Characters: The Focused Practitioner

Today in our character type series we have the focused practitioner, arguably the most common type of spellcaster in the Dresdenverse.

Focused Practitioner

silhouette-and-staffFocused practitioners are the relatively minor talents of the spell-slinging set. They have one fairly narrowly defined aptitude at spellcraft which they practice to the exclusion of all else-usually because they’re completely hopeless at anything else, just not “getting” the basics of things outside of their focus. Sometimes this is due to the practitioner having an intuitive understanding of what they do rather than a trained understanding, or simply resulting from a mystical blind spot. Depending on the causes of the focus, some focused practitioners might be able to train into broader spellcasting capabilities, but few do.

HARRY: Don’t make these guys sound like they’re featherweights, Billy. They’re specialists rather than generalists, and their power levels can be all over the map. Mortimer Lindquist, an ectomancer I know, is incredibly capable at what he does. Some of his tricks are stuff I’m not sure I could easily figure out, myself.

Each focused practitioner is different, with spellcasting abilities centered on a single theme. Kinetomancers have access to spell abilities that focus on the use of force (and, untrained, can lead to reports of poltergeists-due to their subconscious mind flinging around power accidentally). Pyromancers are the fiery version of the same. Ectomancers can summon and speak with spirits and ghosts, sometimes getting those spirits to do their bidding. Alchemists brew potions subtle and strange. Open up your handy Latin dictionary and peruse the prefixes-there are tons of -mancers out there, and if you can come up with one by playing prefix mash-up, at least one probably exists.

Of course, by being spellcasters, focused practitioners are subject to the White Council’s enforcement of the Laws of Magic, like any other spellcaster is. Just because they have a narrow focus doesn’t mean they can’t violate someone’s mind or swim against the currents of time like the darkest sorcerers can. Players should beware the appeal of something like an enchantress or chronomancer given that it can quickly lead to the Wardens deciding your neck needs an appointment with a sword.

HARRY: If chronomancers exist, I haven’t heard of them.

BOB: You wouldn’t.

Musts: A focused practitioner must have a high concept aspect that names or implies their spellcasting abilities and focus (e.g., HAUNTED ECTOMANCER or KINETOMANCER FOR HIRE). Additionally, a focused practitioner must take at least one or both of:

  • Channeling
  • Ritual

The appropriate focus for each ability must be defined at the time the abilities are taken. Please see the power descriptions for more details. Players of spellcasting characters should take some time to work out their most often used, practiced spells before play.

Options: Focused practitioners may take The Sight, but if they do, its use will be colored and narrowed by the focus of their abilities. For example, an ectomancer with The Sight might see the world in terms of its ghostly spiritual presences, and may find himself seeing dead people all the time; a pyromancer might perceive supernatural power and presences in the form of flames of various colors and intensity.

Tune in next time as we focus on the knights of the faerie courts.