A Train Job – A Fate Core Adventure

I’m working on Ghostlight Frontier, a setting book for Fate Core and decided to share some Fate Core adventures. This is the first one.


The Commonwealth Rail line runs from Plessy in the south to Sarkland in the northwest. To get there, it travels through the Badlands, past the Devil’s Teeth, and along the Forgotten Shores. The inaugural voyage has just begun but the Dashnel Brother’s gang has their eyes on the mysterious cargo the train is rumored to be carrying. The PCs have been hired to provide extra security by the nervous Mister Brown. The train is 15 cars long.


The Dashnel gang have already taken the train. They disconnected the barracks car and loaded almost all the passengers into another car and disconnected that one, too. You’ve got to catch the train on horseback while Lily shoots at you!


As the party is making their way across the train, the train is also making its way across the continent at an untenable speed. Around the Firefight in the Cargo Car, start dropping hints that the train is out of control. This should serve to increase the drama and put pressure on the party. Each car is made of 3 zones. Players may always attempt to climb over the cars but Lily will take shots at them the whole time. That means that the big battle takes place over 9 zones. Lily can shoot from one end to the other. Show them that they can take cover by having the ruffians take cover. During the battle in the Cargo car, the doors are open on either side. Thus, people can be kicked off the train to plummet down the mountain below.


Plessy is a town on a coast to the south of Sarkland. The town is a place that is currently under rule of the Dashnel gang since its sheriff disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Currently, an uneasy truce exists between the Dashnel gang who control the underworld and the rich merchants who have been using the situation in Plessy to make even more money than they used to under the sheriff.


  • Town made of Wood and dust
  • You can find anything in the Sunken Market
  • Cliffside view of the ocean of blood

Mister Brown

(Weasel-like Bank Manager, Scared of his own shadow)

Mister Brown is offering this job to the party because they’re outsiders and he hopes to keep the contents of the vault hidden from the Dashnel gang. He’s particularly nervous of being discovered by Carter Dashnel’s people and will increase the reward if the party mentions Carter at all (Perform +2 to have him raise the reward).

What he knows

  • The train was supposed to be left alone
  • Mister Brown is sneaking his wealth out of the city
  • Mister Brown is the middleman for Reginald Talbin, a rich banker.

Getting on the train

The party is given horses to catch up to the train. When they get within sight of the train, Lily will take shots at the party. If she hits a player character it will hurt. Handle this in rounds where they’re trying to get onto the train while avoiding Lily. Lily will keep taking shots at the party if they try to use the roofs of the train cars to skip ahead. She wouldn’t be able to see them if they somehow went under the train though…

Boarding, Block

The train is moving and the horse is moving, it is difficult to get on and it should be a tense time.

  • Good (+3) Train gangway

Lily Dashnel, Hazard

At the beginning of each round, have Lily take a shot at a party member at random.

  • Great (+4) Distant Sniper
  • Weapon: 4

The Safe Car

Upon entering the Luxury Car, the party will encounter 2 Ruffians arguing about what is the best thing to do with their share. This can be used as a staging and planning area once the 2 ruffians are dealt with. The Fancy Chandelier is hanging over the 2 ruffians. As soon as the party enters the car, Marcus Dashnel announces their presence.


  • Fancy Chandelier
  • Fallen Bench Chairs

Ruffians, Fillers

(Beady-eyed Thieves, Will run away, Dirty lying scoundrels and cheats)

Ruffians are your average beady-eyed thieves, gang members, and killers of all stripes. They are typically cannon fodder to make the player characters feel more powerful or to provide support for a more capable villain that they align themselves with. Ruffians aren’t interested in fighting to the death and will run away as soon as the battle doesn’t go their way. That isn’t to say that they are inherently a cowardly lot. They are just far more interested in their continued existence than any sort of “higher purpose.” Remember that ruffians are Dirty, Lying Scoundrels and Cheats. They will take any advantage and refuse to fight fair. Expect to be ganged up on, ambushed, or sniped from afar.

  • 3 stress, 3 strain
  • +3 fight, +2 shoot, +1 move
  • One of the Ruffians has a Revolver

What do they know?

  • The train has a big payoff in the vault

A Hostage Situation

The train is currently going through the Badlands where Whipping winds (+3) threaten to knock anything on top of the train. This is the Dining Car and it’s in shambles. Laying on the ground, near the bar is Ashlyn Mitchell who is being held hostage by 5 Ruffians. Outside, yellow grasses and loose sand mark the land with craggy rocks sticking out of the ground and tall, four legged creatures towering in the distance.


  • Wine and Spirits
  • Heavy Tables

Ashlyn Mitchell, Hostage

(Scared Rancher, In over her head)

A 5′ 8″ tall, ruddy skinned woman with captivating, hazel eyes, small ears, a flat nose and small lips. She is bald, has long nails, and she wears an unsuitably-coloured foundation and thin eyeliner. She is bleeding.

  • Opposition: Good (+3)
  • Choice: Will you give up and drop your weapons?
  • Repercussion (Talk your way out): One of the Ruffians gets away!
  • Repercussion (Quickdraw): Ashlyn is hurt in the gunfight.

4 Ruffians

(Beady-eyed Thieves, Will run away, Dirty lying scoundrels and cheats)

  • 3 stress, 3 strain
  • +3 fight, +2 shoot, +1 move

Talkative Ruffian, Filler

(Beady-eyed Thieves, Will run away, Dirty lying scoundrels and cheats)

This is just like the other Ruffians but is armed with a revolver. Will try to shoot Ashlyn if violence breaks out. Can be taken out beforehand.

  • 3 stress, 3 strain
  • +3 fight, +2 shoot, +1 move
  • Revolver, DR 1

Firefight in the Cargo Car

The train is now going through the Devil’s Teeth. Huge white granite rocks are cut into strange shapes, occasionally the train shakes due to minor earthquakes, and irregularly ash will pour up from the granite and fall like snow. The Cargo car is dark and extra dangerous. It’s filled with enemies who (if you let the ruffian go) are under heavy cover. Every two rounds, the train is plunged into darkness for a round. If trying to get there from the roof, they have to look out! (+4) for the dark tunnel that will possibly kill them.


  • Broken Boxes
  • Loose Luggage
  • Under Heavy Cover
    • the ruffians have this if one was allowed to get away

2 Ruffians

(Beady-eyed Thieves, Will run away, Dirty lying scoundrels and cheats)

  • 3 stress, 3 strain
  • +3 fight, +2 shoot, +1 move

Shotgun Ruffian

(Beady-eyed Thieves, Will run away, Dirty lying scoundrels and cheats)

Will try to sneak up to the party to hit them with the shotgun.

  • 3 stress, 3 strain
  • +3 fight, +2 shoot, +1 move
  • Shotgun, DR: 3 (1 DR if not in the same zone)

Abraham Dashnel

(Warrior poet wannabe, Bull in a china shop)

A tall and athletically built, white skinned man with friendly, brown eyes, large ears and a small nose. He has curly, dark brown hair, has slender hands, and a short torso and a larger-than-average waist. He is very mobile and will use the boxes for cover and move around the conflict zones. He is also very aggressive and if he can separate the party, he will attack whomever is alone.

  • +4: Fight, +3: Survival, and Move, +2: Endure, Charm, and Know
    • Human Shield: When you defend with Brawn, you get Armor: 2
    • Freight train: If you move one zone before attacking, you get Weapon: 2
  • 6 stress boxes
  • Mild, moderate, and severe consequence slots

Calm Before the Storm

Just an empty passenger car. The gang members gathered up in the passenger cars ahead. This is a chance for the party to catch their breath and interact a little before throwing themselves into the big, final battle.


  • Bench Seats
  • Overhead Luggage Compartments
    • A Simple first aid kit is hidden (Fair (+2) Survival to find) in one of the compartments

The Big Battle

The next three cars are passenger cars. The luggage has been made into cover and the doors have been broken in such a way that Lily can shoot clear across the three cars. The heroes must fend off the gang members while dealing with Uneven track of the Forgotten Shores. Outside, a frozen mountain with gleaming metal parts rises out of the water, a huge metal structure that looks like a noose for a giant hangs off the side of the mountain, and a light like a red lighthouse blinks from atop.


  • Wide Open Doors
  • Barricade of Luggage

Uneven Track, Hazard

At the beginning of each round have everyone roll Move to stay on their feet.

  • Good (+3) Uneven Track

5 Ruffians, Filler

(Beady-eyed Thieves, Will run away, Dirty lying scoundrels and cheats)

Some of these will have guns and some won’t. Make them ranged or fighters depending on how things have been.

  • 3 stress, 3 strain
  • +3 fight, +2 shoot, +1 move

Marcus Dashnel, Leader

(Eagle-eyed leader, quick to anger, my pappy’s shotgun)

A 5′ 1″ tall, red-brown skinned man with neutral, light brown eyes, small ears, a round chin, thick eyebrows and a stubby nose. He has straight, brown hair, wears fashionable clothes. He stays back and covers Lily.

  • +5: Shoot; +4: Fight, Move; +3: Know, Charm, Contact
  • 6 stress boxes
  • Mild, mediocre, and severe consequence slots
    • Mook Shield: Whenever you are attacked, you can spend a fate point to divert the attack to nearby filler enemies.
    • Kaboom! When you use my pappy’s shotgun on all opponents in your zone you get weapon: 3
    • Double tap: You may make an attack at Weapon: 4 with a +2 but must spend a turn Reloading!

Lily Dashnel, Sniper

(Ice cold sniper, humorless narcissist, “time to improvise!”)

A tall and heavily built, white skinned woman with watchful, blue eyes, a stubby nose and large ears. She has wavy, light brown hair, has piercings in four places, has a small welt on her left cheek, and she usually wears a traditional pair of shorts. She will pick off the most dangerous targets and work her way down systematically.

  • +5 Shoot; +4 Move, Know
  • 3 stress boxes
  • Mild consequence slot
    • Ninja Vanish: By spending a fate point, you can make yourself vanish from the scene entirely. Then, at the end of any later turn, you can spend another fate point to make yourself reappear anywhere in the scene and immediately attack.
    • My trusty rifle, single round lever-action reload, +3 DR / -1 DR (same zone)

Devon Stewart, Hostage

(Meticulous Engraver, Terrified bystander)

A tall and slender, fair skinned person with meaningful, gray eyes, smooth cheeks and large ears. They have straight, golden-blond hair lightly streaked with shades of aquamarine, have toned legs, and strong arms, have a noticeable birthmark on their lower back, and they wear fabulous clothes. Marcus will use Devon as a bargaining chip if things go wrong.

Runaway Train

The train is damaged and will soon derail into Sarkland if it isn’t stopped. The train is out of control due to the throttle being broken off.


  • Flaring boiler

Throttle Repair, Obstacle

  • Opposition: Superb (+5) to repair the throttle
  • 5 Boxes
  • Trigger: Every attempt to fix the throttle or every round
  • Outcome: The train Derails

What’s in the safe?

The Safe is a huge vault bolted to the train. It has the vault doors (which are opened) and then the superb (+5) vault itself. Inside is a pallet with a Huge Sum of Money.


Assuming that the party doesn’t break into the vault and vanish with the huge sum of money, Mister Brown will be very happy with their work, give them the agreed-upon reward (a windfall of cash) and bring up another problem. You see, he has a stake in Sarkland that could really use some people with strong moral character…

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