23 Feb 2017

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Getting away from the book setting for a day, because something has come up that has me both amused and perplexed, and no it's not the water levels in Coyote Creek. It's how some people, how have been gaming for as long as I have, seem to shudder in terror when confronted with a game like FATE. Which, sadly for everyone, has become my favorite system.

The annoying thing is FATE is so bloody simple! To illustrate this, I'm going to generate character right here before your eyes! No dice, no calculator, just fleshing out a character concept. I'll wait while several of you finish swooning? Better? Then here we go!

The first thing the understand is the concept of Fate Points. Everyone has a small stash of these, including the Game Master. They are used to invoke Aspects. Everything has Aspects. Characters, places, monsters . . . they are details that can be used to further the story and to create advantages or disadvantages. As an example, the old warehouse the characters are searching might be *poorly lit* and an *utter firetrap* fill with *dozens of old crates and shipping containers.* Everything inside the asterisks are Aspects. If you wanted to hide from the bad guys following you you could invoke *poorly lit* by spending a Fate Point and get a bonus on your roll not to be noticed. Conversely, a player could invoke the *firetrap* aspect as a negative to get a Fate Point when he announces that his blaster shot as set the place on fire. Got it?

OK, making a character. First thing is your high concept. This is who the character is. Noble Knight of the Realm, Handsome Starship Captain, Secret Mage in the Big Modern City. An Aspect should be able to be invoked in both positive and negative ways.

For my guys, I'm going with Notorious, Allegedly Reformed, Smuggler. That can brought into play in many ways. So there's my big concept.

Next comes your Trouble. This is a flaw that is persistent. Ideally it should be something that would be difficult to get rid off. For my smuggler, he's a bit proud, and Has A Hard Time Resisting A Challenge. This can get him in trouble any number of ways.

After that, we have what's called "The Phase Trio." Three additional aspects that are ideally developed in consultation with the GM and the other players. This is where you build the story of why the group is together. Lacking other people, I'll wing it.

OK, first is "Entangled With the Thousand Suns Tong." My character is caught in a complex web of favors owed and obligations with an interstellar crime cartel.

Next, he is "Always Looking Out For (Character)", a long time shipmate and the one who usually gets the short end of the stick.

Finally I want him to have a nemesis, but phrased in a way that can be a positive. "Enemies At Court" means I've ticked off at least one powerful faction or family, but that group's rivals can sometimes be counted on to come to my aid.

So far, I'm liking this guy. On to skills! Skills are done in a pyramid, and the best way is to just show you.

+4 Pilot
+3 Contacts, Rapport
+2 Deceive, Notice, Resources
+1 Fight, Investigate, Lore, Shoot.

FATE uses dice with two sides showing a +, two sides with a blank face, and the other two showing a -. You roll four dice, and look to exceed a difficulty level, adding any skill modifiers. Simple!

Finally, I get three to five Stunts. Stunts change how skills work for the character. Sometimes, a Stunt will cost a Fate Point. Taking more than three Stunts lowers the rate at which you get Fate Points back. I'll stick with three.

"Who Can Resist That Smile?" When using social skills on receptive members of the opposite sex, I get a +2.

"Physics, Shmisics, I'm Flying Here!" by spending a Fate Point when piloting a ship, I can get away with seemingly impossible things.

"I Ain't Going To Hit You, OK, I'm Going to Hit You." by spending a Fate Point when throwing the first punch in a fight, I render the target unconscious if it was possible for me to damage him. (This trick would not work on a person in a hard helmeted vacuum suit, for example.)

So there you have it. I could go on a detail the aspects of my smuggler's ship, but I think y'all get the point. FATE is not a scary system, just different.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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