The Dresden Files RPG

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Chevalier Bayard
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The Dresden Files RPG

Postby Chevalier Bayard » Sat 15 May, 2010 16:43

If you don't know what The Dresden Files is about, just rush at once to this topic where you'll learn about it and see that we're following the creation of the RPG for quite a while now.

Good news is that finally the RPG is here. Well, almost. It should be available for in a month or so and you can already pre-order it from Evil Hat Productions store. Your preorder will give you a download access to the pdf version. The game goes in two books:
  • Volume One: Your Story
  • Volume Two: Our World
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I am reviewing today the pdf preoder edition (as I don't own the print version yet).

First thing to cross our minds discovering these books is how awesome the design is! It is clearly thought for the fans of Jim Butcher's books as all is presented like if the RPG was the fruit of a collective effort from different characters of the books: mainly from Billy and his Alphas, which are known in the books to be RPG addicts, but also from Bob and; last but not least Harry Dresden himself.

You then see in the books different annotations from Harry and replies from Billy regarding some descriptions or more general stuff like Harry complaining for the special dice (but we'll get back later to that). It is really a great idea as if you've read the books you're at once in Dresden's world and more than once I've surprised myself laughing loudly at some arguments going on between the characters through post-its and annotations. It really is a two thumbs up for the overall design! Image

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But let's see now the content of these book, shall we ?

First volume "Your Story" contains all rules of the RPG properly; from characters creation to action and combat rules, spell casting (yes! spell casting) and so on. Last chapters are fully dedicated to the GM who finds there help to run the game, to build scenarios and finally a ready to play scenario "Nevermore/Baltimore".

This scenario is so complete than even a beginning GM should feel comfortable running it, especially if she reads second volume "Our World" which is, to quote Kurt Wiegel from GameGeeksRPG.com: "the best summary of all Dresden books". The "Who's who ?" really is impressive! Through post-its Harry congratulates Billy for all the work done. Congratulations are for sure in order. As I'm not up-to-date yet regarding Jim Butcher's books I had to prevent myself to read everything and spoil the stories. No need to say that if you don't know the books and want to play the RPG from scratch, you'll have here far enough material (but you should read the books too!! ;)).

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And what about the game itself ? As most role playing games, Dresden Files RPG uses dice. Though these are not usual dice; the game uses Fudge dice. Yay! New special dice in your bag !! :D

These dice are d6 but without numbers or dots on their faces. Instead they have two faces marked with a "+", two other marked with a "-" and the last two are blank. If you don't want to get these special dice (really ?? :eek: ), you can style use classic d6 treating 1 or 2 as "-", 3 or 4 as Blank and 5 or 6 as "+"... but you do want those dice, don't you ? :D

The creation of your character is pretty classic with skills and traits (which are here called Aspects) which define your character who can be a mortal but also one of the many different supernatural beings going around like werewolves, changelings, vampires, God champions, ... and of course, wizards! ;)

Talking about wizardry and magic, the spell-casting system will allow you to imagine and cast your very own spells.

Other point, the game uses the FATE gaming system and Fate Points are a central element of the game. They measure how much power your player owns. These points will allow him to influence the story in favor of his character.

A fate point can be spent to gain a bonus (add 1 to any roll of the dice) or more interesting: to invoke an Aspect of your character which could fit to the situation, to perform a particularly dangerous stunt, to use some special powers or, and this is really cool, to make a declaration (if the GM accepts it, the Declaration of your character will be true. Understand that you can create elements of the story as well, you're just expected to make it cooler :D)

Beware though as Fate points are also what keeps your character's will free. May your counter drop below zero or less and you will lose control over you character which will become a monster deprived of free will. Hopefully the GM can declare a "refresh" from time to time, allowing PC to get back to their "refresh level" of FP which you can also win during play.

Finally, there is also in the first book all you need to create your city, defining its aspect, its nature and its theme. So maybe we'll start a game in Paris one day here, what do you think ? ;)

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If you don't know the books and look for a nice urban fantasy RPG The Dresden Files RPG offers you a very complete word where to set your games. If you're beginning as a MG, starting with such a coherent environment will certainly help you to run your games with more confidence. If you're not found of RPG but fan of Jim Butcher's books, at least the second volume is a must have complement to your books collection. Especially as, according my preorder edition first blank pages, a Jim Butcher mini-novel shall open the book :)

I was waiting for this game with most expectations. Usually this is the situation where when you finally have the most desired stuff in your hand, you're already a bit disappointed. Well, this was clearly not what happened here. This game is really awesome and I can't wait to have the hardcover edition in my hands!
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Re: The Dresden Files RPG

Postby Kowandz » Sun 16 May, 2010 21:33

I got the PDFs for the books because I am extremely impatient about some things, anything about Harry Dresden being one of them. I lived in Atlanta for 5 years and started trying to put the city into terms of the Dresdenverse very quickly.

The first step in city creation is to identify 3 themes or threats in the city.
idea1: Atlanta served as the effective capitol of the Southern US back to the days of slavery and succession and harbors many old hatreds. While in mortals the animosity is receded some, old mind cling to old hatreds. In the city of Atlanta cultural mistrust is elevated. Mortals in the know tend to be less likely to trust anything supernatural, and even the two families of white court vampires can't work together for any length of time. Theme: You MIGHT be all right, but I don't really trust your kind.

idea2: Cities tend to rise up in places of power. There used to be a confluence right where the center of the city is now, but it receded a long time ago(several centuries at least). The N-S ley line along 75/85(interstate) has been there all along, but an old ley line running E-W has started to rise up again along I-20 and a confluence is gaining power right smack in the middle of the city. If all that nonsense with highways and ley lines isn't enough, then just for your personal amusement my I introduce 285. 285 is a big freaking circle of a highway around the city. People in the city call it the perimeter. Where you live is described as inside or outside the perimeter. This just has to mean something. Theme: Rising Power

idea3: Someone shot the warden. Right through the back of the head. They got the drop on a guy that came over on a slave boat as a child. The warden in Atlanta was a bad motha and kept the city power structure in check. Everyone wants to further their agenda, but NOBODY knows who killed the warden. The timing is awfully convenient, with that new confluence and all. The death looks like a simple mugging, but there is NO way a mortal mugger could get to the warden without outside help. Threat: Power vacuum

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Re: The Dresden Files RPG

Postby Kowandz » Sun 16 May, 2010 21:38

This will be the first time I GM something, but I have another GM who will be a PC in my game and that will help. I welcome any input and ideas to go with mine, and would love to review any other GMs ideas to help them out too. If there is any interest in my idea's i can introduce some of my first NPCs later. Thanks

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Re: The Dresden Files RPG

Postby Chevalier Bayard » Sun 16 May, 2010 23:48

Looks good for now. I don't know Atlanta at all so I can really judge about the "reality" of your pitch but I look forward to what's coming next :)

I've send you a PM. Maybe we could start a dedicated forum for RPG in the International part as well (and that would be great !! ;)).

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Chevalier Bayard
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Re: The Dresden Files RPG

Postby Chevalier Bayard » Mon 17 May, 2010 08:02

Ok I've opened the RPG Table forum (which is here now :D) and also opened a sub-forum dedicated to your game Kowandz. It is HERE and I've already put there your post regarding the characters. I let you copy/paste there as well your city related posts as well if you want :)

Great that we can finally open an RPG dedicated room in the International part of TLF as well :bounce:

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The Dresden Files RPG

Postby Rottweiler » Wed 19 May, 2010 14:36

Nice! If you want to try it out in an IRL or Online session, you can count me in ! :hi:

PS:
I think the sub-title to your blog should be "The return of the vengeance (with handy TLF synchronization)", not handful
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Re: The Dresden Files RPG

Postby Chevalier Bayard » Wed 19 May, 2010 16:02

Yup ! I keep telling me I have to correct this... and keep forget :blush:

As for the game, Kowandz is going on pretty well as you can see in the dedicated forum :)
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