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[FATE-based games] How many Aspects is too many?

StanTheMan

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I'm running a Burning Wheel game now that'll probably end in a few months as we near the climax, and I've a thought to run...something...with Strands of Fate. At it's base, like many FATE games, Strands wants us to have like ten Aspects.

My question is - is ten Aspects a lot? I have some experience with FATE as a GM (I've run SOTC, Diaspora, and Strands, all for mini-campaigns) and had groups of 2 or 3 players, so didn't really pay attention at the time. It's been a few years now, and I'm wondering, is 10 too many?

Strands itself suggests going down to six Aspects. And I've heard the new FATE core now recommends five, if I remember correctly?

So folks? Thoughts?
 

The Benj

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Ten is too many. Five to seven is the sweet spot, I think. I'd probably err on the side of five.
 

That Old Tree

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While I'm not an old hand and got into Fate with the recent Kickstarter, I think that five or six are better than 10. It's not just about being easier to keep things in mind in-play, but I have definitely found that using more aspects can make characters a little fuzzier than you might want. Five or six can help you to focus on what's really important about the character.
 

Castille

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Plus less for the poor GM to keep track if, especially in a big group. I like 5, it's usually enough to define a character outside of the skills and stunts.
 

Weisenheim

Baroque Space Orc Mage
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I would go with 5, which is what Fate Core suggests. You could possibly play with less, but if you want a healthy Fate Point economy you'll need to compel them more often for every invoke, and that might be asking too much. More than 5 is cutting it a bit close to what I'm comfortable with, because it's a lot to keep track of for each character, and then multiply that amount by the number of players, and well... even a GM with a list or some other tool to help recall Aspects is gonna have a hard time keeping track of 30-50 (as we get in Spirit of the Century), and that's just characters, not including environmental, campaign, or other Aspects.

There's also the whole thing that people frequently cite about how the human brain doesn't handle more than 5-7 options/choices very well.
 

frws25

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Keep in mind that Strands is different beast.

Yes it has 10 Aspects. 5 are just like Fate Core's main aspects. The other 5 are Specialty Aspects.

Primary aspects help define the character, specialty aspects help define what a character can do. By thier very nature thay should be much more narrowly defined than character aspects. In my own game I rarely compel specialties, those are for the player use.

I like to use specialty aspects with FAE but I like aspects. More the merrier.
 

zcthu3

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Ten is too many. Five to seven is the sweet spot, I think. I'd probably err on the side of five.
Have run Dresden with 7. Legends with 10 and currently running Starblazers with 5. 10 is definitely too many, but I think 7 is better than 5. It allows a little more characterisation, and a little more for the GM to compel rather than relying on the same things again and again.
 
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The Benj

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Keep in mind that Strands is different beast.

Yes it has 10 Aspects. 5 are just like Fate Core's main aspects. The other 5 are Specialty Aspects.
Ah, that's right. Now I remember why I didn't like Strands.
 

Amberpup

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And at least in Dresden, you're not stuck with them the whole game since you can change them as you finish stories and such.

But for me, I would have a hard time coming up with ten "good" aspects that would serve my character well thru out the game. In Dresden, I had a few I was really proud of, then some that I could live with, and the rest I was annoyed I couldn't come-up with something better.
 
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