Fate Accelerated Questions


  • Pitcrew

    So now that I'm over what happened to my old MU server and having essentially lost everything I ever coded, for the most part, I'm looking to move on. One thing I'm working on is a DC Comics game that is plugging along but I've also been looking for something to do fantasy wise. I just want something simple and easy to slip into and, up till recently, I haven't really found it. For the past few days, however, I have some friends screaming about how awesome Fate Accelerated is because, OMG, unlimited options.

    So I'm reaching out to people with FAE experience...how do you like the system? I get that you can stat up pretty much any character with a fair amount of ease but...is the game TOO simplistic? I guess I'm just a bit nervous about a system where you can stat up Superman and Scooby Doo using the same system/mechanics.

    That said I've ordered the FAE rules because at $5 why not? And I intend to run a Masters of Umdaar adventure to see how it all feels.

    For those of you who have played it...did you enjoy it? Do the characters feel good? Would it work well on a MUX type environment?

    Thanks!



  • We run FATE Core, not FAE but a similar approach, on our two games and we love it as a light gaming system. However, not everyone does.

    @Kairos started a FATE development thread a few moths ago, you can find it here http://www.musoapbox.net/topic/2228/fate-development-thread and it might give some thoughts on your questions.

    I like the FATE gaming systems because they're great for storytelling and on our games, that's perfect. The system doesn't get in the way of us telling our stories. So I think they work well on a MUSH, if applied well.

    I'm all for more FATE and FAE type games ;)


  • Pitcrew

    @zombiegenesis
    I will preface this my saying I much prefer regular Fate to FAE, FAE is fun to use and quick but rules light almost to a fault and one thing to be careful of is that there are players that will try to over argue that their preferred approach should be usable in every situation.
    Encounters move quick and in general it is fun if a bit too mechanically light for my tastes, i think it could work well for a MUSH with the usually Fate related caveats about stunts and aspects but you will run into that with any freeform player defined thing regardless of the system. (Just look at some of the attempts to get free points using Phobias and Addiction in WoD for examples)


  • Pitcrew

    I like FATE in both flavors, as a tabletop game. But I hesitate to use it in a MU environment because the nature of the system requires a large amount of cooperation and goodwill among players and a fairly close eye from a storyteller to work well.

    Unfortunately, MUs don't often have the type of players who will foster that environment and storytellers don't have the kind of time required to make it work.


  • Coder

    @bad-at-lurking Yeah. And I think FAE exacerbates that issue, because instead of concrete skills like "Athletics" or "Piloting" where it's pretty clear whether somebody knows something, you've got people using their Approaches in ways like "Well naturally I should be able to fly a shuttle, and I'm going to do so using my Careful stat". I see what they were going for, but it's just a very weird approach for me. Particularly for a MU environment where not everyone is on the same page and there's no GM readily available.


  • Pitcrew

    I've seen a couple of FAE mushes go before and always thought they were okay on the gameplay front. Someone (I think it was Cobalt but don't I don't exactly remember so apologies to whomever it was) ran an Anita Blake mush using FAE for a short time which worked out just fine, and if I'm not mistaken Tenebrous Isles was or is using the Dresden Files Accelerated system or a hack thereof.

    Masters of Umdaar specifically I thought was a really fun concept - I have it in print from one of the kickstarters - and I'd be curious to know how it works out for you. For what it's worth my two cents is that I think FAE is a really good system for mushes that don't want or need the level of rules adjudication that comes with larger systems. Actually I think that about Fate in general. It should work just fine in an online environment so long as it's used with an eye toward it's limitations, something which I think is true of most tabletop-to-online uses of such rulesets.

    I mean hell, someone once made the Palladium Megaversal system work in a Rifts game and I'd have sworn in court that was impossible. :P

    Out of the box and by itself it IS fairly simplistic, which is by design. It's was originally written as a version of fate so rules lite you could pick up and play with minimal prep and - critically - minimal explaining to your tabletop group of what was going on. There are plenty of ways to add definition to it via stunts - the default way - or via layering extra systems on top, something Fate likes to call 'extras'. While like @ThatGuyThere I prefer regular Fate for most things, I also think that you can probably adapt FAE to pretty much anything you could adapt Fate.

    As a mechanical exercise, if you're interested in seeing how FAE can be hacked in other ways I'd suggest taking a look at Aether Sea and Gods and Monsters (which you can get for free from DrivethruRPG) and if you feel like spending a little money, Jadepunk.

    Anyway, curious to hear how it works out for you and what you think.


  • Pitcrew

    So far we're having a blast. Made characters tonight for Masters of Umbaar. Used random c-gen to see what we'd get and I ended up with a crab-centaur(top half human, bottom half crab) paladin with a demon sword. Not something I would have ever made on my own but I'm looking forward to playing him. :)



  • You can also just budget people as having or not having a skill at whatever level of detail you want.

    Or go completely mad and have skill levels add to approaches. Madness!


  • Pitcrew

    I'm not overly familiar with FAE and how it compares with Fate, but I played for several years on a Fate game and it was easily the best example of a collaborative game experience I've had.


  • Coder

    @wildbaboons said in Fate Accelerated Questions:

    I'm not overly familiar with FAE and how it compares with Fate

    The chargen is simplified (you don't go through the whole "how did we meet" group stuff for defining aspects ... which I doubt most MUSHes do anyway) and instead of "Skills" you have "Approaches".

    So instead of rolling Athletics to outrun the bad guy, you might say "I'm going to roll my Clever approach because I'm going to try to outsmart him with the path I take..." You could also use that same Clever stat for hacking a system, or convincing the guard to let you past, or whatever other thing your character is conceivably capable of attempting.

    All of which is super-simple, because there are only 6 basic stats and not an in-depth skill list. But it doesn't give you any indication of who's better at some skill than someone else (i.e. who's the better Marksman? It depends on what approach they're taking to the shot.) and it requires some mediation to make sure people aren't using approaches that are completely out of whack (i.e. "no, you can't use your Clever approach to perform surgery; you're not a doctor...")


  • Pitcrew

    I talked to someone today who put a lot of it into perspective for me. My biggest question was say I create The Hulk and Hulk Hogan both with +3 Forceful...what makes separates them? And the answer was shockingly simple, their aspects. He also said not to think of the +3 Forceful as they're both equal in strength but instead they both use their strength to exert equal narrative influence on the game.

    He used Superman as his own example. What makes Superman invulnerable? His aspect "The Last Son of Krypton". We know Kryptonians are invulnerable so that is not in question. Now let's say that Deathstroke shoots at Superman and scores "damage". Mechanically Superman is invulnerable but the game drives fiction not mechanics. If the same shot hit Batman he might take "Flesh Wound" or something but since Superman is invulnerable it's up to the player(s) to come up with something that fits the narrative so they might choose "Civilian hit by ricochet" giving Superman something to worry about.

    He used the example from Superman II where he's fighting Zod, Ursa, and Non. Their invulnerability largely keeps them from taking damage but Superman keeps wracking up stress and consequences as can be seen throughout the seen. Eventually his stress tops out, he surveys the scene and sees all the damage the fight has caused, and flies away defeated.

    Anyway, I'm sure all of you Fate veterans get all that but I'm still processing it and typing it out helped with that. Provided we're barking up the right tree with all of this.


  • Coder

    @zombiegenesis That's a good description. And I'm actually not saying it's a bad system at all - it's kind of neat. But it is very different from what MUSHers/TTRPGers are used to, so it just takes a different mentality for resolving conflicts.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday said in Fate Accelerated Questions:

    But it is very different from what MUSHers/TTRPGers are used to, so it just takes a different mentality for resolving conflicts.

    Exactly that. One of the biggest things about Fate compared to other RPGs either in a tabletop or online context is the shift in mentality required to play it and that is probably one of the things that turns off the people that it does turn off.

    Also that is a really good way of describing stress, aspects and conflicts, so kudos to your friend.


  • Coder

    @zombiegenesis said in Fate Accelerated Questions:

    He also said not to think of the +3 Forceful as they're both equal in strength but instead they both use their strength to exert equal narrative influence on the game.

    Another interesting point about the different mentality -- I think that the statement above would ring foul to a lot of MU players. It seems hard on the surface to swallow the idea that Hulk Hogan's strength should be as important to the story as Superman's strength. That right there strikes me as the fundamental piece that folks have to buy into for a FAE game to work.

    With friends around a gaming table, it's easier to come to consensus that Bob and Mary should both have equal influence on the story, regardless of the power disparity between their characters. With dozens of strangers on the internet, you tend to fall into more competition, tacit or explicit.

    Also this point:

    @zombiegenesis said in Fate Accelerated Questions:

    What makes Superman invulnerable? His aspect... Mechanically Superman is invulnerable but the game drives fiction not mechanics

    We know Superman is invulnerable (except to Kryptonite) from 50 years of comic book history, but more original characters will find a lot of gray area in their aspects. It's not really much different than comic games with freeform "tell me about your powers" trait systems, so it's definitely workable. It just depends on your players and their ability to deal with ambiguity without being jerks about it.



  • I've seen what feels like the reverse reason for the idea that a super being and a mortal can have the same power to affecrt the fiction while having disparate power levels. They compared a superman level of power to an arrow fired by a super-archer type. The end result was make up a reason why it works for the super-archer.

    It's a great idea (how strongly you affect the fiction) but I feel that you'd run out of reasons pretty quickly. At that point you do not differentiate between say Bullseye throwing something, and Gambit throwing something charged, or Superman's heat beams.

    Unless someone can tell me how you avoid making up extremely lucky shots constantly.


  • Pitcrew

    @misadventure said in Fate Accelerated Questions:

    It's a great idea (how strongly you affect the fiction) but I feel that you'd run out of reasons pretty quickly. At that point you do not differentiate between say Bullseye throwing something, and Gambit throwing something charged, or Superman's heat beams.

    On the abstract mechanical level, what is the difference between Bullseye throwing something, Gambit throwing something, and Superman's heat beams? Narratively, they all have the same impact on a story. Character does 'a thing' and something at a distance is impeded. If they target a car, Bullseye makes the perfect shot, Gambit blows up something important, and Superman melts the tires to the ground, but the net effect is the same, it's just the description of how it happens that's different.

    Unless someone can tell me how you avoid making up extremely lucky shots constantly.

    Don't put Superman and 'a good archer' in the same environment, long term. FATE seems to work best when everyone has the same level of narrative power. Green Arrow comes with a whole quiver of narrative excuses, but he doesn't really spend that much time around Superman in a way that would 'outdo' him, even if they are both Justice League members. But, when they work together, it's not just Green Arrow watching Superman handle everything.

    If it's an archer against Superman, then it's probably going to fall back on kyptonite/magic arrows, because Superman, specifically, is a little OP in a fight, which is why it seems like the all of the kyrptonite in the universe must have found its way to Earth, with how much is around to create some risk for Superman in his stories.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday My answer to the "why" question would be because they are both player characters. That's the best answer I can give. NPCs would have a different impact on the narrative. PCs, however, should be on even footing in certain ways regardless of if they are Hulk Hogan or the Incredible Hulk(or Iron Man and Hawkeye or whatever). It is something different to wrap your head around, however.

    As for OCs, yeah, that's the real hanging point. That's the biggest hangup for me deciding to go all in and try this out on a MU level.

    @Misadventure For me it's a relief. My group had been playing M&M3E/DC Adventures since DCA came out. The most frustrating thing to me was fudging stats to get characters to certain Power Levels. It did not make sense for The Joker to have an attack at +12(or even +10) but it had to be that way so he could be competitive with Batman in a combat scenario. That's why I found Marvel Heroic and, to a greater extent, Worlds in Peril to be a breath of fresh air. They found a way to have the Captain America Vs Iron Man/Hulk or Batman Vs Superman without needing to fudge stats. My problem with Marvel Heroic is just that everyone seems to be throwing around the same handful of dice which is why my group currently uses Worlds in Peril almost exclusively.

    I think the biggest problem with Fate/FAE is that it does take that buy in from players. For players newer to the hobby that is a lot easier than some of us who have had 40 years of RPGs being one way, turning around and going in that very different direction is not easy.

    That said, my small group is enjoying it so that's good. And while I would love to do a Masters of Umdaar style MUX I'm not sure I'll ever get up the gumption to try it. The good thing about FAE though? It'll take next to nothing to code up. :)


  • Coder

    @zombiegenesis said in Fate Accelerated Questions:

    PCs, however, should be on even footing in certain ways regardless of if they are Hulk Hogan or the Incredible Hulk(or Iron Man and Hawkeye or whatever). It is something different to wrap your head around, however.

    Right. Most games are all about "who's better" (whether that's PC or NPC). Level 1 vs level 3. Firearms 7 vs Firearms 4. Superman power vs Hawkeye. power. Some degree of competition/comparison is inherent in the core of the system mechanic. FAE has a very different 'feel'. Nobody is objectively better at any particular thing. They each can shine differently in different situations.

    Frankly the thing that bugs me most about the system is a mental dissonance about skills. Jane is a doctor. Mary is a hacker. They both have Clever +3. It just makes absolutely no sense to me that they'd both get the same number of dice on a first aid roll. Rationally I know that Jane's aspects will allow her to use her medical knowledge more broadly in the story than Mary can (e.g. Mary can't even try to do surgery because it makes no sense), but the fact that they both roll the same number of dice just breaks my brain at some level. Especially when they're opposing each other. So it's a neat idea, but I would have a hard time buying into that system personally.


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday Yeah, I totally get that. It's kind of the same with my group and Worlds in Peril. They have you stat up your character by what is "Easy", "Difficult", and "Possible" for a character but there's absolutely no difference when you roll dice for any of it. So we just did a slight mod of putting difficulty levels on things, Easy = 8, Difficult = 9, Possible = 10.

    We're already talking about something similar for FAE/FATE. If it's not something that you are even capable of doing based on your aspects than you might roll the same number as someone else but you suffer a penalty. Like there's a persistent aspect labeled "You can't do that!"

    I will say that last night we opted to do some Star Wars using FAE and we had THE MOST FUN we have ever had playing Star Wars. Instead of trying to figure out what we can and can't do based on feats or powers we just justified doing "Jedi Stuff" using our aspects and had a freaking blast. It was phenomenal.


  • Coder

    @zombiegenesis said in Fate Accelerated Questions:

    I will say that last night we opted to do some Star Wars using FAE and we had THE MOST FUN we have ever had playing Star Wars. Instead of trying to figure out what we can and can't do based on feats or powers we just justified doing "Jedi Stuff" using our aspects and had a freaking blast. It was phenomenal.

    Sure, and I've had a complete blast using RP with statless systems. It all comes down to who you have to work with and how able they are to work things out without benefit of dice (or with dice that work... kinda weird :-)).