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[Fate Core] Fate without Aspects?

phloog

Retired User
Forgive me if this is A) stupid or B) already beaten to death.

I have a group of players. I started DMing them in 1st edition D&D around 1981 or so...so we've been through a lot, and we're close friends.

We're all now older than most dirt, and we can only manage to get together at MOST about once per month - one Saturday each month when schedules permit we play from around noon until midnight. I am almost always the GM, because I am willing to be.

We started playing Fate Core, and as the GM I LOVE it, because it's very easy to build adventures. I'm fairly good at improvising during the game and Fate Core supports that.

The issue I'm seeing, though, is that my players are VERY casual...very little roleplaying - more driving their characters around. The characters act appropriately for their personalities, but no one is shouting 'huzzah' or changing their voices or anything.

We had great fun (which I guess is the point) last time, but I confirmed for myself that the Aspects system for our game wasn't being properly used. No one was really justifying WHY an Aspect applied - - it was usually clear WHY it applied, but it was very...blah?... "Okay, well I'm an Elf-Trained Archer, so I'll spend a Fate Point and reroll that one"....no one was ever like in the examples, with nice juicy story-y bits.

What I find myself wondering, which seems like Fate Blasphemy, is: Can I run Fate Core WITHOUT Aspects? Or rather, can I as the GM use FP the way they were intended, to compel actions and cause troubles, compensating with Fate Points, but then let the players just use them when they want?

I realize there is no badwrongfun, and we were having great fun, but it just seemed like the fun STOPPED when my group of older and somewhat uptight friends had to suddenly come up with a reason why Aspect #3 applied to this situation.

I could use Aspects to flavor the story ("You are a Tea Enthusiast, so you will...."), but then just let them either justify or not....

I feel like I'm taking the one thing that is supposed to be the heart of it (heck, some variants use ONLY ASPECTS) and tearing it down, but for us the player rationalizations seem so forced as to be less fun for us.
 

phloog

Retired User
All those words and it still seems unclear:
TLDR: How about the GM uses aspects to compel, rewarding with FPs, and the players can just spend them on ANYTHING?
 

MoonHunter

Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The game is called Fudge. It is free and you can look it up on the net.

Fate is Fudge evolved.... fudge with aspects.
 

Brad J. Murray

VSCA
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Fate's not especially clever beyond aspects -- roll + skill to beat a target value. If aspects weren't working at my table I'd just choose a different game.
 

phloog

Retired User
The game is called Fudge. It is free and you can look it up on the net.

Fate is Fudge evolved.... fudge with aspects.
Thanks...I've seen Fudge, but I didn't realize that was the difference. The shame of it is that I LOVE Aspects in terms of character generation and the Bronze Rule/Fate Fractal, I just want to eliminate the bit of stress in the SPENDING of Fate points...I'll take a look.
 

phloog

Retired User
Fate's not especially clever beyond aspects -- roll + skill to beat a target value. If aspects weren't working at my table I'd just choose a different game.
Probably true...but...that's the weird issue, though...aspects ARE working for compels on the players for RP (and as a result a refresh mechanism), and we love the other simple game mechanics, in particular the stress/consequence system...it really is only this issue of how the player weaves the story when THEY use a point. I love that anything can be treated as a character (admittedly due to the vagueness of it), and I love that there is ONE type of roll (which again, is true of many games).
 

Soylent Green

Polar Blues
Validated User
Go for for it. If you guys are having fun spending Fate points without invoking Aspects don't let anyone stop you. Fate is a great system but always remember the system is there to support you, you are not there to service the system.

A couple of thoughts, if your players can spend Fate Points on anything, you might want to ensure that the you don't give away cheap compels. Or you might want to limit how many Fate Points they can use on one action.

Another alternative which was present in early versions of Fate 3.0 was to allow players to spend a Fate point for +1 with used without an Aspect invocation and +2 with an Aspect invocation. This is not a fashionable option but I like it so I included it my Fate game (see sig) and it might help your players transition more gently.

But really, just enjoy the game and don't sweat it. There is way too much Fate angst on these forums already. :)
 
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NinjaWeasel

Both Cute and Stealthy
Validated User
Thanks...I've seen Fudge, but I didn't realize that was the difference. The shame of it is that I LOVE Aspects in terms of character generation and the Bronze Rule/Fate Fractal, I just want to eliminate the bit of stress in the SPENDING of Fate points...I'll take a look.
If you're going to consider looking at Fudge may I suggest that you take a look at Now Playing or The Unexplained from Carnivore Games? I bought them based on suggestions I received here and I think they're the best implementations of Fudge I've seen.

The 10th Anniversary book is also good but it's more of a toolkit whereas the others I've mentioned are good to go right out of the book.
 

Soylent Green

Polar Blues
Validated User
The game is called Fudge. It is free and you can look it up on the net.

Fate is Fudge evolved.... fudge with aspects.
That is not strictly true. The way I read it the OP is talking about glossing over Aspect invocations. That still leaves Compels, Stunts, Concessions, Spin and other Fate concepts not mention ready-baked Fate implementations for specific settings to take away from Fate that you would not find in Fudge.

It may not float your boat, but just because someone chooses to ignore one rule he should therefore discard the whole ruleset. People have run Fate without Skill and without Stunts. It's Fate, let him hack it!
 

Bruce Redux

Not flying or biting
Validated User
What I find myself wondering, which seems like Fate Blasphemy, is: Can I run Fate Core WITHOUT Aspects? Or rather, can I as the GM use FP the way they were intended, to compel actions and cause troubles, compensating with Fate Points, but then let the players just use them when they want?
Sure. You may want to look at Fudge and also at Over the Edge, now available very cheaply at Bundle of Holding - OTE's got the descriptive traits thing without there being any expectation of creating and maneuvering with new traits. But low-aspect-intensity Fate? Sure, it works and it's no sin.
 
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