- Appropriate contacts & allies.
- Experience point breaks on skills related to the profession.
- Additional specialist skills.
- Abundance of natural resources
- Theocratic government
- Wise sages
- Organised crime.
- Racial tension.
- Milk/local cats going missing.
- Residents being evicted.
- Potential demolition/repurposing.
- Crime/racial tension.
- Eastern europenas.
- Tension between long time residents and influx of immigrants.
- Graffiti tagging, racial slurs.
- Conflict between new/old criminal elements.
- Flags hanging from balconies.
- Manager evicting housing association people to cram in the more profitable immigrants.
- Residents association pettitions.
- Missing milk/animals.
- Escalating problem.
- Has been reported- no action taken.
- Connected with crazy cat lady?
- Connected with chinese restaurant?
- Residents association.
- Door knocking Christians.
- Leaders of the local scout movement.
- Community events.
- Crazy cat lady.
- See the character from The Simpsons.
- The manager.
- Conservative MP.
- Similar to the fat hacker from Jurassic Park.
- Eastern European Immigrants.
- Wage slaves.
- 500 to a flat.
- Right wingers (organisation).
- Owner of the Red Lion, won’t serve them.
- Illegal immigrants.
- New criminal element.
- Youth criminals/new blood.
- Gangsta wannabees.
- “Attack the Block.”
- A stalker.
- Huge coat and hat.
- Scary male.
- Hangs around.
- “1 Hour Photo.”
- “The Watcher.”
- “Mine Hunters.”
- Old polish criminal element.
- Dying breed.
- Boris the Blade – “Snatch.”
- A man smuggling in immigrants.
- Bartek Prusees.
- Bringing in Polish Immigrants.
- New blood.
- Scarred, tattooed villain.
- Danny Trejo.
- Robert Kcvepper.
- Nasty piece of work.
- Newsagents/bargain booze.
- Asian man running shop.
- Illegal poker nights in back room.
- Dodgy cigs, bootlegged booze, misc cheap meat.
- Chip shop.
- Legitimate family business.
- Old patriarch.
- Always open.
- Once a week does free meals for homeless.
- Red Lion pub.
- Plastic, sticky floored pub.
- Known rough pub.
- Boarded up window.
- Cig machine with no cigarettes.
- Mesh over bar.
- Man who knows a man.
- Old man drunks.
- Chinese takeaway.
- Cat meat?
- Human meat?
- Sex trade cover.
- Young prostitute.
- Taken under wing of older prostitute.
- Likes older men.
- Older prostitute.
- Over 50.
- Doing it to put her daughter through ollege.
- Has a thing for old Polish men.
- An eccentric old shut-in with ties to the Polish mob.
- A multi-lingual hospital worker and self-confessed ‘Lambrini Girl.’
- A young female ex-chemist turned drug dealer.
- A jack-of-all-traders bar stool philosophising lorry driver.
- A wiry criminal problem solver.
- The criminal problem solver: Hired the truck driver to retrieve a shipment of drugs from Eastern Europe (via his contact the shut-in) in order to provide them to the dealer.
- The truck driver was approached by the problem solver to move some of the drug dealers supplies up north as a favour, he was injured whilst on the job and trying to effect a minor repair to his lorry and get chatting to the hospital worker whilst in the waiting room.
- The drug dealer was providing the criminal problem solver with a cut from her dealing, she knows the truck driver as the “pick up man; she frequents the same chip shop as the shut-in and has spoken to him a couple of times.
- The shut-in has chased away the stalker when he was following the hospital worker.
- The hospital worker was feeling sorry for a patient in pain and, knowing that there was a dealer living in the same block as her, bought some weed for the suffering patient; she bumped into the criminal problem solver (who was there to pick up his cut) whilst she was there.
- Engine – used for maneuvres and initiative
- Hull – used for defence rolls and affects the ship stress tracker
- Trade – used for trading, maintenance and ship-to-ship diplomacy
- Weapons – used to make attack rolls
- Engine – drive(spacecraft)
- Hull – crafts(tech use)
- Trade – resources
- Weapons – shooting
Having not long finished work on my post about ways to simplify space combat rules in my Rogue Trader FATE hack my thoughts started turning towards how initiative would would in the posited three zone space combat and how people would actually leave combat if they decided to flee rather than fight to the “death” (although obviously, the ship being “Taken Out” would not automatically mean death, more likely they have been boarded or are spiraling towards the surface of a planet, something more interesting like that).
The two ships (Lunatic Pandora and Venerus) commanded by the player characters would be about the size of a Hazeroth Class Privateer and a Dictator Class Cruiser respectively (as shown in the image above) and, despite not being as vast as the hugest of the ships commanded by the Imperium of Man, they are still fairly massive vessels (coming in at a length of 1600m and 3500m).
This was fairly straight forward, the ships would make rolls using their Engine Skill or (if a PC or named-NPC was crewing that station) their Drive(spacecraft) Skill and then would take their moves in turns from highest to low, these could be modified as usual using Aspects or (if appropriate) Stunts.
For example: someone might have an Aspect of Advanced Scanners and spend a fate point to add +2 to their initiative because they’ve been able to pick up the other vessels and react sooner.
Escaping from Space Combat
The most likely way of fleeing the area completely in a WH40K space combat (IMO) would be for the ship to activate its warp engines and and drop into the Immaterium; with this in mind I decided that any ship that did not have an enemy vessel in it’s zone could make a Fair (+2) Engine roll (or, if crewed by a player or named-NPC the Navigator could make the same difficulty Will roll) to enter the warp and leave the combat.
The 31st March session was my first Rogue Trader system (using the FATEcore rules) to have all of the players present; following a discussion on one of the G+ RPG communities that I am signed up for, I used my laptops webcam to record the audio from the session, this has (as well as being great fun to listen to) helped a lot with filling in some of the gaps in my written notes. A write-up of the actual session events will go up on the blog in the next few days, but I thought it worth putting up a post about how the FATE rules worked within the game.
Overall the rules seemed to work really well, there was an initial few minutes with me explaining the basics of the rules and handing out character sheets to people – for the sake of jumping into the game quickly, I had translated the players characters from the Rogue Trader rules to FATEcore myself with the proviso that the players could tweak them as they saw fit (with my approval) after they’d seen how the translated characters played under the new rules set. For the first session with the full player complement I wanted to ease the players into the new rules so it was kept fairly combat-lite and had plenty of opportunity for the players to make basic skill tests, become familiar with fate points and get used to how aspects work.
Aspects & Fate Points
Most of the players seemed to have no problems getting to grips with this and were soon spending fate points with merry abandon to utilise their aspects, the discussion about tagged aspects onto scenes and gaining fate points for having plot-complications arise connected with aspects was a little longer, after a short while though the players got the hang of it and were soon suggesting complications to earn fate points (two of which lead to the new wife of Captain Black taking a strong dislike to the socially crude Navigator York Benetec and to the final session encounter with the Eldar guardians of Caliban IV).
This seemed to go fine, the game using words to represent different levels of skill seemed in particular to be enjoyed.
Generally worked very well, with the player of the Navigator making use of his psychic stunt (allowing him to substitute in his Will score in certain tests) at various points to increase his chances of success, as yet the Enginseer has not really made use of his stunt (that works in a similar way).
One other aspect of the game that worked far better than I could have hoped was the use of the time scale taken from Diaspora to determine travel times through the warp (as discussed here), this particularly highlighted problems with having a fleet (albeit a small fleet of two vessels in this case) travel in convoy through the warp. Our player character Navigator York Benetec was at one point able (due to his high skill and good roll) to cut the travel time of the ship he was on down to three hours, however the NPC Navigator with a slightly lower skill was only able to cut their trip down to three months creating some interesting interpersonal RP whilst the players discussed what they were going to do as the second ship caught up to them.
Next session i’m planning to start bringing in the combat rules to introduce players to those, and also to start exploring the advancement system listed in the FATEcore rules.
As i’ve said in previous posts one of my players was missing from the last session and another unfortunately couldn’t stay for the whole session and so I didn’t spend time converting over the character of the missing player (also it was one that I wanted to take a little more thought over); determined to get a bit of a head start on copying across neater versions of the character sheets I had a quick skim through the FATE Core preview pdf, and liked the look of the cut down skill list and simplified character sheets. I wondered whether it would be possible for me to write up the characters using the FATE Core system’s simplified character sheet and still maintain the essence of the characters.
- Crafts: A catch-all making/repair skill that I will use in my game to replace engineering and repair skills, the type of crafting will be determined by the character’s high concept.
- Drive: This will be used for driving/piloting all types of vehicles, players can take stunts or aspects to represent any advanced skill with particular types of vehicle.
- Lore: I am planning to use this for knowledge rolls in my game, any specialised fields of knowledge being represented by stunts or aspects.
- Will: This skill is going to be used (in addition to it’s normal uses) to represent psychic strength (for those who have psychic stunts).
- York Benetec (Navigator)
- Psychic: Substitute Will skill for another skill by expending 1 fate pt (this also allows skill rolls to occur at range); if the player doesn’t want to spend a fate point they may still perform the action but it takes 3 times as long.
- Navigator: May navigate a ship through the warp using his Will skill to determine time taken for the journey.
- Enginseer Prime Pak (Techpriest)
- Mechandrite arm: Player may spend 1 fate point to use craft skill instead of any other skill in a test, if the player doesn’t wish to spend a fate pt then they can still do the action but it takes twice as long.
- Servo-skull: Allows the player to perform actions using the craft skill (as per the mechandrite arm stunt) but at range.
- Lord Captain Black (Rogue Trader)
- Ship: Lunatic Pandora (Cruiser)
- Confessor Cornelius
- Inspire the Faithful: Allies may use Rapport skill in combat (the max level is 3 unless Cornelius spends a fate point).
- Plasma Pistols: H 3 PEN 3 Energy weapon (ranged)
- Power Sword: H 2 PEN 2 Energy weapon (melee)
- Neural Whip: H 1 PEN 0 Energy weapon (melee)
- Body Armour: 3 AP
Two of the more interesting characters in terms of rules in my game are York Benetec, an imperially sanctioned Navigator, member of a family with a specialised psychic mutation allowing them to steer a warp capable vessel through the shifting dangerous tide of the immaterium and Enginseer Prime Pak, a member of the Adeptus Mechanicus who had risen from humble beginnings to become a bionic priest of the Machine God.
In terms of what the rules needed to reflect…
- Navigator: Psychic powers and the ability to navigate a ship through the warp.
- Enginseer: A bionic third arm attached to his body and a floating servo-skull that he can directly interface with.
- Psychic stunt: Player may spend 1 fate point to substitute their psionics skill for any other skill and may carry out the skill check at range – if the player doesn’t want to spend a fate point then they may still use this stunt but the activity will take three times as long since they have to focus their psychic energies.
- Navigator stunt: Player may spend 1 fate point to guide a vessel through the warp using their psionics skill to determine the length of time taken, by default a single leg journey takes 3 months, each shift on the roll reduces the time by one step on the table. Originally this used the navigation skill but I decided to incorporate it into the psionics skill.
- Mechendrite-arm stunt: Player may spend 1 fate point to substitute their repair or engineering skill for any other skill – if the player doesn’t want to spend a fate point then they can still do this but the activity will take twice as long.
- Servo-skull stunt: This stunt allows the player to substitute their reapir/engineering skill for any other skill (as per the mechendrite-arm stunt) at range.