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Re: [icons-rpg] Villain Determination Question

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  • eric troup
    Yes. I love Icons and love Adamant Entertainment, and since I know people responsible for both read this list, I d be doing them a disservice if I didn t say
    Message 1 of 58 , Aug 3, 2010
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      Yes. I love Icons and love Adamant Entertainment, and since I know people responsible for both read this list, I'd be doing them a disservice if I didn't say for the record that as great a game as it is, in my opinion, the written rules could've used another pass. There have been too many instances where my players and I were trying to figure out how something should work and had to rely on things stated here or on the RPGNet forums because we couldn't find the answer in the book. Granted, we were trying for that first game to adhere to the rules as written as closely as possible to get familiar with the system, but still ...

      And if there's one crusade I'm going to embark upon in my lifetime as a reader of RPGs, it is this: I shall make an infinitely-long banner and, using the prodigious strength I'll have received from contact with some meteorite that fell in the Mojave desert, I'll hold that banner aloft for every game designer/writer to see, and they shall read words written so high and proud and written, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, in terms so plain as to command their ascent: EXAMPLES, EXAMPLES, EXAMPLES!!!!!!!!!!

      So many of the little "What?" moments in Icons could've been put to rest with a preemptive strike of examples. Besides, they add more flavor to an already flavorful game, and how can that be a bad thing?

      Okay, rant over. Finally got my copy of Icons in the mail, so now I have to decide what Friday night's game will be: Sex, Lies and Ultraspies as we discussed ... or Icons? Hhhhhmmmmmmmm......


      On 3 Aug 2010, at 01:13, Tommy Brownell wrote:

      > Unfortunately, that's a bit of a recurring theme.
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: eric troup
      > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 3:08 AM
      > Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Villain Determination Question
      >
      >
      >
      > Mine as well, though I'm not sure it states as much anywhere in the book.
      > Whoops.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > On 2 Aug 2010, at 22:32, Tommy Brownell wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > That's been my understand and, I thought, either GMS or Steve Kenson
      > confirmed as much, though I won't swear on it.
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Hollis McCray
      > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, August 02, 2010 11:48 PM
      > Subject: [icons-rpg] Villain Determination Question
      >
      > Someone asked if villains get determination, and if not, why they have
      > aspects:
      >
      > http://gallantknightenterprises.com/forum/index.php?topic=49.0
      >
      > I gave an quick answer, but I think it needs more discussion.
      >
      > To me, if a villain 'spends' determination via one of their aspects,
      > the PC they're acting against should get the determination. After all,
      > getting your head kicked in should be good for something! If the
      > villain is acting against the team, then the points should go towards
      > team determination. Likewise, a player can spend determination to tag
      > a villain's aspects for the hero's benefit.
      >
      > Am I reading this right?
      >
      > --
      > Hollis McCray
      > aka The Fifth Wanderer
      >
      > ascensionschild@...
      >
      > "GMing is like herding cats. Wet, angry cats who are pumped full of
      > LSD and methamphetamines." - Stolen from some forum sig somewhere
      >
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    • eric troup
      I m mainly responding to the question: Is the GM obligated to allow anyAspect a player wants? My answer is: Hell, no! One of the funnest (I know, most fun
      Message 58 of 58 , Aug 12, 2010
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        I'm mainly responding to the question: Is the GM obligated to allow anyAspect a player wants?  My answer is: Hell, no!  One of the funnest (I know, "most fun" is technically corect, but I like funnest better. Sue me.) things about FATE games is that ideally, character creation is done in a group environment, rather than each player just showing up with a ready-made character.  In this way, things like the tone of the campaign are hammered out, and it makes it easier for players to not overlap in their character ideas, or their Aspects.  And if you're trying to run a serious campaign, something like "I like cheese" probably would not be a good Aspect.  Besides, just to use that as an example for a second, if a player showed me that as one of his Aspects, I'd tell him it's pretty bland, and should probably either be re-worked or discarded.  This is assuming the affore-mentioned campaign tone wasn't an issue.  You only get 10 Aspects to delineate your character, so mere "likes" are usually not considered important enough to put there.  If you put something on your sheet as an Aspect, you're telling the GM, "This is something important to me; this is an important part of who my character is, and something I want to see come up a lot in our game."  Really, even above the whole Fate Point/Determination/Whatever thing, I think that's the main purpose of Aspects: They're red flags to the GM that say "This is who my character is, and these are some things which are important to or about him/her.  Use them."

        I realize people have been doing the same thing with writing up backgrounds and such for their characters for years, probably since RPGs came into being, and I'm not saying that in and of itself is new or exclusive to FATE.  What I think FATE and Icons by extension do very well is allow you to distill that stuff from potentially pages of writing to ten key phrases.  And it really can be a shorthand of sorts.  Often, players write up their background, personality and hooks, and then reflect those with Aspects, because it's just easier to see it all at a glance.  You may have an Aspect of "Sisters of the Flame" for example.  You and the GM know what that means, because you've ideally discussed it during character creation, and you've probably written it up in character background as well (by no means required, by the way, but often done, I've found.).

        Anyway, I apologize; I've deviated from the original question.  Allow me to swerve back onto the main drag.  If I put "I like cheese" as an Aspect, that had better be a damned important part of my character.  It's not just a casual like.

        Character creation in these kinds of games is very much a collaborative thing between the players and the GM.

        I know I got off on a few tangents here.  I hope this helped clear some things up anyway.  I'm sure others have answered this question much more concisely than I did.

        On 12 Aug 2010, at 09:45, Michael Taylor wrote:

         

        >
        > Then, we just disagree. I don't see how I proved your point. I could easily have come up with two more scenarios where it could help him out.
        >
         
        Sure you could - and so could I. But the ones you came up with were primarily negatives.
         
        >>
        If he needed to win over another kid, he could tag "I'm a Kid" to do so. Or again, if someone was attacking him and he wanted to use Determined effort to assist his defense, he could tag "I'm a Kid," saying his smaller stature makes it easier for him to duck and weave or what-have-you to get out of the way. Comes in handy during those dodge-ball games.
        >
        > Admittedly, were it me, I'd probably make it a challenge for my character ... but if someone wanted to make a case for it being a Quality, it's easy enough to do, and I really don't see how it stretches anything. It'd probably be compelled more often than tagged, sure, but why not take advantage of it when you can? YMMV ... and obviously does.
        >
        > And for the record, I'm not suggesting someone take "I'm a Kid" as a Quality *and* a challenge. There's absolutely no point in doing so. Qualities can be tagged or compelled. Challenges can only be compelled. So I'm saying if a player feels it's both an advantage *and* a disadvantage, it should be marked down as a Quality. If, on the other hand, he sees it as coming into play primarily as a disadvantage and doesn't care about the other side of the coin (Entirely possible, by the way; if I made an Alcoholic character, I'd take it as a Challenge even though I can think of some situations where it could be tagged), then he should make it a Challenge. You don't do both. Just a clarification.
        >

        But my 'traditional' gaming background leaves something like "I'm a kid" with a weazelly taste.
         
        So let me ask  you (and I'm not being a smartass) since you're okay with "I'm a kid" as both.
         
        Where do you draw the line?
         
        If someone wants "I like cheese" as both, then are you okay with that?
         
        Are you obligated to accept anything a player wants as an Aspect?
         
        Do you not care because if it's a 'bogus' Aspect it just wont earn many Determination points in a game?
         
        Put another way, how exactly *do* Qualties and Challenges differ from traditional Advantages and Disadvantages?
         
        (In the sense that as GM you dont normally allow it if it is not truly a hindrance.)
         
        Despite what some of the telepaths say, I'm willing to learn the positive aspects of 'fate-like' mechanics.
         
        I just haven't heard anything compelling yet. ;)
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         


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