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dresden files RPG: I'm going to hell and i dont care

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Wolfboy

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« on: <10-08-10/1919:55> »
was in the comic store this afternoon and ran across something that is sure to ensure my trip south of the angel/demon line, two game books for an RPG based in Jim butcher's "Harry Dresden" universe. I havent looked deep into the rules and i will be sure to before i buy the books but....


ok, i'm a fanboy, you do the math
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FastJack

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« Reply #2 on: <10-08-10/1933:15> »
We're several sessions into our campaign so far, and it's really an excellent set of game books.  I'm not familiar with the Dresdenverse, myself (despite, or perhaps because of, so many people telling me they're right up my alley), but my wife is a rabid fan and she loves the sourcebooks.  About half our gaming group has read at least a few Dresden books, and they were all quite smitten with the "feel" of the RPG material.

Speaking of it solely as a gamer, though, I was still very impressed.  The core mechanic is the FATE system (which has been used in a few other games, apparently), and I'm enjoying it quite a bit.  It's a very narrative-driven, creative-thinking, sort of game -- not just dealing out HP worth of damage and calling it a day -- but it still isn't what I'd call rules light.  It's just rules different, and very story oriented.

Character and setting creation themselves are part of game play, with our whole group having a blast over a matter of hours, working together to flesh out our setting (Opal, Oklahoma, and the nearby Cherokee reservation), even as we started to weave our characters' backstories together, figure out how we knew each other, what we'd worked on together before, etc.  It's actually a lot of fun for these things to be group activities, in my opinion, instead of having it be the industry standard of "okay, I take the books off to a dark corner for a while and make my guy, then hand the books over to someone else" school of creation.

While we're all going to be tackling the mundane corruption and politics and crime of the burgeoning reservation casino, we'll also be dealing with supernatural threats that are drawn to the area due to a ley-line convergence and the fading of an old, old, No-See-'Em spell.  The increase in everyday traffic, tourism, and attention is making the spell weaker and weaker, and drawing in magical threats -- and the whole setting, from those broad strokes of it down to the name of the diner several of us eat breakfast at most mornings, all came from us with only minor nudges from the GM. 

Overall, we're all very much enjoying the game.  The folks who are fans of Butcher's books are having fun with the in-character nature of the rulebooks (and the detailed universe book, in particular), but even those of us who are new to the whole place are enjoying a well-made product with some great artwork and interesting rules.

I think you're in for a treat.

Caine Hazen

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« Reply #3 on: <10-08-10/2158:04> »
I'm still waiting for a group to get together (damnit I run more than enough, someone else can run it) but I love the ruleset.  They made some good improvements on FATE that really fit the universe well.  The cooperative worldbuilding and storytelling are top notch.  And for fans of the series, its worth it to just get the books and read the side notes the run throught.  Can't wait until I'm playing this!
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Mystic

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« Reply #4 on: <10-09-10/0334:14> »
Ok, I just finished Changes about two months ago and Im still letting the mental adreneline rush calm down before I look for any more Dresden stuff. The last book was so mind-blowing and hard core, it is what propelled Jim Butcher to the status of "My Favorite Author".

That being said, then I hear about this newest gamer crack game, I instantly worry that it will suck and ruin the fragile perceptions of the Dresden-verse I hold dear. Guess I have nothing to worry about, eh?

But I do have a question or six, are there any "classes" or is it like SR and you can literally cobble togeather anything as long as you have the "points" (or whatever they use) for it? Also, are there other things to play other than Wizards, or wizard variants?
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« Reply #5 on: <10-09-10/0420:34> »
But I do have a question or six, are there any "classes" or is it like SR and you can literally cobble togeather anything as long as you have the "points" (or whatever they use) for it? Also, are there other things to play other than Wizards, or wizard variants?
At character creation you're given a pool of Fate Refresh to spend, during character creation.  Your Fate points are -- very vaguely -- like Edge points in Shadowrun, in that normally you use them to reroll or get a bonus on a roll, that sort of thing.  During creation, you have X number of these to spend, based on the power level of the game (we had 8, in ours).  You spend them on magical powers, skill-based abilities, or you can horde them in order to just have more Fate points to sling around once the game starts.

Within the confines of your Refresh that you can spend, you can make whatever your GM will let you make.  To be a "true" Wizard (with both Evocation and...uhh...Thaumaturgy?  I'm not playing one, so I don't remember the two Dresdenverse big schools of mojo manipulation) at our campaign's power level, it cost them all their available starting Refresh points;  so power-wise our two Wizards are fairly similar (though their skills, attitudes, backgrounds, are tremendously different).  In a higher level game, though?  You could make a Wizard that's also a Werewolf, or a White Court Vampire that's also got a bunch of additional skill-based abilities, or whatever.  If you've got the Refresh to spend, and if your GM (and the Dresdenverse as a whole) are okay with the powers and abilities you want to cobble together, you can make whatever you want.

There are powers listed for were-critters (primarily wolves), lycanthropes, changelings, different types of vampires (and different levels of being infected by them), True Believers (who have faith-based powers), folks with artifact goodies, you name it. 

To give you an idea of the spread of characters available?  Doing a disservice to all our characters by grossly oversimplifying them...right now we've got a reservation cop (totally mundane), a roaming monster hunter (totally mundane), an official White Council wizard (assigned to our town), a White Council-tolerated wizard (con man and gambler), an old school, merry fey, shapeshifter changeling (who currently works casino security because the ley line convergence makes her "feel good" out at the casino), a White Court vampire (who lives in the casino penthouse and feeds on the feelings of hope and despair the many tourist/gamblers give to him, exiled to the middle of nowhere after a failed political maneuver back in his home town), a wandering preacher man (who has supernatural abilities granted to him by God, including a "plot device" type power that just helps him show up where he's needed, which is, lately, sleepy little Opal, Oklahoma), and my character, who's perhaps best summed up as "a werefalcon version of Raylan Givens from Justified" (who's the off-reservation lawman for the area, who uses his unique family secret to do his job even better).

So we've got two mortals, one changeling/fae, one werecritter, one vampire, two wizards, and a true believer.  As of yet, no one's jumped out in front of anyone else as being fantastically more potent, as causing any sort of game inbalance, etc, etc.  Everyone's good at what their concept says they should be good at, everyone's rewarded for creative thinking and teamwork, everyone's useful...it's just been a great time, really.

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« Reply #6 on: <10-09-10/0453:08> »
Great, now not only have I to catch up on multiple novels, but I have to buy and never play ANOTHER RPG... damn you :/
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Mäx

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« Reply #7 on: <10-09-10/1726:18> »
Great, now not only have I to catch up on multiple novels, but I have to buy and never play ANOTHER RPG... damn you :/
Heh, im just listening throught the books as fast as can(at the start of the last one right now) so i can start reading trought the RPG books.
Reading them myself would be faster, but James Master is so awesome reader that i prefer to listen the audio books even thought it takes longer. :)
Most likely i never get to play the game, but it's more canon* dresden stuff so gotta read them, from my leafing trought the books i can say their pretty awesome.

Yap the RPG is totally canon, in world its written by Billy as the modern equilevant of Bram Stoker's "Dracula"
« Last Edit: <10-09-10/1731:32> by Mäx »
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Irian

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« Reply #8 on: <10-09-10/1746:16> »
The Dresden Files are pretty good and the rpg books look nice, but honestly, there are to so many different settings I would like to try first (and I would simply use the GURPS 4th rules for almost any of them :-)).
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PeterSmith

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« Reply #9 on: <10-12-10/1214:41> »
Let's see if it passes my first test, the "Other media brought in as an RPG" Test:

Are the characters from the books statted out?
Power corrupts.
Absolute power is kinda neat.

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« Reply #10 on: <10-12-10/1536:42> »
Let's see if it passes my first test, the "Other media brought in as an RPG" Test:

Are the characters from the books statted out?
The second of the core books, "Our World," is pretty much nothing but statted out characters from books, with brief histories of each one, and comments from the (in-universe) peanut gallery in the margins.

PeterSmith

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« Reply #11 on: <10-13-10/0830:18> »
The second of the core books, "Our World," is pretty much nothing but statted out characters from books, with brief histories of each one, and comments from the (in-universe) peanut gallery in the margins.

Then I will pass on the system. IMO, characters from the source material should not be statted out. I've heard too many nerd fights over who could beat up source material characters with their uberCharacter, it got old a looooooooooooong time ago.
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FastJack

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« Reply #12 on: <10-13-10/0835:07> »
I'm not passing on the system (not doing anything right now since my budget only allows for Pathfinder & Shadowrun at the moment--with the occasional Battletech), but I agree with Peter on the statting out of the big names. For some reason, as soon as players see a characters stats, most will go right to "I can beat him/her up!"

Doc Chaos

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« Reply #13 on: <10-13-10/0850:04> »
Sure they can. With maybe the exception of Harlequin, NPCs are just people. They can die. But players tend to forget, the hardcore NPCs have LOTS of ressources and friends. Beat up one, face a hundred on your way home.
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Caine Hazen

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« Reply #14 on: <10-13-10/1049:36> »
I'd actually give the system a look Peter, before writing it off.  Because the system favors story over stats, and beacuse the level of play across the board is different between players and "offical" npcs, there wil always be differences a storyteller can play off.  All wizards in the game begin with the exact same powers, but how they are developed by the player and GM will determin a lot of what they are limited by.  There are no set "spell lists" so there is no determining which spells are more powerful than which others. 

Really, you do yourself a disservice by not checking out what they did with the rules for this game.  If you have the type of payers who can't handle gaming without "power gaming"; I feel bad for you.  And if you've lurked too long in places where the ubercharacters go to harp on one another based on stats, this may well bring you back to the light of good roleplaying (vs roll-playing).
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