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I have a character who is an alchemist. His magical ability is nil other than related to the creation of potions. So far, so good.

On YS280, the rules state:

At the beginning of each session, you may declare what potions you have on hand to fill those slots, or otherwise leave them open. If you have an open slot and a successful Lore roll or a fate point to spend, you may later declare that you coincidentally have an appropriate potion. A given potion can only be used once, period, but it doesn’t face a surcharge for being usable by someone else.

The effect strength of a potion, like enchanted items, is equal to the wizard’s Lore.

So, he normally keeps slots open for potions that he might need- especially to pull out during combat. The question that has come up is, what is "a successful Lore roll"?

Since the potion is at a strength equal to his Lore, by the last sentence quoted above, I just went with he needs to roll above his Lore, i.e. a positive or even roll. But I was wondering what was really meant...

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Hmm... word "declare" twitching my itch to set standard declaration difficulty. I am going to email Evil Hat about this question. –  aardvark Sep 13 '12 at 5:58

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It means that if you want to leave the slots open, you can declare them later (which is a more convenient time) if you either:

  • Pay a fate point to make it true
  • Make a successful Lore test

Remember that unopposed rolls in Fate are always against a target number of 0 unless otherwise stated. Opting for the roll means risking failure, and on a success, the GM has the usual opportunity to alter the exact outcome by the degree of success relative to the ladder. For example, making a Mediocre roll to suddenly have a sleep potion on-hand (using an empty slot) might mean that it was made in a hurry and has interesting side effects, while a roll of Legendary might mean not only do you have the potion, but it's already in your hand as soon as you succeed.

Note that you neither have to roll nor pay a fate point for potions that are declared at the beginning of the session. It's only slots left empty for later that require a point or roll.

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I get that... but what does a successful Lore test mean? What are you rolling against? Or is it just the GMs prerogative? –  wraith808 Sep 13 '12 at 1:10
Roll the dice, add your skill, don't get less than zero (and get more if you can, as that's the Mediocre result I mentioned). Standard Fate. –  SevenSidedDie Sep 13 '12 at 1:40
That's not the standard in Dresden Files which was the reason I asked. There's usually a target number, whether its the shifts of power, the opponent's skill, or some other number. That's the only place I can recall it saying that sort of thing. –  wraith808 Sep 13 '12 at 3:42
" Difficulty is set by the GM. Likely defaults to zero unless there's a good reason to set it harder. " -- Answer from Fred Hicks. and +1 –  aardvark Sep 13 '12 at 12:34
"Yeah, the object is not to deny a player a potential cool potion in the moment, so much as create the chance for humor and surprise if something goes wrong with the really easy roll. And if they fail it, I wouldn't deny them the potion either - just add the detail that maybe the effects aren't quite entirely as they intended, or some other minor complication." and Leonard Balsera answer to on this one. Lucky day, i say. –  aardvark Sep 13 '12 at 13:59

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