Let’s Build A Character For The Dresden Files (Part One)
January 27, 2014

Let’s Build A Character For The Dresden Files (Part One)

Last time I showed you an example of a character build, it was for Anima, which is a very mechanically complex game. This time, we will be looking at a character in The Dresden Files RPG, and see how that differs. In this game, it is very important to have a concept going into this character build, otherwise you will just be lost. For this build example, I am going to go with a character idea I have been thinking about playing for some time in this game: a traditional werewolf. I adore the books and have long been a fan of the character Billy Borden. Here is my chance to build that sort of character.

To start off, we need a concept; a High Concept, specifically. A concept that will define what our character is. If you were to describe the character in just a few words, this is what you would tell people. For example, Harry Dresden himself is “Wizard Private Eye” because that is what he is. Concepts are very important in this game, as they help define both who your character is and what they can do, but I will not go into that too deeply for this example build. The only rule regarding it is that any template you might want to use must be mentioned in some way, which is “werewolf” in this case. So, for now, we’ll say “Teenage Werewolf.” It is simple, gives you a basic idea about the character, and includes his template, yet it still feels like it is missing something. How about “Teenage Werewolf on the Run.” Much better. More dynamic. What is the character on the run from? Let’s find out.

Next we need to come up with a Trouble Aspect. Like the High Concept, this is meant as a simple description of the character, in this case the main complication in the life of the character. We have already determined that the character is running from something, so now we need to figure out from what. It would be easy enough to come up with some external threat that is coming to get him, but I want it to be more of a struggle with the bestial side of him, the werewolf side. Normally, in the books, traditional werewolves have a great deal of control over their wolf-form and the heightened abilities gained from it, but what if this was not the case? What if the character was running from himself, fearing he might do something that might hurt people. Very Bruce Banner-like. So, for his Trouble Aspect, we can write down “The Beast Within.”

Now we have a High Concept and a Trouble, so next comes the other Aspects. These are meant to be more minor details that tell the story of the character’s life up until the point of the game, and the first one of these is “Where did you Come From?” I imagine this character growing up on the East Coast, likely up in New England. The picture that I have in my mind is of an Irish-American youth who knows how to handle himself on the streets. For this Aspect, let’s go with “Born on the Wrong Side of the Tracks.” Next we have “What Shaped You?” This Aspect will relate to when our character first became a werewolf. Playing with the idea of our character being brought into something like a gang that taught him how to change form, we have “With Friends like These…” which also plays up how these “friends” of his might not always be the best sort of folk. Next comes “What Was Your First Adventure?” and for this one, I have an idea of the character learning about how the alpha of their “pack” was actually using the others for their own ends and how he tried to put a stop to it, which is what drives him out of the pack when he fails. However, I see this guy as a tough kid who never knows when to give up, so let’s call this one “I may be down, but I ain’t out.”

We still have two Aspects to go, as well as our actual build, but that will have to wait for next time. Next comes the part where we need the input of other players.

As always, thanks for reading and I wish you all good gaming.

Image Credit: Evil Hat Productions

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