Nathan Jessup

Byron V.O.'s male Terran space marine for Gene D.'s FATE 3e "Vortex" telecom space opera


Character: “Lt. Nathan A.T. Jessup”
Role-player: Byron V.O.
Campaign: Gene D.’s " Vortex " space opera, using Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3e Starblazer Adventures / Mindjammer, Bulldogs, and Limitless Horizons

  • Date created: 7 January 2012/“18 May 2195 A.D./C.E. or 1 Terran Galactic Era
  • Date revised: 17 September 2013/“21 September 2195 A.D./C.E. or 1 T.G.E.”)

Species: male Terran human

  • Description: age 26, of Scotch-Irish descent; 6 ft. 4 in., 250 lbs., red hair, green eyes, lots of freckles; 121 IQ

Homeworld: Earth/Terra/Sol 3, North America

Aspects (7):

  1. High concept: Boo-yah! space marine (educated at Olympus Mons War College, a long distance from former U.S.A. Naval Academy, Earth)
  2. Foible: Loves the pretty girls
  3. Starting out: “Take the damn hill!” (squad leader)
  4. Sidetracked: “Why don’t you take those bars off….” (disregard for authority)
  5. Guest star: “She was the best pit fighter ever, maybe we should recruit her.” (“Jasmine” [Sara F.])
  6. Motivation: “I want my f*&^%$ stripes back!” (regain honor; was busted from master sergeant on Mars)
  7. Adventuring: “You messed with the wrong marine” (fearless, likes to mix it up)
  8. Commission: Lieutenant, fighter pilot in the Union of Solar Nations (U.S.N.) space navy (ready to learn)

Skills (40 points total):

  • Apex, Superb (1 at +5; should be unique to the party):
    • Endurance (physical) — stamina, a marine’s marine
  • Great (2 at +4):
    • Pilot (mundane) — aerospace, Terran fighter craft
    • Weapons (combat) — hand-to-hand (Surma stick fighting), +5 to hit with sticks
  • Good (3 at +3):
    • Athletics (physical) — acrobatics, agility, sports; ran 10 miles every morning, then the workout begins — +2 Defense on full defense action
    • Guns (combat) — includes energy weapons, slug throwers; rail guns are favorite firearms
    • Leadership (social) — includes bureaucracy, oratory, tactics; military training
  • Fair (5 at +2):
    • Academics — geology, mining (specialization in asteroids +3, gold and rare earth metals)
    • Engineer — includes demolitions, weaponry
    • Intimidation (social) — interrogation; was a drill sergeant for basic training at Fort Olympus Mons
    • Might — strong as an ox
    • Survival (mundane) — includes Animal Handler, EVA, Medic; by terrain type; special forces officer
  • Average (6 at +1):
    • Academics — military history
    • Alertness (perception) — mostly passive, +1 on initiative, vs. surprise, see Investigation
    • Drive (mundane) — surface, tracked vehicles
    • Mysteries (knowledge) — includes psionics and some alien technology
    • Resolve (social) — similar to D20 willpower; military conditioning
    • Ship Systems (craft) — includes communications, scanning, life support, electronic countermeasures; grants ships an extra stunt/gear
    • Starship Engineering — Transit (faster-than-light, FTL)

To get: Contacting, Fists (martial arts), Starship Gunner

Stunts: See skills

  • Demolitions: (Weapons) Expert with explosives
  • Flying Ace (Pilot) May use Pilot skill rather than Gunner to attack during a dogfight, similar to someone on foot using Athletics for defense and Guns for offense.
  • Martial Artist: (Weapons/Fists) Master of five styles: boxing; Krav Maga; Zen Do Kai; Vovinam; Surma stick fighting; gain +1 when studying opponent, +2 if known style
  • Military Access: (Leadership) Access to restricted gear
  • Now You’ve Made Me Mad: (Intimidation) Use the value of a wound as bonus to action against someone
  • One Hit to the Body: (Might) Physical conditioning -1 to stress/consequences
  • Ricochet: Use thunder and lightning ( +2/ +2 stress damage; Weapons)
  • Scary: The character can use his Intimidation skill rather than Resolve to resist intimidation attempts
  • Thick-Skinned: (Endurance) +1 physical stress, to top capacity of 9

Refresh: 4 Fate points total (minus stunts)


  • Health: 7 (includes Endurance, Thick-Skinned)
  • Composure: 5
  • Consequences: Mild (-2) to Moderate (-4), Severe (-6), and Extreme (-8)


  • Camping/survival gear — backpack, bedroll, first aid kit, flares, flashlight, grapnel/pitons, inflatable raft, rope, solar generator, rations, tent, utility belt/harness, water purifiers/bottles
  • Clothing, uniforms — camouflage, dress (including N.A.A.M.C. master sergeant medals), field, shipboard duty
  • Communications bracer, with transponder and universal translator
  • Space/vacc suit, armored (-3 to Stealth, -3 stress/consequences), includes helmet, communications gear

Weapons (bonuses are to attack and damage):

  • Primary weapon: “Thunder and lightning” — Titanium half-inch rods, 18-in. long (for stick fighting), Shok sticks
  • Baton, stun +1
  • Dagger, ancient Chinese (replica, from Vatican horde)
  • Explosives, Cn4 plastic, with detonators/timers (x10) +5
  • Grenades — concussion/explosive, flash, fragmentary, smoke (x3 each) +4
  • Knife, survival +1
  • Knuckle dusters, gold-plated, titanium +1
  • Machete, vibro +3
  • Pistol, slugthrower +3
  • Rifle, laser +4

Ship roles: Marine, security vs. boarding parties on the Blackbird


Background: Insert personal history.

Influences: Capt. James T. Kirk, original Star Trek, Lt. Worf from Star Trek: the Next Generation, Teal’c from Stargate SG1, Jayne from Firefly/Serenity, Tayla (fighting sticks) and Ronon from Stargate Atlantis

Space marines in “Vortex: Each continent and regional state of Earth in “Vortex” participates in the military of the Union of Solar Nations (U.S.N.; formerly the United Earth Authority). The North American Aerospace Marine Corps (see Aliens, Space: Above and Beyond, and Starship Troopers) is Denver’s contribution. It follows the traditions of the U.K. Royal Marines and the U.S. Marine Corps and is a branch devoted to “boundary movement” between sea, land, air, and space. Capital ships in the Terran space navy usually have a contingent of marines for boarding and landing actions.

Space marines are highly trained, motivated, and equipped but are often looked down by members of the other military branches as dumb, suicidal “jarheads.” There’s of course some truth to the stereotype, but like U.S. Navy Seals, Army Rangers, or other special forces, marines go ahead of regular troops devoted to holding, not taking, territory.

Many personnel in the relatively small U.S.N. Army are of East Asian and Martian descent, while U.S.N. naval officers tend to be from Latin America and the Asteroid Belt. Air Force pilots are drawn from Europe, Oceania (including undersea colonies), the Lunar Free State, and the L-5 orbital cities. The Venusian Finance Union contributes materiel and logistics.

Interplanetary Patrol officers (think U.S. Marshals in the Old West) are drawn from across Earth’s teeming megalopoli and the scattered colonies of the outer Sol system. Because of relatively recent tensions with the Mars Confederacy and Jovian Commonwealth, those two entities are less well-represented in the U.S.N. armed forces.

At the time of open and official First Contact between the Sol system and interstellar societies, the U.S.N. military has been quietly preparing. Once trade is opened with the Ru’ulok trade guilds and Olvar Star League, the Aerospace Marines are among the first to benefit from advances in propulsion, weapons, and other technologies. Noteworthy bases include Fort Olympus Mons on Mars, shipyards in the Asteroid Belt, Camp Alpha near Alpha Centauri, and Base 12 at Wolf 359.

After the crews of the Blackbird, Appomattox, and Gryphon warn authorities about the threat posed by the Zurmiz Krott/Harbingers of the Righteous Order of Submission (and their cannibalistic madness-inducing nanites), the Marine Corps prepares for combat against the biomechanical probes of the approaching Zarkonian Armada….


  • Anna Morales — female Terran human, Union of Solar Nations signal officer from the Manitou, assigned to the Ilokar battlee group; communications expert; girlfriend (see images of Kate del Castillo)

FATE 3e “Vortex” space opera Player Characters

Crew of the experimental scout ship Blackbird:

  • Lt. Sebastian Growlick” [Bruce K., secondary ]-male Felinoid “Synth” (“Uplifted” lion), elite soldier and acting commander of the refitted Blackbird
  • Tela” [Sara F., secondary ]-female Tharian (gargoyle-like alien), escapee from the Encegulans (slug-like slavers), fond of humans; engineer with boyfriend Kedar
  • Tariq Asrad Saladin” [Beruk A., secondary ]-male Terran “near-human” (mutant) wanderer with a past, investigator
  • Lord Wallace Tubbington” [Josh C., secondary ]-male Olvar (arboreal, mammal-like alien) swashbuckler and diplomat for the Kharvamid Alliance
  • Brun” [Geoff C., secondary ]-male Martian Ursoid “Synth” (“Uplifted” bear), former wrestler, pilot
  • Sgt. Nathan A. Jessup” [Byron V.O., secondary ]-male Terran human, gung-ho member of the North American Aerospace Marine Corps
  • Enkidu Aristheon” [Dexter V.H., secondary ]-male Seranen (pale empathic humanoid alien) exile, wilderness survival expert curious about Terrans and the Zarkonian threat; with sphinx-like companion Glaucon

Crew of the yacht Pina Colada:

  • Cmdr. Jasmine” [Sara F., primary ]-female Martian Felinoid “Synth” (“Uplifted” tiger), former pit fighter and crewmember of the Appomattox, now captain of the Pina Colada searching for a homeworld for her people
  • Hector Chavez” [Beruk A., primary ]-male Terran human, former spy and crewmember on the Appomattox, cautious engineer and communications expert
  • Chris McKee /Agent Prometheus” [Josh C., primary ]-male Terran human, former assassin for the eugenicists at Black Box Security Co., sniper and seeker aboard the Blackbird and Pina Colada
  • Orion Starchaser” [Geoff C., primary-male Pomuyan (blue telepathic humanoid alien), irrepressible mystic and thrill-seeking galactic hitchhiker
  • Dr. Srinu Pahul” [Byron V.O., primary ]-male Terran “near-human” (genetically modified) xenobiologist, curious and confident planetary patriot; with robots MEGAN and PEPE
  • Capt. Kevin Reese” [Bruce K., primary ]-male Terran “near-human” (cyborg), former Interplanetary Patrol officer and member of the “Blackbird” and “Dauntless” crews; defender of the homeworld
  • Chiron” [Dexter V.H., primary ]-male (secretly android) pilot, assigned to assess and protect humanity

See other records for the previous crews of the Blackbird, Appomattox, and Gryphon.

The FATE ladder:

  • +8: Legendary
  • +7: Epic
  • +6: Fantastic
  • +5: Superb
  • +4: Great
  • +3: Good
  • +2: Fair
  • +1: Average
  • 0: Mediocre
  • -1: Poor
  • -2: Terrible

Nathan Jessup

Vortex bvolsen