Monday, October 28, 2013

FATEsy Heartbreaker: Dungeons Deep

Beginners Guide to Crawling The Dungeons

Dungeons in Fate Core are tricky things. On the surface they are relatively easy, and should you come from a long line of Dungeon crawling games then making one in Fate is about equivalent. But that would just be a standard adventure. what I would like to do is enhance the dungeon crawl with Fate. Utilize what makes both fun and create something that is the same, yet different.

So to do this I must use the things that Fate is known for. I must make the players have an active roll in the design of the dungeon. That to me is crucial. So I went with something inspired by the system used in +John Wick's Wilderness of Mirrors. Basically the players would have a series of rolls that the players can make to design the dungeon. These would basically be a series of research rolls to create advantage and establish the aspects for the dungeon. The players would need to spend Wealth to gain these rolls. Every roll they cannot afford would be an aspect that the GM would be able to make up. But enough generalization, lets get down to the step by step:

Step One: Decide How Big The Dungeon Will Be
Gather the group together and decide on how big you wish the dungeon to be. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. There are three basic sizes of Dungeon: The Micro Dungeon, The Dungeon, and The Mega Dungeon. the Micro Dungeon will take around one session to complete. The dungeon should take around three to four sessions to complete, and the mega Dungeon will take nine or more sessions.

Step Two: Make The Rolls You Can Make
Each type of dungeon will have a number of aspects that can be discovered by player research. Micro Dungeons have 4-6 aspects that can be discovered, Dungeons have between eight and 12, Mega dungeons have twenty or higher. To gain the roll a wealth point must be spent for each roll. Fate points cannot be spent to gain this information, but they can be spent to gain success on the roll. On a successful research roll the player gets to make up an answer to one of the following questions, regarding the dungeon. On a tie the player can make up the answer to the question, but the GM gets to make up the aspect. On a failure the GM gets to make up both the answer to the question and the aspect. Should the player succeed with style they get a free invoke of the aspect they have created. If the players have no wealth points to spend, or do not wish to spend more wealth, then treat the roll as a failure, but the GM gains a free invoke of the aspect he creates.

The Questions for every dungeon
Who made the dungeon?
What was the original purpose of the dungeon?
When was the dungeon created?
What protects the dungeon?
Who/what lives in the dungeon?
What is the dungeon's treasure?
What are the unique features of the dungeon?
What prevented previous people from exploring it?
What is a secret of the dungeon?
What is the history of the dungeon?

Each question can be answered more than once, provided the second answer makes some sort of sense.  You can even have answers that contradict each other. How these two contradictory things can both be true should be explored in play.

Step Three: Finishing It Up
At this point the players can step back, job well done. Now it is time for the GM to step in and finish up. Each dungeon type will have a number of attack defense skills rated at between 1 and four. Each of these represents a random encounter or a trap. They can be mixed in with regular encounters or dealt with on their own as a singular event. You also get a number of consequences and stress boxes for your use with random encounters/traps.  these are used to keep your wandering monster or trap going for more than just one attack/defense. There are(currently) three types of Wandering monsters: Skulkers, Brutes, and Aberrations. Any attack done without any stress tracks attached to it is a trap. This gets one attack on everything in the zone and then is unusable unless someone spends a turn creating advantage vs the trap's attack/defense skill.

Skulkers get to attack first, but cannot have more than two stress boxes. They can only target one creature at a time, but if you put a few of them in the conflict they can be bothersome.

Brutes must have more than three stress boxes and hit everything in the zone with their attacks.

Aberrations can be anything, but they have weird powers. Choose one, when you make an aberration:
Fire/poison/weird persistent attack: when you deal stress to a creature you can choose to do one less stress this round and have the creature take one stress per round from now on. That creature must make an overcome roll against the aberration's attack/defense skill to remove this effect.
Flying/teleporting/weird movement power: the aberration ignores terrain aspects that would get in the way of its movement. it can begin each turn in whichever zone it wishes.
Vampiric: When the aberration does a consequence to a creature it clears one of its stress boxes.
There are probably loads more, and there are a lot of wonky ideas I still have to try with this, but this give you the idea.

Micro Dungeons
4-6 aspects
one (+5) attack/defense, Two (+2) Attack/Defense, and Two (+1) attack/defense
Eight Stress boxes
One minor consequence, 1 moderate consequence, 1 sever consequence
GM can arrange the statted monsters as desired at least one statted monster per aspect of the dungeon

Dungeons
8-12 aspects
one (+4) attack/defense, one (+3) attack/defense, two (+2) attacks/defenses, three (+1) attacks/Defenses
16 stress boxes
3 minor consequences, 2 moderate consequences, 2 severe consequences

Mega Dungeons
20+ aspects
three (+4) attack Defense, Three (+3) attack/defense, four (+2) Attack/Defense, and six (+1) attack/defense
30 stress boxes
4 minor consequences, 4 moderate consequences, 3 severe consequences, and one extreme consequence

Once the size of the dungeon is picked the GM must also come up with standard monsters for the dungeon. There must be as many standard monsters as there are aspects for the dungeon. That does not mean they must all be separate though. You can place them all together or group them however you like. Each one of these monsters will gain the players one wealth point each should they overcome them in some way. The GM can also place wealth points worth of Magical Items and the like in place of wealth points direct.

So that is how I see dungeons being handled in my heartbreaker. Well, this is the roughed out version. I will continue to play around with the rules and see what I can come up with. I would love to hear your thoughts on this system. How do you think it will work? Are there any major flaws that i am missing here? Questions, concerns, comments, and critiques are welcome!