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[Fate Shui] Feng Shui + Fate, how?

Will

New member
Banned
Ok, starting a new thread.

IF you are the sort who have at least modestly cooperative players and a group who enjoys a more meta element to their system, and you like the setting of Feng Shui, there's a good chance the idea of running Feng Shui in Fate appeals to you.

I mean, FS-style stunts just cry out for strange aspects:
Treerunner: He's autofiring at me? The stream of bullets is clearly a temporary Aspect I can invoke...
GM: Uh. Huh. Sure!
Treerunner: +2, which I'm going to use to get enough shift to move in over an obstacle to attack...


What variant(s) of Fate do you think would work best as a launching point? How would you translate the various sub-systems?
 

Matt Sheridan

Minus 10 horse points.
Validated User
I've been doing some thinking along the exact same lines. I haven't got the Feng Shui background to really do the idea justice, but I sure love hacking Fate. So what doesn't vanilla, SotC-style Fate have that Feng Shui ought to? Coming up with awesome actions to serve as temporary aspects does sound like a good start to me.
 

devlin1

Human Paraquat
Validated User
Based on the OP's example, it sounds like it might make sense to have aspect automatically created based on some sort of criteria -- like if you get spin on a roll, your action creates a fragile aspect. Possibly whether you want to or not.

So the guy fires his gun(s), gets spin, and ends up creating an aspect: Stream of Bullets. The upside is that he did some stress to the guy; the downside is that there's an aspect out there that anyone can use once.

And I think I'd keep stress tracks. I can't believe how often I've been saying that lately, but Feng Shui seems like a game where people ought to have a few close calls without taking consequences. F'rinstance, getting spin on that Guns attack just means that the defending PC takes 3 stress from all that frenetic dodging.

Alternately, if the defender gets spin, he gets to decide what the fragile aspect is. But I kinda like having a good roll automatically create a fragile aspect for some reason. Can't really say why... maybe it's the idea of having ramifications for successes as well as failures.
 

Vitenka

New member
Ok - coming at this from the POV of someone who has heard a bit about fate but not actually read the rules, because, dammit, there's way too much STUFF in there!

And I loathe big chunks of the shadowfist stuff too.

Let's go back to basics, OtE stylee.

You get three traits. As per normal, they have invoke/tag/compel. They also, thank you OtE, have a tell.
"Ah - I see from your swagger that you practice the drunken monkey style!"
That's nicely in-genre.

So - your first trait is your.. humm, can't call it 'character'.. role? More or less, the name of the template. "Plucky kid", "Wise old master", "Hidden dragon" - whatever.
You'll be able to tag this one basically for anything, as long as you do it in an appropriate style.

Second - a style. This is a game of over the top and ridiculous martial arts, everyone gets a martial arts style. Even if it's terminator-robot-from-the-future-style. You'll be using this in combat, and in most social situations if I know PCs.

Third is a schtick. You only get one, but it can do anything. As a downside, since this is an ultralight system, "Throw thermonuclear grenades" is precisely as effective as "Make fun of your mother" You'll have more difficulty using this all the time.

Now, I want to capture something of the initiative system - without going the whole hog. So here it is: Initiative goes round the table as normal, but you can offer whoever's turn it is a fate point to take a turn out of order.

The actual implementation of aspects... well, versus mooks it's a straight skill test. Did you tag an aspect? (Or more aspects than the GM invoked)? Great, mook falls down.
As per Feng-Shui description of stunts is harmless to difficulty. I think we'll go further and bring in Exalted-style stunting - if your description makes the table laugh/applaud then gain a fate point.

And whilst I'm stealing from everything - we'll take the HotB variant and say that you can set aside dice - and if you succeed, those dice can be applied to your level of success. Against mooks, that means an extra mook down per die.

And, well heck - against named characters this works too - those extra dice are how you apply new aspects to them, giving you a death-spiral.

Not entirely sure how you adjudicate the death of a named character... Oh no, wait, yes I am. We'll steal from Dread.
Whenever you like, but primarily when you are out of fate points or have so many negative aspects that you'll never succeed; declare yourself to have died.
Clear the negative aspects, regain a fate-point pool - but at the end of the scene (or when you next get into that situation) - narrate your death.


Need to throw in a couple of 'Feng-Shui' isms. So:
"Ka Chunk" - the ka-chunk rule is always in force, you can tag it for dice when using any weapon (ka SHING for swords etc.) or strike a pose if using martial arts/sorcery etc. Whatever.
And you can compel it too. Though doing so is pretty much just a silly way of passing dice around.

"That's boring" - a duplicate of an action already performed within living memory is a 1 die penalty. Though with the 'stunt' rule I doubt this will ever matter.

"Suddenly..." - the GM can, at any time, offer the players a fate point (or vice versa) in order to declare that ninja, or monkeys, or robots, or time-travelling-robo-monkey-ninja attack.
Of course the GM can just bring them into the plot - but the players being allowed to declare them just purely for a chance to do something is interesting. Also usable as a distraction, to cover their embarrassment, or to aid when negotiating a bank loan.
 

Kiero

Retiring User
Validated User
And I think I'd keep stress tracks. I can't believe how often I've been saying that lately, but Feng Shui seems like a game where people ought to have a few close calls without taking consequences.
I agree with this entirely. If ever there was a hack that requires Stress tracks, it's Feng Shui. Though they'd definitely be Stress-as-hit points, to stop it being boring.

Otherwise I'm not seeing a lot beyond flavour that actually needs to be "converted". Characters condense neatly into Aspects, Skills and Stunts. There'd need to be a tweaking of the Skills list, in particular some consideration over whether Fists and Weapons should be merged or not.

As usual I'd go with Generic Stunts, mostly because I hate trees of powers and the sheer volume of detail in SotC's Stunts.

Mooks are minions. Named characters now come in two flavours - those with Fate Points and those without.

I'm not quite sure where people are getting the idea Feng Shui is all about martial arts, though. It's the "Hong Kong action movie game", not the "Martial arts movie game". Chow Yun Fat's gunplay is as much an important part of it as Jet Li and Jackie Chan.
 

Will

New member
Banned
That, and Feng Shui has arcanowave and a lot of weird non-martial arts stuff as it is.


I've been reading Dresden Files RPG, and it has a number of Fate tweaks that I think would work nicely for Feng Shui.

Characters have 'refresh,' the amount of fate points you start a session with. Various special abilities lower refresh points, so it asks as a natural balance between free, flexible low-powered characters and high power low refresh types.

There are archetypes, packages of abilities, that have minimum refresh costs.

This would be a great way to handle lots of Feng Shui archetypes, and the abilities provided in DFRPG include things you'd want, like inhuman strength and so on.

I don't know if DFRPG is the best variant, the only other one I've read is SotC -- though, given evolution and the thematic focus of DFRPG, I suspect it's the best launch point.


Vitenka:
The 'declare yourself to have died' thing has a great implementation in DF. In DF, it's more along the lines of 'grab a bunch of power and push your refresh below 1, which turns you into an NPC' which isn't terribly different from 'death.'
 

Springaldjack

Mothman Analogue Diogenes
I've been reading Dresden Files RPG, and it has a number of Fate tweaks that I think would work nicely for Feng Shui.

Characters have 'refresh,' the amount of fate points you start a session with. Various special abilities lower refresh points, so it asks as a natural balance between free, flexible low-powered characters and high power low refresh types.

There are archetypes, packages of abilities, that have minimum refresh costs.

This would be a great way to handle lots of Feng Shui archetypes, and the abilities provided in DFRPG include things you'd want, like inhuman strength and so on.

I don't know if DFRPG is the best variant, the only other one I've read is SotC -- though, given evolution and the thematic focus of DFRPG, I suspect it's the best launch point.


Vitenka:
The 'declare yourself to have died' thing has a great implementation in DF. In DF, it's more along the lines of 'grab a bunch of power and push your refresh below 1, which turns you into an NPC' which isn't terribly different from 'death.'
I definitely think that DFRPG is the way to start. Although many FS magicians may very well have Evocation but no Thaumaturgy.

It's also worthwhile to note that in Dresden Files, if you have no inhuman powers you get an extra 2 refresh. Mundane mortals are luckier.

Also regarding the death thing, check out the rules for death curses.
 

SibKhatru

Registered User
Validated User
I love most of the fluff of Feng Shui but the mechanics feel aged, so I'm considering a hack that mixes OTE, Fate, and.... Heroquest.

My motive is that I like the pick and "plug and play" archetypes sort of ease of FS, and rolling just a d20 under a target number is cool. And, the HQ mastery system seems like a good fit.

It's all mashed up right now in my head, but I'm thinking a fate point economy would add +2 to a target number (generally) so that "masterful" actions are narrated in a mechanically-fitted manner.

My idea is that the OTE "trait" idea just expands to the broader descriptive methodology of HQ.

I might allow Fate spends to reduce a level of damage, too, sorta like the drama point spends in cinematic unisys.

The character-style-schtick tri-trait thing is nifty, but I think a HQ approach lets the players dabble and such.
 

Vitenka

New member
Oh, I agree it's not all martial arts. But 'arcanowave style' and 'blazing guns' style are still... well, stylish :)

As for dresden - I keep kinda thinking I might like to pick it up after hearing about it on "Masterplan" podcast. But I know NOTHING of Dresden, I hear it's a series of books or something? And actual fate-as-written is WAY too heavy for me.
 

Will

New member
Banned
It's a long series, yes. All I've read is the first book, and watched some of the TV shows. I actually could care less that it's Dresden Files (I didn't like the first book, though fans keep telling me it gets a LOT better).

I don't think you have to like or even know Dresden Files to find the book interesting/useful... I've been contemplating how to use DFRPG for a Lovecraftian game and for traditional fantasy.
 
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