Steampunk Fate GameScreenshots from the Fate game this past week using the Owlbear.rodeo virtual tabletop tool.
Answers I came up with from my earlier ‘Questions of Fate‘ post.
Question: “What are the results of a success-with-style roll on a skill check vs. passive opposition (e.g. a skill roll that isn’t combat)?” and “What are the results of a success-with-style roll on an opposed roll that isn’t combat?”
Answer: Both of these situations are considered ‘Overcome’ skill rolls. So essentially all skill checks are an ‘Overcome’ action. They have the boost result as described under the Overcome rules.
Question: “How do you handle allied NPCs? Can you use Mob rules or is that only for enemy NPCs?”
Answer: Named important NPCs don’t follow mob rules, nameless cannon fooder NPCs do. The same goes for allies. The leader and lieutenants of a allied gang are named NPCs, the troops of that gang aren’t. They are allied mobs.
If you have an allied mob, avoid to send it against npc’s while you control it. You start die-rolling against yourself which is a pinnacle of boredom. To solve for this, give the allied mob to the players.
Another way to handle this: have mobs and anti-mobs neutralize each other and emit situation aspects. Mobs of Jets and Sharks give the “Melodious Gang War” aspect to the whole battleground. Or think James Bond: all those minions switch from baddies with guns to background noise in Goldfinger, Thunderball etc., when Bond’s own minion army shows up. Remove mobs, add the “Bullet Hell” aspect to a few zones.
Question: “What skills you can use for Defend and how/when you can use something besides Athletics to defend?”
Answer: Athletics is a catch-all skill to roll for defense in a physical conflict, against close-quarters and ranged attacks. You can also use it to defend against characters trying to move past you, if you’re in a position to physically interfere with whoever’s making the attempt.
You use Fight to defend against any other attack or create an advantage attempt made with Fight, as well as pretty much any action where violently interposing yourself could prevent it from happening. You can’t use this skill to defend against Shoot attacks, unless the setting is fantastical enough that you can catch missiles or swat them from the air or use laser swords to deflect blasters.
One example exception is sneak attacks. For example, let’s say you failed a Notice skill check and you’re unaware of an attacker that sneaks up on you from behind. See this Google+ discussion.
The Notice skill specifically says it is for defending against Stealth:
You can use Notice to defend against any uses of Stealth to get the drop on you or ambush you, or to discover that you’re being observed.
Seems like if you want to use Athletics or Physique in this situation wouldn’t that be a Stunt – to allow you a second defensive roll? Something like:
Merely a Flesh Wound: You can defend with Physique when you are ambushed or backstabbed and fail to defend with Notice
Otherwise, seems like you’ve already been hit.
In another comment, a gamer had this recommendation:
I would say either:
A) defend directly with Notice vs the attack roll; or
B) roll Notice first, and then apply the MoF as a penalty to your Athletics roll to dodge; or
C) a succeeded Sneak roll creates an aspect you can tag on your subsequent attack roll. Defender defends as normal.
Option C is closer to “pure” FATE. Option B is closer to traditional RPGs. Option A I would use only if the character’s Notice is lower than their Athletics.
On a related note, Fate Core has an explicit ‘Backstab’ stunt which is as follows:
Backstab. You can use Stealth to make physical attacks, provided your target isn’t already aware of your presence.
Question: “I believe someone said Free Invokes could only give you a +2, not a re-roll. Is that correct?”
Answer: According to p. 70 in Fate Core, all invokes, including free invokes, give you the option for either +2 or a reroll.
Question: “A Star Trek rules specific questions — how should skills work when Extra’s are piloting an enemy ship?”
Answer: Simply give them the skill associated with their rating. A +2 Fair extra pilot would use a +2 skill bonus to the NPC enemy ship piloting rolls.
Having run two Fate Core games in the last month where I’ve really tried to use all the rules properly, I noticed a few rules questions have come up in-game. I’m memorializing those here to make sure I research these and also alerting the group so others besides myself can read up on how these should work. 🙂
- What are the results of a success-with-style roll on a skill check vs. passive opposition (e.g. a skill roll that isn’t combat)?
- What are the results of a success-with-style roll on an opposed roll that isn’t combat?
- How do you handle allied NPCs? Can you use Mob rules or is that only for enemy NPCs?
- I was sketchy on what skills you can use for Defend and how/when you can use something besides Athletics to defend.
- I believe someone said Free Invokes could only give you a +2, not a re-roll. Is that correct?
- A Star Trek rules specific questions — how should skills work when Extra’s are piloting an enemy ship?
I noticed that players sometimes get confused when tallying up their skill modifier, adding any stunt bonuses, adding the dice results, and comparing against the GM’s opposing number. If that were the end of it, it would be OK, but as we turn in the Fate Point tokens, and folks spend additional Fate Points to do re-rolls, we sometimes forget how we got to those original numbers. I’m wondering if there are some best-practices like putting all your Fate Point tokens on a special mat so you can track how many Aspects you’re invoking or some other way to help players and GM alike keep track of the math as you progress through your evolving numbers to get to your final results.
The concept is simple. We have five Street Team challenges listed below. As you’ll see, the list is really varied. Our goal was to make sure that every person in the Evil Hat Community can easily complete at least one task if they choose to do so. There are tasks that are affordable and tasks that are quick, tasks that happen online and tasks that happen at your Friendly Local Gaming Store.
And the reward for participating?
All participants will receive a PDF
of Shannon Appelcline’s Designers & Dragons: The 70s, when it becomes available. This RPG history profiles some of the industry greats like TSR, and we can guarantee that you’ll want volumes 2-4 when they come out. You’ll also get an ebook of Dinocalypse Now by Chuck Wendig. This novel has everything: excitement, pulp adventurers, and psychosaurs. And at the end of this event, we’re going to pick three runners-up, who will receive a free download of their choice from the Evil Hat store. And one grand prize winner, who gets to choose between two prizes: Option A: Up to $50 worth of products from the Evil Hat store, plus one set of Fate dice (your choice). Option B: All the downloads. That’s right; you get every downloadable PDF we have available at the end of the event.
Both Fate Core and Fate Accelerated Edition ‘versions’ are amazing products. I put ‘versions’ in quotes because, as Fred Hicks (from Evil Hat Productions, which puts out these products) will tell you, Fate Accelerated Edition (or FAE for short) is simply a build of Fate 3.0, and compatible with Core. Of the two, Fate Accelerated Edition will be my go-to edition. Here’s why:
- It’s a short book. At 50 pages, it’s very digestible.
- It’s only $5. Buy a bundle and give them out like candy to your game group.
- It’s concise. Easy to use at the table; and makes for a great ‘Player’s Handbook’.
- It plays well with Fate Core. The GM can import any rules from Fate Core they want, but players don’t need the large, more expensive Fate Core hardback to play.
- It has 6 ‘Approaches’ — Careful, Clever, Flashy, Forceful, Quick, Sneaky. Easier than Skills to master.
Approaches in FAE work well as is, but I like to hack this and instead use the standard D&D / d20 Ability Scores. FAE allows this easily without missing a beat in gameplay.
Below is a 4×6 card character sheet for FAE using the 6 D&D Ability scores instead of approaches. Hints are under each ability for how and when you’d use that ability. Having used the 6 abilities since the late 70’s (roll a d20 under you ability to succeed at that skill, etc.), and seeing other d20 folks converting to Fate struggling with approaches (“What do I roll for a perception check?”), I really like this hack. I hope you enjoy this character sheet. Eventually I’ll do a 8.5×11″version of it as well. 🙂
What are you waiting for? Grab a ‘pay what you like’ copy of Fate from Evil Hat Productions and start playing!