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Re: [FateRPG] Social & Mental Stress vs. Composure Stress in Fate Core

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  • Douglas Laedtke
    I m with Jan (and Bulldogs!). In my latest hack I intend to use 1 stress track for everything, with the resolve and endurance adds both contributing (and
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 12, 2012
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      I'm with Jan (and Bulldogs!). In my latest hack I intend to use 1 stress track for everything, with the resolve and endurance adds both contributing (and potentially stunts as well). Use that with hit point-like damage and I think it'll be right where I want it...

      Where stress tracks are concerned, I think less is more. Back when we played SotC, and even Dresden to some extent (though it was better), the social guy had a hard time influencing the fight. He would have to chew all the way through the bad guy's cherry stress track before he could start contributing real concessions. Usually he gave up and did maneuvers...



      From: Jan Willms <isenhertz@...>
      To: FateRPG@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, January 12, 2012 8:55:33 AM
      Subject: Re: [FateRPG] Social & Mental Stress vs. Composure Stress in Fate Core

       

      On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 15:45, Jeff <jbradley05@...> wrote:
      This is something of an old argument, but I was wondering where folk stand today on whether characters should have two or three stress tracks. I'm especially curious to hear in which direction Fate Core is headed, since I tend to take the easy way when it comes to picking up rules for my table.

      My own leaning is toward just two stress tracks--meaning less to monitor during game--but if Fate Core is going to stick with three, then I'll do the same.

      The old answer to the old argument is still: Depends.

      Depends, for example, on how much of a focus you want to put on different approaches. If the genre you're shooting for generally has people keeping their cool even when significantly compromised on the physical level, that could be read as an argument for differentiated Physical and Social/Mental tracks. (Differentiating the last one further is, again, a question of how the genre deals with it.)

      Personally, for games with that certain pulpy feel I have adopted the approach of Bulldogs, where you have one track that's slightly longer than in other games. But for something more Lovecraftian, there is obviously no way around a Mental or Sanity track.

      Jan
    • Ryan Macklin
      Fate Core is headed in the direction of helping you understand why one is better for some games, two for others, etc. These imply different things about your
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 12, 2012
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        Fate Core is headed in the direction of helping you understand why one is better for some games, two for others, etc. These imply different things about your world/setting.

        We will talk about about Fate Core as it gets vetted by the internal team. Right now, Lenny is a word-producing madman. :)

        - Ryan

        On Thursday, January 12, 2012, Jeff <jbradley05@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hi everyone,
        > This is something of an old argument, but I was wondering where folk stand today on whether characters should have two or three stress tracks. I'm especially curious to hear in which direction Fate Core is headed, since I tend to take the easy way when it comes to picking up rules for my table.
        > My own leaning is toward just two stress tracks--meaning less to monitor during game--but if Fate Core is going to stick with three, then I'll do the same.
        > Thanks,
        > --Jeff
        >
        >

        --
        --
        Ryan Macklin
        Game Designer, Writer, Editor
        blog: http://RyanMacklin.com | @RyanMacklin
      • Travis Casey
        ... I d have to say that that sounds like the system working the way it should. If you want to be really effective in physical combat, build a character with
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 12, 2012
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          On Jan 12, 2012, at 12:10 PM, Douglas Laedtke <douglaedtke@...> wrote:
           

          I'm with Jan (and Bulldogs!). In my latest hack I intend to use 1 stress track for everything, with the resolve and endurance adds both contributing (and potentially stunts as well). Use that with hit point-like damage and I think it'll be right where I want it...

          Where stress tracks are concerned, I think less is more. Back when we played SotC, and even Dresden to some extent (though it was better), the social guy had a hard time influencing the fight. He would have to chew all the way through the bad guy's cherry stress track before he could start contributing real concessions. Usually he gave up and did maneuvers...

          I'd have to say that that sounds like the system working the way it should.  If you want to be really effective in physical combat, build a character with physical combat skills.  Just as a character built for physical combat shouldn't be expected to be good in a social conflict, a character built for social conflict shouldn't be expected to be good in physical combat.

          (And note that physical abilities can be brought into social conflict the same way -- you could have someone physically work a target over to "soften him up" for interrogation (chewing through his social stress track so you can get concessions or inflict consequences that can be used), or you could use physical abilities as maneuvers to create temporary aspects like "thinking about what the big guy might do to him with that baseball bat" that can be tagged for bonuses with social skills.)

          --Travis
        • Jeff
          Very cool responses. Thanks guys! In terms of my game, I think for now I m going to use two tracks. Feels like a happy medium, and it lets me do thing like
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 12, 2012
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            Very cool responses. Thanks guys!

            In terms of my game, I think for now I'm going to use two tracks. Feels like a happy medium, and it lets me do thing like allow characters to cast spells which deal "mental" damage rather than physical.

            Really looking forward to Fate Core :)

            On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 2:32 PM, Travis Casey <efindel@...> wrote:
             

            On Jan 12, 2012, at 12:10 PM, Douglas Laedtke <douglaedtke@...> wrote:
             

            I'm with Jan (and Bulldogs!). In my latest hack I intend to use 1 stress track for everything, with the resolve and endurance adds both contributing (and potentially stunts as well). Use that with hit point-like damage and I think it'll be right where I want it...

            Where stress tracks are concerned, I think less is more. Back when we played SotC, and even Dresden to some extent (though it was better), the social guy had a hard time influencing the fight. He would have to chew all the way through the bad guy's cherry stress track before he could start contributing real concessions. Usually he gave up and did maneuvers...

            I'd have to say that that sounds like the system working the way it should.  If you want to be really effective in physical combat, build a character with physical combat skills.  Just as a character built for physical combat shouldn't be expected to be good in a social conflict, a character built for social conflict shouldn't be expected to be good in physical combat.

            (And note that physical abilities can be brought into social conflict the same way -- you could have someone physically work a target over to "soften him up" for interrogation (chewing through his social stress track so you can get concessions or inflict consequences that can be used), or you could use physical abilities as maneuvers to create temporary aspects like "thinking about what the big guy might do to him with that baseball bat" that can be tagged for bonuses with social skills.)

            --Travis


          • Undead Trout
            *Full Light, Full Steam* (not a FATE game, but a superb one in its own right) uses three Stress Track equivalents. Social Stress is essentially a blow to your
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 12, 2012
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              Full Light, Full Steam (not a FATE game, but a superb one in its own right) uses three Stress Track equivalents. Social Stress is essentially a blow to your reputation and good name, and can be important when one's status in society is a facet of the game (like it might in a quasi-Victorian setting). Decidedly not the same as sanity or mental resilience.


              --
              M. Schwartz  —  undead.trout@...
              ~  Always Something Fishy Going On™  ~
            • George Harnish
              Fred wrote an article on the FATE fractal that talks about potentially having a more spontaneous stress track pop up under certain consequences:
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 12, 2012
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                Fred wrote an article on the FATE fractal that talks about potentially having a more spontaneous stress track pop up under certain consequences:


                It might be useful if you occasionally have social/reputation problems, or occasionally have something horrifying happen, but otherwise have a more even keeled game in those realms.


                On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 8:45 AM, Jeff <jbradley05@...> wrote:
                 

                Hi everyone,


                This is something of an old argument, but I was wondering where folk stand today on whether characters should have two or three stress tracks. I'm especially curious to hear in which direction Fate Core is headed, since I tend to take the easy way when it comes to picking up rules for my table.

                My own leaning is toward just two stress tracks--meaning less to monitor during game--but if Fate Core is going to stick with three, then I'll do the same.

                Thanks,
                --Jeff


              • Douglas Laedtke
                Travis -- unless I m misreading what you wrote, it looks like you re saying it s OK to have the physical guy soften up or chew through the target s social
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 12, 2012
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                  Travis -- unless I'm misreading what you wrote, it looks like you're saying it's OK to have the physical guy "soften up" or "chew through" the target's social track, but that the social guy shouldn't expect to do the same against the target's physical track? I don't understand how that's balanced or why that would be fun for the social guy...

                  Also (one second while I get up on my soapbox) I don't see FATE as a physics/simulation engine. It's not about being discreetly good at physical combat so you can chop through the bad guys or discreetly good at social combat so you can make someone concede without landing a blow, it's about being able to contribute meaningfully to the narrative as a member of the group. If you have similarly sized physical and social tracks, but you have 5 combat-ready guys chipping away at one and 1 social butterfly working on the other, the combat pacing goes wonky and the social guy gets bored. 



                  From: Travis Casey <efindel@...>
                  To: "FateRPG@yahoogroups.com" <FateRPG@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Thu, January 12, 2012 1:32:01 PM
                  Subject: Re: [FateRPG] Social & Mental Stress vs. Composure Stress in Fate Core

                   

                  On Jan 12, 2012, at 12:10 PM, Douglas Laedtke <douglaedtke@...> wrote:
                   

                  I'm with Jan (and Bulldogs!). In my latest hack I intend to use 1 stress track for everything, with the resolve and endurance adds both contributing (and potentially stunts as well). Use that with hit point-like damage and I think it'll be right where I want it...

                  Where stress tracks are concerned, I think less is more. Back when we played SotC, and even Dresden to some extent (though it was better), the social guy had a hard time influencing the fight. He would have to chew all the way through the bad guy's cherry stress track before he could start contributing real concessions. Usually he gave up and did maneuvers...

                  I'd have to say that that sounds like the system working the way it should.  If you want to be really effective in physical combat, build a character with physical combat skills.  Just as a character built for physical combat shouldn't be expected to be good in a social conflict, a character built for social conflict shouldn't be expected to be good in physical combat.

                  (And note that physical abilities can be brought into social conflict the same way -- you could have someone physically work a target over to "soften him up" for interrogation (chewing through his social stress track so you can get concessions or inflict consequences that can be used), or you could use physical abilities as maneuvers to create temporary aspects like "thinking about what the big guy might do to him with that baseball bat" that can be tagged for bonuses with social skills.)

                  --Travis
                • Travis Casey
                  ... Blah - my apologies. That should have been physical track there. I was writing with interruptions, I m afraid. Yes, letting the physical guys directly
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 12, 2012
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                    On Jan 12, 2012, at 9:14 PM, Douglas Laedtke wrote:

                     
                    Travis -- unless I'm misreading what you wrote, it looks like you're saying it's OK to have the physical guy "soften up" or "chew through" the target's social track, but that the social guy shouldn't expect to do the same against the target's physical track? I don't understand how that's balanced or why that would be fun for the social guy...

                    Blah - my apologies.  That should have been "physical track" there.  I was writing with interruptions, I'm afraid.  Yes, letting the physical guys directly affect the social track certainly wouldn't be fair.

                    Also (one second while I get up on my soapbox) I don't see FATE as a physics/simulation engine. It's not about being discreetly good at physical combat so you can chop through the bad guys or discreetly good at social combat so you can make someone concede without landing a blow, it's about being able to contribute meaningfully to the narrative as a member of the group. If you have similarly sized physical and social tracks, but you have 5 combat-ready guys chipping away at one and 1 social butterfly working on the other, the combat pacing goes wonky and the social guy gets bored.  

                    If that's the way things are happening, though, the social guy could go directly to using maneuvers to place Aspects for the others to tag, so he can be contributing right away.  Note as well that thanks to the way Aspects can be generalized, the physical guys can work with the social one, creating Aspects that he can use as well as they can -- for example, "off balance," "afraid," "overwhelmed and desperate," etc.

                    If it's happening all the time, and there aren't many corresponding social conflicts to play with, then the group probably needs to discuss it.  Shortening social tracks might be a good idea for it.

                    --
                    Travis Casey
                    Reality is vastly overrated.



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