So, what do you guys think about Fate? Any cool stories to share about it? What's your favorite World & Adventure so far? Any nice system tricks you've concocted?
Fate general, yo.
My only complaint is 'dandelion marketing,' their complete failure to create a cohesive community, forcing their fans to scatter to the four winds to find a place to talk about it. It seems effective, and now D&D is following in its footsteps on that aspect, but I feel like it fucks the fan base.
I love Fate, but this is still totally my complaint. Book is so much bigger than it needs to be that it makes it a little daunting, despite being able to keep all the rules in your head after an initial read.
Here's a basic character sheet and a paste of some rule ideas for an Elder Scrolls hack. Hopefully it's not terrible.
This seems a little much for my uses but if anyone doesn't enjoy the default Conflict meta, I suggest checking this out:
Absolutely. I like /tg/ discussions more than G+ but we don't have a sufficient population to keep threads afloat.
The problem is that it jumps, a lot. The writers think they're doing you a favor by only exposing half of a topic before getting into the details later.
It makes note-taking/comprehension a chore.
SRD is easier to work with, by far.
I dunno. Never could get into it. There's such a thing as "too narrative" for me. I mean, I like games which are "borderline freeform", no GM, stuff like that, but Fate isn't that. It's kind of like in that weird range between that, but still having enough rules to be cumbersome and not make sense.
Anyone like Accelerated more than Core?
I think it's interesting concept using attributes as modifiers in FAE but I keep thinking you could try to solve all your problems by phrasing something around your +3 Approach.
You have to put your foot down at some point as the GM.
But then, if you play accelerated, you may as well play a *World game, where moves codify what approaches can (usually) do. Or maybe play some kind of half-way hybrid thing.
I run a Core but play in an Accelerated.
Honestly, I don't mind people playing their strengths. It makes sense for anyone to do so, in or out of character. The Approaches are useful abstractions and so far they're doing their job.
Skills, however, set up discrete tasks and challenges. And as a GM, I like the ability to differentiate one smart guy from another smart guy by their learned abilities. Helps them stand out--but Aspects and stunts do their part as well.
One could say that's the definition of an RPG.
We roleplay characters but use rules to create character limitations and abilities.
The primary way Fate sticks out is its use of Aspects, descriptors that, when applicable, can be Invoked to improve the outcome of or even provide justification for your rolls/actions.
Other than that, pretty standard-fare mechanics. I find making Stunts the most fun.
FATE makes me feel like a retard for not grasping how the fuck it works with aspects and compels and shit due to my pre-programmed D&D brain.
I don't really like Fate Core but I like going through the sea of Fate hacks that add mechanics and crunch where they might be appropriate.
The system's a bit odd in that it really seems like you're expected to homebrew a setting and extra rules instead of just running it from the book. They offer so many tools in there for how to adjust things.
It's a suitably generic system to get moving but it really is more of a toolkit.
Instead of stripping out rules from something more established, you add what you need from a minimum.
Ever since we bought the Dresden Files RPG, my group uses it for World of Darkness games, since everything can be translated easely, it allows for better crossovers (which are the fun part for us) and the system is far better balanced. We are introducing more homebrew stuff lately, we are specifically working in a Harmonixer from the Shadow Hearts games for one of my players, since I wanted to run a game inspired on those videogames for so long, and the werewolf, the hunter and the vampire we have worked so well...
I'm looking forward to the Dresden Files Accelerated version.
One thing I'll say about Fate is that you really need to "get" the whole Aspects thing. And you also need players willing to be active, but I think that goes for any RPG really.
>"get" the Aspects thing
>players willing to be active
I swear the second sentence in the book is about "proactive" players. I've played Fate with anxious "oh no the GM is trying to kill me"-trained players. It's rough.
You may want to download and skim some of the Marvel Heroic RPG. They're surprisingly similar despite the different core mechanics, but Marvel benefits from having a baked-in setting and narrative cache to play with so it's a lot more straightforward. Learning Marvel Heroic made me understand why Fate is built the way it is.
Fate Points are like Plot Points, Aspects are like Distinctions, Fate's Stunts are like SFX, created advantages are like Heroic's Stunts and Assets, yadda yadda yadda.
The next time I play Fate I'll probably steal Heroic's milestone system, where advancement is based on a partially predetermined character arch.
I'm running my first Fate game and aspects are the thing I should focus more.
In first session aspects were basically ignored. In second session there was like one kinda weak compel and some invokes.
The biggest problem is that I have basically no idea yet, how to make good and interesting aspects, so I was unable to help players with that during character creation, so we went with "just put something down" approach.
In table probability means nothing.
The system toolkit book actually suggests having a high concept and trouble distinction, even calling them that. It hasn't been lost on the designers how much they have running in parallel.
My favorite system trick is using the 'fate fractal'. Period. I mean, in an evangelion game, you can stat up the entire city itself with stress tracks. Give the city supplies they can give the kids, give the city a 'collateral' track so they can accidentally destroy neo tokyo, whatever.
Here's one thing that's tripped me up a few times - action economy. In a scene where you're having each character make an action whichever 'side' with more characters gets a lot more actions. So a monster vs a party of PCs, the PCs get four moves to monster's one. 3 advantages + 1 attack and the monster is done. Seems like too many encounters go this way.
I think a lot of people hearing about Fate assume it IS very freeform, which, as you said, isn't true. All the skill rules are pretty much standard RPG fare, its the Aspects and Compels that trip people up since they're so meta.
>cumbersome and not make sense
They're definately a bit tricky to grok, but once you do it feels very elegant and sensible.
It's a pretty brilliant way to do things and I think more systems ought to adopt it.
I'm also trying to parse out a kung fu system using Accelrated, in which you build your particular fighting style by picking two (or three?) of the six approaches. So Tiger Style might be Forceful and Flashy, while Five Deadly Venoms might be Careful and Quick. Maybe each would have one approach that could be considered its weakness, so Forceful, Flashy Tiger Style might leaving openings for a Clever style to break in.
I don't want to make it like Rock Paper Scissors, though. Anyone good with type-matchups like that?
>but there isn't really much to it.
I think I prefer the flipside of it, which is that there's exactly as much as you're willing to put into it. As a framework, Fate can come off generic and bland, but it begs to be tweaked and twisted, adapted and molded into what you want it to be. It's remarkably flexible and hard to break.
I really should re-read the book. I had completely forgotten about fate fractal.
Multiple things in my game that I could, and should apply it to.
Funny how for a simple game, I have hard time keeping Fate Core in my head.
Probably because I'm too focused on stuff I'm familiar and comfortable with, like skills and stunts, those are easy.
>Funny how for a simple game, I have hard time keeping Fate Core in my head.
It doesn't help that the layout of the book keeps the information very spread out. It makes it easy to forget things, I think, so I definitely recommend having the SRD on hand.
I think that's fine and all, but I personally prefer tinkering with already existing mechanical structures.
I will say that the design of Fate is actually quite clever in how it encourages players to get involved in the narrative of the game and how the aspects system can encourage them to get their character's personality visible.
After having played about ~60 total sessions of Fate and having GMed about ~20 sessions of it in total, I can safely say that I dislike how easy it is to game the "create an advantage" action so as to set yourself up for a "success with style" spiral and virtually never fail.
For a system that tries to encourage players to roleplay their characters' weaknesses and tackle challenges in an action-packed and pulpy fashion, the mechanics of the system strongly reward playing it safe and cautiously building up advantages in order to blow away scenes with thick stacks of free invocations, making compels virtually unnecessary.
On top of that, due to the way refresh works, nobody wants to take a compel by the second half of a session out of fear that it might be "wasted" when the session ends (and few in online games can tell when a session will end due to someone saying "Sorry, I am getting tired) due to the way refresh works.
The ideas are good, but the execution is poor.
And let us not even get into the conflict system. I have tried, tried, *tried* for so long to create tactically engaging combats, but it simply never works and the mechanics devolve into "attack or gain a +2 bonus." None of my players can wrap their metaphorical heads around the revamp linked here: >>45052537
I know it's hardly universal, but in my experience Fate isn't deep enough mechanically to satisfy the players looking for that, while being too constrictive for the players looking for freedom and creativity.
>I think that's fine and all, but I personally prefer tinkering with already existing mechanical structures.
That's what I mean. It gives a basic mechanical structure, a golden rule (the Fate Fractal), and says, "Now go and see what you can do with it!" If you haven't had a chance to read the System Toolkit, I highly recommend it. It's a great jumping off point for tinkering.
But I do understand what you mean as well. Something like a D&D system is much more fleshed out mechanically already, giving you more obvious of a platform to build on. Sometimes they seem restrictive to me; I think of just how much they had to break d20 to make it work for Superheroes in Mutants and Masterminds.
I think there is room for all degrees of freedom.
For me Fate seems to perfectly fill that hole where it has enough mechanics to have something to play with, while being open enough to allow large variety of genres, settings and tones.
>the mechanics of the system strongly reward playing it safe and cautiously building up advantages in order to blow away scenes with thick stacks of free invocations
How could we avoid that mechanically? Make it harder to stack advantages the more people you try to pass it through?
Otherwise you're stuck trying to tell your players, "Trust me, you'll have more fun if you fail sometimes!" and they'll say, "No, we'd rather never fail."
Newer versions of Fate (e.g. Atomic Robo) actually recommend letting NPCs do the same thing, stacking up free invocations against the party, but that is *bad advice* because it simply creates an arms race of free invocations.
Fate designer Ryan Macklin suggests splitting apart "create an advantage" into "create an advantage" and "discover," effectively creating a fifth action:
This goes a very long way towards reducing the "free invocation success with style spiral," and I would strongly, strongly recommend its usage in any Fate game.
>You can also stack multiple free invocations together.
This is where things start to go wrong.
In my experience, I have found that situation aspects based on the scenery *do not matter*. Think about it.
You have to pay a fate point to invoke a situation aspect unless you have free invocations. With that in mind, why not just spend fate points to invoke your own five aspects? Surely at least *one* of them will be relevant for any given roll.
Likewise, if you want to compel yourself, surely you could bring to the fore one of your own character aspects.
Situation aspects based on the scenery have absolutely no purpose when character aspects exist, except to perhaps create a new source of "forced" compels from the GM.
Because the Fate Core book completely obsesses over giving Aspects to every single fucking thing all the time ever. God forbid you enter a room and it wouldn't be Average Sized and Well-Lit.
I don't think I've ever seen a player use one of the campaign aspects. I don't think even the designers remember they made that a thing. None of the example settings HAVE them.
>>You can also stack multiple free invocations together.
So I misremembered that. But, it looks like it would be easy to houserule to be more restrictive, if it's really an issue.
Ether only one invocation at a time, or max two, with one free and one always paid for.
>With that in mind, why not just spend fate points to invoke your own five aspects?
I think that's more of a role playing decision than mechanical one.
Sometimes it might be more interesting to swing in "dangling chains", than to be "disciple of master acrobat Manuel."
Also situational aspects help in those cases where character really doesn't have anything personally sufficient.
I think, that the whole point of aspect system is that one can at any point pay a point to get +2 or re-roll. It just requires some additional color.
That's why fate points are limited, as aspects aren't.
Situation and campaign aspects are great ideas, but you're absolutely right in that they often don't matter. At all. And then you're falling into the trap that they did with previous versions of Fate, which is having simply too many aspects out there to manage.
If there's going to be an aspect on the situation, I'd rather the player put it there through action, because then they're at least buying into the system and trying to do more with the narrative.
Not that guy, but I see the problem. Nothing but success is boring for players and GM alike. Failure is interesting, especially because Fate pushes for "failing forward" where PC mistakes lead the plot on just as much as PC successes. Fate wants to be as narrative as the players' favorite books and movies, and those are full of heroes that strive, fail, rise up, fail, rise up again and finally succeed.
There are compels to skip dice and go straight to failures and then there is fiddling with the numbers.
If opposition if stronger, by numbers, skills or even equipment, players will have hard time.
FATE books really need to come with a big list o' generic Aspects people can use and refluff for characters, as well as codified condition aspects. Because they are THE most important part of the system and you're given sweet fuck-all on how to use them outside of vague advice on what they should be.
That was one of my favorite pages in Spirit of the Century, the list of example aspects. I agree it should be in the Core, but I suppose they were afraid people would somehow think you couldn't make up your own or something. Stupid.
>The worst bunch of anti competitive cry babies and bullies since TRS. Fuck 'em
Is this about that shitty card game or are there legitimate examples of anti competitive practices?
I am currently reading through Tian Xia: Blood, Silk, and Jade. For a Fate game all about kung fu combat, I have, so far, found no reason not to just pick up a technique that buffs your attacks and then repeatedly spam "Attack, Attack, Attack, Attack" ad nauseam in combat.
If anything, it is even worse in Tian Xia because you receive a free invocation every time you fail with an attack action, so you might as well do nothing but that.
It is a shame too, since this game has a bevy of kung fu styles that are undermined by Fate's utter lack of mechanical choices in combat.
There's a variant where Approaches scale from -1 to +2, and when you roll, you pick the two most applicable approaches, rather than just one. It opens up opportunities for the GM to say "That seems like a Stealthy approach is called for", and players can still add their own particular flair to that. I tried it and it seemed to work quite well.
Let's add in beginning a note that I have not read TianXia, and I'm just generalizing, so if something I say goes directly against it, please correct me.
Sometimes answers to those problems is color and roleplaying.
I feel that those issues come from the thinking where combat against enemies is the Most Important Thing, try having a session where there are no fights. Or maybe handle fights with just simple skill check without going for the proper conflict system.
You might learn something from doing that.
Depending on your setting, Multiple Part Monsters might be a solution, my friend. Like, for example, a Hydra with a Body ('standard' NPC with stress track etc) and a Group of Heads (a minion group that regenerates, or even grows back stronger). Each part gets its own action. Makes Tentacled Horrors From Beyond truly terrifying even to a Fate character.
>After having played about ~60 total sessions of Fate and having GMed about ~20 sessions of it in total
Actually, the former number of sessions played swells to ~120 if the Dresden Files RPG counts.
I have played in and run a large amount of Fate combats. All of them were reasonably interesting in terms of narration, attack descriptions, enemy gimmicks, what the PCs needed to do to harm the enemy in the first place, and so on and so forth.
All of them were also, without exception, mind-numbingly without any mechanical tactics at all. Mechanically speaking, there are only two options in Fate combat that matter: "Attack" and "Gain a +2 bonus." When those are the choices available, there are no crunch-based tactics to the combat whatsoever.
Reducing the frequency of combat or replacing them with contests (that is, the "first to three victories" type of contest) repairs this state of affairs in no way, shape, or form, particularly when I already have only one physical conflict every 2.5 sessions on average.
Compare Tian Xia's "attack, attack, attack" combat to, say, Legends of the Wulin's much more mechanically nuanced combat.
I should read the fate toolkit, to see if it has anything interesting, but going from the base core rules with minimal fiddling, two things I can think of that could bring more choices to combat, could be more zones, would make moving and positioning matter and maybe allowing overcome action with appropriate skill to get rid of advantages against you.
The document in >>45052537 is a good first step (in fact, I was the one who first started to disseminate it in these Fate threads, although I am not the author).
Another good step would be to include "encounter powers" with varying effects, but even with such things, the underlying issue is that Fate's combat has too few "mechanical hinges" with which to create interesting effects. There is no difference between being knocked prone and being immobilized by a web in Fate; both of them are just a situation aspect with a free invocation.
This particular campaign has only two players and me, the GM. Neither player would like for there to be a third character on their side in combat.
This means that duel-focused combat systems (e.g. Legends of the Wulin) do not function all that well. Likewise, games built around three or more PCs (e.g. most of the D&D and their retroclones, Strike!) are not an option due to their crunch-heavy tactical combat being wasted on two players.
I have read good things about the two-player plus one GM combat system of a certain indie RPG called "Project Rebirth" (formerly known as Magical Burst ReWrite), but one player rabidly hates it despite never having played it.
The other player is also recalcitrant to learn any new systems.
On top of all this, the game I run is a very high-powered one (Planescape where the characters are roughly on the same tier as balors and have a wide variety of flexible, theme-based magical powers).
Finding a proper system for this has been a chore, particularly when the last campaign with these two players switched systems *thrice* within the span of a few months due to dissatisfaction with system after system.
>There is no difference between being knocked prone and being immobilized by a web in Fate; both of them are just a situation aspect with a free invocation.
While I can understand your concerns, this seems a rather unhelpful overgeneralizatiion. "Knocked Prone" and "Caught in a Giant Web" have different setups, implications, and resolutions. The same thrust is usually aimed at DND 4E, where the argument goes that "everything is just X*[W]+Push/Pull/Slide". The argument not wrong per se (both concerns are certainly true for a large portion of gameplay in Fate and 4e respectively), but it is misleading.
If this was actually D&D 4e, it would distinguish "prone," "immobilized," and "restrained" with different rules and different mechanical disadvantages.
Fate would differentiate them purely through the narrative... which is mechanically meaningless, and it is not as though any of those would prevent a character from actually fighting well. Even a generic maximum-Fight character could still use Fight to create advantages by assessing and pointing out tactical advantages (a default use of the skill in Fate Core).
This gets even worse in Fate Accelerated, where you can be absolutely assured that very few situation aspects will prevent a player from shoehorning in their best aspect into a fight for virtually any action.
>"prone," "immobilized," and "restrained" with different rules and different mechanical disadvantages.
But the mechanical disadvantages these conditions apply derive directly from their narrative implications, even in 4E. "Prone" does not give you a malus to attack willy-nilly, but because the fact that you're lying on the ground narratively implies that you are at a disadvantage. The difference between this and a situational Aspect in a Fate game is merely that the conversation about (and codification of) the ramifications is front-loaded, done by the designers rather than the table consensus.
A Fate character trying to attack while "Prone" will suffer a disadvantage as well - it's just that this isn't codified before the actual situation occurs. As GM, that is the situation where I say "Alright, from your Prone position, your adversary has you at a disadvantage; it doesn't prevent you outright, but it makes it harder to reach out and hit him. Roll a -1 for attacking until you Overcome and get back to your feet."
Can you see what I'm getting at?
>A Fate character trying to attack while "Prone" will suffer a disadvantage as well - it's just that this isn't codified before the actual situation occurs. As GM, that is the situation where I say "Alright, from your Prone position, your adversary has you at a disadvantage; it doesn't prevent you outright, but it makes it harder to reach out and hit him. Roll a -1 for attacking until you Overcome and get back to your feet."
In default Fate, aspects are "always true," but they never directly influence numbers unless they are invoked.
No, that just means you need to break aspects up by generic genre when you give generic examples.
The Chosen One
Rebellious Young Noble
Veteran Knight of the Realm
Hard Boiled Detective
The only true issue might be showing off how to make proper Concepts and Troubles, but it's not that hard.
"Default Fate" is the tofu of the RPG world. If you play it straight and wonder about the taste, you need more spices and seasoning.
But regarding the Always True Aspects (copying from http://www.faterpg.com/2013/richards-guide-to-blocks-and-obstacles-in-fate-core/):
Aspects remain true whether or not they are invoked (FC 76). The GM is also free to consider aspects when working out what difficulty should apply to an action (FC 192).
Situation aspects, like “Blacker than Midnight” or “Slippery Floor”, may provide constant passive opposition to certain actions (FC 131). The type (passive or active) and level of opposition is set by the GM. For instance, “Slippery Floor” might provide passive opposition at Fair to any action involving rapid movement while an “Imposing Wall” might provide Great passive opposition to moving between zones. You can also mix in the rule about treating Aspects as characters – for example “Moat of Fire” might provide Good active opposition when you try to cross it and also inflict damage with a “Burning Things” skill if you fail (FC 208).
The link ought to be required reading, really.
>If anything, it is even worse in Tian Xia because you receive a free invocation every time you fail with an attack action, so you might as well do nothing but that.
What page is that rule on?
Fate is still defined by the fiction. This is where Aspects/tags can be tricky and you need to make sure you're all on the same page.
If you somehow have the Aspect 'Prone', your character is, in fact, prone. They still need to stand up to move fast. They are still literally lying on the ground.
Aspects aren't intended to be used as a total replacement for generic bonuses/penalties/target adjustments.
Written by one of the Fate Core writers.
Also, relevant to the thread, is very open about what Fate shouldn't be used for, or is bad at.
>different but not better unique snowflake dice rules
>outright terrible meta-economy horseshit
These two facts alone are enough to warrant throwing this piece of shit in the nearest garbage can where it belongs.
What I'm getting at in >>45066100 is that, actually, there is reasonable precedent for (making situational aspects influence the difficulty of a given check in ways other than the flat +2 implied by invocation, such as by setting a minimum target to hit before the opposing side even needs to roll.
>If you play it straight and wonder about the taste, you need more spices and seasoning.
I already had a look at Tian Xia, and I cannot say I am impressed by the depth (or lack thereof) of its combat system, and this is a Fate game that is supposed to *specialize in interesting combat*.
Passive opposition is similar to, but ultimately distinct from, the "directly influencing numbers" described in >>45065966 and >>45066039.
The problem with passive opposition is that it does not actually stack with a Defend action, as that very article points out. If you are making an attack while "Prone" means you face a passive opposition of Average (+1) just to make that attack, you go up against the passive opposition *or* a defend action, in which case the passive opposition is probably going to be irrelevant here.
>If you somehow have the Aspect 'Prone', your character is, in fact, prone. They still need to stand up to move fast. They are still literally lying on the ground.
Yes, and as pointed out above, you go up against passive opposition *or* a defend action, which makes it that much less risky. The character's Fight actions are still pushing through.
I still fail to see the fundamental problem here. Yes, Core does not include any sort of incremental bonus derived from a situational aspect's passive opposition. You obviously think it would improve your game, so why don't you add it? It's evident you're not getting your preferred style as-is.
Anyone else getting the feeling that the more Fate Worlds and Adventures come out, the more of the characters in each are gay? Are we going to end up getting settings in which straight people are a minority? Possibly nonexistent?
It's Evil White Men err I mean Evil Hat Productions. That company is like someone took twitter stock, brushed it lightly with something awful and reddit and left it in tumbler to bake at 350 genders for 20 microaggressions.
In other words, yes, their mission is to be "different" and "progressive" by "hating certain types of people because of their gender or the color of their skin"
Also, forgot to add: the precedent is actually there, as per the example involving teamwork:
>Example: Fred uses his eldritch powers to create a Wall of Fire aspect between him and Lenny and a psychotic gunman. The gunman shoots at Lenny and Fred argues that he can use his wall of fire as justification for providing active opposition. Lenny says he’s also going to try and dodge in case the bullet makes it through the wall of fire. The table agrees that this is an example of teamwork so the one with the highest skill rolls against the gunman with a +1 bonus. If they fail to defend it doesn’t make any sense for the bullet to hit Fred and Lenny, so the table agrees that the worst that can happen is Lenny takes the hit by himself.
From there it's just another tweak of the dials to a universally aspect-derived incremental bonus, though you'd probably want to test the limits of stacking with this because of Fate's condensed numerical scale.
The biggest secret to tactics in rpg combat is to ensure that there is no single "comfort zone."
You should make sure to kick the "get a free boost when you succeed with style" and replace it with an equivalent set of options (ie: something worth 2 shifts.) You get to make a free move to a Zone that has a difficulty of 2 or less, or you move the person to an adjacent zone with difficulty 2 or less. You reduce their Armor by 2 until they are attacked. You can do 2 shifts of damage to some minions as well. Kill the boost, replace it with options.
Second: Hide options. Rather, FATE is so upfront with it's options, it simply gives you an the rules of consequence rather than the rules of process. "Invent" rules of Process. "Create" Grapple rules with 'finishers' that end the grapple based on how much 'control' you spent on that grapple. ( Rounds spent controlling the grapple are Create an Advantage then Attacking with the free invokes from the CAAs.)
Third: Create an impartial NPC for every scene that's the environment's turn. Give zones stress tracks for collateral damage. Have the environment act. People are on fire? The fire gets an attack on them. Turn the fire into a character. People damage the foundations too much? The room collapses and attacks on the environment turn. Use this for Dark Sun style defiling magic as well...
Fourth: FORCE your players out of their comfort zone. Tactics are responses. Shake them up. Make it so they can't just attack attack attack. It doesn't matter that for your NPCs that that's not the tactically most sound option, do it. Make the fight shift. Make enemies move and spread away to force your players after them. Make them do things that'd spread them out.
One of the concepts of chess is that a rookie can throw a veteran off just by not taking the most tactically sound options because the veteran has gotten used to react to the tactically optimal strategies and not every strategy.
I already do such a thing for my game, mostly related to environmental bonuses and "attacking weak points," but frankly, it is *not enough* and things devolve into attack-spamming sooner or later.
Tian Xia, page 75:
>Forms also have another way to gain invocations. If you attack a character successfully using your Kung Fu Techniques, Fight skill, or other abilities involving martial arts training and skill and end up inflicting no stress or consequences due to the defenders Armor rating or other abilities? You add another free invocation to your Form, reflecting overall martial prowess and building momentum in a fight.
This is the first major factor that destroys Tian Xia's tactical integrity. The second major factor is that the kung fu forms are simply collections of stunts that grant at-will passive bonuses and have nothing remotely resembling limited-use resources.
I would extremely advise excising that rule, but that's a product of the FATE core's suggestion so combat doesn't become wiffs and so as to keep it from becoming a slog.
IF you want to keep that rule, make it so Free Invokes or Boosts cannot be used on the same type of action that created it.
Having opposition effectively provide teamwork benefits is probably the most reasonable way to go about things, yes.
>You should make sure to kick the "get a free boost when you succeed with style" and replace it with an equivalent set of options (ie: something worth 2 shifts.) You get to make a free move to a Zone that has a difficulty of 2 or less, or you move the person to an adjacent zone with difficulty 2 or less. You reduce their Armor by 2 until they are attacked. You can do 2 shifts of damage to some minions as well. Kill the boost, replace it with options.
And if the player simply opts for raw stress on a 3+ shift attack?
>Second: Hide options.
This is difficult when the players are already reasonably familiar with the simplistic process behind Fate's actions.
>Third: Create an impartial NPC for every scene that's the environment's turn.
I have tried this in a few battles and I have to say that it does not actually do *that* much to help make a battle more exciting. It creates another major combatant, and that means a slower battle, and that means less excitement. It is probably a better idea to have the environment automatically create new situation aspects with free invocations.
>Fourth: FORCE your players out of their comfort zone. Tactics are responses. Shake them up. Make it so they can't just attack attack attack.
Each character in this game has an array of physical weaponry (natural and manufactured) and at least three offensive magic types that can be used to generate attacks from thin air simply by thinking it into existence. It is a little difficult to be able to *not* justify an attack with such an arsenal.
Resource management is not really very compatible with how Fate works, outside of stuff interacting with the FP economy.
Additional Stress tracks add some degree of granular resource management; but replacing them (and Consequences) with a set of fixed Conditions (as per the Toolkit) could open up a new suite of tactical options, if done right. If you link that to a variant of Extreme Effort, wherein may you voluntarily check Consequences/Conditions in order to gain a non-invoking bonus, you could set up something like a Stamina or Mana 'casting' system, where either/both have their separate Condition track (think WoD rather than Stress), so you go from Winded to Exhausted to Unconscious (to stay with Stamina), or Rattled-Shaken-Panicked (a Fear variant), and so on.
>Each character in this game has an array of physical weaponry (natural and manufactured) and at least three offensive magic types that can be used to generate attacks from thin air simply by thinking it into existence. It is a little difficult to be able to *not* justify an attack with such an arsenal.
I haven't read Tian Xia but...
...what the fuck. This better not be your doing. This better be from the book, because no wonder you lack tactics. You literally have each character have spammable solutions to every fight.
Of course there's no tactics, they can attack in EVERY SITUATION. Tactics is about restrictions.
What about simply an "MP pool" outright? Would that work just as well as a new stress track?
I previously ran this game in Strike!, a D&D 4e retroclone. It was able to represent the characters' abilities more or less perfectly, and it hardly mattered that the characters had all sorts of magic at their disposal; it simply meant different ways to flavor their various attack powers, each of which did something *mechanically different*.
However, Strike!'s combat only really works well with three or more players. When we lost our third player, that was a major blow to the game's combat, because it meant that we could no longer use Strike! due to having only two PCs (and both players being recalcitrant towards controlling a third party member).
>What about simply an "MP pool" outright? Would that work just as well as a new stress track?
Depends entirely on how well that would reflect the nature of magic in your game. Since Stress usually recovers at the start of a new scene (provided there was a chance for a breather), a Mana stress track doesn't necessarily address your cocnern about the tactical use of limited resources. Hence the idea of a Condition track; say, Vertigo-Migraine-Aphasia-Burnt Out (going from Minor to Extreme), which implies certain things about how magic works (it involves manipulating things with your mnind, it can backlash, it is speech based, and you can burn out).
IF you are going to use an MP pool, use a refluffed pool of Fate points. System toolkit would explain better.
System Toolkit is your friend. Seriously read it, some of the best advice for homebrewing in any rpg.
I have mostly been using "at-will, pure willpower-based" magic for all intents and purposes (mostly to stay true to the the way Planescape's creatures use most of their magic), but it does not seem out of the question for special attacks to exhaust characters, so an MP pool (not necessarily even a stress track) would likely be ideal.
Okay, here's the trick: in Fate the best rule of thumb is to take what is already there and refluff it.
When he says stress track, he means: a line of ticks that start at 2, have 3 if a certain skill is high enough, and 4 if the skill is even higher that refreshes every scene.
Hell, having multiple "rows" of stress tracks is how you could do vancian casting in fate: Level 1 Spells are stress 1, level 2 are stress 2, level 3 are stress 3, and level 4 are stress 4. Each row decides how many of each you can cast before having to spend higher.
Just make sure not every single spell level has an attack spell. Let the level 1 be a mobility, the level 2 is an attack, the level 3 creates a new zone and puts the caster in it, and the level 4 does something something something that adds a tactical advantage but not an attack.
Having it be a stress track also lets them take consequences (and thus an additional tactical choice when running low on MP: Do I weaken myself to use this ability)
I have had a look at that in the past, and I can say that while it was helpful for designing a *noncombat* magic system, it has not been of much use for the combat side.
One issue that has been coming up from time to time is that, much of the time, there is simply no way to stop either the PCs or the NPCs from attacking if they really want to.
Let us take an iconic Planescape monster: a pit fiend:
Staying true to the preestablished lore, even if the pit fiend was to be outright "Paralyzed" (with the appropriate situation aspect) and rendered completely incapable of physically acting, that would hardly affect its offensive options much. Through the sheer power of its mind, it could still evoke fireballs, create walls of flame, enchant others into paralysis themselves, or gate in other devils.
Its defensive options would not be all that restricted either: it could most likely still defend using the uncanny resilience of its body.
If this was actual D&D, the pit fiend being paralyzed would devastate its defensive prospects, which alone would make trying to paralyze the pit fiend a good idea. But here, imposing a "Paralyzed" aspect on the pit fiend via a create an advantage action is hardly much better than placing a "Winded Because I Bopped It in the Stomach" aspect.
We have been running off "at-will, pure willpower-based" magic for all intents and purposes since that is what the setting's creatures use, but again, special attacks could reasonably generate stress hits. This would, however, mean having to homebrew special attack spells for every spell level, which makes me wonder if it would actually be worth the effort as opposed to sucking it up and switching back to Strike! even with only two players.
>We have been running off "at-will, pure willpower-based" magic for all intents and purposes since that is what the setting's creatures use, but again, special attacks could reasonably generate stress hits. This would, however, mean having to homebrew special attack spells for every spell level, which makes me wonder if it would actually be worth the effort as opposed to sucking it up and switching back to Strike! even with only two players.
The setting is shit then if magic is completely 100% active always and can be done whenever. You know why DnD has monsters with "Can cast these spells at will?" Not because they're powerful, but so the DM can not care about those restrictions and micro-manage every encounter.
You want tactics but don't want to put limits on your players. Of fucking course there's no tactics, you're not putting limits on your players.
What the fuck dude.
>The setting is shit then if magic is completely 100% active always and can be done whenever.
Funny that you say this: this is exactly what the System Toolkit prescribes for Stormcallers, which is skill-based at-will magic that is "100% active always and can be done whenever."
That said, bear in mind that this campaign was originally under a different system that could accommodate such magic fairly well (through at-will powers, encounter powers, and other limited use abilities, all of which were flavored as different manifestations of the characters' various magic types).
Storm Callers also have to invest in stunts (and thus reducing their max refresh) to be able to use a different spell type and each one is a different skill.
Stormcallers are also not built for tactical management but elemental Avatar type bullshit.
We keep trying to tell you how to add tactics but you refuse.
Switch back to strike, have your party get buttfucked by only being 2 people.
I'm tired of you just ignoring any suggestions with "but setting." Either put restrictions or accept that in fate you're an idiot.
>Storm Callers also have to invest in stunts (and thus reducing their max refresh) to be able to use a different spell type and each one is a different skill.
Stormcallers also places no restrictions on what it takes to actually summon up one's element; someone could simply choose, say Thunder and then spam Chain Lightning and Thunderbolt as appropriate. This costs absolutely nothing.
Additionally, in the event that *all* characters have a storm to call on, then you might as well have not reduced refresh to begin with; the end result is the same.
>Stormcallers are also not built for tactical management but elemental Avatar type bullshit.
That is strange, because it certainly tries to inject tactics, what with barriers and the various methods of handling area attacks. Still, it ultimately fails, due to encouraging generic attack spamming (especially with the raw benefits of pure attacks for Flood, Glacier, and Thunder).
>I'm tired of you just ignoring any suggestions with "but setting." Either put restrictions or accept that in fate you're an idiot.
It seems to me that high-magic settings where characters have access to a vast variety of magics both in and out of combat *and can use them for mechanically distinct tactical effects* are not ideal for Fate.
Let us not forget how the Dresden Files RPG's magic inevitably devolved into one-shotting enemies with attack evocations.
But that only applies if you win the roll and they have some way of reducing the damage without just voiding the attack. Does that really have that huge of an impact? Either the free invocation pushes the next attack to actually deal damage (and thus not generate another free invocation), or it doesn't even with a hit and you're still sitting there with just a free invocation and need to find another way to deal with the enemy.
I am really curious to hear more about this, I don't have a lot of experience with Fate.
Fate has good philosophy but shit tier execution.
Pic rel, Fate-like RPG actually done right done right.
>they have some way of reducing the damage without just voiding the attack. Does that really have that huge of an impact?
Yyyyyyyyyyes? It means your defense abilities mean jack and the other guy should pound away at you.
If that +2 is the difference between them harming you or not, your defense abilities have cut their output in half, since you only take that damage every second turn instead of every turn. How is that not huge?
So if rolls are the same next round, you'd take 3 stress, but then defense kicks in and reduces that, too. If the defense is Armor 1, you take the same total damage as you would have otherwise, but taking it in one hit instead of two is BETTER for you. If you have Armor 2, you take a total of 1 stress instead of 2.
Even if the defense is a limited resource, you got another round of going unharmed doing whatever it is you need doing, and in that case you're the one who needs to decide if using your one shot defense there is sensible or not.
This was a good thread and gave me lots to think about.
I think I was in awe of the ruleset that seemed really elegant in all examples I could imagine but found it slightly unsatisfying in practice. I tried to contemplate and play RAW more, as I was brushing over things and house ruling to keep things fast-paced at the table, but it didn't really help. This thread has me convinced I should be doing the opposite and house rule more.
Thanks /tg/, best board
It's a commonly encountered trap, attempting to play Fate Core RAW. Not even the skill list should be taken as is, it's tuned to the example campaign and should absolutely be tampered with.
For what it is worth, I actually am using a modified Fate Accelerated for my game, with a stunt-based "this enables you to use X type of magic" at-will magic system, "special finishing attacks," environmental bonuses, and the like, but it seems that I will still have to do *far* more homebrewing and house ruling in order to have a game that satisfies me.
Not once has this turned out to be a good "one size fits all" system, not even for the prepackaged versions of Fate like the Dresden Files RPG.
Oh, right, there's no limit to free invocations on the same aspect. Well, it doesn't make defensive abilities worthless, by any means, unlike what previous anon was saying. It does make attacking even more preferable if your highest skill lets you attack.
I ran into that problem in the only Fate campaign I've played. Made Fight highest skill. Got somewhat bored in combat. Ironic, really...
I think Fate is kind of the opposite of a lot of systems I play with. The other two games I used to play a lot were FFG 40k and 3.x-5e dnd. I found that when I played with these systems I was taking them apart more often than not: I don't like this rule, I don't like these feats, and clumping these skills, changing modifiers, etc. But with Fate, which is my new go to system, I tend to add things to it using rules I like from other games and what is already there, such as the Fate Fractal. It's a great starting and now I run everything from Dungeon Fantasy, to 40k, to Gamma World, to Star Wars in it.
I think it's fantastic, but I totally understand how some people would prefer to work with something like GURPS that already has every rule ever had you just choose what you want.
The fact Fight and Shoot are two skills out of many should probably give you an indication of how much combat should be going on in a Fate game.
If you want lots of interesting combat (and don't want to use a different system) then making a lot of different combat skills is probably a good idea.
People talking about narrative vs mechanical differences in aspects vs how other RPGs handle debuffs and the like, I personally don't understand because RPGs are all about the narrative. If you want tight, interesting, balanced mechanics play a board game. I'm aware that's very much personal taste but in any even Fate is the wrong place to look for crunchy combat.
>one size fits all
I don't think Fate or any other generalist system claims to be, though it could be a bit more upfront about it. That said the pagecount in Core is high enough already, and a lot of it is useless until you go and try playing it yourself.
That said the examples and all are very helpful when you're playing for the first time from the rulebook and aren't brought into the game by an experienced player. I guess ideally they need two versions of the rules, one introductory and one reference/gotchas for experienced players. But you'll never write down all the nuances anyway. What a hobby what a world
It doesn't need to be particularly crunchy, but conflict resolution should consist of more than rolling the same thing over and over if it's going to consist of more than one roll.
At the end of the day any RPG you're rolling dice over and over for conflict resolution, what makes Fate any different?
Mechanically other RPGs might have you rolling different dice or different numbers or whatever, but personally I don't see that much difference. It all comes down to what the narrative behind each roll is, I'm interested in seeing whether attempted actions are successful or not, not about how many dice I can get in my hand. It can be hard to keep the story interesting all the time, its true, but ultimately getting the dice roll done as quickly as possible is what I want to get to the next cool thing to happen.
Stress tracks exist to make conflicts longer, though. That is the main thing they do. Coupling a mechanism to extend conflicts with an absence of things to do in that conflict is silly. Two evenly matched combatants will end up just throwing their same dice at each other over and over for half an hour waiting for one of them to get lucky enough times in a row to actually win. That is not interesting fiction or narrative to me.
Funny that I feel Fate more strongly than hero quest.
Fate at least has set skill list to bring some kind of rigidness to the system, while HQ is just flimsy flomsy with anything goes where players can throw anything they want on their character sheets.
>I feel that those issues come from the thinking where combat against enemies is the Most Important Thing, try having a session where there are no fights.
I donno, man. Like the whole concept of Kung Fu settings is conflict. "Don't want to clean your room? Hah, your kung fu is weak! I will show you the power of sweeping mop style!"
Even when it doesn't make sense. The combat itself however is rarely the point of the conflict, but it's there.
No, we had a narrative with two brawlers trying to beat each other's faces in. This was one particular scene, not the overarching plot or anything. The end of that fight was rolling twenty or thirty times of "I attack again" because more eloquent descriptions had already gotten repetitive, too, and we ended up taking a food break before finishing rolling it out.
fate's "rigidness" brings to much meta and artificial resolutions for me. Especially aspects. It feels muh gamist for me.
HQ on the other hand has mechanics that emulate tricks and techniques used by authors to create compelling fiction, and besides the mechanical resolutions, the rulebook contains lot of useful information about putting those techniques to work in the narrative outside the game mechanics.
I cannot, for the fucking life of me, understand how this system works. I've read the book, I've read a splatbook, and the quick start guide but it's so fucking obtuse that I cannot get it to fucking function let alone understand it enough to try and explain it to my group. I don't have any other stories, just the money I wasted on three separate products and a fourth supplemental reading I attempted.
>mechanics that emulate tricks and techniques used by authors to create compelling fiction
Both HQ and Fate have that thing where GM should set the difficulty based on some kind of great narrative plan of struggles and triumphs.
And while I like narrative games, I still like to have some simulationisim in my GMing, where if players try to do something clearly hard and difficult, it's hard and difficult and not easy just because player's have been failing lately.
I really enjoy Fate. Played the Dresden Files RPG and a superhero game, which went well. I also made a Magic: the Gathering hack for Fate.
>I can't do things the way I want because the system won't let me
Resolve your fistfight as first to three successes, set your difficulties according to the difficult you judge something. The rulebook is guidelines to what the designers found most conducive to everyone at the table having fun, do the same for your own games. This is true of any game in any system with a worthwhile gm.
Having been in this thread since the previous night and attempting to give the guy a fair shake on what could be considered a detriment to the system...
I have to say I'm reminded of earlier Fate Core threads where the one guy was bitching about how he can't make a peasant farmer who's never had an adventure as a character because the chargen specifies they've had adventures before.
You still could, if that's the kind of game you are playing. The game just assumes you aren't playing a useless shit farmer and that your character is actually useful from the get go, unlike other games that make you earn your fun. But if the game is about useless shit farmers being competent there is nothing stopping you.
I know and of course I do things as I do things, but I prefer it when I can agree with rules as written.
>never had an adventure as a character because the chargen specifies they've had adventures before.
That reeks of lack of reading comprehension. It's said that the adventure can be somewhat of prophetic thing, something in the future. Also it's implied that adventures don't need to be very adventerious.
Peasant going for dark eery forest to look for lost cow sounds like very likely adventure for peasant for me.
Also, I can't offhand recall any system that doesn't force some sort of competence down on you, be it action die size, skill levels, or class abilities, denying you being a useless shit farmer.
(Of course, I guess one could go on arguing about "can a 1st level D&D character be rated competent?")
Well there is the Dungon Crawling school of thought where level 1 characters are totally incompetent and only the lucky ones survive to get to level 2 and maybe beyond.
Of course there is the question of what determines competence. Something like 3 or 4 life patch Burning Wheel characters can be somewhat competent with one or maybe two things, but will fuck up and fail most of the time.
How many times you have seen the situation where player goes "about 90% chance to succeed, this will be easy" and then fail.
Never trust the odds, they will always fuck you when it really matters.
However, "never trust the odds" has nothing to do with the statement "fate dice are not swingy" which has already been observed to be true.
As for odds, that has nothing to do with Fate specifically and everything to do with dice generally. Those who can't handle odds are better off playing diceless, like Amber roleplay.
Depends on the difficulty level. But yeah, if you're playing on the higher ones, you should basically just take into account that if you have a less than 100% chance of success, it's actually like 50% lower than what you think it is. If the enemy has more than 0%, than it's actually like 50% higher.
Yeah, I like the game, but the people behind it are...
That is not what you described before hand, gaining a boost when you attack successfully, but deal no damage due to outside factors, is a standard Fate rule. This just giving you an additional boost in that same circumstance. It does NOT give you a free invocation for an attack that fails.
There was some sort of CaH clone on DTRPG that one of the EHP guys got buttflustered about, so he took to Twitter saying 'If you don't remove this card game, EHP will pull its products!'.
I believe the rest of the EHP team said 'No, we won't, this guy's just being a faggot.', but DTRPG pulled the thing anyway.
And for the sake of completness, let's also quote why the rule exists.
"Gaining Form invocations in this way is important both because it provides attackers with a reward for even seemingly ineffective attacks and helps simulate the pacing and tempo of combat in the wuxia and Kung Fu action genres, where eventually a skilled and persistent combatant can often overcome even seemingly impregnable defenses."
When anon says it destroys tactical integrity, he basically is claiming Vigilance Press did zero playtesting on their product.
Is it possible, perhaps, to keep the fate point economy going, by forcing upon them some insurmountable odds to force them to spend fate points keeping them resource starved and forcing them to take compels?
Fate point economy works well as it is, so there is no express need to bend your back the wrong way to make it run faster. Mind, some players might enjoy a quickly running economy where they are spending fast and taking quite a bit compels to regain FP. Depends on your players.
Free invos are a problem only to those GMs who don't have any idea how to handle them, or deal with them. And I'm not saying that slamming +8 worth of them to finish off a conflict is a Bad Thing.
Ah I see. I haven't run a fate game yet but I've read similar accounts to the person I originally replied to and thought perhaps the reason for such problems occured because of a slow FP economy.
YOu mention possible problems with free innvocations. What would you say is a good way to adjucate them?
Well, with my players I've never had any big problems them endlessly spamming Create an Advantage (CAA) to get free invocations, but some things to keep in mind:
- Free invocations exist only as long as the aspects they're attached to. Situation aspects go away when they no longer make sense, regardless how many free invos they might still have attached.
- Free invocations themselves exist only as long as they make sense. This and the previous point both go by Fate's "narrative first" principle.
- GM should be driving forward the narrative and not let players endlessly CAA at their leisure.
- CAAs themselves... Firstly, as said players might not have the time to CAA a ton. Secondly, narratively speaking stacking a ton of invocations on an aspect may not make sense. Thirdly, doing the CAA well in advance may not make narrative sense (but there certainly IS such thing as preparing in advance).
- Opposition may always Overcome (as the action) situation aspects and negate them, taking the free invocations with them.
Let's say a barbarian wants to get some good old barb rage going. That's a CAA permitted by their barbarian high concept aspect. That's perfectly reasonable. But if done hours before a battle I wouldn't allow the free invokes to persist until the actual battle. Done in preparation to imminent battle is ok, but I wouldn't allow stacking multiple CAAs, narrative explanation is that it is hard to keep the rage going on without a battle around you. During a battle that's ok, because that's expending your turn on an action. And naturally, in a world where barbarians rage there may be opponents with stunts/spells/powers that have the effect of snapping them out of a rage (taking the rage situation aspect and free invocations away).
FATE Core is bland as hell. I mean it works very well and some people like that, but for me its a featureless blob of substanceless matter.
What you can do however with it is very sexy in some ways. Its like tofu. Normal tofu is shit, but if you know how to dress it up then tofu makes a damn fine corner dish.
Basically that. No big loss but threatening to pull your line from a distributor is a grossly unprofessional. practice.
Hopefully it was just one guy who couldn't keep his mouth shut up But.