Qabals of the New Dark Age
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Section Three: Character Creation
Let’s start with Power Level. This genre of RPG almost always requires the PCs to be mortal. I am not going to do that. However, it will be difficult to not be mortal. Instead of the usual list of skills, stunts, & Refresh, we end up:
o 6 Refresh
o One Background
o One Template
o 20 skill points
o Skill cap is Great (4).
I want to rename the Trouble aspect. I don’t dislike it; I just think that with a rename, we can shift focus just a little bit. Let’s call it your Dark Aspect. So, how are they different? Well, the Trouble is what complicates your High Concept. Your Dark Aspect can be a myriad of things: it can be a deadly sin your PC is prone to, some crime from his past, something in his bloodline, a dark destiny, a deadly curse he suffers from, something which haunts him, or something he fears above all else.
At this point, you may not yet see the difference between the Trouble & the Dark Aspect. Looking at some examples for Harry Dresden (DFRPG), “The Doom of Damocles” is a Trouble while “Tempted by Power” is a Dark Aspect. The Dark Aspect should be the aspect that makes it possible for your PC to do one of two things: 1) embrace evil, or 2) quit the fight against darkness (“all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”). Thus, the Dark Aspect should be pretty personal.
I also find the Phase Three (Crossing Paths Again) of PC creation to be redundant. Between getting help from one person and helping someone else, each PC will know 2 other PCs at the start of the game. Knowing 2 more people would be superfluous. Instead, let’s make this phase about what drives you, what your agenda is, or what your goal or goals are. You can call it What’s My Motivation? Use this phase to decide what your PCs agenda is, what drives him, etc.
Also, please note: since your Background & Template each give you an Aspect, you will have 7 Aspects total.
Next, we come to Backgrounds. A Background is a way to think of where your character comes from, what his education was, what his career may be, and probably some measure of his social status. Every PC has a Background, and you should choose an Aspect that speaks to your Background.
Choose a background from the list below. If you have an idea for a Background that is not on the list, speak to the GM to work one out. Every background gives you a FREE Extra: a profession skill of the same name. This is, for you, a regular skill, and you can roll it whenever it applies. Example of a profession skill in use:
GM: the man is garbling incoherently. There may be froth developing at the edges of his mouth.
Bill: my background is Lunatic. Can I roll that to understand him?
GM: that makes sense. Give me a roll.
The only caveat is that profession skills should not substitute for attack and/or defense skills, e.g. a Soldier may know how to fortify a position, making it much easier to get the Prepared Position aspect; but he could not roll Soldier to dodge an attack.
Of course, you still have to use your skill points to buy the skill; the Background just gives you access to it. Each background also gives you permission for an Extra specific to that Background. These Extras are stunts and are detailed with Extras at the end of this document. Finally, I will add that your background skill and Aspect probably tie together pretty well. This is intentional.
Finally, we arrive at Templates. If your Background is where you come from or what you have done, then your Template is what you are. Every Template has MUSTS and gives access to Extras. For some of the templates below, the powers and abilities are NOT defined; in those cases, you can use the Fate Core rules to write those Extras yourself. (The Dresden Files RPG is a FANTASTIC resource if you want to do this.) Most of the templates have specific MUSTS.
Templates are detailed in Section 11.
You can click here for Section Four: Aspects & Fate Points.