Sunset City Heroes

Summary and Explanation

A living community is a space for GMs and players to participate in games that take place within a shared setting.  Player characters who have never been in a game together might have heard about each other’s exploits and the events of one game may potentially have consequences in others if other GMs feel like pulling those story threads.

This living community focuses on superheroes, villains, and other comic book style stories – taking particularly shameless inspiration from My Hero Academia and One Punch Man.  Games are scheduled and played on discord, using Roll20 for dice rolls.  A microphone will be required for most games.  We use a minor variation of the Fate Accelerated rules, which can be found here. The details of how our version varies can be found in the Character Creation and Advancement section.

Although we will do our best to be friendly and answer any questions you have, if you ask a question that was answered in this document the first thing we’re going to do is refer you back to it.  That being said, if you feel something isn’t clear or merits additional explanation we will be happy to oblige.

It’s highly suggested that you turn on the document outline. You can do this under tools or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+A

Community Rules

Don’t Be a Jerk!
  1. No bigotry of any kind will be tolerated.

  2. Don’t threaten or harass others.

  3. Respect each others’ privacy. (Don’t post DM conversations or give out personal details/information about people without their permission.)

  4. If you see anyone violating these rules, ping or DM an Admin.  If you see an Admin violating these rules, ping or DM someone in Leadership.  If you see someone in Leadership violating these rules, either ping or DM the other Leadership person, or feel free to call us out on it.  We’re only human.

Content Guidelines
  1. Stay on topic.  Each channel’s topic has a description of that channel’s purpose.  When you inevitably stray off-topic, redirect the conversation to the appropriate channel. Staying in game chat to discuss the game is fine, but when it moves on to non-session related chatter, please shift to the appropriate voice channel.

  2. Don’t spam.  This obviously includes all of the text channels, but if you’ve figured out a way to spam the voice channels, don’t do it there either.  When posting links in general, etc. provide some context or an idea of what the link is.  Try not to post and ghost.

  3. Keep Discussions Civil. Whether discussing politics, dubs vs. subs, or what counts as a sandwich. Don’t allow your arguments to become disruptive, and if an Admin asks you to stop, stop.

  4. Don’t be overly explicit. For example, posting things like excessive violence, gratuitous nudity, etc. This applies to all communications, including text and voice content. Don’t post explicit content outside the #nsfw channel.

  5. Use content warning tags where appropriate. For example, things like body horror, gore, etc.  If you’re unsure if linked content would merit a tag, err on the side of caution. (Put <brackets> around such links to keep them from previewing in discord.)

  6. Don’t post spoilers. This includes recent media, but also be respectful of people who ask you not to spoil older things.  Just because FFVII came out in 1997, doesn’t mean everyone knows [redacted] dies.

  7. Don’t post illegal materials. This includes links to said materials, or instructions on how to find said materials.  This includes things like pirated music/comics/tv shows.

  8. Don’t advertise. If you’d like permission to post an external game, event, or community please ask an admin.

Game Conduct Guidelines
  1. Consider the fun of others at the table.  In other words, don’t hog the spotlight, don’t be a rules lawyer, don’t try boss the other players or GM around, etc.

  2. Please give advance cancellation/delay notice. This is for both GMs and Players.  GMs should notify the players they’ve chosen for a game at least an hour in advance of the game’s start time.

  3. We use the X-Card. Mature topics and storylines are allowed in-game, but we use the X-Card to give everyone at the table an easy out of scenes they find uncomfortable.  Basically, if someone wants to stop a scene, it stops.  They don’t have an obligation to explain why. (Some people may find the X-Card’s implementation problematic.  If this is the case for you, PM the admins and we’ll do our best to find a solution that works for you.)

  4. Get permission before using someone else’s assets.  This includes PCs, NPCs, Locations, Organizations, etc. This isn’t the case for assets marked as Public on the wiki, though note that those have their own set of rules.

  5. Read the documentation. Just like you’re already doing if you’re reading this. Good on you! If you have questions about the community or Fate, check the FAE SRD before asking the mods.

  6. Did you read the documentation though? If you have a question about the community or Fate, please check this document or the fate srd before asking.  If you have questions about a specific discord channel, check channel info in #rules-and-info.  An explanation has likely been included there.

Text RP Conduct Guidelines
  1. You are only permitted to play your PC in text rp rooms. This means that playing characters from the villain and NPC docs is strictly forbidden.

  2. Prop NPCs may be used to facilitate the scene. A prop NPC is either a character who exists to facilitate RP without really, extensively participating in it – such as anonymous citizens, criminals, and servicepeople, etc. – or a character whose existence serves as a lense through which to explore a PC’s personality or place in the world – such as family members, friends, rivals, etc.

  3. Only play one PC per text RP room.  Don’t bring multiple PCs to a scene.

  4. A PC should only be in one text RP room at a time.  This is to prevent one or two people from taking all the text rp channels by running multiple scenes.

  5. When talking on Heronet, minimize interactions between your characters.  Having them make passing comments about each other every once in awhile is fine, but having them step in to support each other’s opinions or tear down another character is disallowed.

  6. Share Hero Net.  While we enjoy the drama that can go on in HeroNet, if two or three characters are dominating the chat with a disruptive argument, they may be asked to move it to a text rp room or the DMs channel so as not to crowd the chatroom.

  7. Text RP is for developing PC relationships.  It’s not for advancing plots.  If a GM wishes to include HeroNet or a Text-RP room as a necessary part of a lead up to the game, please clear it with the Admins or Leadership first.

Setting Information

The World

Roughly a century ago, people all over the world began exhibiting mysterious abilities or gaining unusual traits.  Everything from super strength to night vision to perfumed sweat.  Though initially – and predictably – people were afraid of and prejudiced toward those with abilities.  However, as more of the population developed them, they first became more accepted and then became the norm.  These days, it’s very rare to encounter someone who doesn’t have some power or other, though obviously some are more useful than others.

Most likely because a lot of people probably felt silly talking about “superpowers,” they’re colloquially referred to as Talents.  Though not without a certain amount of humorous derision for the perfumed sweaters of the world.

In the early days, those with powerful Talents and ill intentions were near unstoppable by conventional law enforcement.  Their criminal sprees were hampered only by the selfless action of vigilantes with Talents on a similar scale.  Whether it took the form of organized groups of criminals out to turn a profit or lone agents using their Talents to take advantage of others, the number of villains only ever seemed to increase and so too did the need for these so-called heroes.

Over time, the relationship between law enforcement and heroes was codified and is now accepted in much of the world.  In our particular part of the world, heroism is administered by the Heroes Union International, or HUI.  Affectionately known as Hewey.  Although it’s technically legal for certified heroes to act independently of a union, it’s rare due to the multitude of benefits they provide. Benefits like: mission logistics, leverage for negotiating an employment contract with the city, equipment licenses and easy access to vendors, patrol coordination, and networking opportunities with other heroes; just to name a few.

Though most heroes operate in relative obscurity, a lucky few have managed to capture the public’s attention.  Some of these iconic heroes wear the mantle of their celebrity with more poise than others, but none are in danger of fading from the limelight any time soon.  It seems the world’s fascination with heroes – and of course their villainous counterparts – is just beginning.  A few of these iconic heroes are detailed in this NPC document.

Talent Categories

Talents can be Intrinsic (the character is always doing it) or Active (the character actively and voluntarily does something)

Unmanifested – People who have no known Talent. While Talents may manifest at any point in someone’s life, it is extraordinarily rare for one to manifest after puberty. People who have not manifested and are over the age of 16 make up less than 1% of the population. Example: El Caballero de las Flores

Manipulation – Talents that manipulate currently existing structures or things within the world. (Redirecting the air or telekinesis) Example: Edge and Heap

Imbuement – Talents that radically change objects or add additional properties to objects.  Example: Thundersmith and Mislead

Creation – Talents that create new structures or forces within the world. (Creating Fire from nothing.) Example: Inkling and Facet.

Illusion – Talents that alter the sensory perception of others. Example: Crescent Silhouette and Cassandra.

Sensory – Talents that allow the perception of otherwise imperceptible things. Example: Judge.

Enhancement – Talents that enhance the user’s body or mind, like super-strength. Example: Randy King and The Cosmoteer

Transformation (Partial / Total) – Talents that allow a user to change their body or mind, either partially or completely. Example: Wraith and Sock Hopper

Composite Physiology – Talents that alter physiology in a variety of ways that seemingly have little connection to each other.  If there is a strong theme to the changes, it likely belongs in Physiological Embodiment.  If a Talent causes physical changes as part of its function it isn’t automatically Composite Physiology.  It would only be composite Physiology if the changes are seemingly unrelated. There tends to be one major change with one or two minor, mostly cosmetic, changes. Example: Battle Bunny

Physiological Embodiment (Partial / Total) – Talents that alter the user’s body to either partially or totally incorporate traits of something non-human.  For example, someone with physiological traits that make them frog-like, or someone whose entire body is made from plastic. Example: Inumune and Sucrose

Talent Hazard Classifications

The following is a summary of Talent hazard classifications as they’re used in-universe.  It should be noted that hazard classification doesn’t actually relate to how powerful the character in question is.  For example, Acedia – one of if not the most powerful character in the setting – has a hazard classification of C because her Talent is inherently dangerous to her, but is otherwise under control.  Meanwhile, LaughTrack – who isn’t really regarded as being particularly strong under most circumstances – has a hazard classification of S due to the fact that his music could disrupt an entire city if played loud enough or broadcast over television.

Hazard Classification Codes

X – Talents that either vary in power and danger or Talents that can’t be properly quantified.

S – Talents that can disrupt the rule of law or are comparable to a natural disaster.

A – Talents that can control others’ minds, Talents that are explicitly dangerous to those around them at all times, Talents that cause significant collateral damage with their use to infrastructure, buildings, objects, or groups of people.

B – Talents that are uncontrollable by their nature and can endanger those around them. Talents that can invade privacy of others’ minds or personal information. Talents that can influence others but don’t explicitly control them. Talents that are inherently dangerous to individuals around the user with its use.

C – Talents that are difficult to control but otherwise undisruptive. Talents that can cause significant collateral damage if used maliciously. Talents that are inherently dangerous to the user.

D – Talents that are easily controlled by the user but present little to no threat to those around them unless used in a malicious way.

E – People who have not manifested a Talent or have Talents that are inherently incapable of harming others.

Procedures for Hazard Containment and Evacuation

X (A-S) Containment – Talents given the “X” classification are granted specific and special oversight. Xs with the potential create S or A threats are given a specific government operative to ensure the care of the person with the Talent. This government operative is in charge of ensuring the person with the Talent attends regular psychiatric and physical health checkups paid for by the government. The goal of containment is to ensure the person with the Talent avoids using it or is trained very well in its use. This is a lifelong plan.

X (E-B) Containment – Talents given the “X” classification but fall below a potential S or A threat are monitored for five years after their Talent develops. Training is provided to make sure the person with the Talent will only use it in a safe manner. Monitoring includes semi-annual checkups with a medical and psychological health professional as well as reports for the guardian to write about surprising developments from the Talent.

X Evacuation – Whenever an X Talent is announced, an addendum will be added with known information on how the Talent is being used and a personalized evacuation message will be delivered. For usages under B, the Talent will get the generic Hazard Warning message.

S Containment – All noted S Hazard Classified Talents are treated as national security risks. The information on S class Talents are well hidden and the privacy, knowledge, and existence of S Hazard Class Talents isn’t to be made known to the public unless the user has performed previous criminal acts. This is to avoid persecution, vilification, and panic.

People who possess an S Hazard Talent are often discovered late in their teens and are upgraded from an A. Their specialized agent from the A class Talent is kept with them, and specific medical professionals are trained to provide for the health of the user when such powerful Talents are used.

S Evacuation – All S class Talents have a personalized evacuation and preparedness message at the ready to be broadcasted.

A Containment – All A Hazard Classified Talents are given a specific operative who is to check in on the wellness of the person who possesses the Talent every other week. Their information is to be kept private unless absolutely required to be let into the public. This is to avoid vilification, persecution, and panic.

People with A class Talents are given a prolonged training course and are monitored throughout their lives to make sure they, at no point, they feel they ever need to resort to crime.

Talents that explicitly incredibly dangerous to those around them are provided with accommodations to keep them from harming others, though the nature of these accommodations is usually personalized.

A Evacuation – Each A Class Hazard has a customized evacuation and preparedness message.

B Containment – B class Talents are monitored by the government for five years after the Talent surfaces. They are trained to make sure the user will not come to harm nor accidentally harm others and taught the repercussions of the Talent and its usage. Annual checkups to ensure the health of the person and those around them happen after the five year monitoring period.

B Evacuation – A general advisory to avoid the specific area is given, and a reminder that heroes are inbound is broadcasted to keep those in public safe.

C Containment – C class Talents are monitored for a year after their discovery. Simple training to make sure the Talent will not negatively affect the users life is given. Checkups on mental and physical health are done every decade.

D Containment – There is no provided containment for D class Talents.

C-E Evacuation – A general advisory warning to avoid the location is broadcasted through normal news media.

Sunset City

The games in this community mostly occur in a coastal metropolis known as Sunset City.  Due to its unique geographical location, the selection of environments in the wilderness surrounding the city is surprisingly diverse.  In addition to the coastal location of the city itself, driving a few hours in one direction might find one in a swamp or a forest, while a few more in another might bring one to a mountain or desert.

  A table with some detail on the city’s boroughs and a rough map of the city itself are provided below.  Please note that the aspects listed represent a very broad-strokes view of the area.  Since a borough is so large, accurately representing the whole thing with any granularity isn’t really possible – or a thing anyone would really be interested in.

Borough Name

High Concept

Trouble

Aspect

Eclipse

Shady Part of Town

Organized Crime

Red Light District

Midnight

Nightlife and Excess

Exclusive

Gentrified

Morningside

The ‘Burbs

Insular

Sprawling

Periapsis aka Hades

Eking Out a Living

Overlooked

Melting Pot

Solstice Island

Wealth and Power

Segregated

Well-Patrolled

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NPCs and Villains.

Aside from the multitude of ordinary people just going about their lives, heroes can expect to meet a number of unique personalities over the course of their exploits.  The shorthand for such individuals is NPCs or Non-Player Characters.  While GMs are entirely free to create their own characters for their games, in order to facilitate the feeling of a shared universe a collection of NPCs has been provided here.

Similar to the NPCs, we have a collection of villains graciously provided by the community’s GMs.  They can be found here.  Each villain has appeared in a game at least once, and we track their current status (basically whether they are in-custody or at-large).  Regardless of said status, GMs are free to use any villains they want.  In classic comic book tradition, it’s fairly trivial to escape prison when the plot demands it.

Player Character Guidelines

The Hero’s Oath

The following is the oath that new heroes swear as part of their licensing process.  If the character you’re considering can’t honestly say the words and at least intend to live by them, then you’ll need to reconsider certain aspects of the character.  That said, nobody is perfect.

I stake my reputation, my status, and my integrity on fulfilling this vow:

I will respect the trail my heroic forebears blazed to guide my sense of justice, and I will blaze a trail to guide those who serve when I am gone.

I will try, as hard as I can, to save every life in need of saving, and to never let apathy cloud my view.

I will strive to remember that being a hero is more than just fighting dangerous villains; it's being a role-model to those in need of one.

I will not be ashamed to ask others for help, as a real hero can forego their pride to serve the public good.

I will encourage justice in all walks of life and will never let my greed get the best of me.

I will protect all people equally, regardless of what brings them to the present day.

I will remember that to protect others, I must also care for myself, and will make efforts to ensure my own health.

I will act as an equal member of society, as no amount of heroics can negate any harm I may do.

If I follow this vow, may I live the life of a hero, true and happy with the people knowing I will protect them as I know they will respect me and never fear me.

Guidelines

  • Be a Hero.

    • Sometimes villains may be killed, though the decision should carry significant moral weight. Whatever kind of character you would like to make, keep in mind that it's a group setting with multiple GMs and a variety of players.  It's your responsibility to make sure that your character’s participation alongside heroes makes sense.

  • Darker themes need extra consideration.

    • The reformed villain is a popular trope within superhero media, and it can be a very appealing character concept to pursue. It is very important that the setting remains full of heroic characters through and through so as not to be disruptive to games or internal consistency. 

    • Characters with villainous pasts should be exceptionally rare, and this will be taken into account during the approval process. Please don’t submit your first character with a reformed criminal trope.

  • Characters should be street-level.

    • When we say “street-level” we mean that the scale of events your character can handle alone should be small.  Think single rooms at a time, not whole blocks or buildings.

    • A good rule of thumb is that several people pointing guns at you should be a situation in which your life is genuinely threatened.  There are some exceptions (people with slime physiology, intangible characters, etc) but in general it’s a decent guideline.

    • Street-level applies to other aspects of a character beyond their superpower.When describing your character’s off-screen exploits or background, keep the street-level guidelines in mind.  It’s fine to be an accomplished martial artist.  It’s not fine to say you are the undefeated world-champion.  It’s fine to own a small company or have inherited some wealth, it’s not fine to be a billionaire.

    • For example, Daredevil is a good example of a street-level character.  Batman is an example of someone who isn’t but appears to be at first pass.  Superman is an example of someone who isn’t, full stop.

  • Each character has one and only one Talent.

    • It can be versatile and broadly applicable, but at its core it's just one thing.  For example, someone who has cat-like physiology might have claws, heightened night vision etc. and that’s fine.  But someone who has unrelated abilities like flight, super speed, and heightened strength would be disallowed unless they had some underlying, more specific Talent that produced all those effects.

    • Required secondary powers should be kept to the bare minimum for a character to not inherently kill themselves with their own Talent.  For example, a character with super strength needs extra durability to not tear themselves apart.  However, a character with super speed doesn’t need super mental processing or the ability to defy the laws of physics with hairpin turns.  They just need to be careful not to run into walls..

    • Composite physiology doesn’t give you narrative license to make a character with multiple Talents.

    • Technology and/or Talent-based modifications made as part of your character’s backstory doesn’t give you narrative license to have what amounts to multiple talents.

  • A Talent is an inborn part of the character.

    • You do not gain a Talent from radioactive waste, genetic experimentation, or a lightning bolt striking you. They just sort of happen, and the cause of Talents is left purposefully ambiguous.

    • Talents cannot be passed on. While My Hero Academia is a strong source of inspiration for this setting, One for All wouldn’t work.

  • Create a Talent with the community format in mind.

    • Be specific. In general, Talents are allowed to be stronger the more limited they are in application.  For example, hard light projections would probably need to be weaker or more limited than the ability to manipulate a specific kind of material like silk or stone.

    • Think of the drawbacks your Talent might have. Having super strength means you likely struggle with handling everyday objects.

    • Consider other people who may have a similar Talent (as is likely to be the case with common powers like super strength, telekinesis, etc.) While it may be unlikely you end up in the same session as someone else with a very similar Talent, it’s important to know that it could happen. Neither player should completely overshadow the other.

      • As an example on the previous point, imagine your Talent is that you can speed up time for anything you touch, including yourself.  Now consider someone whose Talent is super speed.  Ask yourself, what thing can they do that I can’t?  In this instance the answer is nothing.  You can do everything they can and more.  So you would need to consider additional limitations or other changes.

    • Make sure your character is distinct. There’s room for characters to have similar Talents, personalities, and back stories, but please be aware that there are many other characters on the server.

  • Minimize The Impact of Super-Science on the Setting.

    • Your character can be a scientist, but unless they have a talent that allows it, they’re limited to present-day technology.  Things like genetic engineering, 3D printing, etc.  As with all skills and knowledge, there should be an in-universe explanation for how they acquired them.  Unless they have a super-intelligence talent (or similar), they don’t get to be an accomplished engineer at 10.

    • Super-Science, on the other hand, is the catch-all term for technologies created by people with super-intelligence (or a similar Talent). As a general rule, things created with super-science are:

      • Physically possible. Super Science should extrapolate current technologies, not create new ones. No lasers that impart kinetic force.  Nothing that lets someone travel faster than the speed of light. Etc.

      • Difficult or impossible to use for people other than the original creator (if suitably complex). The devices are one-off creations custom-made to function for someone with a specific kind of super-intelligence.  Unless they have a similar talent (or the device is designed to be user-friendly,) someone else trying to use it should be like someone from the middle ages trying to use a smart-phone.

      • Unable to trivially mimic meta-talents. To the extent that it is possible to change the function of a talent, it must be done by making physical (likely surgical) alterations to the person.  The results would be imprecise at best.

    • Some examples of allowable devices might be magnet guns, freeze guns that shoot a super-cooled liquid, one-off artificial intelligences, or an “invisibility” cloak that bends light imperfectly, mechs of a reasonable size and complexity.  Examples of things that wouldn’t be allowed are impenetrable force-fields, teleportation devices, hard light constructs, or fucking nanomachines (son).

    • Super Science is not meant to take the place of magic.  Anything created with super science (or just regular science) has limitations and restrictions that PCs can meaningfully interact with and potentially exploit.

  • Avoid these things.  Or else.  I’m serious.

    • A short, non-comprehensive list of things that aren’t real.

      • Ghosts

      • Magic

      • Aliens

      • Cryptids that aren’t just animals with weird talents

      • Gods (regardless of what your character believes)

      • Alternate dimensions

      • Any other supernatural thing

    • Time-travel is flat-out banned.  Stopping or slowing time are fine, but causes have to precede effects.  While free will might be an illusion, you still can’t see into the future.

    • Talents that effect the dead cannot truly bring them back.  True resurrection is impossible.  They will either be a facsimile of life or a different person than the original (missing memories or with some altered part of their personality)

    • Anything made with Creation Talents doesn’t last; breaking down or disappearing eventually.  

  • Meta-Talents Are Weird.

    • A Meta-Talent is a Talent that affects other Talents.  For example, Talents that can swap, boost, or nullify other people’s Talents.

    • Meta-Talents can’t create new Talents and using someone else’s Talent requires a part of that person.

    • There are some Meta-Talents that can temporarily access multiple Talents at once or change people’s Talents. These are always only temporary in some way.

    • Talents cannot be passed on. We know we’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. While My Hero Academia is a strong source of inspiration for this setting, One for All wouldn’t work.

    • Meta-Talents can’t permanently rid someone of their Talent.

    • When considering a Meta-Talent, it is even more important to consider how it will interact with others at the table

If you’d like sources of inspiration for powers or character archetypes, you can check the sample characters linked below, the NPCs linked elsewhere in this document, or – if you’re feeling adventurous – the random page button on the superpower wiki.  If you’re looking for inspiration and want to watch amazing anime series, check out My Hero Academia and/or One Punch Man.

If you’re new to FATE and FAE and would like to see the concepts in action, check out the Example of Play linked at the end of the character creation chapter.

Character Creation and Advancement

Character Creation

We use google docs to store and share the sheets.  Here is a character sheet template.  To copy it, make sure you’re signed into a google account, then click file, then make a copy.  Enter a name for the copied sheet and it will be in your own google docs homepage.

Characters start at level 0, having one approach with +3, two with +2 and two at +1 and one at +0.  They have a High Concept, Trouble, and a single Aspect.  They begin with 4 Refresh, and are free to spend as much as they want on stunts, provided they never go below 1 refresh.  Characters level up based on the number of games they participate in, as detailed in the table below.  The level cap is 10.

Additionally, you get one complete remake of your character any time before their third session.  Meaning that, as long as you have played that character in two or fewer games, you have one opportunity to go in and change anything you want about the character regardless of milestone restrictions or the character’s own established canon.  Just make sure you get an Admin to look at the new version of the character and re-approve it.

Once your character is finished, put their info in the Hero Registry using this submission form..  An admin or someone in Leadership will look it over when they get a chance and either change its status to approved, or let you know what needs work.  Ordinarily this doesn’t take much longer than a day or two, but sometimes it can take several.  Please be patient.

If you already have an approved character, please wait at least two weeks after submitting a character to submit another one.  This doesn’t apply to character revisions.

Once your character has been approved, record any games you play in or GM on your character sheet along with a short summary of the game’s events.  Include your ending FATE points, any changes you made to the character as a result of your milestones or leveling up and – if GMing – who the players were and which characters they brought.

Character Advancement

Your character gains the following benefits by leveling up:

Level

Sessions to Next Level

Total Sessions

Approach Points

Approach Cap

Refresh

Aspects

0

3

0

Initial

+3

4

Initial

1

3

3

+1

+3

+1

2

3

6

+3

+1

3

3

9

+1

+3

4

5

12

+3

+1

+1

5

5

17

+1

+4

6

5

22

+4

+1

+1

7

7

27

+1

+4

8

7

34

+5

+1

9

7

41

+1

+5

+1

10

48

+5

+1

Milestones

Since characters are participating in largely self-contained sessions run by different GMs, milestones are tracked per session rather than by story events.  That comes with a few changes as outlined below:

  • The end of each session is a minor milestone.  Otherwise refer to the chart above.

  • If the chart gives you a new point of refresh, you can spend it on a new stunt right away if you want (in addition to the minor milestone choice Fate outlines.)

  • When your refresh changes make sure that your current fate point total is changed by the same amount (if above refresh.)

  • For the purposes of buying stunts during milestones, stunts that cost multiple refresh are treated as one stunt still.

  • Consequences clear based on the number of sessions since they were received (end of the next session for Moderate and after three sessions for Severe) rather than via milestones.

  • High Concepts can be changed when narratively appropriate, though you’ll need to run the change by an admin for approval.

Extreme Consequences

We allow people to take extreme consequences, which absorb 8 shifts and replace an existing aspect other than the high concept.  Keep in mind that an extreme consequence should represent a significant, impactful, and lasting change for a character.  The classic example would be Luke losing his hand in Star Wars.

You can rename an extreme consequence after three sessions to represent no longer being vulnerable to the worst of it, but it should still reflect that the character has changed as a result of it.  For example, Luke’s hand being removed would be renamed to “Cybernetic Hand.”

You can’t take another extreme consequence while you have another one waiting to be renamed.

Initiative

Rather than using the standard initiative, we are using popcorn initiative.  It’s a variation in which the first person in the first exchange of an encounter is decided based on what makes logical sense for the situation. (So the bruiser declaring he is leaping into combat fists swinging is likely going to go before the tactician saying they are hanging back to observe and plan)  Once their turn is resolved, they then choose the next person to act – keeping in mind that everyone still only gets one turn per initiative round.  Then the process repeats with the next person choosing who comes after them and so on until everyone has had a turn.  Then that round of initiative ends and the last person to act in the previous round chooses the first person who acts in the new round.

Stunt Types

Within our community, we’re establishing and defining Stunts under broad categories. Stunts can be complicated and hard to figure out. If you’re not sure what to do with your Stunts, please feel free to ask!  Please note that these are just examples to get you started – Stunts can do almost anything (within reason) and there’s a lot of room to get creative with them. Just ask in #workshop!

If you’re new to Fate, we strongly recommend you don’t take any Stunts to start with. They’re situational by design, and they cost Fate Points to purchase – which are always useful to have. It’s suggested that you play your first few sessions without any Stunts, and look at what your character tends to do frequently. If it comes up often, it’s likely worth taking a Stunt around!

Approach Improvement Stunts are Stunts that give a +2 to a specific approach used for a specific action type when a specific condition is met. These can be somewhat broad, but there must be a caveat that makes it so they can’t be applied all the time.

Example: Because she’s well-practiced with it, Sleepy Sniper get a +2 to Carefully Attack with her tranquilizer dart rifle. 

Once Per Session Stunts are Stunts that a character can take to either make something true, do something cool, or ignore the rules in some way. 

Example 1:  Because Mike rocks an invisible utility belt, once per session he can Create an Advantage related to a small item carried within it (multi-tool, pocket sand, etc.) with a free Invoke. This doesn't take his Action.

Example 2: Because his regenerative body is capable of withstanding significant damage, once per session Zomboy can treat a failed Defense roll as a Tie instead.

Once Per Scene Stunts are very similar to Once Per Session Stunts, but less powerful. They’re typically about on par with the value of spending a Fate Point.

Example: Because Fortuna cares deeply about his allies, once per scene he can Invoke Fate's Fool on behalf of someone else (but not himself) without spending a Fate Point.

Boost Stunts are simple Stunts that allow a character to turn a Boost into a full Aspect whenever specific circumstances are met. Because Boosts have to be used at the first available opportunity and don’t stick around, this gives much more narrative license. 

Example: Because their body is made of dazzling lights, whenever Strobe Succeeds with Style on a Flashy Defense, they can create the Aspect “Blinded” on their opponent with one free Invoke instead of creating a Boost.

Example of Play

Training Day – In which Teuthida and Mercury face off against Machinehead.  While most games in the community are voice-based, this text-based example is still potentially helpful if you’ve never played FATE or FAE before and would like to see the concepts in action.  It’s also fairly entertaining.

Joining and Running Games

Private vs. Public Games

Most games in the community are public, meaning that they are posted in the #game-scheduling channel for anyone to sign up for and – as stipulated below – must be posted in advance so people have time to see it and sign up.  Private games are set up with specific players in mind, and aren’t open for public sign-up, and thus don’t have a required time buffer.  In both cases, the game must either be run by an approved GM, or an Admin or someone from Leadership must be sitting in on the game.  Additionally, both game types are counted for the purposes of character progression.

Joining Games

In order to join a game, all you have to do is add a thumbs-up reaction to a game listing in the #game-scheduling channel.  This indicates your interest in the game and your availability for the timeslot.  When GMs select players from those who have left reactions, they will let the ones they’ve chosen know at least an hour in advance of the game’s start time.  There are two game channels: Open and Closed.  Open games are ones that allow people to sit in and spectate – though spectators must have their mics muted.  Closed Games is limited to six people, just the GM and up to five players.  If you are joining a game and don’t want spectators, message the GM and they will tell everyone to move to the proper channel.

Running Games

Check out the GM Handbook.

Anyone who wants to is allowed to GM.  All you have to do is get in touch with either an admin or someone in leadership (preferably by @Admin in general chat)  They will help schedule and then post your game in the #game-scheduling channel and then sit in on the first game you run.  After that, if they approve you, you’ll be given the Gamemaster rank and be allowed to schedule your own games.

When you GM a game you may record it as a game played for any of your characters you wish; counting it towards their advancement.  Once a game is recorded for a character, it can’t be transferred to another character, even if the original character is retired.  If you would rather not apply GM’d games toward character advancement, just make sure you record a short write-up of the game elsewhere.

GMs are strongly encouraged to use content warnings for games when they feel it’s appropriate.  As a good rule of thumb: if there is any question in your mind at all about if you need content warnings for your game, use them.  It takes virtually no time and might spare someone having to relive a traumatic experience.  And no it doesn’t matter that a content warning might spoil your game.  People’s comfort is more important than avoiding spoilers.

Setting up a Roll20 table

Here is a comprehensive guide for setting up roll20 for FAE, along with links to other helpful tutorials.  GMs are free to format their table however they want, but in the interest of simplicity, here is a brief outline for one way to do it.  If you need more specific directions for any of the steps, you can find them on the roll20 wiki.

Before we get started, here is a list of the resources provided for this guide:

Setting up the play mat:  While creating your game, make sure you set the campaign’s character sheet to Fate Accelerated.  Once in the game, on the main toolbar on the left of the page, hover your cursor over the cube.  In the popout menu, click on map and background, and drag a saved copy of this play mat image.  You may need to resize it, but it’s scaled so that it will fit roll20’s default 25×25 page size.  After you’ve done that go to the page toolbar (the blue page icon at the top), click on the settings for the start page and disable the grid.  Save the change, then exit the settings and the page toolbar.  Now you have convenient spaces to record information about the PCs and the current scene using roll20’s built-in text and drawing tools.  Before continuing with the guide, make sure you navigate back to the token layer.  To do so, put your cursor over icon that looks like a google maps pin, and click on the cube in the popout menu.

Next we’re setting up a way to track fate points.  We’re going to cover two options; an infinite deck of cards and movable tokens.

Fate Point deck:  Start by going to the icon in the upper right that looks like three bulleted lines (above the chat window.) There go to decks and click on the add button.  Click on the New Deck and change the name to Fate Points if you want to.  In the same menu, scroll down until it says “Cards” and you see the add card button.  Click on the new card (again, you can change its name if you want to.)  Drag a saved copy of this blank fate point image into the field to upload it and click save.  Next scroll down and use the same image for the card backing (You can avoid uploading the image twice by clicking on the icon that looks like a landscape in the upper right area above the chat window, clicking on my library, and dragging the image from there.)  Make sure that the boxes allowing players to see and draw from the deck are checked, as well as the one that says “cards in deck are infinite?”  Click save and exit the deck menu.  Click show deck.  Mouse over the deck where it shows up and make sure you click shuffle.  Now you can track fate points by dealing and returning cards.

Movable Fate Point tokens:  To start with, go to the icon that looks like a newspaper above the chat window.  Click the add button and then click character.  In the menu that comes up, change the character’s name to Fate Point.  Click on the fields below “In Player’s Journals” and “Can be Edited and Controlled By” and make sure they are both set to All Players.  Click save, then minimize or exit the character window.  Next, drag a saved copy of this fate point image anywhere on the game table.  Resize it until it’s at a size you find convenient (on the smaller side is probably better, since there will wind up being a lot of them by the end of it. (When resizing, you can hold Alt to make sure it keeps the same height/width ratio!) With the image selected, click on the bubble with the gear in it that shows up.  In the menu that shows up, click on the dropdown menu titled “Represents Character” and choose Fate Point.  Click on save changes and go back to the Fate Point character sheet we created earlier.  At the top of the sheet, go to the bio and info tab, and click edit.  We’re back in the menu where you changed the name and set the permissions before.  With the fate point token you just made still selected, click on the button that says “Use Selected Token”.  Then click save changes.  Now, from the journal tab (the newspaper icon) you can drag the Fate Point character you just made out onto the table and it will spawn a copy of the token.  Drag out as many as you need, and you’re ready to go.

Finally, we’re going to set up a generic roll macro and make it available to players to put into their macro bar.

Generic Roll Macro:  Start by clicking on the three bulleted lines icon above the chat window.  In that menu, click on the add button at the top next to where it says Macros.  This will bring up a window to edit the new macro.  Name it whatever you like, and then copy and paste the following into the text field labeled Actions:  /roll 4df+?{Modifier|0}  Then, in the field labeled Visible to Players, set it to all players.  Click save changes and your macro is ready to go.  Make sure the box next to it labeled “In Bar” and the box below labeled “Show macro quick bar” are both checked, and that your players do the same if they want to use the macro.

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