The World of Donatainous

The Idea
Words from another DM on the FATE system

Work in Progress

The Plan
Think of this as an experiment of sorts. The FATE system has a lot of untapped potential under the hood. Fate has a lot of rules, most of which seem to be explaining how to tell a good story. There are certain options, certain rulesets, that are, in a way, more powerful than even the writers likely understand.

One of the things that kept me coming back to Firefly was the characters. You wanted to know who they were. The show didn’t just come out and tell you. They built it up over the, albeit short, lifetime of the show.

Sure, the movie Serenity answered a lot of the questions about River, but a lot of the other characters got left out in the cold to do so.

We’re not here to tell their stories, we’re here to tell our own. There are more stories out in the black than dust motes on a dirt eaters shirt. The problem with most RPG game systems is that they want you to tell your character’s story before you begin play. You have to answer pesky little things like how strong you are, how smart, how many cool abilities you have, and so on.

In my mind, this isn’t the ’Verse. I keep coming back to the core idea, the reason I kept watching the show, and I keep looking at the Serenity RPG book and putting it back up on the shelf to gather dust.

Fate let’s us tell new stories for new characters as we play. The Serenity RPG book has a lot of world information in there. It has colorful names for Extras, Skills, and Equipment. They have ships, worlds, and just about anything else you could really need to play the game…except a character system that matches. The characters are hard coded from the moment you begin into a specific role that you can deviate from only with difficulty. While each player could keep the details of their character a secret, there is no joy of discovery for that player when it comes to their own character…and forget about flashbacks, something used heavily in the series, since those would leave all the other players out in the cold.

Fate, on the other hand, has the ability to let you play an unfinished character. You, of course, need to touch the high points, the concept of the character if you will, but at that point you can begin to play. You have a framework into which you can begin slotting all the crazy ideas that you come up with during play.

There is something else about the fate system, there is a reward built into the system for story telling. This opens up possibilities for play that other systems lack. Usually, when you focus on a single character, the other players sit there, bored, doing nothing.

In Fate, anyone could pick up play of an NPC and make it there own as they help create the story with the involved character. Others who don’t want to take a direct role can offer suggestions on complications, descriptions, and NPCs. And all of the players will get Fate points for doing it, Fate points that they can use on their main characters.

Welcome to Beiwei Jailbirds. The adventure starts here, and I reckon it’s lookin’ like a fong luh pi gu bumpy ride

All of the above was taken from the home page of Beiwei Jailbirds by CraigCoxson.

Before we begin
set up to ease character and world creation

Players should first become acquainted with the Rulers and Nations in the game.

Once you have looked those over you will want to discus the following questions with your group.
*Should there be any language barriers?
*Current Tension levels between countries. (Is there any open or closeted aggression?)
*How common is Magic.
*How common are Magic Items
*Fighting Monsters, Human villains, or both?
*Scale of game. (personal or world changing)
*Weapon system complexity.

Once the group has come to a consensus about these topics, you should move on to discussing what type of adventure you want to play. More specifically you want to know what two major current or impending issues are your characters concerned about, and what 6 or so places (taverns, cities, and/or countries) are important in your game and what makes them important. This may also be when your group makes people that are closely connected to these issues and places and what makes them important, but this is optional sometimes.

After that, we will meet and make characters and polish off the world.

Should anyone ever want to use this world to run a campaign, I would be flattered and would be interested to hear the story you pursue. please feel free to leave feedback in the comment section.


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