What do you do when only two out of your four players show up for your bi-weekly Dungeons and Dragons game? After arranging for the characters of those players who did not show up to meet an untimely and humiliating demise during the next session, you sit down with the two players who did make it and hash out a FATE Core side-game!
I purchased the FATE Core rule book about a month ago, and I have yet to do anything with it besides read it from cover to cover a couple of times. So I jumped at this opportunity to finally try the game out. I have to say that although we have yet to roll a single die, I am quite pleased with the game so far. After going over the core concepts of the game, we got down to brainstorming about what type of game we wanted to play. Pretty quickly we settled on something “Fallout” themed; we have all played the video games and have a good handle on the atmosphere and tone of the setting. And we all really like the games. After some more discussion we decided to set our game in New York city, a place that we are all familiar enough with that we can jump right into and broad enough that we can easily expand.
Our first game aspect is “The World is an Irradiated Wasteland.” This sets the Fallout themed stage nicely and didn’t require a lot of thought. As far as more immediate concerns, we liked the idea of a powerful gang taking over territory and establishing a sort of totalitarian martial law over areas of the city. Again, this isn’t a great leap when considering the source material, but it’s a conceit that we all liked and were comfortable with. We decided that this gang would call themselves “New York’s Finest,” and that they would be dressed in police uniforms and walk around with riot shields emblazoned with the motto “To Protect and Serve.” I really like the idea of a vaguely sinister gang adopting the facade of policemen and coercing their way into control of more and more territory within the city. New York’s Finest do keep the peace though, as long as you don’t mind living in a fascist police-state. The efforts of this organization are directed by a mysterious figure who calls himself “The Mayor.” This isn’t really new territory when thinking about recent Fallout video games, but we all like this plot device and the story possibilities it provides so we decide not to worry about fixing something that isn’t broken.
We decided that in opposition to this expansion was a more peaceful, democratic group of citizens, who perhaps have more idealistic intentions than New York’s finest, but lack the cohesion and martial prowess of their rivals. These well-meaning citizens have established the commune of Middleton on Staten Island, and our characters will be pitted against New York’s Finest and the world at large as they struggle to help this group maintain its autonomy.
Our protagonists are a former army combat medic who lost his family in the pre-vault days and now struggles with an addiction to pain killers, and an overly impulsive street hoodlum who wants to free the city he loves from the tyrants who are slowly taking over. We got enough direction out of this first session to know that Middleton is in desperate need of medical supplies; supplies that New York’s Finest would be happy to supply them with so long as Middleton gave up their notions of autonomy and allowed New York’s Finest to set up forces in the area. Instead of capitulating, Middleton has placed its hopes of survival on the shoulders of our unlikely heroes, hoping that they will be able to make a successful foray into the wasteland and return with the medical supplies the community so desperately needs. What will happen? Probably a horrible train wreck, but I guess we’ll find out for sure when we get together for our first actual play session, which will hopefully be soon. Whenever it happens, I will post a synopsis here.