Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FATE and Aspects

I've recently gotten into FATE and I think my favorite part about the whole system is Aspects and how easy they are to pretty much port over to any system that uses any kind of character resource. In D&D? They govern action points. New World of Darkness? Willpower or supernatural power sources. Mutants & Masterminds? This is a great use of Hero Points! It also struck me that scenes can have Aspects, and in Strands of Fate these can be either “always on,” such as a room that's always dark, or the slippery surface of an icy slope. There is, however, another use that slipped into my head while reading the books: settings having their own aspects. Allowing players to tag or compel setting aspects adds another layer of control and direction while still allowing the GM to retain some control over the direction of the plot. I think the next time I run a game in my novel setting, I'll use some measure of this. A player can compel the setting to react a certain way based upon presumptions given by the setting's aspects, or perhaps even tag them to get Fate points when participating in the genre.

For example, the setting I will be running will have the following aspects to start:

Raygun Gothic, Indigenous Mythology, Mythic West, Everything's Better With Dinosaurs, Lovecraft Country, Functional Magic, Suffering Equals Power, Powered by a Forsaken Child, Anthropomorphic Personification, Abracapocalypse

That's ten aspects, each one taggable to some degree by characters and to perhaps even be compelled. There's still a lot more work to be done regarding how it might be done, but it's a start. I'll talk about invoking or compelling these aspects in a later post, since it's just musing for now.

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