Masks of Nyarlathotep: FATE Edition
I’ll be using the FATE Core rules throughout, with some changes below. See the SRD here:
You will also be part of an occult investigative team, the Orphic League. See 7, below, for details.
1. Think about your character concept. You may want to base your character around a Lovecraftian occupation, below:
2. Make up a cool 1920’s appropriate name for your character.
3. Go through the phases (see below) in order, picking an Aspect (a short, punchy phrase describing a character trait) for each phase.
Phase 1: High Concept
Describe your character’s origins and training (or lack thereof) in two or three sentences. Then condense this background into a short, evocative aspect. The High Concept aspect could involve the character’s race, occupation, and a meaningful personality trait or characteristic.
Examples: Overeager Antiquarian, Hard-Nosed Ex-Police Detective, Flapper with a Heart of Steel, Jaded Millionaire Playboy
Phase 2: Trouble
What gets in your character’s way? What’s her greatest weakness, her secret fear? Remember that a really evocative weakness can be the most memorable part of a character. It can also be the easiest to roleplay. Summarize this weakness in a Trouble aspect.
Examples: Curious to a Fault, The Devil Drink, Can’t Trust Anyone, Live Hard and Die Young
Phase 3: Becoming an Orphic League Investigator
What was your character’s first supernatural experience while a member of the Orphic League? Was this a genuine occult phenomenon, or a hoax? Did your character debunk a charlatan or become a true believer? Write two or three sentences about this experience, making sure to leave enough space for other players to contribute to the story. Then summarize something learned, lost, or gained from this adventure into a short Aspect.
Examples: I’ve Read About That, Not the Face!, I’ve Got Jack’s Back
Phase 4: Crossing Paths
Pass your character sheet to the left and take the character sheet of the player on your right. Read his or her Becoming an Investigator summary and think about how your character, as a fellow League investigator, played a role in the events described. Add two or three sentences about your character’s actions in the story. Then summarize something new this experience revealed about your character in an Aspect.
Phase 5: Crossing Paths Again
Once again, pass the character sheet you are holding to the left and take the character sheet of the player on your right. Read the Becoming an Investigator summary and add two or three sentences about your character’s role in this story. Then summarize something new this experience revealed about your character in an Aspect. Once you are finished, reclaim your own character sheet.
You should now have five aspects: a High Concept Aspect, a Trouble Aspect, and three Aspects based on experiences as an Orphic League investigator.
4. Assign your skills.
1 skill at Great (4) 0
2 skills at Good (3) 00
3 skills at Fair (2) 000
4 skills at Average (1) 0000
5. Select three stunts for your character.
For copious stunt examples, see the terribly-organized Spirit of the Century SRD:
6. Record starting refresh, stress, etc.
Starting Refresh is 3. You may reduce your Refresh by 1 to take an extra stunt.
Starting physical stress is 2 plus half your Physique, rounded up.
Starting mental stress is 2 plus half your Will, rounded up.
7. As you construct your character, keep in mind that you are part of an investigative team. This team is called the Orphic League. The League specializes in investigating cases that other groups won’t touch, generally of a supernatural nature. You can decide whether you are a true believer in supernatural phenomena or a skeptic. See the Orphic League page for additional details.