Fate Core

Quick Character Creation

If you want to skip making a detailed character and just want to play, you can leave most of the character blank and fill in as you play.

At minimum, you need to have the following filled out to start:

  • High concept aspect
  • Best skill
  • Name

When it comes to your high concept, you can start off vague and refine the aspect later. Guy with Sword is an okay high concept for this method, and later you might discover something about your character that puts a spin on it. When that happens, rewrite the aspect to reflect that spin.

You should know your best skill to start—that gives us further ideas about your character. If you have any other thoughts on skills, either skills you’re good at or skills you’re bad at, write those down. (Since you don’t normally write down any skills you have at lower than Average (+1), just make a note on your sheet about those skills you’re intentionally saying you don’t have.)

And, of course, you need a name! Maybe a first name is all you need for the moment, or a nickname. (There’s also the trick of giving yourself a name, only to later reveal that you’ve been hiding, are undercover, or have amnesia, and write down what your real name is.)

Starting Play

With this method, you start with 3 refresh, so you’ll start playing with 3 fate points.

After the first session is over, if you’re planning on playing your character again, you should take time to fill in the rest of the aspects, skills, and stunts.

Filling Aspects in Play

Unless you immediately have an idea for your trouble aspect, you’ll fill that in later. With the other three aspects, since you’re skipping the Phase Trio, you’ll just make up whatever aspect seems interesting to you at the moment. Typically you’ll do this when you need an aspect on your character to achieve something, or you want to turn a situation that’s happening into something that’s compel-worthy.

As with high concept, don’t stress about getting this aspect dead-on. After the session’s over, take some time to look over and tweak the aspects you’ve created on the fly.

Filling Skills in Play

At any point, if you are using a skill that isn’t on your character sheet, one of two things happens: you’ll assume the skill is Mediocre (+0), or you’ll write it down on one of your empty skill slots and roll it at that level. This choice exists until all of your skill slots are filled in.

If you roll for a skill not on your sheet and choose to go with Mediocre rather than write it down, you can later fill it in on your sheet as something higher. For example, you might be called to roll Lore, and choose to roll it at Mediocre. Later, you might be called to roll it again, and this time you choose to fill it in at Fair (+2).

Likewise, if you roll well on a skill when you chose to take it at Mediocre, maybe that’ll inspire you to take that skill later.

Since some skills have secondary benefits, notably adjusting your stress track and consequences, you can fill those in when you want to declare your character has such a benefit. Until then, you don’t have those benefits, as you’re assumed to have that skill at Mediocre.

Filling Stunts in Play

You get three stunts for free, which you can fill in at any time. You can fill in other stunts at any time, but you must pay a fate point for each one to do so. That’s because your refresh tells you how many fate points you start the game with, so by taking a stunt, you should have started with fewer.

If you’re out of fate points, but want to note down a stunt you have because you’re suddenly struck with the idea, do so. But your character doesn’t actually have it until you gain a fate point and spend it.

You’ll also need to reduce your refresh by one for the next session for each extra stunt you take.