So last time I talked about the Aspect system of DFRPG and I talked about a character whose concept was “Man of Many Faces”. This time I’m going to turn things around and talk about another character I’ve made. My Wizard.
My apologies since I promised last time I’d talk about the Man of Many Faces, but as it turns out, the tabletop game I am playing in wanted to meet again sooner than expected and I finished my Wizard before I finished the Man of Many Faces.
So meet Jesse Warner. I had a hard time making up this character. I knew I wanted to make a Wizard but playing a wizard has a serious mental dichotomy with me, namely that Wizards can’t use technology. In a fantasy setting, this is fine because there is no technology. But the Dresden Files RPG is based in the modern-day. So what kind of profession can a Wizard have in the modern-day that doesn’t at least require cursory use of computers and cellphones? Since I am a software developer and I am surrounded by technology all day long, thinking up solutions to such an issue was difficult for me.
This is an issue because of the High Concept aspect that needs to be created for a character. A wizard needs the word ‘Wizard’ (or something that implies Wizard) in their high concept, but you should always strive to make it more interesting. Add a job, or a characteristic of some kind that sets your character apart from others of its type.
Jesse is a Wizard in the year 2011 in the city of San Antonio. I didn’t want to create a character that was a complete copy of Harry Dresden, the main wizard character from the novels, but during our city creation we had made it slightly clear that the campaign we would be playing in would be mystery/action. So a Wizard Private Eye not so much but what else could a Wizard be in San Antonio? Talking it over with my game master, I learned that he had envisioned San Antonio to still be a kind of wild place in regards to the supernatural, that the wizards of the White Council hadn’t actively had a presence in the city since it grew up so fast. A kind of “Frontier City”.
For those of you who know San Antonio Texas, you probably know about the River Walk. I suggested during city creation that the entire River Walk was considered Accorded Neutral ground. The entire thing. So when character time came around, we theorized the idea that perhaps this huge Accorded Neutral ground is actually setup to be a small supernatural U.N. for the area and because of it, the White Council has needed to send an Emissary in case something happens that the Council Needed to know.
I liked this idea but I also remembered that my GM talked about San Antonio being a kind of frontier city. So I decided I’d play a Wizard who was an emissary to a forming supernatural united nations in San Antonio but that the White Council didn’t have any faith in this organization out in the middle of “nowhere” and therefore sent him, a wizard who just completed his training, who was born in San Antonio, but didn’t really want to go back. He is there, with only lip service support about what he is supposed to do and strict orders “not to start a war or anything”.
I thought this was a cool idea. But how does it translate to Aspects?
Well the easiest route would be to pick a High Concept of “Emissary of the White Council” which implies Wizard and shows my character’s position but as I thought about it, I decided my character really isn’t into being the whole “Emissary” thing so it wouldn’t fit well as his concept but it would fit well as his Trouble. At first I picked Powerless Emissary of the White Council but I realized that could be easily compelled to always make Jesse “powerless” which wasn’t what I was going for. So I instead picked “Lone Emissary of the White Council” to emphasize that the White Council doesn’t help him and rarely supports him. This still leaves his High Concept. I ended up going with Frontier Wizard, the theory again being that he is on the edge, magic wise, surrounded by other supernatural things that don’t really take to the idea of the White Council asserting its power in the area. Perhaps not a Fuego! concept but it might evolve a bit during play.
So this post is running long, so I’ll break it up into another parter. Next time I’ll talk about the other Aspects picked during the phases, and maybe get to skills and powers.