Saturday, January 12, 2013

Urban Fantasy: Rethinking Wizardry

I like FATE, because in it's simplicity lies beauty. The way fudge dice with their + and - symbols are beautiful, because they are uncluttered (except when they are from Q Workshop). Because I like simplicity, I am loath to work much beyond the basic framework of aspects, stunts, skills and two stress tracks (one physical, one mental) to describe things.

Wizardry with its mandatory stunt, its skill and four add-on skills is already more complex than I like.

Now, in the Google+ Fate Community, Fred Hicks has written three interesting answers to this comment about converting Ebberon:

Answer #1 by Fred Hicks:
Quick & dirty, give her a Sorcery skill that can do all four basic actions without needing any sort of equipment or justification beyond what you normally do to cast a spell as a sorcerer. Then let her do some stunts that make for particularly awesome things when she spends a fate point: "Fireball: Spend a fate point to roll one attack roll against all targets in a given zone", etc.

Answer #2 by Fred Hicks:
You could also sidestep the fate point thing, and instead give her a separate Mana Stress track. She takes a point of stress every time she casts a spell that uses one of the expanded stunt abilities; she could keep going past the end of that and start taking consequences, but that gives her a per-scene limited budget that clears out every time she gets some rest. Very D&D like.

Answer #3 by Fred Hicks:
Yeah. It might be more 'fair' to make Magic a skill that can do 2 of the 4 actions, but you can add more actions with stunts; or to make Magic more than one skill, but each skill covers a different kind of magery, i.e., one magic skill's Overcome Obstacle doesn't cover the same range of obstacles that another skill's does, etc.
Wizardry already follows these guidelines pretty closely, but still not to my satisfaction. Therefore I am rewriting Wizardry/Witchcraft/Sorcery to be a bit more generic and less precise:

Wizardry/Witchcraft/Sorcery

You still need to take a Wizardry skill and the skill can be used to overcome obstacles and create advantages. Since this is fairly flexible, it also costs you a stunt. Each time you use your Witchcraft skill, you take one point mental stress (as I don't want to introduce a new stress track).  Adding the Warlock stunt lets you use the Sorcery skill to create attack and defend. Still costs one mental stress per roll. The rest of the rules just get cut as being overly complex. When you want to do something more impressive, create another stunt for it, following the suggestions of Fred Hicks. 

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