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Author Topic: Looking for Contributors to a Dresden Files RPG (FATE) Discussion/Help Session  (Read 587 times)

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Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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One of my more favorite literary series is - as you probably guessed - the Dresden Files.  I haven't kept up on a lot of the recent books - though friends have kept me up on recent events (the last book I read in continuity was White Night, and the last book period I read was Turn Coat).  As a fan of the books (NOT the TV series), I also own copies of the books for the Evil Hat RPG.


While people are free to discuss this RPG openly here, that's not why I'm here.  I'm here looking for other longtime players or GMs for some assistance.  I'm doing up what are going to be NPCs for a campaign I'll be hosting...sometime in the approximate future (1-2 years from now, based on current projections).  These characters are going to be the 'seasoned veterans' of whatever city our heroes end up operating in - they've been around the block a few times, done a handful of things.  They're the Harrys, so to speak, to the group's Mollys.

I have 5 characters overall - are you a bad enough player to work with me?

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What are you looking for ?

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Assistance.  Suggestions on how to build the characters - or retool them - beyond the obvious, help with Aspects for their sheets.

The NPC group is titled the Gargoyles (after the cartoon 'defenders of the night').  Membership of the crew totals five.  They are the following, with the format: Name - Template - High Concept - Basic Idea.

Allen Sinclair - Champion of God - First of the Knights Templar - Warrior-Lawyer

Dainn Winchester - Pure Mortal - Clued-in Forensic Chemist - erd who Becomes the next Bram Stoker

Sam Fargo - Fae Knight - Junior Summer Knight - Dancer & Martial Artist who Kicks Ass

Kat Danley - Emissary of Power - Guardian of Lost Lore - Dresden's equivalent of Giles

Miles Quinn - Sorcerer - Internal Affairs Sorcerer - Group's Expert Spellslinger

I have more - their plotted out skill trees, some of their powers/stunts, which I can throw up for you.

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Post what you have, and I'll see if I can contribute anything :)

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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The Gargoyles

The Gargoyles are a crew that's been operating in the city for some time.  They're almost strictly big-tier now, though they often find that 'little things' they do 'for a friend' often turn out big anyways.  The five of them have a great deal of the supernatural spectrum covered between them, even discounting Dainn Winchester, who's about as supernatural as a bug on a windshield.  While the Gargoyles have come fully together only recently, they operated together in a loose fashion for some time before their solidification.  The 'newest arrivals' to the supernatural scene are the official city presence on the crew - Allen Sinclair, County Prosecutor, and Det-Sgt. Dainn Winchester of the Municipal Crime Lab.

Background, If This Were Like the Dresden Files

The perspective character of the crew is Allen - he's the center of the group, the person around which the series revolves.  Allen has had nine major encounters - case files - in total.  Allen's nearly omnipresent ally is Dainn Winchester of the city crime lab.  While Dainn hasn't grown as much in strength in Allen, he's certainly been around.  The characters are built on a Submerged Power Level (Refresh 10, Skill cap Superb, 35 skill points) as base.  Each of the characters has gotten both Significant and Major Milestones - how much per character is detailed on their sheet.

A Note: These are Heroic NPCs - therefore their refresh value is (mostly) incredibly low.  1, maybe 2.  They're not slaves to their nature (IE, 0 or below), they are heroic.

Allen Sinclair (4 Major Milestones, 9 Significant Milestones, Current Refresh 5)

+5 Discipline, Weapons
+4 Conviction, Scholarship
+3 Empathy, Endurance, Intimidation, Presence
+2 Athletics, Contacts, Deceit, Rapport
+1 Alertness, Guns, Investigation, Lore, Resources, Stealth

Champion of God Powers [-5]
Item of Power: Templar Sword [-1]
Wizard's Constitution [-0]
Won't Get Fooled Again (Empathy Stunt)
Riposte (Weapons Stunt)
Top Prosecutor [Scholar] (Scholarship Stunt)

Dainn Winchester (3 Major Milestones, 9 Significant Milestones, Current Refresh 10)

+5 Investigation, Scholarship
+4 Discipline, Guns
+3 Athletics, Endurance, Lore
+2 Alertness, Conviction, Driving, Fists, Resources
+1 Burglary, Contacts, Craftsmanship, Empathy, Presence, Rapport, Stealth

Chemist [Scientist] (Scholarship Stunt)
Vampirologist [Occultist] (Lore Stunt)
Blazing Fire (Guns Stunt)*
Pin Them Down (Guns Stunt)
High Quality Workspace (Resources Stunt)

Sam Fargo (2 Major Milestones, 5 Significant Milestones, Current Refresh 2)

+5 Endurance, Fists
+4 Alertness, Discipline
+3 Athletics, Performance, Conviction
+2 Deceit, Guns, Might, Rapport
+1 Contacts, Empathy, Lore, Presence, Stealth

Marked by Power [-1]
Seelie Magic [-4]
Item of Power: Elven Chainmail [-1]
Footwork (Fists Stunt)
Armed Arts [Escrima Weapons] (Fists Stunt)
Redirect Force (Fists Stunt)
Dancer [Poet] (Performance Stunt)*

Kat Danley (1 Major Milestone, 4 Significant Milestones, Current Refresh 1)

+5 Discipline, Lore
+4 Conviction, Empathy
+3 Presence, Rapport, Weapons
+2 Deceit, Resources, Scholarship
+1 Alertness, Athletics, Contacts, Driving, Investigation, Stealth

Marked by Power [-1]
Evocation [-3]
Item of Power: Enchanted Khopesh [-1]
Refinement x 2 [-2] (1 for Enchanted Items/1 for Specializations)
The Sight [-1]
Wizard's Constitution [-0]
Demonologist [Occultist] (Lore Stunt)
High Quality Workspace (Resources Stunt)

Miles Quinn (2 Major Milestones, 5 Significant Milestones, Current Refresh 1)

+5 Conviction, Discipline
+4 Contacts, Lore
+3 Athletics, Endurance, Investigation
+2 Alertness, Guns, Empathy, Resources
+1 Deceit, Presence, Rapport, Scholarship, Stealth

Wizard Powers [-7]
Refinement x 3 [-3] (1 for Focus Items/2 for Specializations)
Used to the Rush (Conviction Stunt)*


* denotes a custom stunt I invented, since the game encourages you to come up with those.

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Bumping to the top, while asking a question of the more experienced.

Are NPCs, like Players, limit to just seven Aspects (High Concept/Trouble/5 Phases)?  Or can they theoretically have more?

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I'd build them the same way, but I'll check the book tomorrow and see what way its done them.

Are you planning to build these NPCs as though they were a player group, ie linking stories and aspects through shared adventures?

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Okay.  I double checked Our World, to see if there was a difference, but I looked at most of the major canon characters, and they all had 7 Aspects, so it's a reasonable assumption.

Yes.  I plan on doing that.  Do you want me to explain how I planned on doing that?

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Sure. Less chance of crossed wires that way :)

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Okay.  The Gargoyles were built over a series of time.  As I noted earlier, while the viewpoint character for the 'book series' is Allen Sinclair, a few of the Gargoyles have been operating in the city for quite some time.

The longest is Miles Quinn, who grew up in the town (a part-justify for his high Contacts), and is now in his late 30s.  Being a Wizard/Sorcerer, that isn't much of a problem for him.  Miles would have started out in a Chest Deep (Refresh 8) campaign, having graduated to Submerged (Refresh 10) by the time that he encounters Allen.  Miles' First Story involved two of the (future) Gargoyles: himself, and Kat Danley, the Emissary of Power - this is one of her Guest Star Aspects.  More on her later.  Miles' two Guest Star Aspects come from two other stories - one involving Sam Fargo, the Fae Knight; and the other being the first Gargoyles story.

After Miles comes Kat Danley, who moved here during her high school years.  Kat's First Story involves none of the other Gargoyles, but as was previously mentioned, she was a Guest Star in Miles' First Story.  Her Guest Star Redux comes from a short story where she encounters Dainn Winchester, offers a few cryptic hints to him on how to solve a case, and then disappears.

Sam come after both of them - after the Faerie War in Chicago, it was decided that there should be a Summer Knight-elect, someone that can step in and take the mantle of power when the Knight dies.  It was agreed that these proto-Knights should be tucked away, hidden to keep interference by the opposition to a minimum.  Sam's First Story involves Allen Sinclair, but at the time, he's unaware of the supernatural going on, so this is pre-Gargoyles.  One of her Guest Star Aspects is in a story of Kat Danley's.  The other is a story she shares with Miles Quinn, where she looks him up because of his high Contacts.

Dainn and Allen are the last-comers to the group.  Both of them have the same First Story, which is the first in the series of the Gargoyle books.  As noted, Allen has a Guest Star Aspect with Sam Fargo's First Story, and his Guest Star Redux happens after that, when Dainn introduces him to Kat Danley, who is having some legal troubles of her own.  As you might expect, Dainn has a Guest Star Aspect in that story (he makes the introduction), and his Guest Star Redux is where he crosses paths with Sam Fargo while chasing down a suspect.

To try and sum this all up.

Pre-Gargoyles
Sorcery and the City (Miles Quinn First Story, Kat Danley Guest Star)
The Ma'at Mosaic (Kat Danley First Story)
Hot Brass & Cold Iron (Sam Fargo First Story, Allen Sinclair Guesr Star)
The Setite Sanction (Kat Danley [Viewpoint], Sam Fargo Guest Star)

Untitled Fargo Short Story A (Sam Fargo [Viewpoint], Miles Quinn Guest Star)
Untitled Fargo Short Story B (Sam Fargo [Viewpoint], Dainn Winchester Guest Star)
Untitled Winchester Short Story (Dainn Winchester [Viewpoint], Kat Danley Guest Star Redux)
Untitled Danley Short Story (Kat Danley [Viewpoint], Dainn Winchester Guest Star Redux, Allen Sinclair Guest Star Redux)



Gargoyles Series
Book 1: First Witness (Allen Sinclair & Dainn Winchester First Story, Miles Quinn Guest Star Redux)
Book 2: Untitled Story
Book 3: Untitled Story
Book 4: Untitled Story
Book 5: Untitled Story
Book 6: Untitled Story
Book 7: Gargoyles
Book 8: Untitled Story
Book 9: Untitled Story

Is this making sense so far?

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Bringing up to the top, along with a few other pieces of information.  This post will be modified as the idea develops.

Gargoyles Series Books

#1 - First Witness  (Characters involved: Allen, Dainn, Miles Quinn)
Book Threat: Black Court Vampire Pair
Major Milestone - Allen & Dainn's initiation to the supernatural

#2 - Demonic Alternate (Characters involved: Allen, Dainn, Miles Quinn, Kat Danley)
Book Threat: Summoner/Demon
Significant Milestone

#3 - Ex Parte (Characters involved: Allen, Dainn, Sam Fargo)
Book Threat: 3 Faerie Fetches
Significant Milestone

#4 - Unholy Arraignment  (Characters involved: Allen, Dainn, Miles Quinn, Sam Fargo)
Book Threat: Denarians
Major Milestone - Group's first encounter with the Denarians

#5 - Bloody Charge  (Characters involved: Allen, Dainn, Miles Quinn, Kat Danley)
Book Threat: Red Court Duke Itzli Garza
Significant Milestone

#6 - Coptic Appeal  (Characters involved: Allen, Dainn, Kat Danley)
Book Threat: Emissary of Apophis
Significant Milestone

#7 - Gargoyles (Characters involved: ALL)
Book Threat: Kemmlerites
Major Milestone - official formation of the characters as a group (the titular Gargoyles)

#8 - Harvest Grievance  (Characters involved: Allen, Dainn, Sam Fargo, Kat Danley)
Book Threat: The Last Champion of Autumn
Significant Milestone

#9 - Full Docket  (Characters involved: Allen, Dainn, Sam Fargo)
Book Threat: Rogue Magical Practitioner
Major Milestone (Allen Only) - Begins relationship with Sam Fargo

For this particular post, I'm looking for some help working out other baddies the group can be fighting over the course of the series to-date.  I plan on having at least one encounter with: the Red Court; Fae (of any kind); and a rogue magical practitioner.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 03:36:45 AM by ReijiTabibito »

Offline Zeth

Well you got a problem here ReijiTabibito. Your NPCs seem cooler then the player characters. I garuntee you your players are going to want to either play your kick ass npcs or quit, unless the PCs are already cooler themselves. Who are your PCs?

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Haven't got PCs.  This is planning for the future.  The idea behind these characters is that they're the city's supernatural heavyweights on the 'good' side of things.  They won't be coming out very often - though a couple of them might be mentor characters for a PC - but when they do, it's meant to be a signal to the players that Shit Is Real.

Offline Zeth

When Shit Is Real the PLAYER CHARACTERS should be dealing with it. Having a plan B takes away from the game. Harry Dresden was the cavalry after all. Make the Gargoyles PCs or ditch them. That is my opinion.

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 >:(

...well, thank you.  Your opinion will be taken under advisement.  Since you seem to know so much about storytelling, why don't you go tell Jim Butcher he can just remove the Carpenters, the Senior Council, and everyone that isn't Harry from the book series, they're not the PCs?

Offline Zeth

Jim Butcher is writing entertaining fiction, not an RPG campaign. I seem to have touched a nerve and will now withdraw.

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Any FATE/Dresden Files contributors out there?  For DF, you don't have to be familiar with the game, just the series (though, please, not the TV show).

Offline AndyZ

I'm currently on Book 14, though I didn't finish Side Jobs.  I would use examples from the books, but they'd be spoilers, and I have no interest in doing that.  I had some experience with the FATE game, though.

I believe what Zeth was trying to say was that Player Characters tend to work best in situations where they're the top dog for providing assistance.  I wouldn't dismiss the term "cavalry," but I'll provide some context.

Harry is the guy who everyone calls upon when they're neck deep.  Harry has a few people he can call on, but either they're chock full of their own problems or far less powerful than he is.  Karrin will gladly do everything she can, but her abilities to actually provide aid are limited.  By contrast, demons are all too happy to help, but the price tag for their aid is higher than one would actually consider paying.

The next paragraph will have what can be considered to be some minor SPOILERS for Book 1, Storm Front.  Anyone lurking around can consider themselves warned, but I don't think it'll need to be tagged.

Minor Spoilers for Book 1 Ahead

I realize you said that the players would be playing more akin to Molly, but I'd like to use Karrin as an example for the issue here.  Imagine trying to play Karrin in the Storm Front case.  You find this horrible thing where two people had their hearts explode out of their chest.  Maybe you'll have some capabilities, but really, your main option is just to get one of the heavy hitters on the case.  In this case, you call Harry, and your involvement in the supernatural side of things is rather limited from then on in.  Harry will take care of it, and it's really out of your pay grade besides.  If Karrin even found the main antagonist to begin with, it's very unlikely she'd survive the experience.

You mentioned Giles, and I haven't seen Buffy the TV show but I saw the movie and understand the basic premise.  There's only one Slayer, so imagine if people are trying to play characters that aren't Buffy and trying to deal with stuff.  The first thing they're apt to do when problems arise are to go get the Slayer, which turns things into an NPC vs NPC fight.

There's a common trope where the major character vanishes and the minor character is suddenly thrust into the role of handling a messed up situation.  The apprentice doesn't even have time to grieve when the master dies and still has to save the city.  However, that doesn't seem to be what you're going for in this one.

It would be a fun read to see what all the Gargoyles do if the Gargoyles are the stars of the show in a novel, but I wouldn't want to play a secondary character who's playing backup to that crew.  Some people do enjoy that, and it's entirely possible that you'll find a group who wants that kind of story.  In my experience, though, it ends up being a lot like trying to play a Dragon-Blooded in a game with lots of Celestial Exalts.

I hope this doesn't come off as rude, but I do feel as though that this would make a much better series of novels than a game.  It can be difficult to wipe off all the fingerprints of the Dresdenverse, but I'll ask this: if you were given a chance to play in the game with all these NPCs doing stuff, would you feel as though your character makes an important impact on the world?  Would you feel like you saved the day, or just like how Karrin and Molly must feel: that they did everything they could and the problem is dealt with, but that they weren't the ones casting the big shadow and really making a difference?

Narrative doesn't always follow this method, especially with Sherlock Holmes.  We see everything through the eyes of Watson, but imagine how boring it would have to be to play Watson.  Watson has no real part in the story other than that of the chronicler, a task roughly equal to that of torch boy or pack mule.

In some games, this can work very well, but usually they're best set to freeform.  Playing the damsel in distress who gets kidnapped, ravaged and rescued can be fun for the sexual stimulation, but I'd hardly want to be so far behind and useless in a system game which is meant to be more about everyone working together and saving the day.

Personally, in a FATE game, I'd set the Gargoyles as a start-up group similar to the Alphas and beneath the players the way the Alphas are beneath Dresden.  Alternatively, you can make them powerful but aloof, always busy and apt to cause more problems than they solve if actually called in, like the White Council.  If they're the ones driving the story, though, it'd probably make a better novel than a game.

I got kinda long-winded in this and probably repeated myself a lot, but I hope it makes sense and that I didn't come across as condescending or anything.

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Point taken.  And done much more logically and eloquently than previous persons.  But at the same time, you have to realize that there will be things going on in the city that the characters aren't a part of.  Imagine Lord of the Rings, if there was only Aragorn/Gimli/Legolas/Gandalf or only Frodo/Sam.  You need to have other characters, more powerful characters, in the mix.  If the PCs are the 'go-to' guys in the city for solving problems, and they're stumped or out of their lead, then who do they call?

Even Harry has the Senior Council, Warden Morgan (and Captain Luccio), and Ebenezar to call upon if things got really hairy.  But they didn't.  Or if they did, Harry decided that even though things were bad, he was still going to try and solve the problem himself.  It's always tempting to call on powers greater than you to solve your problems.  To me, though, part of a mark of being a Dresden-style hero is that you go on, even though you're probably out of your league and only call the Powers That Be when it gets big.

The Gargoyles are meant to be that style of backup, or even mentor if the characters are of the right type.

But they exist for one reason, and one reason only - the Godzilla Threshold.  Think about Dead Beat or Small Favor.  Big, epic stuff, stuff where the PCs know they're going to need help.  That's why the Gargoyles exist.  To be fair, to prevent the PCs from abusing the power that their veteran counterparts have to offer, I do have plenty of ways to play keep away - they're busy with something else; the kind of power they bring to bear isn't the type that goes unnoticed; etc.

Just because ally characters are more powerful than the PCs doesn't automatically make them invalid.

Part of the issue I have with the Alphas is that while they do constitute a significant group in Harry's Chicago, as time has gone by, they've seemed less and less prominent as time goes on.  As of some of the more recent books, Will Borden mentioned that a lot of the Alphas have left Chicago, and he's trying to reassemble them.  Why the phase-out?  Because Harry grew too powerful for them.  Look at the crew he's running with now.  Far cry from most of the Alphas.

The problem with Good Guy NPCs is that they've got a cardinal set of rules to follow.  And one of those rules is that they can't get stronger faster than the characters.  Because if they do, then they outstrip the characters and pretty soon you are writing a novel, and pissing off your players.  A group of Good Guy NPCs that's weaker than the PC group can't be allowed to grow even to the players' level, because then you're giving them 'special treatment.'  The only real option if you want to have Good Guy NPCs to call upon is to do what Butcher did with the book - start Harry off low-blown, with low-blown allies, and as Harry gets stronger, change who he's palling around with.

PCs can always get stronger, more epic, more powerful.  NPCs don't have that luxury.

I'll reference Dead Beat again.  Pretty much any Warden that could was trying to stop what was going on in Chicago.  Harry was far from alone in his fight.  But who made the difference?  Harry, because he was in the right place at the right time.  He wasn't even near equal to Morgan or Captain Luccio, but that didn't matter.


And if all else fails, and the players keep relying on the stronger friends to solve their problems...then they won't get stronger, and sooner or later they won't have a leg to stand on when the Really Big Stuff comes knocking.

Offline AndyZ

I ran a Scion game once where an actual god was fighting something that was well out of the league of the players, and the players turned the tide because the god exhausted himself and left the thing in such a weakened state that the players were able to deal with it.  If you're familiar with the various pitfalls, it can be done, and it sounds like you are.

However - and this may well be a point of personal preference - I never got the bit about NPCs remaining fully static.  Then again, I never read up on the NPC generation rules.  It always seemed strange to me that PCs continue to grow while others don't, which leads inevitably to the players being strong enough to take out anything else that they please.

Some games, like Exalted, are designed this way.  Allow a Solar to get to Essence 10 and they can destroy anything they darn well please.  In the Elder Scrolls games, you start out as a prisoner and end up the most powerful and influential individual in the entire game.  Skills in most games eventually plateau for most game's ability to recognize levels, though, and players do reach a point where they can't be stopped.  It provides a feeling of the student becoming the master, but also makes you wonder why the master couldn't keep up.  That may just be me, though.

Rereading your post and getting into your point, it could well do to have NPCs who stay relatively close to the players but never exceed.  An NPC can become memorable for being proud of herself being able to, say, deflect snowballs even if the players can deflect bullets.  She might find novel uses for it like always being dry despite a rainstorm, and then get frustrated because it's running water and she forgot that part and ends up drenched.

If I went with stronger characters, I'd probably have one of the sidhe, a vampire or someone similar who will be happy to help in exchange for a small favor to be named later.  That opens up the possibility of getting help at a price to the characters, and that price can end up turning into a later quest all its own.

Really, though, it seems like you know all these basics, and I'm not sure it helps to toss them at you when you're already aware.

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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If it helps, allow me to define a few things for you.

A: As far as DF goes, there really aren't any NPC generation rules.  I built the Gargoyles like I would actual Dresden characters.  That was one third of the point of them, anyways - to give me practice in coming up with character ideas and names and Aspects and custom Stunts and all of that business.  A good GM knows how to build effective characters in the game.  An excellent one has done so many times before.

B: If I should ever include these NPCs in a game, it'll be a Submerged Level game where base Refresh is 10.  The Gargoyles have varying refreshes, from 11 to 15.  Most of them are concentrated on the low end, 11-12.  A Pure Mortal in this game will have a base Refresh of 12 (10 + 2 for Pure Mortal), and even the Supernatural ones will have 10.  The Gargoyles will be stronger than the players, yes, but not by leagues.  All the PCs need is to get a couple of stories under their belts, and they can be just as potent as the Gargoyles.

C: The 'favor to be returned' is a very strong concept I plan on invoking with at least two of the Gargoyles.  Sam Fargo is a Sidhe/Fae/Court Knight, like Fix.  Even though she's 100% mortal and not Fae at all, you can bet she'll have the 'favor now for favor later bit.'  Kat Danley is the daughter of an Egyptian goddess of writing and lore.  Half her shtick is that for people not in her trusted circle, she does a favor only for a favor in return, usually information.

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Bumping to the top, this post concerns itself with the individual Gargoyles and my thoughts on them - perhaps this is what people've been looking for.

Allen Sinclair
Allen’s a character I made for a now-defunct game of DF here on E a long time ago.  As a result, he’s the most fleshed-out of all of them, but I’ve had to change some things.

Aspects
Allen’s template is the Champion of God, but he’s not a Knight of the Cross.  Instead, he is FIRST OF THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR (his High Concept) – backstory on that is that the knightly order was going to turn its resources (as the Crusades were ending) towards hunting the Denarians and helping the Knights of the Cross.  Nicodemus didn’t like the idea of an entire knightly order chasing him and his, so he engineered the ‘demonic worship’ and surrounding fallout to destroy the Templars utterly and have them branded as heretics by the Pope.  Over the centuries, Raziel – one of Raphael’s right hand archangels – tried to resurrect the Templar order, but usually they went and got themselves killed because of their lack of brainpower/overriding religiosity.  Allen’s made for an unusual choice for the head of a knightly order, but he’s worked out really well, better than anyone else Raziel found so far.

Allen’s Trouble has changed the most over the course of the series.  His first Trouble was CLUED-IN BUT CLUELESS – reflecting his recognition of the supernatural but having little understanding of what was going on supernaturally in the city.  By the time Unholy Arraignment happens, he’s now got his feet under him in that regard, so his Trouble has changed to THE CITY NEEDS ME, reflecting that his job as a prosecutor and his activities as a Templar are crowding out his personal life.  Enemies and plots are starting to pop out of the woodwork, and they’re all seemingly falling into his lap.  This continues through the end of the latest book, which has Allen discover the reason he’s been running himself ragged for two-thirds the series is because one of his coworkers (another Deputy District Attorney) is a rogue magical practitioner that was stirring things up (evidence points to him being one of the Black Hats, or at least one of their bagmen) in order to keep Allen away from his surreptitious doings.  The Gargoyles out him and foil his latest plot, which forces him to flee town, chased by a team of Wardens.  Time will tell if he’ll return to haunt the Gargoyles…with that out of the way, the balance that Allen had thrown out of whack between his work and his personal life is starting to reassert itself…foremost because he’s now dating Sam Fargo.  His current Trouble should either be about her in some way (whether its people targeting her, or because she’s a Fae Knight), or about the fact that he’s piled up a lot of enemies over the series, and now they’re starting to come back at him.

Allen’s Phase Aspects are pretty much the same as I did on the character sheet I had for him: WATCHER’S GUILT for Background, THERE’S THE LAW, AND THEN THERE’S JUSTICE for Rising Conflict, SWORD OF THE TEMPLARS for First Story, LAWYER WITH A CONSCIENCE for Guest Star, and GOD’S OWN ANTI-SON-OF-A-BITCH MACHINE for Guest Star Redux.  The lattermost in the set of five is actually a renamed Aspect he took at the end of First Witness, from THE LAW’S OWN…insert the rest here, changing his status as a no-goodnik do-inner from being based on the law to being based on his CoG.

Powers
Allen’s got the Champion of God standard powerset, as well as an Item of Power: Sword of the Templars.  The Sword has the following abilities attached to it: the Holy descriptor, which allows it to satisfy the Catch of anything whose Catch encompasses ‘holy stuff’ (such as the Red/Black Court Vamps and most of the Denarians).  It’s also got the Lethal Blows trapping (just that one) from the Supernatural Strength Power, giving it a +4 Stress rating (meaning it’s essentially Weapon: 6). In addition, it carries the custom Sword Against the Dark ability, which gives the carrier a +1 Weapons rating, but only when the Sword is being used against a supernatural foe, excepting True Believers and other Champions of God.  Allen still has 3-4 points of Refresh left to spend, which should either be in upgrading the Sword, or expanding his list of Stunts.  Most of Allen’s stunts should work in some way towards his job of being a lawyer – as being focused on Weapons for combat, he should have only a couple of combat-related Stunts.

Dainn Winchester
Dainn is the Murphy of the Gargoyles – entirely, entirely mortal, but well-trained & educated and able to hold his own against plenty of supernatural nasties (mainly low-tier, but higher if he can prepare for them).

Aspects
Dainn is a Pure Mortal, with the High Concept CLUED-IN FORENSIC CHEMIST.  He’s also an officially recognized cop (DSgt.) with science training, rather than the more typical ‘lab geek’ that gets hired.  He’s been in both the lab and the interrogation room, and done it the right way, not like how they do it on CSI.  Dainn’s Trouble has been about him being unsure of where he stands in all this, as well as the slowly dawning realization that he’s still just a guy with a gun, while his fellow Gargoyles have fantastic powers available to them – both Kat and Miles throw around magic, Allen hits like a train with his Templar Sword, and Sam Fargo can take a hit and keep coming back better than any pro boxer – plus, she’s starting to get a hang of magic, herself – slowly, but she’s learning.  But he’s still got what he started out with…he’s getting stronger, he knows that, but he can’t help but feel his friends are growing to a league of power he just can’t get to.

Dainn’s Phase Aspects aren’t all decided.  I have a few of them down as tentative ideas.  One is RE: his family, which should be either Background or, more likely, Rising Conflict – the Winchesters are a big-name family in the city, people of money and influence.  They’re also a bunch of manipulative backstabbers who are vying with each other for dominance over family affairs behind closed doors.  Dainn got out when he went to university and studied Chemistry and Criminal Justice, and while he’s got some of his family’s backing, he refuses to play their games – NOT THE BASTARD THE REST OF MY FAMILY ARE is what I have for this Aspect.  His other major aspect is BRAM STOKER FOR A NEW AGE – he loved the Hammer films and Dracula growing up (and now he carries a copy of the damn thing like it’s his Bible), and he’s resolved to be like Bram Stoker, eventually – to write a ‘how-to’ book on how to kill something major supernaturally.  This would probably be his First Story Aspect.

Powers
Dainn doesn’t have any Supernatural Powers – but so far, he hasn’t needed them (and hopefully, never will).  Dainn represents one of the two major mental powerhouses of the Gargoyles, though he’s more canted towards the mundane end of things – Scholarship over Lore, though his Lore rating is growing.  He’s gotten especially good at picking out signs of vampiric presence (and Black Court specifically, thanks to his repeated re-re-re-reading of Dracula).  Dainn is taking a bit of a scientific approach to the occult, mainly due to his Superb Scholarship (which, thanks to the Scientist stunt, goes up to Fantastic for Chemistry and Epic for Analytical Chemistry).  He’s trying to devise a blood test that’ll show signs of the vampiric for a start.  In combat, his main boon are his Guns, which most of his Combat-related Stunts should revolve around.  Dainn usually carries two – his police-issued sidearm (not decided yet), and his backup, a .38 Special S&W that Dainn now takes to loading with silver bullets.  When he’s expecting trouble, he’ll go to his closet and exchange his police sidearm for a big .357 Desert Eagle, as well as an Ithaca Model 37 shotgun (he inherited it from Grandpa and fixed it up).  Dainn’s Blazing Fire stunt lets him use Guns as a defense skill (throwing down fire to make himself a less appealing target), but only as long as he’s got a loaded gun on hand.  Out of combat, his big bring to the group is his Resources stunt High Quality Workspace, which serves to bring his Science Lab up to Resources, instead of Resources-2.

Out of all the Gargoyles, Dainn has the most points left to spend – Submerged, Pure Mortal, and his 3 Major Milestones pile up to a base Refresh of 15.  He’s only gotten a few Stunts so far, bringing his Refresh down to 10 – he needs another half-dozen Stunts or so, so that he can wind up around Refresh 4.  He might get a couple more gun-related stunts, but at least half of the ones he’s acquiring should be either investigative related, or something that would make sense for a hardened cop.

Miles Quinn
Miles is the group’s expert spellcaster, authority on things of the city, and most experienced in dealing with the White Council and their ways.

Aspects
Miles is an INTERNAL AFFAIRS SORCERER, which directly invokes his Template.  The basic concept behind Miles is that he tries to sort things out in the magic-user community where he lives before the Wardens hear of it and come stomping through, mainly because they’re like a claymore to a problem when a scalpel is needed.  His Trouble is NO ONE LIKES ME WHEN I’M AROUND, or something similar – people know that there’s trouble in River City when he shows up.  The local magical community usually doesn’t like him butting in because they feel he’s a half-step away from becoming a Warden (which isn’t true – it’s more like a quarter-step), and the Wardens don’t like him sorting things out because he isn’t the official lawkeeper (like them).

Miles’ Phase Aspects are mostly solid.  MY TRUSTY BEAT-STICK refers to his major Focus Item, a staff, which will be discussed in a bit.  THE MIGHTY QUINN is about his status and reputation in the local supernatural community (even before the Gargoyles came along, he beat things that he should have lost to), an unnamed Aspect needs to reference his thoughts about giving up the ‘independent’ gig and joining the White Council officially, and another needs to reference his less-than-wizardly style of sorcery.

Powers
Miles has standard spellcasting tricks – Evocation, Thaumaturgy, The Sight (still debating on Soulgaze, even though it is free), Wizard’s Constitution, and a few levels of Refinement (DON’T quote the book at me on Sorcerers, I know what I’m doing), along with a custom Conviction Stunt, Used to the Rush: it’s Resilient Self-Image (lets the person take additional mild consequences), but altered so that they’re only good when casting an Evocation spell.

Miles will probably pick up a handful of Stunts – related to being a good sorcerer or his Contacts skill.  But most of his earned Refresh points will go towards additional instances of Refinement.  Miles spent two of his Refinements on more Specializations, and one on Focus Items.  Miles’ three Evocation elements are: Earth, Fire, and [X].  I’m not sure what the last one is – part of me wants to make it Air and have Miles be a strict elementalist, but the veil/force abilities of Spirit appeal, as well.  Not that it matters, Earth and Fire are his fortes.  His current Specializations are the following.  Earth: +1 Conviction, +2 Discipline.  Fire: +1 Conviction & Discipline.  He’s got 5 Focus Item Slots (4 from Evocation & Thaumaturgy, with 1 slot converted for Enchanted Items, and 2 more from a Refinement).  3 of those slots have gone into his staff (MY TRUSTY BEAT-STICK), which gives him +1 Offensive & Defensive Power for Earth, as well as +1 Offensive Control.  The other 2 go into a silver ring he wears on his hand, and gives him +1 Offensive Power & Control for Fire – the ring breaks out into the Tolkienesque runes on the One Ring whenever he uses it, which glow.  His 2 Enchanted Item slots go to buy Harry’s Duster (Armor: 2, usable 3/session).

All of these bonuses make Miles a fearsome evocationist, capable of slinging around Fantastic level-evocations with both Earth and Fire, and if he has his Focus Items, he goes up to Epic for all Earth evocations and any offensively-oriented Fire ones.

On the thaumaturgy end, Miles currently has just the base Specialization he gets with Thaumaturgy, which he’s spent on a Control Bonus for Wards.

Sam Fargo
Sam is the group’s resident ass-kicker and blow-taker.  Allen’s starting to get up there in terms of his ability to take a hit (his ability to hit has always been as good as hers), but she’s the group combat heavy.

Aspects
Sam’s High Concept is JUNIOR SUMMER KNIGHT – basic idea: after the events of Chicago’s Faerie War, it was decided that the Fae Courts should keep on hand a number of other mortals to step in and take the place of a fallen Fae Knight, to prevent the War from happening again.  I’m not sure how Sam got hooked up with the Fae, but she did, and she found herself the immediate successor should the current Summer Knight get axed.  Sam’s Trouble is something related to her being a Fae Knight – as the ‘successor knight,’ she technically has more freedom than the Summer Knight enjoys, but she also has less power and less authority.

I haven’t decided on any of Sam’s Phase Aspects, save that one should be ESCRIMA PRODIGY (see below), and another should reference her immense ability to weather pain.

Powers
Sam has the standard Fae Knight abilities: Marked by Power (Summer, specifically) and Seelie Magic (which she’s starting to play with, but hasn’t seriously used).  She’s also got an Item of Power – Elven Chainmail, which she wears when she’s expecting trouble.  The Chainmail grants her the Supernatural Recovery ability in its entirety, as well as the Hard to Kill portion of Inhuman Toughness – the Catch for both of these abilities are trappings of Winter.  Aside from those, Sam has a few stunts, mostly related to her major combat skill, Fists.  Her Armed Arts specialty is Escrima – which lets her use sticks (appropriately-sized) and knives with her Fists skill.  She mainly carries around a pair of Escrima sticks when she’s expecting trouble, and she always has a knife on her (unless she can’t find a place to fit it).  Her major combat inspiration was the film Sherlock Holmes (not the sequel) with Robert Downey Jr, at the very beginning where Holmes has those sticks and is fighting goons in a crypt.  Future Refresh boosts will give her more combat-related stunts (to Fists or Endurance), or she’ll have upgrades made to her Elven Chainmail (boosting the Toughness abilities on it), or get another Item that would give her Strength powers.

Kat Danley
Kat Danley is the Giles of the group – she’s the Gargoyles’ supreme Lore master, as well as having a small business that’s tucked away in a quieter corner of the city where the Gargoyles can congregate and work over plans and discuss what’s going on currently in their latest case without much fear of being discovered.

Aspects
Kat’s High Concept is GUARDIAN OF LOST LORE, being the daughter of Seshat, an Egyptian goddess of writing and lore (making her an Emissary of Power).  Her Trouble is, or was, depending on how this plays out: I KEEP DOING THIS HERO THING.  Her idea of how this works is that she’s supposed to gather information and then protect it from anyone else, she’s supposed to be an observer, not a participant.  But she keeps getting pulled into situations because of agreements she made in the past, or more recently because the Gargoyles have grown on her as friends and she feels compelled to help them.  This might be her current Trouble, or she might have accepted her place as a less-than-neutral person, in which case her Trouble might change to something regarding that, because she might be trying to get her shop declared as Accorded Neutral Ground…I’m not sure.  Not really.

I haven’t the foggiest idea for her Phase Aspects, either, except for one, which relates to her spellcasting: PRECISION IS POWER.

Powers
Kat has probably the most eclectic powers out of the bunch.  On the one hand, she’s got Spellcasting – Evocation only (Mom hasn’t had enough time to teach her the Slow Way) – but she’s also got a special weapon (a khopesh, an Egyptian-style slashing sword, an Item of Power) from Mom.  She’s mainly focused on bettering her Evocation abilities with Refresh points, but her Item might be the focus of a requested-for upgrade at some point.

Kat’s three Evocation elements are: Air (invoking the desert winds); Water (the Nile River); and Spirit (Egyptian cosmology thing).  Her strongest Element is Water, by far – both of her Specializations are in Water (+2 Conviction, +1 Discipline), letting her throw around Fantastic-level Water Evocations.  Kat’s Focus Item is an Ankh, which provides +1 bonuses to both Offensive and Defensive Power for the Air element, letting her use Air evocations at a level of Superb.  She plans on using further Refinements to gain more Specializations – she doesn’t like the idea of Focus Items all that much, since they can be taken away – all but one of her planned Rote spells (4) don’t use them.  She also has 1 or 2 Enchanted Items, gifts from Mom.  The big one she has is her Pyramid Bangle, which lets her invoke either a 6-shift block or Armor: 3 (haven’t decided which yet) three times a session.  This takes up three of the four Enchanted Item slots she gets (she traded both Focus Item slots for Enchanted).  If she uses the last slot for her Bangle, it’ll be for frequency, letting her use the Bangle 5x per session.  If she doesn’t use the last slot for the Bangle, I’ll probably give her something akin to Harry’s force ring – a oneshot weapon she carries on her, which has a strength of Superb (Weapon: 5).

Kat’s Item of Power is an Enchanted Khopesh, an Egyptian slashing sword crafted by one of Mom’s fellow gods and handed to her.  To note – I’ve got a couple different configurations for it, I’m just not sure which one I’d be going with at this time.  Configuration A gives the Khopesh the following abilities – Superior Athletic Ability (the trapping from Supernatural Speed, which gives Kat +2 on all Athletics checks, +4 if she’s sprinting); a custom stunt, Decapitate (essentially Killer Blow for Weapons instead of Fists – spend a Fate Point, gain +3 Stress to an attack 1/scene); and the Finely Tuned Third Eye Lore stunt (letting the sword function as a proximity detector for nearby supernaturals). 

This is the configuration I’m going with so far, as opposed to.  Configuration B retains Superior Athletic Ability, but trades the Decapitation Stunt for the Wall of Death Stunt, and Finely Tuned Third Eye for the Lethal Blows trapping from Supernatural Strength.  I’m hesitant to use this one, mainly because it feels like I’d be overlapping with Allen’s Templar Sword in this regard.  I’m open to suggestions on power combinations for this, but the Supernatural Speed ability stays – she’s like a Fencer in her swordsmanship.



Also, I have character concepts for some of the recurring villains the Gargoyles will face before the end of their stories - does anyone want to help me out with building them?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 04:45:28 PM by ReijiTabibito »