Fatescape Under Way

Well, the first session in my new Fatescape test game was last night: it didn’t go too badly, all told, although there are a few places where the mechanics need shoring up. I’ve gone with The Shackled City as the module I’m going to run for them.

Translating the dungeon crawls into FATE is tricky, since I’m caught between several conflicting objectives:

  • Presenting the players with meaningful choices between routes through the dungeon.
  • Making sure key scenes get played out.
  • Cutting out as much of the pointless rubbish as possible.

The problem I’ve found is that if I cut all the pointless stuff and focus only on the key scenes, the dungeons become entirely linear. A lot of the meaningful choices in D&D seem to spring not from ‘do I go from A to B or A to C?’ but rather from ‘do I go from A to B via route X or route Y?’

I’m not sure yet how to convert that into FATE terms. The player choice of route from scene to scene should have consequences… hmm. I think there’s something in that, somewhere. I’m thinking some sort of flowchart-based dungeon design, where you map out which paths lead to and from which scenes (since in a site-based dungeon scenes and locations cross over to a great extent) and just make notes regarding the pros and cons of each path.

Yes, I’ll try that for the dungeons in Chapters 2 and 3. The second part of Chapter 1 offers enough interesting choices on its own that I don’t think it needs embellishment, but the following dungeons could do with some brevity.

Categories: Gaming, Theory | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Fatescape Under Way

  1. Seneschal

    The way it ran felt like it was off a flow chart already (I see this as a good thing given the design goals) – we had a choice of routes, picked one, explored stuff down it. If you hadn’t told us about the giant map after, I’d have thought it was a flowchart as published. It feels like there are already consequences in terms of delay due to going the wrong way (from what you’ve said about the original map, I guess speed through it isn’t meant to be a factor, but it feels like it is) – the question isn’t whether one goes ABC or BCA, but rather whether one goes AF or misses clues and wastes vital time going ABCDEF. That’s my perception of what’s going on with the dungeon exploration, anyway.

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