I built archetypes for the players to choose from to make things easier. The system borrows elements from Fate, so that's pretty easy to do. Players picked out their role, came up with a couple of aspects, drafted cards and then we were ready to go. We did a little rp, established the premise (the Company's in trouble), and then set up the challenge and complications for their first assignment.
Below are the races and archetypes I provided the players. I'm pretty happy with this (for the moment). We settled on the portal concept Wednesday and I had to run on Saturday. So I had to build really quickly. Plus I had another new campaign which began on Friday.
Aura: Reduce Composure Stress by 1
Elven Grace: +1 on all tests for maintaining balance or activities like dance.
Toughness: Reduce Wound stress by 1
Sneaky: +1 to all stealth-type tests.
Specialist in infiltration and taking out specific targets. Called on when the company needs a thief or second-story expert.
SKILLS: Athletics, Deceive, Fight, Stealth, Thief plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: [Weapon] Attack (Fight), Move Quietly (Stealth), Detect Pursuit (Notice) plus 2 more.
Blend into Crowd: Once per scene, you may spend a Fate point to vanish into a nearby crowd, making you nearly impossible to find.
Evade Pursuit: You gain a +1 bonus to all attempts to evade pursuit, regardless of terrain.
Assassination: Roll +1 die damage. If making a Sneak attack, roll another +2 dice (total +3). You may ignore the first point of Damage Resistance a target has. You can also fall from crazy heights.
Brutal front-line warrior who concentrates on dealing damage above protecting themselves. Often have a short lifespan.
SKILLS: Athletics, Fight, Physique (+2 Wounds), Presence, Will (+2 Composure), plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: [Weapon] Attack (Fight), Dodge Melee (Dodge), Resist Fear (Will)
Brutal: +2 dice for damage in Melee
Fortitude: Add +3 wounds
Berserker: The Bashkar adds +1 die of extra physical damage for each physical consequence they’re currently suffering. They may also spend a Fate point to attack all targets surrounding them; this is resolved as an area of effect attack. If they kill a foe in melee, they may move to engage another target in the same zone immediately (but not attack).
Potent magic items have an intelligence. Currently those who bear a powerful artifact are being hunted down throughout the Empire. Your character possesses one of these items. You can choose if the original person or the relic controls the body.
SKILLS: Contacts, Fight, Investigate, Notice, Outdoors, plus 3 more
SPECIALTIES: Artifact Lore (Lore), [Environment] Survival (Outdoors), Blend In (Stealth)
Networker: The character may spend a Fate point to have a good friend or contact in a new area or city.
Veteran: The GM must roll 1 higher to do extra Composure stress to a Bearer.
Magic Item: The GM and the Player can negotiate the exact nature of the item.
Magic users who have trained outside of a school. They often spell relating to nature and learned from a wandering mentor. These mages usually focus on support and boost spells.
SKILLS: Animal, Lore, Magic, Outdoors, Will (+2 Composure), plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: Diplomacy (Charm), Dodge Ranged (Dodge), Move Quietly (Stealth), plus 2 more.
Attuned: When casting Nature magic, the Druid takes one less stress damage.
Booster: When performing buff or support magic, the Druid’s effect is increased by +1.
Magic: Druids begin with their choice of two methods and three mediums at least one of which must be Nature.
One of the more senior person’s in the Company. They’re both a solider and an investor in the fortunes of the company. Often they act as the diplomat and negotiator of the group.
SKILLS: Contacts, Charm, Fight, Resources, Warfare, plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: Letters of Credit (Resources), [Weapon] Attack (Fight), Ride (Animal), plus 2 more.
Well Trained: When rolling extra damage, both 9’s and 10’s count as two more wounds (instead of one).
Cavalry: When mounted, the Noble does +1 die of damage and reduces Wounds done to him by one.
Deep Pockets: The Fallen Noble may make a Social check (based on Resources) to more quickly recover Morale and Troop stress for the Company. Failure on this check temporarily depletes his money. Additionally, the Noble may use their Social/Resources skills to make attacks at a distance against a community, group or organization. Finally the Noble does+2 dice of Composure damage with social attacks.
Mercenary companies need those who can keep records, handle accounts, and do research. The Loremaster maintains the scroll of the Company. They’re crucial for gathering information about targets, battlefields, and potential employers.
SKILLS: Charm, Investigate, Lore, Notice, Warfare, plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: [Weapon] Attack (Fight), Dodge Melee (Dodge), Writing (Art), plus 2 more.
Library: The Loremaster has access to scrolls and records, as well as a sharp mind. They perform research actions, in a fraction of the time.
Recall: When a Lorekeeper uses a Lore-type skill to declare something about the situation (i.e. creating an aspect), they always create an additional detail.
Expertise: When fighting an unusual foe, the Loremaster may use Mental results in place of Combat for attacks. When attempting to deceive, confuse, or distract someone, the Loremaster may use Mental results in place of Social results. When engaged in debates, the Loremaster rolls +2 dice for Composure damage.
Someone has to heal up the wounded. The Medic uses a combination of first aid training and alchemical skills for healing.
SKILLS: Craft, Fight, Lore, Outdoors, Will plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: Alchemy (Magic), Medicine (Crafts), Herbalism (Outdoors) plus two more
Where It Hurts: The number you need to roll to do extra damage to a target is one less.
Healer: You may make a medical test to reduce the severity of a Wound Consequence. Minor may be cleared immediately after a combat with success. Shift Moderate a Minor. Severe may be made to recover faster.
Alchemy: In combat you may spend an action to heal an ally. This heals them for 3 wounds plus you roll 4 dice for extra healing (based on their armor). This may be done at range, but requires at least an OK Physical result to land the hit. You may do this a number of times per combat equal to your refresh. You may also use your Alchemy to create other effects, based on a skill check and limited to standard maneuver results. You may not use the same new effect more than once per session.
The Company’s specialist in reconnaissance. Depending on how the character’s built, they may be an urban infiltrator or an expert in the outdoors.
SKILLS: Animal, Investigate, Notice, Outdoors, Stealth, plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: [Weapon] Attack (Fight), Fire Bow (Shoot), Sprinting (Athletics) plus 2 more.
Hide in Plain Sight: In their chosen environment (Urban or Outdoors), the Scout may hide with almost no cover. They may vanish from sight with a successful Stealth check.
Light Armor Master: When wearing light armor, the Scout reduces Wounds done by one.
Reconnaissance: Once per scene the Scout may spend a Fate point to case a location or assess an area. For each shift they get on their test, they may add one detail to the scene. The first two of these may be freely invoked as per the usual rules. The Scout can move quickly- two zones instead of the usual one with a Move action. The Scout may also spend a fate point to leave behind no evidence of their own passage. With a small group, they may only obscure the details.
They give the orders and organize the troops of the line. More importantly they manages the logistics of the company and the day-to-day matters of marching and camp life.
SKILLS: Fight, Physique (+2 Wounds), Presence, Warfare, Will (+2 Composure), plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: Human Perception (Investigate), Intimidate (Presence), Make Camp (Outdoors), plus 2 more.
Unrelenting: If a defender blocks one of your attacks with a tied result, you may roll 1d for extra damage, in addition to the usual 1 wound.
Fortitude: Add +3 wounds
Battlefield: When leading a small unit of troops, the Sergeant offers a repull to all Morale and Maneuver tests for that unit. Once per scene, the Sergeant may transfer a hit on himself or one of the PCs to a set of Company troops nearby. This represents the ability to command and coordinate. Before a battle, the Sergeant may spend a Fate point to assess or rally troops. For each shift they get on their test, they may add one aspect to the unit. The first two of these may be freely invoked
A ranged combat specialist, usually with a bow. More than your average archer, the Sniper has perfected their talents to devastating effect.
SKILLS: Athletics, Crafts, Notice, Shoot, Stealth plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: Fletching (Crafts), Fire Bow (Shoot), Climb (Athletics) plus 2 more.
Fine Bow: +2 dice damage with ranged weapon of choice.
Moving Attack: May move before and after an attack with their bow, so long as they are not engaged in melee.
Master Archer: The Sniper may spend a Fate point to make an additional ranged attack in a round. When the archer uses a target’s aspects, they add +1d damage for each one used. Finally, the Sniper does not have to take an action to ready their bow.
Some have picked up a little magic, enough to make them dangerous. They have perhaps learned a few cantrips or picked up a couple of modest spells. While they can’t modify and extend their magic, they still have dangerous tricks.
SKILLS: Athletics, Deceive, Fight, Notice, Shoot, plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: Magic Lore (Lore), Concentration (Will, +1 Composure), Identify Magic (Magic), plus 2 more
Lies Upon Lies: Gain +1 to attempts to create an advantage/aspect on someone who has already bought into one of your falsehoods.
Combat Caster: You may spend a Fate point to reroll damage done with a magical attack.
Cantrips: The Spellblade know a few tricks. These each cost one stress (Wounds or Composure) to activate. They do not, however, require a casting pull. They cannot be modified or expanded in effect. First, select a Medium. Second, choose three effects from the following lists: BROAD SPELLS: Ranged Attack, Add Damage, Armor, Control Medium, Summon Medium, Destroy Medium. CANTRIPS: Jump, Light, Wizard Eye, Wizard Ear, Arcane Mark, Minor Illusion, Alarm, Knock, Magic Hand, Repair.
A more formally trained magic user. They’re most often associated with one of the primary elements (Earth, Air, Water, or Fire) but may have studied other kinds of sorcery. If they’re serving with a mercenary company, they’ve clearly fallen on hard times.
SKILLS: Dodge, Magic, Investigate, Lore, Will, plus 3 more.
SPECIALTIES: [Type] Spell (Magic), Spell Throwing (Magic), Argue (Presence)
Precise: When firing a spell into a combat, you don’t have to worry about hitting allies. You can only hit or miss your intended target.
Persistence: You gain +3 Composure stress.
Magic: Wizards begin with their choice of two methods and three mediums at least two of which must be elements.
Build your own character.
SKILLS: Pick 8
SPECIALTIES: Pick 5
Characters begin with two Stunts plus one Power. You may exchange the Power for three more Stunts. Stunts may also be turned in to increase your Refresh on a 1 to 1 basis. Players may negotiate with the GM on typical Stunts and such.