I spend a lot of time now working on Fate. Part of it is just tinkering with a setting (like the Old West one I am making) and another is the actual fantasy game I am making using the system (Kushara’s Fate).
I am still trying to figure out just how I want to go about doing this.
My first question has to do with the amount of skill each player/npc will have. Fate Core’s highest skill rank is +4 Great and you have ten total skills. I both like and dislike this.
I like it because with only ten skills, it really makes you think about what skills you want your character to have. Mostly due to the fact that you don’t have that many to choose from and just makes it harder. It looks like this:
But if your character is a fighter, you will obviously have that skill as your apex skill. Then maybe some kind of endurance or speed skills as well. The rest are just what you want your character to be. This is not an easy decision, since you only have a few skills that you are really good at.
The downside to that is just what I was saying. I sat here making a character last night and I must have played around with the skills for over thirty minutes, just cuz I could not make up my mind. It got a big annoying, but I also overthink things, so the annoyance did not last long. Also, if you don’t do it right, your character can be a bit lacking.
The alternative is to do what they did in DFRPG, which was to make +5 Superb the apex skill. It looks the same for the most part. It looks like this:
This adds five more skills to the games and definitely gives more options to the player. I like this, but it does miss that sense of importance in choosing the skills since there are more to choose. An urgency that is there knowing that there is probably a skill you would like to have that is going to have to be left off due to not having any left.
I am going back and forth on this today.
This is why this is hard. Say my character is a magic user. One idea I have is that they choose the element and put it on what skill level they want. Like +4 Great Fire. That is the level they can cast at. But if they wanted to choose another element, it could be up to half of the higher level. So, they could have a +2 fair Earth. Or something like this. The idea being they have to have at least a +2 Fair to be able to cast a spell in each particular element.
+4 Magic (Fire)
+3 Will, spycraft
+2 Magic (Earth), agility, guile,
+1 Ranged weapon (bow), stealth, rapport, endurance
But if used the superb apex, it could look like this.
+5 magic (fire)
=4 Will, spycraft
+3 agility, guile, rapport
+2 Magic (earth), ranged weapons (bow), stealth, endurance, crafting
+1 wealth, melee weapon (sword), contacts, perception, survival
You get more skills, but I sometimes feel like you are just adding skills at +1 average to get it done. Skills that you don’t think you will ever use, but you have to put something there.
So, I am still undecided on this. I find myself leaning towards the way DFRPG does it, but then again, I don’t want the game to be TOO much like that. Is 10 skills enough for a campaign game? For a one shot it has worked well so far.