After conducting further research, I've found the solution to my own question, or at least most of the solution at any rate, and thought I would post it for posterity.
It turns out that the solution to get links2 working in graphics mode also works for fbterm. Makes sense when you think about it. Both use the framebuffer to work their magic.
and create the line:
sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/framebuffer.rules
then add user to "video" group with:
KERNEL=="fb0", OWNER="root", MODE="0660"
sudo usermod -a -G video username
and add the following lines:
sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/90-permissions.rules
Though the last line is not strictly necessary, it is needed for any app with mouse support (like links2) and may as well be included.
KERNEL=="tty[0-9]*", GROUP="root", MODE="0666"
Reboot and you s/b good to go.