Using Fate Core for Concepts: A Word on, “Legacy,” characters.

While I generally like to play a new character in games… I’ll be honest, there are times where I want to take an old character and put them in a new setting (or even a new System). I’ve done that once or twice, and there will be times where I’d like to do it again.

There’s a trick to it: You have to reduce your character down to it’s basic concepts. That way, you can efficiently and easily transport them to other settings (and other systems). That’s where Fate Core, specifically it’s character creation, comes in handy. I’ll quickly describe it (sans a few things, like Stress/Consequences and Refresh, simply because they’re irrelevant for this sort of thing).

You name your character’s Five Aspects (High Concept, Trouble, 3 Miscellaneous Aspects), though all that’s REALLY necessary for this is your High Concept, Trouble, and one Misc
-High Concept: This sums up the very core being of your character (“Swashbuckling Vagabond,” “Quirky Necromancer,” or “Gunslinging Berserker”)
-Trouble: This is some sort of persistent flaw that your character has (“Oooh, Shiny!” “They’re Out to Get Me. THEY ALL ARE!” or, “I Can Quit Anytime I Want!”).
-3 Miscellaneous Aspects: Typically, if I’m running a Fate game, I’ll be sure to make two of them meet certain criteria depending on the setting (in the case of my Mecha vs Kaiju game, I had players give me a “Drive” Aspect to explain why they were fighting the monsters and a “Style” Aspect to represent their Fighting Style in a Mecha), with the last one being some sort of “Freebie,” but typically these are three assorted statements that describe your character.

Next, you pick your Skills. In Fate Core, these take the form of a Pyramid (and the skill list is found HERE)
-One +4 Skill. (This is Typically the only Skill you’re required to have filled out at minimum for Character Creation, simply because it represents the thing you want your character to be totally awesome at)
-Two +3 Skills.
-Three +2 Skills.
-Four +1 Skills.

This sort of thing is handy because it lets you figure out, “Okay… what’s something my character is GREAT at doing? What’s he Good at doing? What’s Negotiable?”

Finally, you pick your Stunts. These are like Feats or Edges in other systems, but they’re much more abstract and there’s no definitive, “List” though it’s up to the GM for final say as to what qualifies as a feasible Stunt (Typically, it should give you no more than a +2 Bonus worth of Mechanical goodies without having restrictions or additional costs). You only need one to start, though you can have up to 3 for Free.

Here’s an example, using a character I used in two different Savage Worlds campaigns: Dr. Schadenfreude (which is never his ACTUAL name, but that’s irrelevant). At his core, he’s a medical professional who believes that using anaesthesia and painkillers inhibits the body’s healing process. I’ve played him as both a quiet, nomadic Physician-for-hire… and an arrogant Med-Judge who’d shoot his mouth off. Here’s his write-up:


NAME: Dr. Schadenfreude

HIGH CONCEPT: Unhinged Medical Professional
TROUBLE: … You Think I ENJOY Inflicting Pain?!
ASPECT: These Bandages are here for a Reason

**SKILLS**
+4 Lore
+3 Provoke, Notice
+2 Will, Physique, Athletics
+1 Rapport, Contacts, Investigate, Shoot

**STUNTS**
-“Indomitable” – Dr. Schaddy gets +2 to Will Rolls to defend against Provoke Attacks for Intimidation and Fear
-“Specialist” – Schadenfreude gets +2 to Lore Rolls when Medicine is involved
-“Body Language Reader” – The Doctor can use Notice instead of Empathy when attempting to discover Aspects


That’s basically all it takes to make a core concept of a character. Then, all you have to do is figure out how these abstracts can be extracted to make them a viable character in a different System.

To plug Dr. Shadenfreude into a Savage Worlds game, for example, I’d need to give him the Delusional (No Painkillers) and Ugly Hindrances… as well as the Healer Edge, making his Healing skill pretty high. Give him Taunt and Notice (as well as Shooting and/or Fighting if he’s a more combat-oriented Medic).

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