Nephilim FATE Magic — Inscribed Spells and Personal Foci

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.

Inscribing a Spell

When a Nephilim pops out of its Stasis and incarnates into its new Simulacrum, it has nothing: no books, no mystical laboratories, no places to work, no Foci.  It may have the Stunts up to Grand Secret — it can cast any spell it pleases — but it cannot cast the spell unless it possesses the spell.  The moment a Nephilim incarnates into a new body it immediately begins the hunt for new spells* to rebuild its library.

However, some Nephilim figure out the trick of tattooing the Foci for their favorite spells directly on to their souls via a mystic ritual. An Inscribed Spell requires no Focus — no books and no extra preparation. The Nephilim may cast this spell at will. The spells travels with the Nephilim from Incarnation to Incarnation.

An Inscribed Spell can be from Lower Sorcery, Higher Magic or Grand Secret. All the penalties for casting a more complex spell applies. For example, if the Nephilim inscribes Spleen, it will have a much simpler time wandering around spleening targets than if it has the Grand Secret analogue, Wahnsinn, inscribed, a spell requiring a room and Foci and concentrated magicks and plenty of chanting. Wahnsinn still requires the Complexity and trappings of a full Grand Secret spell.

A Nephilim cannot inscribe a spell of a level greater than the Stunts it has. Thus, a Nephilim cannot inscribe spells for Higher Magic or Grand Secret if it lacks the Stunts for Higher Magic and Grand Secret.

All Inscribed spells, regardless of level, are -1 Stunts. A Nephilim can have many Inscribed spells as it can maintain without having less than 1 Refresh.

Personal Foci

Sorcerers who practice Higher Magic or greater craft for themselves a Personal Focus. The Focus is a physical object that helps the sorcerer focus its concentration on the spell. These items are crafted to the sorcerer’s personality. They can be religious items, items typically related to Sorcery (rings, staves), books, or other personally suiting items. The form of the Focus is intensely personal and varies from Sorcerer to Sorcerer. All Sorcerers who have mastered Higher Magic possess or may create a Focus.

A base cost for a Focus is -1. A Focus may be upgraded twice for a total cost of -3. A Focus grants between 1-3 shifts of bonus depending on the power of the Focus.

A Focus can add +COST to Lore (to overcome Complexity), +COST to Conviction (to gather power) or +COST to Discipline (to cast). This is identified at the time of purchasing the Focus.

When the Sorcerer has a Focus and reincarnates into a new Simulacrum, the Sorcerer must either:

1. Create a new Focus or…
2. Locate its old Focus. The old Focus may be anywhere and may require an Adventure to locate and retrieve.

The choice is up to the GM depending on Dramatic Necessity.

A Focus may be paired with an Aspect during Incarnation if the player wishes but this incurs equal benefit to above and being able to Invoke the Focus as an Aspect.

Yes, the Nephilim’s personal Focus can also be its Stasis. The Nephilim will never misplace its Focus! But it also cannot be locked in a vault, it gets used in dangerous Sorcerous rituals, and has to be toted around into battle with Templars. On the one hand, the Nephilim can have a mighty keen ancient broadsword covered in sacred runes as a Focus and a Stasis. On the other hand, if something happens to that Stasis — and we wouldn’t want another to happen to the Stasis — things get mighty interesting mighty fast.

(I’ve noticed I have changed my rules for Foci slightly so they will be folded into the Sorcery rules once the Sorcery rules are complete.)

LiveJournal was down last week so if you are only following on LJ here’s links to last week’s posts:

* Sorcery (ver. 1)
* Lower Sorcery Spells (Chart)
* Higher Magic and Grand Secret Spells (Chart)

All Nephilim FATE posts.
Any obvious similarities between a Nephilim and a Bookhound of London is merely a happy coincidence. And interestingly, plenty of cross-over in content, if not system.