My friend is a cryomancer and is arguing using Discipline to aim Guns, is this possible? Maybe as a stunt or something. It would be like the inverse of using Guns to aim an enchanted item effect instead of Discipline.



I would argue that this falls perfectly under the application of stunts - using one skill in place of another. From Your Story p.147:

The first possible use for a stunt is to broaden a skill by giving it a new trapping. Often this is a trapping that’s “transplanted” from one skill to another. Sometimes this trapping may need to be modified, or made more circumstantial, in order to fit its new skill.

But the question I still have is, what is the fictional justification for this? Why should someone with the ability to hold together complex mental constructs be better at putting a bullet in a particular place? The price of a stunt (refresh) I think is a fair price for this ability, especially if it is in constrained circumstances:

  • Can use Discipline to fire a gun when... or
  • has another stunt (or two) as prerequisites Disciplined Shooter allows the character to fire a gun with Discipline, requires Steady on the Draw...

This is all provided a good answer to the above question can be worked out. Remember that Fate mechanics provide support for the fiction, not the other way around.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 one of the explicit applications of stunts is to substitute one skill for another. \$\endgroup\$ – smcg Aug 7 '14 at 17:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could use a stunt to substitute one skill for another in a single trapping (about 1/3 to 1/4 of all possible uses), but this is overpowered in the case of combat skills. Combat skills have one single important trapping (targeting), and one far-less-important trapping (evaluation). Using a stunt to copy 90% of the uses of a skill is abusing the skill-substitution stunts. +1 for "it should take more than one refresh to do this." \$\endgroup\$ – PotatoEngineer Aug 7 '14 at 18:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KveldUlf - sure, exactly! The exact justification will inform the stunt. Sang Froid - Can use Discipline to fire a gun when he has already taken fire is a narrower application, and requires that that he not use the stunt when shooting first. My point is that this is a thing that Fate supports and condones and can be priced fairly using the system guidelines in DFRPG. \$\endgroup\$ – gomad Aug 8 '14 at 12:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Or limit the usage. e.g. Ice Water In My Veins - Can use Discipline to fire a gun once per scene. The Fate Stuntmaker gives suggestions along these lines. \$\endgroup\$ – Compro01 Aug 27 '14 at 4:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another option for the stunt is to allow it to be used any time, but apply a negative effect as well. If he is lining up a perfect shot perhaps that takes time and focus away from other things. Maybe remove (or just lower) all defensive rolls on the round he uses the stunt, because he was so focused on lining up a perfect shot. I like this because it allows an interesting 'glass cannon' build while still feeling more 'true' to the character concept by showing the downside of trying to aim so carefully in combat. \$\endgroup\$ – dsollen Oct 15 '14 at 18:48


You use the guns skill to use guns, its just that simple. Sounds like your friend/player is trying to get you to houserule something to make his character more powerful. Even using an aspect to do this would be too powerful and potentially game breaking.

Discipline the skill does not mean trigger-discipline. Its a representation of your character's mental discipline, whereas Guns is a representation of the mental and physical skill in firing and maintaining firearms.

Magic users in Dresden Files have access to incredibly powerful abilities, but that is offset by their low refresh and their tendency to not have as many skills as highly trained (and stunts) as a pure mortal would. At best I think he could give himself +2 to guns with a stunt that had some pre-req and flavor-wise matched his character.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's exactly what I thought but he kept arguing. To clarify:There's no possible way that could happen, correct? \$\endgroup\$ – Moireth Aug 7 '14 at 13:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @moireth started writing out a big response, but then edited it into the answer, check it. \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Aslan Smith Aug 7 '14 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ -1, since rules as written expressly contradicts this. I agree this looks like an attempt to powergame from what we can see in the question, but it's still legal. See Gomad's answer. \$\endgroup\$ – IgneusJotunn Aug 7 '14 at 23:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ This isn't saying it's not legal, it's saying "don't." Just like in real life, being legal doesn't always mean something is a good idea in every situation. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 8 '14 at 2:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, this is saying it isn't legal. "At best I think he could give himself +2 to guns that had some pre-req and flavor-wise matched his character." Substitutions of skill trappings to another skill are expressly allowed. There is an argument that this is OP and should be houseruled, but answering a question about what the rules are with a houserule and having no mention of the actual rules are seems potentially problematic. \$\endgroup\$ – IgneusJotunn Aug 9 '14 at 12:05

This is what spells are for!

One of the fundamental purposes of spells in DFRPG is to let you use your casting skills in place of any other more mundane skill, at the cost of time and stress. So while a mortal detective can only investigate a crime scene effectively if he's got ranks in the right skills, a wizard can investigate that crime scene just as effectively--if not more so--but it'll take him time to set up the ritual and cost him stress to cast it.

So a character could create a spell which lets him "aim the gun with zen-like focus" or whatever the player's justification is (I'm having a hard time seeing how a cryomancer can justify this). But it's a spell, with all the complications and costs that entails. Perhaps it'll be one of the rotes he learns.


There is only one circumstance I can see Discipline being used to help with a firearm, and that's by using the Combining Skills rule from YS127. This implies that the character is distracted or otherwise in a situation where his focus might wander. While I did look at the Temporary Aspects for things like Lying in Wait or Across my Sights where a character waiting an extended period of time to snipe might need Discipline to stay in place, it quite clearly became more of a Combined roll. The character would need Discipline to help/hinder their roll to stay perfectly still and trained on a target.

Otherwise this seems like a power gaming attempt with the little information about the situation in the question, and should not be done


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