This is the second half of my look at Evil Hat's Fate RPG. See the first installment here. Even if Fate isn't your bag, I encourage you to check out this list filled with amazing campaign concepts.
Evil Hat has released four volumes of Fate Worlds. Each includes several adventures, campaign settings, and genre frameworks. The first two collections came from the original Kickstarter; the second two volumes from bundling later material. How are these useful? First, they offer easy variant Fate settings to try out the system. Second, the authors have developed exciting and original universes, worth playing in Fate or any other system. Third, they show how a GM can create new and varied campaigns. Each plays with Fate's system and you can pick up tricks from these slightly different approaches. Fourth, several model new mechanical elements. We see new subsystems for mutations, capers, superpowers, air combat, and a host of other concepts.
Volume Two, Worlds in Shadow, includes Crimeworld and you should buy this. Written by John Rogers, showrunner for Leverage, it offers advice for running capers, heists, and con games at the table. While it's tuned to Fate, the concepts could easily fit any rpg. If you're a GM who enjoys running these scenarios, pick this up. No Exit takes on psychological horror. Some (including myself) have suggested Fate is less useful for horror because of its focus on player-empowerment. This set up shows how aspects can be engines to explore and haunt the characters. Camelot Trigger has mecha rules; nuff said.
Volume Three, Worlds Take Flight, and Four, Worlds Rise Up, collect several settings. For the last several years Evil Hat has released dozens of World of Adventure supplements supported by Patreon. Each World offers a unique campaign sourcebook. They're put up on Drivethru as Pay-What-You-Want upon publication. The final product's tight and each one presents an easy, table-ready campaign. All are worth looking at for GMs interested in what they can do with Fate. The two collected volumes and a handful of others have a printed form. Otherwise these are electronic only.
Worlds Take Flight includes Frontier Spirit, Sails Full of Stars, The Three Rocketeers, and Gods and Monsters. Worlds Rise Up includes Nest, Behind the Walls, Masters of Umdarr, and Psychedemia.
These use Fate Core, unless otherwise indicated.
The Aether Sea (FAE): Magical sailing ships in space. Riffs on games like Spelljammer, but keeps a classic fantasy feeling. Includes a sorcery system and rules for building and handling ships in play. Sample adventure.
The Agency: Tracy Barnett (Iron Edda Accelerated) delivers a weird and wild take on espionage. Dead secret agents have their skills and personalities downloaded into volunteers to carry out deadly missions. This is a dark comedy in the vein of Paranoia. The wildest rules conceit of the setting is that all the PCs share one civilian body. Material for handling transhumanist ideas, past life aspects, and building a villainous organization.
Almbrecht After Dark: Set in a steampunk fantasy city in the midst of a revolution. You play "Secret Keepers" who hold knowledge about events in Almbrecht. Ideas for creating a city in crisis, social class as a factor for interactions, creating a mystery landscape, and urban-appropriate roles with linked stunts. Includes a quick & dirty approach to magic.
Andromeda: Big picture, epic space opera. The rag-tag remnants of humanity have fled to another galaxy only to come face to face with a host of alien empires. Has a long and interesting list of inspirational material. Uses the Deck of Fate to explore this massive scale setting. Neat mechanics approach worth checking out for GMs who want to radically hack Fate.
Arecibo: Winner of the 2018 IGDN Award for Best Setting. A less nostalgia-soaked variant on the "Kids on Bikes"genre. You play Puerto Rican children who have acquired strange, alien powers. They have to deal with an island in crisis and a gateway to an alien prison. Nice discussion of kid PC lives, rich but easy to get setting material, psychic powers, and weird worlds.
Behind the Walls: One of the grittiest of these. You play survivors in a prison after a 1950s nuclear attack has cut off the outside world. It's an interesting combination of the Walking Dead's prison setting and aftermath media like Jeremiah. The world has not been destroyed, but it is crumbling. The game play's about exploring the claustrophobia of the environment and figuring out how to escape it.
Blood on the Trail: Vampires in the Wild West. Rather than the broader supernatural of Deadlands or even Owl Hoot Trail, BotL has a dark frontier haunted by dangerous monsters. Good material on the history, a mapping mechanic, and rules for handling an ongoing journey (and avoiding dying of dysentery).
The Crisp Line: Subtitle, "DNA is not destiny."A game about transhumanism, body-modification, and gene-hacking. But as importantly a consideration of class and power. You play characters who have invested in transgenic enhancements with the hopes of changing something about your life. Stories deal with emotional, financial, and political fallout from that. Includes rules for mutations, genetic enhancement packages, and several useful random generators. Worth checking out to see how serious issues can be handled well in a tight format.
Deep Dark Blue: A near-future game where resource depletion has sent explorers into the ocean in search of wealth and advancement. Characters serve on a single ship and there's some emphasis on building that as a shared location. Lots of stuff on underwater adventuring, including ship to ship combat.
Eagle Eyes (FAE): Cop noir in ancient Rome. A good use of this historical setting, but probably works best in conjunction with further period sources. The supplement includes mechanics for social class, conspiracies, and invocations to the gods. There's a good section on investigations and mysteries.
Frontier Spirit: Delivers a planetary colony setting. It has some echoes of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and The 100. But the threat isn't really sci-fi, more supernatural in the form of spirits which threaten the settlers. The ritual and technology rules are especially interesting and adaptable.
Ghost Planets: The PCs are members of the Xenohistory Corps, tasked with investigating the ruins and artifacts of the many dead aliens civilizations discovered in space. The backstory hints at something like the Reapers from Mass Effect or the Mizari from Emprey. Has some new skills as well as a new take on research tied to character concept.
Good Neighbors: A strange modern game set in Still Hollow, a small town on the border of the real world and the fae realm. Each player has two characters, one from each world. You battle against "The Industry" a group dedicated to exploiting this decaying but potent town. Uses troupe play, with events in one world affecting developments in the other. A neat take on how to present a highly structured game with phases.
Grimoire: Set in a world where daemon summoning serves as the only form of magic. Takes a bit to actually tell you what you're doing in the game. You play a Warlock, seeking power, serving those with coin, and trying to avoid temptation. Mechanics cover summoning and bargaining with your daemons.
House of Bards: A political game set in a fantasy city. House of Bards echoes House of Cards and A Game of Thrones. It has a stronger PvP elements than many other Fate settings. There's some interesting ideas on social mechanics, including notes on fleshing out Contacts as a skill (which can be used to attack in this setting). Worth picking up if you're doing any campaign with a strong social or negotiation focus.
Iron Street Combat: Combat tournaments and international intrigue ala Street Fighter, DOA, and Tekken. Fun setting aspects help set the flavor of the setting. Skills are professions (Police, Soldier, Spy) with new stunt associations. Has rules for fighting styles which include special moves. Uses conditions for damage rather than stress. Has deep and wonderful background that speaks to designer James Mendez Hodes' love of the genre.
Knights of Invasion: Aliens attack a medieval society. A strongly directed World, Knights presents a mini-campaign in three acts. It has some new skills, rules for period-appropriate elements like siege weapons, and a fully-fleshed setting.
Loose Threads: Characters at the margins of fairy tale stories try to help those who might otherwise be destroyed by magics and fantasy. A high concept setting, it focuses on the idea of costs literally in the setting and in the Fate mechanics. New systems deepen that concept.
The Ministry: Men in Black meets X-Com in 1950's England. Draws on British sci-fi of that era (like Quartermass). There's a bit of Invasion of the Body Snatchers paranoia here with your characters facing enemies who can look like anyone. Has lots of setting detail and guidelines for tone. Mechanics for mass infections, mob conflicts, and mind-alerting effects called dissonance. Lengthy sample adventure with pregens included.
Morts: After a zombie apocalypse, jobbers—called Morticians—get the unpleasant task of keeping things secure and dealing with internal incidents. Has a "worklife" comedy edge, but then veers into lots of material for magic and running supernatural creatures as PCs.
Nest: A setting which inspired my own Crowsmantle game. In this children who once rescued a magical kingdom have grown up and become mundane. They're now called back from our world to save the lands again, but they may not be up to the task. Solid, fun, and easily adaptable.
Nitrate City (FAE): A strange event brings the people and creatures of the movie world to life in 1948 Hollywood. Los Angeles becomes a cinematic city, filled with pulp tropes and noir atmosphere. Think Who Killed Roger Rabbit's Toontown, but with more realism and integration. The "Flicker" effect serves as a campaign element, to differentiate it from your usual pulp setting. Offers a novel take on Approaches.
On the Wall (FAE): Based on a graphic novel; a darker take on teen superheroes. The government marks those with powers and segregates them. Nicely sets up the supers-school concept which raises the stakes. Character creation involves joining a clique. Uses the powers mechanics from Fate Core with some tweaks.
Prism: A game about a layered dream reality called the Lucid. The characters can interact through this world and still have their existing lives. The game includes factions struggling over the shape of the Lucid, which in turn affects the real world. Includes mechanics for dreaming, action within that space, and creating new realities in the Lucid. Provides a sample adventure.
Red Planet: Soviet retrofuture space exploration by Jess Nevins, the master of Pulp History. Has some minor mechanical changes, but is primarily interested in laying out the campaign concept and setting. Readers' reaction may depend on how much they can handle a fantastical version of Stalinist and Soviet imagery (tbf the game explicitly addresses that).
Romance in the Air: Romance and drama meet skyships and turn of the century events. I especially like the description of it as Last Exile meets Downton Abbey. Offering cool twists on skills as well as a vehicle system. Includes an extensive grand tour adventure/campaign.
Sails Full of Stars: Another sailing ships in space setting, but within an alt-1800's of colonial conflict and pirates. Has steampunk trappings. The game focuses on the naval campaign play of Privateers and Pirate Hunters, but set in space. Has mechanics for building Rheoships, crew actions, and ship to ship combat. Includes a sample adventure.
Save Game: A strikingly illustrated campaign where players take the roles of characters from forgotten video games. In a retro world of information they battle against an evil glitch. Includes cool mechanics modelling video game elements via skills and stunts. Adventure/campaign presented.
The Secrets of Cats: A world where empowered cats secretly use their talents to protect helpless humans. Includes a setting, magic system, and unique stunts. Comes with a sample adventure.
SLIP: A modern strange campaign. In this world beings from other realities have begun to bleed into our own. You play members of Vigilance, a group dedicated to fighting against this invasion. Many members possess psychic talents to aid in this fight. The game includes some interesting roles with benefits and costs. It also has a mechanic for running the invasion itself- "The Convergence”- as a character with its own rules.
So the Story Goes: Travelling storytellers after the fall of a Tyrant who killed off all the keepers of lore. You play a group moving from place to place, bringing the outside world with you. You battle prejudice and fear. (It's a little bit of an inversion of Dogs in the Vineyard). Provides a short skill list with several new and distinct social skills. Includes rules for verbal conflict and group performances. Sample scenario provided.
The Three Rocketeers: Dumas inspired space opera. Uses a skill-free approach to Fate Core. Nice stunt list for weapon styles. Includes rules for modelling conspiracies, sample analogues to characters from The Three Musketeers, and a sample adventure.
Til Dawn (FAE): An exploration of romance, queerness, and performance in a transhumanist future. The setting focuses on social and musical combat, eliminating physical conflict as an option. Rules for multiple identities (called skins) which take consequences, relationships, and DJ battles. Includes a sample event set up for the musical competition tour.
Under the Table: The tagline tells it really well: "Arthurian mythology meets Prohibition-era gangster fiction in this retelling of the Round Table set in a magic-infused alternate timeline during the days of Prohibition." Has a few new mechanical elements, but is mainly focused on presenting the setting and characters.
Uranium Chef (FAE): Tongue-in-cheek space comedy. It seems like this might be a slight concept, but the supplement's longer than most other WoA settings. Contains a sub-system for dealing with the eponymous culinary competitions. There's a reality show element which reminds me of World Wide Wrestling and InSpectres. Has mechanics for seasons, specialty episodes, and a full sample adventure.
The Way of Pukona (FAE): You play warrior-women defending your chieftain against threats supernatural or otherwise. Set within ancient Mapuche society, pre-Spanish invasion. A unique setting rarely explored in rpgs. Includes rules for community generation and new ideas for investing approaches with meaning. Includes sample adventure. Available in Spanish and English versions on DTRPG.
Weird World News: A world where Scooby-Do-like investigators became a cultural phenomenon and not all monsters turned out to be rubber masked. You play travelling teens working for a modern media entity searching these stories out. Uses only four skills, but they're more prescriptive than Approaches. Includes random episode generator, sample monsters & characters, as well as a short adventure.
Wolf's Head: Subtitle- "Outlaws and Rebellion in Feudal England." Your characters are not Robin Hood, but people at the margins driven to rebellion. Brings modern sensibilities into a historical context in a cool way. Also establishes that the campaign’s finite: eventually the crown will crush the PCs. Adds mechanics for handling treasure, using local support, and a campaign threat clock. Also has light rules for magic. Strong setting building. Has an introductory and a final adventure.
Fate System Guide for New Players (Part One)
For the full backlog of Age of Ravens posts on Blogger see here.