Martial Magic in Fate

Continuing my series of posts on how I handle different types of magic in my Fate RPG campaign Brewed Awakening, I now turn my eye on Martial Magic.

Not familiar with the Fate RPG? Read the full rules here.

The Martial Magician

The martial magician is one who expresses magic through strength, reflexes, and other physical manifestations. Martial magic allows you to strike faster, hit stronger, resist damage, jump higher, etc.

Prerequisites: 1-2 refresh, depending on the game—one in Brewed—and a high concept that declares you a martial magician in some way, e.g.Kineticist Cop, Gladitor Son of the Archwizard, or Tai Chi Tree Sloth.

To activate martial magic a player has to use Create Advantage to apply an appropriate Aspect to their character. The difficulty for adding the aspect depends on the situation and the martial arts style. A brawler’s powers would activate easier in a bar fight, while a yoga master’s wouldn’t. Each time a martial magic aspect is created the character gets an additional free invoke on the aspect.

Here are a few example martial magic aspects:

  • Bar Room Hercules—this aspect would make the character stronger and more resistant to being cut (bottles and knifes being staples of bar room brawls).
  • Bend Like A Reed—with the fluid motion of a master dancer you are able to bend and fold, flowing out of the way of lasers and bullets.
  • Run with the Pack—you move as if one of the great cats, bounding around obstacles and no one outruns you in a straight line.

Remember, aspects are always true so as a GM you’ll want to make sure that you are giving the character the benefits of the aspect. If the brawler has Bar Room Hercules going he should be permitted to throw the jukebox as if it were a chair.

Depending on your campaign, you may want to add on additional mechanical benefits that go with the aspects. Perhaps Bar Room Hercules gives the character Armor:2 against cuts or Run with the Pack allows the character to always go first in a scene. Tweak until it feels right in your game.

Furthermore a character can stack stunts on top of these powers. For example, consider the stunt “When I have the aspect Bend Like A Reed active I get a +2 to defensive rolls against projectiles”.

Your Thoughts

I would love to here what folks think about this. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @amazingrando or over at the Fate Google+ Community.

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