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Sass & Sorcery

Tempting FATE: The Force and Other Setting Considerations

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We've covered the main mechanical aspects of FATE, as they relate to Star Wars; in both the Skills and Stunts posts, we referenced the Force in one fashion or another. So now it's time to describe the Force, how it works, and so forth, within the context of FATE.

By now, most of us geeky types understand the Force, either by casual watching of the films or a more in-depth, analytical look at the philosophies that emerge. And the arguments over the nature of the Force. Oh, the arguments.

Both of the existing licensed Star Wars games (d6 and d20) treat the Force as an objective source of moral authority, independent of sapient interpretations, and use some sort of mechanic by which the Dark Side gains hold of a character. After doing some reflecting on the films' presentation, I believe this approach to be ... not interesting enough for FATE. (Or any Star Wars game, for that matter, but that's a whole rant on its own :P)

Aspects and the Fate point economy provide us with everything already; there's no need to make anything new. Compels are a perfect representation of the Force's faces (say that ten times fast~!), right out of the box. And the stress of conflict can bring out some pretty dark facets of a character's personality (Consequences!), which are then exploitable.


It occurred to me while writing the last post that I neglected to elaborate on the trappings (read: uses) of Use the Force in the Skills post. A Skill that requires Stunts to utilize is a very dull skill, indeed, so we'll add some basic trappings that don't require anything but the skill itself. To do this, we'll start with SotC's Mysteries trappings, then move onto Saga Edition's skill and Jedi talents.

Sixth Sense is good ("I sense something, a presence I've not felt since..."), as is Fortune-Telling ("I see a city in the clouds...").

I'd also allow Use the Force to compliment other skills (+1 to the roll), when the character can take the time to focus. Which should be uncommon, if not rare, for a pulpy adventure feel One caveat: when used on Force sensitives, augmenting an Empathy roll should be nice and easy ("Much anger in him. Like his father.").

On the Saga Edition side, perhaps telekinetically moving small objects, and Sense Surroundings (tied into Sixth Sense above).

No Star Wars game should be complete without looking at a Jedi's weapon. In Spirit of the Century, weapons aren't anything more than flavor (and range), and Star Wars should be no different. Most of the fancy lightsabering is already assumed by the system as part of combat, so we don't need a mess of new rules.

About the only thing we have to say is on Advantage. In FATE, advantage is the model of superior weaponry (or armor) and is represented as a +1 for the party with it; this is negated by framing an action to take advantage into consideration. When using a lightsaber, one may be able to negate a blaster's advantage due to range, or gain advantage due to only being blocked by another lightsaber.

(Well, advantage, consequences and concessions. Consequences and concessions are FATE shorthand for "your lightsaber cut off my arm / hand / gun barrel / speeder bike stabilization doohickey." Followed by the Wilhelm scream #4.)

I think that'll do it for this Star Wars hack. I really can't think of anything else that needs to be added or changed in FATE to make it more Star Wars. Now to find some poor suckers ... erm, intrepid players to play it ... ^_^

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