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Re: [FateRPG] Blessed Bullets???

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  • Max Kaehn
    ... One way of making a dum-dum bullet does look a lot like drawing a cross on it. :-) I think you re on the right track that it shouldn t be as simple as
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 30, 2010
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      On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 16:10, dresdengm@... <dresdengm@...> wrote:
      Well, my players have correctly concluded that their next antagonist is demonic in nature and are making plans and preparations. What caught me by surprise was when one of them informed me that he would bless four magazines of rounds for various firearms. I'm not sure how to respond to this. The character is a True Believer and I have previously allowed him to bless water (making holy water) using traditional prayers. They have also encountered a saint's medallion and a blessed silver crucifix, so these things do exist. But, I am not sure how I want to handle the issue of bullets or other mundane (i.e. no refresh cost) weapons. 

      Perhaps if he wanted to get a set of etching tools and engrave the Seal of Solomon on each of them, I would find that a more reasonable idea/investment. So, at the risk of sparking a lengthy religious debate, what should I allow in a case like this?

      One way of making a dum-dum bullet does look a lot like drawing a cross on it. :-)  I think you're on the right track that it shouldn't be as simple as just blessing the bullets.  It's feasible for a gun enthusiast to make their own bullets, so have them come up with a description of how they do it, such as using holy water for quenching molten metal (they used to make musket balls by dripping molten lead down a tower to get a spherical shape, anyway-- not sure about modern firearms), putting a fleck of metal from some old altar plate into the lead, tiny amounts of ashes of burned-up stale communion wafers into the gunpowder (presuming that burning is the right way to dispose of consecrated but inedible wafers), staying up all night in a vigil over a box of bullets, etc.

      The vigil as a step is particularly handy for storytelling, since performing a vigil to do something significant might cause something to show up to test your virtue.

      Game-mechanically, it sounds like a potential use of the enchantment rules:  create a Holy Artificer stunt that allows a sufficiently faithful character to maintain the blessings on N weapons (since bullets get used up, swords need resanctifying, etc.).
      --
      Max Kaehn
      slothman@...
      IN THE SEEN, THERE IS ONLY THE SEEN. IN THE SMASH, THERE IS ONLY THE SMASH.” — BuddhistHulk

    • David Sturgell
      I know your question was mechanical/systemic in nature, but I d like to add a few comments on fluff/story. Taking the time to think out reasonable or awesome
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 3, 2010
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        I know your question was mechanical/systemic in nature, but I'd like to add a few comments on fluff/story. Taking the time to think out reasonable or awesome explanations for what is going to happen can really make the session snap in to focus for your players. So, this isn't about modeling the items, but about explaining the items.

        1. At Ice Station Nerdly, Jeff ran a playtest version of DFRPG set in Washington DC. The party found itself at the Vietnam War Memorial. As the session unfolded, a pack of demonic reavers surrounded a group of homeless veterans, intending to feed off/destroy them. Our wizard (powered by the mythical otherworldly forces of the DC Metro's hidden "Purple Line") stated his intention to create a set of wards or boundary that would keep the demons away from the helpless victims. When asked by the GM what the boundary markers would be, the player (a visiting Brit unfamiliar with US history) was stumped. Trying to help out, I mentioned that he could reach into his pocket and enchant five American coins-- the dime, a ten cent piece-- to be the outer boundary of his wards. The kicker here is that the US dime has a picture of President Eisenhower on it. We stated that the spirit of the president (who spent more than 30 years in the military) was going to protect "his" soldiers. The symbolism of using General Eisenhower to shield homeless veterans made sense thematically and provided extra spice to an already good scene.

        2. So how to replicate this type of thing for your bullets? The "Cross-hatching" that turns full metal jacketed projectiles into improvised hollow-point bullets has already been mentioned (great comment!) and could be accompanied by some sort of ceremony that imbues them with power-- perhaps by an already known NPC.

        3. Now that I think of it, the Eisenhower incident was obviously subconsciously inspired by Kenneth Hite's fantastic "Day After Ragnarok" setting, which features a totally terrifying opponent-- ghost riders. The spirits of slain US Civil War Confederate calvary soldiers who occasionally appear  to aid the newly resurgent modern KKK, they cannot be harmed by normal weapons. The one exception is if the PCs melt down Abraham Lincoln pennies and cast them into bullets for their guns-- these will affect the ghost riders. Again, it makes sense with the theme of the game, and is one of those fantastic little throw-away comments of awesomeness that Hite sprinkles so liberally into his writing.

        I could go on with this type of sea story all day, but I think you get the point. Anyone else have other examples where they have rationalized system mechanics to add extra support for the narration? Please share them.

        Cheers!
      • Lisa Steele
        Ummm. The U.S. dime has a picture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in part because of his work on March of Dimes charity. The Vietnam Memorial is pretty
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 3, 2010
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          Ummm. The U.S. dime has a picture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in part because of his work on "March of Dimes" charity. The Vietnam Memorial is pretty close to the Lincoln Memorial (on the penny) and Lincoln was very sympathetic to the soldiers lost in the Civil War.

          1. At Ice Station Nerdly, Jeff ran a playtest version of DFRPG set in Washington DC. The party found itself at the Vietnam War Memorial. As the session unfolded, a pack of demonic reavers surrounded a group of homeless veterans, intending to feed off/destroy them. Our wizard (powered by the mythical otherworldly forces of the DC Metro's hidden "Purple Line") stated his intention to create a set of wards or boundary that would keep the demons away from the helpless victims. When asked by the GM what the boundary markers would be, the player (a visiting Brit unfamiliar with US history) was stumped. Trying to help out, I mentioned that he could reach into his pocket and enchant five American coins-- the dime, a ten cent piece-- to be the outer boundary of his wards. The kicker here is that the US dime has a picture of President Eisenhower on it. We stated that the spirit of the president (who spent more than 30 years in the military) was going to protect "his" soldiers. The symbolism of using General Eisenhower to shield homeless veterans made sense thematically and provided extra spice to an already good scene.
        • Undead Trout
          Eisenhower s profile appears on U.S. dollar coins minted between 1971 and 1978. While still in circulation, these days you re more likely to encounter a
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 3, 2010
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            Eisenhower's profile appears on U.S. dollar coins minted between 1971 and 1978. While still in circulation, these days you're more likely to encounter a Sacagawea or Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. Nice image to use in play, though.


            --
            M. Schwartz  --  undead.trout@...
            ~ Always Something Fishy Going On™ ~
          • David Sturgell
            Woah-- good catch. I really meant to write Eisenhower Dollar . Don t know how I messed that up. I think regarding the ghosts of KKK cavalry, Ken Hite was
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 3, 2010
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              Woah-- good catch. I really meant to write "Eisenhower Dollar". Don't know how I messed that up.

              I think regarding the ghosts of KKK cavalry, Ken Hite was thinking that they hated Lincoln because he freed the slaves. Ghosts not being known for their lawyer-like rational thought. These are angry ghosts! They aren't approaching the issue with your clear historical perspective.

              By the way, Ms. Steele, I'm a HUGE fan. GURPS Cops was fantastic, and I feel so guilty that I haven't bought FIEF yet. Last month it barely got edged out of the RPG budget by Skullduggery-- a game I can't find anyone to play yet.

              So yeah, that worked out well.
            • Undead Trout
              You want *Fief*. You need *Fief*. You will budget responsibly such that you can purchase *Fief*. Seriously, it s just that good. -- M. Schwartz --
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 3, 2010
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                You want Fief. You need Fief. You will budget responsibly such that you can purchase Fief. Seriously, it's just that good.



                --
                M. Schwartz  --  undead.trout@...
                ~ Always Something Fishy Going On™ ~
              • Lisa Steele
                Thanks. I find it amazing to realize that Cops was 9 years ago. It was going to press right after 9/11 and there were emails traded about whether we needed to
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 3, 2010
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                  Thanks. I find it amazing to realize that Cops was 9  years ago. It was going to press right after 9/11 and there were emails traded about whether we needed to hold it or change it. (There were a couple of minor mentions, as I recall, as no one knew were things were going to go in the aftermath.) Let me also toss out a cheap plug for Town, Fief's urban sibiling, just out from Cumberland Games.

                  After I posted that, I recalled the Eisenhower dollar. A Kennedy half-dollar might have had some similar vet resonances.

                  As an utter aside, I have to share this...

                  http://community-2.webtv.net/OurManHermes/skull/index.html

                  I picked up the collections of Norvell Page's The Spider, one book of which has a Dr. Skull story -- very, very odd. The link above doesn't do justice to how wacky the story is. But the Spider stuff would make perfect Spirit of the Century outlines. I'm planning to steal bits from the first volume (Robot Titans of Gotham) for my next couple of adventures.

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: David Sturgell
                  Sent: Oct 3, 2010 12:48 PM
                  To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [FateRPG] Blessed Bullets???



                  Woah-- good catch. I really meant to write "Eisenhower Dollar". Don't know how I messed that up.

                  I think regarding the ghosts of KKK cavalry, Ken Hite was thinking that they hated Lincoln because he freed the slaves. Ghosts not being known for their lawyer-like rational thought. These are angry ghosts! They aren't approaching the issue with your clear historical perspective.

                  By the way, Ms. Steele, I'm a HUGE fan. GURPS Cops was fantastic, and I feel so guilty that I haven't bought FIEF yet. Last month it barely got edged out of the RPG budget by Skullduggery-- a game I can't find anyone to play yet.

                  So yeah, that worked out well.


                • bil Jeschke
                  The anime Hellsing has a vampire hunting other vampires with a pistol forged from sacred metal objects from a church, and the bullets were once silver bells
                  Message 8 of 13 , Oct 4, 2010
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                    The anime Hellsing has a vampire hunting other vampires with a pistol forged from sacred metal objects from a church, and the bullets were once silver bells rung during mass.

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: dresdengm@...
                    To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 6:10:17 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
                    Subject: [FateRPG] Blessed Bullets???






                    Well, my players have correctly concluded that their next antagonist is demonic in nature and are making plans and preparations. What caught me by surprise was when one of them informed me that he would bless four magazines of rounds for various firearms. I'm not sure how to respond to this. The character is a True Believer and I have previously allowed him to bless water (making holy water) using traditional prayers. They have also encountered a saint's medallion and a blessed silver crucifix, so these things do exist. But, I am not sure how I want to handle the issue of bullets or other mundane (i.e. no refresh cost) weapons.
                    Perhaps if he wanted to get a set of etching tools and engrave the Seal of Solomon on each of them, I would find that a more reasonable idea/investment. So, at the risk of sparking a lengthy religious debate, what should I allow in a case like this?
                  • Aidan Grey
                    Part of the issue, historically, for me, has been how to explain why they have to do things the hard way. It s all well and good to require them to use silver
                    Message 9 of 13 , Oct 5, 2010
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                      Part of the issue, historically, for me, has been how to explain why they have to do things the hard way. It's all well and good to require them to use silver from church bells, but the player often balk - they don't get why the cross scratched on them won't work.

                      What I've said in the past is that cross shapes are ubiquitous - shadows from power lines, cracks in the sidewalk, the mortar between bricks on pretty much every building. Only an actual crucifix holds the power of that faith correctly, so at the very least, the bullets have to be made from actual crucifixes. Scratching a cross won't bless them and make them effective any more than blessing shadows would be effective.

                      Mechanically, unless there's investment of some kind, have them work the same as any other weapon, or grant a random +1 rarely (every 10th bullet, or more).  Or require some other sort of investment - blessing only works when you invest 1 or more enchanted item slots. Blessing is an enchantment, after all, so utilize those rules. That slows down the "salt over my left shoulder keeps the fairies at bay" simplicity.

                      Since you've allowed holy water before, it should be easy to come up with a reason why that worked when the bullets didn't. Perhaps the water had already been blessed, or had some powerful relic in it, or whatever - don't let holy water continue to be powerful (if you've done so) with only a blessing. It takes more to make it (a church, to start with, and a congregation with belief too, for example) than just a blessing.

                      If you leave holy water as is, you run into making the players too powerful. So you have to throw bigger bad guys, so you give them a new weapon, which makes them more powerful, and then... I've seen it happen lots. This is why material components exist in D&D, I believe.

                      Instead, give them tools that work, but that are so costly and difficult that they're not worth it most of the time. If blessing crossed bullets was so effective, you know Harry would be using those things left and right...



                      On Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 2:55 AM, bil Jeschke <theuteck@...> wrote:
                       

                      The anime Hellsing has a vampire hunting other vampires with a pistol forged from sacred metal objects from a church, and the bullets were once silver bells rung during mass.



                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: dresdengm@...
                      To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 6:10:17 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
                      Subject: [FateRPG] Blessed Bullets???

                      Well, my players have correctly concluded that their next antagonist is demonic in nature and are making plans and preparations. What caught me by surprise was when one of them informed me that he would bless four magazines of rounds for various firearms. I'm not sure how to respond to this. The character is a True Believer and I have previously allowed him to bless water (making holy water) using traditional prayers. They have also encountered a saint's medallion and a blessed silver crucifix, so these things do exist. But, I am not sure how I want to handle the issue of bullets or other mundane (i.e. no refresh cost) weapons.
                      Perhaps if he wanted to get a set of etching tools and engrave the Seal of Solomon on each of them, I would find that a more reasonable idea/investment. So, at the risk of sparking a lengthy religious debate, what should I allow in a case like this?


                    • Bruce Anderson
                      I don t play Dresden files, and neither have I seen the TV show or read the books, but as an Orthodox Christian I thought I d throw in my 2 cents about how
                      Message 10 of 13 , Oct 6, 2010
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                        I don't play Dresden files, and neither have I seen the TV show or read the books, but as an Orthodox Christian I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents about how relics and holy items are understood from a Christian perspective.  If you can use this in your game - great, otherwise please feel free to ignore my post, I don't want to be seen as proselytizing or starting a theological mud fight.  I am somewhat uncomfortable with converting elements of my faith into game stats, so please excuse any awkwardness.

                        A Saint is someone who through living a holy life, and participating in worship becomes infused with the Holy Spirit, relics are the remains of  that Saint or his own posessions (ie a prayer rope, rosary, prayer shawl, etc.) that have also become infused with the Spirit by being in proximity to the Saint and used to further his work.  Likewise, a Holy place is a location associated with a particular Saint where he served God.  Holy items are items blessed by a community (not just a priest alone) that are consecrated for worship.  Christian theology states that God is a person, not a force, thus using a holy item or relic for purposes not intended by God will not work.  Ultimately all power comes from God and he will see it used for his purposes only.  Throughout history there have been superstitious people that have believed that these items have power in themselves and have tried to use them wrongly, but if God does not allow these items to have power, then they will not.  These items are not understood as a spiritual battery.  They certainly would not be use-able in any way by someone not of the Christian faith (unless their use was to lead to that person's faith in God)'  For example, a priest or believer sprinkling Holy Water on a demon possessed individual will help in the exorcism, a non believer sprinkling holy water on a demon possessed individual will just get him wet.

                        Now. obviously in a modern supernatural game world things may not quite work that way, and you will need to adjust things for your world, but if you bring in some of these elements they will help to restrict the over-use of "blessed bullets" and "holy water hand grenades".  Perhaps making any character who wants to use these kinds of items take an appropriate aspect to show his religious affiliation (allowing you to compel his character on moral and/or spiritual choices)  Characters who try to use holy items without appropriate belief, could be in for a nasty surprise like this one from Acts 19:

                        13Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15(One day) the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.   

                        Anyway, I hope you can find something useful out of my ramblings.

                        Bruce

                        --
                        Bruce Anderson

                        “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
                             - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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