Showing posts with label Fate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fate. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dear Harry, It's Not You, it's Me...

No. Actually. It's You.

I LOVE modern supernatural and horror games.  Just love them.  Even ones I don't get to play often I still enjoy reading.  Heck I have not played Mage in close to 10 years and I still want that giant Mage 20th anniversary book.

So why can't I get myself to love, or even like, The Dresden Files?

I am talking about the Fate-powered RPG, but I'll talk a bit about the books too.

I got these books for Christmas after they first came out in 2010.  Dresden Files (the books) were all the rage and that Summer my group had been playing a Chicago-based Ghosts of Albion/Angel/WitchCraft game.  It had some Dresden-esque elements, but mostly it was White Wolf's World of Darkness' Mage, Vampire and Werewolf as the backdrop.
I had started reading the books that September. I was commuting to work everyday for about an hour in and hour back not to mention doing a lot of flying, so I had plenty of time for audiobooks.   I devoured them.  It was especially fun when I was driving around Chicago hearing about Harry driving around Chicago.  Though I have to admit it is always amusing hearing/reading a non-Chicago native talk about the city in ways no native ever would. It's the Kennedy, not the JFK, and no one can get from the Loop to O'Hare in a few minutes. Ever. Jim Butcher has gotten better with this.

Around about the middle of the series I felt it was getting stale, but then it picked up with the new "Outsider" threat.  I will admit I have not read the last one yet and I have not been itching to do so.

The game on the other hand surprised me with it's production values and how nice it looked.  I loved the "hunter's notebook" feel to it.  Though to be 100% fair other games had done that long before.

But I never really ever got Fate.

Sure I had played around with Fudge in the past and I enjoyed the free-form it gave me.  I have even played around with Fate and many good starts.  But in the end the system falls flat for me.  Maybe. Maybe there is something good there I could use, but it's been 5 years, or 6+ if you count my experimentations with Fudge.

The Dresden Files RPG is the most complicated "simple" game I have ever read or played.  Seriously, 407 pages for a "simple" ruleset?  I know the Fate Core books are much smaller so a lot of this is setting and world-specific rules, but I can't help but feel it is overwrought.

It's not the mechanics. Mechanics are easy and in Fate ridiculously so.
It's not the aspects.  Though how the aspects could be used is certainly an issue for me.  Let's take Wolverine for example. He could easily have an aspect "Best at What I Do".  Will he get a re-roll or a +1 for "everything"?  No. I know this, but in the hands of a less deft game master this becomes little more than a ruleless game of pretend.

I know to people in the in-crowds of Fate I will be completely dismissed as an "old-school gamer" but the truth is I play a lot of games. Hell, Castle Falkenstein is one of my favorite games and it is hard to go more free-form than that.  I could also just as easily dismiss them for their smugness, but that does not make either of us correct.

Sitting net to my desk at home is a folder. It is full of character sheets for various systems.  I try them out, pick at them and sometimes those efforts show up here.  So far I have never been happy with my creations for Fate.  I picked up the new 3rd Edition of Chill and had characters in minutes. Fate is more of a collective role-playing experience.  That is great, if you want that or have a stable group.  I have a stable group, but I want "organic" characters.  Characters that feel and act like individuals, not part of a collective.

Fate tries to model a story. Either a book, movie or what have you.  Where the larger outcome is usually known.  I am not done reading this book but I am sure the protagonist survives.   Role-playing games are not books Their story telling techniques are different.

I think Fate works with the right groups, but it does require a degree of "playing well with others" that I don't often see in games.   I like the idea, I dislike the execution.  Which is interesting, because some of the die hard Fate players I have met at Cons are such ass-hats. Sorry if that is over generalization, but it has been remarkably and painfully consistent for me over the last 5 years. Yet in the same period of time I have played dozens of other games with various groups that have been great.

There are also pragmatic concerns for me.  Not to invoke the "douche" rule, but really what can I do with Fate that I can't do with Unisystem?  What can I do with the Dresden Files that I haven't already done with Ghosts of Albion?   Hell. I remember Fred Hicks back in the day on the old Eden boards talking about the Dresden Files and how WitchCraft 95% of what he wanted to do with it.  I'll contend that the other 5% can be found in Cinematic Unisystem.

I want to give Dresden Files one more chance, but in truth I know it is over.  We are done.
Don't know if I am going to sell off my Dresden Files game yet. I have one other "last fling" to do with it, but my Fate books are now gone.

Not looking for a reason to keep it, I am pretty sure it will end up on the auction block in the spring.
Better luck in your next home Harry.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Tempting Fate, Part 2

So I have been looking at Fate a lot recently.
Reading it over. Thinking of different things to try with it.

There are a lot of reasons to do so.  Just have stuck that right chord with me yet.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mecha vs. Kaiju

Back when True20 was still new there was a "campaign world" created for it; Mecha vs. Kaiju.  It eventually spun off into a full blown product.

I talked about it more recently when Pacific Rim came out.

Well True20 sadly never got the traction it should have, but there is a new system to fill it's niche, Fate, and new Mecha vs. Kaiju for it.

If it is anything like the True20 it will be ridiculously fun.
Though it looks like to me this not a simple conversion, but a complete rewrite to fit the Fate rules.
If that is the case then this stands to be a really, really fun game.

If it does for Fate what it did for True20 in my mind then this is an easy winner.

I have been dying to do something with Fate and this just might be the thing I need.

Mecha vs. Kaiju True20 Version
The game is set up much like other True20 books.  You have your three archetypes/characters (Adept, Expert, Warrior) and a host of new feats and powers to choose from.  Some are campaign-specific but almost all could be used anywhere else.  In fact there is enough here that the main feature of MvK is readily apparent; you don't have to do games about fighting giant monsters all the time.  Now of course the main plot and thrust of this game is fighting giant monsters, but I can easily see some adventures of exploring monster islands, contests between cocky pilots, mad scientists, children with newly awakened psychic powers.

When I first read this game my thoughts went first to Godzilla, but you can do Akira here as well and any number of other "Neo Tokyo" genres.  Plus it is compatible with a host of True20 books I already have, so adding cyberpunk, horror or even comedy is easy.

If you don't like the campaign background you can leave it, but I think you would be missing out on something really fun if you do.

This might in fact be my favorite True20 setting.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tempting Fate and Pay What You Want

So Evil Hat has released their two new Fate game and also released a new model of how they would like people to pay for their games.

Fate Core System and Fate Accelerated Edition are now out.
And YOU decide how much you want to pay for them.

Think Fate Core is worth $20 (at 308 pages that is a steal for a core book) then pay 20.  You only want to pay 5?  Pay 5.

It is an interesting concept really and I am curious on how it will work out.
Tenkar has listed a number of OSR Pay What You Want books including the very popular Teratic Tome and his own Minor Magiks & Miscellaneous Arcana Volume I.

I can't wait to see how all of this plays out really. I think it will be a success.  You may say but won't people pay less than what you should be charging? Sure, but I think there will be more people buying. Honestly which one is better? Five people paying $5 for a pdf or 50 people paying a $1 for it?  And you will get people that believe in supporting authors and game companies, so they will spend $10.

How about you all?
Would you do "Pay What You Want" for you books (game or novels or otherwise)?

Monday, March 25, 2013

TBBYANR: Aggregate Cognizance

You might recall some posts I have made about the horrible vampire game by Mykal Lakim.
Well a lot of what I know about it all I owe to Wil Hutton and his blog Aggregate Cognizance.

Well he is known for a lot more than being a constant thorn in Paul Cape's side. He has some cool stuff on his site too. So that makes Aggregate Cognizance today's Best Blog You are Not Reading.

Aggregate Cognizance
Obviously there is the whole Dark Phoenix Publishing/Mykal Lakim/Paul Cape drama to read and I would be lying if I said I didn't find it all fascinating.  HE also has quite a bit of FATE going on his site and he is quite the Tribe 8 fan as well.
I have to admit that his Search Alphabet Soup made me run to my own search keywords to see what people were using to get to me that was worthy of sharing.
The writing is clear and honestly I think with some time this could be one of those cool blogs to read that posts on a bunch of topics but has a central core.  When I pick up FATE again this summer I am going to make a bee-line to this blog and try somethings out.

So come for the FATE but stay for the vampire. Especially vampires.

If you are into Tribe 8 then he does have another blog dedicated to that, Dreams of Flesh and Spirit.
Tribe 8 was always one of those games I wanted to try, but never did.  Of course given my juvenile brain I always think of tribade and might not get out of one session without pissing off someone.

Anyway. Go over to his blog(s). It's good stuff.

This week I am running my irregular feature "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading" every day.  If you can instead of replying here, go to the blogs I am featuring and reply there.  I think the owners would like that.

Friday, February 8, 2013

"Fate"ful Friday

One system that I have been wanting to do more with is Fate.

I didn't pledge on the recent Fate Kickstarter mostly because it slipped my mind and I am not actively playing Fate right now.  My loss really.

This week I discovered two very EXCELLENT reasons for me to start looking into Fate more.

First are the Thematic Fate Dice.

Honestly these things are awesome looking and that Pentagram and Rose die would be perfect for a WitchCraft game even if I never used it for Fate. If you like Fate or Fudge, then there is certainly something there for you.

The other is part of the Fate Core Kickstarter that I am kicking myself for not paying better attention to is a campaign setting, "White Picket Witches".  If you know anything at all about me then honestly it is like this game was custom made for me.  Modern horror with a slight Cinematic bent featuring an unique location with families of witches?  How can I possibly say no?

Here are some sites that I have been able to find that talk a bit about it.
Fate of the Drowning Woods blog is running playtests/demos, and it sounds very interesting.
This lead me to

From here I was able to find the author, Filamena Young and the company she works for, Machine Age Productions.  I was able to talk with Filamena for a bit and she sent me a prelim draft of WPW.
Yeah. It is something I would play in a heartbeat.

I am not 100% clear on all the Fate rules yet.  But this setting of five families on "Moon Island" grabs my attention.  I have waxed on (and on and on) about WitchCraft and Witch Girls Adventures, this is of the same ilk, though it covers completely new ground.  The name is appropriate.  In WitchCraft the world is your stage, in Witch Girls you are at a school.  Here the campaign is your backyard, your office, your school, or neighbor's house.

There is a solid "TV" feel to this and frankly this could easily be a "teen drama" on the CW or a more adult one on ABC, or a lot more adult one on HBO/Showtime.  If this gives you ideas for things you could do, then this could be your new game.

I love the ideas in this game. Even if I never play it in Fate (which I do think would be a crime if I didn't) I would love to try it in WitchCraft, Witch Girls or even Ghosts of Albion.