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Tell me about FATE 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:04 pm
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Post Tell me about FATE
So FATE's getting a whole lotta lurvin' atm. Why do you think this is? Tell me why you like FATE- if you've GMd or played it- or (as in my case) why it appeals to you. FATE appeals to me because:

1. FATE points, which encourage roleplaying behaviour i.e. acting up to your traits.
2. ASPECTS. Unlike the skills in most games- Intelligence, Strength, Perception etc.- which are what your character can do, ASPECTS are what makes your character what he or she is, which I think is an absolutely fundemantal development, and for which Fred Hicks and Rob Donoghue should get some kind of RPG Oscar.
3. FUDGE dice, although not FUDGE rules. I'm not sure how I feel about this as I like the XP mechanic in FUDGE , but still, fudge dice are FTW.
4. While a huge number of systems claim to be generic and uber-customisable (it's sort of the flavour of the month- remember when every game was described as Fast Furious Fun, even when-as in a lot of cases- it wasn't?), FATE does genuinely seem to be.
5. Dresden Files, which sounds like a terrific game, and a good exemplar of the system.

So, anything else to add to that list? And can anyone give me some bite-sized play examples? Also, is there anyone out there who doesn't like FATE, and, if so, why not?

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Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:35 pm
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Post Re: Tell me about FATE
I fell in love with FATE 3.0 when I participated in a Spirit of the Century game at a local RPG Meetup. It remains my favorite FATE game, even though some of the other ones are very good indeed.

Why?

Aspects were a huge part of it. For the first time I saw character background being blended into character creation via an actually useable and fun mechanic or "The FATE point economy." This was very dynamic to me.

The entire process of having character characteristics that could be tagged, invoked, and compelled was just fabulous. It added so much to the game session that it left me rather speechless (in a good way).

Aspects and the FATE point economy (spending and gaining FATE points) also increased the dramatic input from the player side of things at the same time as it increased the depth of possibilities that the GM has during the course of an adventure.

Need to spice up an adventure? Look at the PCs aspects. Stuck mid-game when the players through you for a loop? See the aspects and how they might be compelled and brought into play. It's a fun process and it really made our pulp adventure pop and come to life.

Fudge dice are also fun. The are also very intuitive.

I also like the fact that FATE 3.0 is still very much a traditional RPG at heart. You still have skills. You still have a traditional RPG framework for the most part.


Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:06 pm
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Post Re: Tell me about FATE
catty_big wrote:
Also, is there anyone out there who doesn't like FATE, and, if so, why not?


I don't like FATE. I think it's a game with a few really clever twists but it is buried under needless complexity.

It's got all that micro-definition of characters and rules in play. All kinds of shitty details that makes it as complicated, boring and lifeless as something like GURPS or DnD3.

But one should point out the clever twists are really cool and fun. Like the group-oriented chargen. Also, the basic principle of aspects is brilliant. Literally every roleplaying game in existence deserves to have that concept ported and adapted to it and will become better because of it. It is to roleplaying games what bacon is to food. It makes everything better, seriously.

I much prefer games like ICONS and Chronica Feudalis, which do not use FATE as such but adapt the aspect concept. After all, FATE is OGL and you can steal the 1% of good ideas and avoid the 99% bad execution.

I'll probably check out the next edition when it comes out in case it has brilliant bits and I think it's worth a look for everybody. But the execution is clunky and overcomplicated.

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Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:38 am
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Post Re: Tell me about FATE
Going stuntless is one option that reduces complexity.

I wouldn't say FATE is really that complex though. Just verbose. :lol:


Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:33 pm
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Post Re: Tell me about FATE
Consonant Dude wrote:
I much prefer games like ICONS and Chronica Feudalis, which do not use FATE as such but adapt the aspect concept. After all, FATE is OGL and you can steal the 1% of good ideas and avoid the 99% bad execution.

I'll probably check out the next edition when it comes out in case it has brilliant bits and I think it's worth a look for everybody. But the execution is clunky and overcomplicated.

I must admit, I haven't heard that even from people who I know aren't keen on FATE (although tbh there aren't that many of them since I tend to hang with a fairly full-on indie crowd. It's not quite 'Show me some ground that Fred Hicks or Robin Laws has walked on and I'll worship it', but it's getting that way). I'm sure you're exaggerating a bit with the 1%/99% split, but in any case, is it really that clunky? Can you give me one or two examples of that?

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Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:03 pm
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Post Re: Tell me about FATE
catty_big wrote:
I must admit, I haven't heard that even from people who I know aren't keen on FATE (although tbh there aren't that many of them since I tend to hang with a fairly full-on indie crowd. It's not quite 'Show me some ground that Fred Hicks or Robin Laws has walked on and I'll worship it', but it's getting that way). I'm sure you're exaggerating a bit with the 1%/99% split, but in any case, is it really that clunky? Can you give me one or two examples of that?


It really depends on your tolerance. Some people call 3rd and 4th edition DnD and GURPS "medium in complexity". There are always delusional folks also pointing out how GURPS or Hero "really is quite simple". It isn't!

They're full on heavy for me. Just because there's worse out there doesn't mean it's not too freaking complex.

Note that the only FATE game I have played is the original SotC and that was a long time ago. The game was an incomprehensible mess I have mostly forgotten. The last FATE game I perused was a friend's copy of Legends of Anglerre. The basic principles are solid. It's the way they've built needless details and how the intricate bits interact with each other.

You've got a character. He's got aspects. But that's not enough. They built an overcomplicated skill system on top of it. Then, one of the designer was dropped on his head and decided the overcomplicated skill system wasn't complicated enough, so they added Stunts. Stunts are basically the same imagination-deprived mechanism as feats. Overcomplicated bits of needless details that suck the fun out of roleplaying games but that designers seemingly can't live without since d20. Your aspects, skills and fea... I mean stunts interact needlessly with each other. On top of that is an overcomplicated engine where you spend FATE points, an overcomplicated injury system, lots of things to track.

Now, lot of games see nothing wrong with 3e, or Hero, etc... and if that's your case, then FATE is as good a choice as those systems, although I think classic d20 is a lot less fiddly even if it looks more wonky as a first impression.

I definitely recommend at least perusing a game that uses aspect.

I just personally like smaller games, simpler rules and faster play.

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Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Tell me about FATE
As a followup note about complexity.... it really depends on the authors of a FATE incarnation.

I found Spirit of the Century to be tolerable, even though Stunts were quite hard to get the mind around. A lot of the book was filled with examples, not really actual rules.

I found Starblazer Adventures to be so verbose and overwhelming that I ended up parting with it. I avoided Legends simply because it was done by the same crowd. For space opera, I'd now use the much more simplified and much less verbose FATE Bulldogs! instead. Diaspora is yet another FATE game that is built on a much leaner page count.

I haven't seen the new FATE core yet.


Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:02 am
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