A FATE Kerberan: Ariel Prideaux

Over on RPG.net I’ve posted a few sample characters built for The Kerberos Club (FATE Edition), highlighting the way Strange skills and Power Tiers work.

Here’s one based on my favorite X-Man, Kitty Pryde. (The Exley Home is my whimsical adaptation of the X-Mansion; it does not appear in The Kerberos Club.)

Headstrong young adventuress

Humble Beginnings: Ariel Prideaux was born to a Jewish offshoot of an ancient English family that had roots going back to Normandy. Her parents were desperate to maintain their stature in English society despite the handicap of their religion, and Ariel enjoyed a privileged childhood — privileged but always reminded that her privilege was tenuous. In fact it was more tenuous than she guessed. After a surprisingly eventful 13th birthday her parents unceremoniously commended her to the care of Charles Exley, master of the Exley Home, best known as an isolated orphanage built on a sprawling estate outside London. At the Exley Home she continued to live well — Exley’s wards are raised in rich splendor — but she keenly felt the unwanted separation from her family. (Aspect: Fragile privilege.)

Follies of Youth: Ariel is barely 15 and her youthful follies are ongoing. In sending her with Exley the Prideaux family had hoped to shuttle Ariel off to a quiet life out of the public eye. It didn’t work. Just last year she took advantage of the Exley Home’s occasional visits to London to begin a scandalous if innocent dalliance with Piotr Ilyich Novik, the strapping son of a decidedly non-Jewish Russian ambassador. (Aspect: Eager for romance.)

First Awakenings: On the day of her 13th birthday Ariel fled furiously from some family squabble, blinded by tears — and ran straight through a wall, passing through it like a ghost. Within weeks her parents sent her away with Charles Exley in a desperate ploy to keep her burgeoning Strangeness concealed. (Aspect: Exley is my new family.)

Mysterious Origins: As Ariel soon discovered, Charles Exley, a known Kerberan, doesn’t merely care for orphans at the Exley Home. He teaches young Strangers to use their unusual talents for the good of Queen and Country. After a crisis a few months ago Ariel had a very early sort of coming out, and not the debut into English society that she once dreamed about. Despite her youth, and to the pride of her mentor Exley and the everlasting horror of her parents, Ariel Prideaux was accepted into the Kerberos Club. (Aspect: Flashes of surprising maturity.)

Great Failing: Ariel has been the bane of even the sturdy and worldly governesses of the Exley Home. At first she was cowed and humiliated by her abandonment to a home for Strangers, but it quickly became liberating, and she has never quit seeking that sense of freedom. At times it simply verges on the improper. (Aspect: Impetuous and headstrong.)

Archetype (Mutant): Walls can’t keep me out
Social Class (Upper): High-born confidence
Conviction: Loyal to the end
Fragile privilege
Eager for romance
Exley is my new family
Flashes of surprising maturity
Impetuous and headstrong

Great (+4): Intangibility (Superhuman; Godlike to resist damage).
Good (+3): Alertness, Stealth.
Fair (+2): Art, Contacting, Presence, Resolve.
Average (+1): Arms, Empathy, Fisticuffs, Marksmanship, Resources.

Signature Aspect (Impetuous and Headstrong).

Intangibility (7): Resist Damage + Minor Invulnerability [Broad, Physical, must be consciously activated] (-2 Refresh), Move + Unusual (walk through walls) + Unusual (walk on air); Minor Snag: must hold breath; Minor Snag: walking on air is only Mundane; Power Tier: Superhuman (-2 Refresh).

Health: OOO
Composure: OOO OO
Reputation: OOO OO

Base Refresh: 8 (Middle Century)
Gifts: –0
Power Tiers: –4
Adjusted Refresh: 4

In The Kerberos Club (FATE Edition), superhuman powers are built as custom skills, with a new mechanic called Power Tiers to distinguish the useful from the truly superpowered. There are five Power Tiers, from the Mundane tier of ordinary human beings to Extraordinary, Superhuman, Ascendant, and Godlike. When two skills of different Power Tiers compete, the one with the higher Power Tier turns one of its Fudge dice to a normal d6 for each Power Tier difference.

Ariel’s Intangibility power  usually is in the Superhuman tier. A type of Flaw called a “minor snag” makes it only Mundane when she uses the “walk on air” extra, meaning she can walk on air at a normal pace but can’t go incredibly fast like she ordinarily would with a Superhuman-tier Move power.

The Invulnerability quality makes her power Godlike against physical attacks. Godlike is four Power Tiers higher than Mundane, so to resist Mundane physical damage it turns all four of her Fudge dice to six-sided dice. A normal attack against her — a pistol shot, say — would roll 4dF + the user’s skill (up to 4) to attack; she would roll 4d6+4 to resist it. Since each Fudge die has equal odds of coming up 1, 0, or –1, it is impossible for ordinary attackers to harm Ariel when she’s intangible.

Only attacks at the higher Power Tiers have even a chance of harming her. Against an Extraordinary attack, the attack rolls 4dF (plus skill) and she rolls 1DF+3D6 (plus skill).  A Superhuman attack rolls 4dF against her 2dF+2d6. An Ascendant attack rolls 4dF against her 3dF+1d6. A Godlike attack rolls 4dF against her 4dF, and is the only kind of attack that has an even chance to hurt her.  Whether that harm is because it’s timed to strike when she goes tangible to breathe or because it supernaturally interferes with her intangibility is up to the players and the GM to narrate.

Click here to order The Kerberos Club (FATE Edition).