Harry Dresden

This is my attempt at the ‘update Harry Dresden’ contest that was recently launched by the lovely people at Evil Hat:


The aim is to represent Harry as he was at the beginning of “Changes”

Previous Power Level: Submerged (10 Refresh, 35 skills, Skill Cap of Superb(+5))

Milestones Received: 20 Significant, 10 Major

Adjusted Power Level: Can’t Touch The Bottom (20 Refresh, 70 Skills, Skill Cap of Epic (+7))

Adjusted Refresh: 1

Harry Dresden

High Concept: Wizard Private Eye and Warden of the White Council

Trouble: The Price of Power (While Harry is still lured by the temptation of power he is now often forced to use the tools available to him to do what must be done. Changing Harry’s trouble subtly indicates that it is the price of all the power he has gained which is the core conflict for him rather than the temptation to gain more as his story progresses)

Other Aspects: My Mother’s Silver Pentacle; Chivalry Is Not Dead Dammit; The Direct Approach is Preferable, Still Quick to Anger; Epic Wiseass; My Young Apprentice

Epic: Conviction

Fantastic: Discipline

Superb: Lore, Contacts

Great: Endurance, Athletics, Craftsmanship (Months working on Little Chicago), Intimidation

Good: Alertness, Rapport, Presence,  Investigation, Scholarship

Fair: Stealth (Thanks to training Molly, Harry has improved his subtle ways),  Resources (Warden Stipend), Empathy, Guns, Might

Average: Fists,  Weapons, Survival, Burglary, Driving, Performance

Stunts and Powers

Listening (-1)

Evocation (-3) (Grants 2 focus slots, 2 used as focus slots)

Thaumaturgy (-3) (Grants 2 focus slots, 1 used as a focus slot & 1 used for 2 enchanted item slots)

The Sight (-1)

Soulgaze (0)

Wizard’s Constitution (0)

Lawbreaker (First – One Strike?) (-1)

Sponsored Magic – Soulfire (-3: -5 reduced by 2 for having Evocation & Thaumaturgy )

Sponsored Magic – Demonreach (-1: -4 reduced by 2 for having Evocation & Thaumaturgy, reduced to 1 for being available only while on Demonreach itself)

Refinement (-6) – Gives 9 Focus item slots,  used for Little Chicago and to upgrade Harry’s blasting rod, staff and shield bracelet, and 6 Enchanted Item slots which have been used to provide a protective effect for Little Chicago and to upgrade his Kinetic Rings.


Evocation: Fire (Power +1), Air and Spirit

Thaumaturgy: Divination (Control +1)

Foci (12 slots – 9 from Refinement , 2 from Evocation and 1 from Thaumaturgy)

(3 slots) Staff (+2 Offensive Control – Spirit, +1 Offensive Control – Soulfire)

(2 slots) Blasting Rod (+2 Offensive Control – Fire)

(2 slots) Shield Bracelet (+1 Defensive Control – Spirit, +1 Defensive Control – Fire)

(5 slots) Little Chicago (+3 Complexity – Divination, +2 Control – Divination)

Note: Little Chicago is very big and could hold more than 5 focus slots. Perhaps once Harry advances his lore further it will gain additional slots but for now its main feature is that it contains very strong thaumaturgical links to every part of the city. In game terms this means that Harry never has to find a more specific link to any part of Chicago. Enchantments are also built into the city that give Harry protections when he is working magic through the focus (see below).

Enchanted Items (8 slots – 6 from Refinement, 2 from Thaumaturgy)

(1 slot) Duster (Provides +4 Armour twice per session)

(3 slots) Kinetic Rings (Make a Spirit evocation at Weapon: 6 to an attack twice per session – once per hand – aimed with Discipline)

(4 slots) Little Chicago (Provides +8 armour against attacks channelled at Harry through Little Chicago when he is using the model city to cast long-range divinatory magics once per session)

Note: Dresden also has access to a belt with the motif of a standing bear which adds +4 to his Endurance for a scene but he only uses this infrequently. If the player wishes he can switch one of his other foci out to this item during any Significant Milestone.

Recently Dresden has not been regularly using potions so no Enchanted Item slots have been left open for potions.

Explanatory Notes

I haven’t tried to put Mouse on Harry’s character sheet because he actually has sufficiently high stats to count as a PC in his own right. That makes him a member of Harry’s group or at the very least a significant NPC who he has access to thanks to his high Contacts score.

Little Chicago is really expensive! It’s clear from YS that Little Chicago has more than 6 focus slots, giving it a base cost of 3. If we up that to 8 to make it significant enough to be the size it is, that means it costs 4 refresh! We also need some focus slots to give Harry some upgrades to his staff and blasting rod.

The Significant to Major Milestone ratio is a little lopsided for a real game, but 20 was the bare minimum refresh needed to give Harry Little Chicago, mild improvements to his other foci, the enchanted items he regularly uses, sponsored magic from Demonreach and sponsored magic in the form of Soulfire.  With a 1:3 ratio of significant to major milestones, that would mean Harry would have needed 30 significant milestones and I felt that would simply be too many skill points to reflect Harry as he is portrayed in the books and settled for a 1:2 ratio instead.

Edited 16/05/2013 because my friend pointed out I missed one of Harry’s focus slots. I’ve added that point. I also realised that Little Chicago breaks the rules (sob) so I’ve edited it. Finally, I’ve tweaked Harry’s Refinement points and foci generally. To do this I’ve used Refinement to get focus slots and assumed I can freely convert focus slots to enchantment slots as per the other rules.

2 thoughts on “Harry Dresden

  1. It’s rarely used in the series, so I completely understand missing it out, but quite a few times harry refers to being a fencer. While average at swordplay he says that he has: ‘a lunge that can hit a mile away.’ Is this represented in his high athletics? And if not, how would you represent it on the FATE system?

    Also what about Bob? :c

    Other than that, Very well written! Easy enough for a Novice to the fate system like me to understand and kept me reading. I have the feeling I could learn a lot from reading your Blog more.

    1. Hmm. I don’t think it’s a significant enough thing to mention it on Harry’s sheet, really. If I did represent it, I’d use a stunt like: “I get a +2 on Weaponry attacks when I lunge with a sword because of my longer reach.”

      Bob is his own character. He works for Dresden but in exchange for favours (mainly porn or romance novels) so he’s not just a part of Dresden’s sheet. I put him really in the same category as Toot Toot or Mouse. I justify this with Harry’s high Contacts skill. At this stage in the novels he’s got all kinds of allies he can call upon for help.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and finding some of the content useful. A lot of it is stuff I post to the Fate Core Google+ community but kept here for posterity’s sake (as it’s hard to search a Plus community). It’s a bit of an eclectic mix.

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