get a head start on vetting Magical Spokane before the game comes out.

    6. What is the base starting level for campaigns? At what refresh rate do things get stupid power?

  3. Iorwerth says:

    Thank you for answering my questions – much appreciated!!

    When attacking someone with an evocation spell, such as some sort of a fireball, would do stress damage equal to the difference between your Discipline roll and the defence roll, or the difference between the power level and the defence roll? Is there a defence roll at all?

    e.g. Randalf has a conviction level of Good, so calls down a goodly amount of power. He then rolls his Discipline and gets a superb result, meaning he can easily control the power. The target tries to jump out of the way and achieves a fair result. Does Randalf do 3 stress with the fireball (Superb minus fair defence) or 1 stess (Good amount of power minus defence of fair)? Or am i missing something crucial somewhere?

    Anyway, thanks again for answering my previous questions.

  4. Fred Hicks says:

    I’ll pop in and answer Iowerth: it’s better than either scenario. His Good-power spell lets him create a Weapon:3 attack. When he gets a Superb result, he controls that power, and also makes a Superb attack against the target. Target rolls a Fair result, okay; that’s 3 steps below, so the base stress is 3, but Weapon:3 makes it a 6 stress hit. In all likelihood the target is taking a moderate consequence.

  5. Iorwerth says:

    Thanks for such a quick response Fred – I can’t wait for this to come out, even if I will have to pay a whole lot of shipping to get it sent to the UK!

    I guess Randalf’s opponent needs some armour or else he is going to get a little fried 🙂

  6. Rel Fexive says:

    Yowzer! Crazy fireballing madness, I like it!

  7. Rechan says:

    That would explain why Harry either nukes something from orbit, or barely scratches it, Fred. Since he has mondo power, resulting in high damage weapon, but the discipline means he rarely makes a decent attack. And this explains why Harry hasn’t melted his face before: he just burns the place down.

    Although the increased mental stress for just using Evocation explains why Harry “gets tired” after having cast so many spells.

    So Rick, here’s my questions:

    What’s the book say about Companions (ala SotC)? I’m curious about things like Spirit Companions (something like Bob, but you take it with you and use it), or refluffing it as a familiar. Or other uses.

    Does the book talk about Spirits at all? Bob is a Spirit of Intellect. We know that Lycanthropes channel spirits of rage. But those are the only “spirits” we’ve seen. Monsters from the Nevernever, sure, but not straight up “Spirits” that just encompass concepts.

    Fred has said that spellcasting can create an “infinite” amount of spells. So, how is this done? Is it more “Effect based spellcasting”, or what? For instance, there are several elements out there for specialization we’ve not seen used (or barely used). There exists Water magic, but the only “Water” spell we’ve seen was the Water Bubble that Carlos cast in White Night. So if I wanted to play a Water-specialized mage, how would I make my spells? How would I make them on the fly?

  8. Bosh says:

    “Each has four categories, rated from one to four, that tells you how many stress levels it adds or mitigates. Given how much difference a single level can sometimes make, this is about as detailed as you really need in the game. And with the idea of setting up the kinds of cinematic, rollicking action scenes you see in the novels, that’s about the level of detail you want to keep things simple and fast.”

    On the Jim Butcher boards, Fred Hicks said that damage can be situational (knives are better in some situations than in others) how does this work with what you’re talking about here? I’m very curious about what they’ve cooked up for the weapon/damage system since that’s been either not addressed or been implemented in ways that I’ve had some problems with in other FATE games.

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