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Unknown Armies /Over the edge and FATE

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  • dalcun
    So I was thinking Im not hugely a fan of UAs system but love the background and OTEs system is so similar to FATE as to be almost confusable. What with me not
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 28, 2004
      So I was thinking Im not hugely a fan of UAs system but love the
      background and OTEs system is so similar to FATE as to be almost
      confusable.

      What with me not wanting to reinvent the wheel the question is has
      anyone here actually thought of a way of modeling UAs insanity/stress
      meters and schools of magic?

      I mean you could force players to write down violence, fear, etc
      triggers. But I wouldnt want to hand out violence aspects for failed
      stress checks.

      Any ideas/comments gratefuly accepted.
    • Rob
      ... The magic systems could pretty much be ported over as whole cloth. The mechanical elements are suprising slim: there needs to be a skill, a way to do
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 28, 2004
        --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "dalcun" <sws99dsc@r...> wrote:
        > So I was thinking Im not hugely a fan of UAs system but love the
        > background and OTEs system is so similar to FATE as to be almost
        > confusable.
        >
        > What with me not wanting to reinvent the wheel the question is has
        > anyone here actually thought of a way of modeling UAs insanity/stress
        > meters and schools of magic?
        >
        > I mean you could force players to write down violence, fear, etc
        > triggers. But I wouldnt want to hand out violence aspects for failed
        > stress checks.
        >
        > Any ideas/comments gratefuly accepted.


        The magic systems could pretty much be ported over as whole cloth. The mechanical
        elements are suprising slim: there needs to be a skill, a way to do damage, and a way
        to gather charges. Most of the spells don't have much in the way of mechanical
        effect, so there's no real problem there.

        I'd suggest that the skill also be an aspect (as in the Age of Stone and Steel example),
        and if you want to represent the manic devotion that magic requires, you could rule
        that no other aspect can have more boxes than Magic does. Specific difficulties and
        such are beyond what I can do without a book in front of me, but outside of combat
        magic, I recall very few instances where that will be a real problem.

        For combat magic, I'd say that the lesser attacks are effectively made at -2 (-1 for
        lame weapon, -1 for weak magic) while the medium blasts are at a -0 penalty.

        Gathering charges has almost no ties to the system, so that ports with no trouble.
        And with that, I think you'd be good to go.


        Now, the archetypes are a seperate kettle of fish. The easiest solution is to say that
        instead of pickign up new abilities at the current break points, pick them up at, say,
        Good, Great and Epic, with ascension happenign at legendary. However, this has a
        flaw: TH enature of th epyramid means that anyoen who ascends is goign to have LOT
        of phases to be able to support a skill that high. Now, that may seem approrpiate to
        some, but it may not suit everyone. In that case, I'd be inclined to say, track the
        archetype skill outside of the pyramid, but make it start at terrible, cost double to
        advance, and only allow 1 point towards it in any given phase.

        That' s not a perfect solution though, so I'll have to give it some thought.

        Now, Sanity is even trickier. On some level, I'd be inclined to just say translate it
        directly to Fate (With each 10% being a step on the ladder) because it's just so damned
        elegant as is.


        For those not familair with it, UA has a wonderful sanity system that hinges ona few
        unique points. First, there are several types of sanity, based on types of trauma
        (Violence, Isolation, etc). While thats' stylish enough, it's handled through aclever
        process called hardening. As you grow more accustomed to a type of trauma (say,
        violence), it bothers you less and less. Thus, a Normal person might have to make a
        check agaisnt violnce to Shoot someone in the face, but someone who has been
        hardened against several levels of violence would not need to make a check, they can
        just do it.

        It's nicely doubel edged. Obviously, it's handy to have no remorse when killing, but
        the more hardened you are against it, the less well balanced an individual you are. A
        person who is greatly hardened agaisnt violence treats it so casually that they'll often
        end up killign when it's far from necessary, and eventually, just for the hell of it.

        Of course, UA is a great game for reminding you exactly how bad an option violence
        is, and why civilization, for all its flaws, is pretty neat.

        But not every player is comfortable with the implied loss of character control. They're
        used to being able to dictate that their character kills puppies for satan without a
        problem.

        Ok, so, all that rambling was mostly to give me a chance to think. I'm still sold on a
        reasonably straight up conversion with a few extra considerations.

        First off, assume any character starts with a hardening of Poor against all types of
        trauma, though the GM may allow one point of any type of hardenign to be added
        during each phase. When faced with a trauma they must make a roll on the hardening
        level and make or beat the level of the trauma to be able to act as they wish. Failure
        is treated the same as it is in UA, including dropping hardening. (Levels of trauma
        are derived from UA, but without the book in front of me, I've got no way to say what
        they are rigth this second). if the character succeeds, their hardening level goes up
        one. If the character is exposed to a horror that's equal or less to their hardening
        level, they don't roll, they simply carry on. Aspects can be used to help these checks.

        Hardening can be moved back towards poor (either up or down) through therapy or
        other assistance - rules for this are in keeping with UA.

        One new twist I woudl add: Players can buy down hardening (or buy it up, if it's
        dropped below poor) by turnign in one level of hardening for a new aspect. Of
        course, since nothing's free, the GM gets to choose the nature of this aspect, and it
        shoudl generally be someothign pretty mean to relfect the character's brush with
        insanity. Delusions, phobias and th elike are all absolutely approrpiate.

        There are other specific concerns, like the point at which magic stops working, that I'll
        need to double check the rules for, but this should be a decent starting point.

        -Rob D.


        PS - Oh, in contrast, Over the Edge is trivial to convert. I'd actually suggest using the
        core OtE rules, and simply treat each element (the 3 advantages an 1 drawback) as
        aspects, allowing them to be checked off for rerolls. Thus,

        Bob Smith
        Sailor: 4d
        Brawler: 3d
        Smuggler: 3d
        Claustraphobic

        Becomes
        Bob Smith
        Sailor: 4d [] []
        Brawler: 3d []
        Smuggler: 3d []
        Claustraphobic []

        Alternately, you could just use Fate, but get rid of the skills, allowing players to roll
        based entirely on their aspects. This makes for a great, fast creation process. As
        such, bob woudl actually be:

        Sailor: [][] (Fair)
        Brawler: [] (Mediocre)
        Smuggler: [] (Mediocre)
        Claustrophobic: [][](mediocre)

        Note that Bob's got a balanced pyramid!

        As a side note, this conversion gets even easier in Fudgless fate, but thats a story for
        another day.
      • Iago
        ... Er, except, only if Claustrophobic matches its adjective with the number of boxes. Also, you ve got one box = Mediocre on the brain again, which is, at
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 28, 2004
          On Wed, 28 Jan 2004, Rob wrote:

          > Alternately, you could just use Fate, but get rid of the
          > skills, allowing players to roll based entirely on their
          > aspects. This makes for a great, fast creation process. As
          > such, bob woudl actually be:
          >
          > Sailor: [][] (Fair)
          > Brawler: [] (Mediocre)
          > Smuggler: [] (Mediocre)
          > Claustrophobic: [][](mediocre)
          >
          > Note that Bob's got a balanced pyramid!

          Er, except, only if Claustrophobic matches its adjective
          with the number of boxes. Also, you've got one box =
          Mediocre on the brain again, which is, at least, not in
          agreement with the current rev of the rules -- but I'll
          buy that it'd be appropriate for Over the Fate. :)

          Possible comments on the longer part of the message in
          another reply. :)

          --
          Fred Hicks * "Curse you iago and your fast fingers!" - Rob Donoghue
          Co-Author of Fate - Managing Editor of Fudge Factor - The 'fan' in fanatic
          Fate RPG * http://www.faterpg.com/ Fudge Factor * http://www.fudgefactor.org/
          Plink * http://www.rainlikely.com/ Jim Butcher * http://www.jim-butcher.com/
        • Rob
          D oh. should have been one box.
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 28, 2004
            D'oh. should have been one box.

            --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, Iago <iago@i...> wrote:
            > On Wed, 28 Jan 2004, Rob wrote:
            >
            > > Alternately, you could just use Fate, but get rid of the
            > > skills, allowing players to roll based entirely on their
            > > aspects. This makes for a great, fast creation process. As
            > > such, bob woudl actually be:
            > >
            > > Sailor: [][] (Fair)
            > > Brawler: [] (Mediocre)
            > > Smuggler: [] (Mediocre)
            > > Claustrophobic: [][](mediocre)
            > >
            > > Note that Bob's got a balanced pyramid!
            >
            > Er, except, only if Claustrophobic matches its adjective
            > with the number of boxes. Also, you've got one box =
            > Mediocre on the brain again, which is, at least, not in
            > agreement with the current rev of the rules -- but I'll
            > buy that it'd be appropriate for Over the Fate. :)
            >
            > Possible comments on the longer part of the message in
            > another reply. :)
            >
            > --
            > Fred Hicks * "Curse you iago and your fast fingers!" - Rob Donoghue
            > Co-Author of Fate - Managing Editor of Fudge Factor - The 'fan' in fanatic
            > Fate RPG * http://www.faterpg.com/ Fudge Factor * http://www.fudgefactor.org/
            > Plink * http://www.rainlikely.com/ Jim Butcher * http://www.jim-butcher.com/
          • Iago
            Here, I want to talk about an Aspect based version of the sanity principle, at least as I understand it from Rob s writeup (I don t know the game). I ll use
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 30, 2004
              Here, I want to talk about an Aspect based version of the
              sanity principle, at least as I understand it from Rob's
              writeup (I don't know the game). I'll use the Violence
              sanity descriptor because it's the most facile and known
              for me.

              Let's say you have continuum, a free aspect that everyone
              gets. They start out at three levels, with the (Sanity)
              tag on them, and as they get hardened, they reduce until
              the last level is removed, at which point they pick it
              back up at one level again, with the (Insanity) tag on it.
              So, you'd have maybe six levels (though you could take
              this as far as you like) that would look like this:

              Violence (Sanity) [] [] [] "Terrible"
              Violence (Sanity) [] [] "Poor"
              Violence (Sanity) [] "Mediocre"
              Violence (Insanity) [] "Fair"
              Violence (Insanity) [] [] "Good"
              Violence (Insanity) [] [] [] "Great"

              (Using the Fudge terms here; we'll skip right past Average
              because in UA, _nobody is average_, but if you like, start
              the terms at Poor, and make Violence (Sanity) [] your
              Average.)

              While you're on the Sanity side of the line, you get FPs
              whenever you are compelled by the GM to _avoid violence_.
              You want to fire the gun, he pays you FPs, you don't fire
              the gun. If you buy this off and pay the _GM_ FPs, though,
              you do fire the gun -- and you lose one level of Violence
              (Sanity). Perhaps you can also invoke this version of the
              aspect in order to get rerolls, etc, under circumstances
              where you are attempting to remain sane, avoid violence,
              etc.

              Once you cross over to the Insanity (or Hardened) side of
              the line, you get FPs whenever you are compelled by the GM
              to _commit violence_. You want to go for a peaceful
              solution, he pays you FPs, you pull your gun and fire
              instead. If you buy this off and pay the GM FPs, though,
              you keep the gun holstered -- and you lose one level of
              Violence (Insanity). You can doubtless also invoke this
              version of the aspect in order to get your rerolls when
              _being violent_.

              --
              Fred Hicks * "Curse you iago and your fast fingers!" - Rob Donoghue
              Co-Author of Fate - Managing Editor of Fudge Factor - The 'fan' in fanatic
              Fate RPG * http://www.faterpg.com/ Fudge Factor * http://www.fudgefactor.org/
              Plink * http://www.rainlikely.com/ Jim Butcher * http://www.jim-butcher.com/
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