Wednesday, August 31, 2011

War In The Heavens pt. 15: He can fight! He can fly! And he can CROW!!!

Oh, the cleverness of me. How clever I am! Well, OK maybe not so much, but I did finally get my game to alpha testability(mostly). I have finished my rules, for now. Obviously I will change them as I test the game out, obviously. Obviously, I will do that. But my game can now be played(waits for the applause to die down), thank you. I still have a lot to do on the setting. And of course there are going to be specialty rules and such. So it will still be a while before I publish this bad boy.

Here is a brief overview of how the game works. There have been a lot of changes. There are six stats, which I only have the working names for. These stats are: Strength, quickness, intelligence/education, perception/cunning, cleverness/wittiness, and charm/sweetness/sincerity. As you can see the names not suck.

For any task you will have a number of six sided dice equal to your ranking in a stat, plus any aspects you tag(each will add one die). You can only add one aspect per scope. A scope is what an aspect is attached to. If you have an three aspects on your character, you can only use one per turn as you are the scope for those aspects. If your gun has an aspect, then the gun is a scope. If your ship has one, then the ship is the scope for that aspect. You get the idea(I hope). I really like this part from Diaspora, and so I am using it in my game. When you roll the dice you are looking for any dice that come up five or higher. This is called a success(barring a more creative term). Some tasks will require more than one success, but lets not fret about that just yet.

When you get your stats, you choose which will be your peak stat(this will start at four), and which is your weak stat(this will start at zero). The rest of your stats are at two. There are going to be stress tracks based on the stats...but that’s still a little hazy right now. Maybe I should average them out? I don't know.

You start out with four aspects. But they are not as free form as other FATE games aspects(not that that's a bad thing, just I think this might work better for my game). You will choose a Vision, a Commandment, a Crusade, and a Failing. I may add others as I go along, but this will get us going for now.

Now there is a new twist on Invoking that I am kind of excited about(though again, it may not work). When you invoke an Aspect to gain extra dice, you get a potential complication. What this means is that when you roll the dice if you roll a one then you get a complication. If you succeed the roll despite the one, then there is a minor complication. If you fail the roll and there is a one, then there is a major complication. I think this is a really neat idea, though I think I may have to nail down precisely what constitutes minor and major in my game.

Finally, as this is a game about faith and war. I thought it would be neat to have a mechanic that might help represent that. Right now I am calling it Tragedy(but really it is more like loss of faith), but that's kind of stupid so I have to get a better grasp of what it is all about. It is kind of like Sanity in Call of Cthulu, and a bit like dark side points from any of the Star Wars RPGs. When your Tragedy(gah, I hate that name) track fills up you are removed from play. Either through madness, despair, or death in some manner suitably tragic.

It works like this, in the game there are two ways of receiving Fate points. One is the standard compelling an Aspect, that FATE players know and love. The other is by gaining Tragedy. When you choose to gain a point of tragedy, you get a number of Fate points equal to your total tragedy(counting the point you just gained) that must be spent this session(preferably this scene). I like this mechanic because the game then emphasizes the sacrifice made in the name of what's right. While, at the same time, shows the numbness and loss of faith that the universe could allow someone to be pushed so far.

I don't know why, but as I was designing the game, my mind kept coming back to the opera part of Space opera, and so I want it to kind of be a tragedy. Also it sort of fits the grand/epic adventure feel of the game as well. Also as I designed this I discovered more and more how much I was influenced by FATE. Seriously, this game is basically just a bit of a re-skin on FATE. A little different, but mostly the same. Sigh, oh well, work with what I got. Maybe something awesome will happen!

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