Monday, January 28, 2013

Fate Core: Magi pt 12

The long dark shadows had crept over half way up the city skyline, casting a sinister veil over the streets and alleys below. Two small figures rushed from shadow to shadow in a meandering path through the darkening city. One was a tall young man in a leather jacket, grinning ear to ear. The other was a short woman, her face grim and determined.

"Do you think we lost them?" Ivan gasped, leaning against a wall.

"I think we may have lost ourselves," Chloe said, "I don't recognize this part of the city."

Ivan looked around for any kind of landmark, any sign of where they were. "do you think they altered the city, or futzed with our perception?"

She closed her eyes for a moment and began to quietly chant. she was still for a moment and then said, "Our perception are our own as far as I can sense. If they have changed the ity to trap us-," She shrugged.

"We have to get back to sanctuary. We can get protection there," Ivan said.

Chloe nodded, then motioned for him to follow her. She began to run. Though that was an inappropriate word for it. Her form was perfect, her breathing even. the world blurred around her. She was running in a bubble of her own reality. She chanted as she ran, keeping the the bubble intact. Ivan ran alongside her, safely carried by the spell so long as he ran.

He was breathing hard. "You know that this will register with the Custodians. They know where we are now."

She gave him a dismissive glance, never slowing her chant. Ivan looked back. He could see them now, The Custodians. The Rationalist's secret police. With their nondescript suits and their average looks they were difficult to see even though they were chasing at full speed. 

Ivan made a simbol with his hands and closed his eyes, attempting to attain the moment of absolute peace his magic required. This was made difficult by the need to keep running. He trusted Chloe to guide him and let his feet carry on. He felt the oneness of the universe flow into him and through him. It pushed against boundaries and opposition. The world around him pushed back. 

It takes a lot of focus to change the world. A lot of belief. The world tend to stay in one state or another. It does not accept a change to the status quo. Ivan pushed all of his desperation away, seeking stillness. The world would do his bidding, not the other way around.  The people on the streets began to drift together, schooling like fish. they formed a wall of flesh between Ivan and his pursuers. It would not stop them. It would slow them down.

I may have pushed myself into a design corner, so to speak. I got so focused on the world and how those mechanics interacted with each other that I forgot to figure out who the characters in it will be, and why anyone would want to play. So I had to take a few days and think about the core of my game. A game is not about the setting, or the actions you can take in a setting. It is about the player's characters. Everything else exists to further their actions, causes, and decisions.

So what was it about my original idea(s) that I liked from a player character perspective? I like the idea of a reality war. I like the underdog story as well. So the game will be about fighting for the very nature of the universe. The players will be part of a small cabal who are going against the status quo of their particular series of nodes.

How will I do this? I think the first game of a campaign will have a few more decisions to discuss. Firstly, who is in charge of the node cluster you are in(these will be the antagonists)? Secondly, What is the super node of this cluster? this will be voted on by the whole group. the supernode needs a prevailing style, or styles as well as a few aspects on the side. Thirdly, how many nodes are connected to this super node? The minimum will be the number of players(gm included) at the table. the maximum...whatever you like, really. each of these will be worked on by individuals in the group. each node will have two styles. one for it's super node, and one for itself(they can be contradictory.

This will be the world the players play in. You will need to populated it with NPCs and villains as well as threats and the like(more on that in a future post). The other big change to the game is to the character advancement. Every time you hit a significant mile stone you will mark a world change token(terrible name, need to come up with a better one, but you get the idea). You can exchange these to change a nodes aspects. One for one for a nodes lesser aspects, two for one for a nodes style aspects or a super node's lesser aspects, and three for one for a super node's style aspect.

That is currently how I am think on it, though that may prove to be just as problematic as my previous thoughts on the matter.

I think that will help fix some of the issues I had with the game. I would love to here any thoughts on the matter.


  1. I have an idea, if you feel it can be used.

    I was thinking about how easy it would be to add in an Aspect-based coincidental magic(k) system. Just add the skill Circumstance, and use it to manipulate Aspects to a greater extent that you'd be able to do with just Fate Points. Similar to that one magic system that the Fate guys mention in their Magic Toolkit. This way, you have a clear line (clearer than Mage itself could have ever made it) between what's coincidental and what's vulgar.

    Now, to do what Entropy/Fate used to do in a vulgar way, I'd just leave that up to Time. If you really want to guarantee that something will happen, it's vulgar, and uses Time instead of Circumstance. Or, you could simply use Circumstance to do so, treating it as vulgar for anything that doesn't tweak Aspects.

    Just a random thought. I like the idea of Aspect manipulation being something that Magi do and do better than anyone.

  2. Also< I'm on the Fate Core Google+ community, as Carl. I like what I see here, hope you continue, and would like to discuss more of it with you when you have an opportunity.