Friday, May 10, 2013

Ancient Lore In The Alwyn Campaign

How do you handle the presence of ancient super-science (or even remainders and the reinvention of modern science and technology) in a retro-medieval setting? The Alywn Campaign is set on Earth long after the Great Burn destroyed a planetary civilization(s) that had access to star-spanning technologies. Add to that the potential presence of even more advanced alien technologies some of which are indistinguishable from magic.

In FATE Accelerated Edition, past knowledge and ancient tech may call for access to specialized Stunts. Here are a few ideas for how those stunts might be structured. I am sure our players will come up with their own ideas at the gaming table, but hopefully these ideas will serve as a springboard.


Rubble Rat: You have this Stunt because you have learned a thing or two about the Ancients the hard way, while out prowling the dangerous ruins from before the Great Burn. Player gets a +2 to their Careful Approach once per scene to recognize or discover the purpose of a ruin or relic.

The Tongues of the Ancients: You have this Stunt because you are learned in one or more ancient written languages from the times before the Great Burn. You may know High Vorlonic (i.e., Minbari), Classical Interlac, English, Spanish, Somali, or another language. The number of ancient languages you know is equal to your Clever Approach. This Stunt is usually taken at character creation and should be accompanied by an Aspect related to scholarly or monastic training.

Lore of the Times Before: You have this Stunt because you have gone beyond the Holy Books, and have dabbled with reading the books of the Ancients from the times before the Great Burn. Player gets a +2 to their Clever  Approach once per scene to try to determine the purpose or significance of an ancient ruined place or piece of tech.

The Gift of Prometheus: You have a preternatural gift, and possess an intuitive understanding of ancient technology. Any time you encounter an ancient relic, spend 1 FP to either declare its function, or compel the GM to disclose its function (GM may choose which). This gift has a limit: technologies of the First Ones (Vorlons, Shadows, etc.) are truly beyond your ken. But even these will call out to you as being special when you see them.

A Great Hand Reaching Out: You have been touched by the technology of the Shadows, or their minions, and have been contaminated in some way by their foul arts. Choose an Aspect reflecting this connection. You intuitively recognize Shadow technology. Add +2 to your Sneaky Approach to awaken, and then understand its function (in that order).    


  1. Alternatively, the player can be as clueless as the character about the underlying back story (fessing up I never watched Babylon 5 as it wasn't carried where I lived then). (and debating whether to watch it now on the 'net.)

  2. Hi Alan: it's certainly a good series! I am trying to run things so no series knowledge is required to play. The entire setting is based on a 15 minute sequence in a late episode. Let us know if you decide to watch it, and thanks for stopping by!