Search This Blog

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Saaristossa - Ambra

"This is pointless" thought Ambra, puffing up the hill. "There's never been a raid this far West.  For a start the Viidakko Kummituksia is enough to deter anyone who's ever heard of it and secondly they'd have to scale the cliffs and then march up and down these damned hills".

The weight of her armour was also beginning to chafe. Especially where she'd borrowed that left spaulder from Myrta. Where was the adventure and excitement that was supposed to be the meat and drink of the Vartija? Certainly not in stomping up hills in summer heat to inspect watchtarns that are never used because no invader is stupid enough to attempt a climb up sheer cliffs and a forest filled with hungry, vengeful ghosts.

Distracted as she was by thoughts such as these it came as an even greater shock to find herself not some half an ard later suspended by her heels from a tree.

The great kingdoms of the West are heavily forested. This is both blessing and curse. For while the forests provide vital lumber and charcoal as well as an abundance of wild game they also provide ample shelter for all manner of bandits, footpads and robbers. The exception to this is the Viidakko Kummituksia a great swathe of ancient woodland said to be grown on a long forgotten battlefield, the ground soaked in the blood of the fallen. Denied proper funerary rites the spirits of the ancient dead are said to prowl the forest, eternally seeking their enemies and the breath of the living. Strange creatures roam the forest and it is rare for a hunting party to enter its borders. Rarer still for one to return in full strength.

The Vartija are a large mercenary company retained at one time or another by most of the great kingdoms. Their main holding is the fortified town of Skjoldveggen, which was gifted to the company in reward for their defensive action during the first Isles War.

Ambra Madsdotir, Sheildhand of the Vartija

  • Core Aspect: Vartija shieldmaiden, with something to prove.

  • Trouble: Why do I never look where I'm going?

  • 3rd Aspect: If I say something's done, it's done.

  • 4th Aspect: Proud bearer of an honour ribbon.

  • 5th Aspect: One hand of many.

Skills of Note

  • Fight

    • Stunt - Shieldwork: You may use Fight to defend against Shoot. And you may also create advantages of a defensive nature with the key words shield or shielded as long as you have a shield.

  • Physique

  • Athletics

Saaristossa - Snorri

Snorri, gnarled hands gripping the rail, spat salt from his lips and stared out towards the blue gray pillars jutting from the foam in the distance as the Syojatar knifed through the choppy sea.

The crew would be pleased to get ashore after tense days escaping the dangers of a blockade run. Still, it paid to be vigilant. More than a few ships had run aground in the talons as minds wandered due to sleepless nights at sea.

He glanced astern to where the noita sat in a pool of skirts, legs coiled at her side.

"Mirja! Is the way clear?

Without looking up she reached into the seal hide bag at her side and drew out a handful of white shards. Scattering the sharks' teeth in front of her she turned her head towards the rail.

"Clear sailing and a following wind all the way to Olli's tavern you superstitious old walrus."

"Bah, I'll take my gut over your old bones any day. There's something in the wind, mark me. Something in the wind."

The numberless isles of Saaristossa are guarded in the northwestern reaches by an area of treacherous shoals, unnavigable without the services of an experienced pilot. They also bar the approach to any deep keeled vessel, such as company men-o-war. This makes the area a haven for all manner of disreputable seafarers. The perimeter of the shoals is marked by the appearance of the Talons. Colossal, jagged spires of blue-grey rock, jutting hundreds of feet into the sky. Although their lower surfaces are kept bare by the lashing of the seas, their tops are crowned by a lush covering of plant life.

Despite it's relative inaccessibility, especially from the ocean, the isles of the northwest reach are reasonably prosperous. Their more temperate climate affords access to different speciality crops than can be grown in the the coreward regions. The traders that ply the routes south and east favour shallow drafted skiffs with crab claw rigs. These are manoeuvrable enough to skirt the narrow inlets and treacherous coastlines with either a single master or small 2-3 man crew depending on the size of the vessel.

Snorri Greylock, Master of the Syojatar

  • Core Aspect: Salty seadog, and sometime pirate.

  • Trouble: There's something in the wind I tell you.

  • 3rd Aspect: Loyal crew

  • 4th Aspect: Love of the sea

  • 5th Aspect: Teller of tall tales

Skills of Note

  • Sailing

  • Rapport

    • Stunt - Ships Master: You may use Rapport create an advantage that can be used by others on Sailing tests by motivating your crew to better performance.

  • Notice

  • Provoke

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Psionics from Yesteryear

So on a long walk to the post office my brain dredged up to memories of a blade runner style game that I ran briefly back in the day. I can't even remember what system we had modified for it. Anyway that got me thinking about psionic powers as they had been a core concept of the game. Someone has probably thought of this for FATE already but here's my take, based on what I remember.


Psionic characters must have an aspect that describes the source of their mental powers. For example:

Traumatised Psi-ops Veteran


Psychic detective

From there on out it's stunts. If you have a psionic aspect but no psi stunts then you are a latent and may may manifest your powers in the fullness of time. Latents may experience or display phenomena based on their aspect(s) but are unable to actively utilise psi powers directly under their control.


ESP: Extra Sensory Perception is one of the more common psi abilities and also one of the most useful. This stunt allows you to use Notice to observe things beyond the range of the five mundane senses. For example you could use ESP to detect the presence of someone behind a closed door, to "hear" the thoughts of others or to find a needle in a haystack. Each use of ESP requires a fate point.

Mindstorm: With this stunt you can bombard your target with psychic white noise with the intent of overloading their senses to cause unconsciousness or, in extreme cases, death. In game terms you use Provoke Will to attack your opponent who defends with Will.

Phantasmagoria (requires Mindstorm): Your ability to affect your opponent's senses now allows you to cause your opponent to experience hallucinations. You use your Will as an attack to overpower your opponent's perceptions which they can defend against with Will. Success means that you cause them to perceive reality as you wish it and get to place a suitable aspect on them as an obstacle. Anyone affected by phantasmagoria can attempt to overcome with Notice, however if this fails they are more convinced that the fantasy is reality.

Etheric Body: With this stunt you may project the essence of your being beyond your physical body. When using this stunt you may are both invisible and immaterial so you may observe the world but not interact with it.

Manifest psi : Your psionic abilities can now take physical form. Mindstorm becomes a physically directed blast of energy, the Illusions of phantasmagoria are visible and audible to all and your etheric body can be seen and heard.
Footnote: Thanks to Porter Williams for his stunt feedback.