Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Magical Near Talents in Ghosts of Albion

The child looked at me in obvious fear and trepidation. I tried to win the young lad over with my most winninest smile. "Its ok dear. I am not going to hurt you." I said, but he shook his head.
"Beggin' your pardons Mum, its not you I'm worried about, but that ghost lady behind you."

-From The Journal of Tamara Swift

Not everyone in the Ghosts of Albion game is a ghost, powerful Protector or vampire.  In fact the vast, vast majority of people in the world are not only ignorant of the supernatural, but so far removed from it that it has no impact on their lives whatsoever.  Generally speaking this line is easily demarcated with the possession of either the Magic quality (in humans) or the Innate Magic quality (in supernaturals).  If you have one or the other then the world of the supernatural is open to you and you to it.
There are some that have no magical talent to speak of, yet the world of the supernatural is open to them, in a limited state.  They see ghosts, hear strange creaking where others hear nothing and sometimes even are able to cast a spell.

These folk are known as Near Talents and they are have a zero (0) level of Magic.

Magic 0
3 points or Special
Prerequisite: Must be human
Characters with 0 levels of Magic have a small bit of magical talent.  They can cast a spell (typically they know only one) of PL 1 (and no higher).  They cannot quick cast any spells and will always cast their spell at the end of their round.
Characters with Magic 0 are treated as if they have Lesser Sensing, but they typically need a Perception + Notice roll in order to see any magic or magical creature.  The Director can make exceptions to this, typically making it easier to see some things like a familiar ghost.
Characters can "upgrade" to a full level of Magic with the Director's approval only.  Directors are encouraged to find an "in story" reason for this manifestation of the character's full potential and either grant them Magic 1 or allow them to buy it for 1 or 2 points (never more than 2).
Spellcasting is treated the same, except the Magic modifier is 0.  Characters with Magic 0 have no magical defenses, they need to be Magic 1 at least for that.

Uses of Near Talents
Near Talents can be used to provide a nice middle ground.  Ordinary humans with one toe in the supernatural world. The obvious choices are NPC and Guest Stars, but Cast Members can also benefit from this quality.  In particular Magic 0 also acts like a low level magic sensitivity that can be given to otherwise normal humans so they can be part of the adventuring world.  If this is the case then the director is encouraged to give these Cast Members Magic 0 for free, but not give them a spell to use.  If they later find one that can be up to the Director.


Shannon said...

That's quite a creepy opening line you've got there. Just thought I'd comment to say, nice article hook.

Gerall Kahla said...

Well done, good sir! Well done...