Making It Harder



So I’m Rereading the Dresden Series for the 3rd time… looking for all the odd exception based crap Butcher throws out that makes casting spells quirky. As I run across them I’m sticking game rules on them and shoving them here. Feedback/player interaction welcome.

Note that all bonuses are linked to existing game mechanics like Declarations and whatnot. I am not trying to give free bonuses, so much as giving options for existing FATE mechanics.

‘Magic Just Don’t Do That’ Caveat – Some things just flat out blow away player intentions due to the way Jim Butcher has heretofore presented the “rules” of his vision of magic.

  • Game mechanically these will function as Concessions, but you still don’t accomplish what you’re wanting to do. You’ll get a Fate Point for it like any other Concession, but it just flat out doesn’t work. Anything that modifies a roll by 6 or more (pro or con) may have this come into play. Call it a Frustration Point if you like.
  • For example, if you’re using Divination to track a bad guy and they take a shower and then stand in the morning sunlight… your spell may just flat out stop working, no matter what you rolled. Frustration Point to you. Try something new.

The Elements

  • “Lore” means affects Thaumaturgic spell Complexity
  • “Shifts” means affects Evocation
  • Fire
    • BURN IT, BURN IT WITH FIRE!!! – If you burn it, it’s “wiped” of sympathetic links/traces.
      • -2 Lore/Shifts = Lightly scorched
      • -4 Lore/Shifts = Burned but still recognizable
      • -8 Lore/Shifts = Like a charcoal briquette
      • -16 Lore/Shifts = Ashes
  • Water
    • Rinse Cycle – glub glub blub …. glub …
      • -2 Lore/Shifts = generic rain
      • -4 Lore/Shifts = heavy rain, overhead sprinklers
      • -6 Lore/Shifts = a good hot shower
        • Defensive Use: Taggable Scene Aspect “Under Flowing Water,” Taggable Maneuver off Athletics, Alertness, or Discipline “Good Scrubbing,” Taggable Declaration off Conviction or Lore “Wash It All Away”
      • -8 Lore/Shifts = under a torrent (fire hose, waterfall, etc.)
      • -16 Lore/Shifts = underwater (flowing – ocean, river, natural lake, water pipe, etc.)
  • Spirit
    • Sympathetic Links
      • -8 Lore/Shifts = Barely qualifies as a link (partial name, vague general description)
      • -4 Lore/Shifts = Crappy link (faint knowledge, no recent photo, no physical connection)
      • -2 Lore/Shifts = Fuzzy link (incomplete knowledge, fleeting acquaintance)
      • 0 Lore/Shifts = Bare Bones Link (Clearly in mind, memory of face in recent memory)
      • Free Declarations off something (Investigation, Alertness, Contacts, Scholarship, etc.)
        • +2 Lore/Shifts = Solid (knows what they look like, fragment of the name, imprint left behind that affects a sense – perfume, footprints, afterimage, whatever – I’m putting fingerprints here too even though you could argue finger oil is a body fluid)
        • +4 Lore/Shifts = Resonating (as per Solid, plus a belonging of some kind)
        • +8 Lore/Shifts = Blood (part of the body – hair, skin, fluids, etc.)
        • +16 Lore/Shifts = Full True Name (this pretty much counts as a Declaration off everything that matters – Alertness, Contacts, Empathy, Investigation, Lore, Presence, Rapport, Scholarship)
    • -6 Lore/Shifts = Morning Sunshine
      • Direct actual contact with the sunlight, things that never come into contact with direct morning sunlight use the “extending duration” table from the core book as normal. This is redone each morning, so if you want magic to last… keep it out of direct morning sunlight.
      • Since Morning Sunlight tends to blow away magic, this is mainly used defensively hence the slightly different way of presenting the 6 Lore/Shift modifier:
        • Defensive Use: Taggable Scene Aspect “Morning Sunlight”, Taggable Maneuver off Alertness, Discipline, Endurance, or Scholarship “Here Comes The Sun,” Taggable Declaration off Lore or Conviction “Behold the Morning’s Glory”

  • Ambient Energy

    • Stress (Evocation) = Obviously these free Stress points are the most “effective” when used instead of your own Stress box to draw power equal to Conviction.
    • Exchange (Thaumaturgy) = This is equal to a turn spent rolling Discipline to gain a value equal to Conviction… but let’s be real; “Ambient Energy” is really about Evocation.
  • Game mechanically these are Scene Declarations that can be converted into “free” Mental Stress (these stack). However, if converted, the benefit previously gained (Complexity boost or Shifts) is lost.
  • Scene Declaration of
    • 1 Stress/Exchange = A “Strongly Felt Emotion” = Rage, Lust, Love, Fear
      • Declaration via Empathy, Rapport, Presence, Intimidation, or possibly even Conviction, Deceit, or Discipline which would be less common. By “Strongly Felt” I am hinting that 4 Shifts or more would be required on the Declaration roll to lay it down.
    • 1 Stress/Exchange = A “Place of Power” = Ley lines, Genius Loci, Sacred Site, Natural Wonder, etc.
      • Declaration via Lore or Scholarship or possibly even Alertness, Endurance, Investigation, Resources, or Survival which would all be less common
    • 1 Stress/Exchange = “In The Whirl and Rush” = High energy surroundings; out in a lightning storm, in a hyped up crowd, out in an earthquake, stuff like that
      • Declaration via Empathy, Alertness, Endurance, or even Survival, Scholarship, or others
  • Consequences
    • This one seems like a no brainer, but since it’s not clearly delineated in the book I figured I should list it here. You can take Consequences for Stress (Evoc) points (remember a Minor Cons. is worth 2, and so forth) as well as for Complexity.
  • Making It Harder

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