Category: FATE

Fantasy Fate

I’ve grown found of the Fate system by playing Dresden. However I’ve noticed the game grows a little clunky around a few key things.

  1. Weapons and armor grant flat bonuses to attack rolls and soaking damage respectively. This turns them into a numbers game of making everything line up. That’s boring. I want your equipment to do something. A magical sword you stole from the tomb of a forgotten king should do more than give you a +1.
  2. Magic, ironically in a game about wizards, slows down and gets clunky. It has some interesting ideas but adds a huge amount of crunch to an otherwise streamlined game.

Design principles:

  1. Stunts should be based around props to emulate the importance of equipment in typical RPGs. Example: The stunt to use Sneak to attack you require you to use knives.
  2. Miscellaneous equipment should either let you interact with the world in a new way, negate a penalty, or act as an aspect with a free tag when used. Example: A light source will let you read the markings in a dark ruin which you normally would not be able to do. A grappling hook with rope would provide a free tag on an Athletics check to climb a cliff. A healer’s kit lets you make a Heal check without a penalty.
  3. Weapons and armor should act as aspects in some regard but should avoid giving set numeral bonuses.

Weapons:

Weapons are an aspect in themselves and can be tagged both positively and negatively. A “rusty, dull sword” can still attack but can also be tagged against due to its poor state. This is also a way to simulate monsters with resistance to certain kinds of damage. Skeletons with resistance to slashing damage can spend a fate point to ignore a specific attack from a sword.

Weapons, provided they are not improvised, get a free invoke once per session. Magical weapons can ignore most damage resistances and get an extra free invoke. (Should there be a way to recharge the free invoke? Should they have a special stunt they can spend that invoke on? Yes.)

Armor:

Armor provides free consequences that can’t be tagged based on its class. Light armor provides a free mild consequence. Medium armor provides a free mild and moderate consequence but also imposes a -1 to Sneak and Athletics checks. Heavy provides a free mild, moderate, and severe consequence but imposes a -2 to Sneak and Athletics checks.

While armor consequences can’t be tagged they also don’t heal on their own either. They require a Craft check with the same requirements as a Heal check to repair.

Stunts:

Sorcery: Once per session, use Lore in place of any other skill as you cast an appropriate spell (make yourself invisible to Sneak, throw a bolt of arcane energy for Shoot, levitate for Athletics to climb a cliff.) You can spend a fate point each time after the first in a session to do it again.

Favored Spell: With the appropriate prop, like a wand, staff,  amulet, etc, you can use your Lore to replace a specific skill without spending a fate point or using your free use of Sorcery. Requires Sorcery.

Blessed: Spend a fate point to reduce any non-Extreme consequence by one level and convert it into a recovery consequence. Mild consequences go away entirely but otherwise there must be an open consequence slot for the injury to be downgraded. Non-injury consequences can be healed in the same way. Each fate point spent removes a free invoke on the aspect. Once the aspect has no invokes left spend a fate point and the aspect will be removed.

Fighting Style: Pick a combination of weapons and get a bonus while you are wielding it. Shields let you use close combat to defend against range. Two weapons (+1 to attack and defense?) Two-handed weapon (gives you +2 but with a penalty?)

Alchemy: Spend a fate point and invest a resolve to make a potion. It acts as a specific spell (replace a skill check with… the alchemist’s Occult? Gain an aspect you can tag for free for thematically appropriate checks?) or as a use of the Blessed stunt. Your resolve is lowered as long as you have the potion and returns as soon as you use it or it is given away.

Skills:

  • Athletics
  • Burglary
  • Contacts
  • Crafts
  • Deceive
  • Empathy
  • Fight
  • Investigate
  • Lore
  • Notice
  • Physique
  • Provoke
  • Rapport
  • Ride
  • Shoot
  • Stealth
  • Will

Races:

I want the non-human races to feel different. In effect they are a bundle of stunts you have to pay some Refresh to play one.

Elves:

  • +2 to Notice, it still occupies the same slot on the ladder and this can take it about +5
  • Has to put Lore up to at least +2
  • Gets Sorcery stunt

Dwarves:

  • +2 Physique, it still occupies the same slot on the ladder and this can take it about +5
  • Has to put Craft up to at least +2
  • Gets Darkvision
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