UT: Create a Student

Astrid sat at the table and pushed her food around on her plate. It was a cold thing that may have been a stew. There were certainly potatoes in it. Maybe, there was meat in it too. She wondered what the students at the University eat. She’d heard that they all ate in an enormous hall where they could have as much as they wanted. Students never went hungry and they certainly never had to eat unidentifiable stew, she thought. Her mind spun that off into a possible improvement on the device that she used to lock her chest but, was interrupted by the sound of someone clearing their throat.

“Astrid, are you going to eat or not”, asked the tall, severe looking woman.
“Actually Madam, I think that I’d like to go to the bedroom now”, Astrid replied.
“You’ve been spending a lot of time in the room”, shouted Thomas Leery
Astrid gave him a look that could cause paint to curdle but, said nothing.
“He’s right Astrid,” Madam Clara said, “You have been spending all your time there.”
“She has a paper that she stares at”, said Thomas.

Astrid’s eyes went wide and before she realized, she swung her fist at Thomas. Thomas was thin and wiry but fast. He dodged her wild punch and followed up by pushing her right out of her chair. She knocked the plate over onto the floor and fell to the floor herself. Thomas looked at Madam Clara with his own eyes wide and before Madam Clara could do anything, Thomas was already out of the orphanage. Madam Clara, foiled for now, turned her burning gaze upon Astrid.

“Get up and show me this paper that you’re willing to hurt people over”, she bellowed.
Astrid nodded. There was no use in saying no, Madam Clara had made up her mind.

Create a Student

Terra is a place where magic and technology collide and mix in strange ways. Since the University of Terra is the absolute biggest and probably best place to study both magic and technology, the school sees students from all walks of life and all corners of the world. Your character is a student, faculty member or alumni of the University and must navigate the pitfalls of academic life along with the kind of peril that befits a high fantasy and modern world.

As such, campaigns in the University of Terra are divided into semesters. Each semester, your character takes classes in things like “Applied Astrology” or “Technical applications of Mana Stones: a survey”. The character is attempting to maintain high marks in these classes while completing assignments for the university. All students who attend the university must complete assignments regularly in order to pay for their education. This leads to a level of equality that is rarely seen in Terra. Some of the assignments are rather dangerous and all assignments are undertaken with the understanding that injury and even death is possible.

Creating a character for the University of Terra is not a complicated endeavor and should be easy for anyone who has played Fate Core. It is simply a matter of choosing a name, deciding upon 5 aspects, choosing some skills and finally choosing some stunts.

The Aspects

The first two, Core Concept and Trouble should be recognizable to anyone who has played a Fate game before. The Core Concept is the heart of the character, it is the thing that makes your character tick. Maybe it’s their job, maybe it’s where they’re from or maybe its something else entirely. The core concept must also include the character’s race. A character’s trouble is the part of them that constantly seeks to undo the good that they cause. They may have a gambling problem or a horrible temper or maybe it’s a more “noble” issue like, can not tell a lie.

Lets start designing Astrid.
Astrid Ibn Salaazar
Core Concept: Human Overachiever
Trouble: Never Give Up, Never Give In.

The next concept is House. Your house is an important thing that tells us things about who your character is and who they want to be. There are 5 houses. Each house is symbolized with a different tool. Choice of house is very important because in a way, a house is a very wide aspect. Each student chooses a house that they wish to go into. Many students know which house they wish to join before they have even set foot on the campus. If a student is unable to choose a house, they are automatically put into the Dreamers house. Some students choose to never leave the Dreamers.


Diplomats are students focused on social interactions and politics. They are able to defuse situations and make friends easily. However, diplomats want to stand out and fit in at the same time which often leads people to see them as too flashy or “fake”. Diplomats house students are associated with the quill pen and ink.


Architects are builders who want to create for it’s own sake. They are most interested in the physical act of creating things but tend to quickly get bored once they have already created. They are skilled at creating things with their own hands but that skill fails them when it comes to maintaining what they already have. Architects house students are associated with the hammer and chisel.


Dreamers don’t really fit into the usual structures of academia. They tend to spend more time off in their own minds or investigating esoteric applications of their study. The problem is that dreamers never seem to know when to get focused. Dreamers are associated with the clock.


Explorers are most interested in doing what hasn’t been done or going where no one has ever been. They are hardly ever taken very much off guard. They are also very showy and tend to get themselves in over their head. The Explorers house is associated with the spyglass.


Merchants are not really interested in the process, they are interested in results. They tend to focus on tried- and-true methods of doing things because those are the ones that have the best results. This approach leads to a lack of foundation that may have the merchant not knowing nearly as much as they think they know. The Merchants house is associated with the scales.

Lets go back to Astrid. She is obviously from house Architects. We add that to her sheet and move on.
Astrid Ibn Salaazar
Core Concept: Human Overachiever
Trouble: Never Give Up, Never Give In.
House: Architects

The next aspect tells us about the character before they became involved with the University. It is the Background. This is a simple aspect that tells us about where they are from or what they used to do for a living or maybe it’s about their family. The idea is that this aspect informs us about who the character was but, is still relevant today.

In the case of Astrid, she is a 15 year old kid from the Oldtown part of Griswulf. She has had to work hard for everything and has had to fight to hold on to whatever she could. How do we show all that? Why don’t we go with “Orphan from Oldtown”? Sounds good?
Astrid Ibn Salaazar
Core Concept: Human Overachiever
Trouble: Never Give Up, Never Give In.
House: Architects
Background: Orphan from Oldtown

The next Aspect tells us what they want out of their education and in fact, out of life in general. This is their Ambition. A character is always trying to fulfill their ambition or doing something that will help fulfill it later. This can literally be anything. One character could want to Discover the Lost Capital of the Elves while, a different character could want to Eat the biggest hamburger ever made. That said, the first is likely going to be more interesting than the second. However, the ambition is a good way to tell your GM what kind of game you want to play. A character who wants to eat that hamburger fits perfectly in a game that focuses more on the student life aspect. Remember also, ambitions can change. Today, your character may want to eat a hamburger but, after interacting with a particularly nasty rival may want to Destroy Sandra Macmoore.

Finishing up Astrid’s aspects is easy, Astrid wants to become a great and famous inventor. It stands to reason that her ambition would be Design a better autocarriage.
Astrid Ibn Salaazar
Core Concept: Human Overachiever
Trouble: Never Give Up, Never Give In.
House: Architects
Background: Orphan from Oldtown
Ambition: Design a better Autocarriage


The next thing to do is to pour over the skills list and choose skills for our character. Much like Fate Core, we follow a similar distribution of skills. One skill will be chosen at +4. This skill is the thing that your character is best at. Two skills are chosen next at +3 then, three skills at +2. Lastly, four skills are chosen at +1. Every other skill except the other technical or magical skills are at 0.

The technical and magical skills are special in that only one of them can be taken at character creation. Throughout a campaign, the character can acquire as many new skills as they wish, including technical and magical skills. This skill represents the Major of your student character and their focus of study.

University of Terra Skills

Physical SkillsMental SkillsSocial SkillsTechnological SkillsMagical Skills


Every character starts with 6 refresh. Each stunt that you add reduces the refresh by 1. If your character has one technological or magical skill, they should pick a stunt that specializes their skill. Other than that, you are free to decide what you wish for your character.

Last Step!

Since this is a setting about the University, the final step is that you must choose a name for your character’s Major. Base this on the technical or magical skill chosen and remember to have fun at it. This is what your character has chose to study and as such it should sound incredibly complicated. A student of dynamism may choose to major in Applied Energistics, Advanced Themodynamic Transfer or Theoretical Dynamism. This isn’t an aspect, it’s just something to have fun with! Enjoy yourself.

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