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

Victim

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I find your positions on those things rather inconsistent - in the first, the truth of the aspect is meaningful and thus is barring actions automatically. In the second, you mock the concept of an aspect automatically doing something, which seems like the reverse. And in the third, the fact that someone is essentially ignoring a crippling aspect seems to be taken by you to imply additional threat and capability about that person.

So I don't see any consistent position about Aspects in your post. In fact, the only thing that seems consistent is you interpreting them in whatever way is worse for the person asking the question.
 

Noclue

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1. People who are handcuffed to desks generally have to do something about the handcuffs. If they're handcuffed, the aspect is secondary to this discussion.

2. If the Aspect is so confusing, why was it permitted in the first place? If your intention is that this character can't be challenged in a contest of physical strength, then that's an odd character concept and an idiosyncratic way to play the game, but you should know it already. If that's not your intention, either understand that this is not the way the character works and play the aspect accordingly, meaning invoke it in your arm wrestling match for +2, or change the wording to match your intent.

3. I was making a joke. Generally, you don't take off people's legs with a CAA. Creating advantages creates an advantage that gives you an aspect to invoke. The simple response when someone proposes an aspect that would (presumably) take someone out of a conflict or kill them with a CAA is to say no and ask them to word it appropriately. Otherwise, it becomes a game of who can word their aspects to be more debilitating, rather than a game where you invoke aspects as part of a cinematic action sequence.

#3 is essentially the same question as #1. I'm not sure how you cut off their leg, but phrasing it as Creating the aspect Severed Leg, elides a lot of fiction that makes everything unclear. The appropriate question seems to be, assuming I've cut off someone's leg, what happens next?
 
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Troy2012

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I hear what you're saying Proteus, but what can happen is in the moment, people are invested in their characters, so in the moment it's in you're interest to stretch the heck out of any aspect or declaration you can make. This isn't you being a jerk or anything. If James Bond the character knew he could one shot the bad guy in the first scene by stretching his aspects and making declarations he'd be dumb not to. Yes I know according to Fate players are supposed to be co-authors, but it's as if you had a book being written by multiple people where those people were also the characters. Song of Ice and Fire books would be very different if that's what was happening.
I guess that depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to one shot the bad guy, then, yep, you can do that. If your goal is to roleplay as a secret agent in spy-action-thriller and the game ends in the first turn of the first scene of the game, you might not enjoy it as much.

You can play a video game using all the cheat codes to skip to the last boss fight and win. You'd be dumb not to.

Or maybe not. Maybe your goal in playing the game is different.
 

avram

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I hear what you're saying Proteus, but what can happen is in the moment, people are invested in their characters, so in the moment it's in you're interest to stretch the heck out of any aspect or declaration you can make. This isn't you being a jerk or anything. If James Bond the character knew he could one shot the bad guy in the first scene by stretching his aspects and making declarations he'd be dumb not to. Yes I know according to Fate players are supposed to be co-authors, but it's as if you had a book being written by multiple people where those people were also the characters. Song of Ice and Fire books would be very different if that's what was happening.
Have their been any James Bond movies where Bond meets the villain in the opening scene? As I recall, the movie usually opens with him taking care of some business that’s distantly related to the big villain’s plot, and then he has to trace down leads, beat up some flunkies, sleep with some women, do some interrogation, and get past a lieutenant before getting a shot at the main villain.

Which is pretty much the same way most storyline-based adventure RPGs handle things. You can’t just skip ahead to the end, because you don’t even know what to roll against.
 

Noclue

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I’d just give the bad guy an aspect like Classic Bond Villain. At a dramatically appropriate moment, the players could compel that to have the npc capture them, bring them to the secret lair, describe the nephritis plans and then leave them to escape and foil their plans in the climactic scene.
 

avram

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2. If the Aspect is so confusing, why was it permitted in the first place? If your intention is that this character can't be challenged in a contest of physical strength, then that's an odd character concept and an idiosyncratic way to play the game, but you should know it already. If that's not your intention, either understand that this is not the way the character works and play the aspect accordingly, meaning invoke it in your arm wrestling match for +2, or change the wording to match your intent.
First, let me point out that lots of Fate players discourage best-in-the-world-type aspects for exactly this reason.

That gotten out of the way, there are plenty of settings where this kind of aspect is perfectly fine. Inigo Montoya, in The Princess Bride, surely has the aspect Greatest Swordsman of His Generation, but you’ll notice that he loses his swordfight with Westley, and is nearly killed by Count Rugen. How would I handle this as a GM? Well, when Inigo’s going up against ordinary people (the sort I’d stat out as mooks), I wouldn’t bother rolling to determine if he wins, but might set up situations where there’s a bunch of guards he has to get past quickly, then say “You can definitely beat them, but let’s see if you can beat them in time.” (And it would have to be a bunch of guards, not just one nameless dude.) But if he’s up against, say, the second-greatest swordsman, well, then the outcome’s in doubt, because matters can be tipped in the other guy’s favor by luck or superior planning or Inigo’s heavy drinking.

Can the Strongest Man in the World beat an ordinary dude in arm-wrestling? Sure, don’t even bother rolling for that. But maybe you roll to see how he beats him. Does the audience cheer for him, or do they see him as a bully and boo him? Are they impressed with his technique, or offended by his brutish use of raw strength?

Or maybe, if this is a tournament, you skip over the rounds where the Strongest Man in the World is up against ordinary competitors with a brief summary — “Yeah, you beat your first three opponents without even breaking a sweat” — and jump ahead to the round where the Strongest Woman in the World shows up.
 

Noclue

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First, let me point out that lots of Fate players discourage best-in-the-world-type aspects for exactly this reason.
Yup.

That gotten out of the way, there are plenty of settings where this kind of aspect is perfectly fine.
Also, Yup. My comment wasn't that the aspect was good or bad, but that the question was ill formed. The aspect doesn't just accidently attach itself to the character. I presume that the player has a concept about who the character is and what kind of things they want to happen. And, likewise, the GM understands who the character is as well. There is no conflict between an aspect that say Best Swordsman in the World! and having a sword fight in which the character can lose, because the GM and players have that understanding. If the aspect is representative of a problem of communication, the problem isn't the aspect or its always true-ness. It's a communication problem. I'd have no problem with a player using an aspect like Best Swordsman in the World, unless the player believes that they're not going to get into swordfights and possibly lose.

Or maybe, if this is a tournament, you skip over the rounds where the Strongest Man in the World is up against ordinary competitors with a brief summary — “Yeah, you beat your first three opponents without even breaking a sweat” — and jump ahead to the round where the Strongest Woman in the World shows up.
Again, yup.
 

GrahamWills

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My main issue as GM has been how to deal with the fact that some players will creatively come up with a way to always be using their best approach. How do folks here get players to use their +1 approaches?

(I don’t mean that I want them using that approach all the time. I mean that some of my players, just through creative descriptions, are always using their +3 or +2 approaches.)
This is not really that different to use of skills. A character might say "I use perception to examine the lock and work out how to open it" and "I use perception to examine the enemy for weak spots" and "I use perception to see how she reacts to the question"

My approach is the same for both -- Challenges have a small set of approaches/skills which are ideal and get no penalty. Others can be used but are harder. Yes, the steel door can be opened forcefully, but it's really strong, so it will be harder than if you approach it cleverly.
 

adamsmith

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I've never really had a problem for regular skill use, but when it comes to combat it seems like players want to default to their most effective approach at all times. So much so that it really takes you out of the FATE mindset and into a more mechanical/traditional context. I haven't found a good way to stop that happening.
 

Hammel

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Speaking of problems with the system and grokking it, has anyone encountered groups or players with a lot of difficulty with Aspects and how to Invoke and Compel them? How did you break up the logjam? Just writing good ones can be an art in itself, one I've yet to master, but after they're created it's relatively easy for me to think of ways to Invoke and Compel them. I'm waiting for more feedback in a game I'm running, but I'm guessing I've already encountered a player having this problem. I may have to offer up suggestions until they get used to it, like I did on a suggestion to tie two characters together.
 
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