Character Rules

Character Creation Top

Creation Steps

  1. Define Aspects.
  2. Choose Skills from the list below.
  3. Determine Conditions.
  4. Create/Choose up to three Stunts. Up to two more stunts can be chosen by reducing Refresh by the equivalent amount.
  5. Generate Bonds with other characters.

Aspects

Fate SRD: Aspects and Fate Points.

Mundane (High Concept): Who Are You to the Mundane World?
First, decide on your mundane high concept. This is a single phrase or sentence that neatly sums up who your character is, what they do, and how they will be depicted in the game. Depiction is just as important as what your character can do, as it describes not only how you’ll play the character, but how other characters will see him. Consider writing the aspect in the present tense, describing something the character does rather than did. Keep in mind the action of displaying who the character is.

Background: Where Did You Come From?
This aspect describes the sum of where you are from and what experiences you have had. Take your high concept and explain how you came to be that way. It should not contradict your portrayal.

Defining Incident: What Changed You?
What was your first brush with the supernatural? How did it change you? How does it influence you as you are today? To keep your character interesting, strongly consider the reason they do what they do. This is also the time when your character starts coming into his own, beginning to realise his true potential. This may be when supernatural power awakens within your character, or simply when he is first faced with a difficult choice between right and wrong and he steps up to bat as a protagonist within the game’s larger story.

Belief: What Motivates You?
Consider the aspects you’ve written up to this point. Collectively, how do they colour your perceptions of the world? Or, how have they changed you? Phrase this aspect as a motivation. It’s not only how you see the world, but what you want to do to affect it.

Trouble: What Complicates Your Existence?
Finally, consider all of the above and decide how they collectively cause you recurring trouble. Is there an overarching theme in the aspects that hasn’t been stated yet? Do you have another belief that drives you to trouble more often than not? Is someone after you? Your trouble should be primarily negative in how it affects you, and it should be something that will come up at least once a session. As this is your primary aspect for gaining fate points in play, make it something that is an obvious and constant hindrance to you.

Supernatural (High Concept): Who Are You to the Supernatural World?
Now that you have determined the mundane parts of your character consider who they are within the supernatural community, how they have changed since their awakening and how their magic affects who they are. This is their supernatural high concept. This aspect also gives narrative permission for your spellcasting.

Skills

Fate SRD: Skills.

Characters begin the game with 20 skill points with a maximum rank of Great (+4), arranged in any manner so long as they follow the usual rules for skills in Fate.

Seattle Chronicles makes use of the following skills: Athletics, Combat (combines Fight and Shoot), Contacts, Crafts, Deceive, Drive, Insight (replaces Empathy), Investigate, Knowledge (see below), Larceny (replaces Burglary), Notice, Physique, Provoke, Rapport, Resolve (replaces Will), and Stealth.

Knowledge

Renamed from Lore.

The Knowledge skill is about knowledge and education, and covers a vast array of knowledge, from the observational study and description of the material world, to sometimes confusing and esoteric information about the Otherworld and its denizens. Because of this, academics tend to focus on one or more similar fields of study to specialise in.

To represent this, when a character selects the Knowledge skill, he chooses a number of fields of studies, or Specialities, to focus on, up to his rank in the Knowledge skill. He then lists some secondary areas that have some relationship with the primary specialities.

Primary specialities are rolled at the character’s standard Knowledge rank; secondary specialities are rolled at their Rating -1, and all other fields of study are rolled at Rating -2.

For example, a character with Great (+4) Knowledge, would have up to four Primary specialities, and would roll them at a Great (+4) rating. His secondary specialties would have a Good (+3) rating, and all other rolls would be at a Fair (+2) rating.

Knowledge otherwise follows the normal rules outlined in the Fate SRD for the Lore skill.

New Action: Discover

Use the discover action to learn new information about environments, obstacles, and characters in a scene.

The discover action allows your character to get new information about what’s going on in the current scene without creating a new aspect. Sometimes you’ll need to dig deeper into a situation to discover answers, but other times a quick glance is all you need to start learning more about the situation.

When you try a discover action, you get the chance to ask the GM a question about the situation through the lens of the skill you’ve chosen. The GM answers honestly, but failure results in your question pushing you into danger, revealing unpleasant information, or costing you precious time or resources. If you’re successful, however, the GM may reveal aspects that were previously hidden. It’s ultimately the GM’s call on whether or not to reveal an aspect, but if you’ve learned new information that’s juicy and useful, it usually means you’ve learned a new aspect.

After you finish your discover action, you may want to create an aspect on the scene—or create a free invocation on an aspect the GM revealed—by creating an advantage with your new knowledge or taking advantage of the boost you created if you succeeded with style.

  • When you fail using discover, you either ask a question of the GM related to the skill you used at a major cost, or the opposition asks questions about your character, delving into your secrets and weaknesses. It’s the GM’s choice which happens.
  • When you tie with discover, you ask one question of the GM related to the skill you used and at a minor cost.
  • When you succeed with discover, you ask one question of the GM related to the skill you used.
  • When you succeed with style, you ask one question of the GM related to the skill you used, followed by either another question or the creation of a boost.

Stress and Conditions

Absorbing attacks through stress means that you twist out of the way of the blow or the angry words, but not without giving up some of your own composure and well-being. You might end up harried, tired, or bruised, but you’re still functioning. In other words, you stay on your feet!

You have a number of stress boxes, each attached to a different condition. By default, you have:

  • Winded, with one stress box. Characters who are Winded are out-of-breath, off their game, having trouble paying the necessary attention to what goes on around them.
  • Emotional, with one stress box. Characters who are Emotional are not thinking clearly, whether they are feeling scared, angry or something else. This can lead them sometimes to snap at friends and allies, rush into danger without planning, or the likes.
  • Stunned, with two stress boxes. Characters who are Stunned are dazed, confused, or unsure of how to act or react.
  • Broken, with two stress boxes. Characters who are Broken are significantly hurt, damaged, not thinking clearly, or affected by pain.

You might have more stress boxes on any of these conditions depending on your skills:

  • If you have a Physique of +2 or better, you get an additional stress box for Winded.
  • If you have a Resolve of +2 or better, you get an additional stress box for Emotional.
  • If you have a Resolve or a Physique of +4 or better, you get an additional stress box for Stunned. If you have both a Resolve and a Physique of +4 or higher, you get two additional stress boxes for Stunned.
  • If you have a Resolve or Physique of +5 or higher, you get an additional stress box for Broken. If you have both a Resolve and a Physique of +5 or higher, you get two additional stress boxes for Broken.

You also might have stunts that give you more stress boxes on your conditions. Finally, Sturdy equipment can give you the equivalent of more stress boxes.

When you absorb a hit through stress, you must mark a number of stress boxes equal to the number of shifts on the hit. For example, if you take a 3-shift hit, you must mark 3 stress boxes. If you take a 1-shift hit, you must mark 1 stress box. You can mark these boxes on any conditions you choose, spreading them out however you decide. If ever you mark the last stress box for a condition, then that condition becomes true about your character, taking the form of an aspect that can be invoked or compelled against you. There are no free invocations on it, but anyone can create an advantage to create those invocations.

Any stress you have marked does not clear immediately. Your minor conditions, Winded and Emotional, only clear once you have accepted a compel on those conditions; in other words, you can only clear those stress tracks after they have filled, and you accept a compel on the attached aspect. Stress that is marked against Emotional or Winded but does not fill the track clears at the end of each session.

Your major condition, Stunned, clears entirely at the end of the session in which you accept a compel on that condition; in other words, Stunned clears after it has entirely filled, you have taken at least one compel on that aspect, and the session has ended. Stress that is marked against Stunned but does not fill the track clears at the end of each session. Your critical condition, Broken, only clears after you have received aid or an advancement.

To clear stress from your Broken condition, you have to either get a moderate advance or have a friend make an Insight or Science skill test against a passive Great (+4) difficulty, followed by you making a Resolve or Physique test against a passive Fair (+2) difficulty. Use Insight/Resolve for mental or social injuries, and Science/Physique for physical. If both rolls succeed, the Broken condition clears at the end of the next session after the one in which you receive treatment. Stress that is marked against Broken but does not fill the track clears at the end of each session.

Note on Consequences: In Seattle Chronicles, consequences take longer to recover than what is suggested in the Fate Core, as per what is outlined below in ‘Advancement and Change’.

Advancement and Change Top

Minor Milestones

One Per Session

Minor milestones usually occur at the end of a session of play, or when one piece of a story has been resolved. These kinds of milestones are more about changing your character rather than making him or her more powerful, about adjusting in response to whatever’s going on in the story if you need to. Sometimes it won’t really make sense to take advantage of a minor milestone, but you always have the opportunity if you should need to.

During a minor milestone, you can choose to do one (and only one) of the following:

  • Switch the rank values of any two skills, or replace one Average (+1) skill with one that isn’t on your sheet.
  • Change any single stunt for another stunt.
  • Purchase a new stunt, provided you have the refresh to do so. (Remember, you can’t go below 1 refresh.)
  • Rename one character aspect that isn’t your high concept.

Also, you can also rename any mild consequences you have, so that you can start them on the road to recovery, presuming you have not already done so.

Significant Milestones

One Per Episode

Significant milestones usually occur at the end of a scenario or the conclusion of a big plot event (or, when in doubt, at the end of every two or three sessions). Unlike minor milestones, which are primarily about change, significant milestones are about learning new things—dealing with problems and challenges has made your character generally more capable at what they do.

In addition to the benefit of a minor milestone, you also gain the following:

  • One additional skill point, which you can spend to buy a new skill at Average (+1) or increase an existing skill by one rank.
  • If you have any moderate consequences, you can rename them to begin the recovery process, if you haven’t already.
  • If you have fewer Fate Points than your current Refresh, raise your Fate Point total up to your Refresh value.

Major Milestones

One Per Arc

A major milestone should only occur when something happens in the campaign that shakes it up a lot—the end of a story arc (or around three scenarios), the death of a main NPC villain, or any other large-scale change that reverberates around your game world.

These milestones are about gaining more power. The challenges of yesterday simply aren’t sufficient to threaten these characters anymore, and the threats of tomorrow will need to be more adept, organised, and determined to stand against them in the future.

Achieving a major milestone confers the benefits of a significant milestone and a minor milestone and all of the following additional options:

  • If you have an extreme consequence, rename it to reflect that you’ve moved past its most debilitating effects. This allows you to take another extreme consequence in the future if you desire.
  • Take an additional point of refresh, which lets you buy a new stunt immediately or keep it to give yourself more fate points at the beginning of a session.
  • Advance a skill beyond the campaign’s current skill cap, if you’re able to, thus increasing the skill cap.
  • Rename your character’s high concept if you desire.
  • If you have any severe consequences, you can rename them to begin the recovery process if you haven’t already.

Character Rules

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