Reducing the Cost of the Gifted Trait

So I would like to run a BW game that I would describe as “Wizard School.” Alternative, we would call it Harry Potter: The Burner’s Wheel.

Each character would be burned using only three lifepaths to control age, and every character would have to take a Student lifepath. The issue I’m running into is that it seems like every character would have to either be an arcane devotee or a neophyte sorcerer to access the Gifted trait. It’s cost is slightly prohibitive to forcing characters to purchase it using trait points.

The Magic Burner recommended removing the necessity of the trait, but Wizards are rare individuals in this world. Yes there is a school for them, but only one.

Could I simply gift the trait to each character? Or should I consider each a lifepath trait and reduce the cost for only 1 point?

When they all went to school for the first time, they were pretty much the same. Sure they came from different settings like City or Rural, but they were all Students then Neophyte Sorcerers once they came to Hogwart’s. They really didn’t start differentiating from each other until after the adventures began. Basically, I’m saying you should just have everyone take 3LPS, including Student and Neophyte Sorcerer and let them develop distinctions in game. It’s part of the fun of beginning so young.

You could use the Gifted Child lifepath from the MaBu.

If you’re running wizard school, then I’m not even sure Student is an appropriate lifepath for them to have. They haven’t been students, they are students right now. This also fixes another problem: they’re getting three lifepaths. One is Born, and those are all similar. One is Student. That leaves only a single lifepath to distinguish themselves before the game begins. I prefer a bit more.

For this type of game, I wouldn’t require any lifepaths. They pick the life they led up until they became arcane students. You might have to fudge ages a bit or be significantly older than Harry Potter, though! Then you give them all the Gifted trait and play begins.

Or you can not give them Gifted. Yes, they have the Gift, but they can’t access it. Let it come up in trait votes when they’ve sufficiently poured themselves into their studies or undertaken dramatic rituals to awaken their powers. Again, this approach might require fudging the Sorcery skill—it’s dangerous and difficult to start without it and get it to a useable level—but if you really want to start from raw neophytes and have them become mages in play this is the way I’d do it.

The MaBu Gifted Child is great.

Not sure what I will do yet, but I am leaning towards just requiring the Gifted trait (you can go without, if you want the challenge).

That leaves three roads available: Gifted Child, Neophyte Sorcerer, and Arcane Devotee. There’s also the fourth choice of not being gifted.

Leaves room to choose Born LP and one other to round out their skills. Student still makes sense to me, as they are going to need some literacy, though I suppose they could purchase that as necessary (or not, for story potential).

You can always tweak other paths for your game. e.g. for the campaign idea I’ve been working on, both the Born Noble & the Bastard lifepaths give access to a restricted version of the Gifted Trait which allows restricted use of Sorcery.

Neophyte Sorcerer and Arcane Devotee both have Read, Write and Research.

That they do! I spent some more time reading over the MaBu and and looking up Lifepaths. I’m kind of making a cheat sheet for my players on how to get the Gifted Trait, with or without a LP that hands it out. I will stress that these skills are important, too, but there is always some great RP material if you don’t have them.

If the characters are going to be 11/12 years boys and girls students, then you can use just Grifted Child for everyone. They can choose one of two School of Magic additional LPs, but I would ignore this if they are going to start at the beginning of the first year. Why do you need more LPs? The Born LP will do. Then you can use Practice and play to give the characters new Skills and improve their Stats and Attributes. Make a Trait Vote session at the end of every year. (A year of play can be a Campaign arc. What they learned from the experiences of this year?)

Yes, they will start not being too different from each other. It is their beliefs and their natures (Instints) that make them unique, and eventually they will be changed by their own experiences.

If you do decide to go with 3LPs, you’re likely going to end up with characters in their late teens early to early twenties, so more Wizard College than Hogwarts.

Right, which is really what I want. I want magic to feel more dangerous than whimsical, which is how I feel the Harry Potter world presents it when they are younger. To bring everyone up to speed, here is what I’m requiring or allowing:

-You must acquire The Gifted trait in character burning. I’ve made a cheat sheet for all of the available lifepaths that include it, as well as a listing of trait point rich lifepaths for those who wish to have a different background.

-All players can open the Sorcery skill, but no points may be spent on advancement. Given the stat pools for their age, that means most will open at B2. Not untrained, but still very raw.

-Each player may purchase one spell. I’m recommending they stay within the Ob 2-3 range for their choices.

Ugh, don’t use standard Sorcery. Use Art Magic. Much more HP-ish feel. And yes, I’ve actually done this.

Too late. Characters are burned, sorcery has been chosen.

I would suggest that you burn up some spells via the abstractions and distillations rules in the magic burner. Fully distilled and customized for your game’s power level. That way you control the spells they get to choose from as well as the impact those spells can have on the game world. (Perhaps specialized spells for each house).

Just out of curiosity, what starting spells did your players choose?

This would take a lot of advancement, but you could also have a “late bloomer” character whose talent has yet to blossom. Hold a vote on the Gifted trait when you think it might make a great change to the character’s trajectory to have their magical potential suddenly manifest for real. Maybe it disrupts their muggle life, maybe it’s something they’ve been struggling towards for the entire game so far. Then see how that trait shapes them.

EDIT: Dangit. Major thread necro. I didn’t realize.

The Major Thread Necro was probably my fault. I picked this thread up under “What’s New” and didn’t think to double check the date. (Bad Larkin! - No Pudding!)

Larkin, please don’t post to threads older than a couple months.