FATE Old Crown Skills

I’ve been thinking more about the move of using FATE rules for the Old Crown, if and when I go back to it.

So, if you don’t know, the default skill list for FATE is:

I’ve also been looking at the Atomic Robo rules, with Skill Modes to group them together, but after removing a handful of skills. So, after making a few reskins and fiddling, I end up with:
Combat (renaming fight and shoot)
Deception (renaming deceive)
Intimidation (renaming provoke)
Investigation (renaming investigate)
Magic (*only used depending on character aspects or equipment aspects/stunts)
Thievery (renaming burglary and stealth)

And with Skill Modes in Warrior, Scholar, Sneak and Mage





I’m hoping that letting the Scholar and Sneak groups have an extra skill won’t be a problem, but I don’t know what I’d drop to make it equal. Or what I’d add to other groups.

And of course, most of the characters are mad mixes if they’re Seawitches or Noble-born Arcanists or Beastfolk Mercenaries.


Quick Roundup

So for the last few weeks, I’ve managed to write a new post to go up each Monday and Friday, but I missed one. I had a bunch of writing built up and then through a combination of extra training at work and travel, I didn’t get around to writing one.

Big mistake!

Hopefully, I’ll keep on track for the foreseeable.


What’s gone on in the meantime? Dima the Crow got an outing. I was pretty happy with how he played, but we’re levelling up after this first session and I think I’m going to retool a little bit. I didn’t go full bladelock before, and I’m not intending to now, but I think maybe a bit more offence and less defence might be useful. Replacing Armour of Agathys with Hex is looking to be my first step since I can use an Invocation slot for Mage Armour.


I have a plan to sit down at some point in the near future and add some more Magic decks to my list. I have a fair few that I’m quite pleased with how they turned out, I may as well show them off. I’m currently working on a brew for a Frontier Mardu Warriors deck and a Commander Saskia Warriors in a similar vein (but with green for ramp and access to Naya staples).


I’ve started moving my Ginnungagap rules over from Homebrewery to GMBinder. Not a big change exactly, since it’s mostly a copy/paste job, and the rules aren’t exactly extensive, and the need to format them in standard D&D styles is a vanity project. But it’s one I’ve been working on.

I realised I had a few mistakes and the sections need reordering some. And then I can happily work away on Races and get them rounded off.


I’ve found myself reading through different twists on rules for FATE, both for my FATEPunk idea and for the Old Crown. I have a feeling the skill modes from Atomic Robo will be a good fit for the Old Crown if I can work out appropriate modes.

And then I’ve sort of started thinking about the move of FATEPunk from the Pacific to Africa. Started. A bit. Probably too much.

State of the FATEPunk

Oh no, now I’ve started thinking about old projects, I may have gone too far!


As I said in the last post, I stole borrowed the Pacific setting of my FATE-based cyberpunk game on a game I played in 2011 or thereabouts, which I enjoyed thoroughly. But the game fell down and stopped at more or less a denouement for my character, in the middle of a combat sequence, possibly in the vein of ‘one last job’ before I retired the character and played something a little more in keeping with the rest of the group (all more or less affiliated with the police department, whilst I was a Yakuza-style underboss).

Which is probably why I didn’t let it go.


Now, after idly pondering in the last post and in one of my old A-Z posts, I feel like maybe moving the setting around to make it more my own would be a much better idea. And that’s probably why I’ve fallen down a reading rabbit hole.

What am I reading? Well, after googling “where should I put my space elevator?” and reading this search result, it became obvious from the map halfway down that maybe the Asian Pacific and Central America / the Caribbean were a bad idea just based on weather, but areas near the Horn of Africa look much better.

Which led me to start thinking about how little I actually know about that area, and how that world might look, and now I’m down a warren of Afrofuturism, Afropunk and language maps.


So what might it look like, from a couple of days of reading? Well, probably not too different from the old idea of a sea-based platform for the base of the space elevator, some islands built around to service it, and so on. But the cultural reality would be different.

If we follow from that old A-Z post, this elevator wasn’t the sole product of a Megacorp investment group, and the subsequent governance of the area wasn’t under the umbrella of that group. Instead, we have a Pan-African investment, probably with Megacorp contributors, and maybe with nearby governments hoping to chip in and work on the project.

We could use China’s current ties to African investment to create a Special Administrative Region on the coast of Africa, a sort of New Hong Kong independent from any one nation by treaty, but administered by African Union. And since we’re in the locality, let’s call this New Mogadishu. We’ll have to come up with what caused the AU to step in for control of Somalia’s capital, or perhaps all of Somalia.

Then, we have to think about what kind of cultural melting pot we have. This is a big project, a big city, we’ll pull in people speaking Somali, Malagasy, Swahili, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, and why not Marathi, Gujurati and Tamil, Afrikaans, Hindi and any other African and European languages could be thrown in too.

Being able to understand the environment means Augmented Reality for comprehension becomes almost necessary, or else a selection of pidgins, creoles and lingua francas (franci?) spoken by the majority just to get by. But a few words here and there would make sense (how many languages can I at least say please and thank you in currently? Ten?).

And the messy cultural setting plays well with an idea of a war on cultural loss in the face of globalisation.


For setting flavour, I need to do some more digging on Afrofuturism and Afropunk and read some books and listen to some music and watch some movies, but I think I’m building a foundation.

I hope I can get the Ginnungagap out of the way before I do something silly like start learning Swahili!


As for rules, well the FATE Core rules started to get a bit clunky when I was adding cybernetics to them. I’ve been looking at Fate Accelerated recently, which looks a bit more promising. Maybe the Fate Accelerated Plus hack, which uses both approaches and professions could be played around with. I don’t know, I need more time to ponder on that.

Or maybe I’ll give up and go back to the idea of using Cortex. Not sure.

More soon.

Parts of a City

Over the weekend, I had a non-digital day, turned off all my tech and only used my phone as a cooking timer when I made a very late dinner.

I got a LOT of reading done.

And I also did some brainstorming.


So, here’s a few location ideas I listed for parts and places of a city, in a fantasy or sci-fi setting, I don’t think it really matters. You could drop these in as locations during character building, or in a shared FATE location construction, and draw some descriptions, plot hooks or Aspects out from them.

They’re a pretty mixed bag, but they sort of got bunched into groups as I was coming up with them.


The Grand Promenade, Arcades, the Avenues, Oldtown, the New Quarter, the Zocalo

The Estates, Villas, the Tenements, Outwall

The Barracks, Guildhalls, the Senate, the Conclave, Palaces

The Great Temple, Ecclesiarch’s Palace, the Pantheon, Synod

The Souk, Night Market, the Floating Market, the Goblin Market, Caravaners’ Bazaar

Wharves and Dockside, the Docklands, Moorings, Ferries, Underbridge, Rialto, Longbridge, Riverdown

The Rooftops, Birdtown, the Nest, Highperch, Towers, Hightown

The Maze, Warrens, the Spider’s Nest, Witches’ Den, Alleys, the Broken

The Pits, Night Quarter, Vice Houses, the Dens, Red Street, Flops

End of Week 1 of A-Z, what next?

Ok, so there’s only been two posts, but I’m counting it as week one!

I hope you’re enjoying this little look into the world of the Old Crown setting that I’ve been working on. I’ve written a couple of days ahead now and I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out so far. I’ve managed to actually plan all the letters and so far I’m pretty happy. I might juggle a few later in the month.

What else is going on? Well, I’ve changed the look of the blog. I’m still not so happy with the colours so they might change, but I think I’m happy enough with this layout. We’ll see though.

I’m planning on throwing extra posts outside the A-Z up on Sundays if I have one to write. If I’m feeling really productive, they may even go up as an extra post, but we’ll see how that pans out for the rest of the month.

So far I’m feeling pretty productive though. I’ve decided that the next foray into the world of the Old Crown will be using the Fate Accelerated rules, which by now I’m sure most are familiar with but are entirely free to download, and there’s an SRD here too.

I’ve run with the Fate Core before but was always put off a bit by Accelerated, but I don’t know why. The setting fits pretty well in my head with the rules, and it’s not too fiddly, and I don’t have to work out the magic or new stress tracks or anything because it all works right away. I might add a reputation mechanic for a +1/+0/-1 with various organisations, but again that’s not too fiddly and I don’t even have to really. So yay!

That said, conversions for 5E D&D are forming up too. I think I can convert most of the races pretty well with just a little bit of reskinning and minor fiddling. Backgrounds are easy enough to fit, the classes would need some work though (but I’m getting there!)

I’ve got a viking/norse-themed setting for 5E starting to form up pretty well too. I need to work more on the storyline and maybe monsters too, but I’m pretty happy so far and I know where I’m going with it, just not worked out the journey yet!

All in all, a good week! More to come soon.

Unexpected title generator failure

It’s my birthday this week. I turn 29.

I’ve been having a hard time getting the motivation to write recently, I don’t know why. I have plenty of time to do it, I just seem to lack the enthusiasm I wish I had.

Maybe that’s the problem – I’m wishing I was more enthusiastic when I could just try and do it regularly enough to form a habit.

That’s what I had been doing before, but due to losing Internet access for a while when we moved, I never really got the push back into writing that I needed I suppose.

Well, I’m going to try and turn over a new leaf, what with my birthday and all. Starting this week, I WILL be forcing myself to write and POST stuff, and not just mess about with little bits and fail to share anything.

I’ve been thinking about running an intro to my FATE setting over Hangouts too. It’s been a while since I did anything with it, but it would be nice to have a bit more feedback, and the push to get my ideas in gear might be useful too!

If anyone would be interested, let me know. I’ll drop an invitation out on various social media at some point soon too, see what I can scrounge up.

Some random thoughts on the Old Crown

I was monotonously busy at work (I work in files) and I came up with some interesting ideas for my RPG setting, the Old Crown.

Whilst there’ll be more to follow in other posts, I just wanted to wander down my mindtrack openly for  a while.

The way magic is set up in the setting, there are three basic ways to access it: intense schooling (Arcanists), divine sponsorship (Oathed), and natural affinity (Witches).

The Arcanists learn to bend the various elemental energies of the world to their will. The Oathed have more powerful abilities, but with a narrower focus, bound to the powers of their patron.

The Witches have melded their soul with a spirit to act as a sort of liaison with the magical world. Truly powerful Witches have bonded with several spirits, or else somehow became aligned with strong spirits that needed them in some way – a spirit of lightning springs immediately to mind as one that would cease to exist almost instantly without bonding with/striking a Witch.

But I was also thinking about Barrowights, the ghosts of those long dead. The soul of a deceased mortal might hang around (at great danger) in order to fulfill some task or other.
The thing about Barrowights is, these things are LONG dead.
Somehow, they’ve held on to the last echoes of their life, watching whilst everyone they knew died off as well, whatever their reason for continuing slowly disappearing into dust.

And then they go slowly insane.

Eventually, you get something like a mad ghost/banshee/rusalka, and it might attack anything living out of spite or in abject grief.
Or, and here’s where my interesting idea comes in, perhaps a Witch might bond with one.

Barrowights don’t get about much, as their range of haunting shrinks from ‘everyone and everything they knew in life’ to ‘close to their physical remains’ (since everyone/thing they knew is now all gone). Maybe one isn’t quite as mad as all the others, and it somehow finds a kindred soul in the mortal Witch.

So, along with flashy spirits of lightning that make the Witch mildly static at all times, and pack one hell of a magic punch, there’s little lights and heat from candles or campfires, light and sound from Will O’Wisps, silence and shadow from spirits of the dark, growth and healing from earth or tree spirits, and now some kind of other powers brought from a bond with the long dead.

Could be cool, right?