Statting Out Chuck: Seasons 1 & 2

Chuck is on Netflix. The premise is simple:  smart but undermotivated nice guy Chuck is accidentally imprinted with the Intersect, the only copy of a government database of secret intelligence and threat analysis. He quickly finds himself trying to live a “normal” life while fighting terrorists in secret - and matched with a beautiful and deadly CIA operative as his “cover” girlfriend. It’s basically Buffy with spies.

It’s also an ideal fit for Fate. This is a show where being a nice guy is at least as important as being a trained assassin, and where a character’s role in his sister’s wedding is as big a deal as a robotic drone strike. So without further ado, I present:

Chuck Bartowski
”So in this plan, I basically do nothing?”
”Yup.”
”Let’s do this.”

High Concept: Human Intersect and Government Asset
Trouble: I Just Want A Real Life And My Family Safe
I Trust Sarah
“Chuck Will Come Through For Us”
Chuck Bartowski vs. Charles Carmichael

Skills
+4 Rapport
+3 Will, Crafts
+2 Notice, Empathy, Lore
+1 Investigate, Contacts, Provoke, Stealth

Stunts
Buymore Product Line: Any time he could reasonably claim familiarity with a computer or security system from his work at the Buymore, Chuck can use Crafts in place of Burglary to Overcome it.

Head Nerdherder: Chuck is a legit computer genius, and gets +2 when using Crafts or Lore specifically to hack or reprogram computers.

Don’t Shoot Anybody!: By making a Rapport roll during a conflict (contested by Empathy), Chuck can feign a Concession. This functions as Create Advantage, but the Aspect created has a big “but” built into it: “Surrounded, but I Have The Chip,” for example, or “I’m Unarmed (but Casey Isn’t).” Opponents can only see the first part of the Aspect without further rolls, and the free tags go to Chuck and his team.

Here’s The Truth: When Chuck or one of his team is literally under the gun, he can use Rapport instead of Deceive to Overcome with a convincing, heart-felt lie.

I’m OK!: Chuck can ALWAYS choose to Succeed At A Cost when making a Stealth or Athletics roll. He often ends up hiding behind furniture, falling to safety, getting captured instead of killed, etc.

Refresh: 1

Notes: 
Chuck is the Intersect - making him the government’s most valuable asset.  Protected by the lovely Sarah (CIA, and cover grilfriend) and the deadly Casey (NSA), he tries to work a low-rent tech support at the while being a hero.

Chuck is a guy who could use a lot extra Apects: his best friend Morgan, his sister, his job at the Buymore, his missing parents, his nemesis Bryce Larkin… the list pretty much never ends. His trouble should cover most of these. This is also why he has such a low refresh rate - he has to earn his fate points each episode.

“Chuck Bartowski vs Charles Carmichael” should cover the rest: it illustrates the split between the successful spy (or tech guru) Chuck could be and his slacker, day-to-day existence.

Chuck’s defining ability, the Intersect, allows him to recognize secret agents, weapons, and miscellaneous info when he runs across them. This works best as a simple Aspect in seasons 1 & 2: he can Invoke it to “flash” and produce some meaningful intelligence, or it can be Compelled when an untimely flash betrays him to an enemy agent. 

Chuck’s other main pivot is his crush on, then deep loyalty to, his CIA handler Sarah. 

Sarah Walker, CIA
”What makes you special is that you're not like every other spy. You're a good guy and you want to help people. Leave the deception to me.”

High Concept: The CIA’s Top Spy
Trouble: I Can’t Even Tell You My Real Name
I Will Protect Chuck No Matter What
Beautiful and Deadly
Secret Romantic

Skills
+4 Athletics
+3 Fight, Burglary
+2 Shoot, Deceive, Notice
+1 Stealth, Will, Contacts, Rapport

Stunts
Undressed Without My Knives: Sarah gets +2 to Attack with a throwing knife in the same Zone.

My Cover Identity Is Up Here, Mister: Sarah get’s +2 when she uses Deceive to create a disguise that relies partly on sex appeal.

Violent Poetry In Motion: Sarah is an agile combatant, and relies heavily on acrobatic moves. As such, any time she uses Fight to Attack, she can split off up to 4 shifts to use as an Athletics Overcome or Create Advantage action. She can spend the shifts after she makes her roll - so a +6 result could let her cross 2 zones and attack with a +4, for example.

Spycraft: Once per scene, Sarah can use her Burglary skill to Create an Advantage related directly to spy work: “Shake My Shadow,” “Backup On The Way,” “Sniper’s Nest,” etc. 

No Guns!: Sarah acts first in any exchange where she chooses to disarm someone with Create Advantage.

Refresh: 1

Notes: 
Sarah (not her real name) is pretty much Chuck’s opposite -  she has spent her entire life as a covert operative. A normal life, family, and friends, is pretty much a fantasy for her, something she is - almost - resigned to going without. Until she meets Chuck.

Sarah Walker is the kind of omni-competent character who is difficult to stat out: she can pick a lock, shoot a gun, kick her way through a mob of mooks, drive like a maniac, and out-charm and out-lie anyone. Still, functionally she ends up outgunned or pinned down quite a bit, and only gets behind the wheel once or twice, so those skills get shorted in my build.

Sarah could easily be the protagonist of the show, torn between love and duty and fighting her own tragic past. Her professionalism (and the show's structure) keeps her story arc in the background, but it absolutely informs her actions - meaning it’s ripe fodder for Invokes and Compels.

John Casey, NSA

”You shoot him, I shoot you, I leave both your bodies here and go out for a late night snack. I'm thinking maybe pancakes.”

High Concept: Old-Fashioned All-American Killer
Trouble: Still Fighting The Cold War
I Have My Orders
Unleash the Casey
“Feelings Are A Distraction From The Mission”

Skills
+4 Shoot
+3 Provoke, Fight
+2 Notice, Physique, Athletics
+1 Stealth, Burglary, Will, Deceive

Stunts
Sniper: Any time Casey Creates an Advantage around getting into position or aiming, he gets an extra free tag on the resulting Aspect. He can stack this with any other free invokes. 

Not Down For Long: Casey gets a free tag on his own Consequences when they are first inflicted.

On The Spot: By spending a fate point, Casey can arrive in any scene as long as it’s remotely plausible.

A Grunt is Worth A Thousand Words:  When being intimidating, Casey NEVER needs justification to Attach with Provoke. He can do it tied to a chair, or even when disguised as a “friendly” appliance salesman. 

refresh: 2
 
Notes:
John Casey is the hard-nosed special-forces patriot, more than willing to kill or die for his country. He has virtually zero patience for emotional growth and romantic subplots, but respects bravery and integrity, especially when it surprises him.

Arguably, John Casey is the simplest of the three protagonists: a brick house in a fight, a lethal sniper, totally unafraid of shedding blood, and generally unmoved by psychodrama. His trouble reflects both his black-and-white worldview and his long history with both friendly and enemy agents. 

This build is designed to let him play the cavalry: he’s lethal from a distance, hard to take out, and there when Chuck or Sarah need him. Or even when they don’t.


[edited: introducing Morgan!]

Morgan Grimes
”Chuck, I know what a third wheel is. I know it's me. Give, give me a chance here, man. Let, let me be a fourth wheel. For once. Or maybe I can be any other even number.”

High Concept: Loyal Best Friend and Third Wheel
Trouble: Relegated To The B Plot
The Beard Hides Many Secrets
A Major in Chuck With A Strong Minor In Ellie
Viva Buymoria!


Skills
+4 Contacts
+3 Notice, Empathy
+2 Rapport, Crafts, Will
+1 Burglary, Lore, Investigate, Drive 

Stunts
This Is Buymore: Morgan’s world is the Buymore. He can Create Advantages in and around it, usually with Contacts, even if he is not actually present in a scene.

What Did I Miss?: In a physical conflict, NPC’s cannot refuse a concession Morgan offers. PCs must pay a fate point in order to refuse a concession from him. This usually takes the form of “knocked out by the first kick without actually seeing anything.”

I See What’s Going On Here: Morgan gets +2 to Empathy to Create an Advantage - as long as he is not being Attacked or otherwise targeted in the exchange. He’s fine at noticing social currents around him, but blind to how they affect him.

Refresh: 3

Notes:
Morgan Grimes: best friend for life, and bearded savant of all things Chuck. He’s the king of the slackers and the anchor around Chuck’s neck - but he’s persistent and loyal, and invariably comes into his own when he steps out of Chuck’s shadow.

Poor Morgan: the loyal best friend who is always there for Chuck, even when Chuck’s not around. In a real game, he would be an NPC for most of the campaign - until somebody’s cousin joins the game and needs a character. 

Regardless, he always seems to come out - if not on top, at least not on the bottom. He’s destined for great things, Morgan. This particular build is not necessarily reflective of Morgan’s actual skillset in the show - he doesn’t have one - as it is of the role he plays: he is the person Chuck must work hardest to keep alive and in the dark.
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