Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Becq

Pages: [1]
DFRPG / Healing in DFRPG
« on: June 08, 2012, 12:06:12 AM »
I'm curious how other tables approach healing spells in DFRPG.  Do you:
1) Not allow them at all; characters must heal 'normally' (or with a Recovery power, if they have it) and healing magic can only provide justification to begin the healing process (as described on YS284).
2) Allow limited healing along the lines of allowing a wound to be reduced by one level (per the Reiki Healing spell on YS300 which contradicts what is stated on YS284).
3) Extrapolate on the sample in YS300 to allow healing of any amount, with a sufficiently high complexity spell.
4) Allow healing by way of thaumaturgy-generated 'borrowing' of a Recovery power (per the temporary power rules).
5) Or something else?

If you do allow healing, do you have trouble with it getting 'out of hand', by which I mean that it tends to make consequences somewhat irrelevant?

(This is not intended to be a discussion of what the rules are or what the should be.  I'm just interested to find out what house rules/interpretations are in play and how such things have played out.)

DFRPG / Giving teeth to enforcement of The Laws
« on: March 02, 2011, 04:03:43 AM »
I've seen a number of topics that ask for advice on how to keep the potentially limitless power of Wizards in check.  And (at least where combat is concerned) it seems that one of the key enablers for Wizards is the ability to narrate the fate of a victim that is taken out.  That is, if I'm playing a optimized Wizard, I can probably get away with throwing a weapon 6+ fireball at a group of human foes and, when they fail to roll high enough on their defense, proceed to narrate how they are scattered by the blast and knocked unconscious, but suffer nothing more than severe (but not life-threatening) burns.

You would *never* see Dresden doing this, because he'd realize that a spell of that magnitude would kill the people, which would be a violation of the Laws.  But the game mechanics allow it, which makes it difficult to make the Laws limit the capability of Wizards the way they probably should.

So what stops the GM from playing the scenario more like this:

Player:  "Ok, I'm going to lob my 'Corpsemaker Mk II' fireball at the group of mafia thugs.  It'll be an 8 shift spell, with weapon 6 and one zone area effect."
GM: "Are you sure you want to do that?  After all, you are talking about using LETHAL magic against a MORTAL foe.  A spell that powerful is almost guaranteed to kill them, which is a violation of the Laws of Magic."
Player: "Yes, but I'm going to cast my fireball in a non-lethal way, which will just knock them unconscious."
GM: "A ball of super-heated plasma that powerful can't really be used as a non-lethal weapon..."
Player: "Look, if I take them out, the rules say I can narrate the results, right?  So I'm gonna make it non-lethal."
GM: "It's your choice.  Last chance: Are you absolutely sure that you wish to deliberately use your magic in a way that could well result in mortal deaths?"
Player: "Whatever.  I rolled 7 control, so I'll take 1 mental stress for the spell and 1 physical stress for the backlash.  That's 13 shifts of damage to the zone, minus their defense roll."
GM: "There's no need for a defense roll, they'd never survive that blast.  I conceed that the entire group is reduced to charred, lifeless corpses."
Player: "Wha-?"
GM: "Let's talk about your Lawbreaker stunts..."

In other words, while the concession rules are generally there to allow a player facing certain doom to narrate their way out of it (assuming they can come up with a reasonable justification), I don't see any reason that they couldn't be used to enforce a modicum of sanity into situations such as the one above.  The rules for concession set the limitations on it's use:
Quote from: YS206
A concession has to pass muster with the group before it is accepted—the conditions of the loss still have to represent a clear and decisive disadvantage for your character. If the group (note that your opponent is part of the group for this!) feels like your character is getting off easy, you’ll need to rework the concession until it’s acceptable.
Given that weapon 6 is several steps more powerful than a hand grenade, I don't think that anyone could argue that the concession result is unreasonable, and I think it would be hard to argue that the victims are "getting off easy".  It meets with all of the specific considerations the rules suggest on the same page, which generally suggest minimum long-term consequences rather than maximum.  And as far as inflicting Lawbreakers on the attacker, the GM clearly stated to the player that he was at risk of breaking the Laws, and gave the player ample opportunity to revise the action.  If I were the GM, I *might* even be more lenient that this any give the player one *more* chance to revise their action after previewing the result, since the result is likely going to be a loss of the character.

So is this a fair use of the concession rules to enforce the potential lethality of magic?  Or mundane attacks, for that matter?

Making use of this mechanic should obviously be done sparingly (and hopefully would not need to be used more than sparingly).  It would also probably be a good idea to have at least some rough guidelines as to what constitutes a (potentially) lethal attack.  For example, an attack with a weapon rating greater than the target's stress boxes that results in enough stress that the target could not avoid being taken out even with a maximum defense roll and even if they were previously undamaged.


DFRPG / How's this for a city concept?
« on: October 19, 2010, 12:08:47 AM »
Has anyone here heard of the "Freedom Ship"?  It was a concept that has -- as near as I can learn -- gone nowhere in the decade or two it has been around.  In all likelihoods, I'd not be surprised at all to hear confirmation that it was a giant scam.  But even so, it's an interesting concept...

For those of you who've never heard of it, imagine a giant floating city, with all of the features most cities have, including parks, malls, an airport, and quite a lot of ocean view.  It was claimed to be capable of supporting around 85,000 residents, guests, and crew, and was going to be the better part of a mile long.  It was going to sail around the world, stopping at most of the major coastal cities along the way, making a complete circuit every two years.

So imagine that in the Dresdenverse, the ship was actually built.  Wouldn't it make an interesting "city" for the game?  Part of the city would be 'constant' -- the residents and crew (some 65,000 or so in all) would be largely unchanging, similar to any other city.  But there'd also be some 20,000 guests providing an evolving population.  And even more so, the ship was supposed to spend most of the time (about 70%) anchored near one city or another, with the balance spent travelling to the next city.  Which means that you might have a few sessions in Los Angeles, then San Francisco, then Seattle, then Vancouver, then a few at sea, followed by a stay in Tokyo, and later Hong Kong...  Yet the core of the city would remain the ship.

Now, obviously you'd have to make a few concessions.  First off, you'd have to say that the sheer size of the ship would make the grounding effects of the water negligible.  Then you'd have to come up with a reason why Wizards wouldn't simply cause the ship to break apart by their very existence -- which might be handled by saying that in essence, the ship is after all basically a floating barge, which is fairly low tech, and on such a scale that even deliberate hexing would accomplish nothing of significance.  Or you could say that the builders were 'in the know' and set the ship up a bit like McAnally's Pub, therefore dispersing all but the direct effects of spells.  Or there might be something else of a mysterious nature going on that might make up a story just in the finding out.

Any thoughts on the matter?

(Here are a couple of web pages of interest, or search for things like "floating city" or "Freedom Ship")

DFRPG / Just how strong are wizard genes?
« on: September 08, 2010, 02:52:54 AM »
Ok, we know that wizards have a constitution that, while not decidedly human, outstrips mundane mortals.  We know that that includes very long life, and the ability to eventually recover from (almost?) any wound.  I condition the almost, because while DFRPG limits the 'healing factor' to non-extreme conditions,
(click to show/hide)

That aside, I've been wondering just how far wizard's constitution goes?

* Does it grant immunity, resistance, or rapid recovery from many common diseases?  (Has Dresden or any other wizard been sick with any non-supernatural diseases?)  This seems implied by the long life, as otherwise it seems likely that older wizards would tend to die from, for example, cancer.

* Given that evidence suggests it is genetic in nature, are wizards born with it?  Or is it something that 'develops' due to extended exposure to magical energy?

* If they are born with it, does it impact the baby wizard's likelihood of suffering from genetic defects?  Or due to their 'wizard genes' are wizards all born defect-free?

* As the flip side to the above, if they are not born with it, will their wizard's constitution allow them to 'recover' from genetic defects?

I was toying with a concept for a midget wizard (High Concept: World's GreatestSmallest Wizard!  Trouble: Judge me by my size, do you?), and I wondered about this.  Is it even possible to have a midget wizard (question 3)?  Or (question 4) would the development of wizard's constitution bring with it an eventual reversal of his stunted growth?

Any thoughts?

DFRPG / Feeding Dependency
« on: August 26, 2010, 02:34:14 AM »
The Feeding Dependency (FD) rules do not make a lot of sense to me.

The discipline test required at the end of a scene in which you use FD-based powers is treated as an attack, with resulting stress hitting your hunger track.  You can absorb some or all of the stress by taking consequences.  But are powers lost automatically for each point of stress, in addition to the stress taken, or is power loss treated as an alternate 'consequence', thus absorbing some of the stress to avoid being taken out?

The rules appear to state the former, where it reads "If you cannot or do not wish to spare consequences, then you must lose access to a number of your powers, up to a refresh cost equal to the amount of stress taken", though the 'up to' part seems to be oddly worded.  (I.e., I must lose powers, but the number of powers could be less than the stress taken?)  However, the next bullet reads "If you have no powers left to lose and are taken out by a feeding failure, you are actually taken out", which implies the second interpretation.  That is, if I take a 5-stress hit and have only 4 boxes on my track and no consequences available, then I'd be taken out regardless of how many powers I have left ... unless they work a bit like special consequences, reducing the stress taken based on powers I choose to sacrifice (and only being taken out once all powers were sacrificed).

The second seems more in line with the rest of the system; the first interpretation also seem immensely severe.  Using Thomas Raith as an example, after an average fight scene in which he uses his full set of powers will result in three stress (6-shift attack vs good (+3) discipline), and therefore three scenes of down-time to recover his lost powers.

Pages: [1]