So, the players of my last Dresden Files RPG campaign were largely from a 3.5 D&D/Pathfinder background, and because of this one of the things that they were used to having were cohorts and followers. Several of them approached me about doing this in the Dresden Files. As usual I cracked open the books to see what I could offer them, and to my consternation I couldn’t find anything that quite fit what they wanted….. So I decided to whip up a few new mortal stunts. Similar to many supernatural powers, these stunts have “Musts“. In all honesty these stunts have more in common to powers, as they are only thematically tied their related skill.
Musts: A refresh level of at least Chest Deep. An aspect related to cohort gained is required.
You gain the services of an NPC that is loyal to you and your cause. This NPC should be discussed with the GM, but is built in almost the same manner as a Feet in the Water level PC character . Alternatively you may gain an appropriate NPC creature (pixie, warped beast, police dog, ect), with an total refresh cost of up to -5.
If a cohort does not must maintain an adjusted refresh of at least 1 or their total refresh cost exceeds their maximum, they becomes an NPC entirely under the GM’s control (likely wandering off to have adventures of their own).
Cohorts do not gain fate points based on their adjusted refresh. A cohort only has a high concept related to their relationship with you (Ex. Dresden’s “Pet” Temple Dog), a trouble, and one other aspect. This stunt can be taken a second time granting a second cohort. Cohorts can’t gain this stunt.
If your cohort is permanently lost (due to exceeding their refresh, death, ect.), during your next milestone your aspect related to the cohort should be changed to reflect this loss. You can replace the aspect outright, in the process either regaining the refresh spent on this stunt or replacing it with another stunt(or stunts; see note on alternative refresh cost). Replacing this stunt is done in addition to the normal benefits of that milestone. Alternatively, you can replace the aspect related to that cohort with one reflecting a new cohort. Building or selecting your new cohort as normal.
Experienced Cohort [Contacts]
Musts: A refresh level of at least Submerged and you must have taken the Cohort stunt.
The power level of a cohort you possess increases to Up to Your Waist. A creature cohort’s maximum total refresh is now -6. This stunt can be taken a second time, but must affect a different cohort. If the cohort affected by this stunt is permanently lost for any reason, this stunt should be changed during your next milestone(unless you gain a new cohort). This is done in addition to the normal benefits of a that milestone. If you change this stunt for any other reason, you must also replace the cohort it affects with one of an appropriate refresh(see Cohort above) and change the related aspect to reflect your new cohort.
These next two were the result of one player wanting to be to emulate Marcone and another player (the same one that requested the Huntsman’s Axe) arguing for being able to approach the Empathy skill’s lie detection function from another angle.
Contingency Planning [Contacts/Resources]
Musts: One other Contacts and/or Resources stunt. This decides which skill(s) can be used for the effects of this stunt.
Sometimes your planning impresses even you. You may spend a fate point to make a declaration, rolled if necessary, related to a particular character, object, location, or situation. The declaration must be a reasonable preparation, plan, intrigue, gambit, or tactic relevant to either attacking or defending against a single target. If at some later point, your declaration becomes relevant you may use your Contacts or Resources skill, whichever was used for the declaration, instead of any other skill to attack or defend against the target depending on the nature of your declaration for a single conflict.
Human Lie Detector [Investigation] : You may use your Investigation skill (instead of Empathy) to defend against Deceit, sorting truth from lies, as per Empathy’s Social Defense trapping.
“Who controls cohorts?” You might ask. Nominally, it should be the player they are attached to. However, the GM should be final arbiter of what constitutes reasonable behavior for the NPC.
It wouldn’t be unfair to have Cohort, Experienced Cohort, and Contingency Planning cost more that the normal [-1] refresh common to stunts. [-2] or even [-3] would not be unfair given how much utility they can potentially provide.
Yes, many creatures can potentially be constructed using the character creation rules. However, in some cases there may not be relevant templates to use in their construction. Aside from this just grabbing an existing stat block and adding the appropriate aspects is the much faster option.
For creature cohorts, I strongly recommend using one of the existing examples with stats found in DFRGP: Our World or Paranet Papers. If a player sees a creature they like that has a lower total refresh cost than they are afforded, discuss adding on extra stunts or powers that would be appropriate for the creature to make up the difference.
Yeah, Contingency Planning is odd and part of that is the result of some reverse engineering from DFRPG’s sister system Spirit of the Century. The rest is from it doing something that in hindsight the system does seems like it wants to do. GM adjudication is a strong must in the case of this stunt While I will likely revise it if I ever run another DFRPG game, I figured might as well go ahead and share.