Today I felt like taking a bit of time to discuss a few of the templates that are used during the character creation process in the Dresden Files RPG. Unlike the character classes you’ve probably used in other game systems templates don’t determine every mechanical aspect of your character. They do determine what Musts, your character must possess and detail what role that particular template fills within the Dresdenverse. For today’s dose of the Daily D4 I thought we’d focus on the magic users of the Dresden Files, after all Harry is the main character.
Minor Talents are the least powerful magic users of the Dresdenverse, and they’re also the ones that pure mortals are most likely to bump into. They have just enough magical prowess to get themselves into trouble, which is all too often the last thing that they’ll do. Minor talents are usually ignorant of the true nature of magic, but find themselves blessed or cursed with supernatural talents that are sometimes difficult to ignore. If they’re lucky a minor talent will remain ignorant of their powers and live a long boring life, but their abilities and their ignorance often makes them a tempting target for more powerful predators. Kim Delanery, an acquaintance of Harry Dresden’s who you may recall from Fool Moon was likely a minor talent as are most of the members of the Paranet. Minor talents must take a supernatural power worth 1 or possibly 2 points of refresh and their high concept aspect should reflect their not quite human nature.
Focused Practitioners put all of their eggs in one basket magically speaking. Unlike minor talents focused practitioners are not to be underestimated. With their specialized magic many of them are capable of achieving feats that more powerful or more highly trained individuals could never hope to. Pyromancers, hydromancers, geomancers, aeromancers, photomancers, kinetomancers, and ectomancers are just a few examples of the types of focused practitioners that a player could create. Mortimer Lindquist, an ectomancer who reluctantly offers his services to Dresden occasionally, is probably one of the most well known characters from the series who would be considered an focused practitioner.
Their Musts include a high concept that reflects that reflects their abilities, such as Extreme Sports Kinetomancer or Firefighting Hydromancer. Additionally a focused practitioner must choose the powers ritual, channeling, or both. You might also consider having your character equipped with a version of the sight geared to their specialty.
I’ve always imagined sorcerers as the magical street fighters of the Dresdenverse, they have as much raw power to throw around as many wizards do but they lack the training that a true wizard of the White Council receives. While sorcerers aren’t necessarily evil many of them find themselves on the wrong end of a Warden’s sword thanks to their lack of training. Much like minor talents sorcerers are mostly self taught so very few of them know anything about the White Council, the Wardens, or the Laws of Magic. Victor Sells from Storm Front was a natural talent with no small amount of power that Harry Dresden encountered early in his career. Playing a sorcerer is an ideal way to take on the role of outsider without sacrificing power.
True wizards are rare and that’s probably for the best, if there were too many of them running around there probably wouldn’t be a building left standing before too long. To be considered a wizard one most command a certain amount of control and power the go far beyond anything any minor talent could hope to achieve. All those who show promise are also placed under the tutelage of a proper wizard who will instruct them in proper magical conduct and technique for years before they will be recognized as a wizard in their own right by the White Council. Wizards have several unique traits: the Sight, an extended lifespan that allows them to recover from wounds that would never fully heal in a normal human, and they can command a broader spectrum of magic than almost any other living being. You’ll also get to choose three types of magic and branches with them which your wizard will specialize in and craft magical focuses like staves and wands. The biggest downside to playing a wizard is the fact that they begin with almost no refresh, unlike other less powerful templates. Harry Dresden, the Wardens, and the members of the White Council are just a few examples of wizards from the books.