Lex Arcanum: Part 1

Posted by Peter Gates


I have had a few requests to present the rules I'm using to run my Fate-based Mage games, and so without further adieu, here are those rules, starting with the skills.

Lex Arcanum

A Fate Core Conversion for Mage: the Awakening

Skills List

The following used in the Lex Arcanum setting (Note: * Donates new skills, which are outlined below).

  • Academics (originally Lore)
  • Athletics
  • Burglary
  • Contacts
  • Crafts
  • Deceive
  • Drive
  • Empathy
  • Fight
  • Investigate
  • Lore*
  • Notice
  • Physique
  • Provoke
  • Rapport
  • Resources
  • Shoot
  • Stealth
  • Survival*
  • Will

New Skill: Lore

Unlike Academics (which replaces Lore in the standard Fate Core skills list), which represents your knowledge and understanding of the mundane world, Lore represents your occult knowledge. Looking at the world at large, most people don’t have this skill or even know it exists. But for those who've studied the real teachings of the occult, Lore allows them to gain useful insight into the arcane elements of the mortal world.

Overcome: You can use Lore to overcome any obstacle that requires applying your character’s occult knowledge to achieve a goal. For example, deciphering the ancient runes that are etched into the outside of a lock box, preventing access to the contents within. Lore can also be used to determine if you character might know the answer to a question about the occult, whether through having heard or read something on the subject.

Create an Advantage: Like Investigate, Lore provides a lot of very flexible opportunities to create advantages, provided you can research the subject in question. For instance, you could use Lore to uncover a detail about the monster, such as it's weaknesses, or use your knowledge of occult rituals to etch a rune on the floor to enhance your magic. Both uses involve creating an advantage for yourself based on either occult knowledge you have learned, or have uncovered during the story.
Note for Mage the Awakening veterans: This use of Lore would also cover using High Speech when casting magic, essentially spending an exchange to speak the words (and create the aspect with free invokes) and then use those free invokes when casting the spell the next exchange.
Attack: Lore isn't used in conflicts.

Defend: Lore isn't used to defend.

New Skill: Survival

Survival is the skill of outdoorsmen, covering hunting, trapping, tracking, fire building, and a lot of other wilderness skills. Characters with a high Survival skill are adept at riding horses, can survive nearly indefinitely by living off the land, and can track a man in the wilderness for days. They include hunters, scouts, and soldiers.

Overcome: Survival can be used to overcome any obstacle that may be presented as part of an outdoors related activity, such as finding enough food to survive, overcoming harsh weather conditions during travel, or discovering a hidden trail.

Create an Advantage: Survival is reasonably versatile in it's uses in creating advantage. With enough time you could discover important aspects about the terrain or environment which, when used correctly, could be used to lay the perfect ambush or be used as an excellent place to camp. Survival can also be used to lay traps, covering one's own trail, and similar tasks.

Attack: Survival isn't used in conflicts.

Defend: Survival isn't used to defend.