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Fate Rules - statting out "emotions" and other stressors as enemies (Fate Fractal?)

Kevin Perrine

Registered User
Validated User
Fate Rules - statting out "emotions" and other stressors as enemies (Fate Fractal?)
... I might stat up Hunger/Thirst and have it attack characters at appropriate times, mostly just so I could say "Hunger Strikes!", but I digress. That way, there are fewer moving parts, as the attack would be directly affecting their normal stress track and consequences.

I read this note in another thread and it jumped out at me as potentially brilliant!
I've read about Fate Fractal, but it's one of those things you need to use A LOT to get used to as an older school GM.

This made me think though.
Has anyone toyed much with statting "emotions" and/or "threats" that are internal or even part of the genre... such as "drama" for a high-school 90210 type game... Or heavy politics, etc...

How would you do this?
What "emotions" or stressors (like drama, political pressure, etc...) would you imagine could work as a Fate Fractal "character" statted out?

How would you stat it up to play? Examples??

Are there any other Fate World's that already are doing this to see examples?
As I seem to remember the Firefighter setting in one of the world books statting the "fires" as enviromental dangers... correct?
 

Reverend Uncle Bastard

Loud Mouth Carny
Validated User
The concept of the Fate Fractal is THE most useful feature of Fate as far as I am concerned.

I haven't statted out emotions as an enemy, but running a car combat game I used specific zones as "enemies" that would attack the cars if they were forced to drive in them.

For example I had a zone called "Rough Shoulder" that players could use a Create an Advantage action to push other players into (creating a "stuck on the shoulder" aspect on the other player). While in that zone, each turn the "Rough Shoulder" would attack the car and potentially cause stress. The player in the shoulder could use an Overcome action to remove the "stuck on the shoulder" aspect and get back onto the road.
 

TheMouse

garmonbozia
Validated User
Normally, I'd handle strong emotions as either aspects created by an advantage action, or as consequences (if it was going to linger for a really long time). I suppose that there's room in there for more permanent character aspects ("I'm always angry") or even really weird taken out/ concession thing (I'll change this aspect to Awestruck By Bob and won't change it back using Milestone advances until the story is over). Regardless, I tend to view something like strong emotions as the result of another action rather than a skill rating on its own.

But!

Aspects can indicate the need for obstacles. So if someone is Awestruck By Bob, and that might get in the way of what they're doing, then they'll have to roll against some sort of obstacle to do what they want to do. Which can in turn lead to deciding to succeed at a cost, thereby suffering from additional aspects (Afraid of Bob!) or even consequences (Totally Freaked Out). From a certain point of view this could be taken as an emotion rolling against your character, even if it would mostly be passive resistance.

It can also create an active resistance scenario. The same Bob as above might get to roll Presence because of your character's Awestruck-ness.

As far as outright just having a statted up emotion, I guess that's possible. However, for me personally to do such a thing, the situation would have to be pretty unusual. Like, I don't know, a curse on the school makes all the students crush on one another, and the strength of the Love Curse has a skill-like rating.
 

Glyptodont

此时此地
RPGnet Member
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I've used this as a "temper track" in a Fate Tianxia game. The local Magistrate is annoyed at the heroes meddling in police affairs and making him look bad. So he has a stress track that gets checked each time the players annoy him. I frame this with Fate point compels. For example: "The Magistrate told you to stay home and not get involved in the case. However, you've just come across a clue that could lead to the criminal mastermind, but the Magistrate considers it irrelevant." The player gets a Fate point for investigating the clue, but that will check off one of the Magistrate's Temper stress boxes. If all the boxes are checked, he loses all patience and starts arresting those meddlesome player characters.
 

Maetco

Registered User
Validated User
Has anyone toyed much with statting "emotions" and/or "threats" that are internal or even part of the genre... such as "drama" for a high-school 90210 type game... Or heavy politics, etc...
Emotion no, threats and other Aspects often. Just like [MENTION=63]TheMouse[/MENTION], I have been using emotions situational Aspects or Concequences without PC abilities or stats. Stuff like "Fire", "Tentacles Rising From the Ground" or "Collapsing Roof" would Attack anyone within the Zone ones per round with a fixed Initiative and the Skill level would depend on the narrative, eg. how large is the fire, what is the roor made out of and so on. "Spooky Darkness" could Create an Advantage and create Aspects such as "Unsettled" or "Spooked".

Just quick examples.
 

danelsan

Forgotten Kung Fu Legend
Validated User
I guess outright stating an emotion as an enemy would be pretty unusual. On the other hand, a musician or stand up comedian or whatever might be facing a tough crowd that they are trying to wow. This scene could have a "tough crowd" aspect, or that mood could be conveyed by portraying the tough crowd's boos and heckling as making occasional attacks against the mental/social/whatever-variation-you-are-using stress track (got taken out? Maybe you were booed out of the stage. Or maybe you ran when they started throwing bottles...). Then, turning the crowd around would either be an overcome action, or "defeating" the crowd-enemy. Depends on how involved you want it to be.

It might fit the theme/mood/genre of a particular game, though. A heavy game of espionage, full of secret objectives, untrustworthy agencies, betrayal and double agents and triple crosses and so on might have an "Encroaching paranoia" going around, attacking people every scene in which one of these twists turns bad on them, causing mental stress and leaving consequences related to trust issues.
 

TheMouse

garmonbozia
Validated User
I guess outright stating an emotion as an enemy would be pretty unusual. On the other hand, a musician or stand up comedian or whatever might be facing a tough crowd that they are trying to wow. This scene could have a "tough crowd" aspect, or that mood could be conveyed by portraying the tough crowd's boos and heckling as making occasional attacks against the mental/social/whatever-variation-you-are-using stress track (got taken out? Maybe you were booed out of the stage. Or maybe you ran when they started throwing bottles...). Then, turning the crowd around would either be an overcome action, or "defeating" the crowd-enemy. Depends on how involved you want it to be.
I'm gonna nitpick, because I don't ever like examples that are just someone on stage performing. They always put me in a place where I want to know why we're even bothering to roll this, never mind why it's important enough to maybe be a conflict. So instead I'm going to totally reframe your example into something more appropriate to the Silmarillion.

An elf finds herself in the court of some powerful, terrible enemy. The place is overflowing with hate and anger and a desire for destruction. So she decides to sing everyone to sleep in order to rescue her love and get out of there. If she does a crap job, her identity will be revealed, and the enemy's forces will fall on her like a rock slide. If she does well, they'll be calmed and eventually lulled into sleep, freeing her to sneak to the dungeons to free her love.

I like those stakes better.
 

danelsan

Forgotten Kung Fu Legend
Validated User
I'm gonna nitpick, because I don't ever like examples that are just someone on stage performing. They always put me in a place where I want to know why we're even bothering to roll this, never mind why it's important enough to maybe be a conflict. So instead I'm going to totally reframe your example into something more appropriate to the Silmarillion.

An elf finds herself in the court of some powerful, terrible enemy. The place is overflowing with hate and anger and a desire for destruction. So she decides to sing everyone to sleep in order to rescue her love and get out of there. If she does a crap job, her identity will be revealed, and the enemy's forces will fall on her like a rock slide. If she does well, they'll be calmed and eventually lulled into sleep, freeing her to sneak to the dungeons to free her love.

I like those stakes better.
Hey, if you never had a game in which the fate of the universe depended on an improv comedy performance that is not my problem :p
 

Bruce Redux

Not flying or biting
Validated User
I did just this kind of thing in the Fate Horror Toolkit, in a section on fighting the Other. The Other can be alien invaders, supernatural perils, and the like, but it can also be an ideology, with particular leaders, agencies, etc, as aspects or stunts. Fate is so good for these sorts of adaptation, partly because of the game and partly because the folks in charge delight in them and encourage them.

I also just realized this evening that the survival horror chapter's rules for redirecting consequences onto NPC cast - thereby gradually dooming them before the PCs - would also work for a game about spies, just ending in discovery and capture rather than being eaten or whatever.
 
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Noclue

Registered User
Validated User
I guess outright stating an emotion as an enemy would be pretty unusual. On the other hand, a musician or stand up comedian or whatever might be facing a tough crowd that they are trying to wow. This scene could have a "tough crowd" aspect, or that mood could be conveyed by portraying the tough crowd's boos and heckling as making occasional attacks against the mental/social/whatever-variation-you-are-using stress track (got taken out? Maybe you were booed out of the stage. Or maybe you ran when they started throwing bottles...). Then, turning the crowd around would either be an overcome action, or "defeating" the crowd-enemy. Depends on how involved you want it to be.
I would totally play Fate Battle of the Bands!
 
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