Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Powered by the Fate-pocalypse: Back to Basics

Those who've been keeping up with my blog posts will be aware that I have been attempting (with varying degrees of success) to create a game that combines the best elements of two RPing systems, Fate and Dungeon World, both games that I greatly enjoy. Although i'd thrown up what I thought were some interesting ideas, when I tried to combine them the system looked quite clunky and unwieldy, which wasn't what I was going for at all; both Fate and DW are very streamlined systems that enable to to jump straight into the action.

Looking back at my notes I think the problem is that I was trying to make the game equal parts Fate and Dungeon World; sitting down it seemed clear that the only way a combination game was going to work was if I decided at the start whether or not I wanted it to be more Dungeon World or more Fate. For the purposes of this game (and because my local players prefer a more structured approach) I decided to make the game mostly Dungeon World but with some inspiration taken from Fate.

So how do I do this?

Well I was reading the excellent Grim World that has a rough Fate hack at the back of it, essentially the player picks three hindrances and they gain a move that allows them to disadvantage their PC in return for receiving a luck point; luck points can be spent via a couple of additional basic moves to give the players an advantage, the author of the hack is the first to admit that it's a bit rough and ready but the inspiration from Fate aspects is clear.

My Recipe for a Combination

Below is the recipe for the combination game that I intend to create:

  • Create a general one-use playbook that can be used for all types of character.
    • Will contain the core stats and hit points as per DW.
  • The playbook should have space for a character concept: effectively a two/three word description of the character, i.e. 'brave fighter pilot', 'grizzled war veteran', 'haunted detective', etc.
  • The playbook should also have space for five aspects.
    • A list of aspects will be provided but they can be added to by the GM of the individual game.
  • There should be a space for race/species on the playbook: effectively the different races in a game will grant access to a pre-defined special move (as detailed later).
    • The exact special moves granted will be down to the GM and their individual campaign but can be constructed using the rules provided for special moves.
  • The playbook should contain details of all basic moves (as per normal DW):
    • Hack and Slash
    • Volley
    • Defy Danger
    • Defend
    • Spout Lore
    • Discern Realities
    • Parley
    • Aid or Interfere
  • A few additional basic moves will be added:
    • A compel move (for gaining fate points from aspects)
    • Gaining bonus to a dice roll by spending a fate point move
    • Improvising an element of the setting by spending a fate point move
  • Playbook should also contain blank spaces for a number of advanced moves: advanced moves to be constructed in a manner similar to Fate Stunts.
    • Players start with three advanced moves.
    • An advanced move may do the following:
      • Grant a player a +2 dice roll in a certain set of circumstances.
      • Allow them to use a different stat for a particular type of move.
      • Increase the amount of damage a PC does in combat.
      • Decrease the amount of damage a PC does in combat. 
      • Increase the amount of HP a character has.
      • In a certain situation the player may ask a question of the GM and have it answered honestly.
      • Heal someone of damage.
      • Gain a companion.
      • Gain a particularly notable piece of equipment.
      • Cast a spell/use a psychic power (not sure how to handle this yet).
  • AS MANY OF THE RULES AS POSSIBLE SHOULD BE INCLUDED ON THE PLAYBOOK.
  • I may also look at adding some GM moves related to awarding fate points, etc.

Over the next week or so my plan is to create a document using the guidelines above and place it on my Google Drive, once this is done I will link to it in this blog; obviously this combination is not going to be ideal for everyone (I know that certain people aren't keen on various concepts from DW such as HPs for example), however, it takes the elements that I personally like from both games and combines them in a way that I think will be fun to play.