You are adventurer-performers, though where you lean on that spectrum may vary. You signed onto a flying theater a few months ago or more recently. The vessel has just finished up its series of performances in the heartlands of the Empire of the Hours. It is now travelling westwards into the neighboring Empire of Iron.
You will be doing several things as members of the crew: researching and helping to decide where to go next, figuring out what will play best there, getting audience members, pulling off capers when things go wrong, interacting with your fellow players (rivals, romantic entanglements, or otherwise), preparing for the show, keeping chaos on the ship from interfering in the show, and trying to get your big break as a headliner.
This is more picaresque fantasy than high fantasy. Think about what kind of character you want, you can build almost anything.
We will be playing with a version of Fate, probably closest to Fate Condensed. If you haven't played Fate, don't worry I'll teach the rules. We will using 2d6 rather than Fate Dice for rolling, subtracting the red die's result from the black die's.
If you have played Fate before, this should be easy-- though I run things a little more lightly than other Fate folks. Note: the skill list is borrowed from the Opera House rpg (which is the sourcebook I'm building this one), so skills are a little more fuzzy about what they cover.
A few mechanical differences from other Fate games:
- No zones: distances are close combat, near, far away
- Since our skills more represent areas of knowledge than narrow ability, there's some overlap between skills. Feats which let you sub-out one skills for another will be rarer-- usually for instances where there's no inherent connection between the two. Like using Archivist to Attack in place of Security. By default the Attack action is Security; the dodge/defend action is Dance, though security can be used to defend in melee.
- We use popcorn initiative, allowing players to pick who follows them in turn order.
If you want to check out the character keeper with the mechanics and the PCs everyone came up with see here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Zu8SRWi9FjGpJoj93H0lP3C_XDpJEsYSLS4W9BdnQq8/edit?usp=sharing
This list of skills is built on Opera House’s list.
Lore, History, Investigate, Repertoire
I’ve Read about That! You’ve read hundreds—if not thousands—of books on a wide variety of topics. You can spend a fate point to use Archivist in place of any other skill for one roll or exchange, provided you can justify having read about the action you’re attempting.
Accountant. You have an acute eye for accounts and records. You can easily pick out patterns and problems in a fraction of the normal time.
Folklorist. You’re an expert at extracting tales and history from the locals. You gain a +2 to Overcome/Create Advantage for such attempts.
Impersonation, charm, disguise, deception, performance, stage combat
The Actor's Truth. +2 to Actor to create an advantage against someone who watched one of your performances during this session.
Understudy. Take +2 to rolls when you're called to fill in for another performer at the last minute
Lies Upon Lies. You’ve got a knack for confounding people, especially when you’ve been found out. Once a session, when a lie of yours has been revealed you can create an advantage that distracts every one.
Making and fixing items from sewing to baking to blacksmithing
Always Making Useful Things. You don’t ever have to spend a fate point to declare that you have the proper tools for a particular job using Crafter, even in extreme situations (like being imprisoned and separated from all your stuff).
Savant. Choose a field of specialization, such as sewing, smithing, cooking. You get a +2 to all Crafter rolls relating to that field of specialization.
Mastercrafted. Twice per session you can reroll a result if you explain how your handcrafted equipment helped you out.
Heavy Lifting, Big Repairs, Physical Strength, Moving Quietly
Better than New! Whenever you succeed with style on an overcome action to repair a piece of machinery, you can immediately give it a new situation aspect (with a free invoke) reflecting the improvements you’ve made, instead of just a boost.
Tough as Nails. Once per session, at the cost of a fate point, you can reduce the severity of a moderate consequence that’s physical in nature to a mild consequence (if your mild consequence slot is free), or erase a mild consequence altogether.
Useful Little Things. Your pockets are full of useful little things. Whenever you need something, you have it, provided it’s not something too unusual or too large to fit in a pocket, belt pouch, or backpack. When you say you have something, the GM should be likely to agree.
Crew 0: 3 boxes
Crew +1/+2: 4 boxes
Crew +3/+4: 6 boxes
Crew +5 or more: 6 boxes and an additional mild consequence slot
Lockpicking, safecracking, black market, sneaking, hiding
Always a Way Out. +2 on Criminal rolls made to create an advantage whenever you’re trying to escape from a location.
Slippery Target. Provided you’re in darkness or shadow, you can use Criminal to defend against ranged attacks from enemies that are at least one zone away.
I'm On Break. You look like you have a right to be there. This gives you a +2 to convince someone using Criminal that you belong there or avoid be questioned.
Acrobatics, running, athletics, dancing, jumping, performance
Swing Sister. +2 to overcome actions with Dancer if you are in a chase through crowds or a packed dance floor.
Flexible. You can naturally fit into smaller places. You have a +2 to Dancer to escape from bonds, grabs, or fit through tiny gaps.
Tumbler. You can skip effortlessly down sheer surfaces without harm, allowing you to safely fall great distances. When you fall, but are near a solid surface, such as the wall of a shaft, add +2 to rolls to resist stress and injury. If you have sufficient other things like ropes to offset.
Rope work, operate mechanism, climbing, observation
Eavesdropper. On a successful Flyman roll to create an advantage by eavesdropping on a conversation, you can discover or create one additional aspect (though this doesn’t give you an extra free invocation).
On the Ropes. Gain +2 to any roll to climb up ropes, lines, rigging, or the like.
High Perches. Gain +1 to create an advantage with Flyman when you observe from a raised platform or roost.
FRONT OF HOUSE
Convince, empathy, bureaucracy, theatre navigation, connoisseur
Lie Whisperer. +2 to all Front of House rolls made to discern or discover lies, whether they’re directed at you or someone else.
Fast Friend. On entering a new social situation (party, meeting) you may spend a fate point to rapidly make a good friend or contact.
Cold Read. Normally, to get a read on someone requires a few minutes of conversation, if not more. You may do so nearly instantly.
Contacts and resources
Rumormonger. +2 to create an advantage when you plant vicious rumors about someone else.
Money Talks. You can use Investor instead of another social skill in any situation where ostentatious displays of material wealth might aid your cause.
Back Channels. When dealing with the usually slow workings of administrators, legal offices, and gatekeepers, you know how to get around them to the people in the know. You automatically at least halve the time required for such activities.
Music theory, singing, empathy, performance
The Devil's Concerto. Once per scene, stack an additional free invoke on an advantage you’ve created to represent manipulating the emotions of someone via your music.
Musical Theory. You’re excellent at glazing over the eyes of non-musicians. You get a +1 for any attempts to distract, frustrate, or fool them using Musician in conversation.
The Universal Language. Music can speak where someone might not be understood. When you use music to help communicate with the foreign or stage, you never suffer any additional difficulty from unfamiliarity or language barriers.
Brawling, swordfighting, intimidation
Tackler. +2 to Security rolls made to create advantages on an enemy by wrestling or grappling with them.
Called Shot. When you make a ranged attack, spend a fate point and declare a specific condition you want to inflict on a target, like Shot in the Hand. If you succeed, you place that as a situation aspect on them in addition to hitting them for stress.
Attack Knack. You have a signature weapon. You do +2 effect when you hit with it, but anyone can identify the wounds you deal.
Drive, pilot, navigation, ship life
Throw Coal. +2 to Shipman when you’re in a chase with an aerial transport.
A Friend in Every Port. Whenever you enter a settlement, you may declare you’ve visited it before and roll Shipman against Fair (+2) opposition. If you succeed, you have a friend there who owes you one favor—nothing costly or life threatening. If you succeed with style, your friend will do any one thing for you that is within his power.
One With the Ship. Your sweat and blood keeps the ship going in the worst circumstances. When the ship would take a consequence, your character can instead choose to take an equivalent consequence.
Notice, leadership, empathy, medicine
Intuition. You have an almost preternatural capacity for detecting trouble. Your Stage Manager skill works unimpeded by conditions like total concealment, darkness, or other sensory impairments in situations where someone or something intends to disrupt the proceedings.
Leadership. +2 to Stage Manager when you’re delivering an inspiring speech in front of a crowd. (If there are named NPCs or PCs in the scene, you may target them all simultaneously with one roll rather than dividing up your shifts.)
Mother Hen. You're well trained in how to fix up minor injuries on the fly. You may make a Stage Manager roll at +2 to reduce the severity of a physical consequence or remove physical stress in a scene.
Looking good, hair styling, makeup, wardrobe
One Person, Many Faces. Whenever you meet someone new, you can spend a fate point to declare that you’ve met that person before, but under a different name and identity. Create a situation aspect to represent your cover story, and you can use Stylist whenever interacting with that person
Make Up Case. You always have a disguise ready and may assume even a complex one as an action in the moment .(so long as you aren't being observed).
Wardrobist. You gain +2 to create an advantage for someone else based on clothing and dress.
Writing, propaganda, influence
Mentor. You have a mentor or patron with access to special knowledge. Once per session you may freely invoke your mentor as an aspect in appropriate situations (to represent insight, advice gained from contact them).
Spectacular Spectacular. You have a gift for words. Take +2 using Writer to drum up an audience, draw crowds, and increase ticket sales.
Slumming. You're a member of the nobility. When you meet a fellow noble, you gain a +1 actions to Create Advantage actions to recall what you know about them. If you succeed, you always gain an additional invoke.
Willpower, resistance, drive
Driven. You can choose to ignore a mild or moderate consequence for the duration of the scene. It can’t be compelled against you or invoked by your enemies. At the end of the scene it comes back worse, though; if it was a mild consequence it becomes a moderate consequence, and if it was already moderate, it becomes severe.
Inner Fire. Once per scene, when you successfully Create Advantage with Passion action based on concentration, you gain an additional free invocation.
Never Gonna Give You Up. You may use Passion in place of any other skill to perform feats of strength.
Passion 0: 3 boxes
Passion +1/+2: 4 boxes
Passion +3/+4: 6 boxes
Passion +5 or more: 6 boxes and an additional mild consequence slot
If you have at least a +2 Magic skill you may take the Wizard stunt shown below. You may define what kind of magic that actually is. (Sorcery, summoning, divine, etc)
Wizard. You can cast spells. Choose a school of magic. You may use it to do all four actions with your Magic skill, provided you justify it in the fiction with your school's effect. Mark a stress when you cast magic.
Mana. If you take this stunt, you gain three stress which you can use only to cast spells.
Adept. You may learn two additional schools of magic.
Wizard Eyes. You gain +2 to Create Advantage when investigating magical items or the use of magic in an area.
Air: Like all of the elements, Air is both literal and metaphorical in scope. It covers air and other gases. As well it lifts and lightens. Sureshot, Gust of Wind, Call Storm, Fly, Carry Whispers.
Body: Flesh and the material being. It can be that of animals or humans. Body works changes or enhancements. Alternately it can harm or heal. Twist Limb, Harden Skin, Feats of Strength, Shapeshift, Read Wounds.
Chance: Represents probability and the inevitability of decay, called entropy. It mixes destiny and destruction. Open Scar, Cause Misstep, Find Weakness, Lucky Happenstance, Read Fate.
Correspondence: Magick of connections: symbolic, sympathetic, or literal. This sphere affects change at a distance and slip through the world. Phantom Dagger, Blink Shift, Sympathetic Connection, Bag of Holding, Farsight.
Earth: Mastery of earth and the nature of solidity. Earth includes all of the solid, non-organic materials and their aspects. Shatter, Stoneflesh, Quicksand, Form Path, Read Walls.
Fire: Heat, fire, combustion, speed, and material transformation. Fire’s the life-giver and thus a potent magick for powering things. Fireball, Startling Flame, Melt, Billowing Engine, Sense Heat.
Light: Covers both light and darkness. Light creates images which fools the visual senses. It can illuminate and reveal. Alternately, it also contains darkness which may be used to conceal and obscure. Burst of Light, Cloak of Shadows, Illusions, Disguise, See in Darkness.
Mind: The ability to read and shape the mind. A dangerous ability to use on others and even more on oneself. Given how perception affects magick, manipulating that perception too strongly risks backlash. Phantasmal Force, Tilt Perception, Forget, Command, Read Emotions.
Motion: An abstraction representing force itself: momentum and inertia. It does not exist independently but works through objects or beings. Duelist’s Gift, Turnblade, Speed of Mercury, Leap of Faith, Read Movements.
Nature: The force of the natural world, especially that of plants and trees. It includes the essence of beasts of all kinds. Nature magic is more thematic than specific. Poison Dart, Beast Defender, Tangling Vines, Healing Poultice, Speak with Forest.
Spirit: The soul itself as well as the Spirit World. Covers dream travel and vision questing. Deals with ghosts and other forces of spiritual energy. Permits travel through the astral realms. Works with spirit bindings and wards. Strike Phantom, Ethereal Shift, Ghostly Agent, Contact Spirit, Dream Sending.
Water: Includes all forms of liquids, up to and including the waves and oceans themselves. Water seeps and flows past obstacles and through gaps. It includes ice as a component. Venom Blade, Flow Like Water, Ice Slick, Command Tides, Read the Waters.
Age of Ravens: Fate System Guide for New Players (Part One)
Age of Ravens: Worlds of Adventure: Fate Guide (Pt. 2)