Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fate Accelerated: Mr. Baggins of Bag-End, Underhill

This is my one hundredth post on Vargold: The Wolf-Time, so I thought I'd dedicate it to J. R. R. Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins, the character who sparked my love of fantasy fiction back in the spring of 1979. I've never liked most of the RPG write-ups that I've seen for Bilbo; he usually ends up being awkwardly shoe-horned into a system designed for sword-and-sorcery action, something that's very far from his tea, cakes, and handkerchief-laden wheelhouse. Fate Accelerated does a much better job of accounting for this genteel fish out of water, so that's what I've used to generate the character sheet below.

Bilbo Baggins

High Concept: Respectable Gentle-Hobbit
Trouble: A Took on His Mother's Side
Aspects: Would-Be Burglar


Clever +3, Careful +2, Sneaky +2, Forceful +1, Quick +1, Flashy +0


Because I am a Lover of Puzzles, I get a +2 whenever I Cleverly overcome obstacles generated by puzzles, riddles, and other conundrums.

I decided to express Bilbo's fuddy-duddy Baggins qualities in his High Concept, leaving his suppressed Tookish penchant for adventure to his Trouble. Most of "An Unexpected Party" is about the conflict between these two sides of our protagonist. His remaining Aspect—"Would-Be Burglar"—reflects his position within Thorin and Company and will be repeatedly compelled by the dwarves' players to make Bilbo take the risks they hope to avoid. Because it's so perfect for his character, I stole Bilbo's Stunt right out of the main FAE rulebook (p. 31); at the start of the novel, it's encapsulated in his fascination with Thrain's map. My assumption is that Bilbo's remaining Aspects and Stunts will be determined in play. (In fact, I'd be tempted to skip ahead to "Inside Information" and make use of Bilbo's list of self-epithets to generate them.)

Thanks again to all my readers for sticking through my first hundred posts; I'm hoping to take much less than three years to produce the next hundred!


  1. Thanks to this post I went and checked and FAE is available for the rest of us plebes here:

    Congrats on 100!