I’ve recently started running a D&D 5E campaign set in a campaign world of my own creation called 3Brothers, and (although Fate is still my main system of choice) I’ve been very much enjoying the increased emphasis on story-telling that seems to have really been bought to the fore in the 5th edition of the game; it occurred to me whilst doing some session prep the other day that the game-constructs used within D&D could actually be very useful when it comes to defining high concepts in Fate.
Take the traditional characters in D&D, they’re normally broken down by (amongst other things) their race, class and level.
This easily translates across to a high concept in Fate using the following format:
I am an [experience][race][class]
Experience can be represented by three broad bands (novice, expert and legend or something similar), at novice level the GM can make plenty of compels to represent inexperience, but since they don’t have the reputation yet the players can also invoke their experience to avoid detection or be overlooked by potential enemies. As they rise in experience the players can invoke the experience level to call on contacts or use their rep in their favour, whilst the GM can compel it to represent old enemies appeared and complications from previous adventures rearing their heads.
Race is even easier to represent, essential the player can invoke this part of the high concept whenever they are involved in an activity that their race favours (fighting for orcs, magic and archery for elves, etc) whilst the GM can compel them when they engage in activities that their race has a weakness towards or to take advantage of their prejudices against other species.
The class is fairly broad but it’s not difficult to work out what a D&D class specialises in (healing and turning undead for clerics, spell-casting for mages and… well… fighting for githers), the player can invoke the aspect when engaged in an activity they are good at whereas the GM can compel it at activities they are traditionally weak at or when their profession might cause complications. For example: Perhaps the cleric is perceived as being so holy that an evil cult decides only he will do for the sacrifice to their dark master.
Coming Next for All about Aspects: D&D Races for High Concepts
Circuit board tree image designed by Mastermindsro, you can see the full design here; used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.