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Play-Test Episode: "Ariel's Fate"

Discussion in 'Flat Earth' started by Legendary Sidekick, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    So here's the deal…

    I'd like to test the Fate system before we jump into Episode 3. The point of the test is to determine whether Flat Earth adopts Fate or we just stick the d20 thing I made up (or even some sort of hybrid).

    So it's not a total departure from the Flat Earth characters, this episode will cover the training session of Vincent's daughter on Roku-Roku Island. That said… it's a play-test. If any current Flat Earth players want to jump in with their current characters, that's fine.

    Regardless, you need to create a Fate character. First, I'll show you MY play-test character… then I'll explain the steps.
    [​IMG]
    ID: Name and description are self-explanatory. It's that huge number 3 that might throw you. Your character starts with 3 Fate points. Those allow you to do invoke an aspect, which will accomplish one of the following:
    • +2 to your skill roll
    • Reroll all your dice
    • Teamwork: +2 to another character’s roll versus relevant passive opposition
    • Obstacle: +2 to the passive opposition



    ASPECTS: You can have up to five aspects. The first one is a "high concept" aspect. Lily is either the greatest beast-rider on the island, or she thinks she is. The second aspect is labeled "trouble," which is either a personal struggle or a problem with relationships. Lily is kind of grumpy, but she's very comfortable in the wilderness; therefore, she understands beasts more than men.

    According to the Fate PDF, the idea of an aspect is that it should be a double-edged sword—something that may get your character into trouble, but also something that can get her out of trouble. The PDF also said you can leave some aspects blank, then add them later while the game's in-progress.

    One sample aspect in the PDF is called smashing is always an option. Lily is destructive, so I might use that for her. If Lily topples a log-pile, for example, she can use a Fate point to make the obstacle she created difficult to overcome. If she's riding a beast and trying to escape an enemy, this may prove useful.



    SKILLS: There are 20 generic skills to choose from. All skills can be used to overcome an obstacle or create an advantage. Most skills can be used to defend, and Fight, Shoot, Provoke and Magic are the only attack skills.

    For a detailed list of skills, download the Fate Core System PDF (by clicking HERE, then scrolling down to the words "Fate Core System") and refer to p.97.

    Here are the skills at a glance:

    1. Athletics - think dexterity; it's also useful for dodging attacks
    2. Burglary - seems a bit shady for a non-evil character, but lock-picking and such may prove useful
    3. Contacts - you know a lot of people, whether in high society or on shady barstools
    4. Crafts - Pidge the sugarplum fairy likes to create machinery, but even a chef can make use of this skill
    5. Deceive - in a world full of mind-readers, knowing how to lie well or conceal thoughts may prove useful
    6. Drive - this is a skill for driving vehicles, but I would apply it to horseback riding or steering a ship
    7. Empathy - quoth the PDF, "It's basically the emotional Notice skill," and it's also used to recover consequences that are mental in nature (more on that later)
    8. Fight - close combat, attack or defense, armed or unarmed
    9. Investigate - you gain detailed info through in-depth scrutiny
    10. Lore - you're knowledgeable and/or highly educated
    11. Notice - you gain info at a glance
    12. Physique - think strength; also, having points in physique lets you withstand more physical stress
    13. Provoke - quoth the PDF, "It's the 'being a jerk' skill," and it's actually used to attack, causing mental stress
    14. Rapport - this skill is used to make connections with people (and I say animals, too)
    15. Resources - you're rich, or you have good business sense
    16. Shoot - ranged attacks, but not defense (athletics is used to dodge bullets)
    17. Stealth - you're sneaky
    18. Will - mental fortitude, used to defend vs. "provoke;" also, having points in will let's you withstand more mental stress
    19. Flight - winged characters have this skill; characters who grow wings may learn it (more on that much later)
    20. Magic - mentalists and pixies can start with this skill; anyone can learn it

    #1-18 are from the Fate PDF; #19 & 20 are skills I added. Flight is like athletics, only better, and with some limitations. For example, wet wings impede flight. If the Fate PDF, magic became lore attack, lore defense. I prefer keeping magic and lore separated. An ignorant, uneducated pixie can still be great with magic. I still want to keep magic as it was—no MP, with the possibility of charging spells. Fate's system makes that work. (More on that when we get into combat.)

    When choosing skills, you get:
    • 1 great skill (+4)
    • 2 good skills (+3)
    • 3 fair skills (+2)
    • 4 average skills (+1)

    Of skills #1-18, you can roll for any of them, but without the modifier. If you don't have a modifier for skills #19 & 20, it means you can't fly or use magic. Most players can't fly.



    EXTRAS: I'm using this space for items you found in-game. For the play-test, let's not have extras. One less thing. I gave Lily one just for having a sample. It may not have any use at all in the play-test, since it only affects one kind of animal.



    STUNTS: You can either have 3 of these, OR you can have up to 5 by sacrificing "refresh" points. When I read the PDF, I noticed that some stunts required Fate points while others didn't. Also, some stunts are "once per ____." I prefer that stunts DON'T use Fate points, and simply have a "one per encounter" limit if they're overpowered.

    A stunt is directly related to a skill. It's basically saying, "here's how I use my skill." You can take stunts from the PDF or make them up, but let me give a few suggestions.

    • Samurai - "Quck-draw" [FIGHT] +2 to FIGHT when drawing the katana, able to strike 3-4 opponents if you succeed with style. (That means you out-roll your opponent by 3 "shifts" (3 points).) Once per encounter; sheathed katana required.
    • Shield Maiden - "Protect" [FIGHT] +2 to an ally's defense, but -2 to your own defense. Shield required.
    • Brawler - "Grapple" [PHYSIQUE] +2 to grapple roll. (This one's in the Fate PDF, but I think it's perfect for the brawler. Note that grappling is not an attack; it's using physique to create an advantage. This means that you grapple one turn, then on the next turn you get to put on the hurt with the FIGHT skill.)

    According to the Fate PDF, you don't need to commit to your 3 stunts up-front. You can add them as you think of them.



    STRESS and CONSEQUENCES: Honestly, we need to start a battle to see how this works. The good news is that, as long as I understand it, the game can run. That said, here's the short version of what you're looking at on Lily's sheet.

    Lily has 4 physical stress boxes. Having 3-4 points in physique allows her to add 2 stress boxes. Let's say Lily is punched in the face by a bear. The bear rolls a 6 and Lily uses athletics to dodge, but rolls a 3. So the bear beat her by 3 points. That box with the 3 on it gets an X.

    Now let's say her student Ariel refused to do push-ups, so her physique is moderate (meaning it's not on her skill list). Bear rolls 6; Ariel rolls 3. Only… Ariel doesn't HAVE a stress box #3. So now what? She suffers a consequence. A mild one, you hope… but no. Mild consequences happen when you fail by 1 or 2 points, and the #1 and #2 stress boxes are gone. Poor Ariel suffers a moderate consequence, such as a "deep cut." She is in need of medical attention.



    Here's a bit of home-brewing…

    Pixies have small bodies. As a result, they are more prone to physical stress. (One stress box, unless you add physique for tiny little pixie muscles.) That's it for pixie limitations. If you WANT a pixie who can fight, sell it. She has a little sword like you put in drinks. The sword's name is Olivesbane and it's laced with a stinging toxin. I see no reason why your tiny fairy can't have access to any skill. In addition, her small body can get her into small places humans can't access, and she can fly if you want her to.

    Mentalists read minds. As a result, they are more prone to mental stress. That's it for the mentalist. If you want a non-magic mentalist, you can have one. Skills that involve reading people will work normally. As Ireth can attest to, mind-reading can result in information coming to you whether you were looking for it or not. Mind reading + any of the Fate mind skills should prove a useful combination. Also, it's been established that fooling a mentalist is possible. The Deceive skill will be the official way to do that, and there may be a stunt that guarantees a block vs. one specific mentalist. Demons and deities may have an innate ability to prevent mind-reading.

    For every other class, the 18 skills the game comes with should allow you to create the perfect huntress, amazon, pirate, etc. Fate is more about creating characters than classes, so if you see your character as more of a Princess than an Amazon, build her as such.



    I realize this is a lot to take in, so I'll wait until we have play-test characters before I go on. If you're playing, here's what I need from you:

    ID: Name and description.
    ASPECTS: 2-5 of them: 1 "high-concept" aspect, 1 "trouble" aspect, and up to 3 more aspects.
    SKILLS: 1 great, 2 good, 3 fair, and 4 average skills from the list of 20 shown above.
    STUNTS: Up to 5 of them. You can wait for combat to start if you want to, but if you add stunts up-front, you can have up to 5. Note that if you have more than 3, you sacrifice the number of Fate points you start with.
    APPEARANCE, so I can draw your character.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
    Ireth likes this.
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    If you think better when looking at a graphic, here's a blank character sheet. It's meant as a reference, as it having it made character creation easier for me. You don't need to use the actual sheet.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Should we post our sheets here, or PM them to you?
     
  4. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Either way is fine. According to the Fate designers, character creation is part of the game, so there can be a bit of collaboration. I'm also going to allow stunts and aspects to be rewritten between episodes… within reason, of course. Diana could have "wings growing on back" as one of her aspects, then if you choose NOT to learn flight, that could become "these wings are useless!" …or "flying isn't as easy as it looks" if/when you DO learn flight.

    For Ariel, do as you please of course, but know that if you give her the shoot skill at the average (+1) level, by the time she reaches level 8 ("Legendary" level), Ariel could be a superb (+5) shot… if SHOOT is the only skill she levels up.
     
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Ireth, what kind of character is Ariel?

    I had asked about a male, wingless pixie before I realized that pixies were all women, so I think that's where the Leprechauns came from. I want to do a stealthy magic type, so I might go ahead and do the leprechaun.

    But I haven't followed the game so far. What's the party like?
     
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Leprechauns (and succubi) were always meant to be part of the game, but I was going to wait until Side Two to mention them. Seeing how Fate has a no restrictions philosophy, I thought it best to throw in those classes now. I also offered JRF the possibility of having Riff male, but she preferred "fairy" over "leprechaun."

    Current party:
    Vincent Hawk = mentalist
    Diana Hawk = shield maiden (soon to be valkyrie, and she doesn't even have to die to get the wings)
    Shan Mai = samurai
    Fenella = amazon (but is actually a princess, so I think CONTACTS and RESOURCES are good for her)
    Maria = pixie: muse (wingless, though I'll allow FLIGHT if the player wants the skill)
    Jeisera = huntress
    Riff = pixie: fairy

    …and away from the party is Ariel Hawk, a huntress-in-training whose dad and stepmom are in the main party. (She has no idea that her parents recently adopted a goddess.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
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  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Our party is pretty diverse. Aside from Ariel (a Huntress), I play her dad and stepmom, a Mentalist and Shieldmaiden respectively. Diana, the Shieldmaiden, is gradually becoming a Valkyrie after being blessed by the Maiden. We also have an Amazon princess and her Muse, a Samurai, another Huntress and her Fairy, and various NPCs including yet another Huntress, a couple of Fighting Nuns, a Succubus, and the Maiden Herself. (Have I forgotten anyone?)

    As for Ariel, I've been looking forward to playing her more in here. :D She's brave, not one to back down from a fight unless she must, but plenty smart enough to know when she must. She has a knack for finding lost or misplaced things, though it doesn't always extend to people, especially herself. She takes after her dad a lot, having been raised by him alone after her mom's death. They both love to sing, and have a stubborn streak a mile wide.
     
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  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Emma's not a succubus… or… well, um… maybe she is and just claims to be a "fighting nun."

    Oh, wait! You were referring to Muziko! Yeah… she was a "Reflexion" which is a form-stealing demon. She was actually male, but took the form of the muse. Since you were all so nice to what was meant to be a joke character who would flee from battle, she stuck around and became an NPC healer/defensive caster.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  9. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I was talking about Muziko. :D Emma's one of the "couple of fighting nuns". Not *that* kind of couple. XD
     
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Well, from what we know of Emma… but no, Hanako would slap her for even suggesting that.
     
  11. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Worth noting are the leprechauns' parents. Jack is the god of fortune and business, and The Painter is the goddess of creativity. I'm thinking that leprechaun magic is typically spells of light and illusion, but again, I don't want to stifle creativity by limiting you to that. If you prefer earthy magic or fiery explosions, then those are your spells. In the end, magic is hit or miss, multi-target or single…

    And I actually thought of how the outcomes (fail/tie/succeed/succeed with style) can preserve the magic system, which allows you to take a turn then charge and also risks magic blowing up in your face. The way the outcomes are defined is perfect.

    Tie = succeed with minor cost, so the minor cost is that the spell needs time (one turn) to charge. Fail means the magic fizzles (take the fail), but if it's charged, you (succeed with major cost) meaning the magic might zap you. Succeed with style means the spell acts as if charged +1 level.

    Yeah, if we test combat with a magic-user in the party, that'll be a perfect opportunity to test this system with the crazy "4u1+MOD" roll. I wonder how often ties will happen…!
     
  12. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Let me know if this works or if it's too much.

    ID
    Furtano the Smuggler

    Furtano is a master burglar who was gang pressed into serving aboard a pirate ship at the threat of having his sister and her family brutally murdered. As part of the crew, whenever they were at port, his job was to join a small pirate gang in robbing the richest place in town and smuggle the loot out aboard the ship before anyone noticed it was missing.

    After four years trapped at sea by a small army of cutthroats, Furtano was able to turn a heist against his pirate captives. Speaking to the townsfolk, he learned of a man who could create illusions with his wand, and he lead the pirate gang against his home. When inside, he stole the wand and used it to trick the pirate gang into believing he was horribly killed.

    When he escaped with the wand, he studied it closer. Between the hilt and the gemstone tip was a section of yellow glass that you could barely see into. Inside it, a leprauchan lay comatose, with thin silk threads sewn through his body and linking him to the rest of the wand.

    Feeling empathy for the poor leprechaun's plight, Furtano now seeks someone capable of freeing him from the wand. In the meantime, it's become a close aspect of who he is.


    Aspects
    Considers Himself a Master Burglar
    Terrified of being discovered by the Red Water Pirates
    Cherishes the Leprechaun inside his Magic Wand


    Skills
    Great - Burglary
    Good - Magic, Stealth
    Fair - Deceive, Athletics, Notice
    Average - Fight, Empathy, Rapport, Investigate


    Stunts
    Can use his wand to gain +2 stealth while he is wielding his wand and not a sword.....? Not really sure just yet.
     
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  13. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    The stunt is certainly fair in comparison to the samples (which I'll need to list later). Also, I think it's wise to start with just 1 or 2 stunts and leave blanks. You can even have blank skills which you don't commit to until you have a need to roll the skill.

    Aspects and stunts can be re-written between episodes, so we can weed out the useless. After episode 5, we can decide if the re-write option is a good thing or a bad thing.
     
  14. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I'm less concerned about the mechanics than I am about how well the story will fit into the plot.
     
  15. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    When you mentioned the Red Water Pirates, I felt that you didn't just create a character. You expanded the world.

    And part of the game is at sea, so… yeah. This can fit.
     
  16. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Okay, cool.

    I made the name a bit generic so I wouldn't mind if you changed it. I remember doing things like that when I was DM, to try and tie the characters together. Otherwise I'll refine some of those details after the playtesting.

    I gave him the Magic skill. If the leprechaun ever wakes up, I was thinking I would replace it with something else since the magic would go with the leprechaun. Maybe contacts, if right now he can't use his contacts because his aspect says that he's terrified of being discovered. I'm not really sure though.

    Also, I think I remember your aspects changing over time as part of the Fate system. I think he might gradually go from being terrified of the pirates to having a vendetta against them.
     
  17. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    I think replacing magic with contacts is fine, and yes, aspects changing is part of Fate's design. You can even take an aspect as an Extreme Consequence… something like losing an arm, and future aspects are about your character dealing with that life-changing wound. But that's a choice if you want to avoid falling in battle. Healing exists, and "down" isn't "dead," so no need for players to write themselves into getting maimed.
     
  18. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Just let me know if there's anything I should change to make him better fit the party and the plot. I'd rather reroll* than have him shoehorned in and be out of place.

    *Can I still use that phrase in this system?
     
  19. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Coming up with Aspects for my characters is a lot of fun. I keep getting ideas for other characters who aren't even part of the game. XD
     
  20. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I'm having fun. I'm trying to tweak the aspects and flush out the character's personality more.
     

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