My thoughts on the Fate Core preview scenarios...

So, here are my thoughts on the first seven previews of things in the Fate Core Kickstarter. I am ranking them from least to most interesting to me. That doesn’t mean I did not like any of them, cuz I want to play all of them…but certain settings just call to me more.

Burn Shift (post-apocalyptic world)

My first thought is that I have never been much into the post-apocalyptic settings. But that is more of a personal preference than anything wrong with it.

Then I started to read it and it grew on me quickly. I like how it went above the Fate Core and dealt mutation in a way that was kind of cool. I also love the idea of flaws, since I want to put them in my own game as well. There is also a lot of room to create your own Burn Shifts (mutations) if you are creative.

Oh and the communities? Genius.  It just adds another cool layer to the character you are and what community you are a part of. They also get their own health and mental tracks and I find all of that pure win. They also give you examples of the communities in the existing world.

Using hazards as obstacles is something else I have thought a lot about with my own games, and I like how it was done here.

Overall, would definitely play this. Loved some of the ideas behind the world.

Camelot Trigger (King Arthur via giant mechas)

What I did love about this was how cool they brought in the myth of King Arthur and the Knights and incorporated it in the setting. It was just a lot of fun and how it was handled and because of that it peaked my interest in the setting quite a bit.

There was a lot of interesting things done with how the mecha was brought into the game.  It can also be two different kinds of games. One where you are doing things on your own, and another when you get into your “armour”.  Each part of the mecha can do different things. There is head, front, back, arms, and legs. Each one can have a different component (such as skill, or gaining a +2 to one), and there are a lot of options for those people that live to make a giant ass robot. J

That is not me though. Don’t get me wrong, would play the hell out of this game, but the genre is just not an exciting to me as a few of the other ones.

Still, getting to be a knight of the round in space? Very cool idea and I can see why so many people are excited about it.

The Wild Blue (the old west plus super powers)

The old west meets the superfriends. Er…sorta.

You are warden’s. You keep the Queen’s peace and you just happen to also have superpowers to help you. There are worse things you could have I suppose. From the start this sounded interesting, but that is due to the fact that I am playing around with an old west setting for Fate Core myself. But the addition of superpowers does give it a bit of a twist. 

The cool thing about it is that you can have a power, but it also has a cost that has to be just as powerful as the well…power. So you can say you have super strength, but the touch of iron hurts you. Or my favorite you can get a glimpse of the future, but you can do nothing to change it. Things like that. It makes for an interesting creation of a power. The cost doesn’t have to have anything to do with the power as long as it is something that is limiting.

They also did a decent job of a setting. Giving you different locations and a key NPC from each one. Which is a nice starting point if you decide to play the game.

Tower of the Serpents (high fantasy)

I love fantasy.

I always have and the game I am making is a fantasy game using Fate. So, I was very excited to read this and also do to how great Brennan Taylor tends to be in his games.

It was not what I was expecting, which isn’t really a bad thing.

The reason I say this is that this one was made for a world already set in place. It does not come up with magic or anything for your game; other than using Lore as magic. This was more of a scenario. With all of the other things I have read, I was just not expecting that. Again, that is fine.

The story is that you are hired to find an artifact from the Tower of Serpents. Then every other faction in the city seems to want you to hand it to them instead.

Once I got past all my misguided expectations, it was fun. The scenario is going to be about choice. Do you take it back to the caravan master? To the Triad? To the Governor? What about the Sorcerer?

So it becomes about choice and the dramatic effect of that choice. Very simply done, but with the potential of high drama. I like that combination myself. There are interesting sounding npc’s and enough factions for you to play more than one session, or just incorporate to your own game.

No exit (psychological horror)


Another one I really had my eye on. I love horror and have not seen anyone really tackle it well in Fate. There could be a good hack of it out there; I am just saying I have not seen it.

So you have are member in the community, but has made you forget who you are and wants you to be a drone. You wake up and it is time to get the %#&% out!

I liked it. I liked how the purpose of the game is to get your memories back and how you go about that. The management wants you to go back to your abode and carry on as before and will do whatever it takes to stop you.

You get a new skill Clarity. Which is an uber version of Will. It allows you to see through the illusions that Management uses to confuse you. You can spend fate points to trigger memories that you have forgotten. Or even destroy an item you had to create with each aspect in order to sacrifice that memory for a serious advantage. You don’t get the aspect back and if you lose all three, you become lost and become the drone they want.

All of this is awesome.

The Ellis affair (mystery, espionage, pulp)

I love a good mystery and have hoped someone would do it justice in a fate setting. So, I have been excited about this one from the onset.

Luckily, it does a good job of making it feel like a mystery. Set in the same time period as Spirit of the Century, it also has that pulp feel that I appreciated out of the game. Hell, you could use your existing Sotc characters in this game if you have them already.

One awesome thing they did which I will only talk about briefly is making a cool way to handle gambling. I am not going to go into it does a great job of inserting it into the game and making it sound like an actual game of poker (or whatever).  Being someone that likes to have a gambling skill, this made me happy.

There is a lot going on here and a lot of challenges for your players. Many dangers as you are dealing with spies, thugs, and even a large creature (along with trying to escape a flooded room). 

Overall it sounds like a blast to play. A lot of possible hooks for future games in this setting.  Very well done.
Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie (Pulp action with fighter combat and zeppelins)

This one was fun to read from the start. 

First of all, it had that Spirit of the Century pulp feel that drew me into that game five years ago. Combine that with the fact that you are fighter pilots (and damn good ones at that) it just seems like a lot of fun.

Taking place in 1919, just after the “Great War”, you find out that the Allies victory was not as complete as they thought it was. This would not be complete without a mad German scientist that has created machines that are rampaging Africa and the Mediterranean.

Your job? Stop them!

Sign me the hell up.

You choose your pre-gen (or make one) and pick your plane with whatever refresh it states and off you go to fight evil and gain fame!

I like that they have ties with the other pilots, but that can be friendly, or even rivals. Let’s face it, you are a fighter pilot and you want to be recognized for what you do. After each fight you are debriefed and then a fun sort of social combat can take place. You are debriefed by your commanding officer and a young plucky reporter by the name of Ernest Hemingway. This to me adds another layer to the game. You have to talk to your commanding office and state how well you did (i.e. how many kills) and it can turn into a social thing quickly. Especially if you are a rival of someone else that may not confirm your kills so they will look better…or even an ally that wants you to succeed. A lot of potential with this.


  1. Count me in for the last two in this list at some point, because pulp is awesome.

  2. Hard to argue with the awesome that is pulp.

  3. Thanks for the great words about Burn Shift, Stacey! Glad to hear you liked it! :-)

  4. Your welcome Sarah. Thanks for the comment.