Author Topic: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.  (Read 3317 times)

Offline Richard_Chilton

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2011, 05:10:24 AM »
He added modular abilities - where he can be fast OR heal.  Still in the shapeshifting family of power.

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Offline sinker

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2011, 05:43:41 AM »
Yes, but not technically part of the were-form template, as firstly modular abilities is not an optional or a must, and secondly the template allows only two of inhuman speed/strength/toughness/recovery.

Offline devonapple

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2011, 10:51:13 PM »
I agree that Templates are guidelines. They are *good* guidelines if you want to portray something in the fictional setting, mind you, and I'm seldom if ever going to recommend a player pick and choose which Musts they are going to honor. But even then, they are just starting points, and should never be considered a limitation on what a character can eventually build themselves up to be.
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Offline Becq

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2011, 11:05:54 PM »
Some thoughts:

First, templates *are* supposed to be fairly solid.  That is, your template (and high concept) are supposed to govern which powers you have access to.  A Werewolf that gains some spare refresh (or who has some to spare to begin with) can opt to take on appropriate 'optional' powers listed on the template with very little justification -- those powers are options for the template.  But the same Werewolf can't simply sprout Evocation, regardless of how many refresh have been gained.

That said, you have several options for going beyond the templates.  One option is to change to a new template or add a second template to your character.  This would require a roleplay justification, and would also require you changing your high concept to fit your new template(s).  So you might start as a Focused Practitioner, then meet a Sorceror who agrees to mentor you; add the Sorceror template as

A second option is to use custom templates.  In some cases this might look a lot like the first option.  For example, an 'Apprentice Magician' template might have the same powers as a Focused Practitioner listed as "Musts", and the "Must" powers from the Sorcerer or Wizard template as "Options".  I would only allow the powers listed as "Options" on the second template to be bought after filling out all of the "Musts" on that template.  So the Apprentice Wizard couldn't start buying Refinements until he finishes learning all of the fundamentals -- or in other words, until he could legally replace his Apprentice Wizard template with the full Wizard template.

One thing to be careful of when creating templates is to keep a semblance of balance.  So no jack-of-all-trades templates with "Musts: whatever I feel like paying for now" and "Options: anything I feel the need to train later".

Offline UmbraLux

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2011, 11:38:49 PM »
First, templates *are* supposed to be fairly solid.  That is, your template (and high concept) are supposed to govern which powers you have access to.  A Werewolf that gains some spare refresh (or who has some to spare to begin with) can opt to take on appropriate 'optional' powers listed on the template with very little justification -- those powers are options for the template.  But the same Werewolf can't simply sprout Evocation, regardless of how many refresh have been gained.
While I realize some groups play this way, I haven't seen any support for it in the text.  Have I missed something?  As noted previously, I wasn't able to find any mention of templates in the character advancement section at all.

The book does state templates are "crucial" to character creation...but they don't seem to matter much afterwards.  Which makes sense given the growth of characters in later novels. 
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Offline sinker

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2011, 11:50:08 PM »
Oddly enough if you strictly stick to the templates there's actually no way to create something that many of us have done at least once and is considered cannon: The scion. There is no template appropriate for a scion. Changeling is closest, but technically not right as their one must relates to the fey specifically.

To be completely honest I stopped caring about templates after my first game. My last few characters have been without one. Generally one's high concept is fine for guidelines, as all powers must relate directly. They don't really do anything beneficial unless you're new and unsure what you might want to play.

Offline Becq

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2011, 08:19:57 PM »
While I realize some groups play this way, I haven't seen any support for it in the text.  Have I missed something?  As noted previously, I wasn't able to find any mention of templates in the character advancement section at all.

The book does state templates are "crucial" to character creation...but they don't seem to matter much afterwards.  Which makes sense given the growth of characters in later novels.
Here are a couple of quotes:
Quote from: YS66
You must take all of the powers that are mandatory for the character template you’re using, so make sure you have those figured out first. After that, you may only take powers that fit your character template and the high concept selected for your character—a vampire can take powers that would give him supernatural strength and speed, but a wizard cannot.
Quote from: YS158
Supernatural powers also come at a greater price beyond the simple math of your character’s refresh rate. No supernatural ability may exist in a vacuum—it must come about due to specific reasons rooted in your character’s concept. At the very least, this usually means that the supernatural abilities must clearly derive from your character’s high concept (page 54), but other requirements may exist as well—see the Types & Templates chapter starting on page 72 for the particulars for each character type. The end effect is that all supernatural abilities have requirements that must be fulfilled before they can be added to your character; these are usually outlined in the template you have chosen for your character.
As to Scions, they are a custom template, with the Changeling presented as an example.  And even "Changeling" is more of a meta-template; any given Changeling doesn't necessary have access to all of the options listed in the Changeling template (which is why the options section says the following, in effect requiring the Changeling template to be further tailored:
Quote from: YS74
During character creation, you and your GM must work out a set of supernatural powers that the character could inherit from his faerie parent (usually by looking at the list of musts and options for the appropriate faerie template in What Goes Bump).
Other Scions templates would behave the same way: you create a list of potential powers that are appropriate to the Scion based on his heritage, and the Scion can choose powers from that list to start with, and draw further powers from them later as the Scion's heritage begins to make itself more apparent.

And, as I pointed out before, another option is to add a further template to your character; I see this as starting by adding an 'apprentice' version of the template, with all of the 'musts' treated as 'options' and the 'options' unavailable until the 'musts' are filled out.

Note: the following paragraph contains some possible spoilers for those still reading the series.  I've put spoiler marks on the information that this board considers to be spoilers, but those still reading the series might want to skip the following anyway.

For example, Dresden has dabbled with several added templates.  In Summer Knight, he effectively borrowed (temporarily) from the Emissary of Power (Winter Court) or Knight of a Faerie Court (Winter) template, taking the Marked by Power -- and Mab offered to make it a more permanent arrangement.  I think it was in Dead Beat that he began using Hellfire; he was basically delving into a template that would probably count as either Emissary of Power (The Fallen).  In Small Favor, he moves on to Emissary of Power (Uriel), learning Soulfire.  And later, in Changes,
(click to show/hide)
  In Ghost Story, of course,
(click to show/hide)

End possible spoiler zone.

So to summarize, my take is that each templates is meant to be fairly firm, but that there is lots of room for flexibility in creating new templates (which in turn should be firm and reasonably created), and also in taking multiple templates.

@sinker: To a large extent, high concept = template.  So long as you're reasonable in what powers you consider "related directly" to your high concept, then you are basically implementing a template; after all, template creation is basically a matter of making those decisions in advance and writing down the results.

Offline Tedronai

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2011, 11:15:47 PM »
That 'other requirements may exist' (bolding added) is hardly strong evidence that templates are meant to be absolute, and, as said, the prior quote comes from character creation, not advancement.
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Offline Becq

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2011, 11:56:32 PM »
That 'other requirements may exist' (bolding added) is hardly strong evidence that templates are meant to be absolute, and, as said, the prior quote comes from character creation, not advancement.
Did you read the entire quote?  The portion you quoted was the exception to the general rule given in the previous half of the sentence, which was that, "supernatural abilities must clearly derive from your character’s high concept".

Here's another quote, by the way, from the advancement section:

Quote from: YS92
Keep in mind that, just because you’re volunteering to take your refresh to zero or beyond, it doesn’t mean that all of Supernatural Powers becomes a shopping list. The restrictions of your high concept still apply

Given that this is taken from the extreme end of advancement, "Going Off the Deep End", its hard to see how the same rule wouldn't apply to earlier stages of advancement.

Offline UmbraLux

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2011, 01:33:43 AM »
Here are a couple of quotes:
Neither quote is about Character Advancement.  The first is from the Character Creation section where it does call templates "crucial".  The second quote is from the Supernatural Powers section and appears to be targeted at concepts more than templates.  In any case, it's a positive "must justify" statement and not a proscriptive one.

Don't think the Scion stuff was addressed to me...if it was, let me know.

Functionally, I'm not sure there's much difference between 'templates only being a starting point' and 'being able to freely add or switch out templates'.  If not, are we just disagreeing over terminology?
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Offline Anher

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2011, 01:37:39 AM »
I think the templates are merely places for you to start and not a be all end all list of what you can and can't do. Even under the Power Level list under Submerged (YS 54) it says; '...or a Werewolf who can do earth evocations, or a Red Court Infected who becomes an Emissary of the Buddha...'. So, yeah, I seriously think they're just a place to begin the character and not a straight jacket for advancement.

Now, on to the first question, yes, you certainly can start with Channeling and/or Rituals and step up to Evocation and/or Thaumaturgy. Heck, it mentions that starting as an FP is a good way to portray an apprentice Wizard in the sidebar on page 86 of YS.

Offline zenten

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2011, 03:46:53 AM »
I see templates as defining what you can take, but you can change templates or have multiple ones.  The difference is that the GM is much more likely to say no to a custom template than taking powers allowed within one.

Offline Tedronai

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2011, 04:19:28 AM »
Did you read the entire quote?  The portion you quoted was the exception to the general rule given in the previous half of the sentence, which was that, "supernatural abilities must clearly derive from your character’s high concept".

Did you read my entire post?  Did you note that the issue of high concept was in no way addressed, nor at all affected, by the point(s) made therein?
I only stated that the provided quotes are not strong evidence for templates being strict limits.  Justification under high concept is another matter entirely.
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Offline Becq

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2011, 09:17:05 PM »
Did you read my entire post?  Did you note that the issue of high concept was in no way addressed, nor at all affected, by the point(s) made therein?
I only stated that the provided quotes are not strong evidence for templates being strict limits.  Justification under high concept is another matter entirely.
Right back at you.  In my original post, I stated my view that high concept = template.  You must link your high concept to you template (or each of your templates, if you have multiples).  All a template is is a written list of all of the powers that are justified for a particular concept.  So saying that templates aren't strict limits but that high concepts are is semantics; the 'Wizard' template comprises a list of all of the powers that a 'Wizard' high concept justifies.  Its kind of a chicken and egg relationship.

Offline sinker

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Re: Focused Practitioner.Defending against a spell.
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2011, 09:35:45 PM »
To be honest Becq it does seem odd to me that you would insist on having a template, but then be ok with custom templates (which could in theory be just as unbalanced as not having one) and multiple templates.

But your goal seems fine to me. As far as I can tell you just want people to define what they want before hand so that you can plan for it or compare it to others in your group. The only real difference for me is that I know my group is on top of that on their own, so I don't worry about it.

They're both valid viewpoints, and will work better or worse depending on the group.