Harry Dresden, Wizard



Among normal folks, Harry Dresden is that weirdo who actually has flyers, business cards, and an entry in the Yellow Pages (does anyone still read that?) putting him down as a magical investigator and professional wizard-for-hire. Among the supernatural, he's known as a serious pain in the ass. Among wizards affiliated with the White Council, he's suspected as a potential evil sorceror but respected for his skill and talent and for that of his mentor, Ebenezar McCoy. He's a good guy, a decent teacher, and a devoted friend -- trouble just follows wherever he goes.

Personality Edit

Harry's a stubborn bastard but a principled one. He will absolutely be the one to throw himself in front of a bullet to save a life, though he's generally prepared enough to have a few better tricks up his sleeve. He'll tell off a dangerous ganglord to his face, he'll walk straight into a vampire's den to interrogate its mistress, and he'll keep more or less on the sunny side of the line (if not a white wizard, at least light grey) as he does his work. He's a man to bluff with no cards, to swim out as far as he can without reserving his strength for the trip back, and to gamble everything on one roll of the dice -- particularly if he had enough foresight to stack the deck. He's also horribly proud, even arrogant, and believes he knows best. He keeps important knowledge away from his friends and colleagues in an effort to keep them safe that generally ends instead in distrust, danger, and even death. He's a good man and a pretty good friend, but he's damned dangerous to know.




Few people these days really know how to listen. Or to observe in general. Harry's actually trained in that laser-focus that allows him to pick up even very faint sounds; admittedly, sometimes this does prevent him from noticing anything else that's going on.



Even when all the world around him is an insane mess, Harry can summon the concentration and the strength of will to do what needs doing, from completing a ritual to getting a summoned demon's name right (well, right enough). He's pretty darn cool in a crisis.



The fact is that Harry isn't an amazing detective, per se. He's not bad. He's peerless when it comes to magical research. But when it comes to actually being a detective, he's... certainly capable, just not great. But he can spot a tail, stake out a scene, and find forensic clues with reasonable skill. He's also good at making himself unseen and unheard -- a fair trick for a man his size.



Harry's been shot in the shoulder before. Kept running. Not without complaining or without pain, but he DID keep running. He can take a licking that would knock most normal mortals out long since.



Harry's better at rolling with the punches than making them, but he can still hold his own pretty decently in even a nonmagical fight, whether with weapons, fists, or whatever's handy. Despite his height, he's not much stronger than the average man.



Six feet nine inches of wizard means that Harry Dresden is good at looming. He's also good at letting people know that wizards are quick to anger. Not always subtle, but definitely quick to anger, and very capable of unleashing holy hell. He's also good enough to bluff with no damn cards in his hand.



With the help of Bob, an ancient spirit of the air, Harry can do amazing magical research. He can get the recipes for potions from super-coffee to becoming the wind, and he can get true and accurate information on the history, advantages, and fatal flaws of just about any kind of supernatural creature. Granted, he can't always afford the ingredients for the potions or put the knowledge he gets into good use, but there's not much he can't track down.



Harry's stubbornness levels border on the epic. When he's decided on a course of action, he's not likely to be turned by anything. He fights through mortal wounds, he uses the last of his strength barely considering how he's going to get himself out of whatever mess he's gotten himself into, and stays on the sunny side of wizardry no matter how much force tries to push him into the shadows.




Harry can (with the help of Bob when it comes to recipe ingredients) brew up some truly impressive potions. From weight loss to love to actually turning into the wind, there's not much Harry can't do with a potion. Two potential downsides: potion ingredients are expensive, and having more than one potion in one's system at any given time can make them very sick.



Most of the day-to-day charms Harry uses are pretty simple. He has cleaning spells, he can light a candle with a wave of his hand, and he can zap technology -- the more complicated, the better -- with great ease.



Most of Harry's enchantments consist of creating foci and wards (and sometimes foci to create and empower wards). Enchanting items is pretty expensive and time-consuming, and a really skilled wizard doesn't need more than some chalk and some table salt. Nevertheless, Harry is good enough at enchantment to pen in a loup-garou -- one of the nastiest and most powerful werewolf species -- with some runes scratched in the dirt with a stick. He can also create powerful force fields to protect himself and others, though they certainly don't last forever.



Making things go boom. Harry's quite skilled with this type of magic, though he's not as accurate or as powerful as some. He generally doesn't really let himself loose; when he does, he can easily set a room or even a building ablaze.



As far as sheer talent is concerned, Harry has an immense amount of raw power. He comes from a family line very strong in magic and has an honest to goodness literal fairy godmother who enhanced his already-considerable power so that he could take on his mentor. In order to join the White Council, Harry had to have both talent and education, and he has been studying magic since he was a teenager.

What Harry has in strength he does not, however, necessarily have in control. It's not that he's undisciplined or incapable of exerting control; rather, he's drawing on enough of a reservoir of power that his 'circuits', for want of a better word, have a tendency to get overloaded if he draws on too much. This is at least partly psychological: he'd rather not have a repeat of the conflagration that killed Justin DuMorne.



Though he is not a particularly powerful psychic -- and it's actually against the White Council's rules to mentally dominate someone -- Harry is well-versed with the techniques involved, capable of recognizing them and protecting against them.



Harry is quite skilled in the use of thaumaturgy. He usually needs a fragment of whatever it is he's seeking out, but with a drop of blood and a stuffed Snoopy doll, he can shut down the senses of a supernaturally-powerful werewolf.



Bob, the skull

BOB Edit

A spirit of the air and of knowledge inhabiting a skull, Bob serves Harry as he once served his former teacher and master. He has fantastic piles of knowledge at his fingertips -- well, at whatever skulls have -- and is generally willing to impart that knowledge to Harry in a useful format. He's a bit temperamental, though, and more than a bit of a lech.


Harry has a decent collection of tools and ingredients for creating potions and the like--bottled moonbeams, eye of newt, and so on. There's a pretty good chance that he has a few of just about anything at the bottom of a jar, at least as long as they aren't actually worth anything. Powdered diamonds, not so much.


Harry has a few tools he uses regularly to focus his magic. His mother's silver pentacle is a focus for faith and protection, even allowing him to ward off vampires and the like. He also has a protective bracelet that resembles a number of medieval shields linked together. Focusing his magic through this helps him create physical shields like force fields for temporary protection. He carries a blasting rod, perhaps his most destructive tool--it's specifically designed to, well, blast. Specifically, blast magical fire. His staff is the most versatile of his magical focii: he can use it to manipulate and redirect all kinds of energy.



First of all, even at fifty bucks an hour, magic investigation doesn't pay that well. It requires, well, clients. Then there's the fact that magic is kind of expensive. Materials for potions, powders and incense and new size 16 boots and dusters when the old ones get destroyed by demons... it adds up enough that even a man who doesn't own electronics still doesn't have much money.


Harry was under the Doom of Damocles -- basically serious magic probation -- for the magical murder of his mentor. Admittedly, it was in self-defense and his mentor was a dark wizard, but it's a situation that makes Harry Dresden the prime suspect for anything rotten that happens. He's also under frequent scrutiny, so if he's even investigating anything unsavory he might be under suspicion.


For all Harry's personal flaws, it's probably no wonder that he has a broad spectrum of enemies. Demons, creatures of the NeverNever, various vampires and beasties that go bump in the night, the White Council's own enforcer... Harry isn't all that discerning about the enemies he makes.


One of the nice things about being a wizard is the ability to short out electronics. One of the annoying things about being a wizard is the inability to turn this off. Harry doesn't even use a traditional refrigerator; he makes use of an actual icebox instead. Candles, old-fashioned telephone; anything before about 1945 is okay, but anything from after tends to need repairs more often than it's useful.


Harry's a principled guy. He stands on what he believes, and firmly -- he likes to think -- on the right side of the line. He doesn't deal with gangsters or demons. He avoids doing anything that could hurt others. He's also, despite being a secretive bastard, very honest. He won't lie to Johnny Marcone and agree to work for him; he won't even politely decline in a way that would allow the gangster to save face. He's lippy and aggressive and this gets him into piles and piles of trouble. He's been in countless fistfights because he just can't shut up.


If a wizard swears a sacred Oath, which is done by swearing on their own magic or their own power, then they are bound to keep it. If they break such an Oath, then their magic will be severely crippled, reduced to Basic power level at most, and will remain so for months or years afterward. Breaking an Oath sworn on one's power breaks that power, to an extent, and it takes a very long time and hard work to heal such a break.


And then there's his views on women. Harry likes to think he's a chivalrous, honorable man, and this is broadly true. This doesn't mean that his default for thinking of women is to assume a certain level of weakness and need to be protected. Even fellow magical practitioners get a degree of this--he's refused to tell his students the whole truth, believing he knows what's best for them. Given his own track record, it's possible he shouldn't be judging what's best for anyone, including himself.


There's being secretive and then there's Harry Dresden. Harry has this terrible habit of giving people just enough rope to hang themselves with, just enough information to get into trouble. It's gotten people killed before. It'll happen again. It's certainly helped him lose the trust of valued friends.


Harry's 6'9". He doesn't even properly fit in most cars. He has difficulty fitting in some rooms. He's distinctive and probably shouldn't ever, ever, ever try flying on a plane.

Harry Dresden is the son of Margaret LeFay, a magical practitioner herself, and Malcolm Dresden, a stage magician. His mother died in childbirth, and his father died of an aneurysm when Harry was only about six. He became a ward of the state, having no known family who could take him in.

At ten years old, Harry first manifested his magical abilities. Two weeks later, he was taken in by Justin DuMorne, who began training him as an apprentice. Harry wasn't his only apprentice, though: he took in a young woman named Elaine Mallory, with whom Harry eventually became involved. She was his first girlfriend, but things ended tragically when Harry was sixteen. Justin, their mentor, attempted to induct them both with rites of dark magic. Elaine had apparently accepted, but Harry refused. In the ensuing fight, he killed his former mentor and Elaine was apparently lost in the flames.

This was the act that put the Doom of Damocles over Harry's head. He carried on with a new mentor, Ebenezar McCoy, for several years until joining the Council and striking out on his own. He finally settled in Chicago, teaching ballroom dancing until he joined Nicholas Christian at Ragged Angel Investigations, earning his license as a private investigator and starting his own business.

Harry advertises himself as a professional wizard and private investigator, occasionally working for the police force as a contractor. It was here that he met Lieutenant Karrin Murphy, a sometime ally and a source of work.

The strange shifts in magic have pushed Dresden out of Chicago and out west. He's settled in San Francisco, where he's been lucky enough to scrape together a living and keep himself under a roof that hardly ever leaks. He's actually staying in the basement of an elderly lady who rents out rooms to keep herself in tea; given that she isn't all that fond of electronics, either, it's an almost perfect spot. Just so long as nothing else finds him.