Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spirit of the 7th Sea

Today's post is about how to use DFRPG to do 7th Sea. And I'm rambling and spitballing, so don't expect a lot of organization. I already did some of this work using SotC as a model. DFRPG opened up a couple new options, though.

First, we have High Concept. Here, we should use it for your nation. It should be more than just "Castillian" though. It should have some more detail (like any Aspect). So, "Castillian Scholar" is good. "Castillian Profesor del Historia" is better.

The tricky part of converting any setting is the special effects. The mechanics will shape the flavor of the setting. In this case, we definitely do NOT want to use Dresden style magic to reproduce sorcery. Fortunately, though, the sorcery of 7th Sea is fairly easy to reproduce with FATE. Give each form of sorcery it's own skill. Each of those skills gets three stunts: Half-blooded, which is necessary to use the skill at all, and has the matching nation as a prereq; Twice-blooded, which also lets you use the skill but has Half-blooded in one other skill as a prereq (and cannot be taken for more than one skill); Full-blooded, which grants access to more powerful uses of the skill, and has Half-blooded of the same skill as a prereq, and cannot be taken if Twice-blooded is taken. There's probably a neater way of stating all that. Basically, take Half-blooded to be a dabbler in your sorcery, Twice-blooded to dabble in two sorceries, and Full-blooded to really master a sorcery. Each of these costs, say, 3 refresh.

Sorte is crazy easy in FATE, even easier than in 7th Sea. It is the magic of Aspects and fate points. You can see Aspects. Blessing and cursing lets you place sticky Aspects on people. With full blood, you can shift fate points around, and potentially see the future. Hey, they are fate witches after all.

Porte is pretty straightforward as well. It is just ripping a hole between two points. Work out the difficulties, and what tricks should only be done with full blood. Depending on how powerful you want them to be, you may rule that blooding an item costs a fate point.

Pyeryem starts getting trickier. We get into the question of how to buy options within the skill. In this case, how do we decide how many skins a user has? I don't want to make it cost extra refresh. In this case, I may just make it equal to the number of the skill (e.g., Fair gives you 2 skins, Great gives you 4). Once you decide that, it's just shapeshifting. Lift heavily from Dresden and you're ninety percent there.

Glamour has a similar problem, in how you count stories. Basing it on the skill probably works again. Each story gets its own mechanics, which are pretty tightly focused. The one tricky part is that I would like to keep the mechanic of Glamour being fueled by your Reputation. There isn't a mechanic for tracking that in Dresden. It may be worth adding, as it could be useful in a lot of swash-y endeavors.

Laerdom works pretty much exactly like Glamour. You get a number of runes based on your skill. Each rune has its own rules. The tricky bit here is adding rules for inscribing and becoming runes. We can probably lift a super-simplified version of enchanting items from Dresden for inscribing. I'm thinking that becoming is going to need to be a stunt with a refresh cost.

Fuego (I don't recall the full name off-hand) would be simple. Pull heavily on the evocation rules for Fire in Dresden. Done.

The skill list would obviously need to be tweaked to be appropriate to the era. Use the mortal stunts with refresh costs from Dresden.

The tricky bit there is reproducing the swordsman schools. Perhaps each school is a 2-point stunt under Fencing (or the appropriate weapon). Taking the school grants a series of tricks. I'm not crazy about that, as it is over-complicating the stunt system, which a lot of people already chuck as too complicated. But how else to capture Wesley and Inigo's banter?

Backgrounds and Arcana in 7th Sea are just an early form of Aspects. If you really like the Arcana as a setting element, make them a special kind of Aspect. Personally, I don't see the need.

Secret societies would be handled as Contacts stunts. Each society will have a few additional stunts with membership as a prereq. Note that I would ignore the existing splatbooks on the societies and make up less goofy benefits and secrets.

I would pull heavily on Dresden's rules for items for Syrneth artifacts. I'd also pull on the potion rules to help work out Alchemy.

Dracheneisen would be an Item of Power stunt, with a refresh cost based on how complete the suit was. The stunt would have an Eisen prereq.

Not sure how to reproduce Castillian Education. While it would be fairly easy to come up with a balanced counterpart to sorcery, it lacks the flair of the supernatural. It might work to give Alchemy to anyone with Castillian Education, instead of restricting it to Invisible College. Not perfect, but reasonable.

The Vaticine Church and other religions shouldn't need much mechanical treatment.

Sidhe need to be written up as NPCs ONLY!!

Did I miss anything?

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