Character Creation Rules

7 Skies Character Creation

Aspects

Players will create 5 Aspects for their characters. The first two are the character’s High Concept and their Trouble (which we’ll call Foibles for this game) as per the Core book. Your High Concept is what your character is about: it’s their job, their role in life, or their calling. Remember that Fate characters are exceptional and interesting people who keep involving themselves in dangerous things. Your High Concept should reflect that. For Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies, a High Concept should probably involve your character’s nation, and what it is they do (along with a few choice adjectives of course).

Examples:

Disgraced Colronan Musketeer
Scurvy swab of the Brethern of the Skull
Daring Barathi Skycaptain of The Arrow
Eccentric Zultanate Koldun
Honorable Sha-Ku Ruqrider

A character’s Foible is what complicates his existence. It could be a character flaw or personal struggle, or it could be a problematic relationship(s). Your Foible should link naturally to your character’s High Concept.

Examples:

What did you call me?! En garde!
Sucker for a pretty face
The Dread Pirate Radu wants me dead
Rival families on Marose Island
Madly in love with the fair Lady Sonsa

The third Aspect will be the character’s Swashbuckling Forte—whatever it is that he is particularly known for in terms of style. This will likely be the means by which your character fights (i.e. swashbuckles!), but isn’t necessarily limited to that: some characters are trained in a particular fencing style, others use their Gift or mystical arts, while still others might use skull-duggery, skysailing, or witty repartee. If your character has a Gift (I’d prefer this be only 1 PC out of the group), this is where it would go (all Gifts must be an Aspect, unless you’re playing a Koldun, in which case Koldun will be in your High Concept).

Examples:

I got two pistols, one for each of you…
Simara duelist
Mark of the Pegasus
Volley and Thunder!
(you know, for someone who likes cannons…)
I laugh in the face of danger. HA HA!

The fourth and fifth Aspects will be derived from stories about your character that involves the other PCs: how they first met, a challenge or problem they overcame (or didn’t!), or some kind of adventure they had. You’ll need a name for your character before these can come about if you don’t have one yet. These Aspects will be created through collaborative storytelling with others players, so there’s no need to come up with them on your own. We’ll do this in the first game session.

Skills

Next, choose skills for your character from the list below. You get 1 skill at +4, 2 skills at +3, 3 skills at +2, and 4 skills at +1. Basically this means your character will be very good at 3 things, and have proficiency in 7 more. All other skills default to zero.

Here are the skills. Some have simply been renamed to fit better the flavor of 7 Skies (the original skill name from Fate Core is in parentheses). A few new ones are there too, noted by an asterisk.

Acrobatics (Athletics)
Alchemy*
Cannons*
Contacts
Crafts
Deceive
Empathy
Investigate
Lore
Military Arts*
Notice
Physique
Rapport
Repartee (Provoke)
Ride (Drive)
Rogue (Burglary & Stealth)
Skysailing*
Swashbuckling (Fight & Shoot)
Survival *
Wealth (Resources)
Will

Stunts

Next, create Stunts for your character. Everyone gets 3 Stunts for free, and you can get up to 2 more Stunts at the cost of lowering your Refresh by 1 for each. Decide how many stunts you want, then write down your Refresh (minimum of 1). Your Refresh is how many Fate Points you get when the story hits a Refresh point.

Stunts are essentially a special trait your character has that changes the way a skill might work or might grant some unique ability (powers granted by Gifts would be a stunt, or a chain of stunts). Stunts indicate some special way a character uses a skill, which could be some kind of elite training, an innate talent, or just savior-faire.

Examples:

Dammit, I’m a doctor, not some crazy Koldun!
Because of medical training, you can roll Lore to heal injuries, treat disease, or slow poisons.

Riposte
If you succeed with style on fighting defense, you can inflict a 2-shift hit on your opponent instead of taking a boost.

My ship, my rules
You receive a +2 bonus on Repartee rolls to command those who are on your ship, but are not part of your crew.

Firewalker*
You can step through one fire and arrive at another. You must have line of sight to the fire.
*Requires the an Aspect for Mark of the Dragon.

The Rest

Now just fill in your physical and mental stress boxes. If your Physique skill is +1 or +2, you get an extra box of which can absorb 3 physical stress, and if it’s +3 or +4, you get an extra box which can absorb 3 stress, and another which can absorb 4. The Will skill works the same way, only with mental stress boxes.

Now you’re all set!

New Skills

Alchemy

Alchemy is the knowledge of and skill in manipulating natural and mystical substances, and transmuting them into other substances of great value or magical potency. Alchemists know the secrets of the Materia Mystica and how to bring these together effectively. It takes many years of careful study to be an Alchemist, and the practice involves long periods of personal meditation, adding ingredients in a precise order, with exhaustive and tedious procedures to be followed throughout. If the recipe is followed correctly, the Alchemist will (usually) be rewarded with a preparation—a potion, pill, or paste, that when consumed or applied, will produce an immediate mystical effect.

Overcome: Provided the alchemist has the right substance on hand, Alchemy can overcome a variety of challenges, be it pouring a liquid that eats metal to open a locked door, or placing a powder on damp wood which allows it to be ignited as if it was dry. In this vein, Alchemy can function like many other skills, but requires great preparation and anticipation of challenges to come.

Create an Advantage: The products of Alchemy are primarily used to create advantages, such as creating Aspects that function much like Gifts, but which are temporary (e.g., only last for a scene). For example, an Alchemist might create a potion of strength, which might grant an Aspect of Amazing Strength that can be invoked for a scene or a task; or a potion of speed, which provides a bonus on Athletics checks or allows characters to cross multiple zones. The possibilities here are numerous.

Attack: Alchemy isn’t typically used for attack, but if a potion allowed an Alchemist to breathe fire or spit acid, such a concoction would provide a unique kind of attack which would use the Swashbuckling skill.

Defend: Alchemy is not used for defence, but like the Attack entry, a potion or alchemical substance might grant bonuses to defense rolls of another skill like Athletics or Will.

Stunts

Alchemicraft. You know how to construct physical objects which generate mystical effects, such as gunpowder.

Alchemical Attack. If you are granted a means to attack another via Alchemy, roll Alchemy instead of your Swashbuckling skill.

Fast Alchemy. You know some shortcuts and interesting interactions which allow you to create alchemical substances in half the time.

Eh, This’ll Do. You can create alchemical substances with substandard materials or by employing substitute ingredients without penalty. Of course, if it doesn’t work, the effects could prove…interesting.

But can’t an Alchemist just make potions all day? Yes, he can, but that doesn’t make for a good Fate character or an interesting game. Since Alchemy can replicate lots of other skills, its biggest drawback is that it takes considerable down time to make potions, as well as the right materials and environment (like a shop or lab). Players can acquire potions or other items from Alchemists with a Resource roll as well, so the skill isn’t required to have access to Alchemical substances.

Healing potions: these are available for a price, but do not fully negate a consequence. Instead, a healing potion will bring the consequence down a step (severe becomes moderate; moderate becomes mild). If taking a healing potion for a mild consequence, it will be removed after the next scene.

Cannons

You understand the workings of gunpowder cannons, such as how to maneuver, load, aim, and fire them. This skill also grants knowledge of varying kinds of cannon shot, as well as how to maintain and repair cannons of all kinds.

Overcome: Not a typical use for the cannon skill, unless one was, for example, trying to repair a cannon under duress.

Create an Advantage: Specialized cannon shot can be used to create advantages. While standard ball shot is used to damage ship hulls, other types of shot can create Aspects which can be used later in the combat.

Here are some examples:
Chain shot: Cut Mast (to slow the ship down)
Gas shells: Cleared the deck (to prep for a boarding action)
Grape shot: Bloody swath (as above)
Harpoon shot: Grappled (reduces opponents maneuverability)
Incendiary shells: On fire! (self-explanatory, I think)

Attack: Use the Cannons skill to attack structures and vehicles (with a cannon of course!). Don’t use this against individuals….it’s overkill (and poor form).

Defend: Cannons cannot defend. Use Skysailing in Skyship combat to defend.

Stunts

Shot Specialist (type). You receive a +2 bonus when creating advantages with a specific type of cannon shot.

All Hands: Fire! When commanding multiple cannon crews, you receive a +2 bonus to the roll.

Explosives Expert. You’re familiarity with gunpowder extends to creating, planting and detonating explosives.

Here Comes the Boom. You know how to load a cannon such that it fires with more force than most. Anytime you succeed with style on a Cannon roll, you can inflict an additional 1 hit instead of taking a boost.

Military Arts

People with the military arts skill are trained in various facets of the armed forces: logistics, tactics, artillery, fortress defense, soldiery, etc. Many nations have specialized fighting forces who tirelessly train in the military arts, such as the Colronan Mustketters, the Zultanate Sandmen, or the Viridese Warmasters.

Overcome: The military arts can be used in a variety of challenges or contests, from planning a large scale military invasion to defending a structure from a foreign incursion. Military arts can help one know where to establish secure supply lines, how long it will take a group to reach a destination on a forced march, or even something so simple as the uniforms or rank designations of foreign armies.

Creat an Advantage: Military arts could be used to create all kinds of advantages in large scale military conflicts, or even in small scale skirmishes that require some measure of coordination. Placing Aspects such as Took the High Ground or anticipating the enemies’ plans such that you’ve set up A Cunning Ambush would be an acceptable use of this skill. Even when operating in a small party, one could use military arts to place tactical Aspects on comrades such as I’ve Got You Covered.

Attack: Military arts are not used for direct attacks.

Defend: Military arts are not used for defense.

Stunts

Military Academy Training. You can use Military Arts in place of Lore to recall knowledge or history which could conceivably be related to the military, no matter how marginally.

Plan of Attack. You receive a +2 bonus when planning an assault on a secure structure (this works much like the Rogue skill when casing a house for burglary).

Artillery Specialist. You’ve trained extensively in an artillery unit, and so may roll Military Arts instead of Cannons when firing cannons.

Skysailing

Skysailing covers the knowledge and ability to navigate and steer a skyship, how to operate its various devices, how to repair and maintain them, as well as a smattering of other knowledge regarding cargoes, exotic ports, customs, and various flora and fauna of the 7 skies.

Overcome: Skysailing can be used for contests involving skyships, such as trying to catch up to, or outrun, another ship. It can be also be used for challenges, such as guiding a ship through rough skies, or a maze of Wheeltrees.

Create an Advantage: When skysailing, those with the know-how can create advantages both in and out of combat with other ships. For example, using a Well Known Trade Route could grant a bonus on navigation rolls, while having The Wind At Our Back could grant a bonus to contests of speed.

Attack: Skysailing is not used for attacks. For that, use the Cannons skill. Unless you’re ramming the ship into something…but why in the 7 Skies would you ever do that?

Defend: Skysailing allows whoever is at the helm to roll for evasive maneuvers to prevent his skyship from taking damage from incoming fire or other objects.

Stunts

Captain & Commander. Roll Skysailing instead of Repartee to command the crew of your ship during skyship battles.

Leaf on the Wind. You’re an expert pilot. Receive a +2 to rolls to steer your ship out of danger.

If it Sails, I Can Fix it. You’re a natural when it comes to maintaining and repairing skyships, provided they don’t require Kolduncraft or Alchemy. You receive a +2 bonus on repair rolls.

Been There, Done That. You’ve spent the majority of you life sailing the 7 Skies. You can make minor declarations about ports of call without spending a Fate point to do so (subject to GM approval).

Survival

Survival entails skills and knowledges necessary to thrive in a wilderness environment with little to no gear. Knowing how to hunt and track prey, find food and shelter, and navigate outdoor environments are all part and parcel of the survival skill.

Overcome: Most survival rolls will entail overcome actions. Such rolls might involve finding enough food and water for the day for yourself (and possibly more), building a shelter from the elements, or starting a fire with only scrounged materials.

Create an Advantage: Individuals with the Survival skill might use it in a variety of ways to create advantages such as covering their tracks, camouflaging themselves so as to more effectively hide, or leaving a trail for easier backtracking and navigation.

Attack: Survival is not used for attack.

Defend: Survival is not used for defense.

Stunts

Expert Tracker. You receive a +2 bonus to tracking people or animals in the wild.

It’s a Trap! You know how to set traps of all kinds to ensnare, harm, or otherwise capture prey.

Floura & Fauna. You can roll Survival instead of Lore to identify plants and animals, and to know relevant information on them.

Never Unprepared. You always know what to pack for a trip outdoors, even anticipating unusual circumstances. You can spend a Fate point to declare you have a particular item necessary for wilderness survival, even if it’s a stretch to do so.

Character Creation Rules

Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies--Privateers _Slate_ _Slate_