20 Aug 2016

potatodialogues: (Default)
"Most challenging but rewarding system you have learned?"

Without a doubt, despite how easy it actually is as a system once you've gotten the gist of it, Fate Core was the most challenging system I've had to learn. The gameplay is pretty easy once you know the set actions you can do and what they can be used for (e.g., create advantage or overcome obstacles), but I find character creation fairly difficult.

The skills part of the character sheet is fine, and I think the stunts follow a fairly easy-to-use template, but the aspects are always, regardless of how many games I play of it, just maddeningly frustrating. This is even more true of characters I have to use for campaigns that last more than one session long. I am, in fact, on my fourth game of Fate Core. There's just no clear, objective metric to it that I can digest properly, so judging whether an aspect is good or not, or suitable or not, is often something I struggle with and leave for the rest of the table to decide. Perhaps I'm just overthinking things, or maybe I'm not thinking enough, but nothing is evocative enough, or useful enough, or accurate enough, or has just the enough number of words. I find the samples in the book fairly terrible and lack a certain sense of consistency as well, though I have heard good things about War of Ashes sample aspects, so I might give it a try soon.

There was also a challenge of unlearning the more traditional sequences in roleplaying games, like for example asking about initiative and turn order, but I feel that I didn't have that much difficulty there compared to character generation. What did help me transition to Fate was playing Dungeon World a few times, as being a simple, narrative-focused system that removes you from the more numerical mindsets of crunchier games but places you in familiar setting with enough familiar terms that it's not such a jarring change.

But anyway, once I've completed the massive hurdle of creating a character, I find that Fate is a system that is rewarding to play in campaigns. The movesets and skills are simple but flexible, and support an endless variety of actions you can think for your character to take. The system can be used for a lot of different settings, as evidenced by the numerous small-book releases using it for their gameplay. Contests are easy to facilitate even from a player standpoint, and the focus on aspects and narratives can be exciting and lead to great storytelling. I've never not had fun in a Fate session, despite playing it with different people, some of them complete strangers.

It's just, you know. I want to be able to create aspects, and have them be accepted with only minor revisions!