1 – High Concept (aspect)5 min read

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  • SRD Reference: High Concept
  • Rules Reference: pg 32 (Fate Core Systems Book)

High Concepts

A High Concept is a single phrase which defines who your character is, what their main or most dominant or defining role is in life (job, profession, relationship).

Hint: Use adjectives and other campaign descriptors to help bring life to your character and the campaign world. Write this down on your Character Creation Worksheet.

Hint: A good High Concept will also mention a Place or an Organization which will be helpful in tying your character to the world, allow you to help in world creation, and create plot driving elements. Also, check out the two appendices on Aspects for more information on aspects.

Here is a quick fill in the blank sentence to get you started on putting together your High Concept:

[adjective(s) or verbs] [noun] of the [place or organization or event]

OK High Concepts Better High Concepts
  • Knight of the Round
  • Gossipy High School Girl
  • Infamous Girl with Sword
  • Wizard for Hire
  • Monster-slaying Accountant
  • Reluctant Lead Detective
  • Ambitious Low-level Thug
  • Wizard Private Eye
  • Singing Knight of the Round Table
  • Gossipy Girl of Edgerton High
  • Despicable Regent of Riverton
  • Disciple of the Ivory Shroud.
  • Accident Prone Black Sheep of the Thompson Family
  • Low-level Thug for the Syndicate
  • Scar Triad’s Patsy in Riverton
  • Spicy Astrophysicist Bouncer @ the Threshold

Related Appendixes

Fatesville Gaming Group

Instead of waiting for George to arrive they decided to try to get the easy stuff out of the way in hopes that he would show-up before they really needed him. They talked about the some ideas for the setting and, with Jeff playing his usual wizard and Sarah already having her 8 page character history, that meant that only Dan had a real choice to make.

They knew that George, who has not shown up yet, would take something a little off-the-wall, so he decided to try to do something useful for his first time playing in a long, long time. As they were all deciding on the wording of their high concepts, Tess mentioned that they should have their race and class in it to make things simple.

Having recently watched the sordid affairs within the Game of Thrones, Sarah had a grand idea of intrigue and betrayal, and went with an illigitmate heir to the Vale who will have a magical face changing ability. Jeff unsurpisingly had chosen to play a wizard. Dan decided to go with a tough and stealthy dwarven cave scout to give them some combat ability and some stealth to try and balance out a wizard and socialite, besides more stealth is always better. Due to her many years as a player, Tess appreciated their more balanced party. Such things make solving in-game problems easier because all of the bases are covered in one form or another. Below is the final collection of High Concepts they came up with:

DanDwarven Dark Runner of the High Citadel
stealthy dwarven hunter in the tunnels
SarahHuman Courtier of the Larion Vale Barony
illegitimate heir to the Larion Vale Barony
JeffWild Elven Bleak Warden
wild elven wizard trained for guerrilla warfare

In all of their high concepts the players mentioned their race and class. Dan and Sarah mentioned a place and Jeff mentioned an organization which are all great for tying the characters to the world and also helps in expanding the setting.

After Sarah had talked about her high Concept, she asked Tess “Have you had a chance to look through the character history I sent you?“. Tess smiled. “I got through page 4. I will read through the next 4 pages this week.“. Sarah nodded.

Tess was usually Sarah’s sounding board for her character histories and other narratives, but realized that her many paged stories are a lot to read in a person’s busy life. Sometimes she wondered how she had time to write that much for her character histories, but somehow she did. It is like she just gets lost in a time bubble when she starts writing. And somehow Tess found the time to read them and to give some useful feedback.

In someways she is happy that Tess is GM’ing because she felt that Tess may give character histories more of an important role in the game or maybe it will be just the wonderful storytelling tools that Fate provides that will bring them into the game more. We shall see. Perhaps, after a few more weeks of editing she may post it to her geeky blog.

Once Dan had decided on a High Concept after he finished discussing with the group, he informed them “Hey guys, I have already ordered the pizza. We can settle up before we leave tonight.“. He then gestured with one hand to Sarah’s Fate System Toolkit book. She handed it him. “Thanks!” He had only planned on buying the core book, because he had enough books as a DM already, besides both Sarah and Tess would have books to use. If he really needed to see the book, he could use the wonderful SRD site.