Nightsdeep: Character Creation
This section is going to be specific to the amazing Fate Core rpg system by Evil Hat. I highly recommend taking a peek at it because they’ve done some truly great things there. Furthermore, I’m going to explain how to create a basic character and the add some ideas on vampires, werewolves, circle of Holun cultists, blade of Saluwan cultists and any one else that may be crawling around in the dark.
Core Concept and Trouble
To anyone familiar with Fate Core, this is going to be very familiar. Your core concept is basically who your character is in a nutshell. Your trouble is exactly what it says on the tin. It is what exactly causes your character problems. Now, a normal human may have Overworked Journalist or Charming Jewel Thief. A vampire may have the same exact sort of core concept. For a player character at least, being a vampire is not a core part of their being. As for trouble, a good trouble may be Self-centered and Pampered or even Justifiably Paranoid because… this is Nightsdeep.
For the sake of this, we will be creating an urban Dreugr. His name will be Lord Mordu Breitheim. His Core concept is Gifted Writer in search of a novel. This should give plenty of chances to play with. The Dreugr wants to write the next great piece of literature for Darkholm. That makes his trouble Lacking Inspiration that much more tragic. Poor Mordu would love to write an amazing novel but, he just doesn’t have the mojo to pull one off.
The next aspect, Ambition is a reflection of how the people of nightsdeep are flawed yet driven. This is what the character wishes to accomplish. What drives them and motivates them to keep at whatever they are doing. It may be Avenge my fallen sister or Kill 100 evil souls for a rather strange one. The point of an ambition is to show the GM what you want but also as a sign of how driven your character is. This is what they want out of life.
For our Dreugr, we can go with the simple Fame and Fortune. He wants to write that novel because he is a rather vain person who wishes to have all the material wealth and fame that he can acquire. Barring some sort of epiphany where he learns that there is more to life than fortune and fame, this is the path he’s chosen.
This is a deep, dark secret that haunts the character’s dreams and nightmares. This is the kind of thing that if it got out, life would suddenly become very unpleasant for the character. Suggestions are Werewolf, Initiate to the Circle of Holun or Writer of rebellious propaganda. If possible, secrets should be kept from the other players. This leads to a little mistrust among the players that can help really drive the mood. Care must be taken though to make sure that the players are okay with this.
For Mordu, We will simply write that he is an Urban Dreugr.
Nightsdeep is a very stratified culture. There are those on top and those on the bottom. This tells us a little about the character’s place in the world. It’s important to note that it is possible to be a noble woman and yet still have a low resources skill. This may mean that your funds are tied up in investments and thus hard to liquefy, that you are an outcast of your house, or that your house is in deep decline. It’s up to you. Suggestions are things like Runaway Thrall, Travelling Vardr, or even Drengskapr of house Eklund (you could write noble instead… it means the same thing).
The Great Game
It is important to note that status is fluid. Titles can be gained and noble houses can fall. Furthermore, among the nobles, there is the “game.” The game is what nobles do to pass the time. They compete with each other for money and ultimately, for power. This involves everything from manners to planting nasty rumors to arranging a murder. All the nobles are playing the game regardless of whether they want to or not. Operating in noble society means playing the game. Because of the great game, the Status aspect is expected to change regularly. Even Bondi and thrall are not immune to the great game. Though Bondi and Thrall don’t play the great game, they are likely pawns in someone else’s game.
Our Mordu is going to be Fallen Drengskapr of house langmalm. This means that though they are part of the house officially, the house has essentially disavowed him. Poor Mordu just can’t get a break.
Choose one skill at +4, two skills at +3, three skills at +2 and four skills at +1. Any of the special skills need to be explained with an aspect and agreed to by the GM. Below is a chart of the special skills and a which of the four actions they can be used in. Remember that certain stunts can change these skills (like any other) and allow you to defend with one that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, etc.
|Skill Name||Overcome||Create Advantage||Attack||Defend|
A full list of every possible stunt is outside the scope of this post. Instead, we will list a couple and point you to an amazing resource for getting even more.
Check your sources. You always check your sources. Investigate may be used to defend against Deception.
Alchemical Compound. Can give a “potion of X” (x must be defined) to another character. When the potion is used, you may roll Alchemy as if you were creating the potion right then. This may be done once per session.
Ingestable Compound. You receive a +2 when creating an advantage that the subject must eat or swallow. The compound is created as normal with the +2 taken into account but the compound will not work unless it is ingested.
Acidic Compound. +2 to overcome actions involving acids.
Bloody Horror. Animals cannot stand your presence, you Terrify them. If they must stay, they must succeed in a contest of their Willpower vs your Blood. Otherwise, they flee in fear.
Blood Healing. You focus on the blood within you, it comes to the surface to mend your wounds. Roll Blood Vs. Difficulty 4. If this is a success, remove your lowest consequence. You may successfully perform this once per session. It takes a full round.
Blood Shards. By turning your blood into hardened needle-like projectiles, you can attack with Blood. This attack is only within the same zone as you.
Rational Occultist. You may defend against magical curses using your Academics skill.
Cantrips. You may perform very minor feats of magic using nothing more than your occult skill.
The Scientific Method. By applying scientific thought, you are able to make rational deductions. Use Science in place of Investigate when scientific thought will benefit.
It’s Alive! +2 to Science when working with dead subjects.
Shoot works normally. This skill is special because firearms are still relatively new and powder is hard to acquire due to edicts from the nobles.
Blessings of Saluwan
See the Truth. You have been blessed by saluwan to see through illusions. +2 to notice when illusions are in play.
Blessings of Blood. +2 to Willpower when used against a vampire. If you spend a fate point, you can use Willpower to attack for that scene. Each use causes 1 stress.
Saluwan’s Wrath +2 to either provoke or rapport (choose one when purchasing this stunt) when used against a vampire.
Cleanse The Mind. Spend 1 fate point to negate all mental magic or vampiric effects for the scene.
Walk The Flames. Fire has no effect on you. Ignore all effects from passive fires. Offensive weapons that cause fire still hurt initially but, fire itself doesn’t bother you.
Circle of Holun and other magics
This is best handled as a story based effect. If you know of a better way, let me know!
These can be found HERE.
Three sample characters can be found HERE.