FATERIP – Modesty Blaise

Modesty Blase - the Real Thing

FATE: Modesty Blaise


Ex-criminal Superspies versus current criminal depraved supervillains thanks to Peter O’Donnell, Jim Holdaway and Enrique Badia Romero.


Draft 1.0  April 15, 2013 – Blue Tyson




Pre-mobile phone modern.  Fancy radio communication is cool.  Sixties to eighties works nicely. Modesty Blaise is the retired ex-head of the criminal Network organisation, rising from wandering orphan at a very young age.  Blackmailed agreeable into helping out the British Secret Service by Gerald Tarrant she is officially a British citizen. Platonic best friends with Willie Garvin, turning his life around after pulling her out of prison. Previously her second in command the partners are ultra-competent and deadly adversaries, more than capable of taking on greater odds.  Stylish and sophisticated and witty, their adventures are brilliant in prose and comic. Allies and previously outdone enemies abound throughout the world.




Sir Gerald has a problem.  Again. The British Secret Service is still useless.

If it doesn’t involve a sociopathic, psychopathic or depraved supervillain we’ll be disappointed.

Too tough?  Target their friends.

Crime doesn’t pay if we disagree with it.




Modesty Blaise



Retirement is boring

Willie, I Really Need You Now!

Orphan Out of Everywhere

No drugs!

Yes, I’ve got a place on this continent.


F: Incredible +4

A: Incredible +4

S: Good +1

E: Remarkable +3

R: Excellent +2

I: Incredible +4

P: Incredible +4


Resources  Incredible (+4)

Popularity  -Remarkable (-3)


Other Skills


Amazing (+5)  Leadership, Linguist, Kongo, Pistol, Quarterstaff, Survival

Incredible (+4)  Alertness, Contacts, Rapport

Remarkable (+3)  Intimidation, Weapons

Excellent (+2)  Burglary, Deceit, Drive, Empathy, Investigation, Lapidary, Pilot, Ride, Stealth

Good  (+1) Dance

Typical (+0)  Academics, Art




Close At Hand, Face the Pain, Money Talks, Preemptive Grace, Quick Draw, Shot On the Run


Acrobat, Big Name, Cold Read, Con Man, Criminal Mind, Death Defiance, I Know A Guy Who Knows A Guy, Inner Strength, Martial Arts, Mental Blueprint, Signature Strike, Tripwire Sensibilities


Willie Garvin


Ex-Crimelord 2IC

Retirement is boring

What the Princess says goes

Don’t count the Princess out

A Girl In Every Port

No drugs!

I Do Own a Circus, Actually. Also, a Pub.


F: Incredible +4

A: Remarkable +3

S: Excellent +2

E: Remarkable +3

R: Excellent +2

I: Amazing +5

P: Remarkable +3


Resources  Remarkable (+3)

Popularity  -Remarkable (-3)


Other Skills


Unearthly (+7)  Knife

Amazing (+5)  Alertness, Rapport, Throw

Incredible (+4) Contacts, Intimidation, Quarterstaff, Rifle, Survival

Remarkable (+3)  Disguise, Empathy, Engineering, Linguist, Ride, Survival, Weapons

Excellent (+2)  Burglary, Deceit, Drive, Gambling, Leadership, Pilot, Ride, Stealth

Good (+1)  Academics, Science

Poor (-1)  Pistol




Danger Sense [His Ears Prickle], Everybody’s Friend, Good Arm, Headquarters, Scary, Scientific Invention, Uncanny Hunch


Acrobat, Big Name, Cold Read, Con Man, Criminal Mind, Death Defiance, I Know A Guy Who Knows A Guy, Inner Strength, Martial Arts, Mental Blueprint, Signature Strike, Tripwire Sensibilities


Sir Gerald Tarrant


British Secret Service Chief.

I Must Have Modesty Blaise!

What’s a bit of blackmail between friends?


F: Typical +0

A: Good +1

S: Typical +0

E: Good +1

R: Excellent +2

I: Excellent +2

P: Remarkable +3


Resources  Incredible (+4) [In government capacity, otherwise Excellent (+2)]

Popularity  Excellent (+2)


Other Skills


Incredible (+4)  Bureaucracy, Contacts, Espionage

Remarkable (+3)  Deceit, Intimidation, Investigation

Good (+1)  Guns, Stealth




Center of the Web, Expert Staff





Reformed druggie

Quite happy in this job, thanks very much


F: Typical +0

A: Typical +0

S: Typical +0

E: Good +1

R: Good +1

I: Good +1

P: Good +1


Resources  Good (+1)

Popularity  Typical (0)


Other Skills


Excellent (+2)  Administration, Drive


John Dall


Billionaire businessman

Occasional boyfriend of Blaise


F: Good +1

A: Good +1

S: Good +1

E: Good +1

R: Excellent +2

I: Good +1

P: Excellent +2


Resources  Amazing (+5)

Popularity  Remarkable (+2)


Other Skills


Incredible (+4)  Bureaucracy

Excellent (+2) Guns, Leadership

Good (+1) Ride, Pilot




Center of the Web, Fantastically Rich


Steve Collier


Retired mathematician and textbook author

Psychic Investigator

Ex-Lover of Blaise

Husband of Dinah


F: Typical (+0)

A: Typical (+0)

S: Typical (+0)

E: Typical (+0)

R: Good (+1)

I: Good +1

P: Typical +0


Resources  Typical +0

Popularity  Typical +0


Other Skills


Excellent (+2)  Academics, Mathematics, Mysteries

Good  (+1)


Dinah Pilgrim


Blind Diviner

Ex-Lover of Garvin

Wife of Steve


F: Poor (-1)

A: Poor (-1)

S: Typical (+0)

E: Typical (+0)

R: Typical (+1)

I: Excellent +2

P: Good +1


Resources  Typical +0

Popularity  Typical +0


Other Skills


Mysteries (+2)




Fortuneteller, Secrets of the Arcane


Doctor Giles Pennyfeather


Adverse Conditions Medical Genius

Bumbling Goofball


F: Poor (-1)

A: Typical 0

S: Typical +0

E: Typical +1

R: Typical +0

I: Good +1

P: Typical +0


Resources  Poor (-1)

Popularity  Typical (+0)


Other Skills


Excellent (+2)  Medicine

Good (+1)  Science




Doctor, Medic, Surgeon




Most definitely a Spirit of the Century via Shadows of the Century style game.




A perfect two player scenario team, Blaise and Garvin can be easily Compelled into whatever outlandishly led super spy or crime scenario Tarrant can come up with for them to solve.  The most likely abduction victims in their oeuvre are detailed above, for added spice. Others include Tarrant’s 2IC and Maude, an operative they have worked with in the field before.




The ‘needs the other’ Aspects can be used in there is only one PC.  Got to get to the other.




Or if three players, an abduction victim attempting to use their brains to survive until Blaise and Garvin can get there.  Then surviving to escape with them.




A possibility is a support team for the two heroes, particularly competent local talent, ex-Network members or others provided by Tarrant to assist in a particular caper that could be on the level of a standard FATE Core beginning character.  Which the players could design and based on what they come up with, the actual scenario can then be designed aorund them.




Being a big Marvel Super Heroes fan from way back, this is how I like to think:


Value    Adjective


+13 Cosmic 5 (Class 5000)

+12 Cosmic 3 (Class 3000)

+11 Cosmic 1 (Class 1000)

+10 Legendary Z (Shift Z)

+9  Legendary Y (Shift Y)

+8    Legendary X (Shift X)

+7    Unearthly (Epic)

+6    Monstrous (Fantastic)

+5    Amazing (Superb)

+4    Incredible (Great)

+3    Remarkable (Good)

+2    Excellent (Fair)

+1    Good (Average)

+0    Typical (Mediocre)

-1    Poor

-2    Feeble (Terrible)

-3    Awful 0 (Shift 0)

-4    Abysmal


FASERIP – basic human attributes


Physique is split compared to Core, into a Strength component and an Endurance component, the latter of which should be used for the Stress track.  Reason is native intelligence.


Fighting (Fight)

Agility (Athletics)




Intuition (Notice)

Psyche (Will)




Popularity is a measure of charisma, reputation and public influence. If you like, bad people can have a negative popularity ladder equivalent.  Supervillains, mass murderers, ruthless thugs in The Ball, etc.







Modesty Blaise: Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modesty_Blaise

The Complete Modesty Blaise Dossier – http://www3.sympatico.ca/jim.pattison/modesty/


Agents of S.W.I.N.G. – FATE of Swinging Sixties Superspies and others

Suggesting three red white and blue dice, keeping one spare to save for when you do well. Rather than spin for shifts, you get to keep the spare die as an ace in the hole reroll to use once.

The organisation’s pronounced acronym pointing out that this is a game of superspies in the Swinging Sixties with a UK flavour. With 13 different departments ranging from the unknown to crimefighters, assassins, spook hunters and mad scientist chasing superheroes you could have any flavour of game you wanted, sixties style, from hardboiled crimefighting to paranoid vampire chasing a la Night’s Black Agents.

Updating or regressing the technology involved and the same framework would get you other era gaming pretty happily, if changing the tone a little.

James Bond RPG players should like this game. However, the basic tone of the game sits with The Avengers. Steed and Peel and other UK pop culture types of the era, like the Third Doctor get NPC writeups later in the book. This is extremely well done…game master advice like ‘Plot Stress’ as note for when the players have worked out enough to advance further in the plot. Clever.

Then there are useful vehicle rules and also interesting organisation rules. Tech upgrading and other bits and pieces. How to get help from headquarters and other nice tweaks. The FATE Ladder is given a swinging skin, with ‘Bummer’ and ‘Fab’ as skill ranks. A fun one is that ‘Artillery’ is one of the listed skills, so an expectation that lots of shit will blow up given an explosives section, too. A nice and concise list of useful stunts adds on.

A great one book game that would also be a useful resource for those wanting to plug in this short of spy shenanigans in a game of another genre. Lulu available, too, so Australian affordable unlike quite a few small press games given the uselessness of the US post office these days.

The Agency Character Creation Example with Conversion

The Agency is a roleplaying game of sixties spies and the supernatural. It has baked in Concept description and a shorter, similarish skill list with a few physical and mental skills. You just pick a couple you are particularly good at, being average at the rest. Also consequences levels and Karma points. It would make a great intro RPG for people where James Bond stylish monster hunting appealed. The Avengers meets Hammer Horror.

Want to fight mummies and vampires in The Agency? This would make a good Cryptworld organisation and setting, too, if you wanted to make it a little more complex, gaining the background flavour to go with the crunchier mechanics.

So we’ll go with something a little different:

Jim Grip

Concept : Singaporean plumber
Fashion: Suit or overalls
Mannerisms: Pretentious Scots accent
Props: Ya canna hand a man a grander spanner
Bonus: Vehicle
Flaw: Proud
Motif: Billionaire toilet fixing expert

1 Karma
3 Status

5 Technology
4 Drive

Fate Core

Jim Grip

High Concept : Singaporean plumber Agent
Trouble : Pretentious faux Scots monster basher
Aspect 1 : Ya canna hand a man a grander spanner
Aspect 2 : I really love my versatile car
Aspect 3 : Billionaire loo fixing expert

+4 Crafts
+3 Drive, Contacts
+2 Fight, Physique, Resources
+1 Athletics, Investigate, Lore, Will

PH: 3 MH: 3 Refresh: 3


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

Strike Back

Section 20 is a globetrotting black ops special forces secret am of MI6. Yes, the possibility of needing to save for retirement is about as low as that of the espionage arm otherwise known as Spooks. Their preferred targets are supervillains organising the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction like nerve gas and nuclear weapons. They have a mobile computing, logistics, communication and operations base they call The Crib that they can roll out in enough space anywhere in the world.

New field lead MIchael Stonebridge gained a partner after the execution of Sergeant Porter when 20 recruits his friend out of necessity and they slowly develop an effective fighting and friendly partnership, whoever is in charge.

Need a couple of operators great with the latest military assault weaponry and covert ops? Call Scott and Stonebridge.

Strike Back

Burn Notice

FATE: Burn Notice

Draft 1.0 August 21, 2013 – Blue Tyson


A top level CIA field agent is burned and left to survive in Miami in the middle of a set of complicated layers of plots and schemes and black operations. He starts to uncover what and who is going on while working as a private investigator/troubleshooter to get enough cash for yoghurt, car repairs and beer. Things progress to getting him back in and his friends in and out of a lot of explosive trouble.

Michael Westen

I used to be a spy, until I got Burned
Trigger-happy Ex-Girlfriend
Friend who used to inform on me to the FBI
Family, if you’re desperate
I burned a spy I met along the way
If I worked with them, they probably want to get me killed

+4 Deceive
+3 Crafts, Notice
+2 Burglary, Drive, Fight, Lore, Provoke, Will
+1 Athletics, Contacts, Physique, Rapport, Shoot, Stealth


+2 to come up with out This Is the Only Way It Can Work, quickly
+2 boost usable in investigation planning if there is single serve yoghurt available
+2 to making deals with bad guys to get friends out of trouble or coffins
+2 to making spy tools out of stuff lying around the house as long as it can be narrated in second person

F: Excellent +2
A: Excellent +2
S: Typical +0
E: Good +1
R: Excellent +2
I: Remarkable +3
P: Excellent +2
Po: Good +1
Re: Excellent +2

Fiona Glennane

Explosive Irish exile
Burned spy boyfriend co-dependency
I’ve got Michael’s back

+4 Crafts
+3 Drive, Shoot
+2 Contacts, Lore, Notice, Will
+1 Athletics, Burglary, Deceive, Fight, Provoke, Stealth


+2 to coming up with Improvised Explosive Devices immediately
+2 to sourcing military explosives

F: Good +1
A: Excellent +2
S: Typical +0
E: Excellent +2
R: Good +1
I: Excellent +2
P: Remarkable +2
Po: Poor -1
Re: Excellent +2

Sam Axe

Ex-Navy Seal Ex-FBI informant
Mohito and beer lover
Spies: Just A Bunch of Bitchy Little Girls
Hi, I’m Chuck Finley
I feel naked without a Hawaiian Shirt

+4 Shoot
+3 Fight, Will
+2 Contacts, Investigate, Physique, Shoot
+1 Deceive, Notice, Provoke, Rapport, Stealth


+2 to get background info on adversaries from FBI contacts
+2 boost usable in investigation planning if there is enough beer

F: Remarkable +3
A: Good +1
S: Good +1
E: Remarkable +3
R: Typical +0
I: Excellent +2
P: Remarkable +3
Po: Poor -1
Re: Typical +0

Jesse Porter

Burned counterintelligence expert
Fancies Michael’s ex-girlfriend
I know a guy
Is that the best you can do?
Not the car!

+4 Contacts
+3 Deceive, Notice
+2 Investigate, Lore, Rapport, Physique, Provoke
+1 Burglary, Drive, Fight, Shoot, Stealth, Will

F: Excellent +2
A: Good +1
S: Good +1
E: Excellent +2
R: Good +1
I: Excellent +2
P: Good +1
Po: Typical +0
Re: Good +1

Madeline Westen

Mother, grandmother and volunteer secret agent
I have to look after my grandson
Michael, they need your help!
I need a cigarette
Next time, I’ll shoot you

+3 Empathy
+2 Rapport, Provoke
+1 Deceive, Drive, Notice

F: Poor -1
A: Poor -1
S: Poor -1
E: Good +1
R: Typical +0
I: Excellent +2
P: Excellent +2
Po: Typical +0
Re: Typical +0

Named non-bad guy NPCs

Harris and Lane

FBI agent watchdogs and occasional allies.

Barry Burkowski

Metrosexual money launderer.


The ex-next door drug dealer.

Nate Westen

Dead wastrel brother.


Sam’s sugar mummy.


Get the characters arm-twisted into solving a longer spy thriller for shadowy operatives and Management. During this longer milestone, troubleshoot some smaller, local problem like assisting victim of a fraud ring, drug dealer, criminal corporation, etc. Bad guy High Concepts are given to you onscreen during episodes if you want to borrow some of those. Make the players pressed for time trying to work on two or three plots at once.


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