Fate System

A friend of mine is going to be starting an rpg campaign soon using the system Fate Core.  The basic idea of the game is that it is set in the world of Tron, but in a more modern version.  Players will be users or programs and will have a chance to travel the internet and such.  One of the players is going to be a spam bot, another is planning to be an old man who knows nothing about computers stuck in the tron world.  All in all it should be a lot of fun.  

The system we are using is called Fate and is the same system used in the Dresdan Files RPG and a few others, such as Spirit of the Century.  The basic resolution system is very simple, with each player having a rank in a skill between 0 and 4 or 5.  When you do something with that skill you roll four dice.  Each die can either add one, subtract one or add zero.  Thus the range of modifiers is -4 to +4 but the big modifiers are extremely rare.  You are either rolling against some set obstacle or having a versus test between two different characters.  

I like the basic resolution system for its ability to have strong random influences but tendency to not.  The more interesting part of the system however is its use of an element it calls aspects.  Aspects are represented in the rule book as bold phrases.  Each character has a set of aspects, such as Son of the Oil Baron, Quick with a Kind Word, Manors of a Horse or any other little descriptive phrase.  Places and even situations can have aspects as well, with caves having aspects like Dark, Cramped and Filled with Crystals.  Situations might have aspects like Hopeless, On the Edge of Darkness or Giggles and Delight.  Aspects can be used for two differant things.  They can be tapped when you are trying to accomplish something in order to help you succeed.  Tapping an aspect requires that a strong connection exists between the aspect and what you are trying to do and also that you spend a resource called Fate Points.  For example, a swordsman trying to win a battle might tap his aspect Always Fights Dirty in order to get a bonus or he might tap Slippery Footing if the terrain had that aspect.  On the other hand aspects can cause negative things or get people into funky situations and doing this earns a player fate points.  If the best fighter in the land chooses to tap the slippery footing and say that they fell on there face and lost to the clueless novice, they would get a fate point.  If the same swordsman with Manors of a Horse walked into a royal ball and totally embarrased themselves in front of the princess that would also get them a fate point.  

All in all its a fun system that rewards players for playing their characters the way they want to play them, along with rewarding them for making the adventure more exciting by throwing in twists and turns.  We’ll see how it works for the TRON setting but I’m pretty hopeful.  

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