The FATE thread

Nobby-W

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[ . . . ]
I think perhaps its the level of abstraction and the fact that there is a design factor that the players have to actively engage with.
This, I think, is FATE's biggest weakness. It's also a great strength as it's what gives the system its flexibility.

Unfortunately, in order to play FATE, it's necessary for the players to understand how to design and use aspects and the FATE point economy. The FATE core rulebook doesn't do a good job of explaining these, and they do involve thinking at a level of abstraction, so many folks find it hard to get their heads around it. The cult-ish use of FATE specific jargon and online antics of its fanboys didn't help either.
 

TheophilusCarter

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Just to continue to discuss Aspects for those asking in good faith. Character Aspects are pretty easy, especially if the players have any experience with games that have advantage / disadvantage systems. For example, I was explaining Fate to a friend (now player) who likes Savage Worlds and it went something like this.

First, I talked about SW’s Edges and Hindrances. Some of those aren’t much more than skill (bonus) packages, and Fate will usually just leave that to assigning the relevant skills. Some of more like minor abilities, situational modifiers, etc.; those are often most similar to Fate’s stunts. Some are more serious powers (the Arcane Power background, for example), and though it can vary depending on the particular Fate game / table, my preference is to use Extras for such things (e.g., Daring Comics and the Fate-like ICONS have power systems), not Aspects. Then you have some Edges and Hindrances that are more subtle, qualitative, fuzzy things like personality traits and such (e.g., Heroic, Loyal). At my table, those are precisely the sort of things that we’ll use character Aspects for.

Next, we focused on the fuzzy Hindrances and how they work in play. For example, Loyal is a Hindrance. It’s a fact about the character, and will mostly be played In-Character, In-Game. Some of it is to help guide roleplaying, but it also has the mechanical effect of netting the player a bennie if the Loyalty causes a significant enough hardship. A lot of the time, this is so obvious, there’s no need to break character. If my player puts his character in serious harm’s way to save a friend, I’m just going to slide a bennie across the table without a word. If my player simply answers his phone when the friend calls (and assuming nothing else about that scene makes that an actual problem), then I’m not going to give him a bennie. The is entirely IC on the player’s part. However, there will be times when it’s a bit of an in-between case; perhaps he rushes to the aid of a friend, but as GM I don’t think that’s much of a problem. At that point, we might drop OOC and negotiate a bit until we’re both comfortable that either a problem has been caused and a bennie earned, or not. BTW, this has never caused any complaints on the part of my Savage Worlds players about storygaming, lack of immersion, etc.

With that in mind, I simply point out that Loyal could also be an appropriate character Aspect, and would work exactly the same way, guiding IC roleplaying and occasionally earning a Fate point. This might also result in some OOC discussions during those edge cases, but absolutely no more than SW.

Last, I bring it home with “Oh yeah: here’s the big difference. An Aspect needn’t be only positive or negative, but context dependent. So Loyal might work like a Hindrance sometimes, but it could also be an Edge sometimes, like resisting interrogation to protect a friend. In those cases, YOU hand ME the FP, and then you get a bonus to resist interrogation.” Again, this will often be so obvious, no explicit discussion is required: the player simply slides the FP over to me and rolls the dice.

This was deadly simple for my player to understand and start using at the table right away. This all seemed to him to be utterly traditional gaming, and no accusations about radical game designed were leveled at me at any point.

I gotta go do real-life stuff, but I’d also like to address some weird arguments I see over at TBP about character Aspects such as “Fastest Man on Earth” of “Best Swordsman in the Land,” as I feel those examples are sometimes put forward in bad faith and scare people away from Fate that might otherwise not be so scared …
 
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PolarBlues

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Just to continue to discuss Aspects for those asking in good faith. Character Aspects are pretty easy, especially if the players have any experience with games that have advantage / disadvantage systems.
I prefer to think of Aspects more as equivalent of space often found on character sheet for the character's portrait or the character quote in D6 Star Wars with the emphasis being on describing and communicating the character concept rather than standard Advantages/Disadvantages as the latter I find, put the focus on the mechanical benefits.

If one looks at the history of Fate's evolution, Aspects were always a concept (freeform descriptors) chasing a mechanic. The desire was there from the start to provide a freeform way to capture things that are unique and important about a character. The term "Fate Point economy" didn't even exist when Spirit of the Century first came out. What followed was a journey to back this desire with meaningful mechanics. But as I said before things have moved on with Fate Core.
 

TheophilusCarter

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I prefer to think of Aspects more as equivalent of space often found on character sheet for the character's portrait or the character quote in D6 Star Wars with the emphasis being on describing and communicating the character concept rather than standard Advantages/Disadvantages as the latter I find, put the focus on the mechanical benefits.

If one looks at the history of Fate's evolution, Aspects were always a concept (freeform descriptors) chasing a mechanic. The desire was there from the start to provide a freeform way to capture things that are unique and important about a character. The term "Fate Point economy" didn't even exist when Spirit of the Century first came out. What followed was a journey to back this desire with meaningful mechanics. But as I said before things have moved on with Fate Core.
Oh yeah, I don't disagree. I'm nowhere near done talking about Aspects yet. :smile: This is just "how to get players of other games to start thinking about them, step 1" ... :grin:
 

Mankcam

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If you were starting off what version of the system would you use @Mankcam ?
Definately Fate Core.

The earlier versions were okay. In hindsight I quite like the simplicity of Fate 2, it was only one step shy of Fudge back then, but things went in a different direction.

Fate 3 was a different thing, and I think the settings were great for that era, such as Spirit of the Century, Cerebus Club, Dresden Files, etc.

Which is a shame, as I felt that the Fate 3 era had people tripping over character aspects everywhere, that part was quite clumsy at times.

Fate Core as a system is a more matured and succinct version of the mechanics in the Fate 3 games.

Fate Core trims characters down to a workable number of 5 Aspects. One of those is the High Concept aspect which is an umbrella descriptor that portrays the character in broad brushstrokes - this is a game changer that helps simplify character portrayal quite a bit.

I guess it is a two-edged sword in some ways, as the Fate Core rulebook is also the one that pushes the lexicon that often distances people. People started falling into the Fate camp or Non-Fate camp because of this, and I think nothing was gained by this polarisation.

However the Fate Core rulebook is a pretty handy little digest book to get your hands on. Like anything generic, you need to have settings and adjust it for various genres.

Don't be fooled by the artwork, which promotes a predominantly Pulp Adventure or Pulp Fantasy flavour. Looking at this, anyone can easily mistake Fate Core as a system similar to Two-Fisted Tales or Savage Worlds.

You can actually run any genre with it equally well. Of course it can certainly portray pulpy stuff like Indiana Jones, Die Hard, CSI, Forgotten Realms, or Star Wars. But it can also easily do Game Of Thrones, Tom Clancy, Le Carre Espionage, or even Poldark / Pride & Prejudice.

Despite this, there are many other rpgs that run things out-of-the-box, so I certainly don't use Fate Core for everything.

But if you like homebrewing (both settings and tone), then I highly recommend Fate Core as an excellent little rpg toolkit book to have.
 
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Mankcam

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For those of you interested in this thread, these goofy guys probably explain Fate Core much better than I can
I like how they go pretty loose with it, because that's how I approach it as well :grin:


Enjoy! :thumbsup:
 
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dbm

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I would definitely agree that Fate Core is the mature heart of Fate, and I suspect it will remain pretty consistent for the foreseeable, thought Fate Condensed was released a little while back, and I haven’t read this personally.

If someone wanted a ‘worked example’ of Fate Core then Dreseden Files is probably a good example of a fairly ‘crunchy’ implementation. Atomic Robo is a bit more medium weight implementation, and has some good extra systems for handling brainstorming (where the characters ‘work out’ what is happening, perhaps defining part of the details that the GM has left open to that) and ‘mega-stunts’ which can be used for more extreme deviations from ‘the norm’ like super powers.

An alternative that some people like is Strands of Fate, which is sometimes described as ‘Fate and GURPS had a baby’. It has a lot more defined content for character creation, with specific abilities that might make it an easier transition from other systems. Strands branched off from FATE 3, though the second edition did bring in some facets of Fate Core.
 

TheophilusCarter

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Before I continue talking about Aspects ...

1) Is this at all helpful? Esp. @The Butcher and your questions?

2) Is there anything other than Aspects that folks have questions about? Usually the rest of it (Skills, Stunts, basic actions, etc.) seem pretty straightforward, maybe with some minor clarification questions, but I don't want to prattle on just about Aspects if there are other things to discuss. One that occurs to me is maybe the Create Advantage action, about which I see some weird comments here and there. Another is the degree of "shared narrative control" in Fate, which varies by table, but which I think overall has been greatly exaggerated and is much more a play-style that Fate fans like than it is much built into the rules themselves ...
 

TristramEvans

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Another is the degree of "shared narrative control" in Fate, which varies by table, but which I think overall has been greatly exaggerated and is much more a play-style that Fate fans like than it is much built into the rules themselves ...

I'll bite: how is "shared narrative control" represented as a mechanic in Fate, and what is it's purpose/limitations?
 

PolarBlues

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I'll bite: how is "shared narrative control" represented as a mechanic in Fate, and what is it's purpose/limitations?
A lot depends on group dynamics and what you are used to when playing rpgs. Fate has rules for declarations; facts that related to the setting or situation that the player can inject. These have to make sense and still subject to GM or group approval.

In that respect it is not miles from what I commonly experience in games in which the players informally suggest things, often in the form a question to the GM like "Is there an X...". The difference is the shift of emphasis from the GM can go along with the players' suggestions if they so wish to the GM should go with the player's declaration unless they have a good reason not to.
 

TheophilusCarter

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@PolarBlues nailed it. There really isn't much in the at-the-table mechanics that pushes the shared narrative control thing, especially if you don't want it to. That's really a matter of playstyle. Some Fate rules and settings push more "shared world creation" and "cooperative, interdependent character generation" during session zero than others, but that's not required, as evidenced by the many, many Fate books and settings that don't do that. In fact, as far as the four actions and the use of Fate points, almost everything is IC; about the only exception I can think of is spending a FP to declare a story detail, something you can do in Savage Worlds, Vortex, and many, many other systems, and something that you can leave out if you like. Even if you use it, it's supposed to be related to an Aspect, so it's not completely out of the blue, out of character, out of game world; it's more like "My character has the Cynical Veteran Cop Aspect so he probably drinks with some local gangsters who would know about this" (something we often do in many other games, as PB points out). For me, that actually keeps things MORE IC than the old "Mother May I?" approach of suggesting something to the GM and waiting for approval; it's more like go ahead, and the GM will veto if necessary.

Yah, so I think the shared narrative control thing was more a PR move on the part of Evil Hat to make Fate seem OH SO NEW AND DIFFERENT AND YOU HAVE TO BUY IT IMMEDIATELY!!! than anything in the rules themselves, and something they tried really hard to push in Fate Core with the example of shared setting and character creation, but it's barely in the rules of play themselves at all. Fate allows for shared narrative control just fine, but doesn't particularly depend on it.
 
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TheophilusCarter

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Okay, some more about character Aspects. A lot of confusions about characters Aspects comes about because people talk about (or criticize … ) them in the abstract. This is not helpful. Because they are freeform, they require context to make any sense of them in any particular game. A few things that come to mind:

Setting. What sort of things count as good character Aspects and how they work is very setting dependent. Some Fate games spell a ton of this out for you, to the level of practically giving you lists to choose from. Others are much more freeform, but are still going to give some guidance; e.g., if it’s a sci-fi game, it’ll probably talk about the various species you can play, and if Mythical Grecian Elf isn’t appropriate to the setting, then you probably aren’t going to pick that as an Aspect … If you’re just using Fate Core and creating the setting together during session zero, then you’re going to have to come to some understanding of what Aspects will work for the setting you’re deciding to play in. Notice this isn’t really any different from a number of games y’all have probably played before; e.g., if it’s a supers game, but there are no mutants in the setting, then picking a mutant is off-setting.

Table Consensus. Aspects are freeform, but that doesn’t mean anyone can pick anything at all, especially not so you can just power-game ... You’re going to make characters together during session zero so you can talk out your Aspects and figure out what you want them to do. This doesn’t mean other people get to choose your Aspects. Yes, you can do the whole collaborative character creation thing in Fate if you want, but it’s not a requirement, and many Fate games do not include it. But it does mean that everyone should be on the same page to have fun and play a game that makes sense. So if I pick and Aspect and talk about what I think it should do in game terms, and it seems crazy over-powered compared to anything else anyone else is doing, then just maybe that’s not going to be fun for everyone, and so we talk it out a bit and see if we can find something we’re all happy with. Again, not so different from any game where we decide what sort of options are available from various rulebooks, supplements, etc., even something as simple as what attribute generation method to use in D&D or whether to use random power selection or character modelling in Marvel FASERIP.

Consistency in character build. Aspects are just part of a character, but there’s also Skills, Stunts, maybe Extras (which again are built for various games, but can include super powers, magic systems, detailed weapons and armor, etc.). So if you’re thinking of an Aspect such as “World’s Greatest Detective” or “Fastest Man Alive” then make sure you build the character with the appropriate other things. Again, this is very standard stuff: if you choose a Warrior profession in your D100 game then you’re probably going to want to put some points into combat skills.

Even the categories of Aspects will vary by game, but most tend to have something like the High Concept, which is basically the character’s summary phrase. This is like what PolarBlues was talking about in terms of a freeform descriptive system, so you can have a Dwarf Warrior or Elf Wizard, but without necessarily having strict races and classes. BTW, most of the books encourage super poetic Aspects, but I kind of hate that, as I find it very intimidating, not being a poet … As long as it’s a clear summary of your character, I think that’s good enough. This Aspect is often used in advantageous ways, but could still be disadvantageous depending on what’s going on; for example, the Cynical Veteran Cop probably has a lot of resources, but may not be welcome in certain bars …

A lot of Fate games have a Trouble as well, which is basically a character flaw. This one tends to be more negative, but still could be advantageous in context. For example, my Cynical Veteran Cop might Have a Drinking Problem, and that’s mostly going to suck for him, but it could be helpful when trying to relate to that junkie confidential informant.

Then it varies a lot by game. Fate Core has you use the rest of your character Aspects to establish relationships with other characters – that’s where some of that collaborative character generation stuff comes in. I’m not crazy about that, and prefer not to do it at all; again, I tend to be pretty traditional in my gaming, and I want the players to come up with their own characters.

Regardless, though, and taking into account all of the above, you start to have a clearer idea of what Aspects can do. All require some description or discussion of scope, typical permissions, example invokes and compels, what sort of story declarations you can make, etc. So my Cynical Veteran Cop has permissions to walk into his precinct, access police files, talk to the ME, etc. All establish facts about the character; my Cynical Veteran Cop is (wait for it … ) a cop, so he has a badge and a gun and the authority to arrest people, and none of that requires spending a Fate Point, BTW …

Now a caveat. I’ve said Fate’s a toolkit, and there are as many different Fates as there are d100s. So even what I have above will vary. An obvious example of this is the “Just use Aspects!” crowd of Fate fans, who are happy to roll damn near everything about their characters into Aspects, and avoid using much else, especially avoiding Extras and maybe even Stunts. If they’re having fun, they’re not doing it wrong, but to be clear, that’s not the only approach, or even the most common one from all the Fate games I’ve seen. That’ll be especially relevant as I continue …

On that note, it’s getting late. I do want to illustrate some of this by considering a couple of suggested Aspects that come up in various weird internet discussions / criticisms: Fastest Man Alive and Best Swordsman in the Land. That should make things more concrete, and maybe dispel some of the weird myths about Fate I see circulating. But tomorrow …
 
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Voros

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I'm not that familiar with Fate outside of having read the ruleset, etc. but I will say that Atomic Robo which I've read looks like an amazing game and great intro to the system.

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TheophilusCarter

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Let’s talk about these “white room” discussions I’m constantly seeing at other sites … Someone always brings up something like Best Swordsman in the Land or Fastest Man Alive, and the thread goes down the same old rabbit hole it always does. Sometimes these are good faith questions, but other times it looks suspiciously like trolling, especially when I see the same person bring it up every damn time, no matter how many times it’s addressed. Nobody here would do that … right?!

Best Swordsman in the Land. This or some variation comes up a lot, and then the argument is about whether it means you automatically win every swordfight, or if “it only grants a +2 when I spend a Fate point,” etc. The first thing to note is that THIS MIGHT BE A SHIT ASPECT!!! Remember, Aspects needs the context of setting, table consensus, and a consistent character build. Let’s consider …

For one thing, such an Aspect might not be good for the setting. Maybe you’re thinking really low-level mortals struggling against unstoppable Elder Things; if so, it just seems out of place. On the other hand, maybe you’re coming up with an Exalted-like setting wherein the PCs are demigod heroes; then it might be just perfect.

Even then, you’re going to have some discussion about what it entails, with table consensus. Does that mean the Aspect grants a permission of “wins every sword fight automatically”? It might! Especially if you’ve actually decided that you want combat to be incredibly rare, and the whole point is having someone who just plain wins. On the other hand, perhaps “best” is like “current world champion” which doesn’t mean auto-win; even the best lose the occasional match to others who might not be “best” but are still damn close. Or it could be a joke character, with the understanding that the title is ironic. I’m thinking of an episode of SAMURAI CHAMPLOO where there’s a character who has deluded himself into thinking he’s the best, but it turns out it’s mostly bravado and a whole lot of really lucky fights (invoking Fate Points!). That could actually be a lot of fun! Regardless, you need to discuss this and what it means, applying table consensus, with an understanding of the setting.

Last, if you really mean this seriously, then make sure to build the character appropriately: give them top-notch combat Skills, complementary Stunts, maybe a signature weapon as an Extra, etc. Obviously, it’s not going to work if you go out of your way to build a broken character.

Just remember: you need to be clear about the sort of things this Aspect is for, especially Invokes and Compels. The invokes could include that +2 bonus that really puts you over the top, even with the great Skills, Stunts, Extras, etc. Compels could be constant duel challenges … Whatever direction you take it, take the time to talk about what it means: that’s the price of free-form mechanics. If you don’t like it, that’s cool, but it doesn’t mean it’s objectively a bad game – it’s just not for you.

This all puts me in mind of LEVERAGE, actually. At least initially, the setting puts forward the idea that each is the absolute best at what they do: Hardison is the World’s Best Hacker, Parker is the World’s Best Thief, Eliot is the World’s Best Hitter, etc. Notice that doesn’t mean auto-win. Hardison might be the best hacker, but even he is going to have trouble going up a Sterenko. However, his Aspect is going to give him various permissions: some things are so simple for him that no Skill roll is even needed, for example. He’ll also be built with great hacking-related Skills, Stunts, and Extras, and he’ll also be able to invoke that Aspect when he needs just that Extra push for dramatic purposes (this happens repeatedly throughout the series: “I can’t hack this … OR CAN I?!” :grin: The same would go for Parker (some locks are so simple for her, she has permission to succeed automatically – it’s a running joke about how easily she gets out of handcuffs) or Eliot (sometimes he just smacks the n00b security guard casually and knocks him out without even breaking his stride; sometimes, when going up against someone really tough that caught him by surprise, he needs the push of the invoke). And of course, they each might be the best, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be foils that are damn near as good that provide serious challenges, even though the hero will win in the end (Hardison has to deal with that dick Kaos, for example).

Next up, Fastest Man Alive. A lot of this still holds, but a special note when we’re talking about supers …
 
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Nobby-W

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[ . . . ]
Best Swordsman in the Land. This or some variation comes up a lot, and then the argument is about whether it means you automatically win every swordfight, or if “it only grants a +2 when I spend a Fate point,” etc. The first thing to note is that THIS MIGHT BE A SHIT ASPECT!!! Remember, Aspects needs the context of setting, table consensus, and a consistent character build. Let’s consider …
[ . . . ]
I've not been bothered to get into the online wranglings about FATE a lot, but the concept of THIS MIGHT BE A SHIT ASPECT!!! is absolutely real. Aspect design is something folks routinely struggle with in my experience, and if somebody is maliciously trying to break the system they will. I like to guide folks to thinking in terms of the mechanical effects of aspects (permission, invoke for bonus, invoke against, compel) and get them to ask "how would this work?" questions from that perspective when designing aspects.

If you can't come up with answers to the mechanical effects for "Best swordsman in the land" that make sense in the context of the campaign then the aspect isn't going to pull its weight. For an aspect to work it has to participate in the FATE point economy, either positively or negatively, and if you can't find ways to do that then it might just be a shit (or at least poorly designed or conceived) aspect.

It might even make sense to start with the mechanical effects you want to apply to your character - should they be good at duelling or prone to reckless compels, for example - and then design the aspects around those.
 

Necrozius

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Best swordsman in the land vs. “Best swordsman in the land”. One is a lousy Aspect, the other is amazing.

Hint: the quotation marks...
 

cranebump

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Best swordsman in the land vs. “Best swordsman in the land”. One is a lousy Aspect, the other is amazing.

Hint: the quotation marks...
True! Or even just add “I’m the...!” to it, and you have yourself an Aspect. The way it is still works, however, because being the supposed best implies you have a reputation, and that rep is bound to be constantly tested by other people who doubt the veracity of that statement.
 

TheophilusCarter

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A couple of things about Fastest Man Alive …

Everything above still applies, and even more so when you’re dealing with super-speedsters, which, by the way, have been voted Most Likely Supers Archetype to Break an RPG for going on forty years now … Seriously, super-speedsters are hard to do, even in the fiction. I’ve been watching DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, and every time there’s a speedster on the show, they make a point of calling this out, even to the point of the running joke of villains saying “Always take out the speedster first.” Make sure you’re clear about setting, table consensus, and character build. The Flash may be just fine if you’re teaming him up with Superman and Wonder Woman, but maybe not so much if it’s with Black Widow and Daredevil, and in any case, you’ll want to make sure the Aspect is paired with the right Extras in the form of super-powers.

This seems a bit trickier than Best Swordsman mainly because some folks forget the Extras part. Most supers or supers-adjacent Fate games have a system of super-powers built for just this thing. In other words, Aspects are NOT there to represent powers. There are exceptions, of course. Once again, Fate is a toolkit, and there are folks who are happy to model powers with Aspects alone. More power (ha) to them, but that’s not for me. I think a lot of the nastiness directed at Fate comes from criticisms that Aspects aren’t a good way to handle high-level super-powers, but this overlooks the fact that this isn’t the only way or even default way to do that. Just take a peek at Daring Comics or ICONS (which isn’t Fate but is Fate-like enough) to see what I mean.

As an example, I recently started a solo supers game for a pal o’ mine. I was using ICONS, but everything that’s relevant is close enough (ICONS uses Qualities and Determination Points which work more or less like Aspects and Fate points). We discussed everything I’ve talked about in terms of table consensus, setting, etc. I told him I just wasn’t prepared to run a game for a god-like speedster who could time travel by running (or whatever the hell goes on in that show … ), but could handle a more moderate one, and he was down with that. We modelled his character and chose the Super-Speed power (rank 7, which is comparable to Marvel FASERIP Incredible) and some appropriate power add-ons (Defend, Extra Attacks). Then we chose “Faster Than A …” for his main Quality. Note that the Quality isn’t what gives his character super-speed; it’s the super-speed that gives him super-speed … However, the Quality was there to tap for super-speed related bonuses to rolls, powering stunts, etc. Worked like a charm too, especially in conjunction with his other Qualities (“Impulsive, Much?” and “Protector of the Innocent”) which gave him plenty of opportunities to earn Determination points as well.

Anyhoo, the main thing to remember EVERY. SINGLE. TIME … someone brings this up is that they’re probably arguing a straw man on the assumption that Fate only allows you to model super-powers with Aspects, and that’s just not true. (The other thing to remember is that they're probably trolling, bringing up the universe's most difficult character concept to work in an RPG ... )

OK, the only other thing I want to rant about is the Create Advantage action. Again, let me know if there’s anything else you want to talk about.
 
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TheophilusCarter

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Okay, last thing I wanted to talk about: the Create Advantage action. I’ve seen folks here and there talk about how it’s immersion breaking because it requires an OOC / authorial stance, etc. I’m genuinely confused by this. Create Advantage is one of the four actions that PCs can take, IC, in-game. It’s not a, I don’t know, “meta-action” (?) performed by players OOC.

Fate Core, like many games, tries to give a streamlined, relatively-unified set of mechanics, and one way it does this is with the four basic actions. Attack and Defend are pretty self-explanatory. Overcome is just the generic “do the thing” action, assuming a roll is needed at all; it’s typically discussed in terms of Overcoming an obstacle (picking a lock, for example: the “picking” is the action that tries to Overcome the obstacle of the lock). That leaves Create Advantage. CA is the way that Fate deals with various actions that are taken by PCs to improve their chances of succeeding at other things.

Spending a round aiming before shooting is an example: the aiming is the Create Advantage, which if successful, will result in a bonus to the shooting Attack. This is all IC: it’s the PC that’s taking a moment to aim the weapon, and then firing more steadily the next round. The way CA does this is spelled out in the Fate game terms of (you guessed it) Aspects. If my aiming Create Advantage roll is successful, then I have the “Aiming” Aspect and a free invoke, which presumably I’m going to use to get a bonus on my shooting roll the next round. I can also continue to invoke the “Aiming” aspect in successive rounds by spending Fate points. How long does it last? As long as it makes sense. It’s almost certainly going to disappear once the combat is over; it’s likely to disappear if the PC is attacked, etc. Yes, this is a bit fuzzy: that’s by design. In many ways, Fate is the ultimate “rulings not rules” system, at least in that regard.

Another example: shooting out the lights to make the room dark and make it easier to sneak through the room. This is all IC: the PC shoots her weapon at the light to create a “Dark” Aspect and gets a free invoke on her sneaking Overcome roll the next round. This lasts as long as it makes sense, including if someone turns on some other lights! :grin:

Once again, a reminder that Aspects are NOT just “I get a +2” – as per my earlier post (the one where I put a little essay in spoilers … ), the aspect is a fact about the scene and can operate in any of the ways that normal non-aspects can, such as granting or denying permissions, providing passive opposition, etc. In particular, and also to that point of “How long does the Aspect last?” question, it’s common to think of it as an Obstacle that can be Overcome, at which point it goes away.

So, I’m having trouble understanding the criticism that Create Advantage is OOC. This is no different than a million other IC maneuvers in most RPGs. Create Advantage is something the PC does, not the player. True, some groups might spend more time talking OOC and taking the authorial stance and all that, but that’s a playstyle, not something baked into the CA action.
 
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CRKrueger

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Okay, last thing I wanted to talk about: the Create Advantage action. I’ve seen folks here and there talk about how it’s immersion breaking because it requires an OOC / authorial stance, etc. I’m genuinely confused by this. Create Advantage is one of the four actions that PCs can take, IC, in-game. It’s not a, I don’t know, “meta-action” (?) performed by players OOC.

Fate Core, like many games, tries to give a streamlined, relatively-unified set of mechanics, and one way it does this is with the four basic actions. Attack and Defend are pretty self-explanatory. Overcome is just the generic “do the thing” action, assuming a roll is needed at all; it’s typically discussed in terms of Overcoming an obstacle (picking a lock, for example: the “picking” is the action that tries to Overcome the obstacle of the lock). That leaves Create Advantage. CA is the way that Fate deals with various actions that are taken by PCs to improve their chances of succeeding at other things.

Spending a round aiming before shooting is an example: the aiming is the Create Advantage, which if successful, will result in a bonus to the shooting Attack. This is all IC: it’s the PC that’s taking a moment to aim the weapon, and then firing more steadily the next round. The way CA does this is spelled out in the Fate game terms of (you guessed it) Aspects. If my aiming Create Advantage roll is successful, then I have the “Aiming” Aspect and a free invoke, which presumably I’m going to use to get a bonus on my shooting roll the next round. I can also continue to invoke the “Aiming” aspect in successive rounds by spending Fate points. How long does it last? As long as it makes sense. It’s almost certainly going to disappear once the combat is over; it’s likely to disappear if the PC is attacked, etc. Yes, this is a bit fuzzy: that’s by design. In many ways, Fate is the ultimate “rulings not rules” system, at least in that regard.

Another example: shooting out the lights to make the room dark and make it easier to sneak through the room. This is all IC: the PC shoots her weapon at the light to create a “Dark” Aspect and gets a free invoke on her sneaking Overcome roll the next round. This lasts as long as it makes sense, including if someone turns on some other lights! :grin:

Once again, a reminder that Aspects are NOT just “I get a +2” – as per my earlier post (the one where I put a little essay in spoilers … ), the aspect is a fact about the scene and can operate in any of the ways that normal non-aspects can, such as granting or denying permissions, providing passive opposition, etc. In particular, and also to that point of “How long does the Aspect last?” question, it’s common to think of it as an Obstacle that can be Overcome, at which point it goes away.

So, I’m having trouble understanding the criticism that Create Advantage is OOC. This is no different than a million other IC maneuvers in most RPGs. Create Advantage is something the PC does, not the player. True, some groups might spend more time talking OOC and taking the authorial stance and all that, but that’s a playstyle, not something baked into the CA action.
So I Aim for one round, I did a Create Advantage, got the Aspect “Aiming“ and can invoke it for free that round. After that, I need to spend a Fate Point to be still Aiming, or I can take a round to Create Advantage again for the Free Invoke?

So let’s say I have a sniper rifle and I Create Advantage by deploying the bipod to get the Aspect “Braced Weapon”. Unlike Aiming, which does take time and concentration, once deployed and braced, the Bipod is in place and the rifle is stabilized. Do I need to keep spending Fate Points to get that advantage? If so, why?

In the Lights example, the heroine shot out the lights to make everything “Dark” and gets a Free Invoke of that aspect to the next round of sneaking? If the light level doesn’t change, does she get to keep that Free Invoke for her sneaking as long as it is “Dark”?

I’m talking Fate Core RAW here, I realize different GMs will have different answers.
 

TheophilusCarter

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Excellent questions!

I’m talking Fate Core RAW here, I realize different GMs will have different answers.
I swear I’ll do my best but talking about Fate Core RAW is like talking about d100 RAW: there are lots of different games. I’ll try to stick to the literal Fate Core rulebook, but even that is geared around the whole “rulings not rules” design, plus discussions of various things you would build into your particular game (much like setting rules in SW). Again, I’ll do my best!

So I Aim for one round, I did a Create Advantage, got the Aspect “Aiming“ and can invoke it for free that round. After that, I need to spend a Fate Point to be still Aiming, or I can take a round to Create Advantage again for the Free Invoke?
You can definitely spend FP to keep invoking the Aspect. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t alternate CA and Attack actions too if you want: the drawback is that it’s another action to perform that takes your turn; the benefit is that it doesn’t spend a FP.

So let’s say I have a sniper rifle and I Create Advantage by deploying the bipod to get the Aspect “Braced Weapon”. Unlike Aiming, which does take time and concentration, once deployed and braced, the Bipod is in place and the rifle is stabilized. Do I need to keep spending Fate Points to get that advantage? If so, why?
So this is difficult to answer by Fate Core RAW, because the literal core book says you may want to create Extras for things such as equipment, using weapons as a specific example. If you don’t want to use Extras, then I would think that the bipod is just a descriptive feature of the rifle, but you’re still “Steadying” it. If you want to have weapons statted up as Extras, then you could simply have that be a feature of the rifle: as long as you have time to set up, the bipod just plain gives you a bonus to your attack roll. This is where Fate’s “Bronze Rule” comes into play: everything can use the same features as characters, including Aspects, Skills, Stunts, etc. So your rifle could have a “Stunt” of “+2 to shooting Attack rolls as long as you can use its bipod.” I suspect a lot of Fate fans would prefer the more “narrative” way, but I (tending to run Fate more traditionally, as I’ve mentioned) generally prefer that weapons, armor, equipment be statted up in good old-fashioned traditional ways, so I personally just like the idea of your sniper rifle having the bipod stunt.

In the Lights example, the heroine shot out the lights to make everything “Dark” and gets a Free Invoke of that aspect to the next round of sneaking? If the light level doesn’t change, does she get to keep that Free Invoke for her sneaking as long as it is “Dark”?
She only gets one free invoke (unless she rolls a Succeed with Style, which is two free invokes); after that, she needs to spend FP even if it’s still dark. A couple of things about that, though. As per that much earlier post, the “Dark” aspect is also a fact, and so can still have mechanical effects in general (see all those examples I gave in that post); the invokes are just for extra benefit. That’s probably not super-simulationist, to be sure, in just the same way that spending bennies in SW / drama points in CineUni, story points in Vortex / etc., etc., etc. aren’t super-simulationist. I still think it's more simulationist than those systems because at least the Aspect is something in-game instead of purely meta. I could see even that being explainable: she gets some extra benefit from it because of the surprise of it, or something like that. Hey, it’s no worse than wrapping my head around AC or hp … :grin: However, if that’s still not to your taste, fair enough!

Great questions, thank you!
 
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