Sunday, September 8, 2013

[FATE Accelerated] Spectral Seattle

I got together with friends X and R and ran an impromptu game of FATE Accelerated Edition. Since the game is all about running stuff fast and loose, I thought up a quick setting for the game.

I came up with Spectral Seattle: a mystical glimpse of Seattle, with ghosts and magic, hidden from most peoples' view, but full of danger, mystery and intrigue.

We cracked open FATE Accelerated Edition and got started making characters using the 30 second characters rule. The character generation process took more than 30 seconds but we still had time at the end to play a pretty good session, so it maybe took us an hour to make the characters.

Both R and X had to come up with two Aspects each, a High Concept and a Trouble. I helped each of them clarify their Aspects, which I think worked well.

X came up with "Supernatural comedian, looking to make a name for himself" as his High Concept and "In over my head" as his trouble.

R chose the High Concept "Ghost Hunter" and the Trouble "In Love with Kate (a Rival Ghost Hunter and my Bookie's Daughter)."

For their third Aspects, they chose physical objects, with R selecting "I have one of the first Tarot Decks" and X chosing "Bullwinkle Hat ("Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat, Rocky!" "Not again!")"

As none of us have played a Fate game before (though I own several, including the Dresden Files RPG), coming up with these Aspects proved to be a difficult process because I gave the barest of setting info–hey, I was making it all up on the fly! 

This took us the longest time since it was a new system for us. I'm sure that I could have tightened the character creation process if I had chosen to have more specific boundaries for the characters. 

We left the remaining Aspects blank for now and will get back to them during the game.

The next step was determining the Approaches for each character. 

X chose Careful: Average (+1), Clever: Fair (+2), Flashy: Good (+3), Forceful: Mediocre (+0), Quick: Fair (+2) and Sneaky: Average (+1).

R chose Careful: Mediocre (+0), Clever: Fair (+2), Flashy: Good (+3), Forceful: Average (+1), Quick: Fair (+2) and Sneaky: Average (+1).

While their approaches came out pretty similar, I don't think that'll be a problem during play.

We finished off the characters with a few stunts. I read aloud the formula for the first type of stunt, the +2 to an activity and we brainstormed a few. 

R proposed "Because I'm a Student of the Occult, I get a +2 when I Cleverly create advantages by discerning Supernatural phenomena." I thought that worked really well with his High Concept.

X came up with two stunts: "Because I am a skilled performer, I get a +2 when I do something Sneaky right in front of people." and "Because I know how to work an audience, once per game session I can recruit a volunteer to help me do something." The choice of adding a second stunt worked well when we got to playing.

I assigned each PC the standard 3 Refresh, 3 FATE Points and 3 Stress, along with the Mild (2), Moderate (4) and Severe (6) Consequences. I told them that we'd get into what that stuff meant when it came time to deal with a conflict.

They named their characters and talked a bit about their backgrounds. X's character is Jarvis Manhattan (I suspect it is a stage name) and he said Jarvis was in town doing a comedy show. R's PC is Jeremy Saga, a part-time Ghost Hunter who works at the Seattle Aquarium. I asked how Jeremy and Jarvis knew each other and they came up with the PCs having met at a ghost-hunting information club.

With some room to grow the characters in terms of Aspects and Stunts, we started the game. I'll give an account of that first session and full PC write-ups in the next few posts.


  1. Jarvis Manhattan and Jeremy Saga are awesome names! I also dig that stunt about being able to recruit a volunteer once per session. Very clever!

    Good to see you posting again!

  2. Hey Christian,

    Thanks. It's good to be back posting. I was re-reading FATE Accelerated Edition after spotting your posts on the game and wanted to try it out.

    My players did really well with a new system, even though defining Aspects proved to be the most difficult part of character creation.


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