Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sword & Sorcery: First ideas for a Fate Hack

Recently, I had an idea for a very simplified version of Fate Core/FAE. You have two only two values on your sheet: Sword & Sorcery.

Sword: The value for sword governs all physical actions your character takes, including social actions that rely on your physical presence (such as intimidation).

Sorcery: The value for sorcery governs all mental actions your character takes, including social actions that rely on cunning and manipulation (such as persuasion or oratory).

In addition to those values, each character has a number of Talents. A talent can be sword-mastery, breaking & entering, horsemanship or seduction. If a talent applies to a roll, you get +2 on the roll. Only one talent at a time can be applied to a roll. Talents replace stunts.

The talents shouldn't be too broadly defined, but also not too narrow. Currently, I am torn between them having either the name of a profession (like swordmaster, sorcerer's apprentice, courtisan or knight) or being named like typical skills (like seduction, sword, axe, climbing).

Everything else remains like in FAE: five aspects, one stress track, consequences, four actions, four outcomes, etc.

If you like fantasy races, you could describe permissions for those races with the relationship between Sword & Sorcery. For example, elves have to have Sorcery > Sword; dwarves vice versa (Sword > Sorcery); and maybe half-elves have to have Sword = Sorcery.

I am going to refine this somemore in the next days.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Playing around with the Deck of Fate

I finally got my Deck of Fate in the mail. I want to use it for some fancy tricks during play. Here are my ideas:

The Hand of Fate: Each player is dealt three to five cards, depending on the style of the campaign. Three might be grim and gritty, four is about average and five is heroic. Instead of rolling dice, you play cards. Each card with a negative value you play, nets you a Fate point at the end of the current scene. After playing a card, you immediately draw a new one.

Fate Points:  When playing with a Hand of Fate, Fate points allow you to add +2 to the card value.

Stress: There is no stress track! Instead of taking stress, you reduce the value of a hit by discarding cards from your hand. If you cannot (or don't want to) discard any cards (because they have a zero or negative value), you take the remaining value of the hit as consequences. Cards lost to stress may not be refreshed until after a conflict. If you cannot discard any cards and don't want take any more consequences, you are taken out.

Shuffling: All discarded cards are shuffled back into the deck after either the -4, +4 or unique 0 has been played.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Storytelling RPGs: What are they?

As promised, starting from November 1, 2013 the blog is switching back to English.

David Reichgeld has arrived at an interesting definitions of storytelling RPGs:

1) A storytelling RPG gives at least one person at the table narration rights.

In a traditional RPG, the only person to hold narration rights is the GM. He alone can introduce new facts and truths into the game world. The players usually only react to the descriptions of the GM. Without any person to hold narration rights, the game is not really an RPG. In a storytelling RPG, the players have a way to gain the narration rights in some way, e.g. by rolling dice, spending tokens or playing cards. They get to add to the game world.

2) A storytelling RPG gives the players (as opposed to the GM) the right to narrate not only their actions, but also the consequences of their actions.

In a traditional RPG, the players describe their (re)actions to GM-introduced events, and the GM describes the outcome of these events. In a storytelling RPG, the players also have the right to narrate consequences to their actions. Maybe not always, maybe depending on some condition to gain the narration rights, e.g. rolling a high enough result, succeeding at their task or spending some sort of tokens.

If those two definitions are applied to RPGs, then suddenly it becomes a bit easier to separate traditional RPGs from storytelling RPGs. Indeed, suddenly you realize that the whole World of Darkness line-up, despite the name of the system are not storytelling games at all. But other games are. Houses of the Blooded, Numenera, Dungeon World and FATE come to mind. Everway, for example, shows the first glimmers of being a storytelling game. All you have to do is passing the interpretation of the fortune deck from GM to players.

Do I believe in this definition? Yes, I do. That's why I am including it in my blog. Am I going to add to that point of view? Not for the moment. But feel free to comment on this post.