Learning Challenge: Fate Game - Days 4-6

I've been pretty lax in posting updates about my progress with making my Fate game but hope to make up for it with a larger post on why I chose Fate for this game.

Fate was originally a hack on the popular Fudge RPG. Fudge is one of my favorite RPG systems as it has an object-oriented approach to gaming. Characters have skills, have attributes, take stress, etc. Fate built upon this foundation by formalizing a Fudge build and introducing the "Fate Fractal" where any game element can be a character. Fate Core simplified the game further with aspects, skills ans stunts. So a locked door could have the aspect "none shall pass without magic" and "humans can't budge me" where the characters would need to have some aspect, stunt or skill to open the door. (in this case a thief might be a demi-human and use that aspect to open the door. Or a magic user might say "I can unlock the door with a spell".) The nice part of this system is it gives the players some agency in solving the problem rather than burying them with stats that may or may not fit the adventure.

Because Fate can be easily modeled to other environments I felt it was perfect for the 1970s-1980s computer building game that I envisioned. I can model different elements (the computer the characters are building, the competition they face, the press they have to impress, etc.) using the same mechanics. I thought about trying something similar with board game mechanics or even a video game, but the more I read about Fate the more I'm convinced that it can model what I am envisioning. Plus the more I learn about Fate the more it is influencing the design in ways I find appealing. Fate is helping me design with more focus on giving the players agency in using Fate Points (the game's currency for players to declare a fact, or for the GM to compel the players to do something they might not normally pick).

It's been liberating to design under the Fate framework. I can see why this is so popular with designers; it gives lots of ways to give a design life without strangling it in "well, that's nice, but you'll need to find the corresponding rule to make that happen, or write something that hopefully doesn't break the current system".

And I'm having fun. That is the most important part of this whole exercise.


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