Character creation in Nausicaä Powered By Fate (NPbF) uses the standard Fate Core model for Character Creation with some thematic tweaks. A lot of NPbF will likely be a mystery to new players so a fully fleshed out character with all Aspect, Skill, and Stunt slots claimed is not recommended. The world of NPbF is full of unknowns and so should the characters who explore it, even if they are largely a mystery to themselves.
The High Concept and Trouble aspects are required for every new character! In NPbF a character can easily with only their High Concept and Trouble figured out, but if you plan to have some element of the weird, or want to define your character’s history a bit more, you should also choose an Origin aspect.
- High Concept – This is the core of your character and should be the first thing someone thinks about after meeting them. It should describe what they do or sum up what they’re about. Princess of the Valley of the Wind or Greatest swordsman in the Periphery are both good examples.
- Trouble – This aspect describes something that keeps your character from accomplishing their goals. It will be the primary way for your character to get Fate Points so make sure it’s something that will complicate your character’s life as much as possible. These complications aren’t bad thing, they’re conflicts, and conflicts are what story is all about! A woman of pure ambition or Love for all living things are guaranteed to get your character involved in any conflict.
- Origin – This aspect should describe your character’s history, where they grew up, and should help to explain how they see the world. This is also the Aspect you choose should you want to have a bit of weirdness for your character (see Paranormal Abilities). Child of the Crypt of Shuwa or Guardian of Sea of Corruption both tell you something important about what a character may be able to do and how they might see things.
Characters in NPbF can have up up to 5 Aspects. Additional aspects usually describe what your character’s been through, how they relate to their allies, or things that motivate them once the story has started.
NPbF uses all the skills from the Fate Core Default Skill List with some reskinning. Interaction skills like Provoke, Rapport, and Empathy tend to show up a lot in Nausicaä stories so make sure to take them into account even for combat focused characters.
Characters have the following “skill slots” available to them: One Great (+4) skill, Two Good (+3) skills, Three Fair (+2) skills, and Four Average (+1) skills. The only one of these that needs to be figured out at character creation is your character’s Great (+4) skill which should also help you define what your character is all about. The rest can be assigned during play.
- Favors (Contacts) – The fallen world of Nausicaä is both less and more connected than the world before the Seven Days of Fire. While these connections aren’t as numerous they are deeper and people can only really survive by being connected to eachother. Favors, obligations, and the willingness to help others are the things that keep the waning flame of civilization from guttering out completely.
- Pilot (Drive) – Ancient air vehicles are common throughout NPbF and those who can pilot them are in high demand. The rarity of the engines that power most aircraft means it’s quite difficult to learn how to fly unless you’re from a noble family or are in the military.
- Ride (Drive) – Those who cannot fly use horseclaws or long haired cattle to travel and to fight. While these beasts can be temperamental they can make excellent steeds for those who learn how to ride them.
- Secrets (Lore) – The 7 days of Fire destroyed information as surly as it did cities. All the knowledge that remains, from simple things like maintaining crops to the true purpose of the Sea of Corruption, are jealously guarded secrets horded by those who crave power or prestige.
- Technology (Crafts) – Everyone knows how to maintain simple machines like windmills and basic gliders. This skill is used when working with the creations of The Ancients. Repairing engines, identifying devices found in ancient ruins, and operating creations from before the 7 days of fire are all examples of this skill in action.
- Treasure (Resources) – While coin does exist for the various nations the vast majority of commerce is done via barter and the trade of old world treasures. Wormhandlers, miners, and other traders all make use of Treasure to get whatever they may need to survive and thrive.
Stunts are a way for your character to differentiate herself from others who may have the same skills. They let her break the rules in small ways and get bonuses on specific actions. Characters get 3 free Stunt slots and can use Refresh to get more (see below). You don’t have to have any of your stunts figured out at character creation.
Some examples of a few NPbF specific stunts:
- Bug Expert – You’re so familiar with the creatures of the forest that you can use Empathy in place of Secrets to figure out insect behavior, drives, and instincts.
- Three Jewels! – You are especially familiar with how the engines of the Ancient World work and can get more power out of them than should be possible. Once per scene you can push your aircraft’s engine past its limit to gain a +2 to your Pilot skill for a single roll.
More information on building your own stunts can be found in the Fate Core SRD.
Refresh determines the minimum number of Fate Points your character starts with at the beginning of each session. If they still have fate points from the previous session they start with Refresh or their current total, whichever is higher. Refresh starts at 3 but you can “spend” it to buy extra Stunts on a 1 for 1 basis. Refresh spent in this way is lost as long as the character has the extra stunts. A character cannot spend more than 2 Refresh in this way so they can never get below Refresh 1.
That’s the basics for making a starting character for NPbF. In addition to these basic rules there are a number of Extras that can impact how you build your character like Paranormal Abilities and Special Equipment. These will be tackled in additional articles so keep your eyes peeled for updates!