3/20/2013

An Exercise Worth Trying

Fate Core is coming.  I saw over on Reddit/RPG/ that some folks had made Fate Core (made by Evil Hat) style Facebook cover images.  I've statted myself out in Fate before (under the Strands of Fate system), but I think it could be fun to do it again as it's been a couple years and I'd like to put up a character sheet as a cover photo on Facebook.  So let's go through the steps of character creation to do just that.

First is the obvious one!  I need a name, but since I already have one, this is easy!
Name: Keith

Next up is the High Concept. That's "who I am."  In past Fate games I've played characters such as "Captain Eyepatch," "Heavy Metal Emissary of the Phoenix," "Overconfident Kid," "Tough-as-Nails Biker Grrl," and "Steampunk Suit-wearing Inventor."  For myself, I think I should highlight my job and my aspirations.  My job is as a program manager at a group home and my aspiration is to be a writer.  So I need to play with those a bit because they're not dynamic yet and don't flow together.  (Dynamic, in this instance means I need to be able to invoke it, calling upon the descriptor for a bonus to one of my rolls.)  For "writer" I like the term "hard-writing" for the pun and the fact that it sounds "active" and therefore easier to invoke. For the program manager position, the first couple things that come to mind are "program manager" or "group home manager."  Honestly not very dynamic sounding.  And "program manager" isn't very immediately descriptive.  However, I have a backup plan.  In a staff meeting last month, I jokingly described my job duties as "damage control."  That has some potential as a dynamic descripton.  Modifying slightly, I get "Damage Controller."  All together, that gives me "Hard-writing Damage Controller." Much cooler than "Group Home Program Manager who Wants to Write."
High Concept: Hard-Writing Damage Controller

Trouble is an aspect that's about challenges.  It can be an enemy ("The Alliance"), a personal issue ("Hot Headed and Stubborn"), something that makes a job tough ("Striking Appearance"), a physical limitation ("Sickly and Small"), a lack of knowledge ("Supernatural Cherry"), or other issue ("Nothing Without My Suit").  For me, I feel a trouble is easy to pick out; it's a physical issue for me, revovling around a knee I've had issues with for more than half my life.  It impedes my ability to exercise the way I'd like, has given me body inage issues in the past, and frequently aches fiercely. Perfect material for a trouble.  Again it has to be able to be called upon, in this case as a detraction from one of my rolls called a "compel."  So I can't trot out a full description.  My initial idea here is "Oft-wrong Knee" but I don't think that describes very clearly.  Perhaps "Half a Knee Short" is a little better, playing off the surguries and kneecap fracture I've had.  It's good enough to run with now, and if I was playing me as a character I could always change it up later to better suit what I mean.
Trouble: Half a Knee Short

The phase one aspect is one I've always interpreted as "where I came from."  I try to use it to say something about the character's family or why they are where they are.  One of the things I'm proud of on my mom's side of the family is the strength of will several of my relatives have shown, being able to decide on a good course and follow it through to the end in the face of temptation.  So I'm going to go with "Inherited Force of Will" to refer to the moments when I can emulate the strong folks in my family.
Phase One Aspect (Background): Inherited Force of Will

Phase two is about a "guest star" and how interactibg with that person changed your story.  Typically, this works best in a group where people can trade story ideas and create aspects together.  But since this is a solo exercise, I'll fudge it a bit.  I'm going to go back to when my friend Dyer and I used to take practice weapons out and spar in order to get exercise.  I'm calling it "Sunday Night Sparring."
Phase Two Aspect (Cross-over 1): Sunday Night Sparring

Phase three is another guest star.  Pardon me if it's corny, but this aspect has got to relate to the fact that I'm married.  Given that I wear a titanuim wedding band, it's an easy aspect (with bonus semi-pun).  Being married us a big and important part of ny life and it's natural for it to fit in here and would theoretically give sone plot hooks for a game.
Phase Three Aspect (Cross-over 2): Titanium Bond of Love

Skills should be pretty self explanatory.  We all have them.  In Fate Core a pyramid system is used, with the "best" skill of a character at the top with at least one more skill on each level as it goes down.  I like to start with the top of the pyramid and work my way down.  The hard part here is ranking them.  It'd be easy to put something like "craft" or "knowledge" at the top to represent my schooling/writing skills, but I actually think I'd like to put Rapport at the top because it relates to my work and to my aspiration.  The tier below that, I think, should contain Will and Crafts to continue linking back to my high concept and aspects.  Beneath that, I'd place Lore/Knowledge, Fight, and Empathy.  On the bottom of my pyramid would be Drive, Athletics, Investigate, and Notice.  I think leaving Resources off my list is justified by the fact that while I have a good income, I rarely have extra cash at hand.
Skills:
Great(+4): Rapport
Good(+3): Will, Crafts
Fair(+2): Lore, Fight, Empathy
Average(+1): Drive, Athletics, Investigate, Notice

Stunts are about the things you can do that set you apart or where one skill allows you to succeed in place of another.  Players usually start with three to five stunts in game, so I'm going to roll with the low end and choose three.  The first stunt I have in mind would allow me to use Will in place of Physique (which, you'll note, I didn't have in my skill pyramid) in order to test my endurance.  I've done this, I think, numerous times in my life, so I feel like it's fitting.  To make it catchier, I'll also give it an aspect style name.  Second, I want have a stunt that will emphasize my ability to make connections between current events and someone's backstory; this is a stunt which will give me a bonus to my rolls rather than letting me substitute a skill for another.  Again, I want an aspect-y name, so I'll tie it to my aspirations as a writer.  Third and final, I want a stunt which creates a rules exception (so I've used all three types!), so I'm going with a stunt which will allow me to gain a second chance at defending against a social attack.
Stunts:
Soft Body, Strong Will: Use Will in place of Physique when determining endurance.
Seeing Real-life Plot: +2 to Rapport when learning of or knowing about someone's life story.
Whoa, Take it from the Top!: Gain a second defense roll against social attacks during a single challenge.

So that's what I've got!  I'm pretty happy with it and I feel like I'm still very familiar with the basics of Fate Core, which is great to say for a game system that hasn't even officially released!  I'm looking forward to the day it reaches my doorstep, that's for sure!