Monthly Archives: January 2015
Monday, I didn’t work driving, so I worked on mechanics for the StarSea Fate rules. I started by looking at the one game I have available to me that uses Skill Modes, the Atomic Robo Role Playing Game. It made me realize I may have to do some research if I want races to act as modes, or more accurately mad me realize I need to simply reconsider the entire idea of races as modes.
But 4e Roles as Skill Modes is workable, once you examine Roles the right way. What I discovered is that since combat is detached from skills, you have to look at Roles a little differently. 4e’s roles are almost purely combat oriented, but there are certain skills you can expect with each role. As well, there are a couple of roles whose names have little to do with their skill bases, Controllers and Leaders being the primary sinners. The reality is, Controllers are the learned folk, most of them having a lot of Lore-oriented skills, while Leaders are typically social characters. To round things out, Defenders are strong, tough types, and Strikers are agile, generally sneaky types (although they also include some blitzers, who act more like Defenders). Once I did this analysis, I was more easily able to see how I’ll be dividing up the skills.
For reasons similar to race, I won’t be making Power Sources modes, either. While I haven’t re-read the Toolkit on Modes, the way they are handled in ARRPG, each character can have most of the modes. Your character rates each mode, which gives him a cluster of skills all at the same rating. Skills in multiple modes become reinforced, and gain a level edge. As characters should not be of mixed power sources or races (there are no half-species in the StarSea), then those things cannot be modes.
Doing all this also started me on setting up a skill list, and comparing it to the Camelot Trigger setting (King Arthur’s Court in a future in which all of them ride Mecha) provided on the Worlds on Fire book. It has some similar concepts to the StarSea, so I decided I wanted to look at the names of skills, as they do a fair job evoking the chivalric ideal. I want to make some changes (for example, I’m pretty certain I don’t want a Resources skill, and I’m not real sure about contacts, but a Rank skill or some such to represent a character’s ability to requisition equipment might be more appropriate, as might something to represent knowing other knights.
I also started getting the mechanics of magic going, based on some of the ideas presented in the Fate Freeport Companion. Therein, magic is basically an extra that gives characters access to different spells based on which extra he chose (evoker versus necromancer versus “cleric,” etc.). While I originally didn’t care for the idea, as I looked at it again this week, I realized that I had bounced around the idea with myself of having different specialties for each order (such as telekinesis and telepathy for the Psionics, etc.) that I could use to create similar sets of extras for the StarSea.
I need to do a little research on the Modes issues, make some decisions about which skills exist and what modes they are in, and detail out my extras system, smooth things out into an integrated system, and I should soon after begin playing around with creating characters. I also need to work out a plot for the con game by the end of the week.
So, last Monday, Scott Martin, one of the gnomes of Gnome Stew, posted on Facebook about a mini-con done here locally at one of the County Libraries called “Bookwyrm.” This event is in April, on the 18th, and he tagged me in a comment as follows:
Craig runs a wide variety of games for a lot of different audiences… if we’re lucky, maybe StarSea will be ready for an alpha playtest.
My first thought was a little bit of panic. “Omigod! I’m not ready!” But then my next thought was, “No, wait a minute, I’ve been thinking about where I am lately…” And the reality is, I have a pretty good handle on the StarSea as a setting. Most of my vacillation is really about historical elements of the setting, and some on the way I’ll use the Fate System to accomplish my goals with said setting. Most of the rules stuff I’m uncertain about is character creation, and I can do pre-gens for the con, so that’s not an issue. I just have to make some decisions on how weapons and armor works. So, I chose to view this comment as an unintended challenge to myself. I’ve never run a con game (not a Con Game, but… well, you know what I mean), but I can either wilt or meet the challenge.
Once the idea was set in my mind, I pretty much let it go, to be something I’d post about. However, I still hadn’t run Fate yet. Strangely enough, our DMs cancelled our regular LFR game this week, and I jumped on the chance to run a Fate Accelerated game. Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) is kind of the training wheels version of the game. We did some abbreviated character creation, and I used the players’ creations to formulate a plotline (after stealing a hefty chunk of concept from WWGS’s Exalted). I didn’t cover all the rules, but I hit some of the high points. I got into invoking and compelling, and fate points, but didn’t get into Overcomes, Creating Advantages, Attacking or Defending specifically, but let the players get used to the die roll system and applying skills. Everyone had fun, or so they claimed at Afters. 🙂 I was quite happy with the results. I was still gushing about it after work Friday with one of the Wednesday Night Regulars.
This week, I’ll be working on figuring out what I can do for a plot for a short run game, cook up some characters that fit within the StarSea, and then putting together an elevator pitch/game summary, as paperwork needs to be submitted by the end of the month.
That’s all I really have for this week. Later.