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RE: [icons-rpg] The key to a character is...

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  • Soylent Green
    There is one school of thought regarding Aspects, and this applies just as much to Fate, that says a good Aspect is one that get s a lot of use and as such
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 14, 2012
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      There is one school of thought regarding Aspects, and this applies just as much to Fate, that says a good Aspect is one that get's a lot of use and as such when you considering an Aspect you should think of at least three ways in which it can be invoked or compelled before writing it down. 

      I get what they are saying, but I disagree. For me, when it come to roleplaying I always go with my heart and not my brains. I think Aspects are first and foremost a descriptive tool, and way to communicate character. The mechanic effect of Aspects is of secondary importance. In fact if you look at the history of Fate,  Aspects as descriptors existed way back in the older version (2.0). What has changed over time is the mechanical implementation.

      For me as long as the Aspect means something to the player, even if is never invoked it is still a good Aspect. But that's why you get so many of them, so that the player doesn't have to worry about making them all useful. And if you look at the write up of the NPCs I think they all follow the principle of descriptor first.

      Going back to your question, by extension, I don't believe any Aspect on the character sheet is an explicit invitation to the GM to mess with it. You are right, the GM can't always tell but then the safeguard is the fact that the player can refuse the compel. By the rules refusing a compel cost a DP (or Fate Point in Fate) but I've waved that penalty, as do many other GMs. The opportunity cost of not gaining a DP seems like enough of a price to pay and to be honest I can't even remember the last time a player refused a compel.

      To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
      From: jhmcmullen@...
      Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2012 08:22:49 -0800
      Subject: [icons-rpg] The key to a character is...


      I was reading this article (http://www.campaignmastery.com/blog/the-acceptable-favoritism/) and one of the suggestions (I hesitate to call them rules) is this:
      Weaken a Character
      This is in the sense of defining what the key to the character is and not removing it. A strong guy might still be a strong guy, even with his Strength reduced to 1--that's challenging the Quality "strong in body and mind". But the idea is that if the core of the character is an exuberant sense of fun (to use his example), putting the character in a situation where he has no choice but to be a drab Punisher type is not playing to the character.
      And I wondered: How do you tell what's an aspect you can challenge (and generate a determination point for the player), and what's a core part of the character?
      Because it seems to me (if this statement is correct), anything that you label as a challenge is something you don't mind coming up--that's why you labeled it that way. But something you label as a quality might not be. That would be different than, say, FATE, where Aspects are intentionally double-edged.
      Should you use Aspects only for things that you are willing to be challenged? ID: Lawyer might just be a quality, but it can generate challenges as well: the threat of being disbarred, strange cases showing up that this or other qualities mean the character just has to take despite how they will interfere with superheroing, and so on.
      Should you talk the qualities over with your GM, or establish a kind of shorthand that says, "Sure, challenge those things too," or "Never challenge those"?
      I mean, Aspects are a great role-playing tool, but maybe I don't want the GM to infringe on something I think is essential to my character, or so basic that it shouldn't be messed with--it would be like saying, "Hey, Superman, you're not really from Krypton. You're a mutant, and everything you knew was a lie. Why do you think you look so human?" A valid point, but maybe it's not what the player wants to game.
      John McMullen (Searching for a .sig)

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