I’ve been doing a lot of work this week on a game over at storynexus.com, and my brain is locked in Choose Your Own Adventure mode. So instead of a helpful blog today, we just have a fun little science fantasy story game for you to read through. Like any CYOA game, don’t try to read it start to finish. Instead, start at the beginning and when you make a choice that tells you to skip to another paragraph, go directly to that paragraph to resume reading.
During the game, you may be told that you receive achievements or acquire helpful gear. If you are told to make note of such things, write them down or simply remember how your story is progressing. If you come across a choice that requires an item or story element that you do not remember receiving, do not choose that option. Otherwise the story will not make much sense.
You will need a fate die (or coin) to play, as some choices require a roll. + is a success, and – is a failure. If you roll a blank face, you succeed on an EASY challenge but fail on a HARD challenge. The game is more fun if you do not cheat and just decide to succeed at everything without rolling a die. Also during this game you can gain Fate Points, which you can spend to change a single failed roll to a success.
To end out our April of adventures, we offer this Star Trek one shot.You can use it to try out the system and get new people used to boldly going where no one has gone before. It uses the rules we created for playing Fate in the Star Trek universe, and you can listen to our podcast to hear more about what it is like to play.
This particular adventure assumes that everyone in the group is of appropriate rank to go on an away mission to investigate the distress signal. While most groups of players will understand that they need to follow the direction of adventure, you sometimes get a Guy (Galaxy Quest Joke) that wants to stay on the ship. You can use a compel to get them to go down, or you can simply have a higher-ranking NPC officer pull rank and order them down.
Speaking of which, the crew of a Star Trek game could cover any number of positions on a ship. If you send NPCs down with the crew, allow them to succeed automatically in checks to move the plot along (only after PCs have failed), and be sure to have them attacked and killed first. Star Trek red shirt tradition, and all that.
Today’s adventure for April is taken from the old Dresden Files RPG. Well I say old, even though the 3rd book for the RPG just got released within the last year. But since most of the books came out before Fate Core was created, it will always be the old reliable system to me.
Even though I have no plans to run another Dresden Files adventure any time soon, I still have a lot of them planned out that I never got to use. This one is an intro adventure for players a bit unfamiliar with the Dresden world. You can use it to introduce a new creature into an existing campaign, or pull the plot towards a villain you are hoping to use as a primary antagonist. But more on that later.
This adventure is divided into three scenes: the crime, the chase, and the confrontation. It assumes that the group would be interested in investigating the mysterious murders and stopping the thing behind it. If the group is more reactionary, feel free to have it attack in a public place in front of them or even against them and then flee, replacing scene 1 with a couple rounds of combat before moving to scene 2.
Remember a while back when we ran a one-shot based on the Crime World setting in Volume 2 of Fate Worlds? Well today’s April Adventure is going to be that very adventure we ran. I’ve taken my 2 pages of notes and reworked them into a format that other people (lucky you) can actually understand and use to run your own adventure.
For those of you that have not heard the podcast yet, here is the basic plot and pitch: The Baron of Bloont is auctioning several rare and valuable artifacts at an auction this weekend, most notably the rare Legacy Diamond. You simply must see this gem for yourself, but even the invitations to the auction are expensive. So you and your team have decided to steal the diamond instead. After all, a bad man like the Baron does not deserve such a prize. Get together with your crew, make a plan, and slip past all the security measures the night before the auction to steal the diamond. Oh, and try to get out alive with the prize. That’s important, too.
The group “wins” if they can get the Legacy Diamond from the mansion with at least one crew member free and able to sell the item. Alternatively they can steal enough valuables for a total of 6 wealth levels for a lesser but still somewhat rewarding victory. Also, if they prevent the Baron from proposing to Felicia Parsons, they gain an ally that would be very interested in buying their loot and setting them up with future work.
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.
Last week we talked about Hiring and Flying on this fun little space adventure. This week, we cover where the real fun starts.
Scene 3: COMPLICATIONS
This is when the crew is confronted by their employer’s treachery. The ship has been reported stolen by the CEO, and the party of “thieves” have a bounty on their head. There are flaws in the cloaking device design which have the captured heat of stealth eventually flooding the ship and killing everyone. The ship’s weapons only have a couple of shots each, and the replacement packs are fakes. And there is a tracking device on the ship that lets the CEO find them even if they are cloaked.
Have the party deal with whatever complications they discovered in Scene 2 first, if any, at a reduced difficulty of Fair (2) for temporary fixes. The tracking device can be jammed for a while, the identities on the bounty can be altered, and the heat from the cloaking device can be safely vented after (at most) an hour of invisibility. Power can be diverted to give the laser guns a few more shots.
The wonderful folks at Gnome Stew make a lot of good articles about running games, and over the last few years they have published some helpful books as well. I’ve taken several characters out of their book of 1000 NPCs and a few tips from their book on prep work, but my all-time favorite book is Eureka – 501 Adventure Plots. It has inspired a lot of adventures I want to run, some of which I actually have.
Today’s blog is a Fate Core adventure based off of one of their plots: Test Run (page 191). This is a science fiction/fantasy adventure for starting off a campaign of space travel. The story also works great for campaigns in Firefly, Star Wars, and Diaspora. But for mechanics, we will be talking pure Fate Core.
A quick note on skills. This game assumes that Crafts is basically the engineering skill and Drive is the piloting skill. Hacking is covered by Burglary. Also there are no rules in place for a ship’s skills or abilities, as everything really depends on the players. The ships have aspects, of course, that can be used to boost skill checks and help define what a ship can and cannot do, but no stunts or extras mechanically. I will have a couple of notes on character building at the end of the adventure.
Each scene is described below with my brainstorming thoughts below the scene name followed by each challenge in this scene. Like all Fate Core games, there is a lot of room for creativity. Feel free to add as you wish. I’m sure your players will! (General advice for dealing with creative players is also included).