Thursday, January 8, 2015

12 Games January: Fate Core (week 1)

Week 1 Initial Reactions:
I had already skimmed a good bit of fate when I first picked up the book and to be honest I initially had a hard time wrapping my head around it.  I had heard all sorts of good things about the system with how flexible it was and how much depth was lying under the surface.  To prep a bit I decided to read Fate Accelerated the week before this and I will say that helped a ton in getting in the head space for the game.  There's nothing wrong with the core rules, but they are a pretty dense read and the shorter FAE version covered enough of the basics that when I came back to core I had at least some foundation to work off of.

Personally I like a game with a bit more meat to it that this as  by making the rules flexible to the point that each player can have aspects and stunts that are their own unique snowflake they also lack the definition and certainty of a professional game designer writing them for me.  Now that isn't to say I like games where all the creativity it out of my hands, on the contrary, but I do like at least good solid examples to tweak and make my own.  Fate does provide a fair bit of these, but when it came to the Extras section (as I wanted to make magic and that's where I was pointed) the rules basically say extras are options the GM makes, but they can be any of the options (Stunts, Skills, Aspect requirements).  That basically told me nothing then as all of those are totally different parts of the game and there was no definition as to what type of extra should be what.

To make things even worse the example for an extra was Magic.  As I was wanting to make magic I figured "yes, finally something I can just steal and re-skin", but then even in the example they bring up that some of how it was built should cost extra, but that group is lazy and hand-waved the rule.  I'll give you a tip, if you make an example in your core rule book do NOT hand wave a rule.  These examples are how a lot of players get context for rules (kind of why they exist in the first place) and hand waving a rule just either tells us the rule doesn't matter (then why is it there) or doesn't actually answer our question on how to do something.

The other problem I see coming down the line is that Fates solution to easing GM burden is to give it to players by having them write their own aspects and stunts.  Yes this lets every players make exactly what they want, but it also means players have to be on their A game and no one is on their A game when learning a new system.  I know every system runs smoother once everyone has some experience with it under their belt, but this is a bit more than usual as players have to almost be mini GMs with their level of imagination and world building.  I hate to tell you this, but if every player was that competent or at least willing to not be lazy then we would have a lot more GMs out there.

Past Weeks:
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

1 comment:

  1. The Fate System Toolkit is a supplement with an extensive chapter on Magic, and how to make different kinds of magic systems to suit the genre of your game.

    Fate is a game where players can participate in the setting details more than usual, and make suggestions for the GM to shoot down. You can "pull a rabbit out of your hat" more often than in other games if there is a "table consensus." Since Fate is not very numerical, you describe what you want first and then fit it to the Fate framework. This is very powerful, and players can participate more even without knowing the rules very well.