- 1 Magic Rules
- 1.1 Enchanting
- 1.2 Evocation
- 1.3 Thaumaturgy
- 1.4 Other
- 2 Paranet Papers Spellcasting
- 2.1 Sponsorship and the Aspiring Wizard
- 2.2 Soulfire, New and Improved
- 2.3 Magic and the Nevernever
- 2.4 The Dirty Wizard's Guide to Thaumaturgy
- 2.5 Cheer-Saving Thaumaturgy
- 2.6 Evocation Tips and Tricks
- 2.7 Fun with Items
- 2.8 Spellcasting Powers and Stunts
- 3 Shapeshifting Rules
- 4 Sundry Rules
- 4.1 Alterations
- 4.2 Clarifications and Considerations
- 4.3 Updates
- 5 White Council Rules
- 6 White Court Vampire Rules
This is not a house rule, but rather, a clarification. The pre-order version of Your Story states that an enchantment effect can be made persistent at half power: for example, an item which would have been Weapon:6 once a session could have instead been Weapon:3 as many times as desired. The published version of Your Story does not use this rule. Instead, all enchanted items are restricted to a certain number of uses, which can be changed. However, also note that magicians can fuel their enchanted items with mental stress, per Your Story page 280.
An enchantment begins taking up one enchanted item slot, with an effect strength equal to the crafter's Lore, usable once per session (week). You may increase the number of uses/session by 1 by reducing the effect strength by 1: an enchanter with Great (+4) Lore could make an item with a 4-shift effect usable once, a 3-shift effect usable twice, a 2-shift effect usable three times, and so on. When doing this, the effect strength may not be reduced below 1. Adding an enchantment slot to an existing item may either increase the effect strength by 1, or increase the number of uses by 2: said enchanter could make an item expending two enchantment slots, with a 4-shift effect, usable three times per session. These are modified by Crafting (strength) and Crafting (frequency) specialisations in thaumaturgy.
Some enchanted items, most notably the warden swords created by Captain Anastasia Luccio, can be used in multiple ways. On Dark Spires, we call these "multiple effect" or "multi-effect" items, and here are the rules for making them.
All effects on an item must have the same strength, and share from a single frequency. (A warden sword has three shared uses; if you use the counterspell once in a session, you can only use the damage boost up to twice.) Different effects can split their strength shifts differently. (A 4-shift item could have one attack at Weapon:4, and a second attack at Weapon:2 affecting one zone, for example.) Each extra effect reduces the shared frequency by one. You can't reduce frequency below one, but you can reduce strength (per Your Story p279) and add extra slots (per YS p280) to gain more uses and make up the difference. An item's strength cannot reduce below 1 + strength bonuses.
Example: Captain Anastasia Luccio has Lore and specialisations so that an item starts with strength 6 and frequency 2. She creates a sword, giving it an enchantment of a Weapon:6 attack. Putting a second enchanted item slot into it gives it frequency 4. She then adds a second effect, of a 6-shift counterspell, reducing the frequency. The end result is a sword which can be used as a Weapon:6 attack or a 6-shift counterspell, up to three times per session. This is the warden sword we all know and fear/love.
A handy short-hand: if an item occupies a single slot, the total of its strength, frequency, and number of effects equals Lore, plus bonuses, plus 2. Further slots can add 1 to strength, or 2 to frequency and/or effects.
Example: Mandie has Good (+3) Lore, and +1 crafting strength and +1 crafting frequency specialisations. A basic item starts with strength 4, frequency 2, and 1 effect - totalling 7. She makes a set of rings using one item slot. She reduces strength to get more frequency, and frequency to get more effects, ending up with strength 3, frequency 1, and 3 effects. She later adds a second enchantment slot to it to get more frequency, for a total of strength 3, frequency 3, and 3 effects.
When a potion is shared among multiple individuals, divide effect strength or duration. We use this instead of the rules from Paranet Papers because it's more in line with the examples we've seen from the case files. In general: a potion with an instant effect will divide its effect strength, while one with a non-instant effect will divide its duration. See the Time Increments table for help calculating duration shifts.
Elemental Philosophy and Metaphor
Not all magic is direct and literal, even in evocation. Especially older, more experienced wizards can use their elements in metaphorical ways and create effects that don't seem to fit any literal element. However, the metaphorical and philosophical meanings of the elements are as varied as the magicians that philosophise about them. There is no 'right' answer. One wizard may think of Air as the element of free-spiritedness, while another may think it's the element of intellect and reason. All are equally valid, and have equal effect on what magic a wizard can work with their own elements.
This is, essentially, our way of 'marrying' the different elemental meanings described in Your Story and Paranet Papers, and open it up to other ideas as well.
This game uses modified rules for the duration of evocation spells. When it makes in-story sense for a spell's effects to continue independently, they do: this would often be the case for pyromancy starting a fire, or geomancy pulling up or tearing down walls, or hydromancy spreading water across the floor. When magic is dependent on continuing fuel to keep functioning, then the original 'shifts for duration' rules are used.
Invoking for Power
An evocator can invoke aspects to reduce the mental stress of casting a spell. They must justify that the aspect would reasonably improve a spell by giving it more juice: perhaps they're invoking 'The Fury of the Storm', or they're invoking the emotional power of being 'Mad with Lust' from a succubus' kiss. Invoking your high concept may not be enough to justify it; this is about the character pulling in forms of power besides 'I'm a wizard', which is already encapsulated in the Conviction rating, Evocation specialisations, and focus items. Each aspect you invoke reduces spellcasting stress by 2, to a minimum of zero. While you may use this to increase a spell's power beyond what you can usually call up without taking consequences, you will still need to roll to control all these extra shifts. You invoked three aspects to be able to add six shifts to your spell? Good luck with that control roll; its difficulty is now six shifts higher.
Maneuver Evocations (Clarification)
The section on maneuver evocations is brief, and two-thirds of the example spells contradict it. So, here are some deeper clarifications.
Maneuver spells can be split between "resisted" and "unresisted". Which one's which determines
"Resisted" maneuvers force aspects onto one or more enemies. For purposes of evocation foci, these usually count as "offensive" maneuvers. If you use an Air thunderclap to leave someone 'Deafened', an Earth gravity spell to leave someone 'Slow and Heavy', or a big illusion to leave someone 'Extremely Distracted', then it's a resisted maneuver. The spell's effect strength is equal to the difficulty of the roll to defend against the maneuver. If you put 3 shifts into that 'Extremely Distracted' spell's effect strength, then the target has to roll Good (+3) Discipline to tie (with a fragile aspect) or higher to fully defend. Like with attack spells, every two shifts you put into area effect lets you effect one full zone of characters. For instance, someone could cast a 5-shift 'Slow and Heavy' spell, to force everyone in a zone to defend against a difficulty 3 maneuver. The upshot of this is that every individual affected by the maneuver gets their own tag.
"Unresisted" maneuvers place aspects on the scene, or on unresisting subjects. Positive aspects on allies usually count as "defensive" maneuvers, while scene aspects can go either way. If you use Air to give someone a 'Headwind' as they run away, or create a 'Heavy Winds' in the zone, then it's an unresisted maneuver. Unresisted maneuvers require a minimum of 3 shifts of effect strength.
In all cases, a maneuver spell's effect strength determines the difficulty to counter the spell or otherwise remove the resulting aspect.
Most magical maneuvers last for one exchange, unless you put extra shifts into duration - each shift increases duration by 1 exchange. Some maneuvers, at GM discretion, may last on their own. Using magic to create 'Swirling Winds' will need magic to keep powering those air movements. But if you use magic to set something 'On Fire' then it won't extinguish itself on its own, and if you use it to throw 'Water on the Floor', then it won't crawl back because the magic runs out. In short, maneuver spells follow our Evocation Duration house rules.
Most magic requires 'props' of some kind - if not foci, then at least the ability to make gestures and/or say magic words. These take some of the weight off the wizard's mind. Without those basic props, thaumaturgy is impossible, and evocation becomes very difficult. The GM may penalise your control roll, or offer you a compel which produces automatic fallout or additional spellcasting stress.
Reflexive Shielding Spells
When attacked, evocators may sometimes elect to forego a normal "get the hell out of the way" defense in favour of casting a shielding spell. First, you need your GM's permission; offering a fate point may make this go more smoothly. These shielding spells can be built the same as any other evocation block, including duration factors and the possibility of swapping for armour. However, this uses up your next action, and the GM may (especially if she didn't get a fate point) declare your natural defense to be Mediocre, which can affect how well your armour helps you.
Simple Actions and Sprints
Evocation can do more than attack, maneuver, and block. Depending on what you're doing, simple actions and sprints may be the appropriate way to model it. Using a burst of kinetic force to send yourself flying a short distance is certainly a sprint, for example. However, these more precise uses of magic tend to be context-sensitive. The burst of kinetic energy which gets you right where you need to go now may just paste you against a wall if you use it somewhere else. Thus, they usually can't be cast as rote.
We no longer use the Refinement power on Dark Spires
Sometimes, a wizard or sorceror's focus changes over time. To model this, we allow players to use a minor milestone to swap the ratings of two specialisations, much like the milestone's skill-swap function. This swap cannot be a change greater than two shifts without justification, or one extra shift for each logged scene justifying the change, and it uses up a minor milestone which cannot be used for anything else.
Animals and Thaumaturgical Sacrifice
While animals can be sacrificed to help power a spell, the act of doing so is treated as a standard declaration (+2 bonus to complexity). Sacrifice of additional animals will not increase this bonus. Also, be aware that repeated actions of this is definitely a dark grey magic. The White Council considers it a gateway to black magic and will bring Warden scrutiny into your life.
Sometimes, you need to build and cast a thaumaturgical spell right in the middle of a fight. It's not easy - in fact, it's a pretty bad idea most of the time - but sometimes, you just gotta. These are the rules and steps for how.
- 1. Basic Prep. First, you must make a maneuver with Lore, usually of at least Good (+3) difficulty. Successful or otherwise, this takes your action for a turn. Enemies can interfere with this by establishing blocks or making maneuvers on their turns; it's hard to draw a good circle while you have demons eating your face. The Basic Prep maneuver gives you a complexity pool equal to your Lore plus any relevant bonuses (from specs or foci).
- 2. Declarations. If you or your teammates have to make any other declarations, each one takes an action.
- 3. Charging the Spell. Each exchange, you (and other magicians) can use your action to pump power into the spell, per normal thaumaturgy. Also per normal thaumaturgy, any failure will result in fallout or backlash of the entire spell so far.
- While the spell is charging, opponents can quite easily disrupt the spell. Doing so is only an Average (+1) difficulty, using whatever skill is most appropriate to their attempt (Athletics for breaking in and kicking the circle; Weapons for hurling a rock through it; Intimidation for stunning the magicians; and so on). A successful disruption counts as a "failed control roll", causing full backlash and fallout.
- However, blocks can be established to prevent disruption, or at least make it more difficult. This is why you never do combat thaumaturgy on your own: You keep a bodyguard ready and holding up a Superb (+5) block against jostling your elbow.
A conjured item is a combination of effects. The base is a scene-aspect maneuver, and thus Conjuration starts at 3 shifts of complexity. Shifts put into the maneuver also determine the difficulty of counterspelling. Making it look believable is a block, with added complexity equal to the difficulty of recognising that the object is false. Making it last requires duration factors, starting at 'a few minutes' (4 shifts). Additional effects are built separately - for instance, making the resulting item Weapon:2 requires adding two more shifts to the spell.
Determining your basic effect is often the hardest part of modelling a thaumaturgy spell. The guideline is to try to relate it to one of the basic game actions.
- Simple action: These spells overcome some obstacle or difficulty, but don't result in lingering effects like a new aspect or stress and consequences. Many assessments are simple actions. The complexity is equivalent to the action's difficulty. Sometimes add duration factors starting at 'instant' (0 shifts).
- Examples: A lockpicking spell (instant, complexity equal to the lock's difficulty). A spell to move a large mass of earth (instant, complexity equivalent to the Might action required to do it mundanely). An early-warning spell (duration, complexity equal to the Alertness roll you want to emulate). A spell to listen in from afar (duration, complexity equal to the Investigation/eavesdropping roll you want to emulate).
- Sprint: These spells move you from place to place. The complexity is equal to the sprint result, accounting for number of zones, and borders between you and your destination. Most of the time, magical travel is better done by opening portals into the Nevernever.
- Contest: These spells are like simple actions, but face active opposition rather than passive obstacles. The complexity equals the spell's effective skill, which is rolled for the contest, and should be based on how many shifts are expected to overcome the opposition's skill. Instead of time increments, duration factors usually allow these spells to be used for extended contests. Each shift put into duration allows the spell one additional exchange.
- Attack: These spells harm a target, or cause long-term physical or mental change. Most transformation spells are attacks. Like other attacks, these spells are resisted, with the resisting skill chosen based on the spell (a heart attack spell may target Endurance, while a mind-control spell would target Discipline, for example). The more severe the change, the higher-level consequence the spell will need to inflict. The complexity is equal to the attack result needed to inflict the effect you want. Sometimes add duration factors to delay healing, with delays starting at 'a few minutes' (4 shifts).
- Block: These spells prevent something from happening. Binding circles that prevent demons from escaping; veils that prevent people from seeing entire buildings; wards that prevent people entering your home without permission. The complexity is equal to the resulting block strength or difficulty. Add duration factors starting at 'an afternoon' (9 shifts).
- Maneuver: These are the most flexible spells. Almost anything that can be described in an aspect is done by a maneuver spell: minor curses, changing the environment, buff spells, and more. There are two kinds of maneuver.
- A maneuver on an unwilling target is a contest, with the resisting skill chosen based on the specific spell. The complexity for placing a maneuver on an unwilling target is equal to your skill result in the contest, and should be based on how many shifts are expected to overcome the resisting skill.
- A maneuver for a scene aspect or on a willing subject is a simple action against some difficulty. The complexity for placing a maneuver on a scene or willing target is equivalent to the maneuver's difficulty, usually at least Good (+3). Simpler maneuvers may have easier difficulty, while more complex maneuvers would be more difficult, and all maneuvers may face blocks from wards and thresholds.
- In both cases, sometimes add duration factors starting at 'a few minutes' (4 shifts). Extra effect shifts can strengthen the aspect, making it more difficult to remove through counterspelling or other means. Also, every three shifts in excess of the difficulty places another tag on the aspect.
Casting magic on yourself and other willing subjects is easier in some ways. You never need a symbolic link, because your target is right there. You can forego defense, and thus save a lot of shifts you'd otherwise need overcoming resistance. However, effects may still have some minimum difficulty, especially maneuvers. However willing your subject, it takes some precision to make the magic do what you want, and so the difficulty will almost never fall to Mediocre (+0).
If a way has been opened in the middle of a conflict (or just prior to one), the way faces an attack by the barrier's strength at the end of every exchange: the GM rolls, using the barrier's strength as a skill, with a target difficulty of the spell's strength. If the result exceeds the spell's strength, the way closes. The surest way to keep a way open for the maximum number of minutes is with a spell strength of the barrier's strength plus 4 or 5. However, the size is usually merely dramatic flavoring and requires no rolls, unless a player intends to walk an army through there.
Powers From Thaumaturgy
Various kinds of thaumaturgy can emulate various supernatural powers. The most obvious is biomancy transformation, altering muscles to make you stronger, but others are equally capable. However, this is difficult magic, and has drawbacks, because those people just aren't designed to have powers like those.
The base effect is a maneuver, and thus starts at 3 shifts of complexity. On an unwilling subject, this maneuver would have to overcome their resistance. Shifts put into the maneuver also determine the difficulty of counterspelling. You then need to add 2 shifts of complexity for every 1 point of refresh that the powers would normally cost. If the subject is unwilling, you also need to build an attack strong enough to place equal shifts in consequences; you can forego that step with a willing subject.
However, even willing subjects have to 'pay' for their powers. They can voluntarily take consequences (2 shifts for every 1 refresh of simulated power), or spend fate points (1 fate point for every 1 refresh), or mix and match both.
Summoning and Conjuring Minions
Whether it's a contract with a demon, the construction of a golem, or any of the other multitude of possible methods, wizards and other magicians are capable of getting 'hired help'. Expanding on the summoning and binding rules from the game's rulebook, we've developed the two following methods.
The simpler method, 'contracting', is where you call something up for a single task. Perhaps you'd calling on a spirit of knowledge to see what they can tell you about a subject; perhaps you're conjuring a big, strong monster to punch a door down. This is done as 'simple action' thaumaturgy, with the complexity equaling the final action's result. For example, Harry uses a four-shift ritual to summon Chaunzaggoroth and rib him for information; he gets as much knowledge out of it as a Great (+4) Contacts roll. Or, the wizard Simon conjures a spirit of inquiry to search an area, with a 6-shift ritual; that lets him find things as if he'd rolled a Fantastic (+6) examination with Investigation.
The longer-term, more complex method is 'indenturing'. This is where you summon or create something that will serve you for the long-term. These rituals tend to be much more complex, but the payoff is sweet: the more you put in, the more potent the result, and the longer it'll serve you. Longer-term indenturing rituals are done via +request, and the resulting 'servitors' go into your +inv.
The ritual starts at one shift, allowing you something with all Mediocre skills and no powers, able to take one Mild consequence, and working for you for a period of an afternoon - roughly half a day. The ritual's complexity can be modified thus:
- One extra shift grants 2 skill points, with no need to follow the skill towers.
- One extra shift allows 1 refresh spent on powers and stunts suited to the servitor.
- Increasing complexity by one shift will keep the servitor indentured for one time increment longer (e.g. one more shift will make it serve you for 'a day'). Decreasing complexity by one shift will make the servitor indentured for one time increment _shorter_ (e.g. making the ritual two shifts simpler will only give you the servitor for an hour).
- Changing complexity can change the kinds of consequences the servitor can take.
- A servitor who can take no consequences is two shifts easier to indenture.
- A servitor who can only take a Mild consequence has no change in complexity.
- A servitor who can take a Mild and a Moderate consequence is four shifts more complex to indenture.
- A servitor who can take a Mild, Moderate, and Severe consequence is ten shifts more complex to indenture.
- No servitor can take Extreme consequences, however much complexity you add.
As an example, creating a single zombie (per Our World p95) would take (1 default + 5 for 10 points of skills + 7 for spent refresh) 13 complexity, plus additional duration and consequence factors.
Pure mortals can power these, using their will and blood, if they know and believe they can.
Not all wizards have Harry Dresden's trouble with accidental hexing.
As hexing accidents are handled by compels, you could also have aspects that speak of natural resistance to hexing or relative affinity with technology. An aspect like this would likely decrease your chances of getting hexing-related compels to begin with.
If you want to be more certain, you can build a hex-suppression item. This is an enchanted item, with effect strength at least equal to your Conviction. Each use buys out of a hexing-related compel, without your needing to spend a fate point. It can also be used as a background element which supports your character regularly dealing with technology.
Magic in the Nevernever
Different places in the Nevernever run on different physical and metaphysical rules - different from one another, and sometimes very different from physical reality. This can alter the way magic works.
Scenes in the Nevernever should include scene aspects representing the local rules. Magic aligned with those aspects may invoke them (including Invoking for Power), but doing so usually costs fate points. Magic which misaligns with these aspects faces increased difficulty: each opposing aspect adds 2 to a threshold against that kind of magic. This threshold operates without fate points.
Paranet Papers Spellcasting
This section is our response to the Paranet Papers' 'Spellcasting' section, which contains most of the actual modified and new rules. We don't use all (or most) of the book's rules, and have made adjustments to others. We'll go through section by section.
Sponsorship and the Aspiring Wizard
This is irrelevant here, as we do not use Sponsored Magic.
Soulfire, New and Improved
This is also irrelevant, as we do not use Sponsored Magic, Soulfire included.
Magic and the Nevernever
We don't use this rule. Conviction and power are only one part of a magician's repertoire of magical skills, and are otherwise never themselves rolled. Besides that, the Easy Evocations are highly limited, and would be unlikely to be used in favour of casting actual spells - which still uses the normal Evocation rules anyway.
The Nevernever Stress Track
We don't use this rule, as it adds a layer of crunch and bookkeeping that we find unnecessary.
Issues of creatures being attracted to magic or otherwise showing up can be handled as 'In the Nevernever' compels. As we haven't allowed the rules which are intended to increase magic's power in the Nevernever, we also don't double backlash/fallout.
Location, Location, Location
We do use these rules. To clarify: each aspect which opposes a certain kind of magic adds +2 to a threshold against it, or a compel (and fate point) which declares that you automatically fail at that kind of magic. You still must use tags or fate points to use aspects which aid a certain kind of magic. However, these can definitely be used with the rules for Invoking for Power.
The Dirty Wizard's Guide to Thaumaturgy
The Hardest Part: Complexity and Effect
Simple Actions, Assessments, and Blocks are all restatements of the original text. These are fine.
Attacks is mostly a restatement of the existing rule. However, it should be noted that the resisting skill will not always be Discipline. Depending on the spell in question, it could be Endurance, Athletics, Alertness, Presence... all kinds of things.
Maneuvers has a few issues. Firstly, ignore everything about the "wall of disbelief", as that's not how magic works in the Dresdenverse theme. (Magic is powered by belief, yes; but it's not nullified by disbelief the way it is in a certain other urban fantasy setting.) Good (+3) is usually the minimum difficulty for any magical maneuver, regardless of how many people believe in magic. However, very simple maneuvers may be less difficult. Starting a fire is probably not more than Average (+1) difficulty, for instance. As with attacks, the resisting skill will not always be Discipline, but will vary based on the form of the maneuver being done. You can put multiple maneuvers into one spell the same way you can build multiple effects into any thaumaturgic ritual, adding all shifts together.
We disagree with their take on Sprints. Under the right circumstances and with the right justification, sprinting is the right action to model what the spell is doing. For instance, using ritual geomancy to tunnel through the earth is very much a sprint against the solid rock's border value.
How Long Does My Effect Last?
We like the idea of this, but make various tweaks to exact numbers. These are elaborated in Effect Complexity.
What About Contests?
These rules are fine. The "plus one shift for each round of the contest" rules also have great potential for being used in place of "conflict in a box" spells. Instead of creating one overwhelming attack, you could have a moderately whelming attack that fires multiple times as the spell goes off.
We don't use these rules. We find them unnecessarily drab and slow: by the time the initial "prep the spell" phase is done, enough exchanges will have passed that the fight is probably over. We have our own take on Combat Thaumaturgy.
Casting Magic on Yourself
This is mostly fine. However, ignore the reference to "free" maneuvers while alone: a magical maneuver will still usually be at least Good (+3) difficulty.
Edge Cases and Clarifications
Summoning and Binding: This is a clarification/restatement of existing rules, and is fine as is.
Sanctum Invocations: This is irrelevant to Dark Spires, as we do not use Sponsored Magic.
Conjurations: We do use these rules. Note another reason you can't conjure complex technological devices: That would be using magic to create technology in a setting where magic destroys technology. It doesn't work.
Transformation: We make some changes. A power-granting thaumaturgical transformation needs to place a maneuver and 2 shifts for every 1 refresh of power simulated, plus duration factors. You only need to inflict consequences if you're for some reason granting power to an unwilling subject. A willing subject can 'pay' for the powers by voluntarily taking consequences (2 shifts for every 1 refresh of simulated power), or spending fate points (1 fate point for every 1 refresh), or a mix and match of both.
Necromancy: The stuff about human sacrifice is just restatement. When it comes to creating undead minions (or any minions, for that matter), refer to our rules for Summoning and Conjuring Minions.
We use the default system for thaumaturgy, not the one presented in this section.
Evocation Tips and Tricks
The Philosophy of the Elements
The philosophies here contradict the 'meaning' of the elements as presented in Your Story. On Dark Spires, we say that both are equally true - the philosophical meanings of the elements may be as varied as the wizards that philosophize about them. Those philosophies are all equally valid when it comes to how that wizard's belief can shape their magic.
Shield Spells and Combat
We dislike all the extra restrictions these rules put on it, and instead use the following system. If you want to cast a shield spell as a reflexive defense, then you first need permission from your scene's GM - offering a fate point may help with this. If you have it, you can then build the spell the same as any other evocation block, including duration factors, armour substitution, and so forth. However, this uses up your next action. When you use an armour spell, the GM may also declare that your physical defense is Mediocre because of your focus on the magic. (However, doing this after taking a fate point is what is known in the common parlance as 'a dick move'.)
We do use these rules. On Dark Spires, you can also create a 'hex-suppressor' as an enchanted item. The effect strength must at least equal your Conviction, and each use buys out of one hexing-related compel.
Evocation and Simple Actions
We do use these rules. However, note that with the right justification, you may be able to do simple actions beyond the brute force.
Fun with Items
We prefer a potion divide either effect or duration, rather than both. This is simpler to do, and keeps it in line with the examples we've seen from the case files. (The 'True-Seeing Ointment' was always a +6 bonus, and only divided duration; the 'Escape Potion' was still instant duration, and divided its effect strength.) In general, a potion with an instant effect will divide its effect strength, while one with a non-instant effect will divide its duration.
We find these rules the same kind of dreary as their take on Combat Thaumaturgy. In these circumstances, give the player some form of compel - whether that compel causes automatic fallout, extra spellcasting stress, or again, a penalty on the control roll.
Spellcasting Powers and Stunts
Wizards With Powers
Wizards can use their magical abilities to mimic pretty much ANY of the other lesser powers available to other templates. For this reason, Wizards are not allowed to have powers on their sheets from other templates.
We do not use this power. We prefer wizards take stunts like "Hard Boiled" to represent the great power and mental resilience they pick up in their careers.
We believe that the power to change your form's abilities completely at will is neither balanced nor viable for a MUX setting. The following policy is designed to be more fair and balanced to shapeshifters and non-shapeshifters.
- Each shapeshifter character has at least one alternative form which they can reliably take on, similar to an evocator's rote spells. Depending on your shapeshifting powers, these forms may have different skill allocations and/or form-specific powers. You are allowed a maximum of ten such alternative forms, designed during character creation or made via +request, which require staff approval. Transforming into a written form takes a supplemental action.
- 'Inventing' a form in the middle of a scene is more difficult and restricted, but may be possible. If your new form makes 'functional' changes - that is, changes to your skill allocations and/or form-specific powers - then you must get approval from the scene's GM, and pay a fate point to declare that you can take on such a form. Inventing a new form takes a full action.
- To compensate for the reduced flexibility, Modular Abilities has been made cheaper: the 'surcharge' is now only one refresh, so that (for example) Modular Abilities costing -3 results in the character having 2 form points to spend.
- Cosmetic changes can be done more freely - i.e., without spending fate points for forms not on your sheet - but are not automatically successful. When making cosmetic changes (even those involved in forms written on your sheet), you must roll Deceit to determine how convincing the change is. Depending on the depth of your shapeshifting, this Deceit roll may have a bonus. Other characters may roll to see that something's wrong: the skills usually used are Alertness for passively noticing, Investigation if they're looking more thoroughly, Lore if they might sense the magic of the changes, or perhaps Empathy for noticing something wrong with body language.
Note that we abide by the ruling in Your Story (p174) that prohibits using shapeshifting to raise mental and social skills (though you may lower mental and social skills while rearranging your priorities).
Thus, advancing skills in shuffled forms will require staff approval. You just have to make a +request to be allowed into Shapeshifter Central to adjust things; you don't need to tell us every skill choice straight up. However, after you've made the changes, we'll inspect them and call you up on it if you've made a questionable change.
Demonic Co-Pilot Clarification
The Demonic Co-Pilot power is no longer in use for PCs on Dark Spires.
Physically-Enhanced Human Forms
By default, were-form shapeshifters simply transform between their chosen alternative form (most commonly an animal), and a normal human form - emphasis on 'normal'. We feel that the core complication of the Human Form power is the problem of not always having access to the powers you may need. Yes, it sucks to have to change into a wolf to be as fast and strong as a wolf. That's why you get refresh back for it.
However, some concepts support the possibility of the 'human' form being enhanced somehow. Perhaps you've been a shapeshifter for so long, one form's bled into the other; perhaps, rather than turning into an animal, you're a scion who sometimes has a full taste of her heritage and sometimes just a fragment. Note that these always require staff approval; you may not be able to just assume you'll be able to take those universally-available powers. Our policy for this depends on the extent of the powers you always have available.
In the case where it appears your character's most important, physical powers are all available in human form, you get one less point of benefit from Human Form. This means default Human Form becomes a zero-refresh power, while Rare or Involuntary Change is only worth a total of +1. Generally, we consider this to be the case if you only have a smattering of Creature Features in your alternative form, and physical Recovery, Speed, Strength, and/or or Toughness powers available while human.
On the other hand, if Human Form still presents a clear complication and limitation for your character - for example, if you only have the one Inhuman-level power, with broader or deeper such powers locked to your alternative form - staff may allow that without reducing your Human Form benefit.
Shapeshifters and the Red Court
Shifters can only become infected by Red Court vampires if they were human to begin with. Non-human shifters would just have to battle the infection and may die.
Speech in Animal Form
Shapeshifters who take on animal form usually cannot speak human languages while transformed. The majority of animals don't have the vocal systems needed to form the correct phonemes. This places limits on communication and the use of social skills. If you and others share a sign language and your animal form has enough dexterity, you can use that. On the other hand (no pun intended), you can use one of the following exceptions. These allow shapeshifted animals to speak.
- Echoes of the Beast with a dedicated Beast Trapping. Some animals, such as many bird species, have vocal systems which allow mimicking human speech. If you take this option, you can't use a different Beast Trapping (such as a bonus to singing), but Beast Senses and Beast Friend are unaffected.
- The Talky Animal one-refresh power. This power, when taken in conjunction with a beast form, allows that form to speak normally. If taken by a were-shifter, this frees up their Beast Trapping. If taken by an animorphist shifter, it may be taken or left off on a form-by-form basis.
- The True Shapeshifting power. At this level, your shapeshifting abilities are considered deep enough that you can customise any chosen form to speak and dress however you like, without the Talky Animal or Clothing Shifter surcharge.
Hellfire and Catches
No creatures in the Our World book directly state 'Hellfire' as a Catch. However, customized creatures (especially NPCs) certainly could. Besides that, it partially satisfies the Catch of any Faithful-oriented beings. Faithful-oriented beings include those whose Toughness/Recovery powers are inherited from angelic parenthood, those who gain their Toughness/Recovery from a holy relic, and even those who have Toughness/Recovery for other reasons, but also have a Faithful template. The 'partial satisfaction' rule comes from Your Story, p288. That is, it downgrades the Toughness/Recovery abilities of its target. If you have Supernatural Recovery from a holy relic, then it only counts as Inhuman against Hellfire; if you have Inhuman Toughness from a side-template, then it has no effect on Hellfire damage. Note that these Catch rules apply to non-Sponsored Magic versions of Hellfire too, such as a descriptor on Energy Attack or Energy Weapon.
People with high Resources don't tend to do things themselves, but hire people to do things for them. If there's a PC for hire, great! You two can work out the payment details between you. For nameless NPC 'hirelings', however, we've designed the following system.
Each NPC has a quality rating on the Ladder, and a package of skills: up to three considered 'primary', and up to four considered 'secondary'. For instance, a 'bruiser' NPC would have Fists, Intimidation, and Might (primary) and Alertness, Athletics, Endurance, and Weapons (secondary).
An NPC's ratings in their skill packages depends on their quality: the primary skills are at quality, while secondary skills are at quality-1. So while an Average bruiser would have Fists, Intimidation and Might all at Average and no other skills, a Good bruiser would have those skills at Good, plus Alertness, Athletics, Endurance, and Weapons at Fair.
NPCs may have spent refresh up to quality+2. Some exceptions may be made for hirelings with a supernatural template, but these will be rare; most often, hirelings will be regular mortals, with their available refresh spent purely on stunts.
All hirelings have an aspect like 'Only Doing My Job'. They may be bought off, and they won't go beyond Moderate consequences, if that; deeper dedication and persistence is not possible for nameless-level NPCs.
The cost to hire one hireling is equal to their quality: for example, a Superb hireling requires a Superb Resources roll. Filthy Lucre does not add to this: Filthy Lucre, as a stunt, means 'I am good at bribing corrupt people', not 'ordinarily, I could only afford one candy bar, but because I'm getting them from the black market, I can afford TEN candy bars, nom nom nom'. For each shift, you can double the number of NPCs. That Superb roll could hire two Great hirelings, or four Good hirelings, or eight Fair hirelings, or sixteen Average hirelings. You can't get this from luck of the dice: before you roll Resources, you must decide the maximum you intend to hire.
Note that NPCs of Great or above are world-class individuals, and so hiring them may be difficult; just because you can afford them doesn't mean they'll be available.
Recovering From Consequences
Life in the dark side of the supernatural is dangerous, and Dresden Files characters tend to take harm - physical, mental, and emotional. You're likely to take consequences... and want to recover from them. Here's how that works!
Mild consequences are, as the name indicates, mild, with the exception of Mental consequences. Mild Mental consequences require someone helping your character through their ordeal. This person would do so by using the 'Shoulder to Cry On' trapping of Empathy, or one of the various stunts created for this action. The minimum shifts on the Empathy roll required to start the recovery process is +2. This roll can be used to justify setting the consequence into recovery. Once the mild Mental consequence is set into recovery, it can be treated the same way as Physical and Social mild consequences. Physical and Social mild consequences heal with nothing more than time. With a minimum of one scene or one day after the one in which you received the consequence, you can set it into recovery, and then clear it after another scene. This means a total of two scenes, two days, or one scene and one day, not counting the one in which the consequence is inflicted.
See an available list of PC Counselors here: Counselors
Consequences of moderate level and above are more difficult to justify recovery. These require a skill roll and a special permission. The difficulty is 4 for Moderate, 6 for Severe, and 8 for Extreme consequences. Physical consequences require a Scholarship roll from a character with the Doctor stunt. Social and mental consequences require an Empathy roll, and the rolling character must either have the Counselor (or similar-effect) stunt, or a relevant aspect which they invoke for effect (costing a fate point). This aspect must represent either a close relationship with the character in need of healing, a general empathetic and caring nature, or some kind of psycho-therapeutic training. If you don't know and can't find anyone who meets these criteria, you may put in a +request to find an NPC to perform the healing for you.
See an available list of PC Medical personnel here: Medical
Justifying recovery is only half the battle. Afterwards, you have to wait for your character to finish healing. Moderate consequences take an RL week; severe consequences take an RL month; and extreme consequences take until your next major milestone. After that time has passed, you may clear out the consequence slot, and have it available for use again. In most cases, extreme consequences don't recover completely. If you lose an arm, then clearing that consequence (and re-changing the aspect) is more about adapting to the loss, rather than having your arm grow back.
Wizard's Constitution and Recovery powers can affect the process of physical healing. Someone with any of those powers can always and immediately justify recovery of physical consequences that don't exploit their Catch. Inhuman Recovery or better accelerates healing of non-extreme consequences, stepping them down one level. (For Inhuman Recovery, for example, mild consequences heal between scenes, moderate heal in one scene, and severe heal in an RL week.) Note that these powers only affect physical consequences, and will not affect mental or social ones, which require the normal justification. The only exception is in terms of consequences inflicted by powers like Emotional Vampire, in which the mental stress is described as physically draining, such as leaving you 'Exhausted' by sapping your life force. Also, these do not accelerate recovery of extreme physical consequences, but may change how that recovery is described. Returning to the above example, someone with a Total Recovery power may very well regenerate a lost arm, though it would be a slow process.
Minor milestones already allow swapping of skills and stunts; we allow them to be used to swap powers as well. Sometimes you let your enchanting skills atrophy to focus on your evocation; sometimes that cursed, Red-Court blood decides to give you more strength than speed; sometimes you lose some of the power of your shapeshifting to learn more finesse, more breadth of different forms. When the circumstances are right, you can use a minor milestone to change your powers into something else. However, there are restrictions.
- The new powers must have an equal or greater refresh cost than the old ones. There are no refunds in buying powers.
- You cannot swap away a Must of your template. (For example: a White Court Vampire with Supernatural Recovery may swap it into Inhuman Recovery and two points worth of something else... but they can't outright lose their Recovery power, as it's required by their template.)
- Your 'destination' powers must still match your template and high concept. (For example: a Red Court Infectee may pick up other Inhuman powers, but likely cannot take on a spellcraft power.)
- You are encouraged to have in-character justification for why the powers are changing.
Note that these apply to every powered template equally. Circumstances which would previously have resulted in outright losing powers - a changeling who Chooses human, or a White Court Virgin encountering True Love - will still act as normal.
On Dark Spires, we offer alternative options for characters taking Toughness powers. These are options, and players may choose to stick with the three levels of Toughness described in Your Story. These options, two customized powers, may be combined with each other and with regular Toughness in whatever ratios are desired. All powers are subject to the same Catch, and the total pre-Catch cost of all powers may not exceed 6 refresh.
- Resilience (-1 per level, maximum 3): Physical harm bounces off you without effect. Each refresh point spent on Resilience grants you +1 Armour against all physical stress but that which fulfills your Catch. (Note that this is a power you would take with +powers/create, as Armour is not a coded effect.)
- Tolerance (-1 per level, maximum 3): You can handle a little (or a lot) more wear and tear than the average human. Each refresh point spent on Tolerance grants you 2 additional boxes of physical stress capacity. (Note that this is a power you'd buy, from among the set of '+X Stress Boxes' options, as stress boxes are a coded effect.)
For a neater sheet, you can buy just the appropriate level of Tolerance, and then use +powers/note, +powers/cost and +powers/name to describe it as you like.
EXAMPLE: Bartleby is tough. His player thinks that Supernatural Toughness should do the trick, but believes that it's more about being thick-skinned than being better able to handle damage - that is, more based on Armour than on stress boxes.
- He decides that he'll only want 2 bonus stress boxes. Seeing that '+2 Stress Boxes' is power 28, he types +powers/buy 28. This gives him his 2 stress boxes, for 1 refresh.
- He has to change the cost for it to match Supernatural Toughness. It's the first power he's taken, so he types +powers/cost 1=-4. This makes the power cost a total of 4 refresh points.
- For quick reference, he adds a note to the power, describing how he's allocated those points. He types +powers/note 1=Armour:3, +2 stress boxes. This makes it easier for GMs to see how his power works.
- '+2 Stress Boxes', while descriptive, is not a cool name. He types +powers/name 1=Supernatural Toughnesss.
- With this, he has a power named Supernatural Toughness, costing 4 refresh points, and noted as granting him 2 (coded) stress boxes and Armour:3.
These options can be used to bridge a gap between your Toughness benefits and your Catch refund. For example, someone with a +2 Catch may take Inhuman Toughness and one level of either Resilience or Tolerance to have a Toughness total of -3, putting him functionally above the Catch. However, like all aspects of chargen, allowing these for PCs is purely at staff discretion. Choose wisely, and remember: staff and GMs can and will use this against you.
We've found the Workspaces rules in Your Story to be problematic for multiple reasons. As such, we've modified how they work for Dark Spires.
You will be considered to have a limitation to how fine the quality of your self-manufactured items will be based upon your resources. If you have Resources 1, chances are good you can't afford the materials to create an exceedingly fancy item. At Resources 6, chances are good you can make quite the lusciously beautiful item for yourself. Most of the time, you can assume that your workspace is enough for the job at hand.
However, the GM of a particular scene may declare that you'll need to go further afield: you need to visit a a fabrication workshop, or go to the library, or hit up an occult bookstore. Under those circumstances, the lack of resources is less of a game-mechanics issue, and more like a dramatic complication: it acts as a compel, and you'll get a fate point for going out to the bookstore (and whatever hooks the GM has in mind for it).
If you have need of a workspace for your PC, please put in a +request to have one placed in your inventory. When you build an item, part of the process will be the GMs checking whether your resources level will allow for the creation of whatever item it is you're looking to create in said workspace.
Clarifications and Considerations
This power is clearly problematic in a MUX setting since there is no easy way of ensuring the predictions are correct. This power is not in use on Dark Spires
The wording of the Incite Emotion power is ambiguous on the point of the +2 bonus; while the text only directly states that the bonus applies to maneuvers, it doesn't state that it doesn't apply to blocks or (with Lasting Emotion) attacks. We have decided to clarify this as follows. When using Emotion-Touch to make a maneuver or establish a block, the roll has a +2 bonus. When using Lasting Emotion, this bonus does not apply, with that 2-shift effect being dedicated to the Weapon rating.
When faced with faerie (or similar) illusions, it's important to make a distinction between 'detecting' the illusion and 'piercing' it. When detecting an illusion, you know that there's something wrong with what you're seeing, but you don't know what's actually behind it. When you pierce an illusion, you know what's actually underneath the illusion. Piercing illusions is much more difficult than piercing veils.
Detecting an illusion can be done with any Alertness, Investigation, or Lore. If your perception beats the illusion's effect - for instance, the Deceit+2 roll of a Sidhe using Greater Glamours - then you can tell that something is an illusion, or subject to it.
Piercing an illusion requires some form of magic. The Sight subverts an illusion entirely, at the risk of driving you insane. Potions and similar items can enhance perception (per the True Seeing Ointment: Your Story, p304); when the enhanced perception beats the illusion's effect, you see the truth. Thaumaturgy, as either divination or ritual counterspelling, can directly contest an illusion; if the ritual's shifts beat the illusion's effect, you 'win' depending on the spell you're using. (If divination, you personally see the truth, but the illusion otherwise remains in place; if ritual counterspelling, the illusion is wiped out.) Evocation counterspelling is not effective against faerie and other creatures' illusions.
Veils, a form of invisibility in the Dresdenverse, come from two main sources. Magicians can create them via spirit evocation or thaumaturgy. Other beings, such as some faeries or changelings, produce them through a specialised power like Glamours or Minor Veils. These are distinct on a mechanical level: while magical veils operate (like all magic) with a pre-chosen number of shifts, power-based veils come down to skill rolls.
The rules also differentiate between 'detecting' veils and 'piercing' them. When 'detecting' a veil, you can tell that there's something veiled, but you can't tell what it is: think of the movie Predator, and the air-shimmer the cloaking device caused. When 'piercing' a veil, you perceive clean through the obfuscation in such a way that the magic falls apart and the veiled individual becomes visible to everyone. The latter is, naturally, more difficult than the former.
A magician's veil may be 'detected' when someone rolls perception of three shifts less than the total block strength. If someone rolls perception equal to the block strength, the veil is 'pierced'.
A veil using Glamours, Minor Veils, or a related power is 'detected' when someone rolls perception equal to the block strength, and 'pierced' when someone rolls perception three shifts greater.
A session, for fate refresh purposes, is one RL week, starting game time Sunday.
Below is the time increments table from Your Story. It's been modified to give a shift value to each time increment. This is to make it easier to convert one row to another without just counting rows.
|1||a few moments|
|2||half a minute|
|4||a few minutes|
|6||half an hour|
|8||a few hours|
|11||a few days|
|13||a few weeks|
|15||a few months|
|17||half a year|
|19||a few years|
|22||a mortal lifetime|
|23||several mortal lifetimes|
|24+||and so on|
At Dark Spires, we don't think that the Dresden Files RPG system is granular enough, or has enough temporal resolution, to be concerned with the time taken to ready a weapon. Drawing a weapon is considered a free action, and not supplemental.
Plots and GMing
Any plot (defined as a story with impact to the grid or overarching story lasting two or more scenes) must be approved by staff in order to ensure they don't impact book canon, overarching plot, or each other to help ensure the most fun for everyone. Each will be reviewed individually by plotstaff and then either approved or guided into an approvable state. In some cases, a Doombringer will be offered as a Mentor to help run the scene.
One-Offs (defined as single conflict scenes with minimal lasting impact) are a bit less structured and limited. Mortal on mortal or PC on mortal level conflicts don't need approval so long as they're one-offs and not larger plots. One-offs involving supernatural NPCs can be run by any experienced and approved Doombringer or be requested of staff GMs, who have the right to decline. NPCs for supernatural one-offs must be from the approved list or approved by a staffer logged on at the time, which may result in expanding the list. We just don't think of everything up front. The approved list is to follow.
A Doombringer is a player who has GMed at least one scene of each conflict type and has been elevated to that status by staff. Non-Doombringer experienced GMs may run one-offs, but they require approval of staff and/or supervision.'
Readily Available Badguys
- Humans of many types
- Red Court Vampires (Non-GM-Plot related)
NPC Fate Point Pool
At the start of each scene, the GM is given a pool of fate points. These are used by NPCs for invoking, when there are no tags available. By default, this pool is equal to 1 for every PC in the scene. However, the GM can vary this if they feel that their opposition would be better suited with less or more.
If PCs invoke an NPC's aspects against them, or if NPCs are compelled by their aspects, those fate points go into the GM's pool. Remaining NPC fate points are lost at the end of the scene. This pool is not used for compelling PCs' aspects: the source for those fate points is infinite.
The optional rule Spin (Your Story p214) is generally not in use on Dark Spires. (Per GM approval/preference)
Tags and Maneuvers
A single aspect can hold multiple tags at one time. You can maneuver on sticky aspects to produce extra tags. When making a maneuver, assessment, or declaration, significant success results in more tags: every three shifts above the difficulty results in an additional tag. (So if your maneuver is Fair (+2) difficulty, and your result is Legendary (+8), your new aspect starts with three tags.)
Tags can be stacked on the same object along with invokes, but you cannot use multiple tags off of the same aspect nor invoke on that same aspect to gain multiple bonuses for that particular aspect on the same action. So if you use up two tags from different aspects and a fate point, you can get a bonus up to +6. You still can't spend more than one fate point on the same aspect for the same action.
White Council Rules
Admission for Non-Wizards
The White Council's rules for admission are slightly more lax in Britain and Europe than they might be elsewhere. While full votes on the Council, Senior Council status, and Warden training are only available to full Wizards, there is room for those with less power (Focused Practitioner/Sorceror templates) to still be part of the White Council. They receive training, access to the Council's social and information networks, and half-votes on the Council. Of course, they're also more closely scrutinized.
These are, according to us, bound with a magic to make people not care that someone is wearing a giant sword in a country that objects to pen knives. It only works when they are wearing their cloak and are on duty.
The Someone Else's Problem field is a +4 block if you don't know you're dealing with a Warden, +2 if you do, and all supernatural entities are unaffected.
Note: These are no longer available to acquire. Canon: Luccio does not now contain the knowledge of making them.
White Court Vampire Rules
The rules for Feeding Dependency (Your Story, p190) are rather bare-bones: other than killing people or skipping scenes, they offer no way of recovering. Thus, we expand on them here.
The act of feeding is resolved as a basic attack and defense. The skills and stress tracks used depend on the type of feeding.
- Blood-drinking is a physical attack with Fists or Weapons, defended as normal.
- Emotional vampirism is a mental attack using Intimidation (for Anger or Fear) or Deceit (for All other emotions) (possibly with a weapon rating from Lasting Emotion and/or Potent Emotion), defended with Discipline.
Net shifts and weapon ratings inflict stress as normal.
A tied attack, even one which inflicts no stress, is sufficient to clear out your Hunger track. Each point of stress inflicted counts as a shift of feeding, which can be put towards regaining lost powers or recovering from consequences inflicted by Feeding Failure. Regaining a power takes shifts equal to its refresh value. Recovering a consequence takes shifts equal to the consequence's shift value, and the slot clears immediately. If you inflict enough stress, you may combine these options, regain multiple powers, and/or recover from multiple consequences with a single feeding roll.
There are special rules for the attack and defense. A willing donor may forego the defense roll, allowing the vampire to attack against a total defense of Mediocre (+0). The vampire may, with self-control, choose to limit the stress they inflict. To do this, they must resist their hunger, represented by a Discipline roll with a difficulty equal to the sum of all their current Hunger 'needs': that is, the refresh value of all lost powers and the shift value of all feeding failure consequences. Failure on this roll means you'll gorge yourself, inflicting the full stress of your attack roll; success means that you may declare an amount of stress for your feeding roll. Regardless of how high you roll, you will inflict no more than that, but you may still inflict less if your roll is unlucky.
Example: Marla, the White Court Vampire, hasn't been eating well. Feeding failure has inflicted the mild mental consequence of 'Peckish', and she's lost access to her Inhuman Strength and Inhuman Speed. Her friend John is willing to donate some of his life force.
Marla, of course, doesn't want to drain him completely, so she's going to restrict herself to what she most needs. With the 2-shift consequence and 4 refresh in lost powers, she'll need to roll a Fantastic (+6) or better on her Discipline. Thankfully, she hits that nail on the head, and will be able to hold herself to her restricted diet. She decided she'll inflict no more than 4 stress: enough to regain her powers and get back to the mission, but not enough to force John to take consequences.
Next is the attack. Combining her Incite Emotion and Emotional Vampire into a single action, she rolls Deceit, with a Superb (+5) attack. As John is letting her feed, he rolls no defense. If she'd failed her Discipline, this would inflict 5 stress; instead, she only inflicts her needed 4, which John takes on a stress box, and she regains her two powers. If she'd only rolled Good (+3), she would not have caused enough stress to recover both powers, and would have needed to feed again - with another self-control Discipline roll, though at least the difficulty would have decreased.
Consequences inflicted by emotional vampires are variable, and may be determined by those at the time. Some feed messily, and leave heightened emotions behind; these consequences would reflect those emotions. Some eat more thoroughly, and leave the donor emotionally flattened as a result. Some just go for the tasty, tasty life force, and leave physical-like consequences such as 'Like She Ran A Marathon'; these last type of consequences benefit from Recovery powers.
White Court Vampires have no innate sense of each other. As with detection of any kind of supernatural, they may use Lore's 'Mystic Perception' trapping: one rolls Lore, with the other rolling Deceit to oppose. Even on a success, this is still vague, giving the perceiver nothing more than an 'I have an eerie feeling about him' impression, as with any other uses of Mystic Perception by non-wizards. They can sense and incite emotion from one another, just as they do with other beings. However, if they start trying to feed from each other, there will very likely be a clashing of wills, in which one Hunger fights against the other. This is rather telling.
Although White Court Vampires can experience such things as True Love, their touch cannot burn others of their kind. We believe that the virtue's mark doesn't 'take hold' in the same way it does for mortals.
More than one "true love" must meet the same requirements as a single lover - i.e. you both fill an aspect for each relationship.