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Allomancy in Fate Core

Allomancy In Fate Core
Here’s a quick version of Allomancy from Mistborn done in Fate Core – this shows how flexible the system is, if nothing else. This will make little sense for those who haven’t read the Mistborn series but this extremely spoiler-laden Wikipedia article may help. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allomancer
There are eight well known metals:

Steel pushes on metals, Iron pulls (Fast burning)
Copper hides Allomancers, Bronze reveals them (Slow burning)
Zinc enflames emotions, Brass depresses them (Fast burning)
Tin enhances senses, Pewter enhances the body and dulls senses (Slow burning)

Most allomancers can usually only work with one metal, making them Mistings. The ability to work with all eight makes one a Mistborn.

Creating An Allomancer
The character must take an Aspect as a permission for the type of Allomancy they can perform, though it can be combined with their high concept or another aspect, e.g. Coinshot Noblewoman.

Mistborn – Can burn all of the metals
Coinshot – Can burn Steel
Tineye – Can burn Tin
Pewterarm or Thug – Can burn Pewter
Coppercloud or Smoker – Can burn Copper
Seeker – Can burn Bronze
Rioter – Can burn Zinc
Soother – Can burn Brass

Mistborn can burn all eight metals (and in fact more, though these are revealed throughout the books) and are therefore considerably more powerful and flexible than Mistings. It is up to the group whether Mistborn should be permitted and if they are this costs them all three of their Stunt slots.

When the Allomancer wants to use her abilities she takes a create advantage action to imbibe a vial containing the metal or metals they wish to use, gaining an Aspect like “Ready to burn Steel”. Unless something is hampering the character this is a Mediocre difficulty action and success with style grants two free invocations as normal.

Actually burning the metal lets the Allomancer use his or her power to attack, defend, overcome or create advantage.

On any turn in which the character burns a metal the aspect is renamed “Burning [metal]”. Invocations of this aspect can enhance the relevant use of Allomancy. Slow-burning metals like Tin and Pewter can be sustained for more than an action but these aspects may be invoked or compelled hostilely when sensory acuity or too much strength (for example) might be problematic. 

Slow burning metals will always last at least a scene (well, unless duralumin is involved but that’s spoiler territory!) whereas fast burning metals may run out during the scene if a compel or create advantage is used to temporarily deplete the character’s stores. They will usually only need to take an action to drink another vial of metals but characters may accept a compel of “Out of Metals” if it is dramatically appropriate.

A Note On Pewter
Burning Pewter in particular provides a mechanical benefit. It provides the character with an extra four boxes of stress but if the character runs out of pewter then they must absorb any stress over their normal maximum with consequences immediately or be Taken Out.

Mistborn may burn pewter and tin simultaneously to counteract the sensory dulling effect of burning pewter, but will gain no other benefit from burning tin.

Example

Vin wants to rapidly travel across the city to Elend’s keep. She declares that she is going to imbibe a vial of all eight metals and then proceed by throwing down an ingot of metal which she launches herself up from in a high arc by burning Steel. She then pulls the ingot back to herself by burning Iron so she can drop it again and so on. The GM agrees that this is possible and describes how she almost flies through the night with her mistcloak’s fronds flapping behind her, arriving with plenty of time before the band of rebels. Vin lands on the rooftop of Elend’s keep and prepares to enter by the window, but her GM offers a fate point and says, “You’ve been burning steel and iron all the way here so it makes sense that you’d run out just after you arrive at Elend’s keep. This goes wrong when a masked coinshot flings a handful of nails at you from behind the chimney breast, leaving you with no Iron or Steel to defend yourself with…”

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  1. Rodrigo
    7th March, 2014 at 14:10

    I have a feeling that metal reserves should last much longer. They almost never run out of metals without a good (alumium or duralium) reason. I’d say don’t allow Mistborns and let the reserves be a bit more overpowered. I think a group composed of only Mistings would be very interesting to play. On another note, letting Mistings have access to 2 metals at the same time, even if not canon, would be another way to make things more interesting, though I still feel that Mistborn would always be too overpower. Maybe have everybody be one, with different levels of expertise in each metal, and have more demanding stories. Or have a way for Mistings to become Mistborn somehow and set that as a goal. =]

  2. 7th March, 2014 at 14:23

    They often run out of metals in that they have to quaff more reserves in order to replenish the fast-burning metals. The duration of ‘one scene’ for the long-burning metals is reasonable because a scene is a narrative construct that can be of any length.

    Essentially I see metal reserves as being like ammunition in any other Fate game; it’s only a problem if they get compelled to run out an an inopportune time.

  3. Unahim
    8th March, 2016 at 22:21

    Isn’t Pewter fast burning? Vin even comments when she first uses it “wow, that burned fast!” and Kelsier is all “I know, right?”

    • 8th March, 2016 at 22:31

      Apparently so! The website I checked for the details must have got that wrong.

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