Fate Horror Toolkit
From Frankenstein’s Creature to Jason Vorhees, there’s a pantheon of iconic monsters that are regularly resurrected in new forms because of their enduring appeal.
We liberally borrowed from some classic horror movies when we were writing the advice in this section. Works that inspired us include:
- Lights Out is the inspiration for the Shadow Specter. The history of this antagonist and its relationship with the protagonists is fascinating and well done.
- It Follows is the inspiration for the Ineluctable Hunter. It’s a mysterious figure about which we know almost nothing, and it doesn’t jump out and scare you. In addition to being a great example of how the inexplicable can be scary, it’s an object lesson in the power of suspense, and also poses an interesting moral dilemma.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street: Almost everyone is familiar with Freddy Krueger, the legendary monster from this series of movies. He inspired the Nightmare Stalker. He has an interesting past, an excellent motivation for his horrendous crimes, and a beguilingly sinister personality that turned him into something of an antihero by the end of the series.
- The Omen: Damien, the child antagonist of this sinister movie, is the inspiration for The Devil’s Spawn.
But now it’s time to make your own monsters.
Choose High Concept and Theme
The best monsters have a deeper meaning or theme alongside their obvious horrific traits. Vampires are blood-sucking fiends who act as a metaphor for penetration and the corruption of sexuality. Zombies represent the inevitability of death and fear of the Apocalypse in a battle of humanity against mortality. Sometimes monsters symbolize more than one theme—a vampire might also represent a failure to join the present or let go of the past, or the sacrifice of morality on the altar of longevity and survival.
When you begin making a monster, consider not just what it is but also what it means. What does your monster symbolize, and how does it relate to the human experience?
Write down your monster’s high concept aspect and a sentence or two describing its theme. As the theme is an extension of the monster’s high concept, you can use invokes and compels to demonstrate and reinforce it during play, even if the monster isn’t involved in the current scene.
The Shadow Specter is a ghost that only manifests in darkness and disappears in the light, representing the primal fear of the dark. You can offer a compel on its high concept to have the characters’ flashlights fail, plunging them into total darkness. Or you can invoke it when they’re picking their way through a dimly-lit building even if the specter isn’t there.
Here are some other examples of monstrous high concepts and their associated themes:
- An Ineluctable Hunter latches onto a single victim and pursues them at a walking pace until it catches and kills them, taking the concept of an obsessive stalker to a supernaturally intense conclusion.
- The Nightmare Stalker is a monster that haunts people in their bad dreams, symbolizing the debilitating effect of fear itself and the terrible things people will do when they’re afraid.
- A Cursed Lycanthrope who transforms into a ravening beast on the nights of the full moon represents the fear of loss of control, of unrestrained rage and murderous intent.
- The Devil’s Spawn is a murderous child with psychokinesis who embodies the fact that children are alien to adults, combined with the fear of a parent that their child might be somehow wrong.
Next, consider who—or what—your monster threatens, and how. The threat it poses is most effective if the players are invested in and care about your monster’s targets, as we discuss in The Raveled Sleeve of Care.
In the early stages of a story, it’s better for your monster to threaten what the players care about rather than the PCs directly. Posing a direct threat to the PCs hastens a confrontation with them, reducing the time available to build mood and set appropriately high stakes for the climax.
If your monster does mess directly with the characters, begin with constant small aggressions, ongoing drains on energy and emotional wellbeing. You’ll keep them on edge, but they won’t really be able to react in a meaningful way due to the fleeting and unpredictable nature of the interactions. Like a cat toying with its prey, the monster will make them bleed from a thousand tiny wounds before it closes for the kill.
But your monster doesn’t have to pose a lethal threat to be scary and effective. In fact, a monster that tortures, mutilates, or psychologically breaks its victims can be scarier than one that flat-out murders them. Perhaps the scariest of them all is a monster that transforms its victims into something just like it. We discuss these sorts of fates in depth in Some Scars Are Invisible, in Exploring Strange and Dangerous Desires, and later in this chapter.
Your monsters can also effectively threaten things other than people. Concepts like hope, faith, love, and charity can come under attack and so can places, objects, objectives, or organizations. If a ghost starts haunting the alma mater of two of the PCs and threatens it with closure, will they idly sit by and let their college fall due to the specter’s activities or will they do all they can to protect it? What if the players are working to redevelop a run-down district, but keep getting their workers scared out of the area by a levitating woman with a blood-red face in a tattered, flowing dress?
You can also threaten pets and other beloved animals with your monsters, but use this trope with particular caution. It’s an interesting wrinkle of human psychology that you can kill as many people as you like in your fiction and most people will be fine with it, but kill one dog and you’ll drive away a significant portion of your audience (for evidence of this we submit www.doesthedogdie.com).
Choose a Purpose
You know from the previous step what or who your monster threatens; now it’s time to decide why that is.
Every monster wants something. Some just want to watch the world burn; others have a specific mission of revenge or a desire to complete their final killing spree from beyond the grave. Some monsters have obvious purposes, while others act in ways that make little sense until a hidden pattern emerges.
Once you’ve decided on your monster’s purpose, write this down as its second aspect.
Use the monster’s purpose to build on its high concept and theme to make it feel like a well-rounded entity rather than a two-dimensional monster of the week.
Here are some example purposes for the monsters we described earlier:
- The Shadow Specter’s purpose is Jealous Possession. It sees the woman it’s haunting as its property and will drive away or kill anyone to whom she gets too close. It wants to be the only thing near her in the comforting darkness.
- The Ineluctable Hunter seeks to Exhaust and Kill its victims. It pursues them at a walking pace, forever, until they tire and it can finally destroy them.
- The Nightmare Stalker seeks Vengeance Visited Upon the Children. An angry specter who was murdered by vigilante parents, it now takes its revenge on the children of those who killed him.
- The Cursed Lycanthrope just wants to hunt and kill in her bestial form, but more importantly she wants to Be Cured of this Curse and will do anything it takes, no matter how heinous.
- The Devil’s Spawn wants to kill people mercilessly as an example of how evil is allowed to exist in the world. His purpose is to Obliterate Faith and Hope with his diabolical acts.
Giving your monster a purpose that’s in direct opposition to one or more characters or game aspects is a good way to make sure it naturally comes into conflict with the group. If one of the PCs is a Troubled Priest, it’s relatively easy to draw him into a story involving The Devil’s Spawn. The Loyal Daughter of the Shadow Specter’s target will naturally come into conflict with the specter as she works to stay in her mother’s life.
Choose Other Aspects
Once your monster has a high concept and purpose, you can use other aspects to flesh it out and make it a more vivid threat. Your monster can have as many aspects as it needs, but as a significant part of your story it should have at least as many as any other main NPC. Here are some ideas for what those aspects can be about:
Vulnerability: What can harm or kill your monster? Making this an aspect gives the players a simple way to use it to their advantage with invokes or compels. You might also say that any attacks invoking your monster’s vulnerability can’t be absorbed with stress boxes or that they disable any stunts that make your monster tougher. Alternatively, you can say that any attack not invoking its vulnerability simply doesn’t work.
Immunity: What can’t hurt your monster? If it’s vulnerable to most things but immune to one common source of harm, it might be better to give it an immunity rather than a vulnerability.
Important Features: If your monster has Prehensile Tentacles or a Terrifying Shriek, these are good options for aspects. If you also tie these into monstrous stunts, you can make your monster significantly more dangerous.
Interests and Obsessions: If your monster has an interest or obsession above and beyond its primary purpose, it can make an interesting aspect. The vampires of Asian myth are Obsessed with Counting for example. Such obsessions can serve as secondary vulnerabilities for your monsters or just make them more interesting and fleshed out than single-minded engines of destruction.
Limitations, Hatreds, and Fears: Does your monster have an aversion to garlic? Can it cross running water? Does it hate one type of person so much that it will prioritize attacking them over anyone else?
Positive Traits: If your monster demonstrates one or more positive traits, it can help make them feel more “human” and heighten the horrible things they do by contrast. You can also use your monster’s positive traits to hint at its original identity or its weaknesses. Perhaps your monster Never Harms Children because it was once a schoolteacher, or it Won’t Kill Unarmed Prey because that would be against its alien code of ethics.
Choose Monstrous Skills or Approaches
Using custom skills or approaches for your monsters is a good way of enhancing their theme and making them feel different from regular characters. The simplest way to do this is to simply reskin an existing skill with an appropriate name—for example, instead of Fight your serial killer might have Mutilate, or instead of Forceful your specter might have Poltergeist.
The other option is to create entirely new skills or approaches for your monsters. You can write down anything as a skill or approach and then judge during play when it’s appropriate for the monster to use it during a particular situation.
If you want to be consistent in how you handle a monstrous skill or approach, you can write it up in full using the rules for creating extras on page 271 of Fate Core System. This is an excellent choice if there’s any possibility a PC might learn or obtain the ability to use the monstrous skill or approach.
Elsa gives her Nightmare Stalker a skill called Nightmare which it uses to enter nightmares and attack people in their sleep. She decides to make it a full extra, because if a PC manages to get hold of the weapon the stalker used during its living rampages they’ll gain the same ability. She writes it up like this:
This skill determines the character’s ability to reach into a sleeping mind and twist a dream into a nightmare, opening a weakness through which the dreamer can be physically attacked.
Overcome: Nightmare can be used to overcome defensive advantages that have been created inside a dreamscape by a lucid dreamer.
Create Advantage: Nightmare can be used to create advantages that gradually twist a pleasant dream into a nightmare. Actively opposed by Will.
Attack: You can use Nightmare to attack the dreamer if you invoke an aspect you previously created with this skill. Defended by Will. Nightmare attacks can only be absorbed with mental stress boxes or physical consequence slots. Waking witnesses will see wounds opening up on the sleeper’s body as they fill consequence slots.
Defend: Nightmare isn’t used to defend.
Choose Unique Conditions
Giving your monster unique conditions (Dresden Files Accelerated, page 116) is a good way to represent their physical characteristics, vulnerabilities, and transformations. Conditions used to flesh out a monster’s state of being can’t also be used to absorb conflict stress, but you can give your monsters stress-absorbing conditions as well as or instead of normal consequences.
Fleeting conditions can be used to represent the temporary drain of a resource that refreshes each scene.
You make a sapient plant monster that can release soporific pollen to make feeding easier. You give it a fleeting Depollenated  condition that it checks whenever it has used this ability, meaning that it can’t use it again until the next scene.
Sticky conditions work well to represent states that toggle on and off when particular conditions are met. You can create stunts that only function if a sticky condition is checked (or unchecked) or use a sticky condition to give your monster a new vulnerability in a particular circumstance.
See Curse of the Daystar in the entry for vampires.
Lasting conditions are suitable for a significant drain on the monster’s abilities or a vulnerability that has a sustained impact on the monster’s health when it’s triggered.
The specter of an electrocuted mass murderer must mark off a Drained  lasting condition when she uses her Lightning Soul stunt. She can’t use the stunt again until she clears this condition, which requires her to take power from a source of electricity by making a Physique roll against Great (+4) opposition, and then waiting a full session.
If you’ve chosen your creation’s monstrous skills carefully, you probably don’t need to give your monster stunts that give it a +2 bonus on certain actions or use a skill in an unusual way. Instead, concentrate on giving your monster stunts that reinforce its theme by letting it break the usual rules of Fate in some creepy and unsettling ways.
Gaining New Stunts
Your monster doesn’t have to have all the stunts you create for it straight away. In horror fiction the threat faced by the protagonists often grows throughout the story as it “levels up” to meet their growing knowledge and confidence. Just when the players think they know how to deal with your monster, having it use a stunt that they haven’t seen before is a good way to throw them into disarray and increase the drama.
Be fair in how you do this, though—your monsters should only gain stunts at a milestone just like the PCs.
Dominate: Demons and vampires often have this stunt, as does any other monster that thrives on making its victims do its bidding. The monster gains a sticky condition Domination . To use this stunt, the monster must meet a prerequisite like making eye contact, constructing a voodoo doll of the victim, dosing the victim with some of its saliva, or making them hear its song. It then rolls an appropriate skill to create an advantage opposed by Will to create an aspect like Enthralled on its target. The monster can check boxes of Domination instead of spending fate points to compel or invoke Enthralled to make a nearby victim do its bidding. The monster must rest, feed, perform a magic spell, or take another suitable action to clear out its Domination boxes.
Drain: Suitable for vampires of all kinds and any other monster that drains blood, psychic energy, etc. from a victim. On successfully attacking in a manner to feed (e.g. with fangs or by invoking an emotion to feed off) the monster can either begin the recovery of a consequence of equal or lower severity to the one taken by their opponent or gain a free invoke on their high concept to represent the surge of energy they get from feeding.
Figment (Nightmare): Roll Nightmare opposed by Will when the monster is inside a victim’s dream to have a threatening entity from their dream materialize in the real world. The figment is a supporting NPC or a mob of nameless NPCs. The figment acts in accordance with the behavior it demonstrated in the dream and the monster does not have direct control over it.
Indestructible: Suitable for werewolves, vampires, and indestructible serial killers. When this monster is taken out, it can’t be killed unless it has already filled its extreme consequence slot or the final attack invokes a vulnerability aspect.
Instead of dying, the monster flees or appears to be dead for at least a scene, and then returns when the PCs least expect it. Each player in the conflict that took the monster out gains a fate point at the end of the scene for going along with this trope. On its return, the monster clears its stress and recovers any mild, moderate, or severe consequences it has taken—except those taken from attacks that invoked one of its vulnerabilities.
Infect: Suitable for zombies, werewolves, and other monsters that transmit their curse to others, this stunt lets your monster infect an innocent victim to begin their transformation. Success with style on an attack using their teeth, fangs, claws, ovipositor, or other body weapon allows your monster to inflict the curse. Use the system (“Progressive Alterations—Transformation and Degradation”) to resolve the effects of the transformation.
Lightning Soul: Works for Frankensteinian creatures, electric chair specters, and other monsters who’ve ridden the lightning. The monster can create surges of electricity that make lights explode, short out appliances, and shock nearby people. Roll Physique to overcome or create advantages related to electricity in a zone, or to attack a single target with a surge of power from a nearby outlet. Electrical attacks have weapon rating depending on the source—a toaster has Weapon:0, while shorting out an electrical substation gives Weapon:4.
Possess: Suitable for spirits, ghosts, and demons, the monster can spiritually enter a victim and control them. After taking a victim out in a mental or physical conflict, the spirit can possess them indefinitely. They use the victim’s physical skills but their own mental skills as appropriate. Getting rid of the spirit requires the victim’s allies to research the correct exorcism technique and then win a conflict against the possessing spirit. If you use this on a PC, let the player continue to portray their character, but you can compel them to act in accordance with the spirit’s purposes without giving them a fate point. The player of the possessed character can spend a fate point for their character to regain a limited amount of control for a scene, letting them oppose the possessing entity’s actions.
Remote Control: This is a classic for vampires and sirens, but it can work for other monsters that exert an uncanny hold over their victims. Requires Dominate. The monster can check a box of Domination to compel their enthralled prey no matter how far apart they are. The most common use of this stunt is to summon a victim into the monster’s presence.
Re-Zone: Once defined, zones usually stay as they are. In horror, that’s not the case. Horror is full of experiences where zones don’t stay static: hallways lengthen no matter how far characters run down them, buildings recede no matter how fast characters approach them, chasms suddenly open up between characters that somehow don’t change the relationship of things around them. This stunt allows the monster to combine up to three zones into one, break a single zone into two or three, switch the places of two adjacent zones, or bridge two zones so they’re adjacent to each other even though one or more zones lie between them. The first use of this stunt in a scene is free; after that it costs a fate point each time it’s used.
Swarm Composition: If the swarm is composed of small, fast moving animals, it’s difficult to inflict significant damage without fire or another area effect weapon. Any attack that doesn’t invoke the swarm’s vulnerability deals a maximum of one shift of stress.
Transform: Lots of monsters have the ability to take on alternative forms. When your monster has this stunt, come up with one or more sticky conditions that represent its alternative forms. These conditions can alter the monster’s skills or approaches, change its physical abilities and vulnerabilities, lock and unlock stunts, and so on. In its most powerful form, this stunt is free to use; if you want to limit the monster’s ability to transform, make it cost a fate point or limit its use to once per scene. For examples, see the example monsters.
Introducing Your Monster
Many horror movies go downhill when they reveal too much about their monsters. That which is seen in glimpses and shadows is much scarier than something that is seen fully in the light, no matter how hideous it actually is. This is an advantage that written fiction and roleplaying games have over films, because it’s much easier to use description to reveal just what you want to the audience.
When you introduce your monster, tease the players with partial revelations using vivid multisensory descriptions. Over time they’ll build up a picture in their minds of what the monster is like that will be scarier than if you describe it in detail the first time they encounter it. This is also a good way to avoid overloading your descriptions with details that can ultimately numb the experience.
In a shuttered warehouse, Elsa’s group encounters the creature behind the current zombie outbreak for the first time. The only light entering the building is in the form of narrow and randomly placed shafts of light from bullet holes in the walls and ceiling. Elsa describes that the first thing they notice is the stench, a mixture of rot and chlorophyll green-ness. There is a heavy, wet sound pulsing from somewhere in the back of the warehouse like a gigantic heartbeat. They catch a brief glimpse of something low and multi-legged skittering through a shaft of light, a glistening brown trail left behind. What will they do now?
To help maintain mystery and suspense, you can either keep your monster’s aspects hidden until they’re discovered by the PCs or you can deliberately word them in a suspenseful way. For example, rather than being an Ancient Vampire your monster could be a Sanguine Fiend.
The Cost of Knowledge
You can make learning about your monster a double-edged sword, but make sure you let your players know in advance that you’re using this rule.
The PCs can learn about your monster, but it comes at a price. Whenever a player successfully declares a story detail about your monster or creates an advantage to reveal one of its aspects, add a fate point to a separate pool of points. Unlike your pool of points for the scene, points in this monster pool remain until you use them. However, you can only use them to invoke and compel aspects directly relating to the monster.
You can use custom fate points that represent the monster to build a bit of drama with this technique. Blood-red beads or plastic fangs for a vampire, miniature knives or tiny hockey masks for a serial killer—whatever you can find that’s easily distinguishable from your usual fate points and appropriate to the monster will work well.
If multiple monsters are involved in the same scenario, only use this rule for the most significant monster in the story. At your discretion, if a monster has minions that directly relate to its theme, they can also benefit from the monster pool.
Rather than giving you fully fleshed out examples, the following entries are designed to give you a solid core that you can improvise around to produce variations on a theme.
From blood-drinking undead fiends to psychics who feed on mental energy, vampires are perennially popular in horror fiction.
Sample High Concepts: Sanguine Fiend, Ancient Leech, Emotional Vampire, The Blood Is the Life
Theme: Vampires are the embodiment of violation and the corruption of sexuality. To their victim’s detriment, they take what they want without asking for it. Vampires also possess a dangerous allure, the draw of the predator. They penetrate with their fangs and they corrupt other people into being like them.
Sample Purposes: Find My Eternal Love, Build a New Empire of Blood and Fear, Survive and Prosper, Avenge Myself Upon the Descendants of My Enemies
Sample Vulnerabilities: Dracula’s Banes, Tainted Blood, A Virgin’s Touch, Obsidian Blades
Skills: Because they represent violation and corruption, vampires tend to be strong, tough, and manipulative. If you use the regular skills, focus on their Physique, Provoke, and Rapport. They will also likely have reasonable Fight, Stealth, and Athletics scores. If you use custom skills, consider giving them a Dominate skill for their ability to control and manipulate others. In the stories, vampires also often have mastery over wild animals, so consider a Beast Master skill.
Suggested Stunts: Dominate—Requires eye contact, or for an emotional vampire to have fed on the target, or for the victim to have tasted the vampire’s blood (pick one); Drain—Must use this stunt to heal consequences inflicted by an attack that invoked a vulnerability; Remote Control; Transform—Bat, Wolf, or Mist form at no cost; Indestructible.
Curse of the Daystar (sticky): Mark this condition at dawn and clear it at sunset every day. While this condition is checked, the vampire is incapable of healing or using stunts and faces a base opposition of Superb (+5) against any action it tries to take.
Wolf Form (sticky): While in the form of a wolf, the vampire replaces its skills with three approaches called Hunt, Kill, and Run. One is rated the same as the vampire’s apex skill, one is one lower, and the other is two lower.
Bat Form (sticky): While in the form of a bat, the vampire replaces its skills with three approaches called Fly, Hide, and Feed. One is rated the same as the vampire’s apex skill, one is one lower, and the other is two lower.
Mist Form (sticky): When in mist form, the vampire can only drift at a walking pace and has no skills or approaches. It can enter anywhere that isn’t airtight and can’t be harmed except by an attack that invokes a vulnerability that would logically affect an immaterial form—such as fire or sunlight. The vampire cannot defend against such attacks.
Slashers are apparently indestructible engines of violence. They relentlessly pursue their victims until they’re all dead or the slasher is miraculously taken out by the final survivor.
Sample High Concepts: Masked Murderer, Spree Killer, Vengeful Assassin, Merciless Mutilator
Themes: Slashers often embody the concept of punishment or revenge. They want revenge for something you (or your family members) did or they want to punish you for having somehow transgressed—it has become a cliché that masked murderers in slasher movies go for the teens who’ve lost their virginity first (except in Cherry Falls, which completely inverts the trope). Slashers also represent the fear of strangers: when we’re walking past someone late at night and they look at us a certain way, it’s easy to imagine that they could lash out and attack us. Slashers dial that fear up to 10—if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could be the next victim and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Sample Purposes: Revenge for What You Did, Chasing the World Record Number of Kills, Purify the Sinful
Sample Vulnerabilities: Many slashers don’t have a specific vulnerability, they just take an extreme amount of damage to put them down for good. Those who do have vulnerabilities tend to have primal ones like Fire, Drowning, or Falling.
Skills: Slashers rarely interact with their victims in any way but the physical and intimidating. If you use the regular set of skills, prioritize Fight, Physique, Will, and Provoke. Consider using a stripped-down set of custom skills that really focus on what the slasher does, like Murder, Mutilate, Terrify, Destroy, and Resist.
Suggested Stunts: Indestructible.
Instead of using regular consequences and the Indestructible stunt, you can give your slasher multiple conditions that represent progress towards taking it out. Giving it three or four fleeting conditions, two or three sticky conditions and one or two lasting conditions will make it very tough! Also, instead of hindering the slasher, each condition it checks makes it more brutal and difficult to kill.
For example: Pissed, Brutal, Adrenaline Rush (Fleeting); Vengeful, Inured to Pain (Sticky); Berserk Frenzy (Lasting)
Marking one of these conditions gives the slasher an aspect of the same name and a free invoke on that aspect.
The Killer Swarm
While a lot of horror fiction focuses on the danger of an individual monster, there is a grand tradition in which the threat is a dangerous swarm of creatures. From The Birds to Arachnophobia, killer swarms have been terrifying audiences for years.
Sample High Concepts: Venomous Spider Swarm, Avian Army, Horde of Scorpions, Legion of Lampreys
Themes: Swarms represent the enormity of nature and humanity’s tenuous place within it. Humans are outnumbered enormously by other species; if they were malevolent and rallied in large numbers, they would pose a significant threat to us. The threat posed by a killer swarm is often created or magnified by humans—genetically engineered piranha, Africanized bees, spiders whose territory is invaded or destroyed by humans. In these cases, the killer swarm poses a moral lesson about tampering with nature and the cost of hubris.
Sample Purposes: Protect the Queen, Survive and Spread, Destroy the Human Plague
Sample Vulnerabilities: Fire and other area-effect attacks are a vulnerability for individual swarms, but the threat as a whole can’t be permanently dealt with unless the nest and/or queen or alpha animal is destroyed.
Skills: Swarms rely on weight of numbers to overwhelm their prey and to survive against attacks. If you’re using regular skills, prioritize Fight and Physique according to the size of the swarm. While the rank and file members of the swarm are unintelligent animals, there is often an alpha or queen animal with near-human intelligence who controls the swarm and which you can generate as a full NPC with a complete set of skills.
Suggested Stunts: Infect—Rather than infecting the victim with a curse, the swarm poisons its victim or implants its young inside them. The victim can still be bodily transformed—perhaps into a new queen or giant version of the swarm creatures—but they’re more likely to be poisoned or impregnated, eventually leading to a gruesome death as the poison takes its course or they burst open to give birth to thousands of new swarm members;
Horror fiction is replete with examples of monsters created by mad scientists, sorcerers, and others. Frankenstein’s Creature is the classic example, but there’s also the Golem of Prague, The Mummy, and Hector the murderous robot in Saturn 3 among many more.
Sample High Concepts: Murderous Robot, Clay Avenger, Reanimated Corpse Creature
Themes: There’s an interesting observation that “Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein is the creator, not the monster. Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein is the monster.” Horror featuring created monsters is all about the hubris of the creator rather than the villainous evil of the monster. In fact, the monster is often treated sympathetically, its bad behavior shown as an inevitable consequence of its unnatural birth. Perhaps the creation must be killed for the good of everyone, but it’s the creator who is truly the monster. It’s common for the creator to get their comeuppance by the end of the story, but the “monster” often survives for a sequel...
Sample Purposes: Kill All Humans, Murder My Creator, Find a Purpose for My Unnatural Life
Sample Vulnerabilities: As a consequence of their constructed “perfect” nature, the created often lack any specific vulnerabilities and must simply be destroyed through overwhelming force.
Skills: Created monsters can have any skills, but in their role as physically unstoppable powerhouses, they will likely have good ratings in Physique and Fight. Custom skills do a good job of highlighting the monster’s created and potentially quite focused nature, such as Dissect for a murderous surgical robot.
Suggested Stunts: Indestructible; Lightning Soul; Transform—Murderous robots can change form into a dangerous combat mode for the cost of a fate point (see Battle Station Mode below).
Conditions are a great way of representing the created monster’s unusual physiology. Here are some possibilities:
Lightning Struck (fleeting): After being struck by lightning or using its Lightning Soul stunt to shock itself, the monster becomes powerfully energized until the end of the scene. Immediately recover the monster’s lowest consequence and gain two free invokes on its high concept.
Battle Station Mode (sticky): A robotic monster changes configuration into a powerful attack form. In this mode it can’t move zones or dodge attacks, but it gains Armor:4 and sprouts cannon, electrical generators, or another ranged weapon with Weapon:2.