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

Mejiro_Night

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It tends to be a bit dull, and also makes a game where characters are generally very competent into a game where characters are always really, really competent. Generally, enforce consequences for approaches - so doing something 'flashily' draws attention. Trying to fight someone? Great, you win, but everyone knows the fight happened and you took part, so now other fighters are showing up to have a go. Doing something carefully? Great, it goes well, without problems... but it takes a while. Breaking in Quickly? Sure, you're in and out and don't get caught, but there's still evidence it woz you wot dun it. And sometimes it just makes sense to have to use a certain approach - generally, it's easier if you let the players say what they want to do, then say which approach it is as well, otherwise players will always try and use their best and create justifications for that, which can make for slightly one-note characters.
 

Troy2012

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It tends to be a bit dull, and also makes a game where characters are generally very competent into a game where characters are always really, really competent. Generally, enforce consequences for approaches - so doing something 'flashily' draws attention. Trying to fight someone? Great, you win, but everyone knows the fight happened and you took part, so now other fighters are showing up to have a go. Doing something carefully? Great, it goes well, without problems... but it takes a while. Breaking in Quickly? Sure, you're in and out and don't get caught, but there's still evidence it woz you wot dun it. And sometimes it just makes sense to have to use a certain approach - generally, it's easier if you let the players say what they want to do, then say which approach it is as well, otherwise players will always try and use their best and create justifications for that, which can make for slightly one-note characters.
I guess I've yet to see the one-note character for myself. Or rather, if I have, I haven't disliked it or been put off by it. Sometimes, it's that note that is the thing I like about the character. Knowing that Loki is lying to you and is going to double cross you, no matter what you do -- it's fun. Like I said, it's a part of the character's personality that's just as important as their Aspects.

Is it not fun watching the Flashy character do their thing? Especially when you, as a spectator, can't see how Flashy is going to helpful in this situation.

Maybe I'm just looking at things wrong because when I see someone say, "I need to stop them from doing X as much as they do..." It seems unduly antagonistic to me. And "X" can be anything from "fighting" to "using the same approach" to "using magic" to "peaceful negotiations." If they are having fun doing the thing they want to do, who am I to argue?
 

Mejiro_Night

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Yeah, it is very context-dependent, and shouldn't really be done in an adversarial way. But characters probably don't get to face things on their own terms all the time - sometimes the flashy character is in a situation where they can't be obvious or flashy, so have to fall back and tackle things in different ways. Or the careful character just doesn't have the time or resources to be careful, they've got to get it down right now, and hope for the best.

In a more traditional-statted game, 'sword guy' is probably going to sword a lot of things, that's awesome, he's taken swords, he's made clear his approach to things will primarily be sword-based. But there's some things that overcoming with swords doesn't really make sense, and some times where, for whatever reason, stuff goes wrong (or the baddie wrongfoots him or whatever) and swords are not applicable. Using your lowest approach is probably going to be very rare, but having to drop back to your secondary shouldn't be particularly uncommon - you're still good, but circumstances were slightly against you and so you had to do things in ways that aren't your favourite.

Like Loki always lies... but he's a damn sight better when he can actually be Sneaky or Careful about it (i.e. knows enough about the scene to make something up, or has actually studied it ahead of time). If he has to try and bullshit through without knowing what's happening (Quickly), just blather words (Forcefully), or make up some crazy-huge lie (Flashily) it tends to go less well in varying degrees. (or rearrange those to suit) So he's probably got some aspect(s) and/or stunt(s) to help with lying, but depending on how he goes about lying, it can go better or worse, he's not always in a position to lie as he would like to, sometimes it's a setup he's less comfortable with.
 

My Hero Zero

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Let's think about it this way: you have six Approaches. If you only ever use one, why any others? It'd be a different game if you have six to choose from and you only put one down. Everything you do is governed by the only way you know how to do anything. Ask for the salt at the table? Forceful. Ask someone out on a romantic date? Forceful. Respond to the cop with Forceful? The judge holding a sentence over your head? Forceful.

Players choose their +3 because it's a +3 and they're playing to win. They're not into the fiction, because if they were, and Careful +1 was really the best choice that suited the fiction--you know, we have to cross over this precarious bridge--then they'd choose it. But, nope, Forceful +3 because it's the higher bonus.

You can call them on their bullshit if they're not playing in good faith. Maybe they don't fully understand, so you can be kind and explain it to them. There are the objectively wrong Approaches to things. The GM should say so. Or, at a minimum, introduce higher difficulties for going about it the wrong way. And even still, those players who are in it for winning's sake, they cannot hear you. They will get defensive about it and they do not belong in my games.
 

Reverend Uncle Bastard

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The best way to encourage players to switch up their approach, as mentioned above, is by varying the consequences based on the narrative impact of the approach they choose. For example, if your players are dealing with a guard, the consequences of the approach will vary wildly:

1 - Flashy might mean you try to impress the guard with your social status, a failure could result in them gossiping to the rest of the guards about how important you think you are, making further dealings with any guards less successful.

2 - Forceful could be trying to shoulder your way through them, a failure leading to them calling for immediate reinforcements

3 - Sneaky is you waiting for a moment of inattention to sneak by, a failure leading to your immediate arrest.

If someone is using the same approach constantly, then just present them with circumstances where failing with that approach will cost them dearly. Present a character with high forceful with a situation where there are dozens of guards, so sneaking by is really the only option, for example.
 

NinjaPaladin

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What other folks said. If players always use the best approach, why do we even have the other ones? Why do numbers other than the +3 exist?

I know intellectually that if someone wants to use the Forceful approach to picking the lock, I can a) say no, picking a lock is always gonna be Sneaky in this game, and Forceful would be shouldering the door open, or b) tell them that while you can Cleverly or Sneakily pick the lock with a 3 or higher, it’s a 5 to do so Forcefully, or c) tel them that picking the lock Forcefully means burning out the lock with acid, which will make it obvious that the lock has been damaged. I also know that it’s ultimately a player issue, with some folks trying to win rather than engage with the narrative.

This might just be a case where my players (and I) are better suited to D&D that Fate/FAE. Finding the balance of “Still feels mechanically more complex and controllable than just describing what happens freeform, doesn’t become a flavor-stripped discussion of ‘stack multiple aspects so one person can do a single attack to take out the enemy, every time,’” has so far eluded us.
 

stilltwilight

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I get FATE Core well enough.

What I don't get are FAE approaches. Specifically, why would a player ever want to use anyhting but their best score for every situation? And if they can do that, what is the point of having the pyramid?
D&D 5e answered that for me. Take an Intimidation check, for example. Intimidation isn't always about Charisma. I think it's in the DMG where it claims you can use alternate ability scores when using a skill. Same with Fate. So:

How you Intimidate is important. Intimidating a nearly useless civilian may be easy. Intimidating an ogre...? Maybe Charisma isn't the most effective course of action. Maybe you can forcefully bend a bar around the ogre. Cleverly deduce what the ogre fears.

A player may want to always use the highest rated Approach, but that doesn't mean it will succeed or be the best option. Forcefully solving a puzzle may end poorly.
 

avram

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I guess I've yet to see the one-note character for myself. Or rather, if I have, I haven't disliked it or been put off by it. Sometimes, it's that note that is the thing I like about the character. Knowing that Loki is lying to you and is going to double cross you, no matter what you do -- it's fun. Like I said, it's a part of the character's personality that's just as important as their Aspects.
Sure, Loki’s always gonna double-cross you eventually — but on the way there, he’s gonna Sneakily do some spying and infiltration to suss out your weak spots, Cleverly set up some false fronts, and Flashily try to convince you that they’re true.
 

My Hero Zero

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Let's look at D20. It locks the Climb skill to the STR attribute. But if you had a mix-and-match approach to which skill and attribute approach you took, you could climb with STR and climb Forcefully, or DEX and climb Flashily/Quickly, or INT and climb Cleverly, etc.

Ryan Macklin has a good article on spamming your best approach and an alternate mechanic called the Trouble Die. I have yet to play with it but it sounds like fun.
 

Troy2012

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I agree with what the other contributors have said: Someone who is "spamming" their highest rated Approach is someone who is playing to win without regard for the consequences to the story, their character or the rest of the group.

In those situations, communication with the player is the best recourse.
 
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