No Perpetual Mojo Machines?

Lead system developer Lenny Balsera posted this over on the FateRPG Yahoo! Group just recently, and I thought it deserved a wider audience. This is in response to a thread discussing the ins and outs of creating an “alchemist”/item-factory type of character:

So, just to get this out there right off the bat: there is no perpetual mojo machine in the Dresden Files for mortals. Hence, there are no wizards who function as magical item factories.

Items take energy, like all magic does. Magical energy fades. Hence, most items require periodic “maintenance”, as in, the routine infusion of energy from some source. Items like the Swords of the Cross (and most other items of power) don’t count against this limitation, because their mojo is provided by the Almighty, who has, from a mortal perspective, basically unlimited mojo. Humans aren’t so lucky, at least not as individuals.

The limited slots thing is a direct result of not wanting to make that maintenance boring and mechanistic, by deciding instead that there’s only so much slots’ worth of stuff the wizard could be maintaining simultaneously.

(That means Luccio probably has a *lot* of Refinement going just to Item Slots, or the wizard character has assumed the cost another way by taking it as an item of power.)


There is a way to make a specialist wizard who can provide items to his friends (aka the PC group) on a regular basis. Consider the following build:

  • A wizard who devotes all his starting Item Slots from both Thaum and Evo into Enchanted Items will have eight (!) Enchanted Item Slots, because Focus Item Slots trade into them at a rate of 1:2.
  • Every point of Refinement could potentially net you four more (!) Enchanted Item Slots.
  • If you max out Lore at character creation (probably meaning Superb), every enchanted item you craft will automatically be able to bring an effect strength of 5 shifts. Five. Shifts.
  • All it costs you is one point of item strength to make enchanted stuff for other people (p. 279). It still takes your slot, yes, but others can use it. So, your friends can use magic items with an automatic effect strength of four shifts. That’s enough for Great (+4) block or Armor:2 defensive items right out of the gate.
  • I’m not even counting bonuses from Crafting thaumaturgy specialization.

You’ll probably note that this means the wizard has no focus items, so he’ll be doing his evocations routinely at skill level. That’s the price he pays for the awesome I just laid out above. On the other hand, he’s basically the localized magical equivalent of James Bond’s Q Branch and Batman, with the potential for sixteen (!) Enchanted Item Slots (Wizard stuff + 2 refresh sunk into Refinement) in a Submerged-level game.