Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Fury Road: A Fate Accelerated Adventure, Part One

Inspired by other FATE “Example of Plays”, especially Station53’s “Avengers Accelerated“, I wanted to create my own Fate Accelerated version of a famous movie. After some deliberation, I decided to partly retell George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s action-driven nature and small cast lends itself to this style. Since I was not sure which scene I should retell, I just start at the beginning. Let’s see where that leads us.

Meet the Characters

The game is set by George, our game master, fittingly abbreviated as GM. Max is played by Tom, who actually took over the character from another player, but decided to give it his own twist. Charlie plays Imperator Furiosa. And finally, Nick plays Nux, our plucky War Boy. While the players have decided to play in a post-apocalyptic world, unusually for Fate they created their characters in isolation, so they don’t know exactly what their relation is going to be.

When we first meet our jolly gang, George and Tom are already seated at the gaming table, while Charlie and Nick are still in the kitchen, preparing dinner. But George wants to start off the session with Tom’s character anyway.

Scene 1: The Desert

Tom starts the scene with three Fate Points (his Refresh), while George starts with only one (the number of players in the scene.)

GM: Why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself, Max?

Max: Sure. My name is Max. I used to be a cop in the outback, before things went sour. I have quite obviously let myself go. My hair is unkempt and knotty and I wear dirty black leather. Currently, I am standing in the desert, next to my car, The Last of the V8 Interceptors. I stare out into nothingness, listening to the voices in my head.

Behind me, a two-headed gecko looks around and scuttles closer. When it’s next to my foot, I stomp on it. Finally, some food!

Tom glances towards the kitchen, the smell of food being prepared wafting over.

GM: I know you’re just narrating, but let’s call that an Overcome action to warm up the dice a little. Say against a difficulty of Fair.

Tom rolls  and adds his Quick of +3 for a total of +4, which is higher than the required +2. Success.

Max: Easy. I crush the gecko under my foot and swallow it whole.

GM: Ugh. Anyway, while you are still chewing, you hear the sound of engines in the distance. What will you do?

Max: I grab all my stuff, throw it into the V8 and take off in a cloud of dust.

GM: Just as the dust settles, we see a gang of several cars and a few motorcycles follow you. Actually, I’d like to offer you a compel. You have been on the road for a long time. The Last of the V8 Interceptors isn’t in as good a shape as it used to be. If you accept the compel, the gang will catch up with you and take out the car without a Contest.

Max: You know what? I feel I am going to need all the Fate Points I can get during this scenario. I accept the compel and I’m eager to see what happens.

GM: The gang catches up to your car quickly and take it out with one of their grenade sticks. It rolls over multiple times. You crawl out of your car, while the ghosts in your head accuse you of not saving them.

George hands Tom a Fate Point. He now has four.

GM: The gang quickly surround you and your car, pointing their weapons at you. What do you do?

Max: I don’t think I will be able to defend myself and will let myself be taken prisoner. Let Charlie and Nick free me when they join us. After all, what’s better for bonding than that, right?

In a real game, I wouldn’t expect Tom to give up this easily. Especially with a fist full of Fate Points.

GM: You might be in for a surprise there. Anyway, the scavengers drag you out of your ruined car, tie you up behind one of their rides, load up the car and you are on your way to their home base.

After a long trek, partly running, partly being dragged behind their cars, you see your target looming on the horizon: A trio of rock spires rising from the desert. Welcome to The Citadel.

Scene 2: The Citadel

George writes “The Citadel” on an index card. Below it he notes: Twisty Tunnels. George’s Fate Points would reset, but since he didn’t use any in the last scene, and we still have only one player, it stays at 1.

Max: Isn’t the citadel one of the aspects of Charlie’s character? In that case I guess she will need quite some convincing to rescue me from her own people.

GM: Well spotted! In any case, you are led by the War Boys that captured you through a maze of tunnels to a small room. This is the first time you get a good look at them. They all look similar: in their teens or early twenties, pale white skin, and no body hair. Their eyes are painted dark, possibly with motor oil. They only wear trousers.

You are gagged and tied with some metal chains, held by a few of the War Boys. In fact, let’s make this an aspect, Gagged and Chained. They start cutting your hair, which is collected by a young, pre-teen War Boy. For what purpose, you don’t know.

A bearded man wearing some kind of of magnifying goggles approaches you, carrying what you recognize is a tattoo machine.

George pauses for a moment, giving Tom a chance to react. When he doesn’t, the GM continues:

GM: The man starts tattooing your back. You don’t know that now, but he tattoos your health status, including your blood group. “0-negative, universal donor”, it says.

One of the War Boys is holding a branding iron into a fire. It’s glowing hot red when he removes it and you recognize that it bears the logo of a skull in a steering wheel, crowned by fire. The seal of The Citadel.

Max: Okay, enough is enough! Cutting the hair, okay. I needed a hair cut anyway. The tattooing, I can live with. Tattoos are cool. But branding? That’s too much. I try to break my restraints. Forcefully, I guess.

GM: This will not be easy. Even if the War Boys have loosened their grip a bit, they still hold on fairly tight. I’d call that a difficulty of Great for the Overcome action.

Tom rolls and adds his Forceful of +2 for a total of 0. That’s not enough to beat a difficulty of Great (+4) by far. Tom hands George two of his Fate Tokens. He is already down to 2.

Max: I guess, I’m The Road Warrior. As such I’m not giving up without a fight. Also, as a Former Outback Cop, I know a thing or two about restraints.

George nods and takes the tokens. This brings Tom to a total of +4.

Max: A tie. I definitely want to succeed at a minor cost here. What do you say if we replace the aspect Gagged and Chained with a new aspect Chained Hands. I’m mostly free, but my hands are still bound.

GM: Sounds good. So, you jerk on your chains, loosening the grip of one of the War Boys. Hitting him in the face, you jump up. Your hands are still bound, but the War Boys gripping the restraints around your ankles have let go. What do you do?

Max: Fighting them seems like a losing proposition. I dive into one of the tunnels and try to make my escape.

GM: It sounds as if we have a contest at our hands. I can smell the food from the kitchen, so let’s just use two victories to keep this brief. The War Boys try to catch you again. I assume your goal is to escape?

Tom nods.

GM: I also think I need some stats for the War Boys now.

George takes another index card and writes “War Boys” on it. Below it he notes We serve Immortan Joe, “Skilled (+2) at: Athletics, Driving” and “Bad (-2) at: One-on-one combat”.

GM: You run blindly through a few winding passages. The tunnels are small with walls made from some kind of sandstone and pipes running along the ceiling. Finally you run into a room, where you see a familiar sight: a few mechanics are working on a car, but not any car: your car. The engine has been lifted from the bonnet, so it won’t drive anywhere soon. It also blocks your path. How to you tackle this obstacle?

Max: I jump and slide over the roof of the car. That’s using the Quick approach, I guess.

Tom rolls and adds his Quick of +3.

Max: That’s a total of +1. Let’s see how the War Boys are doing.

George rolls .

GM: Since they are skilled at Athletics, they get a bonus of +2, for a total of +3. Do you let them win the first round?

Max: We can’t have that. Let’s at least make it a tie. Of course Max knows his car well and this is not the first time he has jumped over it. I’ll invoke Max’s Last of the V8 Interceptors, for a total of +3.

Max hands George his penultimate Fate Token.

GM: You slide over the Interceptor’s roof quite elegantly, considering that you are handcuffed. The War Boys tumble over it much less elegantly, but are still hot on your tails.

But since we now have a tie, something unexpected happens. Let me think for a bit.

At that moment, the players hear a faucet being turned on in the kitchen. This gives George an idea. He writes The Floor is Water on an index card.

GM: You escape the workshop into another narrow passage. The passage opens up into a small room. Sunlight streams in through a grate in the ceiling, illuminating the room. You can see green plants outside, with a few vines dangling into the room. To your surprise, the floor consists of a basin that’s filled waist-high with water. Just as you hear the War Boys running behind you, you see more War Boys streaming into the room from the opposite side. What do you do?

Tom thinks for a moment.

Tom: I’ll grab the vines and try to climb up to the grate.

Tom rolls and adds +2 from his Forceful approach for a total of +3.

GM: You make it to the grate successfully and are now hanging on for dear life. The War Boys are frantically trying to grab you and pull you down again.

George rolls for a total of +2.

GM: I’ll invoke your Voices from the Past aspect for an additional +2. Suddenly, you have visions of a little girl asking “Max, is that you?” You are distracted for a moment and a War Boy manages to grab your leg. Do you have any responses?

Max: No, I’ll let them have this one.

George hands Tom his only Fate Point for the hostile invocation.

GM: Remember that you’ll only get this extra Fate Point in the next scene.

You can’t hold on and fall into the water. A short brawl ensues, but you again manage to escape the War Boys into another hallway.

The War Boys now have one victory and need only one more victory to win the contest.

Tom: I know.

George discards the index card with The Floor is Water written on it.

Tom: I keep on running as fast as I can, trying to ignore the voices that claim that I let them die.

GM: You run down the corridors, bursting through multiple doors, until you finally see a door through which you can see sunlight. But when you finally burst through it, you find yourself high up on a ledge, the ground far, far below you. You manage to stop just in time before going over it.

And this reveals another aspect of The Citadel.

George writes Towering Rock Spires on the “The Citadel” index card.

GM: You see no obvious way out. What do you do?

Tom: Well, since the Citadel is built on these towering rock spires that you just established, there must be a way to transport goods up here. In fact, there is this crane hook that I could just reach by jumping.

Tom hands George his last Fate Point for invoking the Towering Rock Spires aspect to establish an important fact in the world.

GM: Nice!

Tom: Considering the enemies are right behind me, I can’t back up and take a running start, so a Forceful jump it is.

Tom first rolls , bringing his total to 0, then he rolls his eyes.

Tom: Not great, but let’s see what the War Boys roll.

GM: The War Boys try to grab you as you jump to the hook.

George rolls for a total of +2.

GM: They roll enough. You make an impressive jump onto the hook and catch it with the chains around your wrist. One War Boy tries to jump after you and tumbles down the cliff. But the others are more cautious. As you swing back from the momentum, they grab you with hooks and sticks and pull you back into the passage. You are back in captivity.

As the scene ends, you can add the one Fate Point you gained through the hostile invocation to you pool.

Tom: Which bring my pool back to exactly one. Anyway, it sounds dinner is ready. I’m eager to eat and then to finally meet the other characters!