Her Majestys Looking-Glass

From RPGnet
Jump to: navigation, search

Setting Overview[edit]

Welcome to the other 1870s, where a motley crew of Victoria's most unusual subjects battle to defend the Realm against threats unnatural and uncanny.

Helpful Resources[edit]

Mechanical Game Information[edit]

Gameplay is based on Fate Core, with occasional references to Atomic Robo, especially in character creation. Play will usually revert to Fate Core standards, unless otherwise indicated.

Brainstorming a la Atomic Robo is available - although this is going to be based on psychic intuition or alchemy as much as on science. So are Inventions - ditto. Other additions to the basic rules are negotiable.

Character Creation[edit]

Choose your character's High Concept (Archetype + descriptor), their Curse, three other aspects (one including their Social Class). Divide 30 Skill points among the Basic Skills (referring to Social Class benefits & penalties), with +4 maximum for any one skill, and no level of skills containing more than the one below. Choose 3 Stunts or Mega-Stunts (based on Archetype/High Concept), + 1 per sacrificed Fate Point Refresh. Choose or invent 1 Gift.


The Archetype forms the High Concept for the character, together with another descriptor

  • Adept - fakir, sensei, swami, student of esoteric martial or spiritual disciplines.
  • Alien - from another world or species.
  • Anachronist - weird scientist or inventor.
  • Artificial - mechanical, magical or fleshy automaton.
  • Changed - no longer fully human.
  • Faerie - one of the Fair Folk.
  • Godling - demigod or avatar.
  • Human Oddity - freak with freakish powers.
  • Magus - occult sorcerer.
  • Mutant - unnatural sport of nature.
  • Super-Normal - physical or mental nonpareil.


This should usually be directly related to your Archetype. It's like a usual trouble aspect but stronger. Of course it can have its upside: e.g. "Can't survive out of water longer than 6 hours" means you can never drown. But in general it's there to show the mortal cost of Strangeness in the Kerberos setting.

Basic Skills[edit]

  • Athletics
  • Burglary
  • Contacts
  • Crafts
  • Deceive
  • Drive
  • Empathy
  • Fight
  • Investigate
  • Lore
  • Notice
  • Physique
  • Provoke
  • Rapport
  • Resources
  • Shoot
  • Stealth
  • Will


These are stunts that exceed the bounds of normal skills and stunts - and normal human possibility. They can confer superhuman abilities, like extraordinary strength, enhanced sensory perception, or incredible toughness. Some Mega-Stunts, like ordinary stunts, will have a Fate Point cost. Moreover, unlike stunts, a single Mega-Stunt can provide more than one benefit, although these must be closely linked.

However, you can’t take a Mega-Stunt unless unless you have permission. To have permission, your character needs an appropriate High Concept aspect, as mediated by their Archetype. Both High Concept and Archetype must suggest the sorts of benefits that Mega-Stunts can provide. In turn, your character’s Mega-Stunts must be logical extensions of the High Concept and Archetype.

Each Mega-Stunt takes up one stunt slot, regardless of how many benefits that Mega-Stunt provides.

Mega-Stunt Construction and Costs[edit]

Each Mega-Stunt must be individually worked out with the GM, based on the permission above. Also, each Mega-Stunt comes with a related Weakness or Cost. For a Weakness, for instance, the Fiery Adept can project bolts of fire, but takes damage from attacks with water. For a Cost, use of the Mega-Stunt comes "at a cost" - an immediate minor cost that can be determined by the GM, or simply take the form of a free compel from the GM on the character's Archetype or Curse.

Mega-Stunts typically consist of combat superiority (+2 attack or +1 armour); automatic success (in a specific Overcome action or an opposed roll against an opponent without a matching Mega-Stunt); immunity (to a particular attack or skill effect); or enhancement (to a normal stunt). However, other types can be worked up in discussion with the GM.

The Evil Hat Fate Core Stunts list (http://evilhat.wikidot.com/fate-core-stunts) has some inspirational ideas for Mega-Stunts - especially those with tiers or that require other stunts. Broadly, a Mega-Stunt is equivalent to the kind of stunt that requires another initial stunt - e.g. "Safe Fall (requires Acrobat)" - but does the same in one go.


These are special entitlements, possessions, weapons, heirlooms, attachments, etc. that serve like a permanent free Stunt or other character enhancement. They have to be in keeping with the character's High Concept and Social Class. For instance:

  • Marksman's Rifle: Permits accurate shooting at 1 Zone greater than normal, adds +1 to Shoot attacks at all other Zones outside the shooter's Zone.
  • Bludger's Sap (Under Class only): Adds +2 to Fight attacks, but only to stun, and only with Surprise.
  • Stone of Power: Gives Magus one free use per session of any Mega-Stunt with a Fate point cost.
  • Scotland Yard Black Museum access card: Adds +2 to any Investigate or Lore roll involving a criminal case or mystery where player has time to consult the Museum.
  • Family Seat (Upper Class only): Gives country residence with Minions at +2 in various Crafts.


Advancement through experience follows the Fate Core template of Minor, Significant and Major milestones. The only big difference is for Mega-Stunts. You can purchase a new Mega-Stunt with 2 Refresh points, which you can obtain by passing 2 Major Milestones - or just sacrifice 2 of your existing Refresh points at a Minor Milestone.

Social Class[edit]

There are four Social Classes in the Victorian England of the Kerberos Club. These are:

  • Under Class: +1 Burglary, -1 Physique, -2 Resources
  • Working Class: +1 Fight, +1 Physique,, -1 Lore, -1 Resources
  • Middle Class: +1 Lore
  • Upper Class: +1 Resources, -1 Burglary, -1 Stealth

Social class exerts a massive number of specific and non-specific benefits and penalties on a character. Generally, each level of difference in Social Class between the characters and their targets confers a -1 penalty to any use of Empathy, Provoke or Rapport. However, this can vary at the GM's discretion, e.g. an Upper Class swell being more Provoking to a street urchin

Important People[edit]

  • Queen Victoria: monarch of the British Empire, demi-divine.
  • Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha: Husband and consort of Victoria, "in retirement abroad" in Germany since 1861.
  • Charles Lutwidge Dodgson / Lewis Carroll: Lecturer in Mathematics at Christ Church College, Oxford; scholar, writer, photographer, inventor, and... ?
  • Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister, hero of the Atlantean War
  • Lord Salisbury, Home Secretary

Kerberos Club members and staff[edit]

  • Wilkie Collins, Deputy Under-Secretary, the Kerberos Club
  • Barnaby, major-domo, the Kerberos Club
  • Grandby, chief commissionaire, the Kerberos Club
  • Freddy, 4th most senior footman, the Kerberos Club
  • Miss Cogan, formidable senior maid, the Kerberos Club
  • Gaunt Gibbley, ghastly coachman of the Kerberos Club
  • Dr John Dee, Librarian, the Kerberos Club (identity kept secret from the outside world)

Story Episodes, Leads[edit]

  • Through the Looking-Glass: Members of the Kerberos Club, as well as the rest of Britannia's realm, have been delighted by the appearance of the second installment of Alice's enchanting adventures, from the pen of that remarkable Oxford mathematical don. However, since its publication, strange appearances - and disappearances - are being reported from the City of the Dreaming Spires. What better challenge for the loyal and gallant - if misunderstood - Kerberans? The adventure unfolds in Oxford [4], in the grounds of Christ Church College [5] and beyond.
Player Character High Concept Curse Refresh Stress Consequences
Anyone Kerberan Blank Character Sheet X Y 3/3 Physical [][][]; Mental [][][] Mild []; Moderate []; Severe []
Shawn Hagen Kerberan Marion Sutherland Changed Elder Vampire Eternal Child from Another Time 3/3 Physical [][][]; Mental [][][] Mild []; Moderate []; Severe []
Xander Lady Octaviana of Octoped Alien Ambassador Seductive Octaped Hybrid 3/3 Physical [][][]; Mental [][][] Mild []; Moderate []; Severe []
Argent Jack Girl with a Quantum Brain! (Anachronist Street Rat) A Million Billion Bastards 3/3 Physical [][][]; Mental [][][] Mild []; Moderate []; Severe []