Wizards vs Mages
One of the distinctions the world of the Dresden Files makes about magic is about the kinds of people who practice magic. Anyone who has the talent for it can become a practitioner of magic, and they are referred to generically as mages or sorcerers or any other such term.
The distinction comes with the capital W, as in Wizards. A Wizard is someone who has taken the professional track to study magic and joined the White Council of Magic. This is the secret brotherhood of mages who police the world, protecting us normal people from all the things that go bump in the night. They also abide by and enforce the Seven Laws of Magic, which basically state that you can only use magic for good, can’t use magic to kill a normal human, can’t bind a being’s will to yours (mind control), and that you cannot practice necromantic magic. There’s more to it, but you get the idea.
Along with membership in the White Council comes professional training (every Wizard has a mentor), a knowledge base to draw upon for research, and a potential pool of allies and back-up, should you have good reason to call upon them. The downside is LOTS of beauracracy, more experienced wizards sometimes meddling in your affairs and telling you what to do, and the possibility of being called to fulfill some duty or other. Basically, plot motivators.
And if you’re familiar with the Savage World rules, you might notice that membership in the White Council sounds very similar to the description of the Wizard edge. And that’s how I’m going to use it. Any character wanting to belong to the White Coucil needs to take this edge.
Most of the time the converse will also be true: if you have the Wizard edge, it normally means you are a member of the White Council. But I’m not going to paint myself in a corner. It’s highly possible that there are other schools or societies out there with a similar degree of training and support. For example, that mysterious “Black Council” that Harry Dresden is always theorizing about could very well be larger than anyone realizes. Or maybe the Wiccans become a professional force in the world. Who knows?