All About Aspects: Magic Powers as Aspects

Magic Powers as Aspects

We’ve explained the basic formatting for our high concept aspects in one of our previous post, in this post I provide a single descriptions table (that can be used instead of the ones in previous articles) to add aspects concerned with psychic or magic powers.

Please note: This article does not actually provide the rules for the powers, that will be down to whatever system you decide to use (although you can do a surprising amount with skill rolls and invoking/compelling aspects in Fate).

Twist

The twist provides either an additional description of the person’s role or some additional extra characteristic or piece of signature equipment they use. In this article we provide some options to show how the twist can be used to represent powers or abilities central to your character concept.

No.Description When to invoke When to compel
1can control fire When rolling to influence fire or fire based aspects. Compel to have the abilities go out of control or have the PC's pyromaniac urges cause them issues.
2can influence the weather Invoke when rolling to change the weather or when attempting to divine any meteorological based facts. Compel to have the characters manipulation of the weather upset the environment in another place or to have their moods affected by the prevailing weather.
3can raise the dead Invoke when attempting to raise zombies, spirits, etc, conducting a seance, finding out facts against the dead or conducting autopsies. Compel to have the PC's experience their reputation or cadaverous appearance causing social complications or to have the locals rouse themselves to chase out the evil necromancer.
4controls the elements Invoke when influencing the elements (either the classic earth, air, fire and water or whatever constitutes the elements in your campaign) or aspects that mention them. Invoke to cause the character difficulties and complications when interacting with normal people since they are more in-tune with the elements.
5can influence people's emotions Invoke when making rapport or other types of persuasion rolls. Compel to have the character pick up on feelings in the local area that may influence their behaviour (ie. a surge of anger in the mind of someone nearby might cause them to lash out).
6controls people's minds Similar to the emotion influencing power about but the control can be more overt. Compel to cause the character difficulties when dealing with someone socially without using their powers as they come to regard others more as puppets than actual people.
7creates illusions and phantasms Invoke when rolling to create advantages based on illusion and deception.
8communicates with animals Invoke when attempting to communicate with animals or persuade them into a particular course of action. Compel to have the character's bestial nature cause problems, or to have them take on minor aspects of their favoured animals appearance when under stress, they may even have complications caused by behaving like said animal.
9can heal themselves and others Invoke when making medicine or other healing rolls. Compel to have the life energy used by the players taken from another source or to have the life restored balanced by a death elsewhere, or to have the character take damage themselves as they use their own life energy.
10can see in the dark Invoke when attempting to overcome obstacles and aspects based on darkness or lack of visibility. Compel to have the character momentarily blinded by a bright light.
11can teleport themselves Invoke when attempting to instantly leave or enter a scene. Compel to have the character accidentally (and randomly) teleport themselves somewhere when placed under stress, injured or surprised.
12conjure the power of their god Invoke when making a roll for an activity that falls within the gods purview. Compel to have the god visit the character with signs of their displeasure should they be failing to give them due worship, or to have the god assign the PC a difficult task.
13divines the future Invoke when attempting to predict events. Compel to have a characters attempts to avoid or cause the future prediction go awry via the force of fate and history.
14can conjure objects from nothing Invoke when attempting to conjure an object. Compel to have an object of similar mass nearby disappear to take the place of the conjured object or to have the previous owner of the conjured item track down the PC.
15change their shape Invoke when attempting to change shape or mold their physique into a more useful form. Compel to have something of the characters otherworldy nature cause them problems when interacting with normal people.
16peers into the past Invoke when using your talent to research the past or to pick up psychic impressions from an object. Compel to have the character experience injury from their sojourn in the past or to have them draw the attention of the people involved in past events.
17summons a weapon Invoke to summon and strike with a weapon from thin air. Compel to have the character summon the weapon accidentally when startled, surprised or angered, causing complications in social situations.
18can fly Invoke when using flight to overcome terrain based obstacles or to enter/leave a scene. Compel to have a character be targeted by archers or missile fire, or to have their flight delayed by air currents or other airbourne hazards.
19can harness his anger to become powerful Invoke when a character has been injured or otherwise angered and is engaging the source of the anger in combat. Compel to have the berserker character lash out at those around him or continue his rampage after the original target has been dealt with.
20can slow time Invoke when the character would gain an advantage from having more time to act. Compel to have the character instantly age beyond their normal years as the excess time flows into them.

Example:

I’m going to use the tables from the Fantasy Hero high Concepts post, substituting the table from this article in to replace the fantasy Twist table. Rolling 3 times on the tables using the online dice roller I’ve rolled: 12, 2 and 16

Looking at the tables this gives me the following:

I’m an honourable knight who peers into the past.

I can invoke my aspect:

  • Whenever helping others or upholding your code of honour this aspect can be invoked.
  • Invoke when challenging someone in combat or when engaging in acts of chilvary.
  • Invoke when using your talent to research the past or to pick up psychic impressions from an object.

And I can compel it:

  • Compel whenever your code of honour forces you into making a stand in a situation that will complicate the lives of the characters.
  • Compel to have your sense of honour and noblisse obligé force you into a complicated situation.
  • Compel to have the character experience injury from their sojourn in the past or to have them draw the attention of the people involved in past events.

So we’ve only got a basic outline there but already you see a character starting to form, I envision and honourable knight riding across the land attempting to solve crimes and bring to justice those criminals who might otherwise have escaped, his keen insight such that he can almost see past events as they occurred.

Coming Next for All about Aspects: Vampires and a common frame of reference

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