Friday, December 7, 2012

FATE Core Kickstarter: Fantasy Adventure

So, I happen to be involved with this little thing:

FATE Core Kickstarter

If you clicked that link, you will see that they have blasted past their goal by an unbelievable number. The cool thing is that my contribution to this project was at the $3k level, which has totally been left in the dust. I'm already working on the "fantasy adventure," and I thought I'd describe it a bit more than the Kickstarter does.

My assignment was literally that simple: write a fantasy adventure that uses FATE Core, about 10k-20k words. Everything else was left up to me.

I did get a preview of the Core rules, and the running examples all use a fantasy setup. I'm basing my adventure on this, but I decided to go a bit old-school sword-and-sorcery on it, inspired by Fritz Lieber and Robert E. Howard, pulp fantasists that I enjoy. Once I started down that path, I remembered Howard's Conan story The Tower of the Elephant, a tale of adventure and thievery sitting right where I want this fantasy adventure to be.

I'm not going to reveal too much about this, that's for Kickstarter backers! Here is a quick (unedited) taste of the intro:

They say the Palace of Hadrin is one of the seven wonders of the world. It rises 300 feet, its sheer porphyry walls without seam or mortar, its walls overtopped by minarets and domes made of crystal. Constructed in ancient times by methods lost to modern craftsmen, the Palace was once home to the Satrap of Sarnac. Travelers from all reaches of the world come to the city of Riverton just to gaze upon it. In the days since Sarnac's destruction it became home to the local Governor. The bulk and height of the Palace leaves a whole district on the north side in permanent shadow, a place where the sun never touches. They call this place Darkside, and no travelers come here. Or if they do, they never come out again.
 Darkside is a sprawling slum, a shantytown where a life can be bought for only a few copper coins. The Governor's men do not go there unless in numbers more suited to a raiding party in wartime than keepers of the peace. Darkside's streets are occasionally convulsed with gang warfare, and in those times blood runs ankle deep in the muddy streets. This is not one of those times. Hugo the Charitable rules there now, his Scar Triad thugs walking unopposed. None dare challenge him, even the Governor seems content with Hugo’s rule over this den of thieves.
 At the very center of this vile pit stands a tower, the Tower of the Serpents. Older than the Palace, older than the city, it is made of an unknown material, white and hard as steel. The tower's single spire rises nearly as high as the Palace walls, twin entwining serpents carved curling up the tower's sides. A sorcerer lives there, they say, and this rumor seems likely true. The tower has a garden around it that grows despite the lack of sun, and strange lights shine from the upper rooms at night. No one is ever seen entering or leaving the place, and the single gate in the garden wall never opens. Darksiders say that on moonless nights you can hear the loathsome flutter of unholy wings from the top of the tower, and perhaps it is by this conveyance that the sorcerer comes and goes.
 They also say the tower holds a treasure of incalculable value.