Dresden Files: New York
Using Sponsored Magic
Sponsored magic is spellcasting that draws on power sources other than the caster himself. These power sources, called sponsors, are at least semi-aware, if not fully-aware, entities with agendas of their own, and they view those to whom they grant a modicum of their own power as their agents throughout Creation.
Sponsored magic is the result of a contract, pact, or other binding arrangement, implicit or explicit. Some part of your soul is in hock.
If the character is already a practitioner of evocation and/or thaumaturgy, the source gets “tacked on” to his existing spellcasting abilities as an extra area of focus, reducing the cost by 1 refresh apiece.
Sponsored magic is subject to the limitations of evocation and thaumaturgy, which it emulates (or supplements). In order to gain the benefits of sponsored magic, the spell you’re casting must align with the agenda of the sponsor (page 289) and fit into the theme and scope of the sponsor’s particular “flavor” of power (see the types of sponsored magic, page 290). As a result, sponsored magic is narrower in its focus and has a sort of implicit approval component, in exchange for the extra bit of potency and flexibility it offers.
When aspects result from the casting effort—whether inflicted on yourself or others as consequences or temporary aspects, or as part of the preparation phase—they’re always colored, at least a touch, by the sponsor’s influence and agenda.
How To Do It
Sponsored magic spells are put together exactly like evocation and thaumaturgy except where specifically mentioned.
What You Can It Do?
Sponsored magic may provide special potency against a portion of supernaturally tough creatures, by either satisfying the Catch on their Toughness abilities or simply treating them as one level less potent.
The power source may be better when directed against certain types of problems that are inline with a sponsor’s agenda granting the ability to do certain things with the effects of thaumaturgy, but at the speed of evocation.
When these benefits are particularly broad, the refresh cost of the sponsored magic may increase.
A sponsored power source may be used to “supercharge” an element you’ve already specialized in. This sort of combination allows the spellcaster to use his existing evocation specialization bonuses with the new power source.
Finally, the sponsor may cover you when you can’t make your expenses. Once per roll, you may invoke an aspect without spending a fate point. Doing so adds one to the debt between you and your sponsor. The sponsor may collect on this debt later, trading in compels on you for that debt on a one-for-one basis—compels that get you no fate points if you accept, and which you must accept unless you have an actual fate point to spend to refuse it. Invariably these compels run along the lines of pushing you to act in accordance with the sponsor’s agenda.
Sometimes the sponsored practitioner can dig deep and draw more than a single invocation from his sponsor on a single roll. This can help pay any cost associated with casting a spell, at the rate of 1 debt for every 2 shifts of effect.
The Sponsor’s Agenda
Every type of sponsored magic comes with an agenda of some sort, whether or not they choose to share some or all of it with the character in question is a different matter.
There is likely an upper bound of debt at which point the sponsor cuts the caster off from any more power, especially when that power is not fully being used to directly pursue their immediate goals. Sponsors are often willing to negotiate, if the practitioner can figure out how to make an appropriate petition.
Some GMs might restrict the amount of times a sponsor may be called on for help in a casting situation. This can be done during a single scene or session, but on the other hand, the dark powers are always willing to help.