Review: Leaves of Chiaroscuro

What would it be like to know that humanity is but one of God’s many sentient creatures? What if magic had shaped the very course human civilization? What if we lived in the shadows of a wondrous age long past and one that has only just arrived?

If you’ve ever asked questions like these, or if they stir your imagination, look no further than the alternate world of Asiyah and Leaves of Chiaroscuro, a world of exploration, intrigue, and magic Powered by Fate Core. Asiyah is a world not entirely unlike our own, experiencing the Renaissance much as we did but with notable exceptions: in Asiyah, there be dragons! Magicians both meager and magnificent ply their trade along side a new wave of inventors. Strange, beings known as celati walk the streets of Asiyah’s Italian city-states, remnants of when the world was young and enchanted.

Written by Megan Bennett-Burks and Jason Lada, Leaves of Chiaroscuro offers a unique historical roleplaying experience in a world that never was, leveraging the flexibility of Fate to bring its strangeness and intrigues to life. Let’s peel open the pages of this unique experience and take a closer look. Continue reading “Review: Leaves of Chiaroscuro”


Mission Report from May 13th, 1998 – Operation Sweeper: Personal Notations of Captain Marcus J. Taylor

May 13th, 1998

Mission Report – Operation Sweeper

Captain Marcus J. Taylor, Reporting

Additional Comments:

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Captain Marcus Taylor (Stargate: Homefront Character)

This Saturday, March 7th, I will be playing in the first session of Thomas Elmebolm’s Stargate: Homefront three-shot. I’m really excited to be apart of it. On Saturday, I will be playing Captain Marcus Taylor, a United States Air Force JAG officer assigned to Cheyenne Mountain. Here’s a look at his sheet, pending any last minute changes:

Continue reading “Captain Marcus Taylor (Stargate: Homefront Character)”

Stargate, Powered by Fate: Skills, part 2

The next phase of presenting Skills for Stargate: iteration and presenting Skill write-ups! We’ve already lost a skill from the previous list: Science has been rolled into Academics and Hardware. As I continue down the list, we will continue to prune as needed.

Write-up’s are for new Skills only. Today’s write-up’s are for Academics, Bureaucracy, and Hardware:


         The Academics skill is a measure of education and general knowledge. Academics is used to overcome intellectual problems in a wide array of subjects, to present useful facts in a given situation, or for academic research. Teachers, scholars, and erudite individuals would all possess Academics.

  • Overcome: Academics can be used to overcome obstacles that requires academic knowledge to achieve a goal or any time an answer to a difficult question is needed, where there is tension in not knowing the answer.
  • Create Advantage: Academics can be used in a variety of circumstances to create advantage, given an opportunity to research the subject in question. Generally, this is to gain a story detail, but if that information could give you an edge later it could take the form of an aspect. Academics may also be used in this way on the fly, if the subject has been previously studied or specialized in.
  • Attack: Academics isn’t used in conflicts.
  • Defend: As Attack, Academics isn’t used to defend

Academics Stunts

Specialist:  Choose a field of specialization, such as sociology or biology. You gain +2 to all Academics rolls within your specialty.

R&D Whiz: Your research efforts take two time increments less than they normally would.


         The Bureaucracy skill measures the ability to navigate complex social organizations, such as governments and corporations. It can be used to overcome administrative and political problems, in negotiations with large organizations, to determine the structure and climate within an organization, or to create political advantage within it. Lawyers, politicians, and corporate managers would all possess Bureaucracy.

  • Overcome: Bureaucracy can be used to overcome administrative and political obstacles. It can also be used to create a favorable impression during negotiations through demonstrating proper etiquette and protocol.
  • Create Advantage: Bureaucracy can be used to declare story details as it relates to an organization, given time to study it. It can also be used to represent advantages gained through backroom dealings, political maneuvering, and “gaming the system”.
  • Attack: Bureaucracy is not used in conflicts.
  • Defend: Bureaucracy isn’t used to defend.

Bureaucracy Stunts

Expert Pencil Pusher: You gain +2 when overcoming administrative issues.

Insider Trading: You may use Bureaucracy in place of Resources when manipulating corporate stock and holdings.


         Hardware encompasses the ability to build, repair, physically, hack, and upgrade equipment. It also represents know-how about technology and demolitions. Engineers, scientists, and explosive experts would all possess Hardware.

  • Overcome: With the right amount of time and the proper tools, Hardware can be used to build, modify, and hack. Actions with Hardware often happen as a component of more complex situations, making it useful in challenges. The time-frame needed is determined by the GM; succeeding with style could render the accomplishment better or faster.
  • Create Advantage: Hardware can be used to create aspects representing features of physical equipment, identifying useful components or strengths and vulnerabilities to be exploited, and general technological knowledge. Hardware can also be used to represent sabotage or jury-rigging of mechanical objects on scene. For demolitions, it allows placing of aspects related to explosives and explosions.
  • Attack: Hardware isn’t used to attack; for immediate use of explosive devices, such as grenades, use Athletics
  • Defend: Hardware isn’t used to defend

Hardware Stunts

Minesweeper: You may use Hardware instead of Notice to detect the presence of mines and other hidden explosive devices.

Hot-wiring: You gain +2 when using physically hacking mechanical or technical systems.

Let me know in the comments what you think about these skills! Next write-ups will be for Infiltrate, Intrusion, and Linguistics (should it survive).

EDIT 04/27/2016: Added Stunt examples to Skills.