Basing the Far West system on the existing FATE system has required tweaks here and there — for example, certain skills and stunts, originally designed for an early-20th-century time period (for Spirit of the Century) aren’t appropriate to the setting of this game.
Here are two new skills created for Far West, as well as the stunts that accompany them:
Qi (pronounced chee) is the “breath of life” — the inner energy flow of every living thing. Think of it as spiritual energy, life, The Force, etc. The main thing that seperates Xia (…and by the way — if anyone has a suggestion for a Far West -appropriate version of this term, I’m all ears. “Heroes” doesn’t quite cover it. I may just end up using “Xia” the same way that I’ll also be using “kung fu” and, well “Qi”, for that matter…) from other people is awareness of this flow — the ability to direct it within their own bodies, as well as sense it in others.
The main in-game use of Qi, outside of stunts, is as a combined skill, complementing the use of other skills. For example, Qi can be used to complement Alertness, in order to detect that an NPC you just met is strong in qi, and hence is also a Xia. Or, channeling your qi into a strike can result in the skill being used as a complement to Fists.
Qi Stunts: A brief look at the stunts associated with Qi….
Inner Flow:The character may spend a fate point, and swap a single incoming check mark between the two stress tracks — in other words, he can opt to take composure stress instead of injury, or vice versa.
Breath of Life:(requires Inner Flow)The character may spend a fate point, and remove move any single check mark from the injury track.
Self-Healing: (requires Inner Flow) The character may remove consequences via the expenditure of fate points: 1 pt for a minor, 2 for a moderate and 3 for a major.
Perfect Balance: The character, by adjusting the qi flow within her body, can balance anywhere — on a bamboo stalk, a fence post, a rope, the end of an opponent’s weapon, etc.
Qi Armor: (requires Breath of Life and Self-Healing) The character can harden himself against attack by fortifying with qi — an expenditure of a fate point gives a -2 stress reduction against incoming attacks for a single combat scene.
Healing Others:(requires Self-Healing) — As Self-Healing, but usable on others.
Put simply, Ride is the Far West version of the Drive skill, as well as taking on board all of the equestrian facets of the Survival skill. Obviously, the main in-game use will be the characters travelling via horseback.
Ride Stunts: A brief look at the stunts associated with Ride….
Born in the Saddle:The character is a gifted horseman, and gains +2 on all Ride rolls.
Trusty Steed:Your character has a horse as a companion. This companion is designed using four advances. This companion operates only with a “physical” scope, and must spend at least two of its advances on “Skilled” or “Quality”. Any “Skilled” advances must be taken from a short list: Athletics, Fists, Might, Stealth, and Survival. You may take only one skill outside of that list, within reason, as based on the animal type. In addition, you may use your horse’s own Athletics skill instead of your Ride skill when attempting manuevers.
Trick Pony: (requires Trusty Steed) Somehow, no matter what crazy stunts you attempt, you always seem to pull it off. You’re always able to make very tight turns, amazing jumps and ride through very narrow spaces without suffering any sort of increased difficulty due to environment, unless it is in fact physically impossible for your horse.
Fast Mount: You can mount your horse and ride off as a single action, taking no supplemental action penalty.
Hands Free :You can do all sorts of things from the back of your horse. Riding your animal never causes a supplemental action penalty when you’re doing something else from the saddle.
Hell Bent for Leather :You know how to get the best speed out of your mount. Any sprint action you take using Ride while mounted is done at +2. If you’re using your mount’s Athletics skill instead (as with Trusty Steed, above), the +2 is applied to the mount’s Athletics roll.
Breaking it In:Your character receives a +2 on all efforts to break in a new mount. If successful, he gets a +1 to all Ride rolls on a creature he has broken for the duration of that session.
I’m headed out to NYC for a writer’s conference next week, but I’ll try to get another entry posted on Monday or Tuesday. I’m not sure what it will cover — is there anything you’d like to hear about?
Speaking of hearing…..
Zang Ziyi – “Jia Ren Qu (The Beauty Song)” (from House of Flying Daggers)