Could the EoE dice be used in Fate?

DiceFanAs a massive fate-head one of the signs that I love a new system is if I immediately think ‘how could I convert it or some of the mechanics to run in Fate?’

So I played Edge of Empire for the first time earlier today (you can see the video of the hangout here), great game hosted by Runeslinger and I really enjoyed it; the game uses dice with special symbols on them to build up a narrative around a dice roll rather than a simple success/failure dichotomy. I love this as an idea and think it could be adapted to be used with Fate.

This is by no means a tested system, just a few ideas I’m jotting down whilst they’re in my head, I might revisit it later when I have more time to playtest.

Okay so you’ll need some knowledge of the EoE dice mechanic to understand this but here goes…

Dice: Instead of rolling 4DF you choose a number of green ability dice equal to your skill/approach; for each stunt you have that is applicable to the situation you upgrade one of your dice pool to a yellow proficiency dice.

You then add a number of purple difficulty dice equal to the difficulty of the task (as per the EoE book) if unopposed, or equal to the opponents skill/approach if they are directly opposing you.

For each stunt the opposing NPC (if applicable) has that applies to the situation one of the purple dice is upgraded to a red challenge dice.

If you have an aspect that is applicable you can spend a Fate Point to add a blue boost dice to your roll, these are also added for other beneficial conditions; for every negative condition or aspect/fate point combo the GM uses you add a black setback dice.

You then roll the dice pool and determine results as per the EoE rulebook; I haven’t considered what the various extra symbols (triumph, despair) could be spent on yet.

Fate points: Characters get Fate points as normal, although if you wanted to represent an ebb-and-flow in the way destiny points work in EoE, you could combine the player Fate Points into a single pool; when they spend a FP from the pool it goes straight into the GMs fate point pool, and when the GM spends a FP the spent points go into the players pool.

Compels: These would work as per the Fate rulebooks, however you could also accept additional setback dice in your pool in return for fate points.

 

 

Fate magic – Aspect based magic

One of the questions that I see pop up more than any in discussions about
Fate is people asking how to implement magic using the system; there are
a number of suggestions and possibilities (I offered one such suggestion in my previous possibly the worlds simplest Fate magic system post); recently I downloaded copies of the 1st and 2nd edition of the Fate RPG out of curiosity to see how the system had evolved, and one thing in particular caught my eye in the first edtion, it was a system for improvisational magic.
Effectively the system allowed you to make a series of choices on a number of tables defining the effects of your spell, this would then give you the difficulty of the roll that you needed to make.
I like the flexibility of this magic but didn’t think it would really work that well with the current iteration of Fate, it occurred to me that perhaps magic could be represented by allowing the spellcaster to create aspects; aspects are used to establish facts within Fate, if you have an aspect saying “fastest gunslinger in the west” then the you are in the fastest gunslinger in the west.
Being able to Cast a Spell
In order to cast any sort of spell the character must have an appropriate
aspect that explains either their magical training or innate talent, this aspect can also be invoked/compelled as normal.
Creating a Spell
Spells are used to create aspects, in order to do this the character has to make a roll using an appropriate response or skill (whether this is a magic skill or an existing skill  is down to you, although Lore would probably be suitable from the Fate Core list).
Each use of magic costs a fate point.
The difficulty of the roll begins at mediocre (+0) and is modified by the choices that the caster makes from the following table.
The scope of the aspect is…
  • Boost (gives the caster a temporary aspect that can be invoked free once and then disappears) +0 
  • Situation aspect (lasts only for a scene) +2
  • Consequence (inflicting harm on a target) +2 (mild consequence) +4 (moderate consequence) +6 (severe consequence) +0 (if the target is a mook) +2 (if the target is a significant NPC) +4 (if the target is a PC)
  • Character aspect +4 (permanent but only applies to one PC or NPC) +0 (if the target is a mook) +2 (if the target is a significant NPC) +4 (if the target is a PC)
  • Game aspect (a permanent fixture of the campaign world) +8
Additional modifers
  • Target of the spell is the caster only -2
  • Spell takes a single action to cast +2
  • Spell takes a scene to cast +0
  • Spell takes a session to cast -2
  • Spell takes several sessions to cast -4
  • Spell requires no components +2
  • Spell requires easy to obtain components +0
  • Spell requires difficult to obtain components -2
  • Spell requires extremely difficult to obtain/unique components -4
This system is only a rough system, and may require some tweaking but it should be workable in a Fate game, although I would suggest having even game aspects having only a limited life-span to prevent your game being overrun by loads of aspects.

 

Jadepunk ready made stat blocks

For those of you who may not be aware, i’m a massive fan of the Fate system by Evil Hat Productions in particular Fate Accelerated Edition is the build of the game that is my go to game when wanting to run a quick one-shot or even just a game that players can jump into quickly and enjoy getting caught up in playing the characters they envision rather than getting snarled up in overly complex character creations processes and hundreds of pages of complex rules.
Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE for short) using six Approaches to define the stats of characters (instead of Skills as with Fate Core), choosing to define character less by what they know and what they do but more by how they do it, these Approaches are:
  • Careful
  • Clever
  • Flashy
  • Forceful
  • Quick
  • Sneaky

(If you want to know more about Fate Accelerated you can find details on the excellent SRD site here: http://fate-srd.com/fate-accelerated-fae-menu)

One of the things I love about FAE is that right at the start it gives you six example spreads of Approaches to create six archetypal characters:

  • The Brute:
    Forceful +3, Careful and Flashy +2, Sneaky and Quick +1, Clever +0
  • The All-Star:
    Quick +3, Forceful and Flashy +2, Clever and Careful +1, Sneaky +0
  • The Trickster:
    Clever +3, Sneaky and Flashy +2, Forceful and Quick +1, Careful +0
  • The Guardian:
    Careful +3, Forceful and Clever +2, Sneaky and Quick +1, Flashy +0
  • The Thief:
    Sneaky +3, Careful and Quick +2, Clever and Flashy +1, Forceful +0
  • The Swashbuckler:
    Flashy +3, Quick and Clever +2, Forceful and Sneaky +1, Careful +0

These samples spreads are a great time saving device if you are playing a quick pick up game or you just want to jump straight in, you pick the type of character you want to play, bang on some Aspects and Stunts and you’re good to go.

So you might be wondering why i’m banging on about Fate Accelerated when the title of the post mentions Jadepunk; well recently i’ve been running a Jadepunk game using Google Hangouts for a small group (you can see the actual plays here if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMlEyLAkrE__EfHHAfYIIekLdh4qwJxOK) and it seems to be going quite well, we’re on our ninth session. For those of you who aren’t aware Jadepunk is a game by Re-Roll Productions that uses a slightly tweaked of the Fate rules to tell exciting stories that blend elements of Wuxia, the wild west and steampunk fantasy into a very compelling and exciting setting full of potential for great storytelling; Jadepunk uses a number of Professions rather than Approaches or Skills to define characters:

  • Aristocrat
  • Engineer
  • Explore
  • Fighter
  • Scholar
  • Scoundrel

However there’s one thing that isn’t in Jadepunk that i’d have liked to have seen, yep you guessed it, the example stats spreads that are found in Fate Accelerated Edition; you could argue that they’re not really necessary and (truth be told) I don’t think the game suffers massively from their absence, however they are a handy thing to have access to so i’ve come up with six archetypal character Profession spreads for you to use in your Jadepunk game:

  • The Honourable Warrior/Samurai:
    Aristocrat +2, Engineer +0, Explorer +1, Fighter +3, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1
  • The Jadetech Engineer:
    Aristocrat +1, Engineer +3, Explorer +2, Fighter +0, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1
  • The Idle Noble:
    Aristocrat +3, Engineer +0, Explorer +1, Fighter +1, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +2
  • The Sage:
    Aristocrat +2, Engineer +1, Explorer +2, Fighter +0, Scholar +3, Scoundrel +1
  • The Thief/Shadowy Assassin:
    Aristocrat +0, Engineer +1, Explorer +2, Fighter +2, Scholar +1, Scoundrel +3
  • The Pioneer/Explorer:
    Aristocrat +0, Engineer +1, Explorer +3, Fighter +2, Scholar +2, Scoundrel +1 

     

[Handout-RPG] First issue of my Jadepunk Newsletter

As you may have seen in previous posts i’ve been toying with the idea of making a newsletter for my Jadepunk game and i’ve now completed the first issue, thought i’d post the link here incase anyone wanted to have a look (it’s fairly basically in terms of layout since I didn’t want it to be unnecessarily cluttered or over-complicated).
To make this available to my players I have posted the newsletter link in a document of useful links that we use and have saved on the games private facebook group.

[RPG] Jadepunk Character Sheets

Some small alterations have taken place on the characters getting them ready for the first session (I tend to allow players to make minor alterations to their character sheets up until the third session), below are the current backgrounds and character sheets that we have.
Ba Tu Satoru
The man who would be known as Ba Tu Satoru was the son of the sculptor Yutaka Kazami. When he was a small boy, he made a friend at school, whose father was Isaku Jirou. One day, the fathers collaborated in a contest run by one of the council of 9, the goal was to present to them the greatest clockwork sculpture (fame and fortune as the reward). Kazami, being a sculptor by trade, lacked skill at engineering and making clockwork, while Jirou was poor at aesthetics, but they worked together to cover each other’s faults. Additionally, since his father’s eyesight began to fail, Ba Tu would help Kazami by working on the finer details of the sculptures for him, though everyone else believed that he was just there to watch.
On the last day of the contest, Jirou betrayed Kazami. He made his own son stop Kazami’s son from trying to help his father. Jirou’s son, while crying and begging for forgiveness, bound his best friend’s wrists and legs and went into Jirou ‘s hideout with him. Jirou locked him in, until he could come back .Meanwhile, Kazami killed Jirou in a rage and then fled the city, abandoning the search for his son. Since Jirou could not arrive back to release Ba Tu after the completion the boy began to starve in his prison.
Ba Tu would have eventually died, had it not been for the chance arrival of Dogen Hōinbō, a blind professional assassin who just happened to be passing by at the time with his dog Kuro, who noticed the pair. Hōinbō saved the boy and took him in. The trauma caused by his near-death experience left him unable to recall much from before his rescue.
Sora Yoshida
Born to a Naramel nomadic tribe called the Red Talons Sora Yoshida spent his child hood years hunting for red jade out in the desert wastes with his family. Educated by the elders of his tribe Sora, became accustomed to the traditions and beliefs of the old gods, the pursuit of virtue.
While navigating the dune sea Sora came across a long abandoned village, uncovered by the erratic winds that trap the unwary. Upon approach an airship crashed into the village with a thunderous roar, not unlike laughter to Sora’s ears. Racing to search for survivors, only one is found close to death and covered in strange, almost animated tattoos. 
Before Sora could react the man grabs him by both fore arms and whispers to him, “My time is at an end but yours is just beginning, you have been chosen for a great task, Sora and I am afraid a difficult burden”.
The deserts are no place for children, so unlike the other clans Naramel’s youngsters grow up fast, usually gaining a hard survivalists edge. Sora already had enough problems with the weird dreams and compulsions that seemed separate from his own. He had though the incident at the abandoned village was a nightmare he had dreamt up until the incident at grey tower trading post. He had been unpacking satchels of red jade to be bartered for provisions when he suddenly found himself involved in a dispute with a water merchant and the local militia. 
With a strength that seemed beyond him he threw the guards into the fortified town wall.
To prevent his execution for this folly his clan smuggled him out and sent him to a distant relative in Kausao city.  There he confided in what would become his mentor about what he had witnessed, He believed the solution was to honour the old gods through an ancient series of traditional dances. Secretly also a martial art Sora spent several years practicing and perfecting this tradition. That is until his mentor’s temple is shut down by corrupt law enforcement cracking down upon any form of martial arts.
This leads Sora to end up coming into contact with the City’s less savoury characters in order to survive.  
In return for a favour owed Sora was able to learn something of his “condition” from a contraband book. It tells various tales of the land, some familiar to him while others totally alien. The tale of the laughing emperor was particularly interesting. It spoke of a legend of a man who managed to imprison a powerful spirit referred to as a djinn whose magic came from magical ink that adorned its body. Forced to aid in the creation of an empire, when the mocking emperor made a grave error in insulting the creature wishing it could stop him if he could, knowing that spirit could no directly lay a hand upon his owner. The djinn in retribution sacrificed itself into a thousand shards reportedly imbuing individuals who come into contact with them with the power to fight tyranny. 
A small faded illustration of a man bearing remarkable tattoos not dissimilar to Sora’s own was also provided. Most interesting was the bracelet the sketched described as being the way in which this dangerous legacy can be used. 
To find this item if possible and learn to control his tattoos Sora decides the time has come to fight back.
Kaiyu Yuuto



Background TBC

[Video-RPG] Jadepunk Setting & Character Creation

Myself and the three players for our forthcoming (and as yet untitled) Jadepunk game (Thashif, Jenny and Mathew) did a hangout last night where we did character creation and a bit of setting creation (hashing out the basic details of the characters home district within KauSao city). Very enjoyable (as always with this group), and we’ve got the first session scheduled for Sunday 28th, really looking forward to running it 🙂

[LARP] Redcap Poetry

For those who may not be aware, as well as tabletop roleplaying I also LARP in both the Lorien Trust and Outcast systems over here in the UK, crewing Outcast and playing (also dying frequently) in the LT; my current character is a redcap, a sort of murderous, bloodthirsty fey, however i’m trying to play the character as outwardly polite, more Hannibal Lecter than Jason.
For a bit of a chuckle recently I decide to try and write some poetry in the style of my character and below is what i came up with:

[RPG] Quick & dirty Accelerated vampire rules – 2nd edition

I’ve got a friend coming to stay with myself and my wife Hannah for a week soon, Dave was one of the players in my short original test game for the quick & dirty vampire rules so it’ll be interesting to see what he makes of the revised version.
These rules are based heavily on the super powered stunt rules, you can find them here in the excellent Fate SRD website.
Essentially the way the super-powered stunts will work is that players will purchase a stunt that allows them to automatically succeed at a certain task unless they are opposed by another person with an applicable stunt; if this happens then effectively whoever is willing to bid the most fate points triumphs.
As an additional wrinkle the successful use of a vampire stunt will give the GM (or the players if it is an NPC vampire) a free compel to use (ie. the compel does not award the person a fate point if accepted), that must be used to throw up some weakness of vampiric nature.
For example: If the player uses their potence vampire stunt to smash through a door, in the next scene the GM may use the free compel to suggest that the character is hungry due to the expenditure of vampiric force and that there just happens to be someone ripe for the taking in the scene.
A player can still choose to ignore this compel by paying a fate point as normal.
Please note: In the previous iteration of these rules, red fate chips were used to represent special uses of blood; in this version of the rules they are not strictly required, although using red fate chips in general looks cool for a vampire themed game 🙂

Vampire Stunts

These are the current vampire stunts that I have in mind:
  • Animalism – Automatically succeed at checks to calm/communicate intent to animals and tests to ride or guide animals.
  • Auspex – Automatically notice anything out of the ordinary or sense the presence of the supernatural, allows a player to ask questions about the recent past of a scene or object and have them answered truthfully.
  • Celerity – Automatically escape from a scene or act first in a test of speed.
  • Fortitude – Automatically ignore damage taken in a single turn.
  • Obfuscate – Automatically hide themselves from scrutiny even if standing in plain sight or automatically conceal an object no larger than themselves.
  • Potence – Automatically smash an inanimate object or take a foe out of action.
  • Presence – Automatically succeed on social and persuasion challenge.
I’m sure those who are familiar with the World of Darkness will recognise that my stunts are very influenced by the list of disciplines available in the WoD, this is no coincidence, i’m most familiar with those abilities and think they give a good gamut of powers for a prospective vampire game, I may expand the list of vampire stunts once I have tested them out a bit more.

[RPG] So how did my quick & dirty fate vampire rules work?

Incase you’ve not seen my quick and dirty Fate Accelerated rules for vampires you can find them here: http://reddicediaries.com.gridhosted.co.uk/uncategorized/rpg-quick-dirty-fate-accelerated-rules/
How did the game go?
Unfortunately because of other RL factors we didn’t get to actually finish the session, however the three or four hours that we did do were quite entertaining and everyone (including the couple of less experienced tabletoppers seemed to enjoy themselves).
Generated characters with Fate Accelerated was extremely easy although it took the newcomers a little while to get their heads around Aspects, once they had though the rest didn’t take long at all; to keep things simple whilst also maximising the potential for plot hijinks I told the players that their characters would not be vampires at the start and that they were all on a cruise ship heading to Hawaii, I then asked them to think of reasons they were there. We ended up with a fairly eclectic mix of characters:

  • Aurelia – Cello player with a goth rock band who were on the cruise relaxing and doing some promo work after a big tour.
  • Stevie Steel – Lead vocallist of said rock group, a vain main who traded on looks more than talent and had spent most of the cruise in various dalliances.
  • Katherine – A waitress on the cruise who was later turned into a vampire by a strange fellow she encountered in the café on the night shift.
  • Orsten Thomas – A medical researcher whose outré views and outlandish experiments had lead to unwelcome press attention that he was seeking to flee.
I ran the characters through a fairly simple sequence of events that lead to them being turned and the various complications arising from that; the aim of the game eventually would have been for them to discover that they had all be turned for a reason by the same vampire, however unfortunately we didn’t have time for that.
So how did the rules work?
I threw lots of complications and obstacles at the players (probably more than I would have done normally) both to give them the option to use their vampiric side (and the demonic red fate chips) and to get used to the idea of the fate economy; it seemed to work quite well and none of the players seemed to be overly concerned that they were losing control of their characters by not being able to buy off the effects of the red fate chips.
This lead to all sorts of incidents such as when one of the band roadies witnessed the PCs covered in blood and attempted to flee to summon security, Orsten ran after him determined to stop him reporting the incident by any means necessary (especially given that he’d woke up next to the blood drained corpse of his wife shortly after his first awakening as a vampire); Aurelia, the only vampire who had not yet fed, decided that she couldn’t allow this innocent roadie to be harmed and gave into her vampiric side, tackling Orsten against the wall, I then instantly used the red fate chip garnered to say that she tackled him so hard that the two of them went through a wall into an adjoining cabin.
What would I change?

I think that going forward that rather than having the players usage of their vampiric side give the GM a red fate chip that can be used for an unblockable compel, I would give the players a seperate number of red fate chips in addition to their normal ones (based on the strength of their vampiric blood) and say that they can be spent as normal fate chips for double the benefit, however, when they are a player must feed in the following scene or some other vampiric complication will occur.
I definitely think that the rules worked fine for a quick pick-up game, having a group of new tabletoppers with only one that has any experience of the Fate system we were able to get up and running in around 5 minutes (inc. character generation) and were soon enjoying a fun vampire game, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t the most serious nor angst filled vampire game ever and was a bit more tongue in cheek, but compared to some other horror/vampire systems it was certainly a lot more accessible and captured some of the essentials of vampire settings. I think that if I was going to run it for a campaign then I would seek to refine the rules a little, perhaps characters having stunts to determine what they can spend their red fate chips on our to expand their utility?
(picture is use for non-profit use only, no challenge to copyright intended, you can find this picture and more at http://thewondrous.com/40-disturbing-celebrity-vampires/)

[RPG] Quick & Dirty Fate Accelerated rules for Vampire

A friend of ours is coming down for the weekend and is now arriving a bit earlier that planned, quick randomly she mentioned to me that although she’s done a bit of fantasy and superhero tabletop RPGing that she’d actually like to try something a little bit darker than that; having noticed a picture of a recent vampire book sent to me by a friend she fancied giving something similar a go. Now I’m currently on a bit of a hiatus from WOD (although most of games tend towards the dark in tone), love the background, however the number of sub-systems and varying mechanics in the rules don’t really light my fire, I’m more a fan of having systems with a strong core mechanic that everything else hangs off.
Given that this is liable to be a short game and that my friend isn’t very experienced with TT RPGs I don’t want to get bogged down in lengthy character generation and explaining loads of different rules, what I want is an exciting game where character gen time is minimal and we can jump straight into telling an interesting story. So, as I find myself doing an awful lot these days, I’m planning to try and keep the background feel of the NWOD whilst jettisoning the mechanics and going for a simpler system; I’m sure it will come as no surprise to those who know me that I’ve decided to go with the Fate Accelerated system. Accelerated is very easy to create characters for, has a fairly easy learning curve and is one of my go to systems these days when it comes to running a quick game or something on the fly.
So without further ado below are the quick and dirty vampire rules that I intend to be trialling:
* * *
Aspects
  • High concept (as per the book, must mention that character is a vampire)
  • Trouble (as per the book)
  • Occupation (what job the character held prior to their embrace)
  • First Victim (who was the first person they killed following their embrace)
  • Friend/contact (the name of one friend or contact that has stood by them or that they have managed to keep from their mortal days)

Stunts

  • As per the book.

Vampire Edge

  • At any time (where it makes sense within the game fiction) the player can choose to increase the bonus they would normally receive from a stunt/invoking an aspect from +2 to +4 by using their vampiric powers. When this is done the GM takes a red fate chip that may only be used for that character.
  • Characters can also call on their vampiric nature to perform tasks that might otherwise seem impossible (not appearing on a CCTV camera or automatically escaping from a scene by either becoming invisible, transforming to mist or using supernatural speed) but doing so also results in the GM drawing a red fate chip.

Red Fate Chips

  • A GM may spend a red fate chip to issue a compel to a character, this compel may not be bought off with fate points as per a standard compel since it represents the vampires own innate nature overcoming their human side and reason.

* * *
I’m under no illusion that these rules are anywhere near perfect, in fact I’m pretty sure that they’re not, but it should hopefully allow us to jump into a game fairly quickly without worrying about a lot of rules and (I hope) will manage to capture that feeling that a character sacrifices a bit of themselves every time they give into their beast.
I’ll do a report for the blog on how it went after the weekend 🙂
(picture by Sam Briggs – used for non-profit purposes only, no challenge intended to copyright)