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Re: [FateRPG] Re: What is a Shift worth in Dresden Thaumaturgy?

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  • Randall Kramm
    Something to keep in mind, as with all things, it s the GMs decision as to what gives what, with the rules(intentionally vague in some areas) as _guidelines_.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 30, 2010
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      Something to keep in mind, as with all things, it's the GMs decision as
      to what gives what, with the rules(intentionally vague in some areas) as
      _guidelines_. For Thaumaturgy, it doesn't just _add_ to things, it, to
      quote, 'The most general effect of thaumaturgy allows the wizard to do
      something that he wouldn’t normally be able to do', such as many
      divination spells.

      For divining, the shifts could be used to break through someone's
      defense, or each shift could give information about the person and
      his/her immediate area or about an area if it were being used instead of
      a person as the target(aka scrying an area). For trying a divining or
      scrying without a 'piece of the person', you would need some intimate
      familiarity with extra shifts, possibly many, for however much the gm
      decides you don't know said person, place, or thing.

      For what you are talking about, the best way to look at it is as a
      transformative effect, to add an ability or aspect _to_ someone, in this
      case yourself. The complexity to do so, to, say, turn someone
      permanently into a wolf, for example, is extreme, needing to take out
      the average person's physical stress track(2) or with gm permission
      perhaps their mental stress track instead, and then, once you have
      enough complexity to take out their stress track, you take out their
      consequences, minor to permanent. For the average person, that would be
      about 24 or 25 complexity. Less if you're only trying to temporarily
      turn him into a wolf(this is thaumaturgy, after all, it doesn't matter
      that it would only be a mild consequence and therefore you can't declare
      someone taken out, in this case temporarily making someone stalk the
      streets as a puppy or kitty is probably ok with most gms). To overcome
      someone _willing_, however, like, say, yourself, most GMs would probably
      let you get away with the shifts of the effect you are going for in
      refresh, but, again, it's up to each GM as to the way they want to
      portray their world. They might tack on a few extra for your abilities,
      making you 'beat' yourself, say, to overcome your unconscious sense of
      self, or take out your stress track first, or whatever if they wanted to
      make it more difficult. But with how Harry did things(and with his Lore
      at the beginning) it's easiest to not force _too_ much difficulty on
      your poor unfortunate wizards. Especially given how many of the
      supernatural set(most) don't have charges or spend stress or anything to
      use their abilities. Wizzies need all the help they can get. ^_^

      In questions of how to do what, just use your best judgment and your
      heart to feel out what's right. This is Fate, after all, a rules light
      system. Do what feels right for the story your group is doing.

      Randall

      weaverchilde wrote:
      >
      > Mmm, so is that to mean that a potion of Good Speed (ie. +3) would
      > have no effect on someone that is a Great Athlete?
      >
      > This does not explain a say yes ability like Super Supreme Initiative
      > or Like the Wind. Unless this is just an Aspect, which I am fine with.
      > Also, I may have missed the part where it states that a magical effect
      > would only be applied to a single trapping?
      >
      > "Same thing with Casual Movement and Almost Too Fast To See. So if you
      > were aiming for Superb results in all 4 (not really that unheard of
      > for inhuman speed) you're actually looking at a shift 20 potion before
      > you figure in duration."
      >
      > I am lost on this one, what 4 are you referring to? Casual Movement is
      > allowing you to ignore the supplemental action penalty for moving up
      > to a single zone. Almost too fast to See just reduces the difficulty
      > factors for movement when rolling Stealth... which has to be the same
      > thing as adding to an existing skill level roll or the implications
      > are pretty much game breaking.
      >
    • Kragar
      My take on it is that you re correct - a potion of Good Speed would have little effect on someone who is a Great Athlete, other than to do the work for him,
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 1, 2010
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        My take on it is that you're correct - a potion of Good Speed would have little effect on someone who is a Great Athlete, other than to do the work for him, rather than making him run, jump, or whatever.

        As Randall notes, it is up to the GM to determine how these things work. What I understood though, was that magic did things for you. It didn't enhance (i.e. grant a bonus to) what you did.

        My example about the Inhuman Speed kind of breaks down when you deal with Casual Movement and Almost Too Fast to See, mostly because they grant bonuses instead of a result.

        My intent was to say if you wanted to use an ablity like Casual Movement, you'd actually have to build the movement into the potion's effect. This might be as simple as an Average Sprint result, allowing you to move 1 zone 'for free'. It could be more complex by moving you more zones or bypassing barriers.

        If you wanted to throw Stealth into the mix, a la Almost Too Fast to See, you'd need to come up with the Stealth result (Superb or otherwise). It wouldn't help you move unobserved, it would physically move you and veil you as you did. You'd have control over the direction and distance, but the potion would do all the work.

        So I was trying (albet not very well) to say that covering all 4 trappings of Inhuman Speed (Improved Initiative, Athletic Ability, Casual Movement, and Almost Too Fast to See) would be costly, since you'd be building the results, not the bonuses. So:

        Initiative Result of Superb +5
        Athletic Result of Superb (1 trapping) +5
        Casual movement (1 zone) +1
        Stealth Result of Superb +5

        would total to 16 shifts. And that's probably not as good as someone with Inhuman Speed. The issue is that a wizard can build potions to emulate (mostly) any power in the book, while someone with Inhuman Speed is a 1 (or in this case 4) trick pony. So the wizard trades some of his power for versitility, while a werewolf (for example) can specialize more and be better at what he does, to the exclusion of everything else (no fireballs or exploding hearts).

        I don't think it specifically says your result is only 1 trapping (I may have gotten that through discussions here or on Jim Butcher's forum) but the first sentance of the enchanted item section on YS279 says "Enchanted items are intended to hold a single, pre-generated effect that is stored until released, after which the energy in the item must be recharged." I take that as a ring of jumping would only be a ring of jumping, not a ring of athletics. Though your GM may may read that differently. Again, it's one of those 'flavor to taste' things.



        --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "weaverchilde" <weaverchilde@...> wrote:
        >
        > Mmm, so is that to mean that a potion of Good Speed (ie. +3) would have no effect on someone that is a Great Athlete?
        >
        > This does not explain a say yes ability like Super Supreme Initiative or Like the Wind. Unless this is just an Aspect, which I am fine with. Also, I may have missed the part where it states that a magical effect would only be applied to a single trapping?
        >
        > "Same thing with Casual Movement and Almost Too Fast To See. So if you were aiming for Superb results in all 4 (not really that unheard of for inhuman speed) you're actually looking at a shift 20 potion before you figure in duration."
        >
        > I am lost on this one, what 4 are you referring to? Casual Movement is allowing you to ignore the supplemental action penalty for moving up to a single zone. Almost too fast to See just reduces the difficulty factors for movement when rolling Stealth... which has to be the same thing as adding to an existing skill level roll or the implications are pretty much game breaking.
        >
        >
        > --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "Kragar" <kragar00@> wrote:
        > >
        > > The important thing to keep in mind here is that magic does the job for you. It doesn't give you a bonus.
        > >
        > > So that potion of speed doesn't give you a +3 to sprinting, it gives you a Good result for sprinting. You don't roll the dice, you just use what the potion gives you.
        > >
        > > So, if you wanted to emulate Inhuman Speed, you wouldn't use 4 shifts for the Improved Initiative, you'd actually spend shifts to give you the result you want. So if you want a fantastic initiative, you spend 6 shifts on that.
        > >
        > > If you want it to also give you Athletic Ability, you don't pay 2 shifts to gain a +2, you determine what result you want, and go from there. So if you want a Superb athletics check (this would also be limited to a single trapping, such as sprinting, jumping, etc.) you spend 5 shifts for that.
        > >
        > > Same thing with Casual Movement and Almost Too Fast To See. So if you were aiming for Superb results in all 4 (not really that unheard of for inhuman speed) you're actually looking at a shift 20 potion before you figure in duration.
        > >
        > > The other way you could do it is to just give yourself an aspect when you drink the potion, like "mythically speedy". That would give you a +2 to any relevant action if you tag it. I would give this 1 free tag, but after that you'd have to pay FPs for it. It's more versitile this way, but not as powerful. It's also much simpler to make, since creating an aspect only costs 3 shifts (unless it's opposed). Then you'd have plenty of extra power to trade in for duration.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "weaverchilde" <weaverchilde@> wrote:
        > snipped
        >
      • Stephen Figgins
        ... In most examples that fits, but also check out the True Seeing potion which gives a bonus to perception rolls within a narrow context. So we have at least
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 1, 2010
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          Kragar wrote:

          > As Randall notes, it is up to the GM to determine how these things
          > work. What I understood though, was that magic did things for you. It
          > didn't enhance (i.e. grant a bonus to) what you did.

          In most examples that fits, but also check out the True Seeing potion
          which gives a bonus to perception rolls within a narrow context.

          So we have at least one example of a potion granting a bonus to a skill
          as an affect.

          I do see the value of limiting such things to a particular context or
          trapping, and intend to do so in my game.


          --
          Stephen
        • Randall Kramm
          ... For enchanted items and potions it is correct that you have to spell out _exactly_ what it does, with no real flexibility and so on, plus, depending on the
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 1, 2010
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            Stephen Figgins wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Kragar wrote:
            >
            > > As Randall notes, it is up to the GM to determine how these things
            > > work. What I understood though, was that magic did things for you. It
            > > didn't enhance (i.e. grant a bonus to) what you did.
            >
            > In most examples that fits, but also check out the True Seeing potion
            > which gives a bonus to perception rolls within a narrow context.
            >
            > So we have at least one example of a potion granting a bonus to a skill
            > as an affect.
            >
            > I do see the value of limiting such things to a particular context or
            > trapping, and intend to do so in my game.
            >
            > --
            > Stephen
            >
            For enchanted items and potions it is correct that you have to spell out
            _exactly_ what it does, with no real flexibility and so on, plus,
            depending on the gm, the time constraints will usually be in Evocation
            style durations(with the noted suggested exception for veils and our use
            of the time chart in our game for duration for blocking/armor evocations
            and enchantments). A 'ring of escaping' for example, to add velocity to
            your movement, per se, gives you speed, certainly, but you are in
            control, to wit having to make the rolls to control. Another 'ring of
            escaping' could be set up to simply give a result of +4 to the skill you
            wanted or the 'result' you wanted, to wit 'I want a great result on
            getting the heck out of here', which might be impossible, under normal
            circumstances, but given it's a thaumaturgical result, the GM has to
            arbitrate what it really does, while talking with the player.
            Teleport? 'mist' form? Throws asunder all barriers?(aka result on
            lockpicking/weapon damage vs barriers only and only once) etc etc.

            Thus you can get a short-term transformative effect from an item, with
            some possible nauseating side-effects(pumping raw magic through your
            body to give you inhuman or supernatural speed, even over the short
            term? Ouch. Say hello to my lil physical stress/complication friend!),
            but usually very short duration as most gms would rule that's a lot of
            magic to hold in a ordinary enchanted item.

            If it's for one story, a better way is to use a ritual to give you the
            result over a longer term, _or_, if it's something you intend to use and
            use and use, to talk with your gm and spend refresh to 'craft' a long
            term magic item that gives inhuman speed(at a discount) and still has
            the look/feel of a magical item used by a thaumaturge. A possible
            'power source' for such an item could be including essence and bits of
            material gathered from race tracks, Olympic sites, places of world
            record breaking speed, homes/graves of world record holders, etc.

            Just my takes on things, from the rpg books and the feel of the novels.

            Use your heart as much as your head, and make your game fun for all
            involved.

            Randall
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