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Re: [FateRPG] Re: Upcoming Fate Changes?

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  • Robert Donoghue
    ... Part of the idea was to combine the things we thought were cool about Fate points with what we knew was cool about Aspects, and I end up thinking of the
    Message 1 of 45 , Nov 2, 2005
      On Nov 1, 2005, at 6:57 PM, steppsensei wrote:
      >
      > Forgive me for interrupting, but I must question this interpretation.
      >
      > Are Fate Points in the revised system used solely to "power" Aspects?
      > Because if any Aspect may legally be applied to any task and if
      > Aspects no longer have limited use, then there is no situation where a
      > Fate Point would need to function (or be wanted to function)
      > differently than an invoked Aspect.
      >
      > My reading of the previous edition was that the greater power of
      > Aspects was compensated by their limited applicability. Fate Points
      > could not do as much, but could be used for anything.

      Part of the idea was to combine the things we thought were cool about
      Fate points with what we knew was cool about Aspects, and I end up
      thinking of the end result as having aspects which work like fate
      point lenses. Fate points can still do all the things they used to
      be able to do, but if a fate point is used in conjunction with an
      aspect, it's more potent. In pure mechanical terms, we're looking at
      the practical difference between a +1 and a +2, but the same thinking
      applies to the more ephemeral uses.

      Notably, the Fate Point ability to be spent to create coincidences
      can now be used with an aspect. Previously, when you got to a new
      town, you could spend a fate point and say to the GM "I know a guy
      here" and have it be true, though the nature of the relationship was
      subject to GM whim, and the importance of the relationship was likely
      fairly low. Now, if you walk into a town and spend a fate point and
      invoke your "Shady Contacts" aspect and say "I know a guy here" then
      that fact has more narrative "weight" - the nature of the
      relationship is implied in the aspect, and it's likely a more
      signifigant or useful relationship. You can still spend a fate point
      the old way (if, for example, you want to know someone who's not
      shady) but it won't have quite as much punch.


      So, bottom line is that Fate points are as good as they've always
      been, but a fate point + an aspect is _better_, so there is incentive
      to go with an aspect whenever you can, and fall back to a raw fate
      point when you can't. Since that encourages _more_ aspect use, we
      kind of see it as a desirable outcome.

      That help?

      -Rob D.
    • David Hoberman
      I also think this (below) is a good way to go. Because otherwise, why bother having different Aspects at all if they re all just equally applicable point
      Message 45 of 45 , Nov 7, 2005
        I also think this (below) is a good way to go. Because otherwise, why
        bother having different Aspects at all if they're all just equally
        applicable point sinks? Giving a smaller number of them helps define
        the character more sharply I think. Just a thought from a bystander.

        David

        "Thankfully, that also points to the tweak. The real problem here
        (for the purposes we're talking about) is not the fate points, but
        the larger number of aspects. Imagine if you kept the pool of FP the
        same, but played with only 3-5 aspects. The net result would be
        making each aspect significantly _more_ important simply because
        they're less frequently applicable.

        And, honestly, I'd be all for someone playing it that way. For
        Spirit of the Century, we want lots of aspects because it fits the
        wild and wooly theme and feel of the game, but that is definitely not
        the only way to use the new system.
        "



        On 11/7/05, Robert Donoghue <rdonoghue@...> wrote:
        > Ok, little peek into the inner working of the brain.
        >
        > There has been, almost from the get-go, two directions for aspects to
        > go. In the very first fate game, Aspects had a great deal of weight,
        > so much so that in a given phase of chargen, you could take 3 skill
        > points or 1 aspect. A single aspect was an absolute, defining
        > element of the character, so they were few, and potent.
        >
        > The written rules moved away from that, and as peopel have played,
        > Aspects have become more descriptive, in that many people consider it
        > desirable to have many more aspects, to cover things like culture,
        > society and all the things used to paint a complete picture of the
        > character.
        >
        > The problem is that both of these approaches rock, but they're not
        > terribly compatible. I've got some ideas and one-offs which I've
        > used to address the gap from time to time, but in general, things go
        > one way or the other, and more often than not, they go to more aspects.
        >
        > Now, aspects as FP lenses is sort of an expression of this, and while
        > I can see the concern that it waters things down, it also
        > specifically addresses a few key points:
        >
        > * It makes players more willing to take "bad" aspects. Now, people
        > who've played the game become used to the fact that aspects that make
        > trouble for you are actually very valuable, but that's not an idea
        > people are always willing to embrace. If a player has more aspects,
        > they're usually more willing to take risks.
        >
        > * One of the most long-standing and persistent complaints we get
        > about aspects is the limited number of uses. Now, I'm ok with that,
        > and I didn't think it was something that _needed_ fixing, but we're
        > willing to at least listen when something comes up this often.
        > Allowing repeated use but with a limited total set[1] tends to result
        > in things skewing towards the elements the player likes best and has
        > had an interesting effect of making breadth vs. depth a trade off.
        > Characters who take multiple aspects within a given "theme" get more
        > potent use out of them when that theme comes up, while characters
        > with broader themes get to use aspect more often, but to less
        > effect. This is, I admit, quite satisfying in play.
        >
        >
        > The bottom line, in my mind, is that yes, aspects distinguish between
        > characters (and they also emphasize similarities[2]), and this
        > continues to do so, in my experience. The thing of it is that what a
        > character can do is absolutely important, but so is how, and so is
        > why, and the real goal of aspects is to touch upon all of those.
        > Now, absolutely, one or another is going to be more important to any
        > given player, but there's not necessarily a given metric.
        >
        > Part of the issue is one of abstraction. Depending upon what level
        > you abstract actions to, they mean very different things. On some
        > level, kung-fu guy and Gun guy are doing the same thing (winning a
        > fight) and while we can focus on the technical differences (like,
        > say, range) that's mostly going to come out in skill choice anyway.
        > The differences between these characters run much deeper than that -
        > specifically, they run deeper than the fact that one does kung fu and
        > one shoots guns. A broader palette of aspects acknowledges the gun/
        > kung fu split, but also allows for all the other differences the
        > characters may have to get some play.
        >
        > Now, don't get me wrong, you can also have an awesome game where the
        > difference is a simple and stark as gun guy vs. kung fu guy. If that
        > was the sole thing you had to work with it's still easy to paint a
        > compelling picture of how these characters [3] and that brings us
        > back to that core conflict of few and potent vs. many and descriptive.
        >
        > Thankfully, that also points to the tweak. The real problem here
        > (for the purposes we're talking about) is not the fate points, but
        > the larger number of aspects. Imagine if you kept the pool of FP the
        > same, but played with only 3-5 aspects. The net result would be
        > making each aspect significantly _more_ important simply because
        > they're less frequently applicable.
        >
        > And, honestly, I'd be all for someone playing it that way. For
        > Spirit of the Century, we want lots of aspects because it fits the
        > wild and wooly theme and feel of the game, but that is definitely not
        > the only way to use the new system.
        >
        > -Rob D.
        >
        > [1] In fact, the original draft of this model was simply an
        > aggregated pool of aspect boxes, so you had 10 aspects and 10 boxes,
        > and each box could be used for any aspect.
        >
        > [2] This part of things often gets overlooked or actively ignored in
        > RPGs because of the traditional need for niche protection, and while
        > there is absolutely a need to make sure every character shines, as a
        > game moves away form purely tactical play, the options for that open
        > up in a couple different dimensions.
        >
        > [3] The rub is that the clear distinction doesn't hold out over
        > time. For anything more than a short adventure, there needs to be
        > more depth in the backfield.
        >
        >
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