Certain classes of character in the RPG, such as the Fairie Knights, get access to fairie (Seelie/Unseelie) magic and ability to use it.

I know that fairy magic when used by fairies doesn’t hex technology - but in cases like this when it is by nature at least not a full-blooded fairy using it, then assuming the character is not a practitioner already, mechanically should the game treat this magic like any other magic and start having the character’s presence cause tech to hex and need rolls to prevent that?

Or would it not be the same because of its origin?

What do the rules of the game (or even setting) say on this?


Yes, as long as you're still a PC.

[M]agic is a powerful force that can be directed like a laser in the hands of an unconflicted being. [... A] mortal spellcaster has his nature as a human being, and he also has free will. These things are sometimes at odds. He has mixed emotions and doubts and so forth. [... With] his mind not entirely on the task at hand, that means there's a smidge of magic that's not being guided by his will. [... T]hat mote of uncontrolled magic ends up "leaking" out of the spellcaster, and somehow gets inside of advanced technology and screws it up.

-- "Hexing", Your Story p. 228

What "free will" means in game terms is simple - you still have Refresh. Which is a good thing, since running out of it will leave you under the GM's eventual control. Any PC spellcaster's concept aspect is pretty free game for compels as far as hexing tech goes.

Even sponsored magic or a more focused practitioner would still work this way, because even though you might be using less power or channeling someone else's power, you're still directing it with your mortal will and are liable to wonder if you left the stove on at a crucial moment.

Powers you have as a supernatural creature probably wouldn't be subject to this, since they're native to what you are, and neither would powers that flow out of an item of power, because they're native to what the item is.

However, involuntary hexing is a compel. It doesn't happen with any more frequency than "at the GM's discretion", and can be bought off if you can't even with your GPS exploding right now. Also it might not even happen with your GPS, depending?

[The Deliberate Hexing] chart assumes that the wizard is around fifty years old or younger - as a guideline, set the "1 Power" category whenever the wizard would start finding the technology truly alien.

-- "Deliberate Hexing", Your Story p.259

If, say, you're a focused practitioner and you're all about computers and the Internet, you're not going to set off your own computer or take down a network hub, at least not accidentally.

A GM-run character might or might not be subject to hexing-as-a-compel, depending on the GM's reading of their own relationship to their power and their current freeness of will.

And of course, deliberately putting out mana static in order to hex technology is something any supernatural creature can choose to do, free will or not.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While that's true of regular evocation, 'mortal' magic, given that the mantles are born out of the raw 'nature' of their court, and the magic is sourced the same way, I'm not sure the knight's have this issue. They may have free will, but their power is rooted purely in their mantle and doesn't express itself the same way. That's part of why it's sponsored magic, not just evocation V2. \$\endgroup\$ – RonLugge Jun 9 '19 at 14:54

From the Word of Jim, an official-until-changed source of his various statements about the setting:

[Questioner] So, do you, yourself, when you’re writing them, do you draw lines in your head between, say, the sort of magic that Harry does and the sort of magic the people in Bayport are capable of? Or is it just an issue of skill and quantity?

[Butcher] Well, it’s all a little bit different, but everyone interacts with that kind of energy in a different way. For instance, wizards cause disruptions in technology and other things around them because, you know, people are never all one thing or all the other, people are a conflicted group of weirdos, and so when you have human beings that are using magic, that sort of self-inner conflict, that’s one of the side-effects that comes out, that’s why they wreck things that are around them. If you’re a fairy who’s using magic, you’re doing the same thing as a human being, but you don’t have that cluttered human nature. You can sit around as a fairy and play X-box all you want, you’re never going to ruin it, and still be an awesome wizard, but not as Dresden.

Mechanically, this supports Glazius' answer.

  • A PC, which requires Free Will (aka Refresh) should always be affected by "murpheonic field"
  • This includes Sidhe Knight PC's as, even though it's "Seelie" or "Unseelie" magic, it is still a Mortal on the line (which is the point of the role... "carry a weight that only a free mortal can possess")
    • It's completely up to the Storyteller/GM whether an NPC in such a position would... but it seems like "yes" would be the canonical answer
  • A Fae, which should only occur as an NPC, will never affect technology in this way
    • I disagree on one point; I don't believe Fae could hex technology, even intentionally. The effect isn't actually magic interacting with technology, but a side effect of mortal wizards... it wasn't even always technology.
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