Nephilim FATE Magic — Two Fisted Summoning

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.

Here’s a basic overview of how it works:

Summoning is different than Sorcery.  Sorcery is about reaching into the magical lines which wrap the world, exerting mental will, and forcing the magic to respond.  Either it works or the caster loses control and it flies everywhere.  Summoning is about having a conversation.

Drawing the Pentagram is the simple bit.  The Summoner references the right Pentagram in a dusty tome, finds the words, locates a good basement, and executes. If the strength of the Summoning Pentagram overcomes the will of the Summoned, the Summoned pops into the center of the Pentagram.  This almost always works if the Summoner is even passably good at this trick, has the right Stunts, and a half-way decent Lore.  Getting the Summoning to appear is a purely mechanical exercise.  A Summoner’s understanding contested against the Summoning’s willingness to show up.

And there stands a pissed off Summoning, trapped in a Pentagram, interrupted from whatever it was doing five seconds before, glaring at a Summoner and wondering if the Summoner is tasty on toast.  What happens next is a straight up social contest.  Talk fast, little Summoner, or else the thing standing there will reach for the ketchup.

Summoning moves into a haggle mode.  The Summoner can lie, can plead, can persuade, can use any social tools at its disposal.

The Summoner talks.

The Summoning listens.

Either the Summoning agrees to do what what Summoner wishes — one week, one day, one hour, one question, one task, whatever the Contract stipulates — or the Summoning ruptures.  The bigger the Summoning, the worst the Contract failure, the bigger the Rupture.  Ruptures are, as they say, bad.  How bad?  It depends on how big of a trick the Summoner was trying to pull.  Some Summoners quickly disappear, never to be seen again.

Should the Summoning agree to hang around and do something, sometimes for a price, the Summoner gets to walk off with said Summoning hanging around them invisibly and at their command.  Should Those who Creep and Nibble, a perfectly useful Assiah-plane, Seals-level, Earth-inclined Animal Summoning show up, and the Summoner cons them into sticking around and listening to him, the Summoner can order them to eat cars, couches, hats, deck chairs, holes in yachts, anything the Summoner wants consumed for a whole week.  Yay!

But fail to establish a Contract with the Procurators Whose Eyes are Basilisks or Ruby?  They like to force their Summoners to get on their knees and confess all their sins…

Stunt Refresh Cost

Summoning costs Refresh just like Sorcery.  Nephilim FATE has three levels of Summoning: Seals, Pentacles and Keys. These Stunts attach to the Lore skill.

First Circle Seals -2
Second Circle Pentacles -3
Third Circle Keys -5

Keys, the highest level, is very difficult to purchase in character generation. The rules reserve Master-level Summoning for NPCs, both good and bad. A character may purchase Seals and Pentacles in Character Generation.

Next up, flat out mechanics.

  • Is there a canonical list of the horrible horrible summoned things with their awesome names, or some sort of make-your-own name generator? Or both? Because, man. Some of those names are just awesome.

    • There is an enormous canonical list of horrible horrible summoned things with their awesome names in the original Nephilim sourcebook. I think there are too many to list as a blog post — there are about 4x the summonings as there are spells because spells are kind of dull.

      I am going to post some choice ones as conversion, though. I will eventually translate them all once I settle on the best way to do wordpress-wiki integration.

      Nephilim summonings are just the best. Because saying “I go summon the Ministers of Reflection, be right back” is excellent in a game sense.