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Fate Core

Character Creation

Character Creation Is Play

The moment you sit down to make the game and characters, you’re playing Fate. This style of character creation does three things to reinforce that.

First, character creation tells part of the characters’ stories, just like any other game session does. Characters that really come alive have histories of their own and with each other. This establishes where they’ve been, what they’ve done, and why they continue to act against the issues they face, together or in opposition. There’s an ongoing story you’re now stepping into—it’s just that the most interesting parts haven’t happened yet.

Second, it sets the stage for the next part of the story. Each arc of a story sets up the next, so that they flow into one another in a natural evolution. Character creation needs to set up the first story arc.

Third, character creation in Fate is collaborative. As with game creation, character creation is best done as a group activity. Doing all of this together builds a strong foundation of communication between the players and GM, and this process has a number of ways to establish connections between the characters and the setting.

Combined with game creation, character creation can take a full session to do—this allows everyone to learn about the world and each other’s characters. You and the other players will talk about your characters, make suggestions to each other, discuss how they connect, and establish more of the setting.

You’ll want to keep good notes on this process. You can use the character sheet and character creation worksheet downloadable at FateRPG.com.

Start by determining your character’s high concept and trouble. Then build your character’s backstory, a process that takes place over three phases. Once you have that figured out, flesh out your character’s skills and stunts. Then you’re ready to play!

When Creating Your Character

  • Aspects: Come up with your character’s high concept and trouble aspects.
  • Name: Name your character.
  • Phase One: Describe your character’s first adventure.
  • Phases Two and Three: Describe how you’ve crossed paths with two other characters.
  • Aspects: Write down one aspect for each of these three experiences.
  • Skills: Pick and rate your skills.
  • Stunts: Pick or invent three to five stunts.
  • Refresh: Determine how many fate points you start play with.
  • Stress and Consequences: Determine how much of a beating your character can take.