Note: I am slowly converting Nephilim, an old Chaosium game, over to Dresden Files FATE. I am just flopping all the posts on my blog because I can tag and collect them all later. This stuff is in no particular order. You can buy Nephilim in PDF from DriveThruRPG for ~$17. You should also buy Dresden Files RPG.
The High Concept in DFRPG is a nice bit of gaming wizardry. It’s a character’s ur-Aspect, the One Aspect to Rule them All, at least in the context of a character sheet. It’s a job, it’s a template, it’s a mashup of job and template, it’s a family, it slices and dices. It says what a character is in a nice concise single title.
Nephilim break down into three concise bits: the Ka, the Metamorphosis and the Arcanum or the splat, the sub-splat, and a collection of splats into a faction. These aren’t as loose as they are in the DFRPG world. They’re clearly defined and a player needs to pick from menu a, menu b, and menu c to combine into a High Concept.
Nephilim goes deep into what Ka is on a mystical sense and how Ka plugs into various magical fields in a pentacle and how it breaks down into the Classical Aristotelean elements. Essentially it’s an ur-splat that defines personality traits and interesting ways to invoke it as an Aspect (Water for dexterous tasks, Moon for talking to people, etc.) Ka is an element defined in the discrete set:
Ka => [Fire, Air, Water, Earth, Moon]
Or we can be fancy and use Latin:
Ka => [Pyrim, Eolim, Hydrim, Faerrim, Onirim]
The Ka have Metamorphosis. Nephilim aren’t people. They reincarnate each life time like a sort of astrological soul vampire and inhabit a perfectly good human body and destroy the soul inside. Metamorphosis is what a Nephilim truly is. The source material defines nine Metamorphosis that look like a hash:
Metamorphosis=> [Fire => [Djinn, Phoneix], Air=>[Sylph, Angel], Water=>[Triton, Undine], Earth=>[Satyr, Elf], Moon=>[Serpent, *]]
These are largely color but very interesting color. For example, an Earth Elf Nephilim will slowly take on green skin, pointed ears, and speak in the rustling tones of the trees. The slower moving Water Triton Nephilim is a swampy, scaly killer who embodies the deep sea.
The third is the Arcanum, or the Nephilim’s secret society tribe. These map to Major Arcana, but not all of them and each have their own properties and rules and governing bodies.
Arcanum=>[Magician, High Priestess, Emperor, Empress, Chariot, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, Hanged Man, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgment]
Creating a High Concept means picking from list A, list B and then finally list C and it creates a surprisingly expressive Nephilim concept:
A Fire Phoenix Nephilim of Justice who hunts Fallen Nephilim and destroys them.
A Serpent Moon Nephilim of Lovers who seeks through lives the most hedonistic of all lifestyles.
A Air Angel Nephilim of the High Priestess who practices secret true alchemy.
The Serpent does have a pair, but these are the “evil dudes” of Nephilim, the Selenium.
Fascinatingly, because Nephilim are inhuman creatures who lives immortal lives by corrupting human hosts and attempt to subjugate the world through their spells and search for Enlightenment, they fit neatly into the mold of Dresden Files villains. And that might prove useful later.