RPM:Rules/Introduction and Worldbuilding
The Fate RPG is a dynamic and flexible roleplaying game built around proactive characters. Fate does not have a default setting to encourage all styles of play. We'll be building our own setting based on an agreed upon idea.
How Fate differs from Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, etc.
In d20 games, character creation and advancement are based on lists of premade items, such as classes, feats, and skills. You choose a race, then you choose a class, then you choose feats, and so on. Fate starts with your concept first. You'll figure out what you want to play from your imagination and then we'll work, collectively as a group, on creating what is needed to play that. That's right, we're creating, not choosing from lists, what you'll need for your character. This can be freeing or intimidating (or both!) for newcomers. Embrace your creativity and we'll have fun.
Another way that Fate differs is that it is expected that each group will modify how the game plays by changing dials, such as skill lists, number or power of stunts, etc, to fit the story or group's play style. The core engine of the game is solid but small, and learning to play it once allows you to play in any other Fate game after an introduction of where the group has the dials set.
- All of the rules are available at https://fate-srd.com/. (Fun fact, I am the owner of that site.)
- There are two "core" books
- Very brief mechanical overview of Fate: https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/17h3a2/a_mechanical_summary_of_fate_core/ ("FP" stands for Fate Point)
What you should know
- I would appreciate you reading all of Fate Accelerated (11 web pages).
- Read part 1 (or more) of this example of play that uses the Avengers movie.
- Read this short example of a social conflict between Spider-man and Aunt May.
Worldbuilding (1st session)
To start the campaign we'll be doing some world-building by playing the game Microscope. What is Microscope? A fractal role-playing game of epic histories. We will explore/build an epic history of our own creation all in a single session.
- We do game setup
- We play the game
- Set the big picture: The conflict between magic and intellect in a dangerous world. (This is for the Microscope game, not the campaign. For that see the original campaign description.
- Bookend history: Start—The rise of mystical power to protect the realm. End—The rocky road towards Enlightenment
- Palette–Add or Ban Ingredients: We will start with everyone listing something they want in the world or something they do not want in the world. This will repeat until someone abstains, where we finish the round.
Mandatory Palette requirements
- There will be many types of magic
- There will be supernatural monsters and threats
- There will be firearms and gunpowder
- There will be an external threat to "the realm", whatever that turns out to be, that magic, and then firearms, are used to protect against.
- At some point there will be a ruling class of magic-users called the Sorcier, and they will be overthrown during the Gunpowder Revolution
- There will be a group called the Royal Pride of Musketeers, whose job it is to address the ongoing threats from the Sorcier (and some of the supernatural external threats). The origins of this group is up to us in game play.
- Declare the Focus: The Lens (first player) decides the current focus. Each player will be the Lens once.
- Make History: Each player takes a turn and makes either a Period, Event or Dictated Scene. Start with the Lens and go around the table to the left. Lens is allowed to make two nested things (a Period with an Event inside it, or an Event with a Scene inside it).
- Lens Finishes the Focus: After each player has taken a turn, the Lens gets to go again and Make History one more time, again making two nested things if desired.
After the Focus concludes, we add a Legacy
- Choose a Legacy: Player to the right (previous player) of the current Lens picks something that appeared during this last Focus and makes it a Legacy.
- Explore a Legacy: The same player creates an Event or Dictated Scene that relates to one of the Legacies.
- New Lens: The player to the left of the Lens (next player) then becomes the new Lens and picks a new Focus (start again from step 1).
Before you start the next Focus, take a break. Talk about how the game is going, but don’t discuss what you want to have happen later. Keep your ideas to yourself.
- These are historical periods, such as "The Ten Years War" or "The Year Long Siege of Waterfallow"
- These are things that take place during a Period. "The Long Night the Orcs Attacked" or "The Queen's Twin Sons were born identical twins, save their eyes"
- A scene shows precisely what is happening in a moment to answer a question, through the eyes of a person or people.
- To create a scene, have a question that needs to be answered, decide where to put the scene and review what is already known, and lastly narrate what happens to answer the question. (In a typical game of Microscope there is the option to roleplaying a scene but for brevity that option has been removed.)
- Play can jump backwards and forwards in time, all across the history. To keep everyone playing the same game, the Lens picks a Focus, a unifying theme that ties the story together, at least until the next Lens picks a new one.
- The Focus can be anything: a person, a place, a thing, an institution, an Event, a Period, a concept–anything you want. The Lens can use something that already came up in play or make up something new on the spot. If you’re making something new, you’ll usually declare the Focus, then make a Period, Event or Scene to show what you’re talking about.
- WHEN IN DOUBT, Pick a small, concrete Focus, like a particular person or an incident, rather than a broad or vague one. The narrower the Focus, the more detailed and personal the history will be to play.
Questions to Seed the Game
- Are there other playable races besides human? If so, let's invent them.
- How big is the world we'll be concerning ourselves with? One kingdom, many kingdoms?
- How much magic is in the world?
- How much science/enlightenment?
- Is/are there religion(s)?
- What is the class system like?
- What factions are active?
- Are there any magical artifacts or items that influence the setting?
- Is there plumbing?
- Are there glass windows?