The Base Raiders Setting

Posts about the Base Raiders setting.

Character Creation Survival Guide

Who's the Gallant and who's the Goofus of this fight to the the death? You be the judge!Character Generation Survival Guide

The world of Base Raiders can be extremely dangerous but the key to survival begins with character generation. Some threats are more obvious than others and it can be easy to overlook one when building a player character. The following tips should help you make a better character able to survive anything the game throws at you.

Staying Alive: Stress Tracks and You

Every player character in Base Raiders has 3 stress tracks (health, composure, and reputation) and whenever any one of them is reduced to 0, the character is taken out of the current conflict. Thus, it is imperative to have at least one skill that can defend attacks made on each stress track. You are only as tough as your weakest stress track, after all. FATE allows any character to make attacks on any stress track during any type of conflict, if the GM agrees the attack makes sense. This means that social attacks can take characters out of gunfights, for example. While you do not need to invest all of your skill points into defensive skills, know that a GM will prey upon your weaknesses sooner or later. Let’s look at each track in detail.

Measures: Physical health, obviously. A character at 0 health is knocked out or dead in most cases
Common Skills that defend attacks on health: Athletics (dodge attacks), Unarmed (parry melee attacks only), Melee Weapons (parry melee attacks only)
Trappings that defend attacks on health: Dodge, Parry, Resist Damage

Common Skill that increases health track: Endurance
Trapping that increases health track: Stress Capacity [Health]

Measures: Mental health and sanity. A character at 0 composure is overwhelmed with fear or anxiety or has lost their mind. Can also represent being mind controlled by an external source.
Common skill that defends attacks on composure: Resolve
Trapping that defends attacks on composure: Willpower

Common skill that increases composure track: Resolve
Trapping that increases composure track: Stress Capacity [Composure]

Measures: Credibility, standing, and influence of the character. A character at 0 reputation is exposed as a total hypocrite, pariah, or shamed into surrender.
Common skill that defends attacks on reputation: Contacting
Trapping that defends attacks on reputation: Esteem

Common skill that increases reputation track: Presence
Trapping that increases reputation track: Stress Capacity [Reputation]

Whether a particular track can be attacked during a given conflict is left to the GM. If you want to specialize in one area, it’s perfectly fine to ignore one of the tracks, but it will almost certainly come up in game, sooner or later. Your combat monster may be taken out of a fight very early on if he can’t resist any mental or social attack at all. Remember that you can spend FATE points to boost or reroll skill tests and you can spend multiple FATE points to maximize your chances of success but every bit helps. A few points invested in Resolve and Contacting may be very useful, after all!

Doing Damage

Of course the best defense is a good offense, so you need a way to inflict damage as well. Even non-combat oriented characters need a way to fight mentally or socially. Keep in mind that FATE does not distinguish between weapon types unless the weapon is a Gift or Strange Skill. A sniper rifle is the same as a pistol and a sword is the same as a punch, unless one of them has special properties.

Common skills that inflict health stress: Melee Weapons, Shooting, Unarmed
Trappings that inflict health stress: Shoot, Strike

Common skill that inflicts composure stress: Intimidate
Trapping that inflicts composure stress: Menace

Common skill that inflicts reputation stress: Contacting
Trapping that inflicts reputation stress: Influence

The Power of Aspects

There’s more to resolving conflicts than avoiding and inflicting damage. Clever players can use aspects to win conflicts against opponents they have no chance of reducing to 0 stress in any track. While most players are content to just use their FATE points to invoke their own Aspects, you should look closely at the rules for Aspect Assessments, Declarations, and Maneuvers on page 100 and 101 in the Base Raiders rule book.

For example, Iconoclast (page 208) is being stalked by the deranged vigilante Scrap Man (page 216) in an abandoned base. Scrap Man is using his Strange Skill, Loot of Heroes, to give himself Notice + Unusual and Shoot. The Notice + Unusual is treated as a set of high-tech X-ray goggles while the Shoot trapping is an experimental plasma rifle. Iconoclast realizes he is too powerful to fight by herself. She needs to escape. She uses her Strange Skill Implanted Memories of a Genius to assess Scrap Man’s Aspects. Because Scrap Man uses technologically advanced gadgets, the GM allows it. She rolls a total of a +6 (+4 from her skill and a 0 0 + + with the dice) which beats the +1 difficulty that the GM set and learns he has the Untrained Power User Aspect. She also has the Impact Gift, which means she can declare a fragile Aspect on herself or her opponent because she obtained Spin (3 or more shifts above the +1 difficulty for the skill roll).

Scrap Man uses his action to scan the base and locate Iconoclast. He sees her through his X-ray googles. He prepares to fire the deadly plasma rifle at the hero.

Iconoclast uses both Aspects in her next action. First, she gives Scrap Man the Aspect “Voice Activated Prototype Weapon” and then uses Untrained Power User to say that the rifle can be made to self-destruct by saying the right sequence of words and Scrap Man left it with the factory default phrase. The GM requires another Implanted Memories of a Genius skill test to know this and sets the difficulty at +2. Iconoclast gets a +3, so the GM has the rifle explode in Scrap Man’s hands. He rules that the explosion inflicts 6 health stress on Scrap Man, which cannot be resisted. Scrap Man must take a consequence to remain standing, which he does. He takes a minor consequence, Stunned, to reduce the stress from 6 to 4. Iconoclast uses her next action to run before Scrap Man can recover. She could have doubled down and used her dart pistol to attack him, but she would have not been able to invoke his aspects against him again without spending FATE points.

As you can see, 2 skill tests neutralized a dangerous opponent, thanks to clever aspect usage. Not only was Scrap Man heavily wounded and stunned, he lost his ranged weapon for the fight. Even if Scrap Man recovers in time to chase Iconoclast, she can use Aspect Declaration to use the environment against her foe. For example, she could easily declare that the abandoned base has a “Malfunctioning Blast Doors” Aspect and then make a skill test to turn them on, thus trapping Scrap Man in the base.


This only captures part of the entire system, but it gives you an idea of what to expect in an actual game. Any character who covers the basic defenses and can overcome difficult challenges through skillful Aspect usage will go a lot farther than a specialist who only focuses in one conflict type. If you have more questions, feel free to post them here or on the RPPR forums.

Fiction: Changes Over Time

Alchemists hate him! LEARN HOW 2 CHANGEChanges Over Time

By Chris Hamann

It’s hard to be an alchemist working for the Underground. All the magical beings hate your guts, thinking you’re a part of some history of butchers and serial killers obsessed with power. I guess a lot of us were in the past, but that’s changed. I stay above the board, working openly. I make effective potions, and never use magical beings. Hell, half of my profit goes to a blind man in Fiji who grinds kava in a specific manner when I could just ask to clean my cousin Flavia’s coffee mug for vampire spit to get the same effect. I still think the guy I rent to wants me to fail and ups my rent.

A girl browsing my wares looks behind the counter. “Is that shapeshifting potion for sale?”

“Everything’s for sale.”

“Is this enough?” She smiles nervously and pulls something out of her purse.

The girl hits all the right buttons for me; thick hair dyed an unnatural red with bows tying it in place, huge brown eyes (slitted, she’s clearly taken Chimera in the past), polka-dot dress, curves in the right places. She’s got the whole manic pixie dream girl vibe, like a chubby Zooey Deschanel. She’s also offering me a piece of Luytein tech for a thousandth of what it’s worth. All because she read Animorphs as a kid and wants to live that life.

I weigh this month’s rent against my conscience.

I affect a grumpy, world-weary exterior. “How old are you, kid?”

She gives me an uncertain look, obviously wondering if I’m some ageless being like you get in the Underground. “21.” I’m two years older than her.

I ask her about herself, telling her the questions are necessary to “fine tune the chimeric energies.” It’s a load of bullshit and I’m fucked if the Underground finds out I’m pumping customers for information. Luckily, she’s happy to answer my questions: she lives with her empowered boyfriend, this is her first time at the Black Market, she’s going to college, and she’s studying art.

She’s studying art. Shit.

“You know anything about biology, kid?”

Her smile fades. “I’ve taken a few Life Science courses…”

I feel sorry for the kid. She just wants to be able to swim with the dolphins or fly with the eagles or some other hippy bullshit. I harden my gaze, try to look as cold as I can. “So you don’t. Gimme a moment, kid.” I check to make sure nothing powerful is in the shop and lock the door. “Come with me.”

I lead her through a back room where I keep some of the better stuff. Potions of flight and invisibility, stuff like that. Her eyes pop a little bit, but I gesture to keep moving. I start to speak.

“A true shapeshifting potion wasn’t invented until the 1960s. Alchemists in the past could make a potion that could transform a person into a different animal, and even allow them to transform back into a person, but that was a limited transformation. They were really only installing a metaphorical template that the imbiber could unlock, and it could go wrong. This is where you get the legend of werewolves in France.”

My workshop’s not a pretty place. It has this weird odor, like a mixture of cinnamon and formaldehyde, and a mild hint of decay. You never really get used to the smell. My old boss told me there was a way to get rid of it, but he never taught me how to before Ragnarok.

“That isn’t to say that alchemists never tried. Some captured magical beings and used them for ingredients in the potions, and that worked to an extent. But the test subjects would inevitably take on features of the being, and forget what they originally looked like.”

Jars full of crushed insects are scattered across the floor, all mislabeled and spaced out in a specific pattern only I understand. The walls are lined with dried plants that move like a squid’s tentacles. My old boss always said the Ideal couldn’t find you if you kept waving vines around your walls. I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve learned to use their magical properties.

“Some potions just wouldn’t work. They were duds.”

The only free space is my workbench, and the locked door next to it. I unlock the door, look at the girl, and smile, making a point to smile a little too wide.

She begins breathing a little more rapidly. Good.

“M-my friends know where I am.” She stammers the words.

“Fine. They can come get you happy and healthy in a few minutes. I just need to show you something.” I swing the door open.

The room’s barely more than a closet, but it holds four large jars, the kind that can hold something the size of a large dog. I’ve attached a notecard to each jar.

I keep speaking. “Feel free to take a look. Other potions did something odd. Nothing happened when the person initially imbibed it, but things would go terribly wrong the first time he transformed.”

I point at the first jar and she looks, her mouth slightly agape.

“Sometimes, the animal would have extra limbs in place of other limbs.”

A fly the size of a big cat floats in the jar. It has no wings. It has no antennae. Instead, it has four extra pairs of legs in those spots, twisted and deformed. She hasn’t looked at the notecard yet, but I know what it says.

Jane Holder

Batch 49

HOX gene deformities

COD: Too large to breathe through spiracles.

I point to the second jar.

“Other times, it just wouldn’t be able to move.”

This jar’s a diorama. A dog stands stock still in it, looking to be a taxidermy animal. I sprayed it with a humectant earlier in the day, to make sure microbes wouldn’t devour it.

“When the animal eventually died, alchemists found that its skeleton was entirely fused.”

Dale Pole

Batch 67

Did not account for joint formation

COD: Asphyxiation. Lungs inhibited by fused ribs.

I watch the girl. She’s finally noticed the notecards. I hold back a shudder and point to the third jar.

“Some would have no pigment and deformed features.”

An albino sea turtle floating in formaldehyde. It has one eye on its lower jaw, and the jaw itself covers two thirds of its face. Its single nostril lies on its neck. Its shell is crushed open, as if someone dropped a rock on it. The girl vomits. I watch, disassociated from the scene. Partially digested burrito spatters the floor.

“These animals would live for a while.”

Francis Wyneken

Batch 73

Neural crest deformities, severe mental retardation

COD: Lab accident

The girl sobs. “I’ve seen enough!”

I move to stand in front of the door. I feel the panic and guilt welling up inside of me, getting ready to burst out into a torrent of confession and excuse. I threw up when Frank looked at me, into my eyes. It took me hours of vodka to get up the courage to put him out of his misery. I don’t know if he understood what was happening. I don’t know which would be worse.

My voice cracks as I continue. “Others would just turn into meat. A blob of nervous tissue.”

The thing in the fourth jar looks like a mass of fat: yellow-brown and twitching. I don’t know why I put holes in the jar. The thing in it barely exists anymore.

The girl begins to scream. “Let me go! Let me go!”

Lynn Baer

Batch 95

Reversion to Stem Cells


The girl tries to shove me out of the way. She’s strong, far stronger than she should be for her size, but I’ve sampled enough of my wares that I don’t budge. “Why are you showing this to me?!”

I take a deep breath, doing my best not to collapse. “I said that alchemists didn’t create a true shapeshifting potion until the sixties. That isn’t true. We had gotten it right hundreds of years ago. All of the mutations were user error. We did not understand biology well enough yet. And trying to transform without a complete understanding of how the body forms…

“To turn into something new, you have to break yourself down into an initial form, something that can become anything. But you have to know how to turn into something else first, and that’s a multi-step process. These four didn’t know the process.”

I move out of the door, and the girl sprints for the exit. I walk slowly after her and unlock the door. She rushes out and I lock up again, head back to the workshop, clean up the vomit. The girl had lost a bow at some point. The twisted shape reminds me of the specimen in— of Jane’s deformed legs. I take a deep breath, exhaling slowly. The girl didn’t ask the one question I dreaded. I mumble it to myself.

“Why do you have these people?”

Everything’s for sale.

New Strange Skill: Rust Bucket’s Power Armor

Any power armor is better than no power armorRust Bucket (13)

Power tier: Superhuman (-2 refresh)

Shoot, Notice, Fight: Move + unusual, Physical Force, Stress Cap Health, Resist Damage

Major Focus: Power Armor

Minor Snag: Cannot speak while using this Strange Skill.

Minor Delay: Putting on or removing armor takes 1 full round

Item based power: requires training

Description: The height of technology from Russia in the 1970s, the Dreadnaught Armor was designed to bring the fear of the Hammer and Sickle to the Americans. 10 feet tall and built like a tank, the red armor is seemingly impervious to all but the heaviest of artillery. Only 6 were ever constructed, but one suit fell into the hands of the villain known as Iron Curtain. After a few clashes with the Ideal, the armor was locked away, shuffled from base to base to collect dust. A bit rusty, the suit of armor is still in working order, from the servos and armor plating to the flight rockets and Tesla coil electricity blasters. The biggest downside to the armor is that it is completely voice controlled. Doing anything more complex then walking around means the operator has to focus solely on issuing the verbal commands to the suit, precluding the operator from talking to anyone else.

Thanks to Joe Thater for sending this power in! If you have a fan creation of your own, please send it in to

New Rules: Origin Stories

There's more than one way to skin a catOrigin Story Rules – Playtest Draft

Every hero (and villain) has an origin story. In the world of Base Raiders, these stories are no longer tales of accidental empowerment. Those who gain superpowers choose to do so, although the circumstances vary tremendously. Some gain their powers after weeks of careful planning while others take them in a moment of desperation. Regardless, the origin story of a base raider can make for an exciting adventure, so why not role play through it? The following rules provide modifications to character creation and scenario design. It assumes the player characters are mundane civilians with no special powers or abilities before the adventure begins.

We playtested these rules on the RPPR Actual Play Podcast, using the scenario seed, Transit, for the plot. You can listen to the first playtest here. Transit will eventually be turned into a full adventure for Base Raiders.

The following rules will allow players and gamemasters to run origin story adventures. If you would like to run an adventure for your group using these rules, we’d love to hear about it. Email us with details about your experiences using the rules. What worked and what didn’t work? Did your players enjoy the game? We want to hear from you!

Story: The Scrap Man

The Scrap ManThis explains the backstory of Pilgrim, one of the NPCs listed in the Rogue’s Gallery. Thanks to Danny Morgan for writing it!

“Don’t be late, Pilgrim. I need you here at midnight, not one second later.”

The face of Adam Conroy, a.k.a. the Black Templar, filled the giant screen dominating the workshop of Ray Hooper, a.k.a. The Pilgrim.

“No problem. Got a few errands to run late afternoon, but I’ll be there on time. Well, maybe a couple of seconds late. Maybe ten seconds? Yeah, let’s live dangerously!”

“I’m serious!”

Ray realized that the Templar had just let a trace of actual human emotion creep into his voice. That was…unsettling.

“Okay! Just joking, I’ll be there. You know I will.” Ray frowned at the screen. “Hey, er, is everything alright?”

“No. No, it isn’t.”

Black Templar looked down for a long moment. Wait, was he…shaking?

“What? What is it?” Ray was worried now.

“I‘m not confident that this line is secure. I’ll fill you in when you get here.”

Black Templar leaned into the camera.

“I’m counting on you. We’re all counting on you. Don‘t be late.”