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Last night we played our first session of The Dresden Files, Evil Hat's FATE powered game based on the books (and short-lived TV series) of the same name. In it, Harry Dresden is a modern day magical PI, investigating where the Nevernever impinges on real life. The default setting is Chicago, which is interesting but not quite up there with our local place London.

We did the full character generation process yesterday which is individual but also collaborative. In effect, once you have a character concept, you generate a time line for your PC which includes childhood, growing up and your first adventure. This last involves two of the other PCs in some way. Each part of this process generates an Aspect for your PC.

Aspects are the key to this game. You can invoke them to get a +2 bonus (not inconsiderable) on a check. You can invoke your own, those belonging to the location or those placed on others. So in a fight in the sewer you might use Dirty Fighter, Cold Water and Echoing Noises to help get the once over on your opponent. It costs a FATE point to do so. Your own aspects can also be used by others and you gain a FATE point if they do (there are complications to this but its the basic economy of the game). You also have the usual array of skills and equipment (which work like Aspects) as well as schticks, special bonuses which can be mortal or supernatural (my PC has Cassandra's Tears - unconvincing precognition, Lush Lifestyle - loads of money and contacts).

It took over an hour to do character generation although this might be speeded up if the players can come up with their concepts more quickly. I was a bit slow, spencerpine needed some refinement, simonjrogers got it straight away (as usual).

The characters we ended up with were:
- An illegal immigrant apprentice wizard who learned his trade in a dodgy Oxford St language "university".
- a territorial hairdresser werewolf
- a half-ogre changelling yardie
- a political special adviser emmisary of Science (a Noblis-ish concept)

We played a couple of short scenes and haven't quite got the hang of the system but I think we'll be there next week. In all, an auspicious debut.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Very interesting. I'm just in the process of brainstorming for the next campaign with my group. "Modern Magic" is the working title, i.e. a magical setting in our modern world, a la Dresden Files, Hellblazer, etc. The Dresden Files RPG is one candidate for the rules - although I don't want to use the setting straight, it might be ripe for canniblization.

The other rules candidate is Mortal Coil, and I was wondering whether we could use MC to develop the setting and the characters, play the first few stories, and - if we like the setting - perhaps later switch to DF RPG. ThHat seems better suited to longer-style games then MC, at least from what I can see at the moment. I'll get my hands on the DF rules tonight.

What do you think, can the two games serve the same kind of setting? If perhaps not exactly the same style of play.
May. 20th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
Mortal Coil is hand-made for this kind of collaborative magic-based background, with the right players. Mortal Coil has a token-based economy, so it might work well to flesh out the background, and when you've established things generate characters based on the MC ones - there are a lot of points of intersection.
May. 21st, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
Thanks, that's what I thought. Looks like it's time to give Mortal Coil a spin. :)
May. 21st, 2010 08:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, what he said. Also MC has a less grainy system so there's not so much scope for character advancement as there is in DF but the magic in MC is more interesting because you make the rules yourself.

Edited at 2010-05-21 08:18 am (UTC)
May. 22nd, 2010 10:52 am (UTC)
I liked it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )