FATE warhammer 40K hack – complete

Well it’s taken a fair few hours but i’ve got my FATE Warhammer 40,000 Hack to a completed state where i’m pretty much happy with it; there are a few bits and pieces that could be fiddled with and I expect that i’ll make minor tweaks and changes to it, but it’s pretty much done.

Hope it’s useful to people who want to run 40K games using the FATE rules system 🙂

Link to file

FATE warhammer 40K hack WIP

At the moment in-between re-organising my notes for my FATE powered Rogue Trader campaign i’ve also, on and off, been working on assembling the collection of rules and hacks that I use into something vaguely resembling an organised document so that I can have all of the information in one place and make it available to other people.

Currently the hack focuses on the most pressing issues in my own game:

  • Purchasing items.
  • Space combat.
  • Travel through the warp.

    I plan to add to the hack in the future as I go along, eventually making it into a useful reference for people who want to play 40K RPGs using the FATE rules system.
    The current hack is available here.

    Planet and NPC sheets

    Having created my system sheets to record information in my game, ran a short session yesterday that seemed to go fairly well (will be posting a write-up once i’ve had chance to listen to the session recording); i’ve now had time to create my planet and NPC worksheets.

    You can find links to them below:

    Format of Information

    So last night I sat down, having already done most of the system generation in the FFG “Stars of Iniquity” rulebook and with my notes in hand ready to write them up in a more formal fashion so that I could put them in the box file that is going to be housing all of my session notes henceforth; some sort of standard layout would make it easier to record information, so I eventually decided that I would need the following sheets.

    • A star system sheet – this would contain details of features in the system, along with basic details of any threats and planets.
    • A planet sheet – this would contain detailed information on the various planets (plus any moons orbiting them), resources and territories to be found there and basic information about what civilisations could be found on them (if any).
    • An NPC sheet – this would hold detailed information on an NPC, including their stats, there homeworld and any forces under their command, it would also contain details about their personality, like and dislikes.
    After a few minutes of tinkering I had a suitable star system sheet prepared, you can find a version of it here.
    A couple of hours later i’d detailed the Ariadne, Catan, Coppernicus, Decusis, Endeavour and Footfall systems using the sheet that I had designed; a filled in version of the sheet for the Catan system can be found here.
    I’m pretty happy with the systems at the moment, i’m hoping to get the rest of them written up over the weekend and make any final tweaks, alterations that I think the game calls for.

    Stars of Inequity

    Okay, so tonight i’m going to be putting down on paper as many details as I can for the main NPCs of my game; inspired by a number of youtube videos/channels that I have seen on the subject (including woodwwad‘s channel and others) and the free-flowing explorative nature of the Rogue Trader game I have decided to detail out as many of the core systems (the basics of which were already generated as described in my post on system design using the Disapora rules) in the sector of space where our game takes place as possible.

    Some of the planets in the system have already been detailed (see my Hiveworld Scelus Prime and Catan II posts earlier in the blog) but this still leaves vast swathes of the gaming area either very loosely defined or not at all; recently reading Fantasy Flight Games Stars of Inequity book for the Rogue Trader system has spurred me into wanting to define these areas in more detail since it provides detailed systems for using this that will allow me to create worlds and detail the star systems more closely (although i’m sure that I will tweak them to fit the tone and established “facts” of the campaign). The charts in the book are largely system independent or can be used quite easily with a few little alterations, so that it won’t take a great deal of struggle to port these details over to the FATEcore rules system that we are currently using in the game.

    One thing that I have also gained from watching woodwwad‘s youtube channel is an appreciation of the fact that, paradoxically, in order for the game to give the players a sense of freedom and the ability to explore as their whims dictate, it is very much necessary for a gamesmaster to have put a lot of work in detailing the sort of people and societies that they are likely to meet, in order to convincingly and consistently portray these non-player characters in the game. Whilst I have been enjoying the game tremendously and the players seem to be doing likewise, most of the action has, at the moment focussed around a couple of key areas, not really capturing the exploring, go anyway, feel of default Rogue Trader; my plan to help deal with this is to detail as many of the key-NPCs that the players are going to meet as possible, providing them with character sheets, backgrounds and goals (a lot of this work has already been done on key npcs already but i’m planning to standardise my NPC information).

    Having located at home a large box folder my plan is to generate (or note down) the following:

    • Character sheets & backgrounds for the named NPCs encountered so far
      • These will also contain details of the NPC goals plus any fleets or forces that they command along with their strengths and weaknesses.
    • A one page write-up for each system containing details on the planets and any other astronomical anomalies in the star system.
      • Currently I am also considering adding some areas of unexplored or wild space to the map where there are no established warp routes but that players can explore if they wish, there would be a small chance of the players encountering a habitable system (that would then be randomly generated).
      • This does pose the issue of how to prepare for these random systems, however, no more than one is likely to be explored per session so it would be easy to prepare a number of NPCs that could be bought in when an appropriate star system was discovered.
    • A one page write-up for each planet of interest containing details of the prevalent societies or main dangers and encounters likely on those planets.
    Next session I intend to begin with the Eldar envoy Da Duith Iath giving a small briefing containing the details that his race are willing to share about the ancient enemy that has returned, then I intend to pretty much hand the session over to the players and let them do what they want; with all of the NPC and star system/planet information that I have generated, it should be easy for me to respond to whatever they want to do.

    Planet Spotlight: Hiveworld Scelus Prime in the Decusis System

    Technology: +3 (warp mastery)
    Environment: +0 (one profitable world, additional barren worlds)
    Resources: +2 (one significant export – grox ration packs)

    Aspects: Industrial, polluted & asteroid field.

    The hive world of Scelus Prime is named for the founder of the current ruling dynasty of the system, Scelus Decusis who was an Imperial Guard commander who helped pacify a rebellion in the system; realising that Imperial forces would never take the world unless the orbital defences (which had fallen into rebel hands) were disabled, Scelus took a party of trusted guardsmen and launched a suicidal attack on the orbital las-batteries. Against all odds his group manage to take the orbital defences and set them to self-destruct, Scelus miraculously surviving when the section of the las-battery that he was in, crashed onto the planets surface; the only survivor Scelus took his survival as a sign from the Emperor and swore his life to the Ecclesiarchy ritualistically shaving his head as a sign of his faith (a fashion that endures in the ruling houses of the planet to this day). The remnants of the destroyed defences fell into a slow orbit around the planet, eventually attracting other rocks and debris, forming an asteroid belt around Scelus Prime.

    Since that day the house of Decusis has ruled the planet, although their hedonistic ways are a far cry from the chaste faith of their founder; the current rulers of the planet are Corith Decusis and his twin sister Dominique. The single great hive city of Scelus Prime houses millions of people all crammed into a large twisting spire of metal, studded with factories processing raw grox meat shipped in from the neighbouring Catan system, bulking it out with algae and corpse-starch to form the unpalatable but nutritious ration packs that much of the Imperial troops in the sector rely on; the many factories studded around the base of the hive belch poisonous fumes into the atmosphere creating a poisonous layer of cloud rising up to five miles from the planet’s surface, many lower hive dwellers never rise above that layer or see the sky, only the rich nobles of the Spire have the privilege of peering beyond the deathly clouds.