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Fatemaster Friday - Till he shaped it in is his own image


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Festive Friday Breachers!

Last week I was in a food-induced coma after Thanksgiving, but it’s given me time to ponder this week’s subject. The past Fatemaster Fridays have focused on published material for Fatemasters to utilize. This week I want to do something a little different. But first, let’s address our question about Augments! @stump_chunkman had some great suggestions on what Augments they would like to see:


Minor players in the breach. Mercenary losers who settle for less, gangs of street thugs, shadowy cabals, forbidden book clubs, accursed knitting circles!

They beauty of any RPG is the ability to modify things to suit playstyle, players, and the story everyone is building together. TTB Penny Dreadfuls contain everything a group needs to play that adventure, but what if the material doesn’t exactly fit your current campaign? Well, obviously it’s time to make some changes, or make it a homebrew adventure! Let’s take a look on how modding a Penny Dreadful can be done seamlessly and easily.

Dropping a Penny Dreadful can seem like a challenge for some Fatemasters, but it doesn’t have to be! You can have a “job board” that Fated pick from with Penny Dreadful jobs on them, or the Fatemaster Character contacting the Fated is connected to one of the group’s allies in some way. You could give some personal investment by making it a favor for a friend, lover, or family member, which would increase one Fated’s investment in the adventure. Also, sometimes the folks asking for help will approach anyone they hope can do the job, so it’s ok if there’s no real connection.

Say you want to run The Badlands Invitational for your group, but they aren’t exactly engineering or driving inclined. You want your players to have the experience of the Penny Dreadful, but also not feel completely useless. Perhaps the Fated have to find a subordinate driver or mechanic before they take off to help Huey Reno win the race. Or perhaps they negotiate to have Reno hire an M&SU worker to come along. This can allow your players to focus on the action of the adventure without worrying about their lack of mechanical aptitude!

The Badlands Invitational has four separate Ongoing Challenges, which might not be your group’s speed. Perhaps you decide to turn the Ongoing Challenges for the race into a mini-game of Hi-Lo to streamline these Challenges. Or you could have players “bid” their Fated’s luck by discarding cards from their Fate Hands, or accept negative flips on the next Challenges. Both of these methods can allow a group that doesn’t want a lot of Ongoing Challenges to still progress effectively.

Penny Dreadfuls like this one are often run as isolated stories, but if you want it to be in your ongoing Campaign, then you could easily have Fatemaster Characters from the adventure appear later on. Or maybe you want to implement a reputation system where their success means that more people approach the Fated to hire them. This can also be another method of interjecting more Penny Dreadfuls into your campaign as I mentioned earlier. A simple reputation tracking can give additional motivation for completing jobs that the Fated may otherwise overlook.

Finally, say all of your Fated are close to completing their Destiny Steps, which means the end for the campaign. As Fatemaster you may want to have an event that alters their Destiny Steps to add more on, or to completely rewrite them! Zoraida knows that Fate can be manipulated, so nothing has to be set in stone! If your players like the campaign but feel their Fated’s stories are done, you could have them make new Fated that are legacies for the original cast of Fated. I would suggest having each player create the protege of another player’s Fated, to shake things up for the group. This allows the players to continue the same story, but with fresh faces.

Ultimately, you have so many options to customize TTB to match your group’s needs. Don’t feel pressured to stick to all the mechanics written in Penny Dreadfuls if doing so would hinder player enjoyment or their Fated’s progress in the story. Now that I’ve given a few of my own thoughts on modifications, what mods have you made for your game, and how did they work out for your group?


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I like to plug and play Penny Dreadfuls into my larger campaign when I need a break. I’ll substitute a character here and there with an established NPC to provide continuity. I’ve also recycled Penny Dreadful NPCs into regular NPCs. Ichiro from Honor Among Thieves became a regular source of jobs for the Fated in my first campaign. 

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I've implemented a few one-shots into my homebrew campaign to great success. My Fated were part of an artifact collection agency which is really easy for slot-in penny dreadfuls.

Where's the next piece? Well it should have shown up by now but we've just found out that a Ms Appleton has intercepted it and killed the delivery man. Infiltrate her mansion and get it back! (I take out the One-shot "Honor Among Thieves).

Ms Colette du Bois has offered up one of her collection to be brought back to the agency to be shown in its museum. The catch is, she wants to have it as part of a last show and has invited the fated to be part of it. (I crack open "Night at the Star" one-shot).

And so on, names get changed, reasons for being there are slightly off script but the essence of the feeling the penny dreadful is remains intact and really brings forward the idea that the world is massive and varied.

It's also a way to get a last minute session prep'd and ready in under an hour haha.

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On 12/6/2019 at 8:08 PM, Kimberly said:

 As Fatemaster you may want to have an event that alters their Destiny Steps to add more on, or to completely rewrite them! Zoraida knows that Fate can be manipulated, so nothing has to be set in stone!


Oooh, I really like this bit. This might well be a thing in my next campaign.

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I’ve posted this before, but I had to completely change the final battle in Obsidian Gate because the players weren’t stupid enough to try and climb Godzilla carrying really heavy barrels.

This lead to an awesome completely improvised battle on the Japanese country side, as I called for appropriate skill flips as events occurred, such as Husbandry to keep the horses moving on the path, Long Arms to strike down approaching Oni, athletics to catch a barrel as it was about to fall, and it was such a good battle

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