All The Baddies: plotting a DFRPG one-shot

What do a low-rate sorcerer, the reluctant child of an ogre, a were-rabbit, a thug, an adrenaline-hooked vampire, a Pastafarian and a little old lady with a sideline in blood-lust have in common?

They’re all second-rate baddies and sidekicks. They all hate the same damn wizard who keeps messing up their schemes. And they’re all out for revenge.

Sounds fun, huh?

I’ve wrangled myself into GM’ing a number of Dresden Files RPG’s recently; one’s with an existing group of friends, one’s with another gaming group, and one…well, as I’m obviously a sucker for punishment, I’m debating running a short one-shot with a completely different set from Hackspace! I really must be insane…in a good way, I guess?

The group’s probably going to be eclectic; my housemate Sam would probably play and he knows both the world and the game, but the other potential players have a variety of experience ranging from ‘none’ to ‘creates his own homebrews’…however, none of them have any Fate or DFRPG experience. So I’ve got a few barriers to overcome and a few problems to think about.

One of the upsides and downsides of Fate is that it’s pretty different from other RPG systems; it’s story-based rather than stats-based. I personally love Fate because of this story focus, and I want to make sure this is conveyed over to my players. In addition, I need to find a way to make sure they can focus on the game (and story) and not on the rules – it needs to be a simple, fun and enjoyable experience, rather than hours spent creating character sheets and trying to understand the rules. So; rules-lite, story-focus, stats-lite.

Solution? I’m going to pre-generate character sheets and a story.

The original idea was from Sam, and I immediately ran with it. It’s also partly based on Fiasco, which has a ‘twist’ – something that skews the story, twists the scenarios, makes the whole thing fly. The Dresden version of Fiasco (called Hocus Focus) actually uses Dresden as the Twist, and I admit to borrowing that slightly!

Result: we’re being baddies.

We’re starting with the group of characters, in a pub, whining about this one damn wizard who always gets in the way of everything. I mean, my boss dun’t trust me now, I gotta prove myself somehow, I gotta get back into the good books…hey, you’re pissed off too? Why don’t we set summat up against this wizard? Why don’t we get some revenge and prove we’re bad at the same time?

I need sort out some locations and some pointers for the plot; I’d have a couple of different options for where the wizard is, or a couple of different ideas for heists/break-ins/general chaos. The story would be fairly open in the sense that the players could pick where they wanted to go and how they wanted to approach things; the locations and wizard would be fairly static, but if you’re planning a break-in, you don’t always have to blow the bloody doors off…

I’m still plotting this out, but I’m giggling maniacally to myself at the same time, so I think it’s going to be awesome.

And who’s to say it’s all going to go right?

We’re the best worst at being bad guys…

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.