The Great Dragon Hunt
The Great Dragon Hunt is a Fate Core hack of giant flying lizards in a fight for survival against humanity.
- IC thread
- OOC thread
- Recruitment Thread
It is the twilight of a majestic race of giant lizards. Dragons once held dominion over all of the north. The coming of men and other sentient races — originally paying tribute to the mighty dragons — are now harnessing the power of alchemy and ingenuity. They are developing cunning engines of fire and death, and pervert dragon rebels through manipulation against their kin to now challenge the dragons’ dominance of the skies.
The quest of man is to eradicate the last of dragonkind and trade in the fabulous wealth of dragons. In addition to possessing ages-old hoards of silver and jewels, dragons are themselves a manifestation of the raw elements — fire, shadow, cold, and even iron. And the remaining eggs of the mighty dragon matrons — priceless geodes that take an age to incubate and possess riches and exceedingly rare elements — are coveted by man to power airships and machines of war. The surviving eggs now number only in the mere dozens.
The end of the winged lizard kings draws near. Their noble bearings begin now to erode to reveal their raw, untamable and tempestuous natures. They guard their hidden lairs and hoards from mankind, sometimes moving them as needed when their territories fall to pioneers with the courage and grit enough to lay stake further north.
Although each dragon may lair separately and gather only in small close-knit clans of relatives, in order to survive, the savage serpents have founded Serpent’s Spire, their last refuge and solitary place of unified strength. They gather in a rivalry-fueled loose unity under the ailing Elder Wyrm — greatest living member of their kind and well versed in their songs. Without some semblance of solidarity, putting aside differences and territorial disputes, enterprising man would have already hunted them down to extinction.
Through their devious consumption of stolen dragon eggs, mankind is developing numerous marvels, including airborne gasbag powered warships, cruel adamantium harpoons and black powder cannons. Along with these innovations is the empowerment that comes with rising to challenge the dragon’s supremacy. A challenge the Dragons are slowly realising with dread they cannot meet in kind, crippled by the same size and strength that makes them the mightiest of all races.
Dragonkind strives to survive. The threat of man, a dwindling frontier to serve as food and refuge, in addition to the lost dragon eggs that need to be recovered and incubated are not the only threats the species faces. Their own raw natures threatens to spill over their levees to consume them and the world, and their contest to amass the resources necessary to survive the coming hibernation at the end of the age number among their challenges. They must adapt to the cleverness of the human mind or face extinction. And even immediate survival will amount to little if they cannot foster a new generation.
Anatomy of a Dragon
No two dragons look the same. With the loss of some of the dragons’ majesty and traditions, they have lost much of their ability to speak verbally. Although they can understand spoken speech, dragons communicate amongst one another through a combination of telepathy and bestial sounds and behaviors. Some truly gifted can communicate in one form or another with other specific races or individuals (to do so requires a stunt).
Unfortunately for the survival of the species, they generally mate for life. Rogue dragons who have broken from tradition may occasionally dominate a harem of young females, but such cases are exceedingly rare. Dragon eggs possess an amalgam of the unique mineral makeup of both parents. Young typically take an entire age to incubate and usually hatch at the awakening following a period of hibernation.
Precious metals are indeed part of a dragon’s makeup. This is one reason why dragons will amass wealth, or reside in ore-rich lairs. The magnetic and auric qualities of these important alchemical commodities energizes a dragon during slumber and helps to keep its furnace stoked. A dragon possesses a furnace, the fierce internal force of elemental power that serves as a dragon’s personal talisman. Whether powered by fire or alternative elemental forces or elements it is required not only for their potent and destructive breath, but also to keep them aloft during flight. If their furnace extinguishes by releasing all of their energy in one apocalyptic burst, it is costly in terms of time to re-stoke and leaves them vulnerable. Historically, only when a dragon knows its demise is nigh do they release all their energy.
All dragons, even the young, are heavily armored with an array of fearsome weaponry at their disposal. Aside from their terrible breath, their fanged maw, talons, wings, tail, and even physical girth are all formidable tools of war. They are easily capable of destroying armies, and a single adult dragon can decimate a city.
However, mankind’s ingenuity has tested the dragons’ natural superiority. And now they must adapt or suffer extinction. In this they are sadly limited by their physiology. Lacking hands and few in number they can't adopt the tools or industry of their enemies, even as they learn to fear and respect their newfound power.
Dragons generally are solitary maintaining close ties only to close kin. The only exceptions were battles over territory between rival clans and short ritual gatherings to meet prospective mates and exchange lore. Known as Dragon Choruses these gatherings are universally called by the presence of an Elder, one known and respected for the depth of his knowledge. Whether inviting others to his territory or present as a guest in another clan's lands the gathered Dragons learn their kind's history and lore from their elders in oral tradition.
Recorded in poetry Dragonlore is almost universally sung. The teacher sings first for their audience and then as they recite the verses their students join in, learning to sing the tale themselves. During the brief (for creatures who measure lifetimes in ages) months they might gather together the Clans exchange tales, magic and lore discovered during their time apart with the most worthy entering what is known as the World's Song, a mostly agreed upon history of the world. In earlier ages these Choruses were the greatest source of knowledge available to the lesser races and some who had befriended one of the Wyrms would be allowed to attend, though never to Sing. Many of the early scholars of Mortal magic and lore learned from the Elder Wyrms at these gatherings, often paying their way with music played to the tune of the songs. Alone among the trappings of civilization Dragons learned to love the playing of instruments, with no Chorus now considered complete without accompaniment.
It was during one of these Choruses, now considered the Great Chorus in the World's Song, that the Elder Wyrm convinced the Clans to gather under him in Serpent's Spire. Singing to them of the many losses and defeats dealt to Dragonkind at the hands of Humans and other pettier races, of the divides and feuds that weakened them in the face of the mortal's encroachment, and the ongoing tragedy of their kind's fall he convinced them that their only hope lay in gathering together to share their knowledge and strength as other race's had.
Today they have formed a loose alliance and rally around their chosen elder, who at present suffers a wasting curse that none currently understands nor knows how to combat. Rivalries threaten the dragons’ future as much as the next wave of dragon hunters. Many dragons cultivate relationships with a variety of mortal minions — dwarves to craft more formidable defenses, barbaric northman tribes to serve as lookouts and spies, as well as craftsmen and scribes to do such menial tasks that a dragon could not or would not do.
Within the loose confederation of dragons, each may take on a specific role. Think of this like a dragon-specific profession. There are egg keepers, lore masters, guardians, skirmishes, first-strikers, lair watchers, hunters, air wardens, among any others that fits in. A good concept may be anything, but is best when it includes a positive or powerful virtue, a prominent physical feature or coloration, and a role. Examples might be Majestic Frilled Hunter, or Sleek One-Eyed Blue Mist-Maker.
Feel free to deviate from the model as long as the Concept conveys some sense of role, ability, or other unique identifier. All characters are assumed to be dragons.
The Nature of Dragons (Trouble)
A dragon’s Nature aspect stands in for Core’s Trouble aspect. It defines both the raw elemental spirit nature of a dragon individual (Terrible Ice King) as well as another negatively-skewed personality trait or flaw writ large (Ponderous Lodestone Lizard). Since dragons are large and destructive, their Natures may still be invoked more than your average Trouble aspect to help in rolls, but with destructive natures, it tends frequently to be associated with dire consequences. This could take the form of compels reflecting negative changes to a territory due to the presence of an influencing dragon during its frequent expressions of power, or other unintended attrition. Additionally, a Nature aspect should always be consulted when seeking options for success costs and should be at the forefront.
A dragon’s lair should always contain an abundance of the material linked to its nature. Without this abundance, a dragon may not successfully stoke its furnace, and may not survive hibernation.
Clan History Aspects
Choose three more relevant aspects according to the phase trio below:
To place your Dragons in the world give some context for their history. Where did they come from? Why were they driven to Serpent's Spire? What legends do Mortals tell of the Clan? As a party give a short answer to each question and a Phase Aspect to effect your interactions with others who know your tales.
Aspect 1: Your Lost Homeland.
Where did your Clan once live? What was the land like? What or who lived there? How did they interact with you, if at all? How did it shape you?
Aspect 2: Your Flight North.
What drove you from your homes to Serpent's Spire? Who or what was responsible for your decision to make your new home in the North?
Aspects 3+: Mortal Legends of Your Clan
Each player can come up with a legend or two told by a group or race of mortals about an event in your Clan's history that effected them. Perhaps the tale is told by different groups from different perspectives? This tale could be a prominent piece of folklore to the relevant group effecting their interactions with you.
All beginning characters are assumed to be adult dragons (Great +4). A dragon’s Age level (see ‘Age’ skill below) also places a cap on its Skill Pyramid.
- Breath (Shoot)
- Courage (Will)
- Cunning (Burglary, Crafts, Deceive)
- Hoard (Resources)
- Majesty (Provoke, Rapport)
- Prowess (Fight)
- Senses (Investigate, Notice)
- Territory (Contacts, Crafts)
- Wings (Athletics, Drive)
- Wisdom (Empathy, Lore)
This skill is divorced from the skill pyramid and progresses regardless of the others according to the March of Ages which closely influences a dragon’s hibernation cycle (in other words, it is set with a rank from +1 or +8 and does not fit into the skill pyramid). All dragons who successfully prepare their lairs and hoard for the coming slumber and emerge uninterrupted automatically increase their Age skill one step along the following chain:
- Hatchling: Mediocre (+0)
- Very Young: Average (+1)
- Young: Fair (+2)
- Juvenile: Good (+3)
- Adult: Great (+4)
- Mature: Superb (+5)
- Old: Fantastic (+6)
- Ancient: Epic (+7)
- Elder Wyrm: Legendary (+8)
In addition to gaining a ‘Stamina’ stress track and bonus consequence slots as described in Fate Core, it also grants a ‘Furnace’ stress track. A furnace track contains a number of boxes equal to the numeric modifier (thus, an Ancient dragon would have 7 boxes). The boxes are checked whenever a dragon wishes to use its breath weapon (from its lowest available box sequentially to its highest). Thus the stress track controls the number of times a dragon may use Breath (Shoot) to attack. More than one box may be checked at a time, adding its combined value to the roll. For example, a dragon checking its 1- and 2- Furnace boxes in one go adds +3 to the roll.
Dragons may uncheck boxes if they take part in a short slumber in its lair, making a Hoard overcome roll. The number of shifts determines the value of unchecked boxes to be unchecked starting with the highest one. Any excess shifts that cannot be applied immediately to a checked box are ignored. For example, if a dragon with its 1- and 2-stress boxes are checked and it gets 2 shifts on a Hoard roll, that dragon may only uncheck its second box.
If a dragon checks its highest value box in a Breath attack, the dragon’s furnace snuffs out completely. Such a dragon can no longer fly nor use its breath again until it hibernates according to the ‘March of Ages’ (see below). Checking boxes must always occur before a Breath attack roll. Note that dragons may still use Breath for overcome and create an advantage actions without the need to check a Furnace stress box.
- Overcome: Age is used identical to Physique. You can use Age to overcome any obstacles that require the application of brute force—most often to overcome a situation aspect on a zone—or any other physical impedance, like bringing down a cavern ceiling or destroying an iron city gate. Of course, Age is the classic skill for wrestling and other contests of applied strength against other dragons, as well as flying over distance and other endurance-based challenges.
- Create an Advantage: Age has a lot of potential for advantages in physical conflict, usually related to grappling and holding someone in place, making them Pinned or Locked Down. You might also use it as a way of discovering physical impairments possessed by the target—grappling the old dragon tells you that he is Arthritic or somesuch.
- Attack: Age is not used to harm dragons or enemies directly—see the Prowess skill for that.
- Defend: Age also represents dragon hardiness and is the default defense skill for physical abuse, although a dragon may be forced to defend with Wings in certain situations, such as evading rather than taking it. Energy attacks from Breath and the like requires Wings to evade. You can also use it to provide active opposition to someone else’s movement, provided you’re in a small enough space that you can effectively use your body to block access. You might also interpose something heavy and brace it to stop someone from getting through.
- Mountain Mover. You gain +2 to Age when overcoming obstacles like physical barriers that can be smashed.
- Plated Hide. You gain a Mild Stamina Consequence against physical sources of stress in which armor would be of use.
- Tail Slap. Once per conflict, gain +2 to create a Shaken or similar advantage up to one zone away.
This works just like Shoot, however a dragon’s Nature aspect will always color the narrative flavor of the breath. Thus, a dragon with Fires of Rage as a nature aspect will always attack with a flame-themed breath weapon. Also see relevant parts about a dragon’s Furnace in Age, above.
- Overcome: Breath might be a way of overcoming physical barriers, such as castle walls, a tangle of forest concealing a human base, or other such reason. Note that the nature of the breath type must justify making a roll altogether. Making an Overcome roll requires no boxes of the Furnace to be checked.
- Create an Advantage: In physical conflicts, Breath can be used to catch someone On Fire!, get an army Stuck in Mud, or other distraction. Depending on the narrative flavor of the Breath, it may come in handy for a good number of uses in and even outside of combat. Making a Create an Advantage roll requires no boxes of the Furnace to be checked.
- Attack: This skill makes physical attacks. You can make them from up to two zones away, unlike with Prowess. However, to make an attack roll, a dragon must check a minimum of one Furnace stress box. Sometimes the range will change with the nature of the Breath type. Some Breath types may not narratively justify the use of the Attack action.
- Defend: Breath is unique in that it doesn’t really have a defense component to it—you’d use Wings for that. You could use it to lay down some covering flames—which might act as a defense for your allies or provide opposition to someone else’s movement—though it could just as easily be represented by creating an advantage (Raging Conflagration or Brilliant Flashes of Lightning, for example).
- Enhanced Breath Gain an additional 'Furnace' stress box.
- Great Reek. Your Breath causes great destruction which produces smoke and other detritus. Use Breath to Defend against missile attacks like harpoons or rain of archery instead of Wings when you are creating clouds of smoke and the like to occur.
- Widen Blast. Once per conflict when you check a 2-stress Furnace box or greater, you gain +2 to attack with Breath and may attack multiple targets within your own zone by splitting shifts between the targets.
Conjuration is not one skill, but rather a body of magical skills, each with its unique name and place within a dragon’s skill pyramid. Examples include Domination, the act of cowing a populace, Stonecraft, the act of summoning and manipulating rock and gems, or Stormancy, the art of commanding the weather. Each must be chosen as a unique skill that controls, manipulates, or creates a narrowly defined portfolio of abilities. A special stunt must be taken to add attack or defend to the default actions of the magical skill.
Every dragon has a unique Conjure skill, so the same exact flavor may not be reproduced among any two dragons. However, some dragons must mature in order to manifest their unique skill (in other words, do not put a skill in their initial skill pyramid). A dragon may also take more than one Conjure skill. A dragon must possess a skill at Average (+1) skill rank in order to utilize the skill. A dragon’s Nature is always a good compass for the types of magical powers they might possess.
Note that there are many things dragons cannot do. They cannot speak to non-dragons, they cannot fashion things with tools using their own hands, write text, or create art. This skill will be the go-to for borrowing or creating abilities outside the confines of giant reptilian brutes, filling in gaps, or creating unheard of utilities.
The GM has the final word when it comes to specific Conjure skill abilities.
- Overcome: Just like any utility type magic skill, the defined portfolio of your Conjure skill can achieve numerous outcomes. Most commonly will be the use of the Overcome action. A Conjure (Domination) skill might subjugate a mortal mountain tribe elder as a simple Overcome, while a Conjure (Shadows) skill might create a small region of murky habitat of deeper shadows. The possibilities are endless.
- Create an Advantage: Even more numerous are the ways a Conjure ability can create advantages. This will be the skill’s most frequent of the four actions. Create elemental fields in the form of ghostly lights, of summon undead minions.
- Attack: Conjure doesn’t commonly allow for attacks without a special stunt.
- Defend: Unless the Conjure skill is counter magic, this skill does not commonly allow for Defend actions without a special stunt.
- Beguile (Requires Conjure: Domination). Any mortals you charm through advantages remain for the entire session.
- Hex (Requires Conjure: Curse). You may make mental attacks with Conjure: Curse.
- Negative Field (Requires Conjure: Void). In addition to overcoming other magical effects by dragons, you may Defend with Conjure: Void against magical attacks.
- Telepathy (Requires Conjure: Psion). You may speak to any mortal regardless of tongue if you succeed in placing a positive emotional aspect on a target.
The Courage skill represents your dragon's general level of mental fortitude, the same way that Age represents your physical fortitude. The Courage skill gives you additional sanity stress boxes or consequence slots. Average (+1) or Fair (+2) gives you a 3-point stress box. Good (+3) or Great (+4) gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb (+5) and above give you an additional mild consequence slot along with the additional stress boxes. This slot can only be used for mental harm.
- Overcome: You can use Courage to pit yourself against obstacles that require mental effort. Puzzles and riddles can fall under this category, as well as any mentally absorbing task, like deciphering a code. Use Courage when it’s only a matter of time before you overcome the mental challenge, and Wisdom if it takes something more than brute mental force to get past it. Many of the obstacles that you go up against with Courage might be made part of challenges, to reflect the effort involved. Contests of Will might reflect particularly challenging games, like riddles, or finding the legal loopholes of knightly challenges. Courage will sometimes be the go-to Skill against magic or psychic abilities.
- Create an Advantage:You can use Courage to place aspects on yourself, representing a state of deep concentration or focus.
- Attack: Courage isn’t really used for attacking without taking a stunt or extra.
- Defend: Courage is the main skill you use to defend against sanity and social attacks from Majesty, representing your control over your reactions.
- Force of Will. Use Courage instead of Age on any overcome rolls representing feats of strength.
- Indomitable. +2 to defend against Majesty attacks specifically related to intimidation and fear.
- Resolve. Once per session, immediately remove any negative emotional mild consequence on your turn.
This is a stand-in for Core's Buglary, Crafts, and Deceive skill, representing the more duplicitous nature common among many dragons. Scale is always a factor in shaping the narrative with massive flying serpents. Make sure to ground action in terms that can be easily justified. For example, a dragon picking the pocket of a person walking on a street is not something this skill will be used for. However, finding the lair of a rival dragon or placating and angry rogue dragon would be. Crafting-type skills would also be very limited in scope by what one can imagine a dragon doing without opposable thumbs and tools.
- Overcome: Use this action to justify bypassing a conjuration glamour in a rival dragon's hidden lair, or convincing the elder wyrm's guardian of your good intentions to get closer.
- Create an Advantage: Use this to sow doubt or erroneous facts in your opponents, or even set snares to guard your hoard.
- Attack: Cunning generally is not useful in attacking an opponent.
- Defend: Defending is not a common action against an attack or advantage, but might justify rolling active opposition in some cases.
- Draconic Treachery. You can use Cunning in place of Majesty to make mind attacks, as long as you have made an opponent believe a lie that you can manipulate.
- Hidden Snares. You can fashion clever snares, traps, or alarms with Cunning to create advantages on your lair. You may justify rolling actively when someone or something tries to penetrate these defenses, even when you’re not there. Once per session, you may roll opposition at +2 in addition to any invokes you wish to take on the advantage.
- It Takes a One to Know One. Use Cunning instead of Empathy to perceive lies and deceit in another dragon.
Hoard describes your dragon’s cache of unique wealth and the ability to leverage it against certain wants. Note that a hoard is not necessarily in the common coinage and loot in stories, but also resonant minerals and other natural resources in raw form, and may include the physical space in which one lairs. This might not always reflect wealth on hand, it might be tied to land or vassals as much as gold.
This skill is in the default list to give you a basic, easy way to handle wealth as an abstraction without getting into minutiae or bookkeeping. In this game, it also serves as a touchstone for healing, stoking one’s Furnace, and growth during aging.
- Overcome: You can use Hoard to get yourself out of or past any situation where giving up some wealth help, such as bribing a rival dragon to lay off. Challenges or contests might involve auctions or bidding wars. When a dragon has a short rest or a hibernation is called, a Hoard Roll is made to reduce checked Furnace stress or increase in Age.
- Create an Advantage: You might use Hoard to grease the wheels and make dragons or hereditary enemies more friendly, such as representing an actual bribe (I Scratch Your Back...). You can also use Hoard to declare that you have something you need on hand, or can quickly acquire it, which could give you an aspect representing the object.
- Attack: Hoard isn’t used for attacks.
- Defend: Hoard isn’t used to defend.
- Energy Nexus. +2 to your Hoard overcome when you perform a short rest to restore Furnace stress boxes.
- Fresh Plunder. Gain a boost on your next Hoard roll representing a windfall immediately after conquering or destroying a mortal city or realm.
- Money Talks. You can use Hoard instead of Majesty in any situation where ostentatious displays of material wealth might aid your cause.
Majesty is for evoking powerful or subtle emotions in a target, or manipulating behaviors in others. Most often this is done in a big majestic way. Think dragons. Big ones. However, since by nature dragons cannot verbally communicate outside their kind, this limits the shape and form an action takes. On the other hand, 90% of all communication is non-verbal. A pernicious low growl or narrowed eyes can say a tremendous amount.
This skill requires that your target can feel emotions—zombies typically can’t be influenced socially or emotionally.
- Overcome: You can influence someone into doing what you want in a fit of emotional pique. You might intimidate them for information, scare them into running away, get them to venerate you as a god, or convince a rival to do a favor for you. This will often happen when you’re going up against nameless NPCs or it isn’t worthwhile to play out the particulars. Against PCs or important NPCs, you may need to win a contest. They oppose with Courage.
- Create an Advantage: You can create advantages representing momentary emotional states, like Enraged, Shocked, or Awed. Your target opposes with Courage.
- Attack: You can make mental attacks with Majesty, to do emotional harm to an opponent. Your relationship with the target and the circumstances you’re in figure a great deal into whether or not you can use this action.
- Defend: Being good at influencing others doesn’t make you better at avoiding it yourself. You need Courage for that.
- Armor of Fear. You can use Majesty to defend against Prowess attacks, but only until the first time you’re dealt stress in a conflict. You can make your opponents hesitate to attack, but when someone shows them that you’re only human, er, dragon, your advantage disappears.
- Poking the Bear. You can use Majesty in place of Wisdom to learn a target’s aspects, by awing them until they reveal one to you. The target defends against this with Courage. (If the GM thinks the aspect is particularly vulnerable to your hostile approach, you get a +2 bonus.)
- Revered. If you’re in an area where you’re respected or revered, you can use Majesty in place of Territory. You may be able to establish your popularity by spending a fate point to declare a story detail, or because of prior justification.
Dragons represent complete war machines, with an array of natural weaponry. Teeth, claws, tail, wings, and even its plated body can be used to wreak havoc through physical conflict. Most combat will take place on the appropriate scale; dragon versus dragon may be a source of violence, or against mortals on the scale of an army or city. For ranged combat, Breath is the appropriate skill. Many unique physiological dragon features useful in combat will be kitted out as Prowess stunts.
- Overcome: It’s rare to use Prowess to overcome obstacles, but not unheard of. Rather than Age, you might use Prowess to assert your danger in a demonstration of bravado, or other contest.
- Create an Advantage: You’ll probably use Prowess for most of the advantages you create in a physical conflict. Any number of special moves can be covered with advantages: a targeted strike to stun, a “dirty move”, and so on. You could even use Prowess to assess another dragon’s style, spotting weaknesses in his or her form that you can exploit.
- Attack: This is self-explanatory. You make physical attacks with Prowess. Remember, this is for close-in work, so you have to be in the same zone as your opponent.
- Defend: You use Prowess to defend against any other attack or create an advantage attempt made with Prowess, as well as pretty much any action where violently interposing yourself could prevent it from happening. You can’t use this skill to defend against Breath or other ranged attacks.
- Grasping Maw. When you succeed with style on a Prowess attack using your jaws and choose to reduce the result by one to gain a boost, you gain the full situation aspect, Fanged Vice Grip with a free invocation instead.
- Killing Stroke. Once per scene, when you force an opponent to take a consequence, you can spend a fate point to increase the consequence’s severity (so mild becomes moderate, moderate becomes severe). If your opponent was already going to take a severe consequence, he must either take a severe consequence and a second consequence or be taken out.
- ’’’Typhoon Blast.’’’ When you have enough room to justify kicking up debris and wind with your tail or wings, once per scene you may make a ranged attack with Prowess to a target up to one zone away.
This skill combines Core’s Investigate and Notice skills, representing a dragon’s keen awareness of its natural environment. Sight, smell, hearing, including attempts to discern things both actively and passively are covered here. Dragons can even subtlety detect magnetic or magical emanations with this skill as long as they are physical in nature. For sensing emotions or attempts of lying in a target, Wisdom is the appropriate skill.
- Overcome: Senses is about discovery, both passively and actively. Sniffing out scents of rivals in the area or catching a glimpse of the human band of dragon poachers making their way up a hill are example actions.
- Create an Advantage: Senses is probably one of the most versatile skills you can use to create an advantage. As long as you’re willing to take the time, you can find out just about anything about anyone, discover nearly any detail about a place or object, or otherwise make up aspects about nearly anything in the game world that your character could reasonably unearth.
- Attack: Senses isn’t used to make attacks.
- Defend: Same here.
- Danger Sense. You have an almost preternatural capacity for detecting danger. Your Senses skill works unimpeded by conditions like total concealment, darkness, or other sensory impairments in situations where someone or something intends to harm you.
- Never Miss a Detail. You can use Senses instead of Wisdom to defend against Cunning attempts. What others discover through gut reactions and intuition, you learn through careful observation of microexpressions.
- Scent Tracker. +2 to Overcome with Senses when following a trail by scent.
The Stealth skill allows you to avoid detection, both when hiding in place and trying to move about unseen. It pairs well with the Cunning skill.
- Overcome: You can use Stealth to get past any situation that primarily depends on you not being seen. Sneaking through enemy territory, hiding from a pursuer, avoiding leaving evidence as you pass through a place, and any other such uses all fall under the purview of Stealth.
- Create an Advantage: You’ll mainly use Stealth to create aspects on yourself, setting yourself in an ideal position for an attack or ambush in a conflict. That way, you can be Well-Hidden when the rogue dragon tribe flies by and take advantage of that, or Hard to Pin Down if you’re fighting in the dark.
- Attack: Stealth isn’t used to make attacks.
- Defend: You can use this to foil Senses attempts to pinpoint you or seek you out, as well as to try to throw off the scent from someone trying to track you.
- Camouflage. +2 to any Stealth roll to blend into an environment matching your coloration or demeanor. What this is should be obvious or specifically called out the first time it is relevant.
- Head Down. Use Stealth instead of Cunning to Overcome in any social situation in which you use your anonymity, humbleness, or innocuousness to avoid notice.
- Slippery Target. Provided you’re in darkness or shadow, you can use Stealth to defend against Breath or ranged attacks from enemies that are at least one zone away.
The Territory skill represents the influence of a dragon's own personal realm and the ability to shape that territory. The various flora, fauna, and even civilized people that settle in the vicinity of a dragon lair are the source of information, allies, protectors, and even lookouts. The dragon has the ability to shape the sources of food and flora, and to a degree, the form and shape of whatever lair the dragon chooses, provided this can be done with a dragon's physiology. The nature of a dragon will often shape, narratively, what sorts of allies and physical habitat he may draw upon or influence. Depending on the nature of a dragon, this can include the ability to communicate with whatever denizens live in his habitat.
- Overcome: You can use Territory to learn gossip about the comings and goings of intruders or enemies, or carry messages to allies abroad. As neighboring dragons encroach on one another, their maneuverings can also be represented by a Territory Contest.
- Create an Advantage: You can summon guardians or beings with an appropriate aspect, or impress other dragons as to your holdings with a Territory advantage, as well as put wards or alarms on one's lair.
- Attack: Territory is not used for attack.
- Attack: Territory might be used to defend against attempts to put advantages on you while you're occupying (or even away from) your territory.
- Messenger Birds. +2 to Overcome when using Territory to send an urgent message to an ally.
- My Realm Is Greater. You can use Territory instead of Majesty to create advantages to impress or cow based on showing who has greater holdings.
- My Turf. Whenever someone initiates a conflict against you in your realm, you use Territory instead of Senses to determine turn order.
The Wings skill represents your dragon’s general level of physical fitness, whether through training, natural gifts, or genre-specific means (like magic or genetic alteration). It’s how good you are at moving your body. It also represents your ability to fly and navigate the skies as long as the dragon has their last Furnace stress box unchecked.
- Overcome: Wings allows you to overcome any obstacle that requires physical movement—flying, jumping, running, climbing, swimming, etc. If it resembles something you’d do in the decathlon, you roll Wings. You use overcome actions with Wings to move between zones in a conflict if there’s a situation aspect or other obstacle in your way. You also roll Wings to chase or race in any contests or challenges that rely on these types of activities.
- Create an Advantage: When you’re creating an advantage with Wings, you’re flying into higher altitudes, running faster than the opponent can keep up with, or performing dazzling acrobatic maneuvers in order to confound your foes.
- Attack: Athletics is not meant as an attack skill.
- Defend: Wings is a catch-all skill to roll for defense in a physical conflict, against close-quarters and ranged attacks. You can also use it to defend against characters trying to move past you, if you’re in a position to physically interfere with whoever’s making the attempt.
- Aerial Acrobatics. +2 to create an advantage with Wings to out-position your opponent(s) in aerial conflicts and contests.
- Dazing Counter. When you succeed with style on a defend action against an opponent’s Prowess roll, you automatically counter with some sort of strike or stunning blow. You get to attach the Dazed situation aspect to your opponent with a free invoke, instead of just a boost.
- Dive. You move two zones for free in a conflict without rolling, instead of one, provided you are flying higher than your intended zone an nothing intervenes.
The Wisdom skill is about knowledge, inner discernment, and intuition, combining Core’s Empathy and Lore into one. In terms of actual knowledge, all dragons record their history in Choruses (see “Anatomy of a Dragon”, above). Dragons may spot behavior changes or emotional states in others with Wisdom.
- Overcome: You can use Wisdom to overcome any obstacle that requires applying your character’s knowledge to achieve a goal. For example, you might roll Wisdom to recall an ancient war from a cavern pictograph, or recall a stanza from the World’s Song that is key revealing the identity of a rogue dragon. Frankly, you can use Wisdom as a go-to skill any time you need to know if your character can answer a difficult question, where some tension exists in not knowing the answer.
- Create an Advantage: Like Senses, Wisdom provides a lot of very flexible opportunities to create advantages, provided you have time to recite a bit of song. More often than not, you’ll be using Wisdom to get a story detail, some obscure bit of information that you uncover or know already, but if that information gives you an edge in a future scene, it might take the form of an aspect, which gives you a fun way to add details to the setting. You can also use this to assess the aspects on another character’s sheet, but sometimes you’ll also be able to create new aspects, especially on NPCs. If the target has some reason to be aware that you’re trying to read them, they can defend with Cunning or Majesty. You can also use Wisdom to discover what circumstances will allow you to make sanity attacks on someone, figuring out their breaking points.
- Attack: Wisdom is not meant as an attack skill.
- Defend: Wisdom is the skill to defend against Cunning when a dragon is trying to lie or deceive, as well as against other social rolls to affect you.
- Eye of Judgment. +2 to all Wisdom rolls made to discern or discover lies, whether they’re directed at you or someone else.
- Prognosticator. So wise and intuitive are you that you can predict the future with some accuracy. You can roll advantages with Wisdom to declare story details in the form of cryptic aspects.
- Shield of Wisdom. You can use Wisdom as a defense against Majesty attempts, provided you can justify your ability to overcome your fear through reason and intuition.
Stunts and Refresh
Each dragon has 3 Refresh and 3 free stunts as per Fate Core. These may be spent to add abilities of speech, or augment skills, creating specific maneuvers or abilities.
Stress, and Consequences
Each dragon has a Sanity, Stamina, and Furnace stress track. Courage effects the former track, while Age modifies the latter two in terms of extra boxes and Consequences:
For Stamina and Sanity, Average (+1) or Fair (+2) gives you a 3-point stress box. Good (+3) or Great (+4) gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb (+5) and above give you an additional mild consequence slot along with the additional stress boxes.
For Furnace, the value of the Age modifier (4 for all “Adult: Great (+4)” Age dragons) provides the number of boxes total. These have special rules for how boxes are checked or unchecked, and how this resource effects rolls and dragon abilities (see “Age” and “Breath” Skills, above).
All dragons start with the usual Consequence slots: one Mild, one Moderate, and one severe, with the option of taking an exceptional Consequence.
March of Ages
Dragons are powerful manifestations of raw nature. But they are also subject to long periods of dormancy. At the end of a scenario or arc, the GM may signal the time of a hibernation.
This serves a few purposes: (1) to mark the passage of significant time, allowing dragons to grow and age, accounting for large expansions of power in limited relative play time; (2) to measure the long-term outcome of playing to find out what happens, and the effects of human expansion and development; and (3) to impose a new current issue on the game to replace an old one. Thus one of a game’s two issues will always be the March of Ages (current issue). This could be The Three Empires, The Renegade Turncoats, The Great Sky Navy or similar issues.
At the end of an Age, each dragon must roll his current Age level or better on a Hoard roll. Some actions each dragon will invariably take during the game will influence the chances of making the roll. Success at a cost is an option, but may impose a permanent change in terms of modifying a character aspect.
Due to the expansive nature of the setting, much of play will default to “zoomed out” play, with actions, Challenges, Contests, and sometimes even Conflicts drawn out over an epic period of narrative time.
Create the World
Without creating a hugely detailed world, color the setting with specific mortal races, factions of men and/or dragonkind, and empires or cities.