SoulS of Seattle
House Rules for the SoulS Continuity
Natural Laws of Magic – These mirror closely the White Councils laws of magic and are indeed their inspiration but The Natural laws do vary in very small ways.
Legal Laws of Magic – These are the laws the White Council enforces. As stated above they are close to the natural laws but at times a distinction must be made.
Black Taint – Just a house term to describe a wizard being tainted by using the black.
“The Offer” – Sadly this cannot be explained but surely it will become clear in plot some day.
New or changed Mechanics
Supernatural sense -
Because cloak of shaodws [-1] grants both the value of a stunt and the base power of supernatural sense; Super Natural sense costs -1 as normal but if you take any of its upgrades its initial cost becomes 0. Just like Soul Gaze does when you take The Sight.
New “Refund” Powers:
A Natural Weakness is a weakness so bad that not only is it the catch to your toughness or recovery [in most cases] but merely touching it causes you harm. Dresden Files previously had no refund for having a natural weakness of this nature that other creature types didn’t have nor did it have proper mechanics. Determining the weakness happens in 4 steps. In step 1 you determine just how detrimental your weakness is in terms of damage. Next you determine conditional factors such as “identifiable”, “Accessibility” and “difficulty to avoid”
Step 1 Damage
If the mere touch to your weakness is 1-2 damage it is worth +1. If touching your weakness is 3-4 damage it is worth +2. If touching your weakness is worth 5-6 damage it is worth +3.
Note: If an attack is done using an item made of your weakness it adds this damage to the base damage of the weapon.
Step 2 Identifiable
If almost anyone with an awareness of the supernatural knows about the Catch or could easily find out (like from the Paranet, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula if you’re a Black Court vampire), you get a +1.
Step 3 Accessibility
If it is bypassed by something that anyone could reasonably get access to, but usually doesn’t carry on them (like cold iron), you get a +1.
Step 4 Difficulty to Avoid
If avoiding contact with your weakness is easy such as wearing gloves or a heavy coat it is reduced by 2. If it can be somewhat easily avoided but would create other unusal circumstances such as wearing a heavy winter coat in the summer it is reduced by 1.
Note: The above does not take into account a person actively trying to attack you with your weakness as that is covered in Step 3.
Example 1: Sunlight
Sunlight is weapon 5-6 = +3, Easily identified +1, easily accessed +1 and is somewhat easy to avoid -1 for a total of +4
Example 2: Cold Iron
Cold Iron is weapon 3-4 = +2, Easily identified +1, Easily accessed +1 and is easy to avoid -2 for a total of +2
Natural Aversion +1
If your species has a natural aversion to something it is covered for a refund under this “power”. An aversion means that because of what you are your high concept can be tagged or compelled against you in some way. Such as: Fae can’t lie, Black court avoid consecrated ground, or any number of creature that has to deal with thresholds. Any of these little inconveniences fall under Natural Aversion. It doesn’t matter how many aversions you have this power can only be taken once. Is it balanced and makes sense? Not really, but this is the sort of way Fate powers are written and so it works mechanically with the system, yet still grants some benefit to being hindered by these sorts of things.
House Rules for the Souls Continuity
Only wizard magic disrupts technology
According to the book: faith in an object which represents a persons faith is enough to hold back some creatures of the nevernever. The RPG disagrees stating that the object has to have a power behind it. We use the books version. If you believe in something enough then your faith can hold certain creatures at bay. This must be represented on your character sheet in some way by an aspect.
Rulings on magic
Point of view does not protect you from the black. I.E. A mortal who likes killing people is still breaking a “natural” law of magic and thus is susceptible to the black.
Only mortals with mortal magic are subject to the “Legal” and “Natural” laws of magic. I.E. Sponsored magic, Seelie magic and even magic items do not draw the magic through the body and in most cases aren’t even susceptible to the black any ways.
Killing a being with magic only matters when that being has free will according to the “natural” laws of magic or if they were ever mortal and are now tainted with the black. More specifically creatures who have “The Offer” will cause black taint if killed with magic. The logic behind this is that monsters without free will are another cog in the machine, they are like scenery and killing them is like burning down a tree, unpleasant but not horrific. Where as killing a being of free will with magic is destroying something beautiful.
Rules of Conduct
As a storyteller it is my job to assist players in understanding the system and I go beyond that to aid them in any cleverly crafted ideas which may not be in the rules. However as a player I am not inclined to explain how my little in game tricks work. There is a multi-fold reason for this.
- Players have the right to keep secrets from other players.
- Telling a player how I do things robs them of the opportunity to come up with it on there own or other unique ideas. which leads me to
- If a player has come up with something really original or a crafty way of doing things its unfair to them if their techniques are mimicked by the group. This borderlines on infringement. The player spent who knows how long coming up with these ideas, how to work them in the mechanics and now everyone is doing it.
Special mundane item [mechanic] creation rules.
when buying, making or otherwise acquiring an item, a player might wish to willingly put a negative aspect on it. Something that can be tagged and used against it. I.E. “Hard to hold on to” and in trade they might get a special positive aspect such as “Deadly Sharp”. The way this works is thus. The negative aspect can be tagged for free against the item once per scene if another character can guess the aspect. In trade the positive aspect can also be tagged once per scene by the person using it. This is loosely tied to our house rule that permanent aspects can always be tagged. See above. [This is currently under reconsideration as are permanent aspects due to new light being shed on the subject]
However a player in this scenario [see above] or others may wish to hide this little trick from other players so instead of saying that they are tagging the aspect they say they are invoking the aspect. This hides the fact that the item has the negative aspect on it a little better. I will have a list of all player hidden tag-able aspects and will simply put a check next to it for the scene. This and maybe other future tricks will be available to maintain player secrecy.
How do NPCs spot negative aspects
Now I as the storyteller know all of your little secrets. I know your negative aspects and so its no contest for me to “guess” them. Instead the NPCs and also my PC will have to make an alertness roll to become aware of any negative elements. The difficulty is set by my co-story teller who determines a difficulty based on how obvious or hidden the aspect is.
What do you mean by “characters”?
This is an important distinction to make. A character is anything in the world that could fall under PC or NPC category. Now in general I hate the words PC and NPC because they have become synonymous with “important” and “not important”. I put a lot of work into the characters in these stories and they are my tool set. I don’t want my hard work and tool set being viewed as not important. Also the notion is unrealistic. When you meet a person in real life you don’t immediately determine whether or not they matter or whether their life and existence has value, You just meet them. What happens with the NPC vs PC situation is that players break character in both circumstances. NPCs cant get away with a minor insult because they “don’t matter” and PCs have players breaking their characters normal mentality to get along with them because the player feels that the premise of the game is to form a group so no matter how big of an ass the other player is they’re just going to have to tough it out. I hate that, calling PCs and NPCs characters is the first step getting rid of the “lone wolf” rugged types and helping players stay in character. BTW if you are the kind of grating personality that expects others to continually put forth effort to keep you around [you know who I’m talking about] then prepare to play the whole game alone because my players are in no way required to stay in a group with you and thus don’t have to put up with your crap.
The larger world
You can bring hell down upon yourself by picking and even winning fights with the wrong people. You kill a guy who knew a guy and that second guy comes to kill you, your life is in jeopardy. I mean this in the sense of my “no killing” policy. Now both of these deaths are subject to the concession rules found in YS 206 but sometimes concessions are just not possible. This is usually the case when no logical escape is present and my own personal condition that the character in question has killed another character directly leading to this confrontation. My point here is this: I will never throw death at you as a part of plot but if you go killing off characters you are putting your head on the proverbial chopping block. Now maybe you can dodge the swing of the axe maybe not. I am also saying each character in the story is not in a vacuum. They know people, they have allies and they have debtors. If you remove them your troubles with their absence have probably only begun.
Why a "no killing policy and what exactly can’t be killed?
My “no killing” policy only applies to friendly or not immediately hostile characters. It exists not as a rule but as a line to be crossed. If this line is crossed then your on the proverbial chopping black as mentioned above. The reason it exists is that generally speaking, whole sale slaughter is not a very logical action to take and is disruptive to the story. It also exists because these characters take a long time to write and weave into plot. I put great depth into them. If they were gonna die on page 2 there’s no reason to create an elaborate backstory for them. Most of all however this exists because its generally disruptive to the game, story and players when all the major NPC’s are dropping like flies. Its hard to tell a coherent story when key characters just drop dead and the only point to this seems to be serving the killing players ego. A good rule of them for when to strike and when not to strike is to put yourself in the situation in question. Not awesome McCoolname you who lives in a vacuum of repercussions for their actions but you you, who has to weigh the consequences of their actions carefully. —
Characters and which versions we use
Harry Dresden – Book
Bob – Book
Karin Murphy – Book
Bianca St. Clair – Book+Show+Original
Mavra – Book but mostly Original
Mab – Book but mostly Original
Micheal Carpenter – Book
Molly Carpenter – unused but likely book with the addendum that she takes up apprenticeship with Dresden sometime after Morganna.
Thomas Wraith – Book
Laura Wraith – Book + some original material
Thomas Wraith – Book
Inari Wraith – Book
The Alphas – Book+Original members such as Lisa