I'm going to be running a FAE mini-campaign in the near future. My planned setting has mythological "creatures" in the modern world that are all essentially human in appearance, and merely have some special capabilities thematically similar to the mythological creature whose name they share.

For example, "centaurs" would be ordinary in appearance, but a centaur office drone who sits in a chair all day and never exercises can run as well as the track star at the local high school, and a centaur who actually jogs regularly for exercise could probably make it to the Olympics. A "gnome" might be a bit shorter than average, and can modify an iPhone so that it can connect to its owner's home WiFi from anywhere in the world. A "werewolf" is stronger & faster than an average human, and heals more quickly; they also tend to have a bit more body hair than average, but that's about it for appearance differences.

How should these "races" be represented on a FAE character? Should they be included in high concepts? Do they need to be a separate aspect all their own?

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you can check out some of the things DFRPG did with magical races. Obviously you don't wanna get into the complexity they did since you are running FAE but it might be worth mining DFRPG for all it worth. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ DFRPG predates Fate Core, but really - Fate is Fate. There may be a lot of different versions, but they are all very amenable to mix-and-match. \$\endgroup\$
    – Quentin
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


Representing racial abilities is very much a matter of taste.

Some of the ways you can handle it are (and I'll just stick to the werewolf example for the purposes of this answer):

Rolling them into the high concept.

Every werewolf has the same advantages as ever other werewolf.

This is simple, but can lead to races being generic.

You could also use another aspect if being a werewolf wasn't the most important thing about the character. Alternatively, you could set an aspect aside (or add a new one) specifically for describing the mythological heritage.

Requiring separate aspects for each ability

Each special ability has to be called out separately. Setting guides offer lists of suggested racial aspects.

This can lead to something of an aspect tax.

Using stunts

Each special ability has to be called out separately, but is "always on" so doesn't have to be fueled with Fate points.

Racial special abilities may require a permission which would typically be granted by taking a high concept describing the character as a werewolf.

Using megastunts

Can make a character absolutely better than humans at something, but comes with a drawback. e.g. A werewolf if absolutely stronger than any human, but silver weapons deals an additional stress. Anything strength based that a human could do (e.g. kick down a door) is an automatic success for a werewolf and in a contest of strength with the strongest human alive, the werewolf would automatically win.

See Atomic Robo for more details of megastunts.

Some combination

For example, Legends of Anglerre require that a high concept calls out the race and then allows additional aspects and stunts to flesh out what that means.


Since I wrote this answer in 2014, Dresden Accelerated has been released which has its own take: Mantles.

This is a package of stunts, aspects and extras which combine to create an archetype.

The wereanimal example comes with:

  • A condition (like those used to soak harm) representing changing into beast form. You can leave beast form at will, but it takes time to recover afterwards (so you can't keep switching back and forth).
    • A Form of [Animal] aspect which only appears when the condition is marked
    • Swapping two ability scores when it is marked
    • A note that the aspect is a True Fact (like all aspects) so if you are a bat then you can fly but not speak.
    • A note that you get scale bonuses / penalties based on the animal type (so hunting prey gives you an advantage but pushing heavy things gets a disadvantage).
  • Two additional stunts
  • Five stunts that you can take with the normal rules for buying extra stunts

Mantles are big, complicated, and a lot of work to create but give a lot of rules-supported flavour. They only work if everyone at the table takes something which grants similar levels of fun (which may or may not be related to power-level depending on the game and group). DFA does have a collection of Pure Mortal Mantles which tend to come with authority rather then supernatural abilities.

Note that FAE is just Fate Core with certain dials turned in certain directions (the main one being the skill list which has been dialed right down and then turned through 90 degress) so all of this applies to any version of Fate.

If you want to stick to the "Keep It Simple" philosophy of FAE, then the first option may be best for you. Dresden Accelerated took a different path!


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