Author Topic: Dice less gming FATE - stealing from RedMarket  (Read 4694 times)


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Dice less gming FATE - stealing from RedMarket
« on: January 25, 2016, 03:52:03 AM »
As a long time gamemaster used to openly roll dice, I was immediately in love with RedMarkets concept of a GM not rolling dice to resolve action - it happens, unless PCs act against it.
After running several scenarios of FATE (BaseRaiders, but also generic FATE), I run an experiment last Friday, which was quite succesfull, so I am sharing. And I would like to hear about DMs tweaking FATE.

Simply put, the average roll in FATE is 0, with about two thirds of the results being either -1, 0 or +1. Thus assuming a results of 0 is relatively accurate.

Tweak 1:
As DM, I don't roll dices anymore, however I set a malus to PC actions equal to the difficulty of the task or in case of opposition to the relevant talent of the NPC.
Exemple: PC (Fight skill of +3) fights NPC (athletic skill of +2), so unless additional modifiers, PC rolls at -2 to attack against the NPC trying to dodge.

Advantage: faster (I don't have to roll), and the final result can directly be interpreted on the generic FATE scale as an average, good or legendary success.

Tweak 2:
Since the players know exactly the difficulty they are up against, the DM is the last one to be able to spend FATE point to use Aspect - thus influencing the final results. Players can still spend point after their roll as usual, but not after the DM decide to use some aspects.

Exemple (same scene): PC rolls a final +1 and keeps this results - which would result in him hitting the NPC. The GM decides to use "Slippery as an eel" to give a +2 to the NPC (or -2 to the roll), ending up with a final -1. The player cannot use an aspect to up the ante. However, he could have used beforehand "SWAT training" to boost his results from +1 to +3. Now too late, the NPC is escaping.

Why tweak 2? To still leave some uncertainty. Also the players will commit to an action and spent FATE on what really is important for them to secure an outcome, regardless of the results. Whereas currently, players can wait the result of the DM and then afterwards decide to use Aspect. It slows down the game and put more emphasize on managing ressources than storytelling.

To keep using the same example: if capturing NPC was so important, the player would have spent an additional FATE point to secure the results. By not doing so, it somehow reflects that catching this guy is not so important, or that they underestimate him. They will make the mistake once, not twice.

My players' response was very positive. They found that it was definitely speeding up the system, they found it somehow more stressful as there was always the risk that I would pull an Aspect to foil their attempt, unless they succeeded with a spin, which they were fine with.

On my side, I did not mind showing them my hand, in fact, it was feeling less arbitrary than hidding the stat of the NPC. There was also this moment when suddendly, confronted to a NPC, a PC had to roll at -7... he suddendly realise how out of his depth he was. It was more like, "Ooops, I think we stumbled on the real boss of the story, she is not a collateral victim or even a simple agent, but she is the puppeteer behind the scene". Which was exactly the outcome I was aiming at. And yes, she escaped, to be return soon.

I believe it can work for Atomic Robo. For BaseRaider, further tweaking might be needed: either use a flat -2/+2 for each Power tier difference (as it was already mentionned somewhere), or require a spin for one Tier difference and give automatic fail if there is more than one tier difference regardless of the talent value itself. The second option is a bit harsher, but otherwise, a tier level simply = 2 skills points, whereas it costs a lot of Fate point to buy Tier power (considering that you can trade one FATE point for 5 skill points at the creation, it mathematically better to aim at a lower tier and buy more skill with the additional point).


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Re: Dice less gming FATE - stealing from RedMarket
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 03:12:54 AM »
It sounds like something I should try out myself - I would probably try to integrate some ideas from Dungeon World/PbTA engine games as well. Perhaps a compel/complication happens every time the player rolls less than an excellent success?

D6xD6 - Chris

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Re: Dice less gming FATE - stealing from RedMarket
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2016, 07:55:54 AM »
I like the ideas.  One other thing to add:  the Cipher system (Numenera, The Strange ) also does no GM rolls, and players get XP for allowing GM "intrusions," which are similar to compels in Fate, just more broad and situation-based.