Adventures in Freeport and Beyond
Freeport is the focus of sinister cults serving preternatural forces, particularly the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign and their patron the Unspeakable One. Wizards dabble with arcane forces beyond mortal ken, while infernal powers work their wills in shadows and whispers. The twin taints of corruption and madness are very real risks in the city of Freeport.Corruption
Corruption is a stain on a character’s very mind or soul and measures the ill-effects of dealing with horror and defilement. The more corruption a character accumulates, the harder it becomes to control the vile and obscene impulses that seem to bubble up in the unconscious and in some cases, corruption can manifest in disturbing mental and physical maladies.
The Corruption Stress Track
Corruption in Fate Freeport is represented by its own stress track. This track as four boxes, each a 1-stress box, and you don’t get more corruption stress for having a high skill. When you take a corruption hit, mark the stress off from your corruption track just like you would for a mental or physical hit. Corruption hits are almost always 1-stress hits or, very rarely, 2-stress hits; mark off as many boxes as you need to in order to absorb the hit. Corruption stress doesn’t go away at the end of the scene; you’ll have to atoneto get rid of it (more on that later).
If you don’t have enough corruption stress boxes to absorb a hit, you’ll have to use up one of your consequence slots. Corruption uses the same consequence slots as mental and physical stress; you don’t have a separate set of corruption consequence slots. Corruption consequences can take the form of physical manifestations of your corruption, such as Pus-Filled Boilsor an Aura of Unease, or they can take the form of mental scars, predilections toward more corrupting behavior: Murderous Urgesor ”Power is everything!”. Corruption consequences work exactly like other types of consequences in all ways except one: they’re harder to recover from. Like corruption stress, in order to recover from a corruption consequence you’ll have to atone.
An action that corrupts you is called an infraction. There are three levels of infractions.
Minor infractions involve using magic in small but cruel ways. Inflicting pain with a touch, subverting someone’s will momentarily, and using an illusion to facilitate a malicious deception are all minor infractions. Mechanically speaking, you’re committing a minor infraction when you perform a magical action (that isn’ta specific spell, such as an invocation of your magical aspect) with malicious or profoundly selfish intent, at the expense of someone else. When you reach a milestone, ask the table whether or not you’ve committed any minor infractions. If the table agrees that you have, take a 1-stress corruption hit.
A major infraction is serious business, and usually involves using a specific spell. Most spells that constitute a major infraction call out the fact that they do in the text; these spells are corrupting in and of themselves. It’s possible to use a spell that isn’t inherently corrupting in such a way that it becomes corrupting though; intent matters. If you hurl a fireball into a group of gnolls who are attacking you, that’s not an infraction. If you fireball those same gnolls from hiding, without knowing whether or not they are a threat to you first, that might be an infraction. If you fireball a group of gnolls who are attacking innocent townsfolk, indiscriminately consuming all in the blaze, that’s definitelya major infraction. When you commit a major infraction, you take a 1-stress hit to your corruption stress track then and there. If it’s a particularly egregious infraction, the GM is allowed to make it a 2-stress hit.
A severe infraction is a rare and terrible thing, usually involving dark and forbidden magics that wreak wholesale slaughter, summon demons, or otherwise bring ruin upon the world at large. When you commit a severe infraction, you immediately fill your highest available consequence slot with an appropriate corruption consequence
Recovery and Atonement
In order to recover from any corruption at all, you must atone. You atone when you commit no corrupting actions between milestones and alsodo something to make the world a better place, even if it’s only for one person. You needn’t use magic, but simply abstaining from corrupting magic isn’t enough; you have to help people.
When you reach a milestone, ask the table if you’ve atoned. If the consensus is yes, erase all of your corruption stress and choose one corruption consequence: erase it and rephrase it to denote recovery. You now recover from that consequence at the normal rate for a consequence of its type.