The 31st March session was my first Rogue Trader system (using the FATEcore rules) to have all of the players present; following a discussion on one of the G+ RPG communities that I am signed up for, I used my laptops webcam to record the audio from the session, this has (as well as being great fun to listen to) helped a lot with filling in some of the gaps in my written notes. A write-up of the actual session events will go up on the blog in the next few days, but I thought it worth putting up a post about how the FATE rules worked within the game.
Overall the rules seemed to work really well, there was an initial few minutes with me explaining the basics of the rules and handing out character sheets to people – for the sake of jumping into the game quickly, I had translated the players characters from the Rogue Trader rules to FATEcore myself with the proviso that the players could tweak them as they saw fit (with my approval) after they’d seen how the translated characters played under the new rules set. For the first session with the full player complement I wanted to ease the players into the new rules so it was kept fairly combat-lite and had plenty of opportunity for the players to make basic skill tests, become familiar with fate points and get used to how aspects work.
Aspects & Fate Points
Most of the players seemed to have no problems getting to grips with this and were soon spending fate points with merry abandon to utilise their aspects, the discussion about tagged aspects onto scenes and gaining fate points for having plot-complications arise connected with aspects was a little longer, after a short while though the players got the hang of it and were soon suggesting complications to earn fate points (two of which lead to the new wife of Captain Black taking a strong dislike to the socially crude Navigator York Benetec and to the final session encounter with the Eldar guardians of Caliban IV).
This seemed to go fine, the game using words to represent different levels of skill seemed in particular to be enjoyed.
Generally worked very well, with the player of the Navigator making use of his psychic stunt (allowing him to substitute in his Will score in certain tests) at various points to increase his chances of success, as yet the Enginseer has not really made use of his stunt (that works in a similar way).
One other aspect of the game that worked far better than I could have hoped was the use of the time scale taken from Diaspora to determine travel times through the warp (as discussed here), this particularly highlighted problems with having a fleet (albeit a small fleet of two vessels in this case) travel in convoy through the warp. Our player character Navigator York Benetec was at one point able (due to his high skill and good roll) to cut the travel time of the ship he was on down to three hours, however the NPC Navigator with a slightly lower skill was only able to cut their trip down to three months creating some interesting interpersonal RP whilst the players discussed what they were going to do as the second ship caught up to them.
Next session i’m planning to start bringing in the combat rules to introduce players to those, and also to start exploring the advancement system listed in the FATEcore rules.
I’ve been looking at the times that I would use to travel through the stable warp corridors on the system map that we had generated for the House of Black Rogue Trader game (a copy is printed below for convenience).
Originally I had planned to make it so that each line on the map took 3 months, however looking through the Diaspora rules I decided to use the Time Track that was presented on page 10 of the book.
The time track runs something like this:
- A few seconds
- Half a minute
- A minute
- 3 minutes
- 15 minutes
- 30 minutes
- An hour
- 3 hours
- 12 hours
- A day/24 hours
- 3 days
- A week
- 3 weeks
- A month
- 3 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- A year
- 3 years
- 10 years
- 50 years
- +each step beyond this adds 50 years
If York rolled +4 then this would give him a total of 6 degrees of success and lower the time taken to 3 days; however if he rolled a -4 this would give him a total of 2 degrees of failure, raising the time taken back to 6 months.