Sunday, 7 April 2013

Fate of Earthsea

This is the setup of a Fate campaign i'm going to run in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea setting.  If you're unsure of what Earthsea is, go here.

I love the books and have always wanted to run/play an RPG in it's world.  Then I discovered Fate and the Fate Core Kickstarter.  Fate Core gave me the tools to quickly put all my ideas down, and create a world that players can interact with.  Technically we haven't actually had a game-play session yet, we've just made the world and PC's, but that was still awesome fun.

Fate of Earthsea

"A storm rages in the heart of Earthsea.  Malignant.  Ignored.  
The Empire grows fat and complacent, distracted by vain ambition.
In all corners of the world a malicious intent stalks the shadows,
whilst despair threatens to destroy hope, and the courage of man.
It is time for those still with courage, to light a torch in the darkness,
and take those first steps into the gloom."

- Last words of a doomsayer on the streets of The Great Port, 138th Year of Ebbonsea.

The PC's

Asterisks (*) denote Aspects.

Horatio Corvexus
6 ft.  Shoulder length brown hair, brown eyes, usually smartly dressed favouring long coats.

* Master Trader
* Exiled from Denor Trade Guild
* Ruthless opportunist
* Reputation as a resourceful smuggler
* Captain of The Ferret

Great (+4) Rapport
Good (+3) Seafaring and Lore
Fair (+2) Contacts, Will and Deceive
Average (+1) Notice, Investigate, Shoot and Resources

Wave Rider - Seafaring - +2 Create Advantage in stormy conditions.

Middle-aged with grey streaked, brown, mid-length hair and scruffy beard.  Small burn mark on left cheek, and acid stained hands.

* Alchemist
* Forced to flee Chemish Isle after a failed experiment
* Self-serving
* Owed a life debt
* Noble streak

Great (+4) Crafts
Good (+3) Lore and Notice
Fair (+2) Resources, Deceive and Empathy
Average (+1) Will, Fight, Shoot and Investigate

Mr Nobody
Thrill seeking ex-pirate who always stands up for the little guy, but is incapable of backing down from a challenge.

* Fearless Adventurer
* Never backs down
* Guilt ridden hero complex
* Known master swordsman
* Known member of The Drowned Men

Great (+4) Fight
Good (+3) Physique and Athletics
Fair (+2) Burglary, Stealth and Contacts
Average (+2) Crafts, Investigate, Seafaring and Provoke

Swashbuckling - Athletics - +2 Create (obsurd and ridiculous) Advantage in combat.

Englebert Finklebottom V
Tall and handsome, with a charming smile.  24 years old.

* Disgraced nobleman's son
* Spoiled brat
* Ladies man
* Smuggler contacts
* Money/resources throughout West Reach

Great (+4) Rapport
Good (+3) Deceive and Notice
Fair (+2) Lore, Physique and Will
Average (+1) Ride, Fight, Contacts and Resources

The World

The first thing to say is that my version of Earthsea does not stick strictly to that which is written of in the books.  I do hope, however, to stick to the spirit, a fantasy world which veers away from a medieval view of the world.


1. Growing pirate empire in the West Reach.
2. Trouble on Risk
3. The Great Storm


* Vast archipelago
* Ruled over by a waning Empire
* A world of forgotten Dragons, Wizards and Kings

The West Reach
* Reputation for piracy
* Increasing cooperation between pirate captains

The North Reach
* Beware! Raiders!

There are many other islands I've aspect-ed out because my imagination exploded, but they are not immediately relevant as the game will start by focusing on the west reach.


The Empire
* Waning power and influence
* Elitist, self-serving and corrupt

His Grace, Emperor Emis Ebbonsea XII, Shield of the Island Realm, Ear to the people, Lord of The Storm
* Delusional ruler of Earthsea
* Sees treachery round every corner

Chestibor Gilder, Governor of the West Reach
* Merciless Governor
* Makes enemies easily
* Resolutely loyal to the Emperor

Elrik Finklebottom
* Patriarch of the Finklebottom's
* Sycophant
* Cold, hard ruthlessness
* Englebert's father
* Magistrate on Risk

"Emperor" Myran 'Mastsplitter', otherwise known as 'The Carrion King'
* Master pirate captain
* Counseled by Kelvor the Wicked
* Vows a vengeful fury upon the Empire

Kelvor the Wicked
* Dark Wizard of The Storm
* Blinded by hunger for power
* Ring of Dark Power
* Willing to sacrifice allies

Again there are many other faces (I went a bit mental) that aren't immediately relevant at the start of the campaign.


Weapons and Armour

Even though this is our first Fate game, we decided to add weapon and armour values.  I gave them a choice, and tried to explain the consequences of this, but they wanted a brutal game.

I've decided to leave magic out, for the time being, until I can fully wrap my head around a magic system that will reflect the way magic is portrayed in Earthsea.

Ships are really important to Earthsea.  It's a 'land' of islands so the're bound to be.  I started trying to thrash out details of how ships would work in conflicts, and how much damage they would do compared to different sizes, and I started to tie my brain in knots.  Then I read a post from Robert Hanz on google+.  Can't remember what it said by I suddenly stopped worrying about it.  So I just came up with four sizes of ship and left it at that.

Cutter (smallest)
Galleon (Largest)

That's about it.  Hope it wasn't too long or boring.  I will try and post game-play sessions when we find time to start playing.  Also, if anyone who is familiar with Earthsea, would like to comment on any ideas for a magic system, that would be really appreciated.  Or if anyone has advice for running Fate that would also be awesome.