0 – Campaign Creation Overview5 min read

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  • SRD Reference: Game Creation
  • Rules Reference: pg 17 (Fate Core Systems Book)


There is also the section titled What to do During Game Creation on page 182 of the the core book which also goes over some advice on this process. What to do During Game Creation @ SRD

Fate’s default campaign creation process is cooperative and that is what we will be covering here plus a bit more. Obviously, if you, as the GM, want to do all of the work and drop it on your players, you are free to do so, however, there is significant value in getting your players buy-in and their input as to what and how they want to play in a new game. Coming to the table with some ideas you would like to explore is valuable and inspirational too since it is important that you as the GM have fun as well.

We have Fate’s base Game Creation Sheet, but I also have a new one created just for my custom process: Campaign Creation Primer (Worksheet). These sheets are a powerful tool for GM’s to plan their Fate games (and games in other systems too) and for powering the storytelling in your newly created campaign. To be able to define your game well enough to start a game you will need to decide the following things, most of which are covered by the default Fate process. I have included a few more options for your consideration and to expand the vision of your game. Also, please keep in mind, with this guide I am more concerned with the narrative concepts (the story tools) and not the mechanical ones (refresh, skills, stunts, etc).

Here are the steps to my Campaign Creation Primer:

  1. Genre
  2. Scale
  3. Campaign Issues
  4. Filling Out Your Campaign
  5. Thematic Campaign Aspects
  6. Extras
  7. Campaign Name
  8. Crunchy Stuff
  9. Campaign Description Sheet

This process will result in a conversation between the GM and the players to determine what sort of game they would like to play in. The pieces-parts may not fall into place exactly in order 1-by-1, so take them as they come and you may need to adjust a previous step or 2 as your discussion gets deeper or you get further along in the process. This is your game.Get there in whatever way works for you. Once this process is done you will also have the Campaign Description Sheet (see link below) for you and your players’ reference.

A Spark: As a side note, you may want to also check out A Spark in Fate Core which has another creation process. I have pulled a little from there too. Really! Check it out. A possible tool to consider from there is giving each player 2 tokens to use during each discussion phase to ensure each person is heard and is able to contribute.

p.s. Honestly, if you guys are all feeling a bit froggy you can skip this whole process as the GM just starts with “Hey! Let’s do Victorian Urban Fantasy!” and the players respond with a hearty “Yea! Finally!”, and then you use the first session with barebones characters and your genre to figure it all out as you go. You may also feel free to do some steps, all of the steps or skip the ones you do not like. It is your game after all! =)

The Fatesville Gaming Group

Throughout this process we will be following the Fatesville Gaming Group (FGG), which is composed of:

Dantheir dedicated and hungry GM
Tessdedicated and knowledgeable player
Sarahcerebral player who likes the rules too much
Georgea casual player who is easily distracted
Jeffhyper-competitive tactical player

At the end of each section we will include a short narrative about how the group is dealing with each phase, like such:

Two weeks ago, the Fatesville Gaming Group (FGG) just finished their narrative dice based Star Wars game by FFG (EoEAoRFaD)  after having gleefully defeated their long-time arch-nemesis – ISB agent Captain Lynch, and were looking for the next game to play. Tess, Sarah and their GM, Dan, had all recently seen the Tabletop episode featuring Fate and, after a quick group discussion, they decided to give Fate a try.

Dan‘s stomach growled quietly as he attempted to wrangle the conversation into something more productive by shifting the conversation over to what kind of game they should play using Fate. Because Tess had been so inspired by Fate’s system and the wonderful storytelling tools it provided, she was thinking of offering to run the game so that Dan, their faithful long-time GM, could play for once. George, who loved anything new, oozed at the idea of trying out a new system – “Shiny!”.

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