Court/Ship: Secrets

Court/Ship, my supplement for Fate Core, has a mechanic that deals with creating and revealing secrets. Fate Core discourages secret Aspects, and for good reason, they can complicate things needlessly for most campaigns. But Court/Ship is about courtly intrigue, and to have intrigue, secrets are important. Therefore, Court/Ship has a secret mechanic that is applied to every player character.

During character creation, you create a secret Aspect for your character, and write it on one side of an index card. This can be anything from “gambled away the family’s wealth” to “sleeping with the King’s mistress” to “plot to overthrow the monarchy”. How disastrous the revelation of the secret would be is up to the player.

On the other side of the card, you create a public Aspect that relates to the secret.

  • Gambled away the family’s wealth? Maybe you are a Master of Games.
  • Sleeping with the King’s Mistress? Smooth Talking Lady.
  • Plot to Overthrow the Monarchy? Friends High and Low.

The Aspects you create should be in proportion to your secret, and relate to the secret in some way. Each time you use this Aspect (and the Aspect should be tempting for use) anyone present can make a Notice role against your character. Use this Aspect enough, and after three successes, your secret is out to the person who made those three successful Notice roles.

When a character learns about the secret of another, they can choose to keep that secret, and gain +1 Intimidation roles against the character whose secret they know. Or they can choose to reveal their own secret, giving them both Empathy bonuses to each other. If a character chooses to reveal their secret, all bonuses against them vanish, but they take the consequences of their secret being revealed.  There are more details on exactly how this works in the Court/Ship supplement.

Secrets are negative, but they do give characters an extra Aspect to rely on, and in a time of Alien Invasion, you need all the help you can get.

Sound Interesting? Check out the Court/Ship tag for more details on the development of this supplement, or the Fate Core Kickstarter for information about how to get a copy.

5 thoughts on “Court/Ship: Secrets

    • Thanks Tracy! It’s with the editor right now, so the mechanic may change based on any edits I get, but I am really excited about sharing this with folks.

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  2. Slowpoke here: JR, why are you adding flat +1 to Intimidation/Empathy instead of ability to compel/invoke one’s secret in that way? I have no intention to criticise this decision, but simply glad to hear rationale.
    By the way, I can’t wait for your supplement go live.

    • Like other Aspects, everyone will be able to compel/invoke the public side of secrets – when it makes sense, of course. The Intimidation/Empathy is to create a feeling of intimacy between the characters that know secrets (or that know each other’s secrets). The idea is that, with Empathy, knowing someone’s secret gives you the mechanical ability to help them should you want to.

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