[Fate/FAE] What's not to grok?

kitty voodoo

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Once you embrace the freedom of an action with no inherent limits on scope creating aspects with no inherent function but instead whatever someone interprets, the rest of the game becomes nonsense.
Just a peek in the PbP section of this forum proves that’s not true...
 

avram

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My specific complaint is basically about abusive players who try to do an end run around the stress/consequence economy, to those players who try to win rather than roleplay. That someone came up with the notion of inflicting Beheaded on someone was not an idle example. That player, in a PbP I ran, argued and became disruptive over how they got to do that. They kept harping and rules lawyering on the notion that aspects are true, they guy was beheaded, and therefore he was dead.

Arguing that shit is tedious.
Yes, it is tedious. And as someone who started RPGing with the white box edition of D&D back in the 1970s, I can tell you that it’s not an issue specific to Fate.

Way back in (I think it was) AD&D first edition, if you wanted to kill someone, you had to go through the combat system, unless you had them incapacitated and at your mercy, in which case you could just straight up kill ’em. Or, y’know, magic. Anyway, it was the GM’s (or DM’s) call, and sometimes there were borderline cases, and sometimes rules-lawyery players got obnoxious.

The advice given in Fate Core is to have the players describe the fiction, and then the GM breaks that down into mechanics. “I wanna set this guy on fire.” “OK, how do you plan on going about doing that?” Maybe you decide that the guy isn’t all that much on fire, so he just gets an On Fire aspect to represent that his clothes are smoldering. Maybe you decide that this is just how you’re describing the effect of an attack action. Maybe you go the full Fate Fractal route and stat the fire up as a character, and oh, by the way, one of the abilities that fire character has is the ability to spread and create new fires, so you better hope this combat ends quickly.
 

Noclue

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I'm talking about the bane of my existence: other players.
Yeah, they don’t get to use the Bronze Rule.

avram avram The Silver Rule is like the Godwin’s Law of Fate threads.

Stress as a Succeed with Cost is a great example of something to use if the player fails an Overcome while on fire.
 
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My Hero Zero

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Right, I totally get that all of this isn't a problem with Fate--it's a problem with players. But it's a game like Fate that attracts a certain kind of player who sees the exploitable and fucking pounces on it. Narrative elements like Aspects, or Complications in Cortex--which aren't part of the damage economy in either game--seem to attract these players. Ooh, I can create the perfect Save or Die moment where I win! And even where a narrative element is the exploit, but a purely mechanical one, these players will pop up their freaking heads and shout, Gotcha!

My issue--why I'm foaming at the mouth here--is because of Play-by-Post. I don't know my players 100% of the time. I have no F2F group so these players are like fifth columnists and sneak into the game maybe just to troll, but maybe the way they're wired they need to win, and they use the rules to try to steamroll over everyone else.

Blearg.
 

furashg

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I agree that it's not something inherent to Fate. I've been party to many an argument in D&D or Pathfinder where someone is trying to exploit a mechanical ambiguity.

However, there's a lot not to "grok" in Fate. That doesn't mean its a bad game, but like the Calculus example, parts of it just don't make sense to people. Even IN THIS VERY THREAD you can see experts arguing about what's correct in a way that you just don't see in other RPG's. I'm sorry, Savage Worlds doesn't have that kind of ambiguity. It doesn't mean it's better, it probably isn't, but it has it's own issues that are different than the issues Fate has. It's not just people being jerks, or being stuck in traditional games, or being in antagonistic groups. I'm not a jerk, I like non-traditional games like HeroQuest and some PbtA stuff, and my groups are usually a bunch of friends. However, every Fate game I've tried to run or play has been wildly, consistently unsatisfying. Fate seems great, but it's possible that I won't get it for a long time.
 

Mejiro_Night

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I agree that it's not something inherent to Fate. I've been party to many an argument in D&D or Pathfinder where someone is trying to exploit a mechanical ambiguity.
D&D does often tend towards 'they're incapped/not paying attention/KO'd/downed, so I can auto-kill them, right?' and similar awkwardness around when you have to stab someone dozens of times to kill them, and when you can do it with one stab, yeah.
 

Glazius

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However, there's a lot not to "grok" in Fate. That doesn't mean its a bad game, but like the Calculus example, parts of it just don't make sense to people. Even IN THIS VERY THREAD you can see experts arguing about what's correct in a way that you just don't see in other RPG's. I'm sorry, Savage Worlds doesn't have that kind of ambiguity. It doesn't mean it's better, it probably isn't, but it has it's own issues that are different than the issues Fate has. It's not just people being jerks, or being stuck in traditional games, or being in antagonistic groups. I'm not a jerk, I like non-traditional games like HeroQuest and some PbtA stuff, and my groups are usually a bunch of friends. However, every Fate game I've tried to run or play has been wildly, consistently unsatisfying. Fate seems great, but it's possible that I won't get it for a long time.
There are only a small number of things that are absolutely true about Fate - biggest among them the 4x4 matrix of actions vs. outcomes, and the basic rules surrounding the Fate Point economy. Literally everything else depends on the setting you're dropping Fate into and the assumptions you're making about how characters in that setting operate. This puts Fate in the rough realm of relativistic physics - yes, you can declare that literally anything, including the tip of your nose, is the operational center of the universe, you just need to do the work in the background in order to back it up. ("On Fire" is such a consistent canard in this regard that one of the initial settings for Fate Core is about fighting the aspect "On Fire". ...because you're all fire crew putting out various kinds of fires.)

So, unlike Savage Worlds, the problem you have with running a satisfying game of Fate is not in an unclear interpretation of the rules that you can run by a rules guru or disinterested party and still get a useful answer. The problem you have is in how the rules intersected with what your table was trying to do with them, in particular, and even if you do the best job you can relaying the situation, the advice you get in return is only as good as people's understanding of your game.

If you'd like to get help with your situation in particular, I'd be glad to try (probably in a new thread or PMs or something) but, again, there's going to be that limitation.
 

furashg

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Thanks for the offer Glazius! This thread has been terrific. However, I was just trying to respond to the original post which was credulous about Fate being impenetrable for some people. So was just trying to share how I thought that could be the case. Unfortunately, I think for me to really get the system I'd need to pay someone like you to shadow me while I ran several games until I understood what to do. I plan to tackle Strands 2 at some point because it's more pre-built and structured, but it's still Fate so the whole Aspect thing that's been discussed in this thread doesn't go away.
 

Noclue

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The biggest problem with people not grokking Fate is about priorities. Fate is a game about emulating fiction. The GM provides adversity so that the emerging narrative is exciting, not striving to defeat the characters. The players are struggling to succeed, but only heroically and dramatically, which means they are willing to accept dramatic complications that create excitement and may ultimately lead to tragic defeat. So, all parties are interested in a game that ends in either heroism or tragedy, and no one is going for boring victories or unsatisfying failures.

That's the deal. If everyone is aiming for that, then any discussion about the fiction becomes, "what's the best way to represent this mechanically in our game right now. In this moment." Not a contest between rules lawyers looking to exploit the system at the expense of everyone at the table. This is how Compels should be considered, and Consequences, and Taken Outs, and Costs on failed Overcome rolls. Everything.

And that's why playing with randos is a risk.
 
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