A Greystone Valley RPG: Character Creation

Fate Dice

Role-playing games are one of my favorite hobbies, and it’s always grand to introduce players to great new worlds. Although not designed with a role-playing experience in mind, the Greystone Valley series introduces a flexible fantasy setting where the players can pretend to be anything from wizards to astronauts.

I recently had the chance to design a new Greystone Valley adventure as a way of introducing some new people to role-playing. Because of its simplicity and flexibility, I chose FATE Accelerated as the system. For those interested in a preview as to how a Greystone Valley RPG might function and as to how easy it is to dive right into FATE Accelerated, here’s a look at the character creation process.

Greystone Valley is a world where a powerful wizard took the creatures that we know from myth and fantasy and locked them away in a world of their own. From time to time, that world pulls in other people, who find themselves trapped in the valley. The PCs are such individuals. They can be from our world or heroes of myth and legend from other dimensions. The only requirement is that they be willing to seek adventure and work together as a team.

To create a character, players follow these steps:

1. Aspects: Choose three aspects for your character. These tell you what your character’s strengths and weaknesses are.

  • What do you do? Are you a great warrior? A clever wizard? A wily archer?
  • How do you struggle at what you do? Does your warrior’s weapon always break? Is your wizard absent-minded? Is your archer near-sighted?
  • How do you get by anyway? Maybe your warrior is great at improvising weapons. Maybe your wizard has magic words tattooed on her arms. Maybe the archer has a faerie companion that tells her where to shoot.
  • Aspect Examples: The Greystone Valley novels have a number of characters who fit this model. Here are some examples:
    • Dax is a veteran warrior (aspect A). Unfortunately, he can’t stand the sight of blood (aspect B). Luckily, he’s very good at fighting with his eyes closed (aspect C).
    • Kay is a wizard with an infinite spellbook (aspect A). Unfortunately, he can’t read his spellbook (aspect B). Luckily, he makes lots of educated guesses (aspect C).
    • Keeley is a fire-breathing dragon (aspect A). Unfortunately, she’s only the size of a mouse (aspect B). Luckily, she can still create gigantic fireballs whenever she sneezes (aspect C).

2. Name and Appearance: Pick a name for your character and decide what she looks like.

3. Choose Approaches: Every character has six approaches, which is how they accomplish tasks:

  • Careful
  • Clever
  • Flashy
  • Forceful
  • Quick
  • Sneaky 

    Choose how good your character is at each approach. You get one Good (+3), two Fair (+2), two Average (+1), and one Mediocre (+0).Approach Examples: Here are some sample approaches using the characters mentioned above:

    • Dax: As a skilled warrior, Dax is very good at combat and quite quick as well. His experience has taught him to be careful, but he doesn’t sneak around much because his old bones ache. His approaches are:
      Careful +2, Clever +1, Flashy +1, Forceful +3, Quick +2, Sneaky +0
    • Kay: Kay is creative and quick-thinking, always going for the flashiest spells he can. He’s not very cautious, and assumes he’ll be quick enough to dodge his spell mishaps. His approaches are:
      Careful +0, Clever +2, Flashy +3, Forceful +1, Quick +2, Sneaky +1
    • Keeley: Keeley relies on her quick flight to stay out of the path of bigger creatures. She uses her agility and bursts of fire to do damage, but isn’t very physically imposing. Her approaches are:
      Careful +1, Clever +1, Flashy +2, Forceful +0, Quick +3, Sneaky +2

4. Choose a Stunt: What special action can your character perform? Given the nature of this adventure, something that helps in a fight or helps to bypass obstacles will be useful. Here are some examples from the sample characters:

  • Dax: Dax is very talented at disarming his opponents so they can’t draw blood with their weapons. His stunt is Rapid Disarm.
  • Kay: Kay’s not very good with his spellbook, but he does have one improvised spell that he’s practiced a lot. This spell created a flurry of bright, exploding butterflies. His stunt is Flying Fury.
  • Keeley: By concentrating very hard, Keeley has learned to shoot forth a massive burst of flame that leaves her exhausted for a short while afterward. Her stunt is Concentrated Fire.If you can’t think of a stunt right now, don’t worry – you can choose one during the game. After all, sometimes you don’t know what you can do until the pressure is on!

5. Set Your Refresh. You start with a number of fate points which can influence the game as it progresses. Your refresh is the number of fate points you begin with. Right now everybody starts with a refresh of 3, which gives you 3 fate points at the beginning of this adventure.

6. Get Playing! Just like that, your character is ready to go! Get ready for adventure!

Image: Fudge Dice White, by Fate RPG.de

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