Welcome to another article for Arcane Fallout, my medieval fantasy setting mixed with some post-apocalyptic features. For more information, check out our Arcane Fallout page where you’ll find links to all the Arcane Fallout articles.
Unlike the other articles so far, this won’t be talking about the story side of the setting; it’s about the technical aspects of creating characters.
My first introduction to actually playing with the Fate system was the Dresden Files RPG, which is a great introduction, btw, since it’s such an epic world. Even knowing nothing about the world (at the time – I’ve since gone through the entire series via audiobook, which I highly recommend), it was relatively easy to get into the system because of its character creation process. After having played many RPGs with races and classes, it would have been difficult for me to enter into a completely open system. Having the templates with powers were especially helpful because it can initially be difficult to get a grasp of how powerful a stunt is supposed to be before playing with them for a while. Sure you could pick some of the premade ones that aren’t powers, but it’s helpful for the game to hand you some stuff for certain in the beginning.
The Dresden Files game uses templates to define a type of character. Each template has a set of Musts (prerequisites to grant permission to the template – usually just that you include it in your High Concept somehow as well as the stunts/powers you’re required to take), Options (ways to customize or specialize your character), Important Skills (skills that should be higher in order to be the most effective with the template), and a Minimum Refresh Cost. Taking a template costs refresh in order to pay for the stunts/powers you gain. For the most part I want to copy the template idea.
So I want to provide a fair bit of default stuff. It won’t be necessary to take any of these options if you don’t want to; they’re there as good, solid options for new players or those who simply want them. They’ll also serve to back up the narrative of how these races work. For instance, the base Greenskin template will provide the base of their blood-drawn abilities. Then the two class templates for the Greenskins will build on that as the source of their power.
Of course, you can create a Greenskin character without any of these bits, if you want. You can create a character however you want, within the character creation ruleset.
Races and Classes
So far, I just have the four main races planned out, and I don’t think I’m going to provide any more. I had been planning to introduce the creatures that used to be gnomes, but I’m considering whether to make them playable or not, since they’re a bit more evil that the current playable races. It’s still up in the air, though.
The four races are Greenskins, Dwarves (Yaokil), Elves (Rhilaonai), and Humans (Korocani). Each race with have a martial class and a magical class. I’d tell you more about the classes, but I want them to be a surprise when I present them. From what I can tell so far, each class has a significant enough difference from all the others to be interesting. I did end up (unintentionally) making it so that the martial classes are enhanced a little by some tie to their magical counterpart, whether it’s magical items or an inherent magic within the race.
There’s a pretty good chance that I’ll be messing with the skill list, too. Once I’ve done that, I’ll write up another post and discuss it, assuming there’s enough to talk about.
I’m going to be making a little bit larger focus on items. Thinking about it, they’ll likely be stunt-based, since I don’t think the Rhilaonai will use them much, so I’ll need the Rhilaonai to have an equivalent in exchange. I have some other ideas that could work, too, but I’ll need to think on them yet.
That’s all I’ve got for you at this time. Hopefully, I’ll find the time to present some more meaty bits to look at for the setting soon.
If you know of any other effective ways that Races and/or Classes have been portrayed in a Fate hack, let me know. I know of the one in the Fate System Toolkit, and I wasn’t a big fan, really.