Whoops, haven’t updated this in some time.
I’ve noticed that the more actual gaming I seem to be doing, the less writing about gaming I do. Now I’m well into running Fatescape (and writing other material for Pathfinder) I find myself less inclined to post theoretical musings here.
Anyway, that said I’m about to muse about Fatescape and the various issues that have come up. In some ways this is also so that I’ve got a record of what needs fixing, since I’m working on other projects at the moment.
- Archery sucks. It needs beefing up, since most D&D-style combat takes place at ranges short enough that ‘two zones’ is overkill.
- The stunts need rebalancing. This is most obvious in the case of Weapons, which has basically terrible stunts, but they really do need to be adjusted so that an equal ‘investment’ into a tree brings more-or-less equal results. I’ve written some new Weapons stunts, somewhere, but not presented them yet.
- The presentation’s not great. Some of this is unavoidable (page xx) but I think the skill rules should all be rolled together under each skill, since right now people are having trouble finding things like the first aid rules. This is probably going to require an extensive rewrite, which I’m not looking forward to, so we’ll see how it goes.
- Character design is A Thing. I was helping my girlfriend (non-roleplayer) build a character so she could play, and I discovered that FATE pretty much requires you to have a concept before you begin. One of the strengths of D&D’s class/race system is that you can get going after making only a few decisions – fewer if you’re playing 4e and content to go with one of the recommended packages. My plan for this is to re-organise the writing so that the stunts are tied not to skills but more to archetypes: here’s a tree for bard-type stunts, here’s one for wizard-type stunts, here’s one for fighter-type stunts, etc. I’ll do that at the same time as stunt re-balancing, but it’s another big slice of project that’s going to take serious time.
- Racial aspects. A friend of mine (also playtesting) suggested that if someone wants to be a non-human race then they should get a free aspect to that effect, as spending one of your aspects on it feels like a bad deal. I’m in two minds about this one, but I’m inclined to include it. Aspects aren’t really an unbalancing factor between characters, so having one more or less is unlikely to be problematic.
- Psionic power points. I’m wondering about lowering the costs of using psychic powers.
- Monster rules. After a moment when a beholder was nearly killed by a bunch of 2nd-level characters, I’ve abandoned the idea that monsters should use the same (or similar) build rules as PCs; I’ll give them skills, aspects, and whatever health and special abilities they need to be a credible threat. I’ll probably keep making humanoid NPCs using PC rules, though.
- The chase rules are non-functional. They just fail to produce an ending to the chase. They need a total rewrite, which is probably my top priority before another chase happens.
It can be a little demoralising to watch your system fall apart in front of you, but this is what playtesting’s all about.