After a character has gone through the Phases, and determined his or her aspects, there are a few other points to consider:
Skills: Characters received the standard FATE/SOTC skill package:
1 skill at Superb: ❏
2 skills at Great: ❏ ❏
3 skills at Good: ❏ ❏ ❏
4 skills at Fair: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏
5 skills at Average: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏
Stunts: Unlike SOTC, where a character gets 5 stunts, and a Fate-point refresh rate equal to the number of Aspects they have (10), in FAR WEST, a character starts with 6 stunts, and can gain additional stunts by reducing their refresh rate from the starting 10 (thereby depending more on having their Aspects compelled by the GM). For every point that you reduce your refresh rate, you gain an additional stunt. No player may have a refresh rate lower than 1 (which would give the PC a total of 15 stunts — the maximum allowable in FAR WEST).
The main reason for this is the inclusion of wuxia-style kung fu to the setting, which is powered by stunts. I didn’t want players to have a good set of heroic wuxia moves, to the exclusion of all other stunts. Increasing the number of stunts had the potential of being too high-powered, though….but then
Finally, players can boost their final refresh rate a bit through the use of Bonds.
Bonds are the pre-game affiliations of a character, and come in two varieties: connections and memberships. The PC can have up to three Bonds, and each one raises the final refresh rate by 1 (to a max of 10 total).
Connections are existing relationships with other PCs. (Note that it is possible to have more than 3 existing relationships, if you so choose, but only 3 would gain the benefits of being a Bond, mechanically-speaking.) The players should detail their histories together (the more detail they provide, the more fodder the GM has for inclusion in further adventures).
Memberships are affiliations with a group. PCs should take this as a Bond if the affiliation is still a factor in the character’s life — for example, the school where you learned kung fu (as defined in your Master phase) might not be a Bond, unless you were still actively concerned with the school in your daily life. Likewise, status as an Outlaw (not necessarily a “group” in the organized sense of the word) isn’t something that a player could ignore in their daily life, and so would count as a Bond. There will be groups defined in the main rulebook (and I’ll go into some detail on these in a future journal entry).
Each Bond has something called a Bond Aspect, which can be compelled by the GM or tagged by any character who is aware of the Bond. You do NOT, however, gain Fate points for being compelled through a Bond. The Bond Aspect for a Connection is the kind of relationship — “Friendship with Ringo” or “My Brother Hondo”. Bond Aspects for Membership are just the name of the particular group — “Outlaw,” “Imperial Seventh Cavalry” or “Tick-tock Man.”
At the end of character creation, a PC should now have:
- 10 Aspects.
- 15 Skills.
- Between 6 and 15 Stunts.
- A Refresh Rate (and starting Fate Points) equal to 10 minus the number of extra Stunts taken, plus 1 for every Bond.
- Up to 3 Bonds.
Next journal entry, I’ll talk more about the fictional setting of FAR WEST.
Jay Chou – “Fearless (Huo Yuan Jia)”