Fate Space Toolkit



Typically, characters are defined by their high concept and trouble, as in Fate Core. Additional aspects emerge from the phase trio (Fate Core, pages 38-44) to help define a character’s backstory and their history with the other characters. To help reinforce the setting, you might modify the procedures described in Fate Core, such as by changing the phase trio or by changing the kinds of aspects that characters have can.

High Concept

In general, GMs, you’ll want to give guidance to players that will let them focus their high concept to serve the pitch and scope of your game—for example, “You are all crew or otherwise permanent party aboard an interstellar tramp freighter that makes frequent port calls on frontier planets. Your high concept should be consistent with this situation.”

Part of a character’s high concept may refer to their background—their planet of origin or homeworld, their species or ethnicity, and so forth. In such cases, it may be worth it to discuss the possible invocations and compels of that aspect prior to the beginning of the play in greater detail than usual.

Here are some examples:

  • Spacer: Invoke to reflect familiarity with space-going culture and folkways, including moving around in microgravity easily. Compel to suffer weakness and the possibility of injury in normal and high gravity, and to suffer the prejudices of planetbound people.
  • Cyborg. Invoke to reflect machine-augmented physical and computer-related capabilities. Compel to have to deal with software glitches, mechanical failures, or electronic short-circuits as well as the effects of an increasing psychological detachment from humanity.
  • Slowtimer: Invoke to access millennia-old secrets, information, and data from your long years of experience; compel to be blindsided by recent developments, changes, and anomalies.


A character’s trouble is a good way to reinforce the tone and themes of the setting and connect characters to the fictional universe, so when you’re designing a setting you should keep in mind what sorts of trouble you’d like to see characters get into. Thus, you can sometimes specify that the characters’ troubles come from a complication related to the setting itself, such as the characters’ relationships to a military or naval hierarchy in which you expect them to be located, or the intergalactic code of ethics that they all vowed to uphold.

Phase Trio

In addition to using the phase trio to connect the PCs, you may wish to use it to connect them and their actions to the setting’s history and to important institutions, organizations, and NPCs. For example, in a game about fleeing alien space invaders across interstellar space, a character’s first phase could be Life Before They Came, followed by During the Invasion, and finally At the Exodus. If you do this, though, be sure that each phase still connects one PC to another.