So, I’m looking over the Supernatural Stunts chapter of the Dresden Files RPG. Interesting stuff.
I mentioned back when I was talking about the mundane character creation that you buy stunts by spending refresh rate. Mundane stunts are one point each. Supernatural stunts may cost more. This means that supernatural characters tend to wind up with fewer Fate Points at the start of a session than other characters, and have to work at getting their Aspects compelled to earn the Fate Points that they’ll need in play. Since compelling someone’s Aspect usually means that their choices are restricted in some way, Evil Hat has equated Fate Points to free will.
That’s right. Supernatural creatures have less free will than mundane folks.
They do a good job of supporting this with references to the source material. Think of how many times Harry gets the ever-loving crap kicked out of him early on in the stories, only to rise from the ashes when he really needs to, and do some kicking of his own.
He’s not just getting beat up; he’s collecting Fate Points for the climactic showdown he knows is coming.
It seems a nice mechanic, and has worked well with the mundane characters. We haven’t made supernatural characters, yet, so I can’t speak to that, but it looks like it will work just as well.
There’s a little twist to the supernatural stunts that set them off from the mundane ones: Permissions. Permissions are stunts that allow you to take other supernatural stunts in keeping with the specific Permission that you’ve taken. They tell you what other stunts you must take, and what other stunts you may take. So, if I want to play a wizard, I need to take the Wizard Permission, and all the stunts that Wizards need to have (things like Soulgaze, and The Sight, not to mention the spellcasting stunts). There are a couple of other stunts I can take if I like.
Not all of these stunts cost Refresh Rate; some are free (these are usually permissions), and some actually return some Refresh Rate (by effectively discounting other stunts by applying restrictions to them). But at the end of the day, you generally wind up with fewer than five Fate Points at the start of a session.
I think it will work; I’ll let you know how things go after I’ve tested them.
This does do one thing that will have a real impact on how players think about character creation: most of the Permissions require you to have at least one Aspect relating to it, often two. This means that, when creating supernatural characters, players need to consider the stunts they’re going to need right from the start, not pick them after deciding everything else. That’s not a bad thing, but it is a change that the players need to be ready for.
Anyway, those are my observations so far. More to follow as testing continues.