[FATE] Approaches for an Edwardian Game


Staff member
I want to run the Romance in the Air airship Fate World, but using FAE not Fate Core.
I like the idea of replacing the Approaches with five suitably Victorian/Edwardian ones.
So maybe Etiquette, Modesty, Courage, Wit and Erudition..
They do *not* need to map onto the usual FAE core.

Comments, ideas?
I just finished running an FAE steampunk game using Motivations rather than Approaches, so I had "Love, Revenge, Power, Survival and Duty". I wasn't very happy with the results, although it matched my (one) experience of playing straight FAE. My group has struggled to get to grips with FAE, there's not enough role differentiation between characters because everyone can do everything, more or less. It worked a bit better in the straight game we played because it was Star Wars, and there is an obvious narrative difference between the Jedi going all lightsaber and the Clone Trooper getting all blaster happy, but even then it was purely window dressing.

Not convinced FAE has enough in it. Also not convinced by Fate Core, because it has too much clunk (not crunch) with the skills. I am going to see if I can get a game going (I've been saying this for a while) using the compromise Fortune variant from Hunters of Alexandria. It has professions rather than skills or approaches, they are basically very broad skill categories.
I think - and I may be misremembering here - that one of the big selling points of FAE back in the kickstarter was that it was brilliant for a group where everyone could do the same thing, but wanted to do it differently. So, for example, take a group of Jedi?

I find the concept of window-dressing on similar activities fascinating btw, as it is something that has come up time and again with systems. D&D 4e got it hurled at it all of the time. The way I see it, if you are whittling down a set of HP, whether you use a spell or a sword or a summoned monster, its all the same. But that's a different thread...


Speaking to Tom's initial query the way I do it is to think about what I want the characters to be doing and think about the difference between a character who plums for a +3 and one that goes for the +0. You might also notice that the approaches are paired(ish) - Careful/Quick, Clever/Forceful, Flashy/Sneaky. Remember that!

A straight port might look like this:

Careful -
Clever - Inventive
Flashy - Flamboyant
Forecful - Mighty
Quick -
Sneaky - Guile

At which point I ask ... do I want my Airship characters to be Careful? Quick? Possible not. And the pair are a whole pairing of approaches too. Looking over your original list, Courage stands out as an interesting one. So if we plop Courage into one of those slots, what would be the converse pair? Maybe Cunning?


Someone with +3 Cunning is a plotter and a schemer, +3 Courage is a brave soul, +3 Invention sees no problem that cannot be solved, +3 Flamboyance is the preening peacock, +3 Might is the Imperial Iron Fist and +3 Guile knows when to hide and stay quiet.

OK, which one of those is not like the others? Might. It feels wrong. It's too D&D for the genre. So we change it. How about Passion? Ah now that sounds good. +3 Passion is someone who wears their hearts on their sleeves. Does it pair well with Invention? Yes, I think it does. Its an introvert/extrovert sort of pairing. Right


Thats how *I* would do it. YMMV


Staff member
@Vodkashok That's really helpful.

A: It's also quite action oriented, and I think that I *will* use that if I run Airship Pirates with FAE (which I probably would these days) or Space 1889, which I probably wouldn't since I am warming to Ubiquity.

B: As well as any action I want 75% of the game to be about manners, gossip, romance, spying, e.g. "parlour" interactions, hence Etiquette, Modesty, Courage, Wit and Erudition, all of which work well over Darjeeling tea and cucumber sandwiches. They don't pair and map as you noted, so let me explore that:

Careful/Quick, maybe Considered/Prompt
Clever/Forceful, maybe Witty/Courageous
Flashy/Sneaky, maybe Flamboyant/Modest

C: I don't really want to adopt a new Stress track, one generic one seems more than enough.. or am I missing some joy there?

D: BTW, when we played Cats versus Goblins the other night, I didn't quite catch how the Goblin Chief had a weapon, was it an Aspect or a Stunt or something else?