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Re: [FateRPG] Compelling NPCs

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  • Leonard Balsera
    Compels are for making things go wrong. In the book, there are two fill in the blank sentences to help you construct the shape of the wrongness. This situation
    Message 1 of 32 , Feb 13, 2013
      Compels are for making things go wrong.

      In the book, there are two fill in the blank sentences to help you
      construct the shape of the wrongness.

      This situation is a decision-based compel, like on page 77.

      The sentence is, "You have ____ aspect in ____ situation, so it makes
      sense that you’d decide to ____. This goes wrong when ____ happens."

      So, let's run through it.

      "You have 'Greedy and Corrupt' when someone tries to bribe you, so it
      makes sense that you'd decide to accept the bribe. This goes wrong
      when..."

      Ah! See, we don't have anything for the last blank. *The last blank is
      the most important one. Please, pretty please, always make sure the
      last blank is filled.*

      So, let me fill in something. "This goes wrong when the transaction is
      observed by an honest guard, who immediately tries to have all parties
      arrested."

      Here's another. "This goes wrong when the transaction is observed by
      an honest guard, who gives a description of the guard and the people
      he's taking money from to his superiors."

      Here's another: "This goes wrong when you later discover the money
      those uppity PCs gave you is fake."

      All these lead to drama. In the first, there's probably a conflict of
      some kind immediately. In the second, the PCs will get surprised later
      by the existence of a bounty on their heads. In the third, the PCs are
      going to discover that somewhere along the line they picked up
      counterfeit cash when the guard comes back for revenge.

      The reason why it's okay if PCs propose compels is because of that
      last blank. Things going wrong for the NPCs is okay too, as long as
      you use it as a lever to create more stuff for the PCs to interact
      with.

      So when your player says, "Can I compel him to just take the bribe?",
      your proper response is, "Well, you can compel that his taking of the
      bribe makes things go wrong somehow, because compels are here to make
      things go wrong. What should go wrong right now? You want to suggest
      something, or should I, you know, just take this one myself?"

      Then you grin the grin of the devil, and let the player do as he or she will.

      --
      Leonard Balsera, Fate System Developer for Evil Hat Productions
      lbalsera@...
      www.evilhat.com
      https://www.facebook.com/EvilHatProductions
    • Leonard Balsera
      ... Let me summarize the rambly train from the OP: * If a player wants to compel an NPC, you should still fill out all the blanks (see page 75-79 of Fate
      Message 32 of 32 , Feb 13, 2013
        On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 2:24 PM, drcpunk <drcpunk@...> wrote:
        > Ah -- we've been taught that an Invoke works in favor of the person with the
        > Aspect, while Compel works against that person. I think that's where some of
        > the confusion's coming in.

        Let me summarize the rambly train from the OP:

        * If a player wants to compel an NPC, you should still fill out all
        the blanks (see page 75-79 of Fate Core). So, something goes wrong for
        that NPC when a player calls for a compel on an NPC. In the immediate
        sense, it should benefit the PC who comes up with the compel.

        * You can leave it there if you want. I think you get more bang for
        your buck if you take the stuff you create when you compel an NPC and
        reincorporate it into the story later, whether that's colorful detail
        or using it to springboard a new obstacle for them.

        * Sometimes, that means that compelling an NPC now creates something
        that messes with the PCs later. But, like, that's just storytelling -
        protagonists get messed with in pursuit of their goals.

        * If you propose a compel, and the GM turns it around on you, you're
        totally right to go, "Hey, wait a minute..." or ask for a fate point,
        because now it's turned around.

        * If all the PC wants is to make their success more likely, and not
        deal with all the drama llama story stuff, the more proper method is
        to just invoke the guard's aspect for whatever skill roll you were
        going to use.

        --
        Leonard Balsera, Fate System Developer for Evil Hat Productions
        lbalsera@...
        www.evilhat.com
        https://www.facebook.com/EvilHatProductions
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