Category Archives: Game Design

Fate Accelerated Idea: Fallout

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If you have been following my blog for a while, you might have read my posts about the Fallout game I’ve been running with Fudge. Recently I looked into switching from Fudge to Fate Core or probably even Fate Accelerated. So you might be wondering why the change? Why not keep running Fudge?

I actually intended to use Fate in the first place but then got cold feet. I just thought a more classic game might be easier for me to handle as a GM. Now that I’ve been reading Fate Core, Fate Accelerated and the more recent Atomic Robo RPG thoroughly I thought I should give Fate another try.

Instead of messing too much with Fate Core I decided to basically use Fate Accelerated and borrow an idea from Green Ronin’s Fate Freeport Companion. In Green Ronin’s variant of Fate they use D&D’s iconic attributes (Strength, Dexterity, etc.) instead of Fate Core’s skills. So instead of using Fate Accelerated’s approaches we’ll be using the attributes from Fallout’s SPECIAL system.

I also intend to use Weapon and Armor Ratings as detailed in the Fate Core rulebook page 277. I still have to think about which weapon or armor should get which rating but that should be easily done.

I even created a character sheet inspired by the awesome one Teo Tayobobayo posted at the Fate Core Google+ community. Here it is:

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If you are an experienced Fate GM and if you have any tips for me, please post below! As always every comment is highly appreciated.

Changing Spells

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On the weekend I played the “Mansions of Madness” board game for the first time. In this Fantasy Flight Games’ board game each player takes control of an investigator exploring a mansion full of cultists and (Cthulhu) Mythos creatures. The game is mission-based and there are about 30 to 40 unique missions. The map of the mansion is tile-based so there’s a lot of variety. One of the players takes the role of the Keeper and controls the investigator’s opponents. Like many other FFG games “Mansions of Madness” has several roleplaying elements, which I like a lot.

One aspect of the game that I like a lot is how spells are handled. For each spell there is a whole deck of cards, which are the same on the front side, but different on the back side. What you have to do to cast the spell never changes, but the effects vary a lot. The spell I got to use several times was “Wither” (at least I guess that’s what it is called. We played the German version of the game). It’s basically a simple attack spell. But because its effects changed constantly, it was interesting and exciting to use every time. One time it had the additional effect of killing humanoid enemies instantly, another time it caused extra damage but also damaged the sanity of the caster. There were also different outcomes when the roll to cast the spell failed.

The way “Mansions of Madness” handled spells got me thinking. Magic is often described as fickle, unpredictable, more art than science, but in most roleplaying games spells always work the same way. Wouldn’t it be cool, if the caster never knew what exactly happens when he or she starts casting? Of course there should be some kind of reliability, but wouldn’t an additional random element not spice things up?

“Mansions of Madness” uses cards for spells, which could work with roleplaying games as well. Alternatively one could create a table for each spell with various effects.  This might not work with every game and every genre, but the way this boardgame handles magic is both interesting and fun and perhaps I might use something similar in a future game design. After all, stealing someone’s ideas is the highest form of flattery, isn’t it? 😉