Fate - Character Creation Tweaks

February 09, 2017 // Tagged in: FATE, RPG, Custom Rules

I'm currently working on some FATE RPG things and shall keep my workings, pondering and meandering here.

Creating Good Characters

Goal

What's your character attempting to achieve in life, what's their end goal. It should be hard to achieve but possible, though maybe unlikely. Think about what you'd want to be able to achieve in a similar situation, time period and setting.

Some examples.

A goal needs to work for the setting and importantly the other players in a party, there's little point in deciding mutually exclusive goals unless there is a plan for conflict between players, so having one player who "wants to protect the kingdom against the demon hoards" and a player who "wants to see the kingdom burn" likely wouldn't lead to a great play experience.

Try to pick ones that work well with each other, if for example you're joining a mercenary company one person could have the goal "I want to bring down the Empire of Tau", another could be "I want to create the greatest weapons science has ever seen" and a third could be "I want to run this outfit", they all naturally pull in the same direction with opportunity for modest conflict, what if the Empire of Tau tries to hire the mercenaries?

A goal should make a player drive their character forward into adventure, schemes and, conflict. A character that "wants to stay at home and drink" isn't going to drive the story forward and is likely to be a simple victim of fate, funny maybe to watch their trials but possibly not much fun to play.

High Concept

We know what you want but who are you and what can you do, this is the high concept as per the standard FATE rules, it can be as simple as the title of a job, or more detailed. Again ashort sentence will do, however try to use it in a longer sentence with your goal.

Now that's a bit dull, so let us work at putting a bit more heart into it. Again you should discuss with your team mates what would go well together, it’s no use if you’re going to be flying a space ship and all of you being ace pilots or joining the king’s army against the demon lord and all being thieves. Of course you can make it work in situations, you could play a heavy magic game where all the characters are powerful magic users except of different schools and demeanours.

Trouble

Now we have some more depth to the characters, we should look at their trouble. It's nice if it can fit in with the rest of the sentence.