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Re: [FateRPG] Advancement Systems?

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  • Antti Kautiainen
    ... Do you want Mass Effect / CRPG advancement speed, which is highly cinematic, or more reasonable speed. First question: how good education does the Alliance
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 1, 2010
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      >Also, hadn't someone once advocated truncating character creation at one or
      >two phases if you were going with t>his concept? Any concrete experiences on
      >how that has worked out?
      >
      >
      >I appreciate any help or advice you can give.
      >
      >
      >Cheers!
      >
      >Carl



      Do you want Mass Effect / CRPG advancement speed, which is highly cinematic, or
      more reasonable speed.


      First question: how good education does the Alliance Military Academy give? Is
      it officer school equivalent of university level degree, somethign akin to
      reserve officer school or nco school, or just a standard 12 month basic training


      plus specialization training?


      If it was real school for department heads and bridge crew (which is long way to


      go), I woudl say 4 to 5 phases out of which 3 are in the military school. And
      remember - captain should have 1 to 2 phases more than others beyond this -
      captains are never out of academy guys in real navies, as they need practical
      expreience. It is totally unreasoanble to have captains who are on same
      experience
      level as the other department heads or crew. Not that most gaming industry or
      dream for the teenagers televiesion and movie industry cares - I bet most
      script writers have no real contact with military life.

      Two phases only would indicate

      Yours Kautsu
    • Tobias Loehr
      What you really want is to just stop at the 3rd phase of character creation (don t do 4 and 5). Now I know that the Diaspora creation kind of needs all 5
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 1, 2010
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        What you really want is to just stop at the 3rd phase of character creation (don't do 4 and 5). Now I know that the Diaspora creation kind of needs all 5 phases but as someone stated previously, check out both Legends of Anglerre and Starblazer to see how it can be done.
         
        From personal experience of having characters all phases for a higher powered game to just three phases for a LoA game I can definately confirm that three phases creates interesting but limited characters that give the "1st level" feel you are looking for.
         
        As far as advancement goes, I don't think you really need to do much different (although I'm not familiar with Diaspora advancement rules and if they are different). One skill point at the start of each session does allow for steady growth, especially when starting with peak skill of +3. The only thing I can add here is to be sure to allow for fairly frequent milestones early on in the chronicle (every 2 to 3 sessions) to allow the characters to learn and grow. Of course, I say "early on" because I don't think you need to keep that pace up continuously.

         
        OGC
         


        --- On Tue, 8/31/10, Carl Ryll <carl.ryll@...> wrote:

        From: Carl Ryll <carl.ryll@...>
        Subject: [FateRPG] Advancement Systems?
        To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 10:04 PM

         
        Hi Friends
         
        I am hoping the FATE literati can help suggest some ways to model advancement in a new hack of Diaspora I'll be running soon.
         
        I'll be dictating what setting we use (Mass Effect universe) and I'd really like to have the group start fresh out of the human alliance military academy-- basically old school "first level characters".
         
        I know FATE 2 had a couple of ways to do this, but has anyone developed other hacks that will work with a FATE 3 game? I know both SOTC and Diaspora are pretty committed to having the player characters start as masters of one skill, but for this military campaign I want to see a gradual progression that eventually gets us to the place where they have one skill at superb, and so on. Wasn't there some mention earlier of a skill pyramid versus a tower? Or something?
         
        Also, hadn't someone once advocated truncating character creation at one or two phases if you were going with this concept? Any concrete experiences on how that has worked out?
         
        I appreciate any help or advice you can give.
         
        Cheers!

        Carl


      • Travis Heldibridle
        I m running my own flavor of Fate so what I m doing won t transfer over exactly, but here is what I do. Characters start with a 3-tier skill pyramid (leaving 9
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 1, 2010
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          I'm running my own flavor of Fate so what I'm doing won't transfer over exactly, but here is what I do. Characters start with a 3-tier skill pyramid (leaving 9 more skills to be earned) and a single stunt (leaving 9 more stunts to be earned).
           
          Characters start at "1st level" on a scale of 10 levels. Each level earned in play gets them a skill (building up the pyramid from the bottom) and a stunt. A level is earned by the end (some players may be rewarded their level earlier than the actual end for particularly memorable role play) of a successful "module" (the equivalent of a D&D adventure, covering 2 or 3 levels on a 30 level scale). I feel it allows the characters to develop naturally in play without a ton of extra rules or points to track. The only issue I've had is getting players to understand that a 10th level character is a capable and experienced person in his prime rather than at the end of a seasoned career and  looking toward retirement which is how most games with levels seem to feel.


          On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 11:04 PM, Carl Ryll <carl.ryll@...> wrote:
           

          Hi Friends
           
          I am hoping the FATE literati can help suggest some ways to model advancement in a new hack of Diaspora I'll be running soon.
           
          I'll be dictating what setting we use (Mass Effect universe) and I'd really like to have the group start fresh out of the human alliance military academy-- basically old school "first level characters".
           
          I know FATE 2 had a couple of ways to do this, but has anyone developed other hacks that will work with a FATE 3 game? I know both SOTC and Diaspora are pretty committed to having the player characters start as masters of one skill, but for this military campaign I want to see a gradual progression that eventually gets us to the place where they have one skill at superb, and so on. Wasn't there some mention earlier of a skill pyramid versus a tower? Or something?
           
          Also, hadn't someone once advocated truncating character creation at one or two phases if you were going with this concept? Any concrete experiences on how that has worked out?
           
          I appreciate any help or advice you can give.
           
          Cheers!

          Carl


        • Pete Lindsay
          For my loosely Fate 2.5 -based homebrew I give people free choice for their skill pyramid and aspects without the overhead of phased creation, and then award
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 1, 2010
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            For my loosely Fate '2.5'-based homebrew I give people free choice for
            their skill pyramid and aspects without the overhead of phased creation,
            and then award 1 experience point per trip. The EP can be used to buy a
            permanent skill level or like a Fate Point for aspect invocations and
            dice roll modifiers. While there are obvious long-term problems with an
            open-ended system like this, the skill pyramid structure mitigates them
            short term. This has worked well for 30+ trips/adventures (maybe 40
            sessions?) spread between a couple of overlapping playing groups.

            There are some strains showing in the experience/advancement system now
            though. When I set the advancement system up I didn't think I'd have
            problems at a point per adventure per player until around 50 sessions
            in. But I've allowed an EP for a game write-up too. My most frequent,
            pushy and rewarding player seized on this and so gets two points most
            trips - though I do get a steady stream of accounts, as intended. He is
            rather outstripping his companions, through his own diligence
            admittedly, in skills, aspects and still has an annoyingly large pool of
            ready experience points to hand for use as Fate Points, etc.

            In hindsight I should perhaps have given more experience per trip and
            made skills more expensive so the odd extra point floating about would
            not have so much effect. Of course, whether my player would have
            reported on events so assiduously for a proportionately lesser reward is
            open to speculation.

            Eventually I'll have to face the more fundamental problems of the
            open-endedness of the advancement system, but for now the old GM standby
            of bigger, better challenges is holding the line.

            --Pete


            Carl Ryll wrote, On 20100901 04:04:
            > Hi Friends
            >
            > I am hoping the FATE literati can help suggest some ways to model advancement in a new hack of Diaspora I'll be running soon.
            >
            > I'll be dictating what setting we use (Mass Effect universe) and I'd really like to have the group start fresh out of the human alliance military academy-- basically old school "first level characters".
            >
            > I know FATE 2 had a couple of ways to do this, but has anyone developed other hacks that will work with a FATE 3 game? I know both SOTC and Diaspora are pretty committed to having the player characters start as masters of one skill, but for this military campaign I want to see a gradual progression that eventually gets us to the place where they have one skill at superb, and so on. Wasn't there some mention earlier of a skill pyramid versus a tower? Or something?
            >
            > Also, hadn't someone once advocated truncating character creation at one or two phases if you were going with this concept? Any concrete experiences on how that has worked out?
            >
            > I appreciate any help or advice you can give.
            >
            > Cheers!
            >
            > Carl
            >
            >
            >
          • Antti Kautiainen
            I personally liked the fate/Dresden system without experience points. I have never loved that minmax minigame in RPGs. The refresh system does work very well -
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 2, 2010
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              I personally liked the fate/Dresden system without experience points.
              I have never loved that minmax minigame in RPGs. The refresh
              system does work very well - and allows more realistic character
              development and thus allowing more realistic ship crew in skills
              when game begins - that is why I am for more phases in character
              generation. I do not like the common ground of RPGs from farmer's
              son to king in a year. That is what most game systems do emulate.

              The skills in FATE are very braod, and steps between skills are big,
              thus I would go even with rule that 1 refresh improving skill a year
              baseline in realistic scifi setting, and using similar base line for
              post-academy phases in which you do spend most of the time working.
              The refreshes giving you new skills at +0 should be more common, and
              those are more realistic results of adventure - not a session. Character
              learns basics of something due stressful situation.

              On the academy phase, I would say the difference between military and
              civilian training is very simple - military has less options what he is
              doing while civilian has more outside electives due free time. Unfortunately
              most gamers have Hollywood vision of military which isn't good thing
              for hard scifi as opposed to space opear which is fantasy in space.

              I myself suggest system of character generation for scifi game:
              Phase 1: childhood, 1 aspect, 2 skills.
              Phase 2: adolescence, 1 aspect, 4 skills,
              Phase 3: educaton (4 years, 18 to 22): 2 aspects, 4 skills, 2 stunts
              - the occupation (actual training) of the character gives limitations to the
              skills
              - you can improve one occupational skill with 2 steps by spendign 2 points.
              - Ther emgiht be more stunts and less skills invovled - stunts represent
              specific training within skill and thus represents occupational skills better.
              - I would say 1 stunt is tied to both aspects.
              - Aspects has to be different.
              Phase 4 onward: Work (4 years a term): 1 aspect, 4 skills and/or stunts
              - the phase 4 onward might limit the amount of stunts to skill replacement
              to one per phase.

              Unlike in Diaspora, Miltiary training is aspect, not stunt. It is way better way
              to model it - as it is more access to weaponry training, access to miltiary
              discipline, than access to uber military equipment. And for military trained
              personel, both stunts and fields at phase 3 shoudl be miltiary. First aspect
              is miltary trainign and second aspect is your actual military field - like
              Military
              Police, Infantry, Antitank, Fighter Pilot, Naval Crew.

              The aspects on phase 3 onward should represent your "occupation" during
              that term. The Fate 2.0 levels on aspects are perfect to simulate your
              occupational
              knowledge - no need for bloody career skills. Your aspect determiens hwo
              good you are at your occupational field, and how much real experience you have
              doing that field jobs. And the Fate system way of invokign aspects really well
              simulates the big difference of actual experience and theory.

              Yours Kautsu


              ----- Original Message ----
              From: Pete Lindsay <louisxiv@...>
              To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, September 2, 2010 3:09:05 AM
              Subject: Re: [FateRPG] Advancement Systems?

              For my loosely Fate '2.5'-based homebrew I give people free choice for
              their skill pyramid and aspects without the overhead of phased creation,
              and then award 1 experience point per trip. The EP can be used to buy a
              permanent skill level or like a Fate Point for aspect invocations and
              dice roll modifiers. While there are obvious long-term problems with an
              open-ended system like this, the skill pyramid structure mitigates them
              short term. This has worked well for 30+ trips/adventures (maybe 40
              sessions?) spread between a couple of overlapping playing groups.

              There are some strains showing in the experience/advancement system now
              though. When I set the advancement system up I didn't think I'd have
              problems at a point per adventure per player until around 50 sessions
              in. But I've allowed an EP for a game write-up too. My most frequent,
              pushy and rewarding player seized on this and so gets two points most
              trips - though I do get a steady stream of accounts, as intended. He is
              rather outstripping his companions, through his own diligence
              admittedly, in skills, aspects and still has an annoyingly large pool of
              ready experience points to hand for use as Fate Points, etc.

              In hindsight I should perhaps have given more experience per trip and
              made skills more expensive so the odd extra point floating about would
              not have so much effect. Of course, whether my player would have
              reported on events so assiduously for a proportionately lesser reward is
              open to speculation.

              Eventually I'll have to face the more fundamental problems of the
              open-endedness of the advancement system, but for now the old GM standby
              of bigger, better challenges is holding the line.

              --Pete


              Carl Ryll wrote, On 20100901 04:04:
              > Hi Friends
              >
              > I am hoping the FATE literati can help suggest some ways to model advancement
              >in a new hack of Diaspora I'll be running soon.
              >
              > I'll be dictating what setting we use (Mass Effect universe) and I'd really
              >like to have the group start fresh out of the human alliance military academy--
              >basically old school "first level characters".
              >
              > I know FATE 2 had a couple of ways to do this, but has anyone developed other
              >hacks that will work with a FATE 3 game? I know both SOTC and Diaspora are
              >pretty committed to having the player characters start as masters of one skill,
              >but for this military campaign I want to see a gradual progression that
              >eventually gets us to the place where they have one skill at superb, and so on.
              >Wasn't there some mention earlier of a skill pyramid versus a tower? Or
              >something?
              >
              > Also, hadn't someone once advocated truncating character creation at one or two
              >phases if you were going with this concept? Any concrete experiences on how that
              >has worked out?
              >
              > I appreciate any help or advice you can give.
              >
              > Cheers!
              >
              > Carl
              >
              >
              >



              ------------------------------------

              | Fate * http://www.faterpg.com/
              | SOTC * http://www.evilhat.com/?spirit
              | DFRPG * http://www.dresdenfilesrpg.com/Yahoo! Groups Links
            • Carl Brown
              For my short 2 cents worth: I ran a modified 2.0 camapign begining with 4 phase characters 6 skills per phase, basically inexperienced professionals. We played
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 4, 2010
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                For my short 2 cents worth: I ran a modified 2.0 camapign begining with 4 phase characters 6 skills per phase, basically inexperienced professionals. We played a total of about hours of play during this time I awarded 6 skill ranks and one aspect. No-one grumbled. Very slow advancement did not seem to be a problem because unlike a traditional level based system players aren't aching to get thier hands on the next cool new power. Instead Aspect choices have enabled them to realise thier concept from the get go.
                <-----Original Message----->
                >From: Antti Kautiainen [kautsu2000@...]
                >Sent: 9/2/2010 6:03:59 PM
                >To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: Re: [FateRPG] Advancement Systems?
                >
                >
                >I personally liked the fate/Dresden system without experience points.
                >I have never loved that minmax minigame in RPGs. The refresh
                >system does work very well - and allows more realistic character
                >development and thus allowing more realistic ship crew in skills
                >when game begins - that is why I am for more phases in character
                >generation. I do not like the common ground of RPGs from farmer's
                >son to king in a year. That is what most game systems do emulate.
                >
                >The skills in FATE are very braod, and steps between skills are big,
                >thus I would go even with rule that 1 refresh improving skill a year
                >baseline in realistic scifi setting, and using similar base line for
                >post-academy phases in which you do spend most of the time working.
                >The refreshes giving you new skills at +0 should be more common, and
                >those are more realistic results of adventure - not a session. Character
                >learns basics of something due stressful situation.
                >
                >On the academy phase, I would say the difference between military and
                >civilian training is very simple - military has less options what he is
                >doing while civilian has more outside electives due free time. Unfortunately
                >most gamers have Hollywood vision of military which isn't good thing
                >for hard scifi as opposed to space opear which is fantasy in space.
                >
                >I myself suggest system of character generation for scifi game:
                >Phase 1: childhood, 1 aspect, 2 skills.
                >Phase 2: adolescence, 1 aspect, 4 skills,
                >Phase 3: educaton (4 years, 18 to 22): 2 aspects, 4 skills, 2 stunts
                >- the occupation (actual training) of the character gives limitations to the
                >skills
                >- you can improve one occupational skill with 2 steps by spendign 2 points.
                >- Ther emgiht be more stunts and less skills invovled - stunts represent
                >specific training within skill and thus represents occupational skills better.
                >- I would say 1 stunt is tied to both aspects.
                >- Aspects has to be different.
                >Phase 4 onward: Work (4 years a term): 1 aspect, 4 skills and/or stunts
                >- the phase 4 onward might limit the amount of stunts to skill replacement
                >to one per phase.
                >
                >Unlike in Diaspora, Miltiary training is aspect, not stunt. It is way better way
                >to model it - as it is more access to weaponry training, access to miltiary
                >discipline, than access to uber military equipment. And for military trained
                >personel, both stunts and fields at phase 3 shoudl be miltiary. First aspect
                >is miltary trainign and second aspect is your actual military field - like
                >Military
                >Police, Infantry, Antitank, Fighter Pilot, Naval Crew.
                >
                >The aspects on phase 3 onward should represent your "occupation" during
                >that term. The Fate 2.0 levels on aspects are perfect to simulate your
                >occupational
                >knowledge - no need for bloody career skills. Your aspect determiens hwo
                >good you are at your occupational field, and how much real experience you have
                >doing that field jobs. And the Fate system way of invokign aspects really well
                >simulates the big difference of actual experience and theory.
                >
                >Yours Kautsu
                >
                >----- Original Message ----
                >From: Pete Lindsay <louisxiv@...>
                >To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
                >Sent: Thu, September 2, 2010 3:09:05 AM
                >Subject: Re: [FateRPG] Advancement Systems?
                >
                >For my loosely Fate '2.5'-based homebrew I give people free choice for
                >their skill pyramid and aspects without the overhead of phased creation,
                >and then award 1 experience point per trip. The EP can be used to buy a
                >permanent skill level or like a Fate Point for aspect invocations and
                >dice roll modifiers. While there are obvious long-term problems with an
                >open-ended system like this, the skill pyramid structure mitigates them
                >short term. This has worked well for 30+ trips/adventures (maybe 40
                >sessions?) spread between a couple of overlapping playing groups.
                >
                >There are some strains showing in the experience/advancement system now
                >though. When I set the advancement system up I didn't think I'd have
                >problems at a point per adventure per player until around 50 sessions
                >in. But I've allowed an EP for a game write-up too. My most frequent,
                >pushy and rewarding player seized on this and so gets two points most
                >trips - though I do get a steady stream of accounts, as intended. He is
                >rather outstripping his companions, through his own diligence
                >admittedly, in skills, aspects and still has an annoyingly large pool of
                >ready experience points to hand for use as Fate Points, etc.
                >
                >In hindsight I should perhaps have given more experience per trip and
                >made skills more expensive so the odd extra point floating about would
                >not have so much effect. Of course, whether my player would have
                >reported on events so assiduously for a proportionately lesser reward is
                >open to speculation.
                >
                >Eventually I'll have to face the more fundamental problems of the
                >open-endedness of the advancement system, but for now the old GM standby
                >of bigger, better challenges is holding the line.
                >
                >--Pete
                >
                >Carl Ryll wrote, On 20100901 04:04:
                >> Hi Friends
                >>
                >> I am hoping the FATE literati can help suggest some ways to model advancement
                >>in a new hack of Diaspora I'll be running soon.
                >>
                >> I'll be dictating what setting we use (Mass Effect universe) and I'd really
                >>like to have the group start fresh out of the human alliance military academy--
                >>basically old school "first level characters".
                >>
                >> I know FATE 2 had a couple of ways to do this, but has anyone developed other
                >>hacks that will work with a FATE 3 game? I know both SOTC and Diaspora are
                >>pretty committed to having the player characters start as masters of one skill,
                >>but for this military campaign I want to see a gradual progression that
                >>eventually gets us to the place where they have one skill at superb, and so on.
                >>Wasn't there some mention earlier of a skill pyramid versus a tower? Or
                >>something?
                >>
                >> Also, hadn't someone once advocated truncating character creation at one or two
                >>phases if you were going with this concept? Any concrete experiences on how that
                >>has worked out?
                >>
                >> I appreciate any help or advice you can give.
                >>
                >> Cheers!
                >>
                >> Carl
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >
                >------------------------------------
                >
                >| Fate * http://www.faterpg.com/
                >| SOTC * http://www.evilhat.com/?spirit
                >| DFRPG * http://www.dresdenfilesrpg.com/Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >

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              • Antti Kautiainen
                In my own experience with several campaings with modified Mage system, and even more modified one more resembling hybrid of GURPS and Mage, we had character
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 4, 2010
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                  In my own experience with several campaings with modified Mage system, and even
                  more modified one more resembling hybrid of GURPS and Mage, we had character
                  creationg modified in fashion making new characters more experienced, and the
                  tuned down the character creation. This put more focus on roleplaying and less
                  focus on minmax game of character advancement. It is way more fun to play
                  character who is truly a professional soldier, who knows his trade, after
                  character
                  creation. A game in which most 40 years old actually are more skilled tahn
                  16 years old geek who thinks he knows more than his elders - because he surpass
                  them on a field like computers the older guys never needed to yous. For that
                  geek
                  it never hits his head the 40 years old guy may be competetn in repairing many
                  things,and maintaining his house - and probably have built one.

                  That is why I do want to have system which allows you to make charcters of
                  different levels of competence instead of making just the 16 years old sons of
                  farmer, and then tuning the amont of experience gained to more realiwstic
                  level. In this kind of systems, experienced professional is an experienced
                  professional with years of practice in their field - and gaining that status
                  would
                  take years from characters too. Too many systems use totally different system
                  for creating characters and then another system for advancement - and those
                  systems
                  just does not cowork well making either unintentional or intentional minmax game
                  of character creation due totally different investmetn cost and advancement
                  cost.


                  This is aspect I like in Fate - same system is used for both advancement and
                  character creation. Also I do not like the experience point system - the refresh

                  based system on DFRPG is wya better - less bookkeeping and actually more
                  realistic development. YOu have to keep the pyramid going which causes delay
                  of skill development to high levels. Experience is drug to players, not to
                  characters.
                  It is way to reward player by making his character more powerful. Fate points
                  are better way to do this - as they are not permanent, they do require you have
                  sutiable aspect to use them well, and they are NOT used for character
                  advancement.

                  The systems which use experience for boosting you (or experience giving item
                  to boost like 7th Sea Drama Dice), the players with Ill Luck are penaltized, and
                  players with good luck - or who do not take risks, are awareded, as every time
                  you have to use that mechanics, you lose experience. Very bad design of the
                  game, but ... I have noticed it is the common way the industry does it. Only
                  GURPS and Mage/OWoD had luck Merit which does gives you limited number
                  of rerolls per session- and Fate does the same through FATE points. The
                  way of not awarding lukcy or cheating players seems to be really small fraction
                  of the industry.

                  And you had dropped how many horus the campaign was in total, but your
                  post seems to imply it was many hours.

                  Yours Kautsu
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