Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Using FATE Core rules

As i've said in previous posts one of my players was missing from the last session and another unfortunately couldn't stay for the whole session and so I didn't spend time converting over the character of the missing player (also it was one that I wanted to take a little more thought over); determined to get a bit of a head start on copying across neater versions of the character sheets I had a quick skim through the FATE Core preview pdf, and liked the look of the cut down skill list and simplified character sheets. I wondered whether it would be possible for me to write up the characters using the FATE Core system's simplified character sheet and still maintain the essence of the characters.

A few thoughts that occurred to me were...

  • Aspects
Characters start off with less aspects than the FATE variants I had previously read (5 in total), one of these is flagged as the character's high concept (normally a descriptive term encapsulated the essence of the character) and the other is flagged as their trouble (something that makes their life challenging). This didn't seem too much of a problem since I had struggled coming up with the larger amounts of aspects for some of the characters and it was easy enough to amalgamate some of them into a single aspect.

For example: the character York Benetec now had the aspects - Navigator (high concept), Mutant (trouble), Touched by the Warp, Jaded and Hulking Size.

  • Skills
FATE core includes 18 or so very generic skills as a base level that the GM can build on or expand in order to add individual flavour to their game, however, I think the skills are sufficiently generic that they can be used for a lot of different things, some of my thoughts on particular skills are written below.
    • Crafts: A catch-all making/repair skill that I will use in my game to replace engineering and repair skills, the type of crafting will be determined by the character's high concept.
    • Drive: This will be used for driving/piloting all types of vehicles, players can take stunts or aspects to represent any advanced skill with particular types of vehicle.
    • Lore: I am planning to use this for knowledge rolls in my game, any specialised fields of knowledge being represented by stunts or aspects.
    • Will: This skill is going to be used (in addition to it's normal uses) to represent psychic strength (for those who have psychic stunts).
One thing I did notice which seemed like a bit of an ommission was the lack of a 'medicine' skill, this is important for my game given that the priest Confessor Cornelius is quite skilled in patching up his team-mates; i've not yet decided what to do about this, whether to add a seperate skill or just make it a subset of the craft skill - currentlty I am leaning in favour of making it a seperate skill.

  • Stunts
In this version of the rules characters begin with a single stunt for free, and any additional ones that they take (up to a max of 3) subtract 1 from their refresh rate of fate points (so a character with 2 stunts has 2 fate points and a character with 3 stunts has only a single fate point).

Below are the stunts that I came up with for my characters...
    • York Benetec (Navigator)
      • Psychic: Substitute Will skill for another skill by expending 1 fate pt (this also allows skill rolls to occur at range); if the player doesn't want to spend a fate point they may still perform the action but it takes 3 times as long.
      • Navigator: May navigate a ship through the warp using his Will skill to determine time taken for the journey.
    • Enginseer Prime Pak (Techpriest)
      • Mechandrite arm: Player may spend 1 fate point to use craft skill instead of any other skill in a test, if the player doesn't wish to spend a fate pt then they can still do the action but it takes twice as long.
      • Servo-skull: Allows the player to perform actions using the craft skill (as per the mechandrite arm stunt) but at range.
    • Lord Captain Black (Rogue Trader)
      • Ship: Lunatic Pandora (Cruiser)
    • Confessor Cornelius
      • Inspire the Faithful: Allies may use Rapport skill in combat (the max level is 3 unless Cornelius spends a fate point).

  • Equipment
For the moment I have stuck with my hacked version of weapons/armour, halving the modifiers from the weapons and armour and using them as the FATE harm, penetration and armour levels.

This yields me results such...
    • Plasma Pistols: H 3 PEN 3 Energy weapon (ranged)
    • Power Sword: H 2 PEN 2 Energy weapon (melee)
    • Neural Whip: H 1 PEN 0 Energy weapon (melee)
    • Body Armour: 3 AP
At the moment the only sticking point are the personal force fields possessed by certain characters that disperse kinetic energy into light energy, whilst I was initially tempted just to have the force fields add armour points the light refracting/blinded capabilities of the force fields have played an important roll in the game thus far and it seems a shame not to do anything more with them, obviously these items will require some more thought.