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Using D&D Monsters In Fate Core

There are a lot of settings that need good monsters: medieval fantasy, modern horror, post-apocalyptic science fiction, space opera, and even super hero to name a few. Monsters are a huge part of our mythology, and as such they can be found in just about every game.

Fate Core does not have its own monster manual because it is a generic system that can be easily applied to any genre we want to play in. So where do we get our ideas for monsters? Well there are plenty in Fate-based games: Dresden Files, Atomic Robo, and so on. But you can also pull them from other sources. My personal favorite place lately has been the D&D monster manual.

d and d fate core

Why D&D?

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Your First Fate Adventure

As the name might imply, this is an adventure designed to springboard a campaign and introduce people to your gaming world. It is especially useful for getting people that have very little experience with RPGs but want to learn, as they will be able to relate to the characters easily. It can be used as a one-shot adventure, but the players are likely going to want to continue if things go well.

The premise of this adventure is simple. The player characters are all very young adults (or almost adults) that have grown up on stories of adventures and want to experience their own stories for whatever reason. Their character sheets start out very ordinary and mundane, but hopefully between the drive of the players and the experiences of their first real adventure, they will come out being quite fantastical.

The Cast

Have the player characters pick an aspect from each of the categories listed below to build their character. Skill points and stunts listed with that aspect are also added to the character when they choose it for their own. It is, in my experience, a fun way to ease new players into character building. But if you do not think it is a good fit for you or your group, feel free to pre-assemble starting characters beforehand.

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Fate Core: Why Stunt Trees?

A stunt tree is a series of stunts that have prerequisites. In other words, once you have stunt A, you are allowed to get stunts B, C, and D as well. And if you get stunt D, whether or not you get B or C, you can then also choose stunts E and F. But you might want stunt B because it lets you get stunt G. So yeah, with the different branches it starts to look like a tree.

But today we are not really going to focus so much on what stunt trees are. Rather, we would like to delve a little more into the WHY. After all, in the Fate Core system any player can make any stunt they wish (under the basic rules), so what’s the point of making some stunts harder to get than others?

Inspiring Players

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Fate Stunt making: Stunt Trees

The holidays are all about giving, right? So today we are giving you some more sample stunts for 3 unique campaign settings. Previously, we had gone over how to make stunts. This time all the stunts are part of the same stunt tree, meaning they require base stunts before you can take them.

Hopefully this will inspire you to come up with your own stunt trees, or maybe fill in some blanks in ours.

Men or Mice Stunts

In the mood for something child-like and adorable? There are some very fun games out already about playing mice, bunnies, or rats that dress and act like people. It can be a lot of fun to play animals that act a bit like human, especially when they are cute!

Seamstress – You may use Crafts to make clothing and practical items that are generally ‘worn’ by a fellow animal. This includes cloaks, packs, armor, blankets, camouflage, parachutes, and other such things. It is always assumed that you have the tools necessary to work your craft, unless a negative aspect states otherwise.

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Fate Stunt making for GMs

Previously, we talked about Stunt making for players. Today we look at it from the other perspective.

When a GM designs stunts, it is usually more than one or two at a time and for more than one character. On a small scale, you may be making new stunts for a custom skill you have decided to add to your campaign. On a large scale, you may be adding several stunt families for several class builds. With so many stunts coming out, it is easy to lose balance on one hand or flavor on the other.

If you just want to make a few extra stunts to add to the default list, then by all means go for it! Players tend to understand that GM stunts are good stunts to take since the person designing the campaign is the one that made them.

Just so you do not get overwhelmed or make underwhelming stunts, here are some tips to consider when designing stunts.

Keep Your Campaign in Mind

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Fate Stunt Making for Players

I do not know of any other RPG that says “Make Your Own Powers” besides Fate (Editors note: One of the best ways to get information on the Internet is to say something doesn’t exist, or can’t be done. We look forward to hearing how that previous statement is wrong). Maybe I’m too sheltered, but it really seems like a lot of power to give to players not only when they are building characters but also throughout the campaign as they are leveling up. With great power comes great responsibility. And lots of fun!

For this post, we are going to look at making stunts from a player’s point of view. While all of these tips will be useful to GMs as well, they have a whole other set of things to consider when building stunts. Players are usually just concerned about one thing: their character. So with that in mind, here are some ideas to help you get started.

#1 Consult the Rules

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The Horrors of Fate Stunts

We asked some Fate players things they found confusing about Fate and below are the results.

Fate Survey Stunts

Aspects and fate points can be challenging to understand, but with some patience and an understanding group you can usually get past the challenges with some easy rulings. Something like “I see what you want to do, but it doesn’t really make sense for the story right now,” can simply bypass a confusing situation all together.

Stunts, on the other hand, can’t really be bypassed. Once they are created, they are there. Once a player takes it and pays for it, it is a real part of the game. If it is too powerful, a GM cannot bypass it so easily. If a player doesn’t know how to use it, it becomes a waste of their refresh. And since stunts are persistent, any problems they cause will not go away after just one session.

Probably the MOST confusing thing about stunts is the open-ended invitation Fate Core makes to design your own with a pirate’s code analogy of guidelines. How can players and GMs judge what stunts abilities will fall in that sweet spot of “limited enough in scope to feel special when you use them, but not so narrow that you never see them come up?” Especially with a game like Fate Core where everyone works together to driver the story.

We’ve touched a bit on making stunts before, and we probably will again soon. But for now let’s take a look at 3 rules when dealing with stunts, three things that you must never EVER do.

No Bright Lights

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