Building characters in Fate is pretty easy, but sometimes I wonder if I’ve made a good one.
I’d like to acknowledge that “good” is subjective. If you’re having fun playing your character and everyone in the group likes having them there, you have a good one. You’re a winner!
Despite this, I have a habit of overthinking things. And so I’m writing this article to share with you my personal thought process on how I evaluate my own Fate PCs. YMMV.
Professor Siati, my current PC
For the purposes of this article I’m going to use my current PC, an intelligent talking cat from the future, Professor Siati.
The storyline for the game centers around the fact that time is broken, and in true Doctor Who style our group is going to fix it. My character is the familiar for an older, future version of another magic-using PC.
The first thing I tend to pay attention to with my PCs is my aspects.
Are my Aspects active?
I pay attention to how much my aspects are being used. This includes my using them, the GM compelling them, and how they influence the narrative.
Professor Siati has the following aspects:
- Mathemagical Familiar
- Chairman Meow (I tell people what to do)
- From the Future
- Can’t Fight my Hunter Spirit (Revert to cat-like behaviors)
- Everything Makes More Sense After a Cat Nap (Lazy)
Last night was our first session. I used “Mathemagical Familiar”, “Chairman Meow”, and “From the Future”. The GM compelled “Chairman Meow” and “Can’t Fight my Hunter Spirit” twice.
That leaves “Everything Makes More Sense After a Cat Nap” untouched. This makes me inclined to reewrite or modify it. Perhaps the lazy, disinterested feel that I’m going for would be better written as “Not Interested in Your Problems”. I think that aspect might be more actively used while still letting me roleplay the character taking a nap every now and again.
Have I used my stunts?
For the Professor, I spent a fortune of refresh on stunts and as a result I start each session with a single Fate point. I did this mostly because I want to be compelled into causing trouble. (I have two troublemaker cats who I used as inspiration.)
The Professor has six stunts. I used five out of the six stunts throughout the session, making sure to keep things interesting by changing tactics a lot. Nothing is so boring as a one-trick pony.
The only stunt that I didn’t use was Pack Instincts, which allows me to secretly communicate one word concepts to my pack. I see this as being useful in the right circumstance, so I’ll keep it just in case the opportunity arises.
Keep in mind the cardinal rule of PCs
I hope that you’ve found this glance inside my thought process on how I evaluate my Fate PCs to be useful. Remember, if you’re having fun playing your character and everyone in the group likes having them there, you have a good one. Having a fun character is the most important thing!