What do the protagonists bring to the story?
The character of a player can be influenced by what kind of candy heart they have and what their usual occupation or profession is.
A Gingerbread-person heart can be made out of any kind of candy. The kind of candy may have a strong, weak, or neutral impact upon the personality of the character, but players ought to be encouraged to be creative and have fun with this factor in their character’s creation. Examples: a character’s hot cinnamon heart makes her/him bold, daring (by Gingerbread standards, anyway), and perhaps a tad temperamental; a character’s sweet-tart heart makes him/her skeptical, aloof, and possessed of deep emotion that she/he must act upon but is reluctant to openly acknowledge or share; a character’s chocolate heart makes her/him warm and loving and a bit too trusting… etc.
The occupations and professions in Gingerbread Land are rather specific. They do not include anything associated with law – like politician, lawyer, or police officer – because there are no laws. They do not include anything associated with money or finance – like banker, accountant, or insurance adjuster – because there is no money or finance. There are also no disasters or emergencies. Gingerbread injuries are easy to fix with a bit of raw gingerbread and perhaps a touch of royal icing, so long as the candy heart remains intact.
The major industries are fixed categories. They are: gingerbread mining, candy farming, gingerbread and candy refining, confectioning, baking, seltzer formulation, frozen treat making, and gingerbread object fabricating/manufacturing. Characters must belong to one of these major industries OR to a professional position (see below).
Specialist positions may be used to add skill bonuses to industry occupation skills. Categories may include: engineer, mechanic, other types of technician/skilled labor, quality control specialist, logistics specialist, efficiency expert… and the like. These are not fixed categories, though any player-suggested specialist position ought to fit with the major industry they’ve chosen. Specialist positions are not required. They may be added or altered at any time during gameplay according to criteria worked out between the GM and players.
Professional positions that serve the Gingerbread public include: fine artist, performance artist, athlete, journalist, philosopher, scientist, professor, clergy-person, and hospitality/attractions/tourism expert. For purposes of the game, these are fixed categories. Characters must belong to a professional position OR to a major industry (see above).
Specializations may be used to add skill bonuses to non-profession skills. For example, a Scientist profession gives the usual points in E&A (see below), but if the player specifies “Chemist”, then the player might also get a free point in one of the Materials skills and/or a special stunt. Players are free to make up their specializations.
List of Occupations and Professions and Their Associated Skills:
Miners – penchant for prospecting makes them exceptionally good at finding lost or hidden objects. Skill: Prospecting
Farmers – penchant for growing things makes them exceptionally good at attuning to the physical patterns and rhythms of environments. Skill: Scouting
Refiners – penchant for deconstruction makes them exceptionally good at spotting and exploiting weaknesses in objects and systems. Skill: B&E (Breaking and Entering)
Confectioners – penchant for sugar makes them especially good at crafting and handling combustibles. Skill: E&M (Explosives and Munitions)
Bakers – penchant for elemental ingredients makes them especially good at crafting and handling synthetic materials. Skill: M-S (Materials – Solid)
Seltzer Makers – penchant for fluids (liquid and gas) makes them especially good at crafting and handling potions and vapors. Skill: M-F (Materials – Fluid)
Frozen Treat Makers – penchant for thermodynamics makes them especially good at building, maintaining, and repairing engines. Skill: M&P (Mechanics and Power)
Manufacturers – penchant for assembly makes them exceptionally good at fabrication. Skill: Fabrication
Specialists – serve as modifiers of the skills of the above industries. For example, “Miner Engineer” or “Baker Quality Control” each increase or otherwise enhance the skills of Prospecting and M-S, respectively. Skill: +N to relevant occupation skill
Fine Artist – penchant for activities that demand extreme focus makes them exceptionally disciplined and iron-willed. Skill: Gumption
Performing Arts – penchant for the stage makes them exceptionally good at deception and slight of hand. Skill: Subterfuge
Athlete – penchant for physical mastery makes them exceptionally good at acrobatic feats. Skill: Nimbleness
Journalist – penchant for “the truth” makes them exceptionally good at immediately noticing what’s important in a social situation or in a particular person’s behavior. Skill: Intuition
Philosopher – penchant for metaphysics makes them exceptionally good at understanding what disturbs thinking beings the most. Skill: Trickster
Scientist – penchant for solving problems makes them exceptionally good at investigation and deduction. Skill: E&A (Examination and Analysis)
Professor – penchant for finding answers makes them exceptionally good at… finding answers! Skill: L&R (Literature and Research)
Cleric – penchant for uncovering “dirty laundry” makes them exceptionally good at managing gossip. Skill: Scuttlebutt
Hospitality, Attractions, and Tourism – penchant for being the perfect host makes them exceptionally good at building rapport. Skill: Smooth
Specializations – serve as bonuses for professions depending upon the specialization. Skill: +N to non-occupation skill relevant to specialization
All Gingerbread-folk are equal in terms of speed, strength, endurance, and physical fragility. They are not equal in terms of mastery of bodily movement. Many Gingerbread-folk enjoy athletic activities and competition, but it must be sport that emphasizes mastery of movement and it cannot be, for practical reasons, “contact sport”. Use of certain equipment and the application of specific rules does allow them to enjoy sports like fencing, but American-style football is right out!
American-style baseball, as it happens, is quite popular among Gingerbread-folk, as is tennis, badminton, and the like. Special equipment and smaller fields/courts are required in order for Gingerbread-folk to compete with one another in these sports.
Generally, Gingerbread athletes are well-known for their exceptional speed, often besting non-Gingerbread opponents in footraces. Their endurance is limitless, as Gingerbread-folk require no rest, food, or drink. Their strength, however, is extremely low, since the gingerbread that they’re made out of is only so strong.
Therefore, Nimbleness is the main skill of physicality that Gingerbread athletes possess.
If your Gingerbread person is an Athlete by profession, Nimbleness will be their top skill. Even if this isn’t your character’s top skill, though, have fun specifying which sporting activity they’ve engaged in to give them a high athletic skill.
Can’t Catch Me – move two zones for free in a conflict without a second roll, providing there are no situational aspects restricting movement.
Volatile Volley – if you succeed with style against an enemy projectile, you automatically bat the projectile back to the enemy, inflicting damage.
Hey! Over here! – +2 to Nimbleness when using the skill to provide a distraction as part of a larger plan in which all other PCs are participating.
B&E (Breaking and Entering)
Crime is all but nonexistent in Gingerbread Land, but desperate times call for desperate measures!
Gingerbread-folk being “makers” by nature, they’re normally quite good at figuring out how things work, which includes spotting vulnerabilities in security measures, whether tactical, mechanical, or electrical. B&E is a skill of infiltration and espionage. It really is mostly about breaking things – breaking in, breaking out, breaking through, breaking down, breaking up, breaking code – usually with the aim of stealing something, creating a tactical advantage for allies, or eliminating an enemy’s tactical advantage.
B&E is the top skill of the Refiner occupation.
Shoulder Angel -- +1 to B&E if skill is used to help another player find a non-lethal solution in a Combat situation.
Logistics Specialist – if Logistics Specialist of Refiner occupation, you don’t have to be present to provide active opposition to someone trying to overcome a security measure that you’ve put in place.
Shop Talk – use B&E instead of Scuttlebutt whenever interacting with other B&E-type individuals.
Gingerbread-folk tend toward the extremely amiable, as a rule. But some are especially gifted in getting others to tell them what the word is around town. A Gingerbread person with this skill is good at collecting and spreading gossip.
Of course, gossip isn’t the same as truth. This skill mostly allows its wielder to learn what the reputation of a given character is, or what the beliefs and prejudices are among the members of a particular population, or to alter the reputation of a given character, or promote certain beliefs and prejudices among a particular population. Facts may or may not be involved in any of it. Sometimes, perception is everything.
Scuttlebutt is the top skill of Cleric professions.
Hand on the Pulse – use Scuttlebutt rather than Intuition in Combat situations.
Well I heard… -- +2 to create an advantage when sowing false information.
Truth or Consequences – use Scuttlebutt rather than Trickster to create an advantage based upon gossip you’ve spread about your party’s reputation.
M&P (Mechanics and Power)
The Gingerbread-folk who live in the mountains just below the Obsidian Keep invented the refrigeration process that allowed them to spread their other important invention, frozen treats, to the rest of Gingerbread Land and to the entire continent. From this knowledge, the mountain-folk innovated machine and energy technology more generally. Under their influence, all Gingerbread-folk involved in frozen treat manufacture know a thing or two about mechanics and power, called M&P for short.
A Gingerbread person with this skill can construct, deconstruct, improvise, improve, repair, maintain, and operate virtually any kind of machine, including engines and other power-producing devices. This skill can be used to help allies or sabotage enemies.
M&P is the main skill for the Frozen Treat Maker occupation.
Where were you keeping that? – not required to spend a fate point to declare that you have the proper tools for a particular job using M&P, even in situations where the narrative has supposedly separated you from your stuff.
And a cherry on top – succeeding with style using M&P to repair a machine automatically gives it a new aspect, reflecting an improvement you made while you fixed it.
Stay on target – when using M&P in a conflict involving machinery, attacks on whole-zones automatically ignore non-targets without having to divide your roll between multiple targets.
Gingerbread-folk are typically honest to a fault. A few Gingerbread Land expats exhibit a problematic relationship with the truth, but in Gingerbread Land proper one can nearly always count on trustworthy dealings from everyone.
That said, Gingerbread-folk in the Performing Arts occupation are incredibly skilled in deception, disguise, misdirection, and creating cover-stories on the fly. While most of Gingerbread performers are only interested in using these abilities to entertain, educate, and enlighten, some can be persuaded to use them against the enemies of Gingerbread Land.
Obviously, Subterfuge is the top skill of every Performing Arts profession.
Encore performance -- +2 to create a Subterfuge advantage against someone who has believed one of your deceptions already in this session.
The Mentalist – use Subterfuge rather than Trickster to make mental attacks, but a clever lie must be part of the attack.
I sat behind you in shop class – use Subterfuge rather than Smooth to tell a complete stranger you’ve met them before. Create a situation aspect for your cover story.
E&M (Explosives and Munitions)
Under ordinary circumstances, Gingerbread-folk find no real need to create an accelerated release of heat and force. Compressed gingerbread produces an indefinite amount of slow-release energy that serves every purpose a Gingerbread person might imagine, from portable fuel cells to industrial-grade refinery furnaces. But in these times of dire threat, some believe that the skills of certain Gingerbread-folk need to be put to more devastating use.
Confectioners have found ways to weaponize the energy in raw sugar, knowledge that can be used with materials that exist outside of Gingerbread Land. With the right tools and ingredients, they can construct shrapnel grenades, trigger bombs, time bombs, bullets, mortar shells, and the like.
E&M is the chief skill, therefore, of the Confectioners occupation.
Liquid courage – use E&M to produce fuel for a machine. Takes two actions.
Fire marshal – if an attack using a device made with E&M succeeds with style, automatically learn how to make any enemy explosives, fuels, or munitions used in the conflict.
Surprise! – use E&M to produce booby-traps. +2 to E&M if non-lethal.
M-S (Materials – Solid)
Gingerbread culture has evolved over time, leading to specific divisions of labor and specialty. One group of Gingerbread-folk find and retrieve raw materials. Another group transforms those materials into usable components. And yet another group brings those components together to make a novel and complex object. Each step in the process has unique challenges and methods.
The M-S skill allows a PC to craft solid raw materials into virtually any component object. Plant fiber can be made into rope. Metal ore can be made into vehicle panels or engine blocks. An M-S craftsperson can make rubber for rubber bullets, gears for timing mechanisms, various armor components, blades, gun components, etc.
M-S is the highest skill for the Baker occupation.
Forge on hand – no fate point expenditure is required to declare that you have the proper amount of gingerbread on hand to power a forge adequate for metal crafting, regardless of the project.
Tool or die -- +2 to M-S when crafting a replacement for a part that’s been damaged in combat.
Within tolerance – succeeding with style when using M-S makes a component +2 to any single attribute of the object the component is placed in.
Combat isn’t really in the wheelhouse of the average Gingerbread person. Also, without some very special equipment, close-quarters combat is not likely to work out well for a combatant made of gingerbread.
Nevertheless, Gingerbread-folk are very good planners and problem-solvers, and these abilities can be adapted to achieve success in circumstances of bodily conflict.
If a Gingerbread person is properly armed and armored, said person may, actually, gain some proficiency in melee attack. Even so, it’s understandable that Gingerbread-folk might prefer ranged attacks, traps, bombs, and the like.
Combat is not the top skill of any Occupation or Profession and, therefore, won’t be the top skill of any Gingerbread person. This doesn’t prevent a PC from having a Combat stunt among their initial stunts.
Bootlegger – when facing a disarming situation aspect, spend a fate point to declare that you have a backup weapon. Instead of a situation aspect, your opponent gets a boost, representing the momentary distraction you suffer having to switch.
A little more to the left -- once per conflict, stack an additional free invoke on an advantage you’ve created to represent the time you take to aim or line up a ranged attack.
Preemptive strike – you can use Combat instead of Intuition to determine turn order if you encounter a situation where “shooting first” seems like a good idea.
E&A (Examination and Analysis)
Gingerbread-folk love Examination and Analysis, as it’s often the first step in starting a successful project. E&A can be used to investigate any and all situations, objects, NPCs, and the like. E&A isn’t, however, the skill to use against Subterfuge in an immediate situation. The skill to use for “situational awareness” is Intuition (see below). E&A is a more careful and in-depth investigation.
E&A is the top skill for the Scientist profession.
The devil’s-food is in the details -- you can use E&A instead of Intuition to defend against Subterfuge attempts. What others discover through gut reactions and intuition, you learn through careful observation of micro-expressions.
Dropping Eves -- on a successful E&A roll to create an advantage by eavesdropping on a conversation, you can discover or create one additional aspect (though this doesn’t give you an extra free invocation).
Sherlock Scones -- once per scene you can spend a fate point (and a few minutes of observation) to make a special E&A roll representing your potent deductive faculties. For each shift you make on this roll (that is, for each point you succeeded by… for example, if your roll succeeded by two points, that’s two shifts) you discover or create an aspect, on either the scene or the target of your observations, though you may only invoke one of them for free.
L&R (Literature and Research)
Gingerbread-folk maintain great respect for “the literature” and oft make reference to it when forwarding an argument or forming a plan. Some have developed considerable skill in gleaning information from poring over it. One skilled in L&R is very knowledgeable and knows how to use reference material or other information tools to gain more knowledge.
The L&R skill belongs to the Professor professions.
Not just cook books -- you’ve read countless books on a wide variety of topics. You can spend a fate point to use L&R in place of any other skill for one roll or exchange, provided you can justify having read about the action you’re attempting.
Knowledge is power -- you can use L&R as a defense against Trickster attempts, provided you can justify your ability to overcome your fear through rational thought and reason.
Chemistry specialization -- +2 on any L&R roll that pertains to knowledge in chemistry.
Gingerbread-folk have a good intuition for how systems work. Some are particularly good at receiving insight “at a glance” and quickly “getting the lay of the land” when they enter a social situation. These same Gingerbread-folk are quite good at spotting Subterfuge and emotional and psychological distress in others.
Intuition can help a Gingerbread person spot escape routes, bottle necks, possible tails, guard/sniper locations, and “trouble” in general.
Those skilled in Intuition are also good at gathering information through interview.
Intuition rolls can be used to establish the order of action among PCs.
Intuition is the main skill of the Journalist profession.
It sorta tingles – you have an almost preternatural capacity for detecting danger. Your Intuition skill works unimpeded by conditions like total concealment, darkness, or other sensory impairments in situations where someone or something intends to harm you.
I didn’t come out of the oven yesterday – +2 to all Intuition rolls made to discern or discover lies, whether they’re directed at you or someone else.
Smells like trouble – +1 to Intuition when scanning an enclosed space for suspicious characters.
M-F (Materials – Fluid)
The M-F skill allows a PC to craft liquid and gaseous substances for practical use. This skill is useful to making grenades that employ gas or liquid to stop enemies, to building rocket-propelled grenades powered by compressed liquid or gas, to formulating helpful potions and tonics for certain allies, to brewing toxins for slipping into drinks, etc.
M-F is the highest skill for the Seltzer Makers occupation.
Sequestered carbon – no fate point expenditure is required to declare that you have the proper amount of CO2 gas on hand adequate for crafting, regardless of the project.
Shake it up first -- +2 to M-F when crafting a grenade to replace one that failed in combat.
I’ll bet I know how they did that – succeeding with style when using M-F in combat automatically grants knowledge of any M-F items used by the enemy in that combat session.
Ornery people are everywhere. Gingerbread Land is no exception. Gingerbread-folk with the Trickster skill are expert at getting a person’s ire up. Fear, anger, shame… no button is safe against getting pushed.
The Trickster isn’t merely a griever. She-or-he always has a reason to provoke another, whether it’s to overcome an obstacle, create an advantage, or wage a psychological attack.
Trickster is the primary skill of the Philosopher profession.
SWEAR TO ME! – you can use Trickster to defend against Combat attacks, but only until the first time you’re dealt stress in a conflict. You can make your opponents hesitate to attack, but when someone shows them that you’re only gingerbread your advantage disappears.
What are YOU looking at? – when you create an advantage on an opponent using Trickster, you can use your free invocation to become the target of that character’s next relevant action, drawing their attention away from another target.
Your mother was a ham sandwich and your father smelt of crunch berries! – you can use Trickster in place of Intuition to learn a target’s aspects, by bullying them until they reveal one to you. The target defends against this with Gumption.
Gingerbread-folk know all about smooth. Smooth caramel. Smooth chocolate. Smooth jazz.
A few Gingerbread people even have a skill called Smooth that makes them trustworthy, persuasive, and overall attractive to others. These Gingerbread-folk typically own inns, taverns, restaurants, clubs, hotels, attractions, and the like for Gingerbread Land visitors to enjoy.
Thus, Smooth is the main skill of anyone whose profession is in Hospitality, Attractions, and Tourism.
One chance to make a good first impression – once per session, you may upgrade a boost you receive with Smooth into a full situation aspect with a free invocation.
Charisma is the secret ingredient – +2 to Smooth when you’re delivering an inspiring speech in front of a crowd.
So easy to talk to – if you’re in an area where you’re popular and well-liked, you can use Smooth in place of Scuttlebutt. You may be able to establish your popularity by spending a fate point to declare a story detail, or because of prior justification.
The entire “making culture” of Gingerbread Land is based upon the practice of gingerbread mining. In Gingerbread Land, the ground is made of gingerbread. One would have to dig miles down into it before she-or-he would hit bedrock-candy. But nobody will ever have to dig that far, because, over the course of a year or so, cavities made in the gingerbread ground by gingerbread miners are filled in by the gingerbread replenishing itself.
Very few things in Gingerbread Land are not at least partially made from gingerbread. Compressed gingerbread can be used to generate heat, and thus power. So gingerbread mining quite literally drives Gingerbread society.
But miners in Gingerbread Land don’t have a nose only for gingerbread. They can find and acquire anything. Like living dowsing rods, they can locate any metal or mineral, any water source, and even lost or hidden items. And they can figure out the best way to extract or otherwise secure the resource they’ve located (from the natural world, not from, say, a vault or otherwise guarded location).
Miners can do these things because they’re advanced in the skill of Prospecting.
Financial resources aren’t required in Gingerbread Land, but outside Gingerbread Land, when such resources are needed, a Prospecting expert in your party can very likely find and acquire them for you. A PC with Smooth can use such resources to impress locals, grease palms, etc.
Gingerbread-folk with the Prospecting skill are also especially good at salvaging valuable materials from wrecks and ruins.
Obviously, Prospecting is the primary skill of the Mining occupation.
This Gingerbread is RICH – succeeding with style in Prospecting automatically gives you a +2 that you may impart to any player at any time to assist them in a Smooth or Scuttlebutt action IF putting money or wealth behind the action can be justified (narratively speaking).
Found it! – Prospecting can replace M-S or M-F if the desired material can be found “in nature” (such as certain fuels) or salvaged from the wrecks or ruins in the vicinity.
Hitting the mother loaf – once per session, you may take a boost representing a windfall or influx of a chosen resource.
Miners, Farmers, Refiners, Confectioners, and the like… they can all give you the parts, but somebody has to put it all together. This, of course, is where the Gingerbread-folk with Fabrication skill come in.
The Fabrication skill allows a PC to build literally anything so long as all of the component parts are present. Component parts can come from the PCs inventory, from the actions of other PCs, or from the immediate environment. The better a PCs roll with Fabrication, the better the fabricated item will be.
Fabrication is the chief skill of the Manufacturing occupation.
Back door -- during a Fabrication action, spend a fate point and declare a specification you want to give the item you’re making that will allow it to still be used by you even if it falls into enemy hands. (Examples: remote self-destruct, remote gas bomb, hidden listening device, hidden tracker, etc.) If you succeed, create a situation aspect upon that enemy that reflects your use of the captured gear as you’ve specified.
Where have I seen this before? – you can use Fabrication instead of Intuition if an object in a scene gives you a notion of something going on in the scene that wouldn’t be apparent to a non-fabricator.
Can’t rush perfection -- once per conflict, stack an additional free invoke on an advantage you’ve created to represent the time you take to fabricate an object that’s more potent for the extra time you’ve spent on it.
Candy farming, it turns out, equips a person for many things. It certainly acclimates one to the moods and rhythms of nature. So, it’s not surprising to find that farmers, when given the chance, are remarkable in the skills of tracking, stealth, and gathering information on the down low.
Indeed, candy farmers make excellent scouts, spotters, and spies. They can tell you where an enemy has gone, track the enemy, then infiltrate the enemy camp and learn quite a bit before leaving undetected. If they know what to look for, they can even travel ahead of the party and tell PCs skilled in, say, Prospector what areas would be good to search in for a given resource.
They’re also good at sneaking past guards and at finding safe hiding spots.
Scouting is the main skill for the Farmer occupation.
Look! A Gingerbread person! – +2 to any Scouting roll where the strategy is for the only Gingerbread person in the place to hide in plain sight.
Ginger poof – once per scene, you can vanish while in plain sight by spending a fate point, using a smoke pellet or other mysterious technique.
Made you look! – provided you’re in darkness or shadow, you can use Scouting to defend against Combat attacks from enemies that are at least one zone away.
Gingerbread people are typically real “go-getters”. They know their own minds and they are NOT easy to distract from their plans and objectives.
In fact, by-and-large, Gingerbread folk are a skeptical lot. They’ll take some things as “given” if they must, but if a claim is subject to test or other form of proof, they’ll insist upon seeing evidence before fully believing. Meaning, they might not dismiss a claim outright – they might even retain a grain of faith in the validity of a compelling-but-untested hypothesis – but they won’t allow their plans to be unduly influenced by testable claims that have yet to be proven.
Which is to say that a Gingerbread person’s focus, incredulity, willpower, and overall determination are wrapped up in their more general characteristic of Gumption.
The more Gumption a Gingerbread person has, the less likely they’ll fall for deception or provocation and the more likely they’ll figure out a tricky problem. If a person isn’t skilled in B&E, a good helping of Gumption might help them crack a code anyway. If a person isn’t skilled at Fabrication, some good ‘ol fashioned Gingerbread stick-to-itiveness might do the trick. There’s no real way of telling until the Gingerbread person tries.
Gingerbread-folk high in the Gumption skill can focus easily and strongly upon things, if that’s called for.
Gumption is the main skill exhibited by the Fine Artist, a Gingerbread person who can paint, sculpt, or build amazing works thanks to intense feats of imagination, concentration, and self-discipline.
Neapolitan Dynamite – use Gumption instead of Nimbleness on any overcome rolls representing feats of agility.
It’s only a flesh wound – you can choose to ignore a mild or moderate consequence for the duration of the scene. It can’t be compelled against you or invoked by your enemies. At the end of the scene it comes back worse, though; if it was a mild consequence it becomes a moderate consequence, and if it was already moderate, it becomes severe.
I’m rubber, you’re glue – +2 to defend against Trickster attacks specifically related to intimidation and fear.
Overcome Create an Advantage Attack Defend
Nimbleness X X X
B&E X X
Scuttlebutt X X X
M&P X X
Subterfuge X X X
E&M X X X X
M-S X X X
Combat X X X X
E&A X X
L&R X X
Intuition X X X
M-F X X X
Trickster X X X
Smooth X X X
Prospecting X X
Fabrication X X
Scouting X X
Gumption X X X