Every week this month we are going to put out an adventure for you to enjoy. This weeks adventure is from Avatar: the last Airbender. Enjoy!
I am a HUGE fan of Nickelodeon’s Avatar series, and in the early stages of Fate (before Fate Core) I made my own version of a Fate hack for the series. We’ve mentioned this before, even shared some stunts from the game in our first Sample Stunts blog post. Now that it is April, and the Google Doc is up, we figured why not share an opening adventure.
Just a heads up: this is not a Fate Core game, so the skill names are very different than what you are used to. It does use Fate Points, fudge dice, aspects, and stress so those of you that play Fate Core should still be able to play it easily enough. Converting the system should not take too much work if you are interested.
For the sake of simplicity, this fan hack adventure is set before the events of The Last Airbender and before the fire nation invaded. It is divided into 3 scenes, each with their own skill challenges and tips for the GM.
Scene 1: Festival
The Mermaid Festival of Watchu Village celebrates the tragic legend of a young mermaid falling in love with a poor fisherman and selling herself to a circus in order to save him from a cruel noble. The villagers dress up, play games, and float lanterns into the sea as thanks to the kind mermaid who sacrificed so much to help the man that apparently founded their village.
Players can also change their Gear aspect at the start of the festival if they wish for something festive.
Let the players enjoy the festival for a little bit. Games are all a difficulty of Fair (2). Chance games require Luck, muscle games take Physique, and most contests require Artistry. If players ask for a more challenging game, raise the difficulty to Great (4). A hot pepper eating contest would require an Endurance (4) for example.
Bending is considered cheating in most games, unless you decide to have a specific game designed for benders. For these, roll against a single competitor with a base skill of Good (3) in the appropriate skill. Earth Benders may try to sculpt with their bending.
If players win a game, give them a prize. One prize can be considered a boost with a free +2 for later. Additional prizes should just be given story narrative for flavor. Too many +2 stuffed bunnies of luck will rob the adventure of any challenge.
The Knowledge of the Legend
While the festival takes place, they can use Allure, Knowledge, or Research to find out more about the legend. A Good (3) will tell them that it is accepted as a true legend. A Superb (5) will advise them that the founder of the village, also the fisherman from the legend, was historically more stingy and miserly than the legend would suggest.
If the party wants to socialize, a Good (3) Allure check will get a fisherman to tell them that he swears he spotted a mermaid in the bay just that morning, but no one seems to believe him. If you want to have a woman dress up as a mermaid for some humor, have any PC that sees her roll an Instinct or Search check. If they roll Fair (2) or less, tell them that their character believes it is a real mermaid.
Scene 2: Trouble
Since there are no door to kick down at this festival, change things up by throwing in a tidal wave! A vengeful spirit capable of water bending has decided to destroy the fishing village, and her tidal wave will do quite a bit of damage if not stopped in time.
When you are ready to move on to the next scene, have the PCs make an Instinct check. If they get at least a Great (4+), they will see a huge wave rising up from the sea and heads towards the seaside festival. They have two actions to save the festival before it is destroyed and the people are most likely drowned. Anyone that fails the check gets one action to react, as they do not see the wave until it is almost upon them.
Alerting other players of the oncoming tidal wave is considered an action. NPCs will simply scream, run, and panic in various ways. If you want to add some humor, have one guy squeal with excitement, grab a surfboard, and start running towards the sea giggling madly.
The tidal wave its self is a Living Aspect with an Agenda of Destroy the Village and a base stress of 5. If it is not destroyed or overcome before it attacks, the Vengeful Spirit stunt on the person that created it gives it an automatic +4 roll so that it attacks everyone for 9 stress when it hits. Remember that a defense check decreases by 1 for each additional individual the PC is trying to protect, so a lot of people are going to drown if the group fails to save them.
Overcoming a living aspect with 5 stress requires a Legendary (8+) bending check, and if a character manages that then make sure it really sounds like a Legendary display of bending! More likely the group will have to work together to create advantages and attack the wave until it is taken out. Living aspects cannot take consequences to reduce stress.
Scene 3: Spirit
If the wave is destroyed, the villagers begin to thank and praise the heroes that saved them. The vengeful spirit of the mermaid from the legend is furious at this and comes onto land herself to attack the party. If the wave destroys the village, a mad giggling spirit comes to finish off any survivors (most likely the PCs). Either way, the party will have three options on how to deal with her: Appease, Bargain, or Combat.
Appeasing the spirit requires a Karma conflict in which spiritual player characters can attempt to purge the hatred from the spirit. Willpower is a good skill to “Attack” her hatred with, but because she is a mermaid spirit a water bender or member of the water tribe can also use Cultivation. If the tidal wave hit the village and killed everyone, the party can use the new Festival of the Dead aspect to their advantage with a free invoke, since part of the spirit’s hatred has been carried out.
The mermaid spirit will attempt to curse PC’s with her own Willpower attacks and defend with her Cultivation, both of which are Good (3) . She will spout hatred for greedy humans and wish great misery upon them. She will not bargain with anyone once she takes a consequence. If taken out, the hatred leaves her and she suddenly becomes docile and mouthless, only nodding her head to communicate now that she is at peace. She will then return to the sea.
Bargaining with the spirit is a social conflict. PCs can use Allure to sweet talk the spirit, Artistry to craft a gift, Sense to find out what she might want, or Zen to show that they are spiritual capable of aid. They can also attempt to swear an Oath with the spirit using Sincerity.
The mermaid spirit wants the village to pay for the founder capturing her and selling her to a circus where she finally passed away. If she did destroy the village, she will at first want a blood sacrifice. She attacks and opposes with only Fair (+2) skills. As a spirit, she will not break an oath once it has been made. Shrines, promising to tell her true story, and similar offerings she will be favorable towards.
The spirit is tangible, so all forms of physical attacks will work on it including bending. Once she takes physical stress, the mermaid spirit will attack with water bending. She is Good (+3) at attacking and only Fair (+2) at defending. She does not attempt to Dodge any sort of attack. If she takes any physical consequences, she will attempt to drag the person that caused her injury out to sea and drown them.
If the spirit is destroyed, she gets a brief death scene where she laments how unfair it is that humans who are so cruel and greedy should be allowed to rule over others that are kind and peaceful. She gives a final curse that one day the humans will turn against each other so that the world of the four nations may burn.
Depending on how that final encounter goes, you may have a TPK or a new friend and mission for your party. Even if you are just running a fun one shot, try to end with hints of what the next game might be like. After all, one of the key themes of the show is how everything is connected.
We hope you enjoy the game. Check out our Google Doc for more details on the Avatar Fate Bender game itself. Lots of rules and examples of play, and we can always make more if something does not make sense! J