My three Fate Core one shot ideas...

So, I thought I would go into more detail about the three scenarios I am thinking about creating for Fate Core. These are just one shots to get the mind flowing on the system.

#1. The good, the bad, and the Fate.

The setting. It is the Old west. Serenity Hill. A small town in the middle of nowhere. Outlaws owning the roads and robbing the trains. The law doing everything they can just to survive. Six shooters blazing at will. Something lurking in the darkness.

Serenity Hill is a town that was once bustling and thriving in the world. People had a good life and the law made sure it was safe. Crops were bountiful to not only live on, but to trade to the nearest city of Riverwood. Times were prosperous. People were happy.

But as things often do, things changed quickly. Rumors of a vast amount of gold in the west sent a large majority of people off to find their fortune. Because not matt how wealthy one can be, you can always want more.

Now, the town struggles to survive with less people to tend the crops, and the two largest families on the verge of a feud. Not to mention the outlaws that constantly raid the town and demand tithes. Oh and then there are the creatures in the dark…

Who are you?  You are a company that was hired by the governor of the state to bring order to the region. You roam from town to town trying to help people fight the lawlessness that is taking over the world. Sort of like the Dogs in Dogs in the vineyard, minus the religious component.

#2. Fate’s Gambit.

The setting. Kushara. A fantasy world of magic and wonder. A world ravaged by the elements as natural disasters of all types constantly berate the land. A land where the people struggle to survive the harsh elements and those that rules with an iron fist.

Yet, it is a thriving world where the elements themselves can be wielded to do great deeds or cause mayhem.

Magic, however is forbidden except for those that rule. That cabal is known only as the Devout. The Devout have been in power for as long as anyone can remember, and their belief is that only they are worthy to hold such magic. So, they created sentinels to hunt down anyone else that shows any signs of magic.  Bringing them back alive if they can, killing them if they have no other alternative. These unfortunate souls are known as the wicked (yes, the name needs work).

Recently, you have found out that the Devout have learned of your identity. So, they are sending the Sentinels to ravage your home town of Devon’s Cross. You rush home to save your family (and everyone else if possible), or to help defend the town. Then again, it could be a trap.

Who are you?  One of your characters is a child of Fate and born with the power. Your lives have been a difficult one, since you have spent most of it looking over your shoulder. Allies have been made and friendships have made you strong. Yet, you struggle to find a way to fight back. Is now that time? Or are the Sentinels setting up an ambush in that pass ahead?

#3. Murder by Fate

The setting. The backdrop is a large mansion cascaded in shadows. Rain and lightning battering the manor as if nature itself was raging at its existence.

Four people arrive separately to the mansion via limousine service.  Yet, none of you know why you were invited. Your only clue was a letter addressed to each of you requesting your presence on this day, and a promise that the information you received would only further your ambitions.

What you don’t know is that you have been enticed to this place and time because each of you has wronged someone in the past. Someone with enough power to lure you to this place.

Someone who plans on killing all of you.

Who are you? Four strangers trapped in a house on this dark and stormy night. After the initial sequence you are left on your own in the mansion. What secrets does it hold? Who is the person behind this?

The four of you have to decide on how to move forward. You may have survived initially, but the mansion is massive and danger could be lurking around every corner.

Can you trust the others enough to work together to find the person behind this?
Or do the others feel “wrong” to you and you know the only person you can trust is yourself?

The choice is yours, but you must find a way to survive the night.


My thoughts on Fate Core after playing it a few times...

So, I have played the updated Fate Core a few times lately, and wanted to give a few thoughts on how it plays.

Now a lot of people have read the pdf by now, but there are some changes from some of the older versions of Fate.  A few of them are:
-You only start with a health and mental track of two. Yes, if you choose physique or will, it increases but since everyone doesn’t always choose those skills, the game seems a hell of a lot more dangerous for your character.
-When a player (or npc) take a consequence, it can be used as an advantage (what tagging used to be) for free.
-You get 20 skill points only, which comes up to 10 actual skills.(1, great, 2, good, 3 fair, and 4 average). This makes it really important for you to choose which skills work for you in the game.
-You start out with 3 fate points, and if you want a stunt it subtracts from that (but the first stunt is free). So, you start out with usually 1 or 2 fate points to start.
-You can now invoke an aspect to make the npc (or another player) overcome an obstacle. This basically is replacing the block action on a turn. I haven’t done this one yet, mostly because it is hard to remember to do it. It is an interesting idea.
-One cool thing I really like is that if you fail a roll, you can actually still succeed but at a cost. This is a very cool thing and since you don’t start out with that many fate points, it gives you another way to succeed.  Also if you tie, you can succeed, but at minor cost. Nice.
-They have created a boost. It is basically like tagging an aspect, but it is free and you can only use it once and then it is gone.
-If you (or the npc) succeeds at an action and get 3 or more shifts, you succeed with style. You actually get bonuses and/or extra advantages when creating them.

There might be a few more, but that is what I am remembering at this point.

So, what I got out of this was just how dangerous the game is now. I played a Star Wars game last week and someone almost died in the first scene. It was a bit brutal. With a smaller health track, it means you will be taking consequences pretty quickly if things go bad. Combine that with the fact that those consequences can be tagged for free, just intensifies that.

The other thing you get is that is just written so much cleaner. Everything they changed seems to speed the game along. Which has been one of the few issues I have had with the system over the years. Sometimes conflicts could take a while to resolve. Now, they seem to go at an almost super human speed.

Also, since it is a blank slate, people are going crazy with coming up with their own scenarios. If you want a Star Wars game, you make it. If you want a game set in the civil war, but with werewolves, you do it. It is very easy to create the world with this game and is kind of fun to see what everyone is making with it.

So, Fate Core is awesome. They took everything that was great about the system and cleaned it up a bit. It is decidedly harder for the characters to survive, but I don’t see that as a bad thing at all. Not to mention, you can still tweak it how you want and give them more skills or a higher health/mental track if you wish. The game yells flexibility.


Fate Core Star Wars...the recap.

So, we played our first session of the Fate Core Star Wars game last night. It was also the first time I really played the game with the new tweaks in the system. A lot of little changes that really speeds the game up, but makes it much more dangerous for the players.

So, this was a pretty hastily put together micro version of the Star Wars universe. Taking place at the beginning of the Jedi Knight order, and taking place in Corellia. The world had some of the usual tpes. A power hungry Hutt, the beginning of what would be the Sith, an alien type empire bent do conquering the galaxy…and only the Jedi to stop them!

You know, the usual.

The game itself ran pretty smoothly via hangout. One of the biggest issues is that one of our players is not a English speaker, so it is hard to understand him sometimes. That isn’t his fault, and for all I know he may have an equally hard time understand us. Is just one of those things you don’t have much control over.

A few highlights from the night.

My character Krax Inkari, doing a force jump and attacking a dark jedi in the face, while they were riding a dark side influence rancor. Yep, rancor.

Sadly, the next thing that happened was Zaen (one of the other jedi) then got stomped on by the Rancor and took an severe consequence not even 5 minutes into the fight. Holy shit.

The dark jedi ended up being Galen’s (the other jedi in the group) sister, and my ex-lover. She was being groomed by the evil jedi Taelros , and my character got a good enough roll to bring her away from the dark side.

As we were leaving some bounty hunter types that galen owed money, ambushed our party as we were getting into our ships. That is where we quit,


Fate Core will #$@$ you up. The smaller health and mental tracks make the game so much more deadly. Especially with the addition of more ways to get advantages and boosts (what used to be called tags). A player almost died in the first fight. IT was nuts.

The game goes much faster, which has always been one of the issues with Fate sometimes. They cleaned up a lot of that and the game flows much better now. That is damn cool.

I like that you can play pretty much whatever you wish. Star Wars. WWII with steampunk. Old West. Knights of the Round table. It doesn’t matter, you just have to create the setting for it. This is why so many people are so excited about this.

It was a lot of fun.

You can go watch our you tube video of this at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h2_gJTMT5LQ


My Fate Core Star Wars character for tonight.

Krax Inkari

Race: Twi’lek
Description. Krax has a light blue skin and is about 5 foot 6 and has a lithe body. He is a Jedi, so he typically is wearing a grey robe and his lightsaber is purple..

High Concept: Twi’lek Jedi investigator
Dark side: When evil gains hold in the world
Aspect; Some wounds never completely heal
Aspect: Blindly loyal, fiercely protective
Aspect: Everything starts with a plan

Great +4 Investigation
Good+3: Athletics, Rapport
Fair +2 Fighting, Stealth, Empathy
Average +1 Physique, Will, Lore, Notice

Stunt 1. Force speed +2 to dodge attacks.
Stunt 2. The Power of Deduction. Once per scene you can spend a fate point
(and a few minutes of observation) to make a special Investigation
roll representing your potent deductive faculties. You may discover or
create an aspect for each shift you make on this roll, on either the scene
or the target of your observations, though you may only invoke one of
them for free.

My first adventure: Naive in the matters of the heart, Krax was lured to a remote jungle location by fellow apprentice Aria Orion They had had an on again and off again romance during their time together at the academy. Aria was upset that Krax had shown interest in another student and wanted to teach him a lesson. She drugged him with a bothan red and left him in the jungle to find his way back to the temple On his way back to the temple  Krax was then attacked by a Rancor and left for dead. The attack left Krxa with a knee injury.
Aspect: Some wounds never completely heal.

Crossing path-Galen Orion. Krax found out that Aria Orion was kidnapped by Kreega the Hutt.

Krax finds word of this and although things had not gone as planned for him with Aria, he knew he must save her. Krax charges blindly to her rescue, not knowing that  negotiations were almost finished, and she was about to be release. His appearance started a firefight during the negotiation, and Krax barely made it out alive. Aria vowed he would pay for nearly getting her killed.
Aspect: Blindly loyal, fiercely protective

Crossing path-Zaen Moor. Zaen was part of the crew which tried to take over a ship with Jedi’s Taelros and Sovi Duan.

Krax joins the battle against the pirates and as the battle rages on, plan after plan fails. Finally, the Krax makes his stand and defeats a group of pirates that had trapped him in a corridor.
Aspect: When a good plan falls apart, there is always my lightsaber.

Health track=3
Mental track=3


Shadow of the Century!

So, over on the Fate Core Kickstarter page they came up things have been movin’ on along. Stretch goal after stretch goal has been met, and one can only wonder how they can top what they have already done.

Well, not anymore.

Introducing, Shadow of the Century

Holy shit.

Those were the exact words that popped out of my mouth when I started reading that they were taking the Spirit of the Century and moving it forward about 60 years to 1984. The centurions are have been outlawed and the Shadows are in power.

It is up to a new batch of heroes to try to save the day.

This kicks ass on so many levels. Sotc was such a great game and to this day I am always happy to get to play it when I can. But the idea of moving the story forward, and especially with the updated Fate Core rules for it, is just amazing.

We got into a huge conversation on Google+ about what kind of heroes that were prevalent in the 80’s. There are just so many tv shows/movies that have heroes that would be awesome in this kind of game.

But that is not the best the part.

The best part is that they are smart enough to take something people love, and make it MORE. I have always loved Sotc, but over the years (especially with other fate games) it began to show its time. This is not really a shot at the game, just at how good the subsequent Fate games have been. This includes another game Evil Hat made by the name of The Dresden Files.

So, when I think about Sotc now, I still love it, but it is obvious the game is too easy for the players. I have always thought this was intentional, since you are the heroes in the game and it is a game to show how awesome you are. 

This is not a bad thing, but it is still amazing to see them update this game and move it forward. I am so damn excited to start hearing about their ideas on this. It still has to reach the goal of…


155,000. They are currently around 137,000. Just 18k more to go. That normally seems like a crazy number, but they reached their current total in just a little over a week.

But if you haven’t backed this, GO DO IT NOW!


DFRPG game I am running...

So, today I started a Dresden Files game via on Google+ via hangout.

Well, we got together to introduce ourselves and to figure out what kind of game we want to actually create and then play. In case you don’t know you actually create the city before you make characters for the game.

So, we also had to figure out what power level to play in the game and get an idea as to what type of characters they wanted to play as well.

So, after introductions were out of the way, discussion started about power level. Now, all I have ran prior was the submerged level (which is the most powerful and most dangerous level of the game), and they wanted a little wiggle room, so we chose Chest Deep (8 refresh and 30 skill points).

Next came the city. One of the issues is that one of the players lives in Britain, and may have felt a bit disconnected from this considering the rest of us are from the United States. But after talking about it, it was narrowed down to New Orleans, and Orlando. We got the impression that NO has been done quite a bit and there is a lot in Orlando that people were interested in.

Just a few of those things regarding locations:
Walt Disney World
The Everglades
The Fountain of Youth
Universal Studios (Harry Potter)
Indian Casinos
Military presence in area
Islands of the coast
Sea World

There were more as well, but this is to give you a taste.

Character wise, they are not sure as of yet. The 8 refresh does give them a chance to be magic users if they wish, but they are still looking into that as we research Orlando. Probably not going to be a roaming band of wizards fighting justice.

Coolest idea? Walt Disney as a clued in mortal and member of the Unseelie Accords.  Disney itself is an Illuminati organization...

Oh and George Lucas may make in the game, if only they can find a way to either kill him or at least make him pay for the last trilogy. I agree whole heartedly.

More on this as we go forth, but with the holidays it will be slow going. 


Why I think Evil Hat is the best. Period.

This doesn't mean I don't love other gaming companies, because I do. I spend quit a bit of money on other gaming companies. This is just why I love Evil Hat the most. :)

This story goes back a few years to my time in New York City.  June of 2008 to be exact. I was going to a mini convention in the city and one of the games people were talking about was Spirit of the Century. Now my gaming background comes from D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, etc. The old school games from the late 80’s to early 90’s.

I was also in the midst of being burned out on gaming. My group had been playing D&D 2nd ed, and we moved on to 3.5…and I really, did not like it. Part of it is that I was burned out of D&D anyways, but 3.5 never really clicked with me. I played it a bit, but never enjoyed it.

Then I played Spirit of the Century.

I had not played any of the “indie” games before and it blew my mind. Just in the ways aspects are handled and the cooperative character creation. I could not believe it. Gone were the days of randomly dungeon crawling for no purpose. To be fair, I am not talking about our games for the most part. My friend Henry runs a pretty mean 2nd ed. But that is what most of D&D did turn into for me. Just let’s go kill stuff and gather gold.

So after playing this game I immediately went online and bought the game, and also Don’t Rest Your Head.  Not long after I found out they were making games from one of my favorite series. The Dresden Files. I then began my campaign to be a part of their playtesting. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but I did make myself a nuisance probably for a bit.

I was selected and life was awesome.

But the cool part about this was at this time we were making our own game. I asked Fred a few questions about game design, and he graciously answered them with quickly and with respect. This was before Google+ and everyone was blogging to get the world out on things. It was just damn cool of him to take time out of his life and answer questions to a fledgling game designer. He might say it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it left an impression on me.

I have always been impressed with Evil Hat. They go about game design and how to run a company doing that in a way that I have always appreciated.  The way they always try to answer questions. They started sending out .pdf’s to anyone that bought any of their products. Also, their honesty. The DFRPG game took much longer than they thought, but they were always there to tell you what was going on. Not making excuses per say, but at least with an answer. Was it an answer a lot of people liked? No, but silence is always worse.

Now they have made quite a few other games as well. So, the company has been doing well for itself for a while and yet there was always that rumor of the Fate Core book coming out. Sometimes I thought it would never happen, especially as time goes on. But every once in a while you would hear a small nugget about it. Just enough to make me go look for it again. Eventually the made the Fate website and started updating it as well.

So, now the book is in kickstarter. I have seen some crazy kickstarter’s and this if you asked anyone outside of the gaming sphere, would not be categorized as such. Like the freaking Shadowrun one that raised almost two million? Wow. But this has been really damn impressive to watch. They made their first goal in 12 minutes. As of right now, they are over 70k and it hasn’t even been 48 hours yet.

And the rewards? Nuts. People in the industry writing modules and mini-campaigns, and a tool-box for the game. A magical one and another just to help the game be more awesome. It will be in hardcover, since that was one of the first stretch goals. And on…and on….and on.

I mean, shit.

I have known the Fate community would love this book. Hell, even Fred knew that. But did anyone see this coming? They have almost 2400 backers?

All of this proves that I am kind of an Evil Hat fan boy at this point. Also, that they are the best damn gaming company out there. That is my opinion, so those of you that do not agree, don’t get your knickers in a twist. Is just what I think. :)

Oh in case you weren't convinced. Look at the freaking picture at the top. A cop with a gun, a female samurai (or ninja or just badass with a sword) and a huge gorilla that looks ready to take someone's head off. Enough said.


So, Fate Core came out and...damn.

Well, unless you are under a rock you have to have seen by now (either by G+, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that the Kickstarter for Fate Core is officially on. You can go here Fate Core to find out more about it, AND to pledge money to it. Obviously.

So, it started around midnight Est. Within 15 minutes, it it has already reached its first goal of 3,000. As of the moment of this post, it has smashed the following goals:

$3,000 Backers $10 and up get a digital fantasy adventure playable using only the Fate Core book.
$6,000 Backers $10 and up get the WW1-meets-Battlestar Galactica mini-campain.

$9,000 Backers $10 and up get a magic system toolkit for Fate Core
$12,000 Release of the pay-what-you-like download in multiple format: pdf, ePub, and mobi.
$16,000 Backers $10 and up get Wild blue, a mash-up of cowboys, fantasy, and superheroes.
$20,000 Backers $10 and up get Court/Ship, an alien invasion drama set during the court of Louis XV

Here are the next goals.

$30,000 Fate core gets published in hardcover.
$35,000 Backers $10 and up get the post-apocalyptic mutant future of Burnshift.
$40,000 Backers $10 and up will explore the live, loves, and dangers of fire fighters in Fight Fire.

There are more unlocked to be found, if and when it gets that high. Which is may. :)

My mind is blown at how fast they are flying through their goals. We all know how awesome Evil Hat is, and a lot of us love their games. But damn. :) It just goes to show how much people will support a company that does things the right way. A company that talks to their customers and truly appreciates their feedback.

This is in a word awesome.

As of this post, quickly approaching 30,000. Wow.


Gaming yesterday at OH Nerd.

So, yesterday I went to an event in Columbus, OH, called Nerd OH. It was an all-day gaming event that started ta 12. They also had board games on Friday, and a discussion about game design today. I got a ride from someone I know in Pittsburgh, and we could not stay for the last part. Even if we really wanted too. This was a last minute thing, so I did not have much time to prepare, and then off we went yesterday morning.

So, the first odd thing. When we got there, the person running it was someone I knew back when I lived in NYC named Aaron. We were part of a group called Nerdnyc (which it still is active today and if you live in NYC and want to game…look them up), and it was just bizarre to run into someone in Ohio. It blew both of our minds and he is a really good guy.

So, Aaron ran our first game of the day…Burning Wheel. I cannot say I am a huge fan of this system. I do really enjoy Mouse Guard, which is based on the system, but this one does not work for me. That isn’t saying we did not have a good time, cuz we did. But the system is a bit took clunky for me and I never really connected with it. Not to mention on one of the Gasp days here in Pitt, I tried to join a campaign of this game. After four hours we did not even finish character creation and if that is the case? It isn’t a game I want to play. It was still fun and there many moments of laughter, but BW is not for me.

The second game was Apocalypse World. I really did this game and its rules (which are also the rules for Dungeon World). This can be a gritty game and can turn kind of ugly really quick depending on whom was running it. The person I came up with and I had already had conversations about what our “triggers” are for games. What will make us want to stop playing them? One thing the GM did that was great was the X card. If someone got too bothered by what happened, they could pick up the card and the story would then veer from whatever was taking it in that direction. I have seen this a few times, but it was still a cool thing to see.

The game itself did not work out as we wished, but only due to running out of time. It does take a little while to make characters in the game and we just ran out of time. What we played was fun and it is something I would love to play again.

The last game I played with Cthulhu Dark. This is a d6 light rules game for one of my favorite mythos. That game itself was ok, but it did derail at the end when we had to kill the person that was taken over by the ancient Chinese sorcerer. I am never a fan of Cthulhu when the end result is that you are just attacking them with weapons. Don’t get me wrong, the game was fun and the GM did a good job of the setting (887 A.D. we were monks and Vikings). Just it did fall apart a bit at the end. Still, with Cthulhu, all is good.

I do wish they would have played Fiasco. The person I came with has written a fairy tell setting for this that is just awesome. We played it last week and it would have been a great ending to the night. Or that I could have gotten into the Monsterhearts game. :)

Saying that, it was a blast. I got to play three games I have never played before. Which is always awesome. I also picked up Tracy Barnett’s game School Daze, cuz it was so damn cheap. So, I will be reading that one soon.

Lastly, it was also cool to get to know this new person that came into my life. That was not meant in a creepy way since she is married. But we gamed together last week and spent almost 7 hours in the car talking on the way there and back. It is always a good thing to get to know new people. Making new friends and all that jazz. She is a very nice (even if she doesn’t like to admit it) and the hours went by without either of us really annoying each other. Which is saying something, cuz I can be damn annoying after being trapped in a car for more than about 10 minutes.