This is Fate month for me with the Gauntlet Hangouts. I’m running three different Fate-based games: a hacked together Game of Thrones-style mini-series, an adaptation of the already-Fate Base Raiders to something more like Fate Core, and a Hellboy game using Atomic Robo. Here's the pitch for that last one:
It’s a rebuilding year for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Accrued vacation time, maternity leave, and a brush with the apocalypse have left the team understaffed. That where you come in, a new team dedicated to stopping supernatural threats, beating some sense into the otherworldly, and generally keeping people from knowing too much. We’ll build characters based on submitted concepts. This game will use Atomic Robo, with the supernatural and tech as equally valid options.
In terms of Hellboy/BPRD continuity, we're a little outside that (if you know the comics). The BPRD is out in the open and known, and there have been some earth-shaking events (like the Frog God invasion from the Black Flame). But the stuff from the Hell on Earth arc hasn't happened. So basically, if you know the second movie, you're golden. Even if you don't you should be fine.
I like Atomic Robo—it has some great concepts. But there’s something about its character creation presentation that breaks my brain. I’ve read the core book several times and still don’t know if I’ve completely got it. But I was determined to work through that this time. I won’t say I did—instead I cannibalized several examples to build six archetypes. I’ve you’re interested in Atomic Robo or doing BPRD with Fate, I present the pre-gens below. Skills listed in ALL CAPS are modes. Occult is simply an alternate version of Science mode.
You can see my Atomic Robo cheat sheet here. I'll be posting session videos during the month.
Accidental Bearer of Supernatural Relic
Trouble: Of Two Minds
- Why did you swallow this supernatural relic?
- Does the item speak with you, control you, share consciousness of something else?
- What's the visible manifestation of the powers?
- Who is most after the relic?
- How did the BPRD find you?
- Superb (+5) Stealth, Provoke
- Great (+4) Deceive
- Good (+3) BANTER, Combat, Contacts, Empathy, Rapport, Will
- Fair (+2) DARKNESS
- Average (+1) ACTION, Athletics, Notice, Physique, Vehicles
You have swallowed an ancient relic connected to the power of shadow and darkness. Weird Skill: Darkness: Provoke, Deceive, Stealth, Combat
- Fade Away: You can choose to disappear—leave a scene—anytime. Spend a fate point to come back.
- From the Shadows: Use Stealth to attack in a physical conflict against a target who isn’t aware of you.
- I Know People: Even though you don’t have the Science mode, you can always participate in a brainstorm using Contacts.
- Questioner: You have a +2 to Discover actions when directly questioning a target face-to-face.
- Smooth-Talk: When you arrive in a new town, city, port, or other sizable population center, you may roll Deceive against a difficulty of Great (+4). On a tie or better, write down an aspect that represents a friendly contact you quickly make there. On a success, the aspect has one free invocation; on a success with style, two free invocations. You can invoke this aspect to have your friend take one risk on your behalf—fight for you, lie for you, and the like. When you spend a fate point to invoke this aspect, it goes away at the end of the scene, along with your friend.
BPRD Field Agent
Trouble: We Have Rules for a Reason
Been Through the Gauntlet
- What division(s) or agency(s) did you work for before the BPRD?
- Did you volunteer for this assignment-- why or why not?
- What's the worst thing you've fought?
- What gives you your iron will?
- What do you think of your "stranger" colleagues?
- Superb (+5) Notice
- Great (+4) Athletics, Will, Combat, Vehicles
- Good (+3) BPRD, Science 1, Occult 1, Physique
- Fair (+2) WEIRD
- Average (+1) ACTION
BPRD: Athletics, Notice, Physique, Will. Specialize one trained skill. Focus one trained skill
Weird: As Science and Occult, but picks one additional Science & Occult specialty.
- Dogged Persistence: After you invoke "Been Through the Gauntlet" to reroll, put a check mark next to the aspect, to a maximum of four check marks. When you invoke that aspect to reroll, add a number of additional Fate dice to your roll equal to the number of check marks next to it, and keep the best four Fate dice for your result. Erase these check marks when you refuse a compel or when the issue ends, whichever comes first.
- Guns Always Work: When using a weapon with a Weapon rating, increase that Weapon rating by 2.
- No, You Move: When you use Will to defend against fear or intimidation, on a success with style instead of getting a boost you can inflict a 2-shift mental hit on the attacker.
- Scout It Out: When you’re attempting to hide or move quietly without any allies nearby, you can use Athletics instead of Stealth.
- Signature Aspect: Sharp-Eyed Scout. Once per session, invoke for free.
Lucha Libre Master*
Trouble: No Weapons, I'm Not a Rudo
- What does your mask look like and represent?
- What's the tradition of luchador monster-fighters you hail from?
- How did you first encounter the BPRD?
- What happened to the last person who wore your mask?
- What's your finishing move called?
- Great (+4) Athletics, Notice, Will, Combat
- Good (+3) LUCHA, Physique, Contacts, Deceive
- Fair (+2) BANTER, Empathy, Provoke, Rapport
- Average (+1) INTRIGUE, Burglary, Stealth
Lucha: Includes Athletics, Notice, Will, Combat, Physique. Improve one.
- Back for Seconds: Armor:2
- Counter: When you use Combat to defend in melee and succeed with style, sacrifice your next action to immediately inflict an attack on your opponent at the shift value of your defense. For example, if you get four shifts on your defense, you’d deal a 4-shift hit to the attacker. You can’t do this again until you have another “next action” to spend (after your skipped turn goes by).
- Holy Fists: Your unarmed strikes act as magical weapons for hitting beings usually resistant to physical blows.
- Lightning Reflexes: In a physical conflict, you always act first. If someone else in the conflict has a stunt that gives them the same ability, make an Athletics roll to see who goes first.
- Signature Aspect: Lucha Libre Master*: Once per session, invoke this for free.
Occult Field Analyst
Trouble: They Always Eat the Bookworm First, Right?
- How did you first come to study the Occult?
- How were you recruited by the BPRD?
- What went horribly wrong on your last mission?
- What's your personality style when you have to explain difficult things?
- How do you see the intersection of Science and the Occult?
- Great (+4) Occult 1, Occult 2
- Good (+3) OCCULT, Notice
- Fair (+2) ACTION, Athletics, Combat, Physique, Provoke, Vehicles, Science 1, Science 2
- Average (+1) SCIENCE
- Ancient Tomes: Pick an Occult skill specialty, like Demons. Once per issue, when you use that skill to overcome or create an advantage, you can add the BPRD's skill rating to your total (+4).
- Buddy System: Choose a fellow PC. Invoking an aspect belonging to or created by them gives you a +3 bonus instead of +2.
- Not A Newb: +1 to defend with Athletics or Combat against attacks made by supernatural beings of a type you’ve encountered before, like vampires. If a prior experience with these beings hasn’t already been established during play, explain to the GM how you’d previously encountered them and what happened when you did.
- Secrets Not Meant To Know: When you attempt to intimidate an Occultist by out-loremongering them, you can use Occult instead of Provoke.
- Strange Disciplines: When defending with Will, you may use Occult.
Trouble: Phantom Pains
- How did you lose your arm?
- How did you develop your telekinetic ability (spontaneous, training, gift, etc)?
- What does the arm feel like when it touches someone?
- How do you see your role on the team?
- What do your phantom pains feel like?
- Great (+4) Psychokinesis, Burglary, Will
- Good (+3) PSYCHOKINESIS, Contacts, Deceive
- Fair (+2) INTRIGUE, Athletics, Notice, Stealth
- Average (+1) BANTER, Empathy, Provoke, Rapport, Combat
Psychokinetic Arm: You lost your arm, but it still exists as an invisible psychokinetic construct. You can use it as Physique for actions, but with psychokinesis instead of muscles. Adds Psychokinesis, Will, Burglary.
You can also use it to attack, in place of Combat for melee. Your arm can reach into or through solid objects, but that's limited by your reach.
- Breaker Breaker: You have a +1 to Attacks, Overcome, and Create Advantage against machines at touch range.
- Death Touch: Your arm does Weapon 2 against living creatures in melee.
- Extend the Mind: Spend a Fate point to use your Psychokinetic Arm on anything within line of sight.
- Kinetic Shield: Use Psychokinesis to defend against physical attacks.
- Mind Over Matter: Once per scene, when you take a physical hit, you may check a mental stress box to absorb physical harm.
Reanimated Corpse Agent
Trouble: Frankenstein's the Doctor, You Idiots
Protect the Geeks*
- Who created you and why?
- How monstrous do you appear?
- How do you repair damage you've taken?
- How did you first encounter the BPRD?
- What do you see as your role in the field?
- Superb (+5) Notice
- Great (+4) Athletics
- Good (+3) ACTION, Combat, Physique, Provoke
- Fair (+2) INTRIGUE, Burglary, Contacts, Deceive, Stealth, Occult 1, Occult 2
- Average (+1) OCCULT, Will
- Get Behind Me: When a nearby ally is hit by a physical attack, you can check one of your own physical stress boxes to reduce the hit as if it had targeted you. If that doesn’t reduce the hit to zero, the ally has to deal with the rest on their own.
- Puny Humans: Bulletproof, but weak to fire; Armor:2 against everything else.
- Signature Aspect: Protect the Geeks: Once per session you may invoke this aspect for free.
- Unnatural Strength: Absolutely stronger than any human (Physique), but at a cost; Weapon:2 with hand-to-hand attacks; +2 to overcome with Athletics when jumping.
- Untapped Talents: Once per scene, spend a fate point and choose a skill. For the rest of the scene, you have a +1 bonus to that skill’s rating, to a maximum of Fantastic (+6).