Sunday, September 15, 2013

Musings on Stunts for FAE and FATE Core. Plus a bonus guest appearance by Dr. Byron Orpheus

I really enjoyed working up the FAE version of Brock Samson. It was super fun, but I got the feeling that some people thought that his Stunts were a little too powerful. I am inclined to disagree. For example on page 31 of the FAE book:

"Because I [describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome], I get a +2 when I [pick one: Carefully, Cleverly, Flashily, Forcefully, Quickly, Sneakily] [pick one: attack, defend, create advantages, overcome] when [describe a circumstance]."


Because Brock's skill with a knife borders on the supernatural, he gets a +2 when he uses Forceful to attack with a knife.

That one is straight out of the book.

The second Stunt I admitted was a bit powerful. I omitted the "once per game session" portion of the formula. Instead I provided two limitations. This Stunt only works on Contests. Not Challenges or Conflicts. I also set the limitation that it only works on Henchmen. Otherwise Brock is pretty much always going to show up a Henchman. Which really isn't that big a deal. To me it just omits some book keeping.

In FAE and FATE Core, stunts are intended to be very open ended in their construction. The game gives you some basic structure on how to create them, but I believe that the vagueries that are left are intentional. Building Stunts in FATE Core is more complex with a lot more options than FAE, which leaves even more of this aspect of character creation up to you.

In FATE the creation of Stunts is perhaps the most labor intensive part of character creation. Why? Because it has the highest likelihood of being game breaking. This is why it takes some careful cooperation between the players and the GM. What has to be kept in mind is that the Stunts themselves should not be limited by what it says in a book but should be molded to fit the creative style of the stories you want to tell. A superhero story is going to have RADICALLY different stunt limitations than a hard boiled detective tale. Context is everything when dealing with stunts and they should be judged more by the setting and character they are designed to portray than some judgment of mechanical utility or balance.

That being said, on with the show! (I am not doing these characters in any particular order. Brock and the good Doctor O happen to be my favorite characters in the show.)

Name: Dr. Byron Orpheus

Description: Tall and slender wearing black and white striped pants and a red coat with a long dark purple cloak held closed by a gold and ruby pendant. Grey  haired with a grey goatee.


High Concept
Master of Mysticism. A self prescribed moniker used by Dr. Orpheus as he describes himself before entering battle along side the members of the Order of the Triad. Although is PhD is in communications with a minor in women's studies, Dr. Orpheus is a powerful sorcerer and necromancer with a broad range of abilities including creating fireballs, teleportation, astral projection, lethal energy blasts, telekinesis, lightning projection, mind control, mind reading, flight, shrinking, making his opponent's body parts vanish, and of course, raising the dead (duh, necromancer),

Cuckold husband and single father.  Dr. Orpheus is dedicated to his work maintaining the unknowable safety net keeps your soft pink insignificance from plunging eternally towards oblivion. His job sir, is to repair that net. It's a pretty big job and it has cost Byron just about everything. Formerly married to the sorceress known as Tatiana, and father to a young daughter named Triana, Dr. Orpheus lost it all to the persistent advances of a younger Necromancer named The Outrider. Burdened by the loss of a woman he still loves and left to raise his daughter on his own, Dr. Orpheus struggles to cope with his own inadequacies and deep resentment of the choices and sacrifices he has made.

My Pumpkin's maiden head is not a PRIZE! Dr. O is very protective of his young daughter Triana, who seems to have him pretty much wrapped around her little finger. She is "Wicked Hot" and extremely precocious. She manages to sometimes attract the inappropriate attention of older men like Peter White. More than anything he wants his daughter to lead a safe and normal life, free from the freakish and bizarre lifestyle that his lead Dr. Orpheus through a road of loneliness and misery. Despite this, Triana will eventually chose to move away with her mom and begin her studies as a Sorceress.

To perceive and control the delicate arrangements of the cosmos. Dr. Orpheus has worked his entire life to be able to perceive the second world. He holds incredible power and the ability to manipulate forces with the power of his own mind. With the guidance of his Master, a shape shifting spiritual entity from the "Necropolis" whose portal exists in Triana's closet, Dr. Orpheus could very well be one of the most powerful sorcerers on earth.

Founding member of the Order of the Triad. When Dr. Orpheus got approved by the Guild of Calamitous Intent for an official Arching, he was approved for a team membership. Quickly, Dr. Orpheus put together his old team, the Order of the Triad. Consisting of himself, The Alchemist, seeker of truth and Jefferson Twilight, Blackula Hunter, the Triad was matched with the arch villain Torrid. Together they fight to gaze upon the impenetrable, behold to the impossible and smooth the wrinkles in the fabric of the very reality we exist upon!


  • Careful 2
  • Clever 2
  • Flashy 3
  • Forceful 0
  • Quick 1
  • Sneaky 1


If I reach behind your ear, it will not be a nickel I pull out, but your very soul!
Because Dr. Orpheus is a Master Sorcerer, he gets a +2 when using Flashy to Create and Advantage using a magic spell.

Tricks! How dare you. With just a thought I could rise into the air. I could incinerate this entire lab, make you believe you are a very special episode of BLOSSOM, and shoot lighting from my hands!
Dr. Orpheus can choose to Flashy for Conflicts and Challenges instead of Forceful when using his sorcery.

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