So a player in a Dresden Files RPG (affiliate link) campaign I ran a while back came to me with a puzzling character concept. He wanted to play a character like Bob. For anyone who is unaware, Bob is a spirit of intellect and air, “He” lives in an enchanted skull and is basically magical Wikipedia/Instructables for who ever owns the skull. Spoilers, knowledge equals power. So much power in fact, that the game’s entry for Bob basically is something along the lines of “don’t bother stating, treat a personified lore check”. Naturally, this wasn’t acceptable and I had no desire to tell my player “no”, as I though there was a lot of fun to be had with such a character at the table. So I whipped up the Bound Spirit template and the Eidetic Memory mortal stunt. The Arcane Scholarship stunt was not something that I used in the game but in conjunction with Eidetic Memory reflects how I handled the Bob clone.
As a note, the player playing the Bob-like character was paired with another PC who acted as the the owner of his bonded object. However, a character with the template below could also easily be paired with an NPC.
Bound spirits were originally spiritual denizens of the Nevernever and are entities of a singular nature(often with an elemental associate), perhaps intellect(air), emotion(fire), or some other concept. Regardless of what it is, their core nature colors and shapes the capabilities and personalities of these spirits. Setting them apart from other spirits of the Nevernever is that they, for varying reasons often known to the spirit alone, have come to inhabit the mortal world.
However, many elements of the mortal world, such as the cycle of day and night, are anathema to creatures without flesh. So, often through the machinations of mortal practitioners physical objects are enchanted to comfortably house these spirits. These objects act as not just sanctuaries to protect displaced spirits, but are often a yoke around their proverbial necks, binding them to them to the will of whomsoever possesses such an object.
Bound spirits can leave their bound objects, often taking the form of luminous fog, when given permission by the objects owner. It is important to note that bound spirits are not familiars, and though the owners of their object have some authority over them, the spirits often must be compensated for services. Compensation often includes temporary freedom from their objects, information, or favors suitable to the spirit’s nature and interests.
Musts: A bound spirit must have a high concept that addresses their nature as a bound spirit related to a certain concept (ex. “Fiery Servant of the Lamp” or “Wise Lecher In A Skull”).
In addition, your character must take the following supernatural powers:
- Bonded Object [+1 or +2]
- Spirit Form [-3]
- The Sight [-1]
Options: Since spirits can have diverse natures and capacities, many of the abilities in Supernatural Powers (page 158) are negotiably available, assuming you can afford the refresh cost and the power fits your character’s nature. Possession (link) and abilities from the Nevernever Powers category are common options.
Minimum Refresh Cost: -2 or -3
Important Skills: Disciple, Conviction, others depending on type.
The player that I originally made this for eventually decided to gain an item of power following a major milestone. The goals of that item were for it to act as a replacement bonded object for his character, and a means for him to leverage his magical knowledge as offensive power. All of that with a touch of faustian bargaining tossed in. I’ll be posting that item named “Clavicula Salomonis Regis Vol. 1: Ars Notoria” in the near future.
Bonded Object [+1 or +2]
Description: You are a spiritual entity tied to a physical object that you require to rest and recuperate. Woe betide you should your bonded object ever be destroyed.
Perilous Refund. You regain two points of refresh for due to the fact that your continued existence and well being are tied to a physical object. This assumes that the object is reasonably obvious and easy to detect, like a sword or a rune carved skull. If the item is difficult to detect, allowing concealment, you only regain one point of refresh.
It Is What It Is. Your bonded object is often based on a mundane template—a book, a lamp, a sword—and as such may have some function, or armor or damage values completely independent of its supernatural nature. Swords will have damage bonuses like swords, armor will protect like armor, lamps can be filled with oil and provide light. All the same, the object should be obvious as something unusual.
Obligate Sanctuary. Your incorporeal from can alway enter and occupy the object you are bound to so long as it is not destroyed. While occupying your bonded object you can be moved by other creatures trough thresholds normally, and the object must be destroyed before you can be inflicted with physical stress. However, you can not recover stress or consequences while you are absent from the confines of you bonded object.
Well Made. Time and effort was put into crafting, selecting, or enchanting your bonded object. For this reason the object has a quality rating of Good, making it somewhat valuable in its own right (see “Buying Things” on page 322) and difficult to break (see “Breaking” on page 320).
Arcane Scholarship: You may use Scholorship’s Answers trapping instead of Lore’s Arcane Research trapping to recall information related to arcane and occult principals.
Eidetic Memory: Your ability to record and recall information and experiences is flawless, but more than that you can do so quickly and in a useful manner. When using the Answers trapping (page 123), your efforts are at a +1 and are 1 time increment (page 315) faster.