Grab your plasma rifles, spell components, and jetpacks! Name your game; Fate Core is the foundation that can make it happen. Fate Core is a flexible system that can support whatever worlds you dream up. Have you always wanted to play a post-apocalyptic spaghetti western with tentacle monsters? Swords and sorcery in space? Wish there was a game based on your favorite series of books, film, or television, but it never happened? Fate Core is your answer.
Fate Core is a tabletop roleplaying game about proactive, capable people who lead dramatic lives. The type of drama they experience is up to you. But wherever they go, you can expect a fun storytelling experience full of twists…of fate.
A Cinematic and Narrative-Focused Generic Option [ edit ]
Fate is another popular generic RPG (the most popular, according to RPG GeeK), but unlike Savage Worlds it doesn't even any sort of TMNT supplement (not even an unofficial one), which meansa that you'll have to improvise all of the "TMNT parts" yourself, using the generic rules that Fate provides. But the good news is, as a system built to handle any sort of movie-like setting, Fate is well-designed for doing just that.
Fate is a narrative-focused RPG, so while it absolutely does have character sheets and die rolls, like any RPG, it doesn't use grid/hex maps and miniatures, it's dice are special "Fudge dice", and some other aspects of it are similarly a bit different from traditional RPGs.
Character Creation [ edit ]
Fate's character creation emphasizes it's unique narrative focus, and it involves the entire group in the process. To start each player decides on a "high concept", such as "Wizard Private Eye" or "Low-level Thug for the Syndicate". While this is sort of like a class in another system, it's entirely up the player: there's no list of concepts.
The player similarly selects a "trouble" for their character, which is the central complication in their life, such as "Anger Management Issues" or "Don Giovanni Wants Me Dead". After that they just pick a name, and then start their first "adventure" ... by writing down a few sentences describing it, on an index card (or shared Google Doc). They also gain another "Aspect" from the adventure , which is just like their concept/trouble (eg. if their life was saved by an NPC in their adventure, they might gain "Owes Life To That NPC").
Then the group rotates stories, and adds a complication involving their character to the adventure they inherited, again gaining an Aspect. Then they rotate (in the same direction) and repeat the process, so at the end everyone has a first adventure involving two others, and they have five Aspects.
Next each character chooses a "pyramid" of Skills (ie. one skill at the highest bonus of +4, two at +3, three at +2, and four at +1). While there is a fixed list of skills, groups are encouraged to modify it for their game.
Finally each character gets stunts, which are unique "tricks" the character has, similar to feats/advantages/edges in other systems. Although the rules provide some guidelines, again the players must define their own stunts. Characters can start with up to five, but players are encouraged to pick only one at creation and choose the rest later.
Core Mechanics [ edit ]
To accomplish things in Fate a player rolls a special set of four "Fate Dice", which have symbols indicating 1, 0, or -1. Regular d6s could easily be used instead as long as you don't mind doing quick mental math (1-2 = -1, 3-4 = 0, 5-6 = 1).
The potential outcomes for any roll can therefore range from -4 to 4, and a character adds their skill bonus to this roll as well. If they can make a connection from the action to one of their Aspects they can either add +2, or get an opportunity to re-roll. The result has to beat their opponent's roll, or (if there is no opponent) a number chosen by the GM based on the action's difficulty.
If they win by two or more the action succeeds in style, giving the character an added bonus. If they tie, the action still succeeds, but at a minor cost. If they lose, the player can still opt to have the action succeed, but in the process they incur some kind of major cost.
Fate and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [ edit ]
If you're looking to use Fate for TMNT, while there are no published source books, there are a few web resources. First, the blog "Bernie the Flumph" has re-created all four turtles as Fate characters. Even if you want to play as your own custom mutant characters instead, this re-creation can help understand how using Fate to make such characters works:
There's also a completely different re-creation of the Turtles, from the blog Step Into RPGs. Technically this version is based around the rules for "The Three Rocketeers", which itself is a variant of Fate (essentially it keeps Fate aspects but loses its traits). Along with a few other custom rules the author essentially creates his own Fate-variant game, both tailored to the turtles, but still familiar to anyone who knows Fate.
This variant game is detailed in a series of four blog posts, with the second containing the Turtles themselves. There's also an 3+ hour Youtube video of fans (unrelated to the author) using it to play an adventure ... although they opted not to use the author's custom rules tweaks, sticking to the official "Accelerated" edition of Fate:
- Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Part 1: Introduction to Rocketeering
- Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Part 2: Heroes in a half-shell (player stats)
- Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Part 3: When the evil Shredder attacks (one-shot adventure)
- Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Part 4: Unleashing the other strangeness (long-running campaigns)
- FATE ACCELERATED | TMNT | CFTRPG (Youtube Playthrough)
- Author Response: Fate of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: They played my game!
One other good resources include this thread in the Fate sub-Reddit. But what all of these (fan-made) resources really demonstrate is that, due to Fate's heavy generic focus and lack of specific mechanical rules, it's actually really easy for anyone to use Fate for a turtles campaign, even without any further resources.
Finally, there are two Fate products which, while not specifically designed for TMNT, can suit a TMNT campaign well.
Atomic Robo: Action! Science! Robots! Punching! More Science! [ edit ]
It's also worth mentioning that there are two Fate settings which, although they aren't designed specifically for a TMNT campaign, do fit such campaigns fairly well.
First off we have Atomic Robo, a supplement based on the comic of the same name. This supplement promises "Action! Science! Robots! Punching! More Science!", where you can "play as an action scientist or immortal robot, super-spy or pulp adventurer—or something stranger still from the hidden corners of super-science!"
Adventures in the setting might involve "Fac[ing] down demented dinosaurs, rogue government agents, and stolen Tesla-powered technologies!" As you can see, the setting certainly fits the theme of the world of the Turtles, and in fact this supplement was actually used to run a Turtles adventure, at Big Bad Con in 2020.
Shadow of the Century: 1980's Action... TO THE MAX! [ edit ]
The other supplement that's thematically-similar, but not actually Turtles-related, is Shadow of the Century, which promises "Totally rad 1980s action… TO THE MAX!"
Like Atomic Robo, Shadow of the Century provides its own (non-Turtle) campaign world, but again there are large similarities, as you can see from its description:
The year is 1984, and the Shadows run the world. The Century Club has been disbanded, the Spirits of yesteryear driven underground—only to rise up alongside new wave heroes to stick it to the man!
Fight the good fight in a gonzo game of underdog heroes set against the forces of oppression everywhere. Join kung fu masters, computer hackers, maverick cops, and more to right wrongs and prevent the darkest Shadows from ending reality as we know it.
While this book certainly won't give you "the world of TMNT", both it and Atomic Robo will provide lots of ideas and rules (eg. new stunts) which will certainly be relevant for a TMNT campaign. And yet another option, for either book, is to keep the setting it provides ... but simply make the characters mutant animals within it.