Ten! Ten, I say!
John Hawkins says:
Interesting â€” Item of Power and Sword of the Cross are listed separately, above. Am I correct in guessing that the Swords are called out more as an homage to their DF-relevance than because they are really a different power? Or are they somehow outside the scope of a standard Item of Power (like maybe the second section could have been called â€œWeapon of Powerâ€, and can do somewhat different things from an IoP)?
Fred got this one on the comment thread. Thanks, Fred!
So, whatâ€™s used to build attacks for those items of power (like a magic sword)?
I could see Breath Weapon used to make Linkâ€™s Master Sword. I donâ€™t know how a PC would justify having it let alone why it would exist in the Dresdenverse, but you could do it.
He also got this one. Thanks again!
Atlatl Jones says:
Does the Lawbreaker stunt have a mechanical benefit or effect, beyond moving the character closer to being an NPC?
Lanodantheon got this one. Thanks, Lanodantheon! However, I do have a couple of clarifications. First, you get a new Lawbreaker power for every new law you break. Each one only gives you the bonus for using magic to break that specific law again, and each one costs you -1 Refresh. If you have three or more of the Lawbreaker powers, the bonus increases for all Lawbreaker powers. And habitual offenses do kick in if you break the same law three or more times: the bonus increases, as does the Refresh cost. So, gaining Lawbreaker powers starts you sliding down towards NPC-hood.
I may have missed it somewhere, but what are the mechanical differences between sponsored magic and non-sponsored magic?
Ihadris answered this one. Thanks, Ihadris! You got it right, but I’m going to supply a little more detail.
Your sponsor and his/her/its agenda can greatly affect your magic. For example, Seelie Magic is more potent for healing and more effective against Winter Court opponents than mortal magic. And it can supercharge a power you already possess on your own – this is where things like Hellfire and Soulfire come into the picture. You can also, from time to time, call on your sponsor for aid, essentially invoking an Aspect without spending a Fate Point, but that puts you in debt to the sponsor. And the debt will be collected. And, of course, as Ihadris said, if you try using the magic against the agenda of your sponsor, it’s not going to work nearly as well, if at all.
Again, as always, thanks for writing these Rick. I was just catching up on the Q+Aâ€™s and I wanted to ask another question further to one I asked previously concerning skills. In relation to vehicles you said that â€œSpecifically, there are no rules for vehicles in the books.â€. Does this mean that skills like â€˜Driveâ€™ and â€˜Pilotâ€™ have been removed?
Well, Pilot has been rolled into Driving, but Driving still exists. What I mean is that there are no tables listing different stats for cars, or planes, or tanks, or motorcycles, or boats. This is not a (mundane) gadget-heavy game – most equipment is handled through handwaving, as pieces of narrative colour and story props, not as items with their own mechanics attached. The exceptions are weapons and armour, which are each broken into four broad categories, and magical toys like focus items, enchanted items, and potions, for which there are more extensive rules.
And you’re welcome!
I understand completly where and why you have drawn the line and had assumed as much previously which is why Im not asking for you to give out a full list.
I appreciate the understanding, but lists are easy. It’s when we get to people asking for a complete description of everything you can do with the Deceit skill, for example, that I have to say no. What did you want a list of?
John Hawkins says:
I was trying to think how to model various types of cool characters, and it occurred to me that Iâ€™m not sure how the system as discussed thus far would model Inhuman+ *Precision*. Iâ€™m thinking of Kincaid, here, but in general I know how to simulate creatures with really badass endocrine, or musculoskeltal systems (speed, recovery, toughness, strength), but what if I want to model a really improved nervous system that allows for incredible precision with a firearm or something like that. Is there an obvious way to model such a thing? (I assume so, since thereâ€™s a write-up of Kincaid.) I guess you could get partway there with mortal stunts, but the same argument could be made for feats of strength or recovery, and there are outright supernatural powers for those, so I feel like there ought to be something with a bit more oomph.
Rechan’s chimed in with an answer in the comment thread. Thanks, Rechan! I have some further comments I want to add, though.
Kincaid is modeled by giving him Superb combat skills, along with Inhuman Speed and Strength, a nice array of combat Mortal Stunts and Aspects, and a possible Supernatural Sense. While it would be possible to build an Inhuman Precision power, I would be very wary, because it could easily become too good. If you plan on going that way, I would strongly recommend paying very close attention to the way Speed, Strength, and Toughness are built – different bonuses for narrow applications of things, rather than one big blanket bonus covering everything. Otherwise, I think the power would become so good that no character would pass it up, which means that their foes will probably have it, which means it’s kind of like nobody having it.
Anyway, that’s just my two cents on it.
Thanks Ihadris. If your magic comes from a sponsor do you use evocation and Thaumaturgy mechanics, or has it got a system of its own?
You use the same mechanics, but there are a few tweaks, depending on what type of sponsor you’ve got. Basically, you get to be a little better at a couple of things.
So can the game be played Solo (1 player, 1 GM)?
Definitely, though I recommend in that case that the GM create a character or two as NPCs in order to give the PC some folks to share novels with. And some contacts in the game, of course.
while a focused practitioner wouldnâ€™t be able to make an Evocation potion specifically, Thaumaturgical rituals can be built that do the same things, only slower â€“ or in potion form.
Now, what do you mean? How would you mimic evocation with thaumaturgy? I know that T takes longer. But are you saying that you could create the same effect for a potion/ward, even if you didnâ€™t have it? Since I thought that T was limited merely to making declarations.
Thaumaturgy is far broader than that. You can use Thaumaturgy for pretty much any effect you can imagine. They even stat up Victor Sells’s tear-your-heart-out ritual in the rulebook. In the Thaumaturgy section of the Spellcasting chapter, there’s even an entry on the subject of Enhanced Evocation and Duration. Basically, by taking the time and building the ritual, you can use Thaumaturgy to strike an enemy with power, either in the form of a curse or as a direct attack.
I want to answer Iorwerthâ€™s question, but Iâ€™m actually confused. I canâ€™t figure out why Sponsored magic costs MORE than when it clearly comes with bigger limitations.
If you just go with Sponsored Magic, you actually get away with it being cheaper. Taking Seelie Magic or Unseelie Magic gives you the ability to use a narrow set of both Thaumaturgy and Evocation for -4, instead of the -6 it would normally cost you. If you buy it as an upgrade to either Thaumaturgy or Evocation, you get it at -3, and at -2 if you already have both. The bonuses depend on the type of Sponsor: Seelie Magic ignores one step of Toughness possessed by Winter Court faeries and a talent for biomancy, while Kemmlerian Necromancy gives you bonus specializations to power and complexity with necromancy. Stuff like that.
John Hawkins says:
@Rechan @Iorwerth my understanding from earlier discussions of the topic was that Sponsored magic allows you to call upon greater levels of power from your sponsor than you would be able to safely summon up by yourself, and that the constraints placed upon you by that sponsor are not sufficient to zero out that advantage. As to how that works mechanically, Iâ€™ll have to defer to those of you holding the book.
That’s the bottom line. I’ve laid out some examples above. Thanks, John!
John Hawkins says:
@Rechan â€” that does partly answer my question, but Iâ€™d love to see an actual synthesis of such a power as an example of how those very guidelines for new power creation are laid out. And to be clear: Iâ€™m actually more interested in Inhuman Precision or something that would allow you to very precisely aim a weapon at a long distance or that kind of thing. Heightened perception would factor into that, but itâ€™s only part of what I was envisioning.
There aren’t actually any power creation guidelines in the books, but it’s fairly easy to eyeball things and set Refresh costs for them. The key is to keep the scope of the power in mind.
For example, Inhuman Precision strikes me as being a particularly slippery thing to nail down. Obviously, you want it to work with ranged weapons. How about lockpicking? That can benefit from the same type of combination of heightened perception and body control. And acrobatics? Driving? Martial arts? The scope begins to creep very quickly.
One option is to be very restrictive when creating it, maybe even renaming it to Inhuman Marksman and only making it apply to ranged weapons. Another possibility is to make it cost more Refresh because of its broad application; Inhuman Strength is -2, so maybe make Inhuman Precision -4, say.
Personally, I like the way they did it with Kincaid: Inhuman Speed, Superb Guns, several Stunts, and a few relevant Aspects. However, if that doesn’t do what you want it to in the game, then building a new Power may be your best bet.
Rel Fexive says:
Hereâ€™s another question for you â€“ whoâ€™d aâ€™thunk it?
That’s what I said! 😀
When Harry does that thing with his â€œwizard sensesâ€ to sense wards, spells, magical creatures (like fetches) and such, how does he do it in the RPG? Is it a spell effect, a narration of the use of his Investigation skill, an extension of his Sight power or something else?
Bosh gets part of this in the comment thread. Thanks, Bosh! The information is pretty much spot-on with The Sight stuff, though there are more rules attached to it than there were in the playtests, which produces a little more guidance as to what sorts of Assessments characters can make with The Sight.
The bit missing is something that I don’t think has been mentioned on my blog yet. Wizards can use Lore as a substitute for Alertness when inspecting magic with their normal senses. This is primarily how Harry detects magical effects and creatures, though he needs to use The Sight if he wants specifics. Although, as Bosh noted, that can be dangerous.
Iâ€™ve love to play a burned out old wizard (so old heâ€™s forgotten his childhood) who doesnâ€™t have any power left (or memories of how he lost it) except Wizard Constitution and The Sight. His shtick would be that due to long experience and a horrible memory heâ€™s mostly immune to the mental damage you get from The Sight and keeps his Third Eye open far more than just about anyone else can do without going crazy.
I like this idea a lot! Reminds me of the old Fallen Jedi template from West End’s Star Wars game, or the burnt out street mage archetype from the original Shadowrun. Cool!
I seem to be at a loss how the math works here, Rick. I read the examples, scratch my head, and donâ€™t see how they play out.
Look at the Earth Stomp spell (293). It says that it starts with 8 Shifts. Then the Discipline roll is 8 (so, 16 total). Now, it says the target rolls 2. Which results in 10 shifts? That doesnâ€™t add up! 16-2 = 14!
So where do the numbers come in as far as spell slinging and resolving it all go?
I think the math is off, but not in the way it first appears. Here’s how I work it out. Fred or Lenny, am I doing this right?
First off, the Discipline roll of 8 is just enough to control the 8 shifts of power. You don’t add them together. Now, to target the four enemies that the spell describes, you’re making a spray attack (p 236), so you split your 8 shifts of Control (which is also the targeting roll) into four attacks of Fair (+2) with the power split between the four targets for four attacks of Weapon:2, as per the Evocation Attack section on p 251. So each target should take a stress 2 hit, plus every whatever they missed the Fair Might check by.
Is this right, guys? Do we split both the targeting and the power when using an Evocation as a spray attack?
I wish there was an â€œeditâ€ comment button. i have thoughts way after I posted.
Is there anything about spellcasters supercharging spells? For instance, Harry using the Lightning storm to blow up the toad demon. Or was that just a special effect for E?
That was Harry dumping Fate Points to tag a whole bunch of Aspects, including the Lightning Storm Aspect that was on the scene. And he still wound up taking a whole bunch of backlash!
That’s it for tonight. You know the drill, folks. I’ll be back tomorrow evening if you leave me more questions.