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Fate System Toolkit

Pre-Compels as Adventure Design

If you’re stuck for an adventure idea, you need look no further than the PCs’ aspects! Here’s a neat trick to kick-start an adventure and also start the players off with some extra fate points.

First, take a look at all of the PCs’ aspects and see if any jump out at you. If you see one that seems to have an interesting adventure hook, particularly something that’s tied to the world or an organization within the world, tell the player you want to use it as the seed of an adventure and offer him a fate point. Most players will accept this compel without much convincing, but if the player isn’t interested, don’t charge him a fate point for refusal—just come up with a different aspect to compel.

Once you’ve got your seed, open it up to the table. Suggest other aspects and solicit suggestions from the players. Talk with them about what’s going to show up in the adventure and hand out fate points for good suggestions. These suggestions don’t have to be tied to aspects, but it’s best if they are. After all, if you’re tying multiple aspects into the story, you can keep compelling that aspect later!

If you do take suggestions not based on existing aspects, turn those suggestions into aspects. They can be situation aspects or they can be aspects placed on the entire adventure.

Once you’ve got a good starting point, start playing! Now you’ve got a starting situation with a lot of player buy-in, and the players have some extra fate points so that they can be extra-awesome from the start!