Thursday, May 9, 2013

Roll/keep Fate...sorta


I was noodling around on the internet, as I am wont to do. I was looking for ways to do gear in Fate. To those of you who don't know, Fate is not the best system for gear. It is not bad, but it is very difficult to make it meaningful. In wandering around I went to the regular places. At Spirit of the [Blank] I found a wonderful discussion of fencing schools by +Mike Olson. I saw there a variable dice pool mechanic that interested me. Then I read this post by +Leonard Balsera on an idea for Fate Weapons and that got me thinking. This lead me to start thinking about some of my old L5R games. The roll/keep system was always really interesting as it altered odds in a way that was different than many games. That and it had no critical hits for luck, you had to set up extra damage ahead of time. At this point I had to admit I was no longer trying to do gear in Fate. I was trying to alter the fundamentals of the game, all the while keeping those fundamentals in the game. This is the first post in this series that will continue unevenly throughout the summer and maybe beyond.

Here's the core of the idea. You have attributes and skills. Attributes and skills are linked. Your attribute tells you how many Fate Dice you can roll. You skill tells you how many dice you can keep after the roll.

As this was originally a weapons and gear hack, I would like there to me more mechanical pieces to play with in any given scene. See, what makes Fate do less well with weapons is that there are really only two variables in a given conflict, when you hit and how well you hit. All the other mechanics are based around those two in one form or another. Take a look at the standard Gear Porn game, D&D for example. there are quite a few variable in its conflicts. There is the initiative(when you go in combat), there is movement(how far you can go) there is the range of your weapon(in increments of five feet), there is how well you hit(accuracy), how hard you hit(damage), then there are all the weird effects each having a different mechanic. You gear could alter any one or even all of those factors, you could get higher in one by getting lower in another, your gear could have special rules that do weird things or interact with the other rules strangely.

 So I would like there to be an initiative system(no MHRing this one folks), and a damage system. each piece will be able to be manipulated, thus(hopefully) adding to the tactical decision making. This will of course add to the complexity of the system, and that may not be for the best. I also love the One Roll Engine by +Greg Stolze, and so I would like there to be much of the information required for a conflict given by one roll.

This is a big aside for me. Normally what I do is build a setting of some sort and then tailor a rules set to fit that setting. This is the first time I am just playing with the rules as the beginning and seeing where it goes and what kinds of things can come out of this rule system. Wish me luck.