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Re: Compels and Roleplaying

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  • Hans
    Hi Sarah: Others have replied to your query below in various ways, just showing the diversity of how people actually handle this situation in actual play.
    Message 1 of 13 , May 11, 2009
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      Hi Sarah:

      Others have replied to your query below in various ways, just showing the diversity of how people actually handle this situation in actual play. I'll give you mine, because I think it is somewhat different from other POV's that have been expressed.

      A GM should never compel a character in a way that they would hesitate to do if the player had no Fate pts. That is, whether or not the character has Fate left should be irrelevant. Compelling is definitely Golden Rule territory, as in "Never compel a player with a compel you yourself would not accept under any circumstances".

      If your players automatically spend fate to resist your compels, then you are being too harsh; you are dictating their actions too much, or making things too complicated. If your players automatically grab the fate point when you compel them, then you are being too lenient; you aren't complicating things enough, or aren't being restrictive enough.

      The sweet spot for compels is that spot where the player really needs to THINK about the decision to spend or receive fate. A pause as the player contemplates both the options and tries to decide which would be more fun is the goal. If you are always aiming for that sweet spot, then if the character is out of Fate, you know that the player will be mostly satisfied with the fate pt as payment for whatever trouble you are causing; they might have preferred a choice in the matter, but they were fool enough to spend out all their Fate pts. That being said, if you are in the sweet spot, a player will almost never truly run out of Fate pts; they will accepting roughly as often as they are resisting, leaving their refresh rate worth of Fate to spend per session on actual benefits.

      Hans

      --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "sarah650213" <sarah.newton5@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi everyone,
      >
      > I've a related question on Compels and free choice, namely what do people do with Compels when the person being compelled has no Fate points left.
      >
      > It came up recently in a game by accident, and left a bad taste, to the extent that we houseruled almost immediately. Basically I compelled a player, unaware that player had no Fate points left, which of course was tantamount to saying "you must act this way, you have no choice". It might be in keeping with the letter of the rules, but in the situation (a moment of high tension) it certainly felt counter to the spirit - like I'd just removed all player control of their character! We decided on that occasion the player could turn down the Compel without having the Fate point, as otherwise it felt a bit too "meh".
      >
      > What do you guys generally do in this instance? I can appreciate in many cases it's a question of the players not "getting" what's going on with Compels, but all the same this situation felt pretty stark...
      >
      > Cheers,
      >
      > Sarah
      >
      >
    • David Hoberman
      Sarah, One thing I haven t seen mentioned here explicitly. A Compel does not dictate a single course of action, but it does limit character action. So Mack has
      Message 2 of 13 , May 12, 2009
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        Sarah,

        One thing I haven't seen mentioned here explicitly.

        A Compel does not dictate a single course of action, but it does limit
        character action.

        So Mack has the Aspect "Anybody for a Drink?" and he's on his way out
        of town, in a rush. As the GM, you compel that Aspect and say "You
        think you've got time for at least one drink before you go."

        It doesn't force him to go to a specific bar or get roaring drunk -
        but it does push the player to complicate Mack's life by spending some
        time he may not really have going and getting a drink and possibly
        getting into trouble.

        Don't compel an aspect if it's going to ruin the mood *unless* the
        player buys it off. Only compel when you've got a cool idea of where
        it could go (and depending on how meta- you want to get, pitch that to
        the player.)

        Remember the player is the one who gets to decide the exact response,
        a compel just dictates the terms.

        David

        On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 5:24 PM, Hans <skalchemist@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hi Sarah:
        >
        > Others have replied to your query below in various ways, just showing the
        > diversity of how people actually handle this situation in actual play. I'll
        > give you mine, because I think it is somewhat different from other POV's
        > that have been expressed.
        >
        > A GM should never compel a character in a way that they would hesitate to do
        > if the player had no Fate pts. That is, whether or not the character has
        > Fate left should be irrelevant. Compelling is definitely Golden Rule
        > territory, as in "Never compel a player with a compel you yourself would not
        > accept under any circumstances".
        >
        > If your players automatically spend fate to resist your compels, then you
        > are being too harsh; you are dictating their actions too much, or making
        > things too complicated. If your players automatically grab the fate point
        > when you compel them, then you are being too lenient; you aren't
        > complicating things enough, or aren't being restrictive enough.
        >
        > The sweet spot for compels is that spot where the player really needs to
        > THINK about the decision to spend or receive fate. A pause as the player
        > contemplates both the options and tries to decide which would be more fun is
        > the goal. If you are always aiming for that sweet spot, then if the
        > character is out of Fate, you know that the player will be mostly satisfied
        > with the fate pt as payment for whatever trouble you are causing; they might
        > have preferred a choice in the matter, but they were fool enough to spend
        > out all their Fate pts. That being said, if you are in the sweet spot, a
        > player will almost never truly run out of Fate pts; they will accepting
        > roughly as often as they are resisting, leaving their refresh rate worth of
        > Fate to spend per session on actual benefits.
        >
        > Hans
        >
        > --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "sarah650213" <sarah.newton5@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> Hi everyone,
        >>
        >> I've a related question on Compels and free choice, namely what do people
        >> do with Compels when the person being compelled has no Fate points left.
        >>
        >> It came up recently in a game by accident, and left a bad taste, to the
        >> extent that we houseruled almost immediately. Basically I compelled a
        >> player, unaware that player had no Fate points left, which of course was
        >> tantamount to saying "you must act this way, you have no choice". It might
        >> be in keeping with the letter of the rules, but in the situation (a moment
        >> of high tension) it certainly felt counter to the spirit - like I'd just
        >> removed all player control of their character! We decided on that occasion
        >> the player could turn down the Compel without having the Fate point, as
        >> otherwise it felt a bit too "meh".
        >>
        >> What do you guys generally do in this instance? I can appreciate in many
        >> cases it's a question of the players not "getting" what's going on with
        >> Compels, but all the same this situation felt pretty stark...
        >>
        >> Cheers,
        >>
        >> Sarah
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
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