There are positive things and negative things about using a role-playing game to develop a literary character. Role-playing games very tightly define characters’ capabilities and push them into certain pigeonholes – if, for example, you are playing a Fighter in Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder, you will either never be able to use magic, or you’ll only be able to use magic in a very weak way.
What I’m going to give the reader here, besides a chance to see my main character, Veronica Gray, is a look at the system that will be backing the Aquarius Ascendant RPG: Fate Core, by Evil Hat Productions. Now I’m not saying Fate Core is perfect, but I am saying it’s a lot more flexible and literature-focused than most RPGs, in a way that makes it a fairly valid way to model a book character.
One thing you will notice if you’re accustomed to most RPG systems but not to Fate Core is that Fate does not have attributes; instead it has Aspects.
One last system note is that Very’s stunts are formatted for Fate Core, not Fate Accelerated.
Captain Veronica (“Very”) Gray
Captain Gray, a descendant of one of the great heroes of the Interstellar Navy, didn’t always seem destined for greatness. Growing up in the small farming town of Decorah’s Bend on Terra, people cared less that she was the descendant of Joseph Gray (and the child of George Gray) than that she appeared to be a sullen, feminine boy with a harshly disciplinarian uncle. As a teenager her introduction to the Navy came in a drunken bar fight with Academy cadets – not exactly auspicious (in fact if she had not been noticed by then-Commander Christopher Fox as a member of the Gray naval family, her career probably would have been sunk before its beginning because of that fight, more specifically because of the underage drinking aspect of it). Instead, she was recruited to the Interstellar Navy Academy at Solheim Bay, Terra, and spent the next four years working her butt off (at the encouragement of her first-year academic advisor, she transitioned during that year). Since commissioning, she’s been on the fast track to command, helped along by her mentor, Captain Fox, and her own skills in getting the best out of her people. She might not be the best at any particular task on a starship’s bridge – but she is the best at getting the most out of her crew.
Description: Tall, blonde, unflappable captain of the Starships Excursion and later Aquarius.
High Concept: Hotshot, High-flying Starship Captain – From the beginning of her career, Capt. Gray has excelled at commanding a spaceship, and the Interstellar Navy has given her plenty of chances to do that. There will come a day when she is, inevitably, promoted out of the center seat, but for now she is doing what she is best at.
Trouble: Two-Fisted Thinker – Veronica is very good at thinking on the fly and improvising solutions. However she has a tendency to act before all the information is in and this can create situations where she is acting on incorrect assumptions.
Natural Leader – In Veronica’s cadet cruise, she was Deck Officer on the auxiliary control center of the newly-commissioned SV Aquarius when the bridge was damaged. With all of the ship’s senior officers incapacitated, including Captain Fox, Cadet-Captain Gray took command of the vessel and fought back, eliminating a Hesilan superweapon and saving the Earth from imminent destruction.
Mom the Veteran – Veronica’s family has a long history of military service. She’s sometimes proud of that history, but sometimes it also annoys her. A lot. On the plus side, she can sometimes gain insight to a current situation via her knowledge of family history.
Skills (Fate Core)
Great (+4): Leadership
Good (+3): Deceive, Notice
Fair (+2): Fight, Pilot, Rapport
Average (+1): Athletics, Empathy, Engineering, Lore
Approaches (Fate Accelerated)
Careful: Mediocre (+0)
Clever: Fair (+2)
Flashy: Average (+1)
Forceful: Average (+1)
Quick: Good (+3)
Sneaky: Fair (+2)
Starship Aquarius – She is the commanding officer of a 400 meter long, quarter-million-ton starship with a complement of 500 crew members. This command is given her by the Interstellar Navy and she is responsible for the execution of her ship’s duties.
Hand Weapons – Very has access to all standard Alliance hand weapons including both energy weapons and chemguns.
I happened to see… (Notice) – Use notice in lieu of Investigate for checks involving small details
Best Foot Forward (Rapport) – Twice per session you can gain a situational Aspect by using a Rapport check. This Aspect can be for yourself or for a person directly under your command.
Sneaky Shot (Deceive) – Use Deceive instead of Shoot to deliver a sneak attack when an enemy believes you disabled or unaware.
Officer Basic Training, BTC Solheim Bay. Class of July-August, 338
Solheim Bay Naval Academy. Class of 342.
Midshipman Cruise: Junior Tactical Officer (UI), SV Torafa (CL-58) – 342
Sublieutenant: Senior Officer – SV Aquarius (Refit and Shakedown cruise) – 342-343. Plankowner.
Lieutenant: Tactical Officer – VFH-143 Flying Wolves (“Pukin’ Dogs”) – 343-344. SV Avenger (CV-106)
Lieutenant Commander: Commanding Officer, SV Excursion DD-622 (C4-4-8312) and Executive Officer, DesDiv 42-1. 344-346. Plankowner CO.
Lieutenant Commander: Allied War College, Master’s Degree Candidate, Interstellar Military Logistics. 346-347. Graduated with Distinction.
Commander: Commanding Officer, SV Excursion and Commanding Officer, DesDiv 42-1 and DesRon 42. 347-349
Captain: Commanding Officer, SV Aquarius CA-204 (C2-3-9561). Flag Captain, Cruiser Squadron 36. 349-present