Atomic Robo is one of the latest incarnations of Fate (not to mention an excellent comic). It is great, but that’s not what the post is about. There are many reasons to love that particular version of the system, and modes are on top of that list. On paper, it sounds easy: just pick your modes, assign them ranks, and you’re almost done. This is especially attractive for NPC creation. Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough to say your robot crocodile has Beast +2 and Action +1, you’ve got to remember which skills belong to those modes, too.
It is a minor annoyance, but why suffer spending a minute on it when you could spend a few days writing an automated spreadsheet to calculate everything. Which I now present to you: ARRPG Skill Calculator.
A few words on how to use it: first and foremost, for the love of all that is holy, only edit blue fields! Everything will go haywire otherwise. And speaking of editing, you’ll need to copy it to your Drive to actually work with it. The entire purpose of the spreadsheet, at least to me, is the cell containing all the skills in one line – it’s made my own prep so much easier. If you need to add new weird modes, there are a few examples in the ‘Modes’ sheet to get you started. If you add a weird skill, update the ‘Skill cost’ sheet. And… that’s about it, really.
I’ve put an absurd amount of effort into getting Science working with just about any combination of silliness you can put into it. Try using the Gearhead mode to see an example. There are limits on how many weird skills you can have in the spreadsheet, and how many Science specializations a single character can have, but hopefully you won’t ever hit them. Obeying the rules is entirely up to you – there are a few sanity checks in place, but I’m sure you could find ways to make an “illegal” character with it if you wished to. Also, the spreadsheet does nothing to handle milestones, because hahahahahano.
Do let me know if there are any bugs you find, or if you have any suggestions for improvement.