The Copper Coast
Compose High Concept and Trouble Aspects
Aspects are used to establish your character’s race, whether you have the ability to cast spells, and whether you are significantly wealthy or poverty-stricken, so consider that when thinking about your character’s aspects.
Players choose five aspects: a high concept, a trouble, and three others. You don’t have to assign all your aspects at character generation; it’s OK to assign a few after play has begun, but make sure you at least create your high concept and trouble aspects.
Example race aspects:
• Daughter of Elven Nobility
• Madman Mathias, Halfling Buccaneer
• Just Another Human Merchant
Example spellcasting aspects:
• Apprentice to the High Wizard
• Mystical Healer
• A Song And A Spell
Pick and Rate your Character’s Skills
Once you have mapped out your character’s phases and chosen aspects, it’s time to pick skills. You’ll find descriptions and details for each skill in the Skills and Stunts section.
Your skills form a pyramid, with a single skill rated at Great (+ 4)—which we’ll usually refer to as the peak skill—and
more skills at each lower rating on the ladder going down to Average (+ 1):
• One Great (+4) skill
• Two Good (+3) skills
• Three Fair (+2) skills
• Four Average (+1) skills
Mediocre (+0) is the default for any skill you do not take.
Sometimes, a skill will state that it’s unavailable if a character didn’t take it; in those cases, it’s not even at Mediocre.
Pick or invent three to five stunts. Determine how many fate points you start play with. Stunts change how skills work for your character. Picking stunts is covered in the Skills and Stunts section.
You get four stunts for free, and you can take up to two more stunts at the cost of lowering your Refresh by one each. (The gist is this: the more cool tricks you can do, the more you’ll need to accept compels to get fate points.)
Figuring out stunts can take a while, so you may want to pick one for now and determine the rest of them during play.
A player character in Fate starts with a Refresh of 3. That means he’ll start each session off with at least 3 Fate Points. If you pick five stunts, your refresh is 2. If you pick six stunts, your refresh is 1.
Stress & Consequences
Determine how much of a beating your character can take. When Fate characters find themselves in harm’s way—a fairly common occurrence when you’re highly competent, proactive, and facing drama at every turn—they have two ways to stand their ground and stay on their feet: stress and consequences.
The Conflicts section fully explains what these mean and how they’re used. In brief, stress represents the ephemeral toll of participating in a conflict, whereas consequences are the lingering effects, and sometimes quite traumatic ones, of taking harm.
Every PC has two different stress tracks. The physical stress track deals with physical harm, and the mental stress track mitigates mental harm. The more boxes in a stress track, the more resilient the character is in that regard.
- By default, a character has two boxes in each stress track.
Every PC also has three consequence slots. One is mild, one is moderate, and the last one is severe. Unlike stress, these aren’t classified as either physical or mental—any of them can apply to any type of harm. As mentioned above, consequences are the injuries and traumas you can’t just shake off after the dust settles. Certain skills and some stunts can add to these defaults.
Physique helps with physical stress, and Will helps with mental stress. Either skill grants one more stress box of the respective type (physical or mental) if rated at Average (+ 1) or Fair (+ 2), or two more stress boxes if rated at Good (+ 3) or higher. At Superb (+ 5) or higher, they also grant an additional mild consequence slot.
Unlike the standard three, this consequence slot is specifically restricted to either physical harm (Physique) or mental harm (Will).