I had the good fortune to play in a session of Eldritch Tales (a White Box game of Lovecraftian Horror) run by the author Joe Salvador, organised by Colin Green of the Spikepit podcast and featuring a number of OSR Anchorite luminaries; whilst playing it I was reminded how much I enjoyed the feat system in the game and started to think that it could very easily be imported into other old-school D&D style games.Continue reading “Eldritch Tales Feat System”
(If you want to know more about Fate Accelerated you can find details on the excellent SRD site here: http://fate-srd.com/fate-accelerated-fae-menu)
One of the things I love about FAE is that right at the start it gives you six example spreads of Approaches to create six archetypal characters:
- The Brute:
Forceful +3, Careful and Flashy +2, Sneaky and Quick +1, Clever +0
- The All-Star:
Quick +3, Forceful and Flashy +2, Clever and Careful +1, Sneaky +0
- The Trickster:
Clever +3, Sneaky and Flashy +2, Forceful and Quick +1, Careful +0
- The Guardian:
Careful +3, Forceful and Clever +2, Sneaky and Quick +1, Flashy +0
- The Thief:
Sneaky +3, Careful and Quick +2, Clever and Flashy +1, Forceful +0
- The Swashbuckler:
Flashy +3, Quick and Clever +2, Forceful and Sneaky +1, Careful +0
These samples spreads are a great time saving device if you are playing a quick pick up game or you just want to jump straight in, you pick the type of character you want to play, bang on some Aspects and Stunts and you’re good to go.
So you might be wondering why i’m banging on about Fate Accelerated when the title of the post mentions Jadepunk; well recently i’ve been running a Jadepunk game using Google Hangouts for a small group (you can see the actual plays here if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMlEyLAkrE__EfHHAfYIIekLdh4qwJxOK) and it seems to be going quite well, we’re on our ninth session. For those of you who aren’t aware Jadepunk is a game by Re-Roll Productions that uses a slightly tweaked of the Fate rules to tell exciting stories that blend elements of Wuxia, the wild west and steampunk fantasy into a very compelling and exciting setting full of potential for great storytelling; Jadepunk uses a number of Professions rather than Approaches or Skills to define characters:
However there’s one thing that isn’t in Jadepunk that i’d have liked to have seen, yep you guessed it, the example stats spreads that are found in Fate Accelerated Edition; you could argue that they’re not really necessary and (truth be told) I don’t think the game suffers massively from their absence, however they are a handy thing to have access to so i’ve come up with six archetypal character Profession spreads for you to use in your Jadepunk game:
- The Honourable Warrior/Samurai:
Aristocrat +2, Engineer +0, Explorer +1, Fighter +3, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1
- The Jadetech Engineer:
Aristocrat +1, Engineer +3, Explorer +2, Fighter +0, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1
- The Idle Noble:
Aristocrat +3, Engineer +0, Explorer +1, Fighter +1, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +2
- The Sage:
Aristocrat +2, Engineer +1, Explorer +2, Fighter +0, Scholar +3, Scoundrel +1
- The Thief/Shadowy Assassin:
Aristocrat +0, Engineer +1, Explorer +2, Fighter +2, Scholar +1, Scoundrel +3
- The Pioneer/Explorer:
Aristocrat +0, Engineer +1, Explorer +3, Fighter +2, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1
- Concept: A short sentence that sums up your character; if your character is an exalt then the concept must make some mention of what type of exaltation they carry (please note that if you are playing a terrestrial exalted/dragonblooded then some mention of their associated element should also be included).
Example: Rough and tumble solar exalted soldier, sly and sneaky lunar exalted thief, proud but honourable terrestrial exalted noble (fire).
- Background: Where did your charater come from and what experiences they have had in life.
Example: I was born in the slums and had to fight for every opportunity I got, I was in and out of trouble during my youth for stealing and other petty crimes, I grew up on my father’s estate and received the finest schooling his military pay could afford.
- Exaltation: Although dragonblooded generally exalt (if they are going to) during puberty, a celestial exaltation can come upon a person at any time; where were you when you became exalted, what did it feel like and how did it affect you?
Example: I was cornered by imperial soldiers when I felt the light of the Unconquered Sun lend strength to my arm, I was trapped with no way to escape the noose when Luna’s grace allowed me to pull the shadows around myself, my family were proud when I received the grace of the Dragon during my seventeenth year.
- Belief: How do your characters beliefs colour their lives, were they staunch adherents of the imperial creed or a bit more free-spirited?
Example: I was always taught that the Solar Exalted were demons and that the Wyld Hunt kept us safe now i’m not so sure, my people always feared that creatures that lurked beyond the edge of the map and now i’m one of them, I was raised to believe that the Dragonblooded were the destined rulers of the world but I don’t know if i’m ready for that responsibility yet.
- Trouble: Consider your preceding aspects, which of them cause you the most complications in your life, have you made any enemies since your exaltation?
Example: The local authorities know my face it can only be a matter of time before the Wyld Hunt seek me out, since being exalted I find civilisation increasingly stifling and long for the wilderness, I had so many plans for myself but now they all must be set aside to advance the aims of my family.
- Warrior: Warriors come from all different backgrounds, but they all share a proficiency for violent action.
- Overcome: Feats of strength and of combative skill.
- Create advantages: Combat maneuvres and creating advantages in the heat of battle.
- Attack: Making physical attacks at close quarters and range.
- Defend: Protecting oneself and others from physical damage.
- Priest: Priests travel the world preaching the word of the gods, in their travels they come to know the hearts of men and learn about the world during their journey.
- Overcome: Priests overcome obstacles through knowledge that they have acquired in their travels, they have to be adaptable and strong in their faith to survive.
- Create advantages: Using their knowledge of the world to their advantage or rousing the faith of other men.
- Attack: Spurring others to action through rousing speeches or engaging in a contest of faith with another.
- Defend: Defending those of the faith or using your knowledge of the world to help protect your flock in dangerous situations.
- Sorceror: The sorceror creates engines of fantastic magitech as well as researching into matters of the arcane and occult.
- Overcome: Building or repairing magitech, sorcery and researching occult secrets of the ancient past.
- Create advantages: Scrying using magic, temporarily boosting the function of occult devices.
- Attack: Using more baroque items of magitech or sorcerous items, casting an offensive spell.
- Defend: Unless a sorceror is controlling a magitech item that can shield them from damage or is casting a spell to shield them from harm they are unlikely to defend.
- Assassin: Deception and stealth are an assassin’s main weapons along with other nefarious talents.
- Overcome: Bluffing/lying, thievery, stealth & disguise.
- Create advantages: Creating distractions, cover stories or false impressions.
- Attack: This profession isn’t used to attack directly, more likely to set up a more devastating attack.
- Defend: Using misinformation and doublespeak to throw off investigations or disguise their true motives.
- Diplomat: The diplomat is at home in polite society, always knowing the right words to say and the appropriate palms to grease.
- Overcome: Influencing others to do what you want, bartering, gaining information.
- Create advantages: Creating advantages to represent momentary emotional states.
- Attack: Only likely to be of use in social situations or perhaps in ritualised duels.
- Defend: Defending against attempts to ruin one’s standing or blacken their reputation.
Each profession is rated with a bonus, choose one at Good (+3), two at Fair (+2) and two at Average (+1).
Now you might say that a good GM can always fudge things so that the players come across a clue or that something happens to advance the plot; however if this is not done subtly and with finesse then it can lead to the players feeling railroaded as though, no matter what they do, the mystery solution will reveal itself, IMO once the perception of risk or failure has disappeared completely from a game then a lot of players lose their impetus and drive.
- Tell how long something has been buried and date of its construction.
- Identify artifacts by culture and usage.
- Distinguish real artifacts from fakes.
- Navigate inside ruins and catacombs, including finding secret doors and hidden construction.
- Describe the customs of ancient or historical cultures.
- Spot well-disguised graves and underground hiding places.
- Get your Investigator into a scene where relevant information can be gathered.
- Have the right ability to discover the clue.
- Tell the Keeper that you’re using it.
Both the use of Investigative Abilities to automatically locate clues and the spending of ‘points’ to gain additional information regarding the clues are both concepts that I think would be easily convertable to the FATE system; clues can easily be given out related to the skills possessed by players (possibly excpanding the list to include more detailed investigative abilities as per To) and either an additional pool of investigation point can be added or the existing fate points can be used to gain additional info in a FATE based ToC-style game.
- Appropriate contacts & allies.
- Experience point breaks on skills related to the profession.
- Additional specialist skills.