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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Weapons and armor should act as aspects in some regard but should avoid giving set numeral bonuses.
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 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.
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.
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.
- +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
- +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