Monday, December 4, 2017

Fate Sans Combat

I posted a few days ago my ideas for a travel system(actually I have posted my ideas on such a system a couple of times). The responses I received on that post, both on Google+ and on Reddit, led me to think about different ways to use Fate. Today as I was taking my daily walk I ha a funny little idea, and I thought I would share it. It may not be to your preference, but I thought it was interesting, and perhaps the discussion this brings will be of use to you, or at least get us to look at the game in a slightly different way. You ready?  Here goes. 

Removing combat from Fate?

OK so the title is a bit of a misnomer. A little bit of click-bate, I guess, though only just. My idea is this. You treat combat as a single roll of the dice. Before we all freak out and explode lets dig into how I see that working. If you are using the standard Fate Core skill list then you would take shoot and fight and combine them into a single Combat skill. You would also get rid of stress, as that will not serve much of a purpose in this idea. Then you would treat combat as an overcome roll, or as a challenge scene if more narration is needed. There would be a small change to the mechanics here, if you fail a roll you may take a consequence to succeed at the roll, or to change success to success with style. Also remember that you can still use create advantage to enhance a roll as well. Consequences and created aspects would create the narrative explaining how and why you succeeded or failed at a given goal. If you fail at Combat, and choose not to succeed through aspects or consequences, that would count as being taken out. What being taken out means should be pretty obvious from the scenes goals you set. If it is unclear what your opponent wants out of a combat, then you should refocus and work out what failure means and what success means. 

What makes this interesting?

I think that what this might do, what it could do, is that it would emphasize defining goals of a scene as well as making the costs and choices about winning more clear. It would also shorten up combat scenes which I sometimes(but not always) feel can drag a bit. I could see this system as something like training wheels for those who approach Fate from a perspective that does not fuly engage the strengths of Fate. 

Is this a universal fix? 

No. Obviously this would not work for every game, or even most games. However it might be fun to try, and it might work well for games that focus outside fo combat. Also the lack of stress increases player awareness of character fragility. This could be good or it could be bad. It is also a bit Meta, so for those who do not care for that level of remove it might be a bad choice.  

What do you think?

As I said at the start, this was just a silly little idea I had. It might suck. I mostly just wanted to start a discussion and see what people thought about this idea. Let me know what you think. 
Also +Megan Bennett-Burks and I just finished a Kickstarter for A Far Off Land, A Fate RPG in Two Worlds. It is a game about special people chosen by Eldritch beings to travel between the worlds and protect or destroy both. They are shape shifting masters of primordial magics, and they hold the fate of two worlds in their hands. If you missed the kickstarter and would like to check out the game, you can still get it. Check out the Beta Document.