Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fate Core Hack - Fate of the Red Death

The success of the Fate Core Kickstarter brought a new audience to the blog thanks to CAMELOT Trigger. To keep the party going, I will update from time to time with hacks on how to run other games using Fate Core. I started an In Nomine hack, but that is going on hold until I'm less busy. I'm going to concentrate on smaller hacks instead that can fit in a single blog entry.

If you like or use this hack, please let me know. Thanks to +Jacob Poss  for coming up with some neat D&D style magic rules that I adapted for a better feel.

After the jump, I present the first hack - Masque of the Red Death!


Setting: Gothic Earth is much like the one we know from history. Except, lurking just outside our dimension is an ancient evil known as The Red Death. This evil seems poised to turn Gothic Earth into a wasteland at the turn of the 19th century. Only qabals full of brave men and women, like the PCs, can keep the darkness at bay.

Aspects: Characters have five aspects, per Fate Core. However, players only need to select the High Aspect and Trouble initially. Groups wishing to play an experienced qabal that's already worked together may proceed normally, with the first adventure phase being the story of how the character first encountered the Red Death.

Groups wishing to start out as unexposed to the secrets of Gothic Earth use these rules. This is a mystery/investigation game, the characters themselves are part of the mystery. One of the elements of these stories are shocking revelations about the main character and their connection to the creatures or each other. Each character can reveal a mystery about themselves during play. This mystery becomes an aspect. Other players can suggest mystery aspects as well. ("Where did you learn to fight like that?") If the player reveals their own mystery aspect, they get a free invoke upon its first use. If a player's suggestion for a mystery aspect sticks, the player who suggested it gets a fate point. Characters may reveal mystery aspects until they fill out their remaining three aspect slots. Characters with the full array of five aspects may use milestones normally.

Skills: The skills from Fate Core work fine. For group that want a bit more flavor, hit up thesaurus.com for some Victorian terminology that fits, like Marksman instead of Shooting.

Add one skill to the setting: Spellcraft.

Attack: Generally not used for attack. The GM may allow Spellcraft to be used in conjunction with a spell as an attack (such as teleporting an opponent into danger) by spending a fate point.

Create Advantage: These represent smaller spells such as cantrips.

Overcome: Use your Spellcraft to overcome other spellcasters advantages.

Defend: Generally not used for defense. The GM may allow Spellcraft to be used in conjunction with a spell as an attack (such as teleporting an opponent into danger) by spending a fate point.

Stunts: Spellcraft comes with two stunts to split spellcasters into adepts and mystics. This split is mostly for fidelity to the wizard/cleric split of D&D. The game won't explode if you  only have a single spellcasting stunt.

Adept: You may cast Adapt spells. Gain a number of Spell Aspects equal to your Spellcasting skill. You receive one free invoke of these Spell Aspects after every 8-hour rest your character takes. When invoking a Spell Aspect you may chose to take a 2-point physical stress hit instead of spending a fate point to reflect the damage channeling arcane energy does to your body.

Mystic: You may cast Mystic spells. Gain a number of Spell Aspects equal to your Spellcasting skill. You receive one free invoke of these Spell Aspects after every 8-hour rest your character takes. When invoking a Spell Aspect you may chose to take a 2-point mential stress hit instead of spending a fate point to reflect the damage channeling mystic energy does to your consciousness.

Spell Aspects: You may pick from the spell lists in D&D or come up with spells that sound right. Those who want more D&D flavor can stick to strict spell lists. Those unconcerned with D&D flavor can make up Spell Aspects.

Suggestions for compelling Spell Aspects:
*Unintended consequences "Looks like your Fireball set the curtains on fire"
*Endangering friends "You can cast Feather Fall on yourself and one other person. Who is it gonna be?"
*Encouraging enemies "You learned Acid Orb from the Society of Shadow - looks like they are here to collect on your debt"

Fear effects: Modelling fear as mental damage. When the vampire reveals its fangs, it makes an intimidation attack vs. Will, for example.