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Re: [FateRPG] Re: My first Fate session! :-)

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  • Mike Holmes
    ... I wanted to comment on all of this. It seems to me that the problem is with the fragmented ways in which these things have been presented. One of the cool
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 31, 2003
      >From: Greg McIntyre <puyo@...>

      >"Fred Hicks" <iago@...> wrote:

      > > The reason they've all been named extras is because they're all the
      > > same thing in the end. Most any distinction made past that point
      > > would be artificial.
      >
      >Yes, but that makes it difficult for the uninitiated

      I wanted to comment on all of this. It seems to me that the problem is with
      the fragmented ways in which these things have been presented. One of the
      cool things about Fate is that it has a Effects First sort of presentation.
      That is, there are skills, and Aspects, and everything is defined in these
      terms. This is good design. The problem is that, it seems to me, that these
      ideas are then taken and broken down further into what seem essentially to
      me to be examples of their use, but which are presented as rules.

      If instead the rules were explained, as Aspects, Skills, pyramids, etc, and
      then the players and GMs were allowed to determine how to use these things
      to represent anything they wanted to add to the character, that would be
      more effective. Then everything else would become just examples instead of
      rules. So, instead of having something about minions, allies, and contacts,
      or shared or personal or whatever, the player would just look at the NPC in
      question and decide on how to apply the rules to the choice in question.

      Then what you'd want to have is examples of many possible uses. You'd have
      skills bought to represent contacts. You'd have Aspects bought as enemies.
      Etc. Do enough samples, and players and GMs will get the idea of how to
      simulate anything themselves, and not have to check in th book to see if
      they're doing it "right". It's more important that they understand the
      principles involved in creating an ability than having rules for how to do
      any particular incarnation correctly.

      Does that make any sense? Basically, you have the powers rules, like in Hero
      System, but then you're telling us the "right" way to make our abilities,
      instead of letting us select our own way. Again, see Hero Quest for how to
      take one "power" and make it do anything. You have an advantage over that
      system in that you have two ways of representing things (which may end up
      making it a better system in the end).

      I do agree that it's hard to get everything into phases of creation with
      only one Aspect per phase. So what I think would be cool is discussion of
      alternate pyramids, and other structures for generateing Aspects than
      Phases. So, to answer Landon about what I think would make sense with these
      rules I'm developing for my personal ideas for play, I'd say that simply
      having other sorts of phases available rather than chronological ones would
      cover it well. That is, don't incorproate what I have directly, but discuss
      other ways to use the basica rules to get the effect you want. More options
      on how to use the current rules, more examples, but no new rules themselves.

      So, I don't like how the "structured" creation rules are presented. They
      seem to be optional additions on top of the standard format. What I'd like
      to see is all of "phase" criteria selection by the GM, including time, be
      considerations. So, for a phase, you'd indicate if it was "timed" (for
      example, Racial phases would not take time per se, but probably ought to be
      done first), and then what other restrictions, professional, locational,
      whatever, apply to each phase. Then follow up with a couple of examples.

      Anyhow, this all keeps with the game's modular design concept, and would be
      very cool, IMO. If anyone else sees what I'm saying, a restatement of the
      idea would be cool to reinforce it for others (or to bring up conceptual
      differences in explanations).

      >I told him that this enemy would become a significant
      >character in the story and that he would be tied most strongly to him,
      >and since he was an enemy Aspect, he'd get FPs from encounters with this
      >enemy. Does that sound right?

      It seems to me that an important thing to remember to add in the description
      would be what the effects of Involuntary Invokation are. That is, in the
      case of an enemy if the enemy is trying to escape, and the player wants his
      character to pursue, the GM can invoke the Aspect to allow the enemy to get
      away without a roll (and the player gets a reward). That's really, really
      cool. No more cheap GM tricks to get the enemy to escape, just the
      mechanics. This can be extended a lot, too. If the GM doesn't want the
      player to learn some secret, invoke the Aspect, representing the enemy's
      influence. OTOH, in circumstances surrounding these events the PC will be
      able to check off the enemy box to be more effective, including when the
      climactic moment finally does come. That's just awesome.

      >Also, is it wise to let the player have a say in how these Aspects are
      >spent? I asked him what he had in mind so I had a few clues and he
      >shrugged his shoulders at me so I suppose I'm free to do what I want but
      >I was just winging it and hoping I was doing the right thing...

      I think it's very cool if the player wants a hand in it. For example, if the
      character is a great swordsman, he can create the enemy as a rival in that
      area. Very dramatic. I can see them engaging in repeated inconclusive
      encounters, escallating the rivalry over time. In any case, the more the
      player invests his thoughts in what the enemy is like, the more ownership
      he'll have, and the more dramatic the encounters.

      Mike

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    • Iago
      ... Sorry about the three-week delay. I plead roadtrip and cross country move, your honor. It s too bad other people didn t offer commentary to this (not as
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 18, 2003
        On Sat, 30 Aug 2003, Greg McIntyre wrote:

        > Okay, I'll ask for some advice on a few things.

        Sorry about the three-week delay. I plead roadtrip and
        cross country move, your honor. It's too bad other people
        didn't offer commentary to this (not as far as I saw, at
        least), so I flagged your message as a "respond to this
        when you can" -- and, well, I can, finally.

        > It seemed to my player who invested an Aspect and 4 Skill
        > Ranks in an enemy to give himself a powerful and
        > interesting arch-rival, that he was spending an awful lot
        > on it. He wanted to know what effect those skill ranks
        > would have. I told him that this enemy would become a
        > significant character in the story and that he would be
        > tied most strongly to him, and since he was an enemy
        > Aspect, he'd get FPs from encounters with this enemy. Does
        > that sound right?

        He'd certainly be a candidate for getting an FP from that
        aspect whenever the enemy showed up to complicate his
        plans, make his life more difficult, or otherwise restrict
        or impede him in some nefarious fashion. So, sounds right.

        Plus, that aspect can be viewed as a "knows thy enemy"
        sort of thing, allowing him a reroll when fighting him.
        It's an aspect after all -- so it can cut both ways.

        > How should I handle building this character? 1 Skill Rank
        > translates to 1 Aspect for his enemy so I have a 4-Aspect
        > enemy who will be fairly prominent. At some point the
        > rules suggest that skill ranks could be weaknesses for an
        > enemy but I think that sounds misleading. Good aspects are
        > positive and negative (so strengths _and_ weaknesses). So
        > when asked what they'd do I said they might be weaknesses
        > but that I'd think about it (in other words I was a bit
        > muddled on the topic).
        >
        > Also, is it wise to let the player have a say in how these
        > Aspects are spent? I asked him what he had in mind so I
        > had a few clues and he shrugged his shoulders at me so I
        > suppose I'm free to do what I want but I was just winging
        > it and hoping I was doing the right thing...

        I'd look at this enemy as a Shared Extra. Meaning, 4
        aspects are the minimum for the guy -- and the GM can add
        more. Those four aspects that the player has _paid_ for,
        to me, means they're aspecst that the player should either
        determine, or at least get to know about. More of the
        'know thy enemy' thing. If your player selects uniformly
        "negative" aspects (Weak-Willed, Crippled, whatever), then
        there's a big excuse for you to have the villain show up
        to every encounter with a nice big handful of fate points. :)

        > Another thing I'm not sure about is when negative skills
        > can come into play. It seems from the rules that they
        > never do, however this seems like a neat way to represent
        > those times when a character is just _bad_ at something.
        > The problem is that because the skills are open-ended,
        > normally it's the players who say "I want to use _this_
        > skill!" but if it was negative, the onus would be on the
        > GM to spot them and apply a negative modifier.

        I may have to look to Rob to comment on this one, as I
        don't recall us having much discussion about negative
        _skills_ -- just negative aspects.

        > But I think the Fate GM should only have to worry about
        > negative Aspects not negative skills (for simplicity). So
        > in other words, I don't think negative skills'd work. But
        > they're never mentioned in the rules. I think a note that
        > negative skill levels are not allowed/recommended would be
        > worthwhile (this was something a player asked me and I was
        > a bit stumped but I've cleared it up now -- we changed an
        > Aspect slightly to make its negative side clearer).

        Is it possible the writeup meant to say 'skill levels the
        PC spends to buy aspects for the enemy could be used to
        define negative aspects (thus weaknesses for that enemy)'
        -- Rob?

        > Ah... what else? "Extras" isn't in the index at the back.
        > :)

        Rob! Take note!

        --
        Fred Hicks <iago AT iago DOT net>
        "Curse you iago and your fast fingers!" - Rob Donoghue
        Fate RPG - http://www.evilhat.com/fate/
        Check out my famous friend - http://www.jim-butcher.com/
      • Darren Hill
        From: Iago ... I ll apologise for this list - I can t remember seeing the original post. ... One suggestion that has come up on this list is
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 18, 2003
          From: "Iago" <iago@...>
          > Sorry about the three-week delay. I plead roadtrip and
          > cross country move, your honor. It's too bad other people
          > didn't offer commentary to this

          I'll apologise for this list - I can't remember seeing the original post.

          > > It seemed to my player who invested an Aspect and 4 Skill
          > > Ranks in an enemy to give himself a powerful and
          > > interesting arch-rival, that he was spending an awful lot
          > > on it.

          One suggestion that has come up on this list is that skill points spent on
          an enemy are things the player gets to define about the enemy, and which his
          player knows about and can take advantage of. So, for example, a player
          could spend 4 skill points to give an enemy
          * Aspect: Gentleman's Code - always fights fair, never breaks word
          * Aspect: Hate Frenchmen (which the player might be able to find ways to use
          to his advantage)
          * Aspect: Fear Snakes
          * Aspect: Loves [PC's] Sister (who the villain knows would be a little upset
          if her kid brother was offed by the villain, leading to less-lethal combats
          or subterfuge in which the villain tries to hide his part in the offing of
          said brother)

          The GM naturally can veto any choices, but the player has an opportunity to
          build in weaknesses so that he can predict certain behaviours on the part of
          the enemy.
          The enemy would have as many aspects as needed to fill the role he is
          supposed to fill - the GM gets to choose the others, though the player may
          know a few of them too and be able to take advantage of them. But the GM
          chooses them so he can't count on this.

          > > Another thing I'm not sure about is when negative skills
          > > can come into play.

          Negative skills? I missed them - what are they?

          Darren
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