Stockings & Steam is a campaign setting I am working on, based on the latest revision of the Fate Core draft rules. It is a steampunk Victoriana game that’s based around the typical character-driven Fate gameplay and actually making Victoriana fun.
It was born out of the D&D Next open playtest, before transferring to Fate Core as that game was kickstarted. It started out as a joke name, but has grown into a vibrant and interesting world that my players are always eager to play in.
Today I’ll be showcasing one of the character archetypes of the setting, a guideline for character creation in the vein of the venerable Dresden Files RPG. This is the Knight of the Realm, a person who has found themselves caught between the past and the present, empowered and trapped by their title and duties. Included is the Knight’s Remnants, an extra every Knight of the Realm must take and a bargain considering the cost.
Over the coming days and weeks I’ll be detailing other archetypes of the setting, starting next with either The Magician or The Engineer.
Archetype: The Knight of the Realm
Once knights were the finest warriors and heroes in all the land, chivalrous men and women clad in shining armour. In this modern age of steam trains and clockwork, the role of knight has been forced to adapt.
Knight of the Realm are minor nobility expected to be scholars, gentlemen and ladies, while still possessing everything that the knights of old made famous. A Knight of the Realm should be equally at home at a philosophical debate as they are on the field of battle. Selected by the Queen, they are equal parts champion, spy hunter, and warden.
To be a Knight of the Realm is to be in select company. There are only one hundred and eight Knights, and the title is passed down between generations. Maybe you inherited it from a relative, a gift upon their death or retirement. Maybe you performed a great service to the crown, or showed an incredible knack for success and survival. Whatever the reason, Queen Beatrix has bestowed upon you this lofty title and she expects you to perform above and beyond.
With the title comes a suit of armour and sword collectively called your knight’s remnants, dusty relics from the Age of Swords that act as proof of your position. Being a Knight also opens doors for you, and you can throw your name around if required. Maybe there is an estate, a castle or manor house out in the provinces, but most likely it has fallen into disrepair of ill repute.
There is also your sworn duty to enforce the Queen’s Peace, meeting the enemies of the empire head-on in the fields of battle and the shadows of intrigue. In the bitter end, you are expected to die in Beatrix’s name.
Required: An aspect identifying you as a Knight of the Realm. The Knight’s Remnants extra.
Suggested: The Contacts, Education, Fighting, and Willpower skills. The Companion extra in the form of a horse or other mount. The Lordly Estate extra.
Invoke your knight aspect when leverage your title or when your goals align with crown and empire.
Compel your knight aspect when your title draws unwanted attention or honour forces your hand.
Extra: Knight’s Remnants
A sword or other weapon once wielded by a knight in the Age of Swords, and the suit of plate armour to match. They have been passed down from one knight to another over the intervening centuries, and now rest in the possession of a Knight of the Realm. Surely they have tasted the blood of countless braggarts and villains over the years. Though it is old and possibly rusted, the blade still seems to cut true when called upon in the name of Avellon and the crown, and the cracked armour will return to its shining glory for the briefest of moments.
Permission: An aspect identifying you as a Knight of the Realm, or otherwise claiming ownership of a Knight’s Remnants.
Cost: 1 Refresh. Come up with a name for your weapon and armour, and an additional aspect.
- Aspects: Bestowed by Queen Beatrix | Scarred by Countless Battles | (one additional aspect)
- Gear: One or two handed weapon. Weapon:0. | Heavy armour. Armour:0.
- For Queen and Empire!: Some glimmer of past glory still remains, the collective strength of countless owners each swearing fealty before the imperial throne. The weapon is considered Weapon:2 when attacking a known enemy of the empire or of the crown. Similarly the armour is Armour:2 against the physical attacks of these very same foes. This applies even if you are wearing only a single piece of the armour.
Today’s Lesson: Once a knight is enough.