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Topics - robiswrong

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Hey, all,

I'm thinking of starting up an old-school, dungeon crawl style game.  Megadungeon by a city, whoever shows plays, pick your character when you play, the whole nine yards.

The obvious choices for system are AD&D (1e) or B/X (Moldvay preferred).  There's OD&D too, of course.  These having xp for gp by default is definitely a plus.

Are there any other systems that would be worth checking out?  I've considered DCC, but it might be slightly more gonzo than I'm really looking for.

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So, anybody seen this yet?  My copy just showed up.  Apparently this is one of the big games in Spain, and there was a Kickstarter to bring it to the US.

Beautiful game, with a nice picture of a red dragon fighting a guy on the front.

Intro by Mentzer.

Elf, Dwarf, and Halfling are classes.

XP for GP.

Amazing production values.

This could become my favorite retroclone.

I'll post pics in a bit.

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Happy day :)

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Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / It's rather cute.
« on: June 20, 2014, 08:30:41 pm »
A guy on a Facebook group I'm part of came up with the idea of having a list of encounters for an outdoors geographical area, keyed by location, and then letting the players move around on this grid, and then they could run into various encounters in a non-linear fashion.

The more things change, I guess.

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Okay, so I figured I've seen some people mention Fate, and I've got a pretty good idea of the system, so I'll answer questions people have.

Just to be clear, my background is playing D&D and other games (GURPS, Vampire, a little Shadowrun, bunch of other stuff) since around '81?  '82?  Can't remember exactly.  When I first heard about Fate, I had a lot of misconceptions about it, mostly around "the players always win, you just roll to see how awesome you are" and "where's the challenge?" and stuff like that.  I've gotten through that curve, and am happy to talk to others about what the game is really like, especially if you think things like I've just described.

I'm not proposing Fate as the be-all, end-all of gaming.  If D&D is a sports car, then Fate is a truck.  Trucks do different things than sports cars.  You might never need or want a truck.  Even if you do, it's not a 'replacement' for a sports car, and you'll use the sports car and the truck for different things.

The games I've spent the most on in the last bit are:

AD&D (1st ed)
GURPS 4e
Fate

I don't want the prior two to become Fate, and I don't want Fate to become the first two.  Again, sport cars and trucks.  So don't take anything I say here as an attempt to convert people away from those "old-fashioned" games - I *like* them, and prefer to play them in a truly old-school way.  If I could find what I call a "paleo" campaign, I'd be all over that in a heartbeat.

Anyway, I'll start with some basics.

Q: Is Fate a story game?
A: Sort of.  It's not something like My Life With Master, or Fiasco, or Primetime Adventures.  It's far closer to a traditional game than that.  The main area where it differs from traditional games is that it attempts to model how things work in "fiction", including story structure to an extent.  But it does so primarily using more traditional mechanics - skills, stunts (which are like feats/advantages).  There's a few things that don't really map well to more "traditional" structures, though.

Q: Is Fate one of those "roll to see how awesome you are" games?
A: Hell, no.  One of the hardest things for new-to-Fate players is getting used to the idea that failure is pretty normal in Fate.  In fact, if there's no chance of failure, you normally don't roll.  The game drives pretty hard to every roll having a reasonable chance of failure.

Q: Is Fate a game where you're on some linear railroad path?
A: Gods, no.  That's considered pretty crappy gaming in Fate circles.  You're supposed to let players tackle the situation how they want, and let them deal with the consequences of what they do.

Q: So the GM just has to do what the players want?
A: Uh, no.  The players, in general, will decide how they respond to a situation, but it's the GM's job to make that difficult and throw up obstacles.  If the players try something that just doesn't make sense in the world, the GM is perfectly free to say "that doesn't make sense".

Q: So, what is Fate good at, then?
A: Games that center around a set of characters, and the challenges they face.  Yeah, that sounds like "an RPG", but Fate shines when the characters *are* the center of the story.  A good example would be a TV show.  Your main characters are protagonists.  The show is *about* them, but that doesn't have to mean that they always win or that bad things never happen to them.  And if there were different characters, it'd be a show/plot in many ways.

Q: You said Fate isn't good at everything.  I don't think you believe that.  What *wouldn't* you use it for, smartass?
A: Well, "paleo" campaigns where each player has a number of characters, and the world really doesn't care about them aren't well done with Fate.  Most games where the point of the game is to overcome a set challenge, and figuring that out is the point - most old-school D&D modules fit in this category.  A game where exercising a heavy tactical combat system is the point - I wouldn't run X-COM: The RPG using Fate.  And any game with a linear plot/story/path isn't a good match for Fate, as the game gives players too many ways to derail things.  And lastly, any game where you want the game to mostly be around "system mastery" and figuring out the ins and outs of the mechanical game systems isn't a match for Fate at all.

Q: Can characters die?
A: Absolutely.  It's not super-common, but the players don't have to "agree" to it, either.  Characters have the option of "conceding" out of fights, but that carries its own set of penalties.  But if a character doesn't concede, it's absolutely possible for them to die.  Additionally, fights have a high likelihood of marking the character with a "consequence" which can last anywhere from just a "scene" to being a permanent change to the character.  So even if you win a fight, or lose without dying, it's unlikely that you'll get away with no harm.  In some ways, it can be more harsh than D&D or many other games where most fights will just end up with easily-cured hit point damage.  Consequences have minimum amounts of time that they'll impact you, and there's no real way around that.

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