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In our game I am playing as Wizard of the White Council. One of our encounters included some Jade Court Vampires. I Conjured up a spell that left the big, baddest guy of the encounter up off the ground and weightless (aspect) for 5 rounds. My GM was unsure of how to counter this effect and what options he would have. He is a new GM and we are all new to the Dresden Files RPG. We already advised him of options like using a door frame or sticking his weapon into the ground to give himself a form of control, or another caster to dispel it. How else could we have gone about this? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

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1 Answer 1

That dependes on how do you interpret Weigthless and the context. I can think of two interpretations:

  1. Weigthless means the vampire has no weigth or has a nelligible one. That that it behaves like a helium-filled ballon.

  2. Weigthless works like the aD&D spell reverse gravity

Now we can devise two posible contexts:

Conflict happens in a open space:

  • In case 1, he is subject to the whims of wind (remember, he now is like a ballon). He needs to use some method (has a fan at hand? or a hook?) to propel itself to the ground or to any place or object he can use to anchor himself until the effect ends.

  • In case 2, he will be really screwed, since he will be freefalling upwards for 5 rounds and then fall to the ground again. Unless he can fly, has a parachute, or can use somewhat to soften his landing, he is for a painful experience.

Conflict happens in a enclosed space:

  • In case 1, with no risk of being taken to the sky by a gust of wind, he may try to move the same way astronauts do in a space station: Using his arms and legs to rebound off walls and ceilings. The vampire of course lacks the appropiate training to do so, as pointed by SevenSidedDie, but since we are talking about a supernatural being, the strongest villain in the encounter on top of that, and that we are talking about using magic to temporarily suspend the laws of physics to begin with, we are going by the premise that he would fare better than ordinary humans in the same situation, and that, even while being severely impaired due to having to deal with effects of weightlessness, he is, however, far from helpless. Discipol suggested treating the condition as a snare. The idea is good, but since he is not actually attached to a place, tied or paralized, I also add one different approach: Instead of restricting his movement, you make him unable to control them, forcing him drift through the scene erratically as he receive impacts and try to attack and dodge. Imagine , for example, what would happen to him if he tries to fire a gun without putting his back against a wall or similar.

  • In case 2, now we have a vampire walking by the ceiling. He act and moves normally, save the fact that he treats floors like ceilings and ceilings like floors.

If your DM judges it works like case 1, then the spell is fine, as it inflicts the targets with a impairment severe enough to disable weak enemies or cause problems to the strong ones, but without completely disabling them.

If your DM let it works as the case 2, he may consider to forbid the spell where there is no ceiling, reduce the duration, or otherwise nerf it, so that a imparing spell do not turns into into a unsuspectedly strong damaging spell.

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Thanks! I really like both cases. It was originally designed just to make him weightless in the manner that he is just off the ground and could be moved if he interacted with anything. I used 8 shifts just in case he could resist. 4 for the effect, which automatically gives it one round, then 4 shifts for the additional duration. I thought of doing it as reverse gravity, but I knew that would make it OP. I'll send this link to my DM to see what he thinks. Thanks again! –  user9583 Oct 19 '13 at 12:50
@Adamer please request a user merge with your original user using the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page. –  C. Ross Oct 19 '13 at 13:11
I would have to disagree. The body naturally creates lift from the ground. If the vampire is weightless, he should jump extremely high until air friction would slow him down. The dm should forbid anti gravity as falling mechanics are intentionally overpowered and should only be used by the environment. –  Discipol Oct 19 '13 at 13:21
It should be noted that, IRL, air does have weight. Even without any active "reverse gravity" effects, a truly weightless object should shoot up like a helium balloon. (Indeed, almost exactly like a helium balloon -- compared to air, helium is very close to weightless.) Of course, we're talking about magic here, and it's quite possible to interpret "weightless" as "weighing the same as the surrounding air", which would give the effect you describe as "case 1". Still, I figured that this additional wrinkle was at least worth noting. –  Ilmari Karonen Oct 19 '13 at 16:00
Note that astronauts require long training to be able to move around in microgravity. Someone with no experience manoeuvring while weightless actually is close to helpless. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 19 '13 at 17:31

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