Can Fate really do everything?

avram

Registered User
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I was going to come here to talk about play-style. One of my favorite games is Blades in the Dark, and the thing I like about it is that the game itself provides structure and mechanical support for player-driven sandbox roleplay (with tools like the faction game and faction actions and clocks, the highly structured format of scores, and the system for downtime actions for player projects, recovery and consequences of rising fame and notoriety, all of which interact and feed into new avenues for player-driven gameplay). As far as I know, Fate doesn't have stuff like that. I'm sure it can do most genres, but that's not the same as "can do anything."
Hm. I’ve just skimmed Blades in the Dark, but it seemed to me at the time that a lot of the cool bits could be imported into Fate. Clocks, for example, are basically stress tracks attached to game events. An earlier version of Fate even had a mechanic similar to this called Plot Stress — see Starblazer Adventures and Legends of Anglerre from Cubicle 7 (if you can find them; they were both licensed properties, and have gone out of print since the license expired). The Romance in the Air book from Fate’s Worlds of Adventure series of setting supplements includes a “Balance of Powers” mini-game that lets you act as nations and play out international relations in order to set up the situation for individual-level interaction later on; something like that might be adaptable as a faction game.
 

Agemegos

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On the other hand, it’s not suitable for every play-style. Fate is designed to abstract away a lot of fine details, or leave them up to the players. If you favor a play-style that relies a lot upon player (not character) creativity in making do with finely-grained and GM-established details about the environment, rather than broadly-established and player-invented details, then Fate will work against you.
That's what I have found, too. Because of this you can run adventures in the exploration and mystery genres in Fate, but actual mysteries and actual discovery in which the players are discovering things rather than inventing them are cutting against the grain.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
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That's what I have found, too. Because of this you can run adventures in the exploration and mystery genres in Fate, but actual mysteries and actual discovery in which the players are discovering things rather than inventing them are cutting against the grain.
Wait... people run mystery games where the players invent the solutions to the mystery rather than me plotting all the stuff out? o_O

Sorry, I don't know if I'm misunderstanding this but its hard for me to wrap my head around.
 

Soylent Green

Polar Blues
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Wait... people run mystery games where the players invent the solutions to the mystery rather than me plotting all the stuff out? o_O

Sorry, I don't know if I'm misunderstanding this but its hard for me to wrap my head around.
It's the difference between an Agatha Christie and a Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes mystery. The former presents a genuine puzzle for the reader to solve in the form of a story. The latter presents a story to entertain the reader with the trappings of a mystery (not that I've read either).

In gaming terms in Agatha Christie game are about challenging the players to solve the mystery, with the characters acting as their proxies . The Sherlock Holmes game you roleplay mystery solving characters smarter than yourself via narrative conrol or other meta-game tools.
 

Agemegos

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Wait... people run mystery games where the players invent the solutions to the mystery rather than me plotting all the stuff out? o_O

Sorry, I don't know if I'm misunderstanding this but its hard for me to wrap my head around.
That isn't what I wrote, but yes, some do.

Fate has mechanics in which a player with a knowledge skill first announces what their character says and then rolls against the relevant skill to see whether the statement is true. The GM is supposed to roll with it. That can be a lot of fun is a gonzo game of pulp explorers, spreading the creative role from the GM to the other players. But if you want to run a game in which the players discover or demystify the GM's world as their characters are doing the same, Fate requires modification, reducing the role of Declarations and changing the way they work.
 

artikid

passerby
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Probably, but can it do everything well? I don't think so. But then, I still haven't found a universal system that is actually good at everything, not even Hero is.
 

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
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Validated User
It's the difference between an Agatha Christie and a Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes mystery. The former presents a genuine puzzle for the reader to solve in the form of a story. The latter presents a story to entertain the reader with the trappings of a mystery (not that I've read either).

In gaming terms in Agatha Christie game are about challenging the players to solve the mystery, with the characters acting as their proxies . The Sherlock Holmes game you roleplay mystery solving characters smarter than yourself via narrative conrol or other meta-game tools.
Maybe not a great example - Agatha Christie mysteries are usually unsolveable using in-book clues, because the detective almost always solves it with a key clue that they don't share with the reader until the big reveal at the end. When I was reading Christie intensively, I could usually solve the mystery by identifying which people present had a noticeable gap in their histories or personalities that could easily be filled by a huge twist.
 

Mike Zebrowski

Beer Elemental
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Yes, FATE can do anything.

The real question is can FATE do something in such a way that keeps the interest of the players.

That question depends on the players.

For example, in my group, FATE combat went over like a lead balloon. It didn't match the play-style of my players. (We played FATE for close to 3 years over 2 campaigns, so lack of experience isn't an issue.)
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
That isn't what I wrote, but yes, some do.

Fate has mechanics in which a player with a knowledge skill first announces what their character says and then rolls against the relevant skill to see whether the statement is true. The GM is supposed to roll with it. That can be a lot of fun is a gonzo game of pulp explorers, spreading the creative role from the GM to the other players. But if you want to run a game in which the players discover or demystify the GM's world as their characters are doing the same, Fate requires modification, reducing the role of Declarations and changing the way they work.
Sorry, was stuffing my face (lunch). Thank you for explaining :)
 

farseerixirvost

Member in Good Standing
Validated User
Fate can't do everything just like HERO can't do everything. But we here (which includes myself!) have the bad habit of recommending our favorite systems as being able to do everything more often than not. Whether its explicitly stated or implicit through ubiquity of recommendations, we do it. I've seen a lot of "Recommend me!" posts where people forget to read what the poster wanted and pile on recommendations that don't match because their favorite system can "do it perfectly" or "do it with a little fiddling."
Here here. Couldn't agree more.
 
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