- Thanks. That make sense for the genre and the rules. ... Since this is supposed to be about killing by accident, and people are referencing DresdenMessage 1 of 82 , Mar 14 3:34 PMView SourceThanks. That make sense for the genre and the rules.
From: Travis Casey
Sent: Mar 14, 2013 4:43 PM
Subject: Re: [FateRPG] Taken Out -- can you kill someone by accident?Since this is supposed to be about killing by accident, and people are referencing Dresden specifically, I thought a little note appropriate:In the Dresdenverse, it should be noted that *intent* matters a great deal when dealing with magic. As Harry tells us, you can't do anything with magic that you don't believe in - and that's a big part of why the White Council forbids killing by magic. In order to do that, you have to truly believe that it is *right* for you to be judge, jury, and executioner. That it is right for you to take someone else's life from them.That's why the Wardens kill by means of enchanted swords and other weapons: because those work according to the laws of physics, not those of magic, and killing someone with a sword - even an enchanted one - does not require that you have absolute certainty that it is right that you do so.Now, we've seen plenty of times in the Dresden books that once summoned, magical fire behaves just like real fire. Thus, it is possible to kill someone by accident with magic - use it to burn down a building that you don't think anyone's in, for example. Or use a lance of force to break down a door or wall, not knowing that someone's on the other side.Indeed, Harry's pretty sure that he's accidentally killed human beings, although he can't be certain, given the circumstances. But the Council didn't try to come after him for that, even though they had good reason to want to pin something on him. Why? Because intent matters with magic. Accidentally killing someone, when you did not know they were there, does not truly violate the Laws.On the other hand, though, this implies something else as well: attacks always carry a risk of killing. Even if you are trying to disable someone, or to frighten them, when you throw fire and force at a human foe, you're running the risk of killing them. Thus, I would say that in such a case, even an "accidental" death is a violation of the Laws. You knew you were risking someone's death, and, in order to successfully cast that spell, you must have believed that you had the right to risk that person's life.Which brings us back to why the Wardens use swords, and Harry uses guns and fists: knowingly throwing potentially lethal magic at human beings on a regular basis skirts that line, and slowly numbs the practitioner to the idea that they're dealing with other people's lives, bringing them closer to becoming a warlock.Thus, in the game, I'd say that if someone deliberately used magic to harm a person, and the group decides to use a compel or concession to have that person die... then the caster has just earned their Lawbreaker trait. On the other hand, if they weren't trying to hurt anyone, and kill someone through lack of knowledge that they were there, that shouldn't earn the trait - although it still might trigger an investigation by the Wardens, and their verdict might not be in accordance with the game mechanics....
On Mar 14, 2013, at 3:19 PM, Fred Hicks <evilhat@...> wrote:
This is very much in the territory of compels and concessions.On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM, Lisa Steele <steelelaw@...> wrote:If a PC takes out a foe, they get to decide the terms. So can a character kill someone by accident? This is particularly an issue in Dresden where killing someone by magic breaks one of the laws of magic.--
Co-President, Evil Hat Productions, LLC - www.evilhat.com
Freelance Layoutist * Game Publishing Blogger - www.deadlyfredly.com
For "real time" updates: http://twitter.com/fredhicks http://gplus.to/fredhicks
- Dresden s apprentice Molly gets into trouble (of the capital punishment variety) for helping a friend get over drug addiction by messing with their mind. TheMessage 82 of 82 , Mar 15 10:01 PMView SourceDresden's apprentice Molly gets into trouble (of the capital punishment variety) for helping a friend get over drug addiction by messing with their mind. The intention was purely helpful, but the outcome was horrible and lawbreaking. Because of the intention, she barely got to keep her head with the Sword of Damocles hanging there, but I think she would still gain the Lawbreaker aspect. Much like when Harry killed his uncle in self-defense.It seems like Harry Dresden often beats himself up with the phrase "Actions have consequences."Still, I don't like the idea of taking control of a character away from a player. So, I'm in Fred's camp with the compels and consequences. If an accident could happen, and it could make the story better, slide a fate point their way for a compel.