One of the options available to players in our recent Fantasy Fate offering (links provided below) is access to what are known as Items of Power. This category is a catch-all for abilities that are derived from possession of an object that is itself imbued with supernatural powers. As such, the character’s access to these powers is wholly dependent on the item, and the loss or destruction of said item would also mean the loss of those powers.
The concept of magic as defined in ‘The Dresden Files RPG,’ based on the mechanics of Fate 3.0, draws power from the five elements of nature: fire, earth, water, air, and spirit. (You can read more about this elemental foundation in Your Story, starting on page 253.) As such, the natural world is vital to spellcasting and magical powers. For those of us who grew up in a ‘fantasy RPG’ mind set, this elemental source for magic reflects a potent blend of arcane spellcasters and druidic magic.
The natural world, then, seemed a proper place to start when crafting some sample Items of Power for Fantasy Fate. By using components found in nature to draw supernatural power for a character, these examples below grant some in-game benefits that would otherwise be unavailable to players during basic character creation. GMs who want to help their players customize their own Items of Power from the natural world can check out Your Story, page 167. Note that taking an item of power prevents you from being a “Pure Mortal”.
TRAVELER’S DUST [-1] (Earth)
Description: This item appears as a large pouch handcrafted from leather, which feels full but appears empty within. However, should one tip the pouch over, a fine gritty dust would spill out into their hand. It is said that this dust accumulates from user to user, and so represents almost every road and trail in the waking world.
Musts: The user must spend one full day (sunrise to sunset) traveling by foot, with the pouch in their possession, before using the Traveler’s Dust. In addition, the user must have an Aspect that directly references this Item of Power.
Skills Affected: Stealth, Athletics, Alertness
Duration: Traveler’s Dust grants its blessings until the next sunrise- whenever that may be.
Effects: Inhuman Speed. (YS178) Traveler’s Dust renders the user exceptionally fleet of foot.
Stealthy Step. Traveler’s Dust makes the user more difficult to detect while on the road. The difficulty to detect any signs of the user’s passing, as with the Investigation or Alertness skill, is increased by +4.
STORM SPLINTER [-1] (Fire)
Description: This simple leather thong necklace bears a piece of wood taken from a tree that has been struck by lightning. The unstoppable fury of the storm in contained in this shard of wood.
Musts: The Storm Splinter necklace must be worn around the neck, close to the skin of the bearer. In addition, the user must have an Aspect that directly references this Item of Power.
Skills Affected: Weapons (This boon is treated as a thrown weapon.)
Effects: Breath Weapon. (YS162) The boon of the Storm Splinter must be either a fire or lightning breath weapon.
BELT OF TIDES [-1] (Water)
Description: The Belt of Tides is fashioned from the skin of a giant shark, underwater monster, or some other ocean predator, preferably native to the wearer’s homeland. As such, its description will vary as its origin does.
Musts: The Belt of Tides must be worn against the skin of the bearer, and must be anointed with water daily or it will cease its boon. In addition, the user must have an Aspect that directly references this Item of Power.
Skills Affected: Might, other physical skills.
Effects: Inhuman Strength. (YS183) As the oceans crash endlessly on the shore, shearing rocks and shaping the land, so too does the Belt of Tides grant its wearer a similar power.
MANACLES OF MIST [-1] (Air)
Description: These bracelets are made of intricately woven reeds, that have been harvested while moist with the morning dew. Once they have been braided securely onto a bearer’s wrist, they grant their boon until they are removed. Once removed, they will immediately evaporate into the air.
Musts: The Manacles of Mist must be braided securely onto both of the bearer’s wrists; if they are not properly bound, they will not bestow their gift. In addition, the user must have an Aspect that directly references this Item of Power.
Skills Affected: Various.
Effects: Gaseous Form. (YS175) As soon as the Manacles are secure, the bearer will become as the mist themselves.
CIRCLET OF THE UNSEEN [-1] (Spirit)
Description: The Circlet of the Unseen is a ring made from ribbons, thread, and the tiny bones and delicate feathers of birds, all woven together and worn about the head of the bearer. Birds are said to be omens and messengers of the spirit world, and through their eyes one may see into that mystical realm.
Musts: The Circlet of the Unseen must be worn on the bearer’s head for its boon to be granted. In addition, the user must have an Aspect that directly references this Item of Power.
Skills Affected: Investigation, Lore, and Survival.
Effects: World Walker. (YS171) Wearers of this circlet can sense those places where reality is weakest, and where they may best make contact with it.