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Re: What is a Shift worth in Dresden Thaumaturgy?

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  • 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 1 of 7 , Jul 1, 2010
      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 2 of 7 , Jul 1, 2010
        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 3 of 7 , Jul 1, 2010
          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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