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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Question Dresden Files RPG

    Has anyone played it yet? A few guys in my gaming group are devouring the books and I think at least one of them is gearing up to start a game. I haven't yet looked through the books (although I'm reading the novels) so I'm clueless how well it converts to a RPG. Any thoughts? Advice? Any input at all?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ninja_penguin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    I a huge fan of it. For some reason when I had first heard about the FATE 3.0 system and I tried to read its SRD, I didn't care for it at all. After reading the Dresden stuff, I went out and bought the non-setting book right away.

    It combines a bit of freeform and rules mechanics in a decent manner. Players and the DM need to always be thinking about things like aspects. They basically replace situational modifiers and the like, and invoking and compelling character aspects can take a little bit of getting used to, but are a lot of fun once you learn the flow of it.

    The system also gets mega points from me for being a modern fantasy system wherein a pure mortal is a viable character, and can actually be a threat to some things supernatural.
    Spoiler
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    "Square root of 912.04 is 30.2. It all seemed harmless. Square root of 912.04 is 30.2. It all seemed harmless. Square root of 912.04 is 30.2..."


    "It all seemed harmless..."

    Character Roster:

    Ami Nakamura - Self Taught Sorceress [Sacramento Occult]

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    Yep, been playing a few months. It's a decent system. It's also the best fiction to RPG conversion I've seen - the game does a good job of duplicating the feel of the books. My only real complaint is that it can seem 'metagamey' in play - and that appears to apply to all FATE games. For that matter, any game where you spend meta-game resources for in-game affects will have a similar issue. However FATE incorporates that as a core mechanic.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    I've not read the Jim Butcher books, only seen the TV series, but I liked what I saw of DFRPG. We're playing it on our next break from WFRP, run by one of the other players to give our GM a rest, too. Probably in the spring next year some time.
    Last edited by Kiero; 2010-12-23 at 08:08 PM.
    Wushu Open Reloaded
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    Everyone should go out and buy this. Why? Because then it might pave the way for a Codex Aleara RPG... and that thought kinda makes me giddy like a schoolgirl. (No, I've not played it, or read the books even. Just a Codex Alera fan).
    A man who dies fighting with his principles intact dies in glory. To expect enemies to follow the same code of honor defiles that honor, reducing it to a set of arbitrary rules.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    I really want to play it, but none of my friends read the books or are into RPGs. Maybe I can get my sister's group to let me participate.

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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    I've not the chance to play it, but I've read the rulebooks and it seems pretty cool. Fairly meta, but then the books are pretty meta as well; you really need to think about the attributes and functions of your character as a character, not a real person...could be really cool in practice.
    Avatar by Dizposition.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    Well, since this thread is conveniently here, I'll write up a my experiences and a plea for ideas.

    • First of all: The books. Are downright. Hilarious. They lean so heavily on the fourth wall that they almost turn it into a Klein bottle. It's written up as Billy, from the Dresden Files, writing up an RPG system to 'spread the information'. It includes notes from Harry, Bob, Billy, and one of Billy's friends scrawled in the margins, which, as mentioned, are hilarious.

    • It took forever to get character creation done. This may be due to the fact that my group has never done a FATE RPG, or that I am still several hours of sleep in the red from finals week, but it was a hell of a haul to figure out some rudiments of the system and cobble together characters.

    • On that subject, they make a seriously effort to prevent your characters from spontaneously meeting in a tavern somewhere. (Which.... My god. I just as-I-was-typing realized that my players carefully worked around this to all meet in a bar anyway. My god. I'll get to that later.) Anyway, they tout both "Character creation is a form of play as well" and that your character did not just pop into existence for this story; (s)he's been around and 'you' are only stepping into this as it starts to get REALLY interesting.

    • Basically a part of the previous point, they also try and make sure that you're weaving collaborative stories here, not just several individual backstories. There's a couple of sections for whose path you've crossed, some of which should be other PCs, or others should be NPCs/antagonists/allies.

    • The book, according to my group, (Though mostly only according to me feeling tired and fuzzy and a friend complaining. Take w/ salt.) is not laid out very well, or not worded very well in terms of explaining the system. I've got the general gist of the system- you have a stat, you roll 4d3 (They say d6s, but they're effectively turning them into d3s), 1 = -1, 2=0, 3=+1. So, for d3s, 1, 3, 2, 3 would be a -1+1+0+1=+1. For actual six-siders, those same rolls might look like 2, 5, 4, 6. (Again, '-1', '+1', '0', '+1'.) The result of the roll, ranging from -4 to +4, is added to the appropriate stat or skill, and the result is the 'Effort'. The 'Effort' is then compared to the difficulty to see whether you passed.

    • Which still leaves some of the specifics extremely incomprehensible, such as combat. Ran a combat, but was extremely confused about it, am near-certain I wasn't doing the initiative or attacks/damage right, and totally certain I was screwing up armor, hitpoints, and dodging/blocking. Hard to run a game like, that, yeah? Could be my fault, though. I'll give it a few months/half a dozen adventures because that's how long it took a pair of friends and I to beat the Dark Heresy (FFG) system into our heads in proper working order.

    • Attack and damage leads me to another point: Having been used to playing Grimdark Far-future Delta-Green-wannabe (No disrespect intended, I'm awful fond of Dark Heresy,), this system seems... Soft. Babying. WEAK. There was a paragraph in there actually suggesting that GMs might want to warn players when a combat was 'for keeps', 'lethal'. I'm not saying it's all that bad, this game is obviously a little story/RPing heavier than "Come with a backup character rolled up" Dark Heresy. (I exaggerate, but still.). Good thing, I suppose- it's a lot more effort to build up a DFRP character than all but a high-level DH character. (That whole aspects/background area.) Not necessarily bad, but it's going to take some adjusting to.

    • I Totally had one more point to type up down here, but forgot it while writing the previous one. It wasn't what I was after, but I'll settle for tossing in that the books are kind of spoiler-heavy.


    Alright, list listed, I'll move on to my group's progress/actions/OhGodWhys.

    Setting selection and character backstories:
    Spoiler
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    Started out with choosing a city. I'd heard a suggestion for a "What if Dresden had failed in Dead Beat, the Darkhallow went off, but the White Council beat off the Godbaby?" The suggestion was that, A, named characters are out of the way, B, a Games Workshop-like status-quo (middle of the war, nobody around to magically end it anytime soon,), and a (basically) nuked out Chicago being slowly and cautiously reclaimed by both mortal and supernatural powers, (ostensibly a terrorist WMD detonation is responsible for the Everybody Dead.), etc, etc.

    This was voted down. The next backup I thought my group would go for was San Francisco, the nearest "Famous" city to my gaming group. This was also voted down. The winner was New York; Massive, Urban, and while everybody in the group had been there for a bit, nobody actually knew enough to demand accuracy (which they weren't going to get,) we could make crap up. Described in the book as the "Vancouver Effect", I think.

    So one friend got out a New York travel guide, we printed out some of the sheets, and got to work on establishing the setting. They got to work on characters. There are three 'power levels' in terms of characters; "wet feet", "Waist deep", "Chest deep", and "In over your head". The former is basically pure mortal, maybe some extremely minor talent, the second can allow sorcerers, minor talents, and a few odd templates, such as changeling. Chest deep is the first point at which you can create a full-on wizard, and the 'drowning' level is, unsurprisingly, the place Harry is stuck most of the time. We decided on "Waist Deep".

    One of the locations that came up while flipping through the New York/Manhattan travel guide was "The Blue Note", a historic Jazz club, and fairly classy. A friend I shall refer to as Russian decided he wanted to create a half-ogre changeling. Alright. Decided his 'day job' was a jazz musician at that club.

    Friend I shall refer to as "Gun Nerd" (Not the scary kind. He just... nerd. He knows damn near everything there is to know about various guns.) decided he wanted to play a 'gun-mage' style character; that's what he listed as his High Concept. Decided on a Focused Practitioner class, (focusing on kinetomancy, force-magic,) who happened to use his grandfather's Mosin-Nagant rifle as his 'focus'; Pre WWII, no electronics, nothing to get touchy with magic. It's basically his version of Harry's Staff or blasting rod. (It gives him better... Discipline or Conviction? I think conviction. Conviction is power, Discipline is control. Anyway, basically Harry's blasting rod, except he can use it to kill people without magic, if it happens to be loaded. (You know, without breaking one of the Laws.)

    So, fleshing out character backgrounds; Gun Nerd decided that his character, Mark, born third generation immigrant, had the Talent. His mother hadn't, but his grandmother had. His mother wanted him to ignore it, drop it, be normal. His grandmother wanted to teach him; he, being a rebellious type, decided he wanted to learn how to do awesome physics-raping magic, and chose his grandmother. After a while, he started to realize why his grandmother wasn't invited around very often; she was an ambitious and unpleasant person. He struck out on his own, running away. (I was sort of getting Harry/Justin-DuMorne vibes here, but whatever. Gun Nerds' a good player, better friend. No problems as of what little we've done yet, and in the event that problems occur, I'm confident just letting him know they exist will be enough. Like I said, he's a total bro.)

    Anyway, continuing; Mark's grandmother was rather upset over his abrupt disappearance. She called in a favor with one of the courts of Faerie, (hasn't been decided yet which court David Ray King (Russian's character) is beholden to,) and Russian's character, David Ray King, half-ogre jazz musician, got ordered by his godmother/father/Faerie superior to Hunt Mark Down and Disable his rear. Which ended up in a fairly flashy and violent battle between the two, where they managed to beat each other to within an inch of their respective lives.

    Found, taken to a hospital, drugged, treated, and (due to clerical errors,) put in beds in the same room. With one having an Ogre's regeneration, and the other having a wizard's endurance, they were both conscious, but basically immobile, (though I imagine they shouldn't have been conscious at all due to drugs, but were due to aforementioned extenuating factors.), they proceeded to start talking, and really hit it off. Mark mentioned somewhere in there that he needed a job, King asked if he could play an instrument. (Blue Note was hiring.) No, it turns out, but he could mix drinks, so with a good word from King, Mark was hired as a bartender at the Blue Note.

    Character #3, Shaun, played by Player Who Can Pull A Nice Irish Accent, was a bit slower in the making than the rest, but ended up being a sorcerer and ex-IRA arsonist. He got indebted to the Summer Court when he decided he wanted to quit and start anew, and get the heck out of Ireland. Ended up in New York, playing Bass in a nice little jazz club called... wait for it... the Blue Note. Small world, eh?

    Anyway, so they needed an excuse for being anything more than passing work acquaintances. I recommended something that got an 'eh' reception, but they took it; a few weeks back, Gun-mage Mark noticed one of the club's ostensibly rich-and-brainless ladies warming up to Shaun. He, however, happened to know that this particular one, Samantha Williams, was actually a white court vampire. When the left together, Mark went over to David, told him what was going on, and they figured they better go and save Shaun.

    Shaun, for his part, once warned and cognizant of 'vampire, mind-tricks, trying to eat you', bashed her in the face with his bass case, then ran for it. Cue introductions, explanations, at the very least getting to know each other a little.


    Oh god. I've written up a simply HORRENDOUS amount here. Luckily I'm finally on to our rather-short gameplay. (We started at midnight. Cut us some slack. And then some more, because we need it.)


    Long narration of our session incoming. Please forgive, it's kind of late for me to be typing all this stuff up.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Getting off work one night, (night/jazz club, ~02:00,) their boss and the club owner, Freddy Cole, (part of the 'creating the city setting' involves listing some of the interesting places and faces to go with them,) who'd been kind of short with them recently, came up and asked whether they'd had a run in with Ms. Williams a few weeks ago. Turned out she had been being inconvenient about it, causing trouble because of it and all. Did not like having her food stolen from her metaphorical grocery bag, though of course they can't explain this to not-clued-in Cole.

    Well, with them established as having caused him some trouble, and being asked to stay away from clientele in the immediate future, he also asks if they can go pick something up from the docks; David King has a car, an elderly 50s thing, and they've been established to owe Cole for dealing with their fallout. Fair enough, he gives them instructions and the key to the warehouse, and off they go. I ask for a drive test from Russian at the moment, since King is driving his car, and he rolls 4d6 for a result who's specifics I can't remember, but which was pretty good. Added to King's drive skill, he was aces.

    While that was mostly just to practice the systems' 'test' mechanics, he did pretty darn well, so I ruled that they got there, unlocked, walked in, etc, to find the warehouse lights all off, and the only illumination provided by glow of cooling metal; it seems that someone had sliced a corner off of the shipping container near the one they wanted. Evidently with a beam of fire and/or laser of some kind. They all make Alertness tests, get brief warning of casting somewhere, there's a flash of a red evocation of some kind further in the warehouse, some fighting, and then what sounds like them bursting through the far wall of the warehouse and out into the night.

    Mark had responded to the sounds of combat by running to retrieve his rifle from David's car; Shaun by lighting up a ring, (his focus was a set of rings; all together, they are his staff-equivalent.). With trouble evidently passed, they set about retrieving what they were sent to retrieve, (I BSed it to be in imported wine rack for the club. Come on, it was really la- early.) and find it sustained minor damage; a 'laser' like beam seemed to have burned through one side of the shipping crate, melted some glass over the rack, and out the other side.

    Well, you can lead a PC to plothooks, but you can't make him bite. They decide to just deliver it as is, writing it off as 'damaged in transit'. Cole isn't too happy, but thanks the for picking it up, and they head home.

    They wake up ~16:00, (night workers, and all that,) and each receive a friendly chat from the also not-clued-in NYPD, as there was a break-in in the warehouse they were reported to be in last night, yes, yes, thank you, sir, incidentally, if you're planning on leaving town any time soon, do let us know. They answer the questions, then head off to work.

    At the club, while Shaun and King (mostly King, he's the sax player, and actually rolled the +7/'Epic' category for perform) are doing an epic jazz night, dear Ms. Samantha Williams use the low-point in the bar's work to come up, order a drink, and make some threats at Mark. Mark takes it in stride, ignores it.

    Finally, because I wanted to try combat before we all crashed for the night. (Morning, more like,), they went out to hitch rides home with David (paying for gas, naturally,) to find that someone had gone at David's beloved 1950s Chevy's engine with wire cutters and a screwdriver. At about this time distant laughter started drifting through the mostly-abandoned parking structure, and four near-shambling shapes appeared. Shaun and Mark made the lore rolls, identified them are Renfields (Black Court Vampire! Wooo!), and started preparing for a fight.

    Mark is at the top of the as-I-understand-it Initiative order, and goes first. Having unwrapped his Nagant at the first sounds of uber-sinister laughter, he decides (with some encouragement from Player Who Can Pull A Nice Irish Accent) that Renfields aren't covered by the laws of magic. (Note: Gun Nerd has only read up to Summer Knight, PWCPANIA has read them all, (as have I,) and Russian has read up through Death Masks. He took PWCPANIA's word for it because it was late and I didn't think of reading/showing him the 'Renfield' entry in the 'Our World' book. I also used some stupid tactics for the Black Court type, as will cover in a moment,)...

    That was along parenthesis-based tangent. Anyway, Mark decides renfields aren't covered by the laws of magic, proceeds to try a kinetic blast at one of them, and succeeds spectacularly, blowing it back across the parking structure, and out into the street. (they were on the third floor.) Shaun follows suit, leaving what will probably be identified as human remains after some energetic pyromancy. David Ray King, having carefully removed his nice 'work' jacket and gloves, proceeds to go FEESTS! MADE OF STEEL! on a third renfield.

    Now it should have happened earlier, but Black Court B[censored] decides to make an entrance at this point, floating in through the window in gaseous form. King, who's much farther away, rolls an amazing Alertness, and Mark, who's right there, passes his alertness, and they both notice this happening. In Mark's case, just barely in time to start warding of super-powered claws and strength with his rifle, screaming and buying time. (Like I said, I'm pretty sure we were doing damage and blocking/dodging incorrectly.)

    His turn, he tries to disengage, fails, Shaun doesn't want to fry him, so nails the last renfield slightly less spectacularly than previously, and King rushes to the rescue with his aforementioned FEESTS of STEEL. A few rounds of horribly butchered combat (as in, done incorrectly,) later, he actually inflicts enough damage that BCB decides to run for it, going gaseous and float/flying away. End session.


    So finally, if anyone actually read through all that, (I thank you. And pity you, you poor person.), I'm kind of in need of ideas; I've no actual plans for any of the events, just figured they were events that I could build off of when I finally figured out some plans. A few ideas I was tossing around:

    The wine rack they picked up is cursed- Not sure how to make that play out, or what to do about it.

    BCB was a hit called in by White Court Samantha Williams, whom BCB owed a favor.

    And a much longer-term detail that I thought would make great campaign-fodder, New York City is where the White Council finally whacked Kemmler, author of the Darkhallow, back in the sixties. It's still recovering, sort of; Kemmler kept the other supernatural nasties out, so they're slowly moving back in. Kemmler himself is pretty much dead, but not quite. I was thinking perhaps the badass necromancer is somehow lingering on, perhaps as a ghost, even, and interacting via possessing small animals/indigents. (IE, spying through flocks of pigeons, using a hobo to complete a little task for him, etc,). It would make a decent behind-the-scenes enemy, I think, and also allows me to write down the amazingly-ominous "A Murder Of Crows" as a threat on the city sheet. (Already have one player kind of worried, and I haven't even done anything yet.)


    Anyway, I'll try to answer what questions I can, am open to advice, ideas, or corrections on how the game works, if I'm Doing It Wrong.
    "Simon Ten Broek loves to draw attention;
    Simon Ten Broek spent years in bleak detention;
    Simon Ten Broek, with crimes too vile to mention;
    Simon Ten Broek won't live to see his pension."

    10:07 PM [Matthias] And the Kohr-Ah are all "GIT THEM DUKE BOYS!"

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane View Post
    Which still leaves some of the specifics extremely incomprehensible, such as combat. Ran a combat, but was extremely confused about it, am near-certain I wasn't doing the initiative or attacks/damage right, and totally certain I was screwing up armor, hitpoints, and dodging/blocking. Hard to run a game like, that, yeah? Could be my fault, though. I'll give it a few months/half a dozen adventures because that's how long it took a pair of friends and I to beat the Dark Heresy (FFG) system into our heads in proper working order.
    Combat in FATE is really quite simple. Initiative is either based on Alertness/Perception (with ties determined by Resolve - which is split into Conviction and Discipline in DFRPG), you go in the order of highest to lowest. Or if you prefer, you can roll at the start, or for each exchange. Long as it's consistent, it doesn't matter which you use.

    Everything is an opposed roll; attacker chooses what Skill they're using to attack, and defender what they're using to resist it. That's it. There is no "blocking/dodging" because it's already there in the opposed roll made by the defender.

    On to damage. Margin of success (if there's a hit) is added to damage, which is based on the type of weapon. Armour absorbs incoming Stress. What's left over affects the character. Now unfortunately, DFRPG uses a variant of SotC's "roll up" damage, which I think is both counter-intuitive and not particularly decisive either.

    Starblazer Adventures and Legends of Anglerre use a damage system which, IMO is a hell of a lot better. Stress boxes are like hit points; take 3 points that you couldn't soak with armour or Consequences, and you check off three boxes. Not just the third box.

    The latter also has a helpful summary of the rules in one page. Similar, but not the same as DFRPG.

    In fact, check out this summary of the differences between the various FATE games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane View Post
    Attack and damage leads me to another point: Having been used to playing Grimdark Far-future Delta-Green-wannabe (No disrespect intended, I'm awful fond of Dark Heresy,), this system seems... Soft. Babying. WEAK. There was a paragraph in there actually suggesting that GMs might want to warn players when a combat was 'for keeps', 'lethal'. I'm not saying it's all that bad, this game is obviously a little story/RPing heavier than "Come with a backup character rolled up" Dark Heresy. (I exaggerate, but still.). Good thing, I suppose- it's a lot more effort to build up a DFRP character than all but a high-level DH character. (That whole aspects/background area.) Not necessarily bad, but it's going to take some adjusting to.
    You've obviously not had people tossing offensive magic around. One of the complaints about DFRPG's magic is that it can result in even powerful enemies being one-shotted when they get hit with 15 points of Stress from a single attack.

    Furthermore, FATE rewards teamwork. The way you really do damage is having people putting temporary Aspects via manever, so that someone else can free-tag them for an additional +2 on the roll.

    But no, FATE is not an intrinsically deadly system (though it can be, very easily - change the method of handling Stress and it becomes much moreso), and besides which being taken out doesn't mean dead. That's down to negotiation between player and GM, especially if a concession is taken before it reaches that stage.
    Last edited by Kiero; 2010-12-24 at 08:19 AM.
    Wushu Open Reloaded
    Actual Play: The Shadow of the Sun (Acrozatarim's WFRP campaign) as Pawel Hals and Mass: the Effecting - Transcendence as Russell Ortiz.
    Now running: Tyche's Favourites, a historical ACKS campaign set around Massalia 300BC.
    In Sanity We Trust Productions - our podcasting site where you can hear our dulcet tones, updated almost every week.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane View Post
    Which still leaves some of the specifics extremely incomprehensible, such as combat. Ran a combat, but was extremely confused about it, am near-certain I wasn't doing the initiative or attacks/damage right, and totally certain I was screwing up armor, hitpoints, and dodging/blocking.
    Initiative is fairly easy, it's just an Alertness roll which can be overridden by Inhuman Speed and faster. As with most rolls, players can use fate points and aspects for bonuses or re-rolls.

    Armor can last through multiple attacks while blocks are all or nothing - destroyed / ended if blown through. Attacks are opposed rolls as Kiero mentions.

    Attack and damage leads me to another point: Having been used to playing Grimdark Far-future Delta-Green-wannabe (No disrespect intended, I'm awful fond of Dark Heresy,), this system seems... Soft. Babying. WEAK. There was a paragraph in there actually suggesting that GMs might want to warn players when a combat was 'for keeps', 'lethal'. I'm not saying it's all that bad, this game is obviously a little story/RPing heavier than "Come with a backup character rolled up" Dark Heresy. (I exaggerate, but still.). Good thing, I suppose- it's a lot more effort to build up a DFRP character than all but a high-level DH character. (That whole aspects/background area.) Not necessarily bad, but it's going to take some adjusting to.
    Just remember, Stress is a character's 'toughness' while Consequences are his 'health'. Once you've actually wounded someone (he's taken one or more Consequences) it takes much longer for him to heal. The Stress boxes are just minor bruising and exhaustion that go away between scenes.

    A wizard tossing some attack evocations around can be extremely deadly. At least until he tires out. :) Others need weapons or Inhuman+ Strength to compete and, even then, probably aren't hitting as hard as most casters.

    And a much longer-term detail that I thought would make great campaign-fodder, New York City is where the White Council finally whacked Kemmler, author of the Darkhallow, back in the sixties. It's still recovering, sort of; Kemmler kept the other supernatural nasties out, so they're slowly moving back in. Kemmler himself is pretty much dead, but not quite. I was thinking perhaps the badass necromancer is somehow lingering on, perhaps as a ghost, even, and interacting via possessing small animals/indigents. (IE, spying through flocks of pigeons, using a hobo to complete a little task for him, etc,). It would make a decent behind-the-scenes enemy, I think, and also allows me to write down the amazingly-ominous "A Murder Of Crows" as a threat on the city sheet. (Already have one player kind of worried, and I haven't even done anything yet.)
    Given that it took the entire White Council to kill Kemmler, some sort of residual effects make sense. Don't think I'd bring Kemmler himself back, but others accessing (and being corrupted by) remnants of his power could give your PCs plenty of difficulties! :)
    -
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    The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    One big reason why you hang a 'lethal/non-lethal' sign over things is to let players have an idea of if they really want to be using those consequences. Mild consequences regenerate themselves pretty fast. Moderate and severe ones hang around for a while, and are still available for compelling (and occasionally, creative invoking). Given that whoever knocks somebody past that threshhold gets to say 'okay, this is what happens', I feel it's only fair to let players know that 'you die' is coming up if you get taken out.

    And 'non-lethal' doesn't mean 'nothing happens'. If somebody gets taken out, lets kidnap them, or do something else nice and villany to them.

    And yes, Dresden-FATE seriously rewards teamwork, and evocations. Wizards willing to pump out a few points on the mental stress track can lay down some serious firepower for a couple rounds. Tagging other aspects is a good way to rack up decent attack rolls as well.

    Also as the GM, keep in mind that given that everybody rolls the Fudge dice, you should plan for everybody to roll a bunch of zeroes when you're looking at how things stack up. So you don't want to give huge defensive skills to enemies unless they're supposed to be ninjas/unstoppable/the juggernaut. And in those cases you probably want things like the boosted speed, strength, or toughness to drive the point home. My players tend to go 'okay, we can beat this!' if it's a case of huge skills and get clobbered, but are more wary when it's obvious there is something supernatural around.
    Spoiler
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    "Square root of 912.04 is 30.2. It all seemed harmless. Square root of 912.04 is 30.2. It all seemed harmless. Square root of 912.04 is 30.2..."


    "It all seemed harmless..."

    Character Roster:

    Ami Nakamura - Self Taught Sorceress [Sacramento Occult]

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    Wow. Responses. This board is pretty awesome, I need to come here more often.

    Alright... Initiative: I believe I have that in hand; between what I found for said combat, and your explanations, it makes sense.

    Combat:

    Attacks is made by opposed test of [attacker's attack] vs. [defenders dodge/parry]. Damage is the weapon's class plus any modifiers (ie., unnatural strength) Defense... Armor is reduced from damage, soak style, and the rest is tallied up as 'stresses', temporary hitpoints. If it ever exceed stresses, then players can reduce stresses in exchange for a consequence. Consequences do NOT heal between each encounter.

    Evocation: I saw three examples of it, and yeah, it seemed ded killy. Hadn't seen quite enough to come to an opinion, but in retrospect, it did seem to have a 3/3 overkill rate.


    @ninja_Penguin: Ah, that does make sense, in retrospect. Thanks.

    And @ Raum: I had no intention of actually brining him back, (ye gods, no.) I have an ingrained aversion to DMs doing.... things with official characters. I figured at best, they're going to conveniently prevent his reincarnation/resurrection plans from succeeding. Perhaps keep in conflict with his minions/nu-cult. (As his old one might very well wipe the floor with them.)

    Also, wondering about whether bumping a Black Court is within reasonable accomplishments for the group I described, or whether it was due to horribly erroneous combat running.

    Finally, I'm not just willing, but desperate for any plothooks or potential ongoings that I could work in this setting. I'm still getting the feel for how storytelling works here.
    "Simon Ten Broek loves to draw attention;
    Simon Ten Broek spent years in bleak detention;
    Simon Ten Broek, with crimes too vile to mention;
    Simon Ten Broek won't live to see his pension."

    10:07 PM [Matthias] And the Kohr-Ah are all "GIT THEM DUKE BOYS!"

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    I'm not at all familiar with FATE (just DnD/Star Wars, WoD, Deadlands & Exalted). So our group may end up having a situation like Kane described. (Especially if the one guy who's gung-ho ends up trying to run. He ran Mage for us and it went poorly.)

    I'm up to White Night, one guy is on Proven Guilty, three have read them all, one guy just started Storm Front. Finally our last guy hasn't read any of them. (He's game for anything though.) Since the system is spoiler-ish, we'd have to warn the guy who just started of that...I don't know if he'd mind or not.

    RE: Meta-gamey feel of it. That usually feels strange to/bugs me until I've played in the system for awhile. Thanks for the heads up on that.

    Are the basics up on the 'nets yet? (Similar to the SRD for D&D?) We've only got one book for our whole group - which as you can see is a big group, especially for not knowing the FATE system. I imagine we'll take literally forever with char creation. (I'm guessing no since Kiero didn't link it.)

    Thanks for all the info, guys. I really enjoy the novels and the two guys who've devoured the system books were laughing the whole way through it. So it seems like it'd be fun.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    The official .PDFs were distributed to preorderers prior to the actual release of the books. That was what we used initially. (Despite the fact that none of us preordered it. Shut up.)

    Naturally, these have somehow been leaked online, and I could totally not direct you to them if you requested it via PM. Because that would be wrong.

    Unless you're talking about a SRD 3.5 equivalent for the FATE system as a whole, I suspect that probably exists, but I don't know. EDIT: This what you're talking about?


    Random note: Character Idea I want to try: White Council thaumaturgist, the bare minimum of power and magical skills necessary, (decent lore and discipline, though. Maybe just decent lore.) With the best rating in resources I can get. Financial Wizard! I can do some decent magic given preparation and no pressure, but I can also acquire whatever I need to amplify my magic to the desired level. (Solid gold summoning ring? Of course!)

    Just sounds interesting.
    Last edited by Kane; 2010-12-24 at 12:33 PM.
    "Simon Ten Broek loves to draw attention;
    Simon Ten Broek spent years in bleak detention;
    Simon Ten Broek, with crimes too vile to mention;
    Simon Ten Broek won't live to see his pension."

    10:07 PM [Matthias] And the Kohr-Ah are all "GIT THEM DUKE BOYS!"

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane View Post
    Wow. Responses. This board is pretty awesome, I need to come here more often.
    In all honesty, if you want to talk about FATE in general and DFRPG in particular, you'll have much better luck with RPGnet. Your thread won't vanish in under a day from the first two pages. At this very moment there are four active DFRPG threads on the front page there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liriel View Post
    Are the basics up on the 'nets yet? (Similar to the SRD for D&D?) We've only got one book for our whole group - which as you can see is a big group, especially for not knowing the FATE system. I imagine we'll take literally forever with char creation. (I'm guessing no since Kiero didn't link it.)
    Have a look at Tri-Fold FATE for a simple summary of the rules. They really aren't difficult.

    Characters are defined by three things: Aspects, Skills and Stunts. Aspects are the user-defined, hand-wavy, complicated bits that tie into the Fate Point economy. They take the most effort, but also produce the most awesome when it works. It's really important that players take the time to think about them (and be willing to change them as they're group-creating characters to fit together better) and that GMs have a good handle on them to use as prompts.

    Skills are the concrete bit of the system. They define, just like in every other RPG that has skills of some sort, what a character can do. They're ranked according to what bonus they give, and are used for all opposed rolls.

    Stunts are again concrete and are a way of bending or breaking the rules. Unlike Aspects, they're always-on and don't cost FPs (usually) to activate. They're like Feats in D&D. Except you don't need them to do things.

    I tend to find the easiest way to do chargen is to start with Skills. What do you want your character's defining abilities to be? Then do your Stunts, since you're usually picking them from a list related to your main Skils.

    Lastly do Aspects by going through the Phases and talking them through with everyone. You can even leave the Aspects and generate them on the fly as you play.

    Everything in FATE is an opposed roll where each side picks a Skill, and you roll. Higher result wins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane View Post
    Unless you're talking about a SRD 3.5 equivalent for the FATE system as a whole, I suspect that probably exists, but I don't know. EDIT: This what you're talking about?
    No, that's old FATE 2.0. It's a toolkit from which to build your own FATE games, but hardly a complete game in and of itself.

    There are two SRDs freely available for FATE 3.0, Spirit of the Century (pulp adventure) and Diaspora (hard-ish sci-fi). Two different takes on the engine, SotC is the progenitor of all incarnations of FATE 3.0.
    Last edited by Kiero; 2010-12-24 at 01:07 PM.
    Wushu Open Reloaded
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    Now running: Tyche's Favourites, a historical ACKS campaign set around Massalia 300BC.
    In Sanity We Trust Productions - our podcasting site where you can hear our dulcet tones, updated almost every week.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ninja_penguin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    For a wizard, I recommend conviction and discipline a little bit above Lore, but that's a bit more of personal preference.

    Conviction is a key point mostly because of the fact that it not only is the cap on 'shifts I can pull before taking stress', it also contributes to your mental stress track, which means that if you have to worry about backlash and the like, conviction will help you soak some of that as well. It's your 'oomph' factor for your evocations, and a bit of your speed factor for your thaumaturge. If you have low conviction, your thaumaturgy can take ages to go off, which could be a Bad Thing if you need to do it under pressure, and not 'okay, I do that ritual'.

    Discipline is necessary for both evocation and thaumaturge stuff, as it determines how many shifts you can try and safely channel. If you're high discipline, low conviction, your evocations will be low powered but more accurate, compared to somebody who has higher conviction and lower discipline.

    Lore can be skimped on a little bit, but the higher your lore, the more batmany you can end up being. Lore caps out how high your enchanted items can get, your highest focus item bonus (I think, away from book), and number or rote spells you can cast. Rote spells are nice for high conviction/low discipline types because you can still cast the spell if you flub the discipline roll, and not have to worry about feedback or fallout everywhere.


    As an example, I made a sorceress for a game on here a while ago, and I trotted her out again for a combo playtest/demo of the game for my gaming group, as they all went mortal-ish, and I wanted to demo the spellcasting side of the game. It was a bit close to DMPC-ing for my tastes, but I wanted to have a character in there who was specifically doing some of the things that I think you need to know about the FATE system to keep it from just sucking or being boring.

    Anyway, she had Superb (+5) conviction, Great(?)(+4) discipline, and Average(?)(+2) Lore. So basically, the following was true:

    1. She's buzzing with magical power, but she's not too keen on the details of how it al works. For rote spells I took a LIGHTNING, LIGHTNING EVERyWHERE attack spell, and a variant on the quick veil spell from the book, boosted up to her power level allowed for rotes.

    2. When she starts winging it with spells, she quickly becomes collateral damage woman. I'd take some feedback for the close misses (allowing the spell to go off at full power, but taking mental or physical stress. Pro-tip, a wizard will last longer if you shunt feedback to the physical stress track, especially if you're winging it above your conviction level, which means you're taking mental stress hits as well), and assign feedback to the crappy roles. I used this as an example of assigning aspects into the scene and tagging them, with HEY THAT HOLE WASN'T THERE A MOMENT AGO and POWER IS OUT NOW as aspects onto the scenes when her evocations were raining property damage about. I know one player was grumpy so I quickly had her take herself later on.

    3. Speaking of which, I demonstrated how magic users can self-inflict consequences for various oomph effects, and a little bit of fun with the potion rules. I had created a strength potion as an example (bonus shifts to might. Starts at +2 due to her Lore cap, but with potions, you can boost it with fate points and the like). So in what I decided was going to be her last fight with the group for the demo, I had her chug the potion, and self-inflict her entire consequence range (TIRED, TORN MUSCLES, BROKEN HANDS, respectively), to boost the potion up to +8, and then flipped a car over onto the whatsit of the fight (which, I'll admit, was complete self gratification on my part). She then was retired to the safe house with her hands propped up in casts and passed out.

    Group did fine with the final fight of the demo though, now that they had an idea of how to creatively tag and create aspects. For example, during the fight in the warehouse one person used a fate point to declare that there was a sprinkler system in the place. There was already the aspect of ACTIVE GAS LINES in the area, and they caused an explosion, prompting me to put DRENCHED IN WATER on everybody in the zone, which somebody then tagged to dampen the spell slingers next attack.
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    "Square root of 912.04 is 30.2. It all seemed harmless. Square root of 912.04 is 30.2. It all seemed harmless. Square root of 912.04 is 30.2..."


    "It all seemed harmless..."

    Character Roster:

    Ami Nakamura - Self Taught Sorceress [Sacramento Occult]

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dresden Files RPG

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane View Post
    Combat:

    Attacks is made by opposed test of [attacker's attack] vs. [defenders dodge/parry]. Damage is the weapon's class plus any modifiers (ie., unnatural strength) Defense... Armor is reduced from damage, soak style, and the rest is tallied up as 'stresses', temporary hitpoints. If it ever exceed stresses, then players can reduce stresses in exchange for a consequence. Consequences do NOT heal between each encounter.
    Looks pretty accurate. Do remember Stress isn't like hitpoints - if you take a 3 point stress hit only the third box is filled in, you still have boxes 1 and 2 for other hits. (This is what Kiero was alluding to earlier...some versions of FATE would fill in all three boxes from a three stress hit.)

    Evocation: I saw three examples of it, and yeah, it seemed ded killy. Hadn't seen quite enough to come to an opinion, but in retrospect, it did seem to have a 3/3 overkill rate.
    Yep, most pistols are weapon:2 and rifles weapon:3. A wizard good at evocation can easily throw around weapon:5 spells - higher with a bit of work. Then add the shifts from Discipline which is likely one of their highest skills... Luckily for the rest of us, they can't usually throw more than three to five without taking consequences. The shooter can keep firing as long as he has ammo.

    And @ Raum: I had no intention of actually brining him back, (ye gods, no.) I have an ingrained aversion to DMs doing.... things with official characters. I figured at best, they're going to conveniently prevent his reincarnation/resurrection plans from succeeding. Perhaps keep in conflict with his minions/nu-cult. (As his old one might very well wipe the floor with them.)
    The cult sounds fun...better yet, several cults competing to see who would be 'most favored'...

    Also, wondering about whether bumping a Black Court is within reasonable accomplishments for the group I described, or whether it was due to horribly erroneous combat running.
    With good tactics and planning almost anyone can be brought down. Even by pure humans (assuming they can satisfy any catches). So it's certainly reasonable.

    It's also worth pointing out that not all BCVs are created equal. They may have taken down a young vamp...the next one they run into may be smarter / more experienced / more powerful. :)

    Finally, I'm not just willing, but desperate for any plothooks or potential ongoings that I could work in this setting. I'm still getting the feel for how storytelling works here.
    What are your city themes, threats, and aspects? I recommend using those for inspiration. Those you can tie to PC aspects are often best.

    For example, one of our city's threats was "Unreality Incursion" (many portals to the Nevernever and factions on the other side trying to take advantage of that.) One of the PCs was a scion of the Morrigan...so one of the factions attempting incursion is a group of Fomorians. Another ongoing plot revolves around a clued-in triad criminal element and a PC cop. With some fae stirring the pot and a few anthropologists who found, and became addicted to using, a few hexenwolf belts - well lets just say things haven't been simple for our poor PCs. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Liriel View Post
    RE: Meta-gamey feel of it. That usually feels strange to/bugs me until I've played in the system for awhile. Thanks for the heads up on that.
    Yeah, still getting used to it myself. DFRPG has been my first foray into FATE.

    Are the basics up on the 'nets yet? (Similar to the SRD for D&D?) We've only got one book for our whole group - which as you can see is a big group, especially for not knowing the FATE system. I imagine we'll take literally forever with char creation. (I'm guessing no since Kiero didn't link it.)
    Here are a few links:

    Thanks for all the info, guys. I really enjoy the novels and the two guys who've devoured the system books were laughing the whole way through it. So it seems like it'd be fun.
    Hope you have fun!

    *Not DFRPG but useful for those new to FATE.
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    -- Paraphrased from Elsa Maxwell
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    -- Paul Graham in Keep Your Identity Small

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