Fate: Venture City
When you make your character, do so according to the rules in Fate Core, but
with one exception: you also get powers.
Powers are a lot like stunts, except bigger, flashier, more powerful, and more
complex. Each power you build costs a certain number of stunts, but don’t worry
about not having enough! We’re giving you three bonus stunts on top of what
you normally get from Fate Core to use exclusively for building powers. To add to
your powers or build new ones, you can also spend refresh and use your normal
allotment of free stunts as you would when building normal stunts. The three
free stunts you’re getting in this adventure have to be used for powers, though.
Most characters have a single power. Some might have two, but that’s where
it tops off. Powers are big and complex enough that more than two would be a
bit unwieldy. What you can do, however, is build multiple effects into a single
power, creating a power suite that does a bunch of related things. Here’s how
building a power works.
Figure out what you want your power to do. What is your character’s shtick?
What’s the big flashy thing you do that other people can’t do? Figure this out in
general terms. Maybe you’re inhumanly fast, or super strong, or you can fly, or
you shoot energy blasts from your hands.
You might have a power useful for doing many things. You might be telekinetic,
for example, which suggests you can push people around and attack them
with force blasts, lift heavy objects with your mind, create a shield of force, and
fly by levitating yourself. These are all related abilities, so they’re all one power.
If you’re telekinetic and you can heal with a touch, though, those might be two
Example: Tara decides she wants to be a brick, someone who can
take a punch and bring huge amounts of raw physical strength to
bear. She’s big and tough and strong; that’s her shtick.
Break It Into Stunts
Break each power down into its component abilities. What specific things do
you want to be able to do with your power? Boil these down into mechanical
effects and phrase them like you would stunts. Each stunt-like ability that
you create costs you a stunt. You can spend multiple stunts on a single ability,
making it extra-powerful. Also, because you’re crafting a superpower, you have
license to do things that stunt might not otherwise let you do. You could use a
stunt to fly using Athletics, or fire eye-beams with Shoot, for example.
Example: Thinking about what specific effects she wants out of her
power, Tara breaks it down into components. She wants to be strong,
so that’s maybe just a bonus to Physique and Fight rolls. She spends
two stunts to get a +4 to Physique rolls that rely on brute force, and
another stunt to get a +2 to Fight rolls that rely on smashing things in
close quarters. She also wants to be super-tough, so she spends two
more stunts to get Armor:4 against direct physical attacks, but not
energy attacks or mental attacks. In total, her power costs 5 stunts.
Add Special Effects
A special effect is an extra-special thing you can pull off when you succeed with
style. Whenever you succeed with style on a roll that utilizes one of your powers,
you can forgo the normal benefits of succeeding with style to add one of your
special effects instead. You can also spend a fate point to add a special effect to
any successful roll, even if you’ve already got a special effect attached to that
action. Special effects always happen in addition to the normal effects of success.
Your power starts with two special effects. If you want more, you can buy
them with a stunt or refresh; each stunt or refresh you spend gets you two more
special effects. If you need special effects, use the following list. If our suggestions
don’t suffice, you can create your own special effects using this list as a guideline.
• Forced Movement: You move your target up to two zones.
• Area Attack: Attack everyone else (foes and friends) in the same zone as
your target using the attack value minus two (so if you hit your target at +6,
everyone else would defend against +4). Attacking everyone in a zone at full
strength is a collateral damage effect (page 25).
• Inflict a Condition: You add an aspect to the target, which you can invoke
once for free.
• Extra Movement: You can move up to two zones for free.
• Physical Recovery: You recover from all physical stress.
• Mental Recovery: You recover from all mental stress.
• Extra Action: You can remove shifts from your action and apply them to a
different, related action as if you’d (performed and) succeeded on both. You
can never succeed with style on the second action, and its opposition (i.e.,
difficulty) can’t be higher than that of the original action.
Example: Tara knows she wants to be tough and able to pack a wallop.
She takes Physical Recovery and Forced Movement as her special
effects. After thinking for a moment, she spends another stunt (for
a total of 6 stunts spent) to add Area Attack and Inflict a Condition
to her suite of special effects. When using this power, when she succeeds
with style, she can add one special effect to her action; if she
succeeds at all, she can spend a fate point to add a special effect.
Add a Drawback
All powers come at a cost, and all superheroes have a weakness. Decide what
yours is, and phrase it as an aspect. A drawback is an aspect like any other,
though you should phrase it so it’s easier to compel than to invoke. Each power
gets a drawback, not each individual stunt within a power.
Example: Tara envisions her character as a brute who’s prone to fits
of destructive rage. She writes down the aspect Destructive Rage as
Add a Collateral Damage Effect
Super-beings throw a lot of power around, power that often has unintended consequences.
Sometimes city blocks get leveled; sometimes innocent bystanders get
hurt. Your collateral damage effect is an extra benefit—something super-potent
you can do with your power. The potency of this isn’t strictly numerical; pick
some powerful narrative thing you can do, like affecting everyone in a scene or
ignoring all the damage that comes your way in a round. Use the sample characters
to get ideas for what collateral damage can do (page 26).
You can choose to use this effect at any time, but using it comes at a cost: you
inflict a situation aspect on the area around you that represents the collateral
damage you’ve caused. The GM gets to determine the exact nature of that aspect
each time you use it.