Author Topic: How does one join the White Council?  (Read 864 times)

Offline jhilahd

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How does one join the White Council?
« on: June 20, 2011, 01:31:43 AM »
Hey all,
I have a game in it's infancy at the moment.
I've got a player who wants to be a wizard, and wants to have a Listens-to-wind as a contact for his 3x3x3.

He asked me how does one join the White Council, and I was (in my mind, of course) like "Why that's easy they... uh... they..." Frak... how do you get to be a member?
Did I miss this somewhere?

I was thinking sponsorship, legacy members, "it's-who-ya-know" kinda thing.
Can anyone help? I'm hitting a wall.

Offline Tedronai

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 01:59:00 AM »
Step one: be a mortal
Step two: wield magical powers by virtue of your pure awesome-itude (as opposed to a deal with a supernatural entity or somesuch)
Step three: develop those magical powers in scope and magnitude sufficiently that you can pass a test put forth by the White Council to distinguish Wizards from mere Sorcerers and dabblers
Step four: make yourself known to the White Council
Step five: pass the test referenced above

(note: steps 3 and 4 may be inverted if one so desires, and doing so may allow one access to apprenticeship and other assistance in the development of one's powers, etc)
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Offline BumblingBear

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 02:04:57 AM »
In Soviet Russia, White Council joins you.
Myself: If I were in her(Murphy's) position, I would have studied my ass off on the supernatural and rigged up special weapons to deal with them.  Murphy on the other hand just plans to overpower bad guys with the angst of her short woman's syndrome and blame all resulting failures on Harry.

Offline Haru

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 02:10:05 AM »
If he is from a wizard family (or discovered early) then he is probably already registered and probably has a mentor inside the council, and he is going to be a full member, when his apprenticeship ends.

If he is not from a wizard family and is not discovered early (and doesn't go warlock and isn't suspected of being a warlock) he is either going to need a mentor, if he is young enough or he can take a test with one of the warden commanders to see if he is powerful enough to be granted full wizard status.

If he wants to have LtW as a contact that should be no problem if he can tell the story of how he got to know him. You could even make him his mentor. Sort of a Dances with Wolves white guy learning the native american ways kind of thing. Or he plays a native american, I don't know, but the other way seems... about 20% cooler  ;D

But tell me, what does 3x3x3 mean?
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Offline jhilahd

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 02:37:28 AM »
He's wanting to play a Hawaiian wizard, and already I had ideas of killer Tiki zombies.

Anywho... I read Carlos Ramirez's writeup and how he interviews potential candidates. I just wanted to know if there was any canon write-ups suggestions and what not.

3x3x3 is kinda like the 20 questions for character creation.
It's 3 allies, 3 enemies and 3 contacts for the player character.
Players provide the GM with a list and hopefully small write-up for each of these npc's. It allows the players to bring in characters to the game that they've created, and allows them to have more a living breathing role in the game. I use the enemies sometimes as a major story focus, or even the friends as patrons. Lots of options, and it allows spotlight opportunities for the players. And with DFRPG, it allows, IMO, even more opportunities.


Offline Haru

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 02:42:17 AM »
He's wanting to play a Hawaiian wizard, and already I had ideas of killer Tiki zombies.
I like that idea, might steal it some time ;)

Quote
Anywho... I read Carlos Ramirez's writeup and how he interviews potential candidates. I just wanted to know if there was any canon write-ups suggestions and what not.
There isn't, but that is a good thing, I think. The test would pretty much depend on the wizard conducting it, so if you want to make a test, you can do whatever you want and wrap a character around that concept. Generally though, because of the template, wizards need to have full thaumaturgy, full evocation and the sight, so the test would have to check for that.

Tasks could be to show 3 different types of evocation, 3 different types of thaumaturgy and the use of the sight. Most wizards would probably want to do a soulgaze as well, to know what the person they are about to let inside the council is like.

For evocation and thaumaturgy the testing wizard could either demand "standard" tests like levitating something, a tracking spell, a ward, a fireball, etc., or he could at first determine what type of magic the wizard is actually good at and test him in that field ("I know chloromany." - "Show me!"). A test on the sight could be a room full of jars and only one of them is real, only distinguishable by using the sight, or analysing a ward or piercing a veil. Cruel testers would do something like that in a psychotic environment, where the psychic residue all but screams at the open sight.

Quote
3x3x3 is kinda like the 20 questions for character creation.

Ah ok, that's a great idea, I'm definitely going to have to incorporate that in my games. Thanks :)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 02:52:19 AM by Haru »
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Offline Imp

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 10:28:11 PM »
3x3x3 is kinda like the 20 questions for character creation.
It's 3 allies, 3 enemies and 3 contacts for the player character.
Players provide the GM with a list and hopefully small write-up for each of these npc's. It allows the players to bring in characters to the game that they've created, and allows them to have more a living breathing role in the game. I use the enemies sometimes as a major story focus, or even the friends as patrons. Lots of options, and it allows spotlight opportunities for the players. And with DFRPG, it allows, IMO, even more opportunities.

i like that a lot!   going to show this to my GM and put it right in
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Offline devonapple

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 10:29:17 PM »
I'm retroactively having my PCs do a 3x3x3. Thanks for repeating the tip!
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Offline Quasispike

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2011, 12:34:15 AM »
As far as the testing goes below I'm quoting one of the better stories I've heard upon the subject the full thread can be found here

I handled something like that - the character was made an apprentice and slowly bought what was missing from the wizard template.

In Summer Knight they mention an ordeal - maybe it's something that you get after you pass the test and are seen as powerful enough to join the council.  Note that Harry skipped his - they thought that killing an experience wizard in self defense was enough of an ordeal.

I asked the player if he wanted a downtime "You went away an apprentice and came back a wizard" bit or if he wanted to play it out, and if he wanted to play it out did he want a chance to fail.  He decided to play it and risk failing.

So I did up a whole ceremony and the next time the group wanted to check out his mentor's library I sprang it on them.  When he arrived at the place where it was going to happen he was handled a brown robe and told to take a ritual bath - and something along the lines of "I assume you know how to use a face cloth so you can handle this yourself".  That was the first part of the ordeal he could fail.  I mean, if you say you can't give yourself a ritually cleansing bath then how can you call yourself a wizard?

Then I told him that he could start making declarations for his next spell.  The rest of the group chimed in with suggestions what he could declare and what skill to use for it.  For example, the bathroom was described as candle lit with scented water in the bath and a nice smelling incense filling the room - and I thought he might declare "The Lighting Set the Mood", "Incense Filled Lungs", "Centred From His Bath", "Relaxed" - that sort of thing, using Lore, Discipline, Conviction, and any other skill he could justify.  He didn't pick the aspects I thought he might, but he started declaring things and we wrote down everything he declared.

Sometime during the bath his clothing went missing from the room, leaving only the robe and the towels when he emerged from the tub.  (Another choice: would he wear towels under his robe.  He went with just the robe and made a Lore declaration "Dressed for the Part".)  Then as he left he found the hallway outside the bathroom had been lit.  Candles of one colour burned on the left hand side of the door, candles of another colour burned on the other.  He could pick a path, or just follow one back to the stairs and leave (leaving would be a failure).  After he picked he asked if there was any meaning to the colour and when I shrugged there was a Lore declaration for "Following the <colour name> path".

As he walked down the hallway there were other things he could use for inspiration (including things that I hadn't meant to be used; some of the basic descriptions were used to make declaration) until he came to a maze.  Then he had to choose if he would follow the left hand wall or the right hand wall to find the centre.  When he got to the centre he was able to declare a few more things.

Leaving the maze he came to a stairway - and could decided to go up or down (another choice and another thing to declare off of).  He had a few more choices and ended up at the basement stairs.  There were no lights in the stairway and a door at the bottom of the stairs.  He declared "Descending into the Darkness" and made his way down.

When he opened the door we switched back to the other characters, who were having brandy and sherries in the basement with members of the White Council.  Note: they would been having drinks wherever he showed up - the White Council being better able to guess his movements than I was.    By this point he'd been give the chance to make about 30 declaration but the dice had not been his friend on many of them.  Oh, and he had also been given the chance to cast spells to make his way easier - without being warned that if he cast any he would be using up all his prepared declarations.

He was told that there was another candidate - and a Brown Robe that was lying on the floor was pointed to.  Then a door was pointed to and he was told "Two Brown Robes enter, one White Robe leaves".  He had choice, to leave his robe or take it with him, and used the choice to make a last declaration - "Giving it all up for Magic" (or something like that).  In the room waited a man around his own age wearing boxer shorts who laughed and sneered something about "Didn't you have the brains to conjure something to wear? This is going to be so easy!" which led to a bit of a sidetrack as the group debated how many steps it would take to conjure boxer shorts and if he should waste an action or two to do so.  Note: if he had wasted all those declaration conjuring clothes he would have failed - being too narrow sighted to make it as a wizard (and he wouldn't have been able to pass the test).

He decided not to bother (and tried for a Presence based declaration of "I've got nothing to be ashamed of") and I announced combat was starting and the other guy was swinging his hand around and... Wait, we should do initiative here.  He's got identical stats to you so let's roll off to see who goes first.  Luckily the player rolled +++[] so he didn't think it was odd when I rolled and quickly scooped up the dice and said he won.

Then there was his action.  He asked others for advice - shield first or strike first?  The discussion went on for a while I told them that from the way the other guy was moving it was clear that he was going to attack.  When asked if it looked like there he had any defenses I shrugged and said "Only the boxer shorts".

Finally the player decide for an attack that could be non-lethal and hopefully take out the other guy in one go.  As he started debating how many declarations to use, I pointed out that they could only be used for his NEXT spell and yes, if he had conjured the boxers he would have conjured some pretty fantastic underwear.

He had about 14 aspects to tag, so he tagged them and three of his aspects from his sheet.  That meant that his attack spell was 34 + plus conviction + successes from the targeting.  And yes, it was huge amount of damage handed out...

Which was when I informed him that there was only one person in the room - himself (hey, he never used his sight!) and all that damage was hitting him.  It was going to be a takeout, but he could decide if he wanted to use his consequences.  If he filled all of his consequences - including the extreme one - then he would have only X stress left after his track was filled and that I'd be basing the results on how much excess stress was left.  The normal consequences were filled in quickly (well, he decided to take them and I said we would work out the details afterwards) but that extreme....  Long agonizing bit over that, but finally he decided to use it.

At which point I said it was time to deal with consequences.  It went something like: "Now let's see, for the extreme we have to modify one of your aspects.   See your High Concept Aspect of 'Potential Comic Book Inspired Wizard'? Erase the word 'Potential'.  Congrats, you passed."

Then we went over the various points where he could have failed.  Not being able to declare enough aspects - a wizard has to be imaginative and use what he has on hand.  Making enough declarations but dribbling them away on a series of small spells - a wizard needs to be able to conserve his powers, especially when he knows that there is a challenge coming.  Not acting decisively when faced with an opponent that needed to be taken out.  Not being willing to give it all (including his extreme consequence) for magic.

And when we finished this, we had a list of 14 phrases that he had come up via declarations - words that described what sort of a wizard he would be.

All in all I think it went well - even the players who weren't getting the face time enjoyed themselves.  Would everyone had enjoyed it if he had failed? Who knows? But he wanted a chance to fail so I gave it to him.

Hope this helps

Richard

Offline bibliophile20

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2011, 06:46:24 PM »
Just ran an ordeal trial for one of my PCs last night.  Went like this:

Ariel, the apprentice, is told that it is time for her to take her vows as a Wizard.  Her ordeal is simple: she must reach Edinburgh, by herself, via the Nevernever, in a timely manner.  Dressed in her apprentice robe--and only her apprentice robe--with a small bottle of water and two slices of pizza (her choice), she's brought out to a snow-covered meadow in one of the city' parks.  She has a choice on opening the Way; a cleaner Thaumaturgical method, while she's standing here in the snow, or a quick and dirty "rip" through to the Nevernever.  She chooses the ripping method--it's cold!--and finds herself standing in a Summer meadow, surrounded by trees.  Finding a soft, chalky rock and a sturdy piece of bark, she tries to make a map, to little results.  

After wandering for a while, she hits upon the idea of trying a tracking ritual, scratching a pentacle as her target to try and find other pentacles--the markings of the Wizard Ways through Winter.  Just as she's about finished, she realizes that she's being watched.  A smalled wizened man is watching her, perched atop a nearby tree stump.  With a laconic manner that was a joy to RP, the gnome agrees to take her to the other pentacles that he knows of, in exchange for her pizza.  

With a slow, trundling walk designed to test her patience, the pair walk onward, up the side of the mountain, coming out of the forest and above the primary treeline, eventually coming to a river gorge... and where a tree branching across the gorge used to lay.  A replacement tree is found further down, which she knocks over with Earth magic, re-secures the roots, and crosses over; the gnome trips and falls on his crossing, grabbing onto a branch below.  She tries to get ahold of him, but he lets go, and then, when she points out that he hasn't fulfilled his debt to her, changes into a blue-bird on the way down.

The bluebird proceeds to guide her through a mountain pass (massive Endurance test), and down the other side, where it leads her to a tree with a pentacle carved into it.  Underneath the tree, in a meditative pose, sits a monkey in monk's robes.  And eye quirks open as she approaches.  The monkey monk invites her to sit and meditate with him; he is contemplating the nature of this symbol and it's meaning.  She meditates (Discipline roll, interval of an hour, threshold of her Conviction-squared), and emerges from her trance to find the monkey-monk working on something, a sculpture of some sort; from different angles and thoughts it seems to represent different aspects of magic--the elements, thaumaturgical processes, etc.  he hands her a blob of clay, telling her to show what she now understands (intended to be a Craftsmanship and Lore combination roll; roll both skills separately until both skill-rolls hit the same value on the same roll), but she makes a Lore declaration that there's a piece missing from his sculpture and uses her clay to fill it.  

The monkey monk nods approvingly at this, hands her the sculpture, and tells her to follow him.  She does so, and is lead to Ways entrance featured in Turn Coat, and is given over to the custody of the Wardens there as a full Wizard.

(EDIT: A good topic for my 400th post, methinks)
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Offline SpoonR

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 05:15:33 PM »
Step 1. Become known to the White Council as a practitioner.  Apparently the grapevine is pretty good - see Wardens turning up to tell people like Kravos and the Ordo Lebes the laws of magic.

Step 2. Pass a test designed to separate 'kitchen witch' from wizard. Personally, I don't think it would normally have any danger associated. More like "do some thaumaturgy", "now do a spell from each of the five elements", any other test if there's a way any of the minor talents mentioned in the RPG could slip past the other tests.  In other words, more of a "lift the ball into the cup with your mind to show your psi level" than "brave the gauntlet".

Step 3. You passed the tests, you are now given the choice of join the White Council, or be called a warlock and die.

The way it's been mentioned in the books so far, it feels like something quick and easy to me, designed to show that you have a certain power level, not testing combat ability or really anything else. For one thing, Ramirez tested Elaine, and she was able to purposely throw the test. Something like "survive in the nevernever" would be too dangerous if you are going to inflict on people who claim to be too weak to be WC.

Also, the WC wants as many members as possible. On the one hand, more people = more power, and on the other hand any breaking of the Unseelie Accords by wizardly-types, whether full WC members or minor talents, will be blamed on the WC. It is in the WC best interest to have all wizards be members. So cruel or terribly stressful tests would not make sense.

That said, I would assume that if someone is willing to sponsor you (wizard & apprentice, or Harry vouching for Elaine), then the sponsor can use whatever tests they want. Ars Magica-style gauntlets would make sense for some wizards, say Luccio and Morgan.


Offline Wyrdrune

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 01:35:51 PM »
Quote
Just ran an ordeal trial for one of my PCs last night. [...]

great idea and sounds like you had a great gaming session.

Offline DFJunkie

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Re: How does one join the White Council?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2011, 02:47:17 PM »
Quote
For one thing, Ramirez tested Elaine, and she was able to purposely throw the test.

I don't have the books at the moment, so I can't say if Ramirez's writeup contradicts this, but I assumed that the test Elaine threw was more of a qualifying exam.  In Summer Knight several people on the WC refer to Harry never having passed his trial (or ordeal, or something,) the nature of which was left vague. 

Personally I would run it this way:
1) An aspirant to the WC declares s/he wishes to be considered for full membership.
2) The aspirant asks an existing WC Wizard in good standing to be his/her sponsor. 
3) The sponsor designs and implements a trial for the aspirant, based on the aspirants aptitudes.  The trial should not only show that the aspirant can perform magic on a WC level, but also that the aspirant has the character and wisdom expected of a member of the WC.
4) Assuming the aspirant succeeds the sponsor goes before the WC and announces the fact, and asks for the aspirant to be accepted as a WC Wizard, probably relating the circumstances of the aspirant's ordeal.

90% of what I say is hyperbole intended for humorous effect.  Don't take me seriously. I don't.