Knights of the Stellar Void
Extras Rules Overview
In Fate terminology, an extra is a pretty broad term used to describe anything that’s part of your character, or controlled by your character, or that’s influenced by (or is an influence on) your character. It gets some special treatment in the rules to reflect this. If the game was a movie, extras are where we’d spend the special effects budget.
Extras include things like gear, vehicles, organizations, background elements of your genotype, or other enhancements. You could create your own spaceship out of your Extras budget, create a group of followers, assemble or squad of troops, gain the backing of an organization or a patron, replicate a city you control… and depending on how you spend your Extras budget, you could have multiple extras that do different things (having a particularly good starfighter and a flight wing of rookie pilots, for example).
In other settings, extras are used to represent things like superpowers or magic; here, it supports far-future technology of all shapes and sizes.
Not every piece of gear or vehicle has to be an extra; extras represent particularly good or valuable stuff that your character has. A disintegration rifle may just be a piece of equipment, but give it its own sentience chip—and thus memories and experiences to draw from—and suddenly you have an extra, a powerful ally at your disposal. A flak vest is just a piece of armor, until it’s been modified to generate a reflector shield or a stealth field.
Armour, Vessels and Vehicles
The most obvious extras would be your ride, be it a ground vehicle, starfighter, a spaceship, or your Armour mecha. Any kind of transportation or motorized/mechanized vehicle, sentient or otherwise, that your character can pilot fits the bill as an extra.
Culture and Organizations
Organizations or cultures which your character can control or influence, even entire cities or planets that you may rule over. It can range in size to a group of advisers or troops that you lead, to a sprawling galactic empire of which you are a small (but possibly important) part of.
Any number of biotech, genurgic, or mechanical enhancements that were made to your original form (possibly at a cost). If you had gills grown into your body to make you amphibious, or replaced your skin with plastic membrane and your nerves with wired reflexes, you’ve had enhancements. Unlike things provided by your genotype, enhancements were things applied (or installed) on your rather than things you were born with.
The enhancements and abilities you use when using the interstellar shared conciousness known as the Mindscape. Imagine it as your internet persona, the abilities and features you have in the virtual world, a fusion of software and skills grown from experience.
Far-future gadgetry and devices that give you extra abilities, anything from a stealth-field-generating chameleon suit to a customized sniper rifle to a sentient medical autodoc drone.
Any specific adaptations that your body has undergone that is trait shared by your species. An uplifted canid may have a superior sense of smell, while a fringer originally of human stock born on a high-gravity world may have superior strength and mass. Unlike Enhancements, these are innate traits you were born with (or that developed in your infancy, and not things done by the power of science.
So, What Do Extras Really Do?
Extras aren’t just cool gadgets, abilities, and followers; that’s just the direct representation. Having a certain extra changes things up because it allows you to operate on a completely different Scale than just the character scale.
For example, a character taking on a tank is going to be at a disadvantage: the tank is lot more powerful than a person. It can dish out a world of pain to you, while there’s a limit to the amount of damage you can do to it with an autopistol or a laser sword. Having an extra that gives you some parity—a tank of your own, anti-tank missile launcher, or an Armour suit—and suddenly you’re operating on a whole ’nother scale. At that point, you can actually affect it without taking penalties.
Similarly, having an Armour mecha suddenly lets you operate on the mecha scale, and taking an organization or culture extra represents that you have plenty of pull in that area, hence why you can roll on the organization or cultural scale. Having an extra can represent the ability to affect a scale larger than yourself, removing some or all of the penalties.
Your Extras Budget
Extras are created much like your character, and you have a pool of stats from which to assemble your extra(s). The basic extras budget is:
6 Skill levels
Some cultures and genotypes require that you spend more aspects or stunts than come in your extras budget; for example, one strong genotype may require 3 aspects and 2 stunts. In those cases, you take aspects, stunts, and skills out of your character’s budget to cover them.
Additionally, you can “sacrifice” aspects, stunts, and skills from your character and adding it to your extras budget.
You could easily lump all of these into building one large and powerful extra: an experimental star-cruiser, an organization whose membership and influence spans a galaxy. Alternately, you could break up your options and acquire a number of smaller extras. To use the example from the book:
Max wants some equipment. As part of the Commonality Human genotype, he was required to take the mandatory extra “Mindscape implant”, costing 1 aspect from his extras budget. He buys simple Mesh armour, costing 1 of his 2 extras stunts, and spends the second stunt on a Monitor Band Cloak (page 136), reasoning SCI Force would have supplied him with one of these when he joined up.
He still has 6 skill points in his extras budget. He buys a Biomed Array (page 121), built into his clothing and costing 2 skill levels. He spends the final 4 skill points on The Rosemary Princess, a Profit-class new trader starship, giving it three construct skills: Fair (1) Manoeuvre and Passive Sensing.
As Max’s tech index is T9 (Second Age of Space), the same or higher than all these items, he can acquire his equipment without difficulty.