Character creation is divided into the same areas as typical Fate: Aspects, Skills, and Stunts/Powers.

Like in Dresden Files, a character’s Refresh rating is used as a basis for purchasing traits (this is described more fully below). Fate Points are referred to as Wyrd, per the original setting. This energy is poorly understood and hard to quantify, but does exist in-setting rather than just as a story currency: it represents a certain power of the spirit that can fuel supernatural effects and, for those that don’t have them, be used unconsciously to bend reality to one’s ends. When several points of Wyrd are spent in the same scene, it invokes the Destiny Effect: something about this scene becomes extremely important, or at least symbolic, for the rest of the characters’ careers and possibly to the fate of the universe.

Aspects

Player characters have five Aspects divided into different categories: role, destiny, failure, and blessings.

Each character has one Role Aspect. This is similar to Dresden Files‘ High Concept. It is a slightly flavored rendition of the character’s house, sect, guild, etc. Examples include “Hazat Knight,” “Reeve Lawyer,” and “Avestite Inquisitor.” It is not meant to be invoked for anything related to the concept, however, but speaks specifically to actions revolving around the character’s role in society. For example, the Hazat Knight might invoke to get preferential treatment in the courts, intimidate lessers, or any other situation where being a noble would create a clear and inarguable distinction over another character, but shouldn’t be used just to get a bonus on a swordfight. Similarly, the Aspect might be compelled when the character is out of her element, such as when attempting to hide among the lower classes. Ultimately, this Aspect is intended to highlight the politics of the setting rather than being an easy invoke in a pinch.

Next, each character has a Destiny Aspect. This is a short statement about where the character’s personal story is heading, at least in her own conception. This Aspect might change fairly frequently as the story progresses and forces a reconsideration of ambitions and priorities. Examples include “A piece for my house’s game,” “Demanding answers from the Pancreator,” and “Proof that only sinners need fear the Inquisition.” It can be invoked in any situation that is clearly making progress toward the destiny, or as a defense in life and destiny-threatening situations. It can be compelled to encourage the player to take a foolhardy action in pursuit of this goal.

To complement the destiny, each character also has a Failure Aspect. This is the character’s biggest flaw: the thing most likely to complicate pursuit of the destiny, and possibly life in general. Like Destiny, it might change throughout the course of the game (often at the same time). Examples include “Desperate for personal agency,” “Terrible health,” and “Too free with scriptural interpretation.” It isn’t usually invoked except in rare situations where it can be worked into a strange flaw-Judo. It is meant to be frequently compelled, and a major source of Wyrd for the character.

Finally, each player character gets two additional Aspects that work more like those in standard Fate: they’re meant to be invoked in a fairly broad range of useful situations, but might also be compelled when it makes sense. Note that this implementation doesn’t have any way to get unusual wealth, equipment, or rank without making an Aspect that’s relevant. Otherwise, all PCs are expected to have the rank and accoutrements appropriate to the story. Similarly, any unusual abilities should be based off of an appropriate Aspect: you can’t take Psi, Theurgy, or Changed features without one. Finally, cybernetics is basically just an Aspect (unless your GM wants to make a more granular system). Suggested basic Aspects are based off of Fading Suns Blessings and Benefices and include:

  • Artificer
  • Changed
  • Confident/Valiant
  • Cyborg
  • Duelist
  • Handsome/Beautiful
  • Heir/Groomed for Promotion
  • Psychic
  • Relic/Artifact
  • Soldier
  • Theurge
  • Tough/Indomitable
  • Quick/Instinctive
  • Wealthy
  • Wise/Savant

Skills

Each player character picks a class and career, and starts each of those ten skills at +1.

Each character starts with 12 Refresh. This Refresh can then be spent to buy pursuits (it will also be used for Stunts/Powers and as actual Refresh). The limitations on buying pursuits are:

  • The character should generally be at least [Pursuits x 5 + 10] years old. For example, a character with 2 pursuits should be at least 20.
  • A character cannot raise the same skill twice in a row, even from two different pursuits.
  • A character cannot buy the same pursuit (i.e., the same group of three skills, by whatever name) within two purchases (e.g., a player could alternate three pursuits with all different skills but not two).

The first rule allows players to make an older, skilled character whose spirit has dimmed, or a younger character with a lot of potential. The second and third rules keep characters from becoming too specialized.

As an example, a player might make a 32 year old character with 4 pursuits purchased:

  • Diplomat
  • Fighter (at this point, the player can’t take any pursuit with one of the same skills as Diplomat)
  • Traveler (at this point, the player can’t take any pursuit with one of the same skills as Fighter, and can’t take Diplomat again yet)
  • Diplomat

If the character was originally a Noble Duelist, she would now have Acting +2, Bargain +2, Block +2, Convince +2, Dodge +1, Empathy +2, EVA +1, Fight +2, History +1, Intrigue +1, Linguistics +1, Poise +1, Provoke +1, Vigor +2, Warfare +1.

Stunts/Powers

The player can spend remaining Refresh, to a minimum of 1, to buy Stunts and Powers. There are no limits on age for these. For Powers, the player must have an Aspect that references the ability. Suggestions for Stunts and Powers include:

  • Melee
    • Riposte: Spin on Block gives +2 on followup Fight attacks instead of +1
    • Counter Parry: When using Fight, opponent’s Block is limited by Fight
    • Compound Attack: Can use shifts on successful Fight attack as bonus on next round’s attack (instead of dealing damage)
    • Feint: Opponent must defend against Fight attacks with lower of Dodge or Block
    • Florentine: Treat Block as +1 when using an offhand weapon
    • Pierce: Spend 1 Wyrd to treat opponent’s armor as 0 on successful hit
  • Martial Arts
    • Confuse Foe: Can make a Provoke attack against target’s Empathy; shifts on success are bonus on next round’s Fight attack
    • Rooting: Treat Block as +1 when you have not changed position for at least one round
    • Tornado Kick: Spend 1 Wyrd to make a Fight attack against multiple opponents within reach (compare one result vs. individual Block scores)
    • Iron Body: Can use spin on Block as damage dealt to unarmed attacker
    • Leaping Kick: Can roll Vigor instead of Fight for unarmed attack after a run up
    • Martial Hold: Can use Fight instead of Vigor to grapple
  • Psi
    • Far Hand: Use lesser of Psi and Provoke to move things at range; 1 Wyrd for major actions
    • Omen: Use lesser of Psi and Empathy to get visions of past or future; 1 Wyrd for major prophecies or postcognition
    • Psyche: Use lesser of Psi and Empathy to read minds; 1 Wyrd to attempt to insert thoughts or mind control
    • Sixth Sense: Use lesser of Psi and Empathy to read aura, see in the dark, etc.; 1 Wyrd for long-range clairvoyance
    • Soma: Use lesser of Psi and Vigor to provide minor physical bonuses; 1 Wyrd to heal self or shapeshift
    • Vis Craft: Use lesser of Psi and Provoke to sense or attack with electricity; 1 Wyrd for major actions
  • Theurgy
    • Blessing: Use lesser of Theurgy and Empathy to provide minor bonuses to skills; 1 Wyrd for long-term or several people
    • Healing: Use lesser of Theurgy and Physick to perform miraculous healing; 1 Wyrd for wounds beyond mundane healing
    • Censure: Use lesser of Theurgy and Convince to enact a geas on a subject; 1 Wyrd for long-term or extremely binding
    • Protection: Use lesser of Theurgy and Vigor to erect miraculous defenses; 1 Wyrd to ward large area or several people
    • Consecration: Use lesser of Theurgy and Convince to prepare/cleanse a space or object; 1 Wyrd for large areas or deep corruption
    • Revelation: Use lesser of Theurgy and Research to find details of target; 1 Wyrd for deep scans
  • Changed
    • Flyer: You have wings and can glide; if they are too obvious to hide, you can fly
    • Infiltrator: You release pheromones that give you a +2 to all Social skills against targets that can smell you
    • Metonym: You can adjust your muscles and tissues to alter your physical appearance within the scope of you weight and height
    • Survivor: You are virtually immune to diseases and poisons, can digest most organic compounds, and can hold your breath for an extremely long time
    • Attacker: You are always considered armed with a +1 damage weapon; if these weapons are too obvious to hide, you treat them as +3
    • Sneak: You have enhanced senses (can see in the dark, smell like a dog, etc.) and can adjust your skin color like a chameleon
    • Grimson: You are inhumanly large and have a higher wound threshold than most humans and +1 to contests where size would give you an advantage
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