So my son(14) and daughter(10) have been asking to try creating a game world for Fate since I got the books earlier this Summer. They want to play in their own world rather than someone else’s. I’ve been reading and collecting info on the subject of creating a game from scratch in Fate for a while now. I haven’t read everything, by any means, but I felt I had a sense of how to do it. After sitting down with them to begin creating the game, we got bogged down in some of the early parts and I kind of lost their attention. I’m laying all this out in hopes that I might get some guidance about how to go about this or assurance that I’m on the right path.
They are still interested in playing, but I want to get a handle on what I might be doing wrong before we go much further. We sat down tonight with a Game Creation Worksheet and several Character Creation Worksheets. I thought we could at least get through a little bit of world creation and the very start of creating a few characters. Here is what we’ve created so far:
My daughter had an idea sort of formed already. She wanted the game to be set in a place called The Realm of Fantasy. I wrote up an index card for that. It is a magical place, located in the Bermuda Triangle. It can only be reached by magical creatures who are already denizens of The Realm. Very quickly they fired off the main races that reside in The Realm – Fairies, Dragons, Centaurs, and Dragonborne. I’m not sure if there are other sorts there or not, but I’ve got index cards now for each race. (They rattled off some defining aspects of the races, but it was all so quick I didn’t capture it. We’ll get back to that at some point, I guess.)
She also quickly came up with the seed of the primary adventure: In the middle of The Realm of Fantasy there is a big tree – known as The Great Oak. Index card created for that. She then wove the tale of what I see as the main adventure this game will revolve around: every October 1st, each race sends forth a champion. These will come together as a party and they have a mission. Somewhere in the Mortal World there is a Magical Acorn (golden body with a silver cap). It is the job of the party to retrieve the Magical Acorn and return it by October 31st or The Realm of Fantasy will cease to exist.
They also came up with The Elder Council – the leaders of The Realm of Fantasy. Each race sends a leader to the council.
OK, I see the seed (pun intended) here of our whole game. The Party will go on quest to find the Magical Acorn and save The Realm. Pretty straight-forward. I now had these index cards:
-The Realm of Fantasy – magical realm in Bermuda Triangle
-The Great Oak – giant tree, center of The Realm
-Magical Acorn – golden body, silver cap, must be found
-The Mortal Realm – members of the Party can appear as themselves or as humans with some features that match their Realm appearance
-The Bermuda Triangle
-The Elder Council
Then they set to work on the four characters that would make up The Party. I got 4 Character Creation Worksheets. Here is what they came up with:
Name: Aspen Willowwing
Type: Female Fairie
High Concept Aspect: Golden-throated Diva (aka Entertainer)
Trouble Aspect: Sticky fingers (aka Kleptomaniac)
Type: Male Dragon
High Concept Aspect: Dragon for Hire
Trouble Aspect: I’ll do anything for a bit of gold
Name: Lya Fireheart
Type: Female Dragonborne
High Concept Aspect: Lieutenant in Elder Council Guard
Trouble Aspect: Anger Management Issues
Name: Hunter Leafin
Type: Male Centaur
High Concept Aspect: Master Hunter of The Realm of Fantasy
Trouble Aspect: Terrified of Heights
Out of that little part of character creation we got this index card:
-Elder Council Guard
And then we got side-tracked by making a set of foes. They came up with The Pact of Shadows. This would be the force of beings that would try to stop them from recovering the Magical Acorn in the Mortal Realm. We created this index card:
-The Pact of Shadows – trying to stop The Party in Mortal Realm – they appear as shadowy creatures – they can’t change form – they can’t enter the Realm of Fantasy
And then, very quickly, they spouted out this set of foes:
Name: Shadow Claw
Name: Shadow Stalker
-always travel in pairs
-if one of a pair is taken out, the other is weakened
Name: Shadow Reaper
Name: Shadow Angel
Name: Prince of Shadows
Type: Leader of The Pact of Shadows
They even went through my 4E Monster Manual and found pictures of each creature.
I was blown away by their creativity and the power of creating the beginnings of their own game along with the start of these characters. What got me though was that I feel like there is so much to create before we can get started.
Is there? I feel like we might be able to get going with the game, but there would be a lot of making stuff up on the fly. Not just scene aspects, but major world-building stuff.
Those of you who may be more experienced, am I on the right track? Is this how it should work? I guess it’s just a new mode of thinking about playing in these kinds of games. Everything in my game worlds always has a back story. Everything is there for a reason so it can’t just be tossed aside and not cataloged. Everything could come back around and become an essential part of the game. Plus, there’s just so much world to create.
We created all of the above in less than an hour. It seems like we are only about a third of the way to being ready for the first play session where the charactrers come together and we begin the main quest. Does that seem right?
What would you do differently?