October 31, 2017

Danny Copperfield, Novice Wizard and Amatuer Sleuth

Happy Halloween!!!

So I'm writing this post coming off the conclusion of the long-running Curse of Strahd campaign that my friend Eric has been running for our Saturday night online group (used to call it the Skype group, but we've pretty much switched over to Discord at this point as it's given us far less grief that Skype so far, and the ability to have separate channels for general and game-specific discussions is quite nice).  I don't think any of us were really expecting the campaign to end the way it did; yes we managed to defeat Strahd, but it was a very bitter victory indeed, leaving the party largely broken and ultimately going their separate ways.  I did have fun playing Sir Thomas, even though in hindsight there are things I would have done very differently if I'd had a better handle on who the character was.  Still, it's nice to bring that campaign to a conclusion, with the advent of running a campaign that's far more cheerful and bright on the near horizon.

Now, to continue with my string of Samhain appropriate blog postings, I thought I'd post up a character that I'd made a while back, got to play briefly, have remade and may have a chance to play again.

The character in question was originally made for the Dresden Files Role-Playing Game by Evil Hat Productions, taking place in the world detailed in the highly enjoyable Dresden Files series of novels written by Jim Butcher.  Personally, I prefer the audiobooks as I honestly feel that James Marsters (best known for playing Spike on the classic TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer) does a bang up job of giving voice to the many characters; it's at the point where to me he's pretty much the voice of series protagonist Harry Dresden.

Said character was Danny Copperfield, a young/novice wizard of the White Council, and can be summed up as Dresden-Lite.  This was deliberate, as I liked the notion of playing a still-fresh and mostly-untested wizard, just barely into his 20's (Harry started out in mid to late 20's I believe), albeit one that had proper training as a wizard and lacked the many tragic elements of Harry's personal history.  In his original incarnation, Danny had a solid mix of control and power, in that while he might not have been hitting at the same level of power as Harry Dresden, but neither was he quite as likely to set the immediate on area with an errant blast of flame.  I did get the chance to play him in a rather short campaign, and he was quite a bit of fun, delivering snark and unexpected bouts of sheer magical power with aplomb.

So when Evil Hat released the Dresden Files Accelerated RPG, updating the material to work with their very fun Fate Accelerated Edition, I decided (mostly on a lark) to do an updated version of Danny, just to see how the character would work out given DFA's method of using Mantles to set character archetypes.  And overall, I think it worked out pretty well.  The fact that in DFA a spellcaster isn't nearly as restricted in hurling magic (that was an issue with the original DFRPG was that spellcasters had very limited mojo, an issue that in the books really only affected Harry "powerhouse slob" Dresden given his own admittance for simply grabbing as much power as he could and hurling it at his foe with little to no finesse) means that Danny can make much more use of his evocations, in particular attacking enemies with fire.  As a bit of a trade-off, he's not quite as adept starting out with divination or ward magic, but seeing as how his Mantle gives him a much broader bonus to thaumaturgy makes up for it.

One thing that is nice about DFA is that by essentially rolling spellcasting into a character's approaches, there's not as much worry about balancing things out for the Pure Mortals; yes a spellcaster does get to work their mojo at a higher power scale, but magic may well not always be the answer.  That and I suspect a GM could easily compel the Wizard part of the character's aspect to have modern technology breakdown around the spellcaster.  And even the higher power scale isn't that huge of a boost when competing with Pure Mortals, whose own Mantles have some pretty neat tricks of their own.

With my friend Doran wanting to run at least a one-shot of Dresden Files Accelerated (to the great delight of the entire group as we're all fans of the Dresden Files), I'm looking forward to an opportunity to once again don the red canvas duster and whip out the blasting rod (mind out of gutter, thank you very much!) and step into the role of this character.  Given the interesting personalities that I'm sure the rest of the players will bring to the table with their own characters, it should be interesting to see how things shake out... preferably without multiple buildings being on fire (especially if it's not his fault)!

Danny Copperfield
Mantle: Magical Practitioner
High Concept: Novice Wizard of the White Council
Trouble: Chronic Wiseass
Aspects: Amateur Sleuth; Don't Underestimate My Power!
Refresh: 1

Good (+3): Force
Fair (+2): Haste, Intellect
Average (+1): Focus, Guile
Mediocre (+0): Flair

Stress and Conditions
Stress: [1][1][1][1][1][1]
Combat Wizard: [1][1]
In Peril (sticky): [4]
Doomed (lasting): [6]
Indebted (sticky): [_][_][_][_][_]
Exhausted (sticky): [_]
Burned Out (lasting): [_]
The Third Eye (sticky): [_]

Evocation: You are able to cast spells on the fly and without need for ritual preparation.
Thaumaturgy: You are able to cast a variety of arcane rituals, adding a +2 bonus to the roll.
Soulgaze: You have the ability to look directly upon the soul of another person, and they can look at yours in turn.
Combat Wizard: Gain two stress boxes explicitly for enhancing evocations.
Evocation Specialist: Gain +2 bonus when making a Force attack using the element of fire.
White Council Membership: Once per session, you may request aid from the White Council.

Danny is a tall, lanky young man just under six and a half feet tall, with shoulder-length charcoal black hair, several strands of which constantly hang in front of his dark blue eyes, a good-natured lopsided smile befitting his generally irreverent nature on his face, although his expression turns much darker once his ire has been raised.  His preferred attire is a dark-hued shirt, a pair of blue jeans, simple sneakers, and a full-length red canvas duster, with his blasting rod tucked away but always within easy reach.

Notable Possessions
Blasting rod (made of hickory), red canvas duster with extra pockets, assorted ritual tools and aids stuffed in said extra pockets.

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