Confused with nomenclature and too much complexity?

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Silverwave Silverwave's picture
Confused with nomenclature and too much complexity?

I must admit I'm a bit confused with all the different names given to "sub-mechanics".

Aspect, skill and stunt, that's from Fate Core, so I dig it.

But tag, traits, attributes, aptitudes, fields... err, I'm getting confused now.

Maybe the guide assumes the reader is familiar with EP rules?
I must admit I never was really interested in the rules of EP. I've read the book but I skipped most of the "crunch". It's the setting that made me buy the book.

Personnaly, I don't really like all the "sub-sustems" introduced to the very clean Fate Core system. I feel it overcomplexify Fate Core rules (that I like because everything is very clean).

I feel like Skill Fields would be better handled with Stunts, as describe in the Specializations section. It would be totaly on par with the Fate ruleset and will remove the sub-rules on how fields can be apply to certain actions

atamajakki atamajakki's picture
Agree strongly.

Agree strongly.

Though both "tag" and "field" have shown up in other FATE products. I actually still use tag to refer to temporary Aspects; it's a bad habit.

Silverwave Silverwave's picture
I delved a bit more in Morph

I delved a bit more in Morph aspects (tags and trait or whatever it is called) and ego stunts.

I keep my standing on thinking there are a bit too much sub-systems and terms there.
When I read them, I always think either "Well, that's just an aspect" or "yup, that's a stunt".
I don't think we would need to define them further down into a "tags" sub-category.

Let me quote one really important line in the guide :

Traits as Aspects Instead of Stunts If an ego trait from Eclipse Phase is important to your character from a story perspective, but as a player you don’t have a strong feeling about paying refresh for its rules benefit, you can always incorporate that trait into one of your aspects.

You got it right with this description. Basically, if it's not important enough for the player then it is not important enough to have its own sub-system, just leave it as an aspect. Don't part with this very important statement which is really the essence of Fate: keep things simple but elegant, easy to use but satisfying.

That applies well to tags. What's a tag? It's basically an aspect with added "crunch" to it. To me, that's exactly what a stunt is.

The Ego stunt are really interesting and totally on par with the Fate philosophy and rules.

But then, under How Morphs Work in Fate, rules explain that you get two aspects, traits, durability and refresh cost. Yet, in the Morphs descriptions, you don't retrieve those two Aspects mentioned (sometimes you have only one or none, sometimes you got 3 or more in the Traits section...) you got traits that are sometimes aspects, sometimes tags, sometimes stunts, sometimes linked to a skill and sometimes you have disadvantage. It's a bit off with what I'm expected to find from what I've just read.

It would be a lot more clear and easy in a "close to Fate" sense if you'd drop the idea of tag and disadvantage and keep them just as normal aspects. Players don't NEED to be told that a certain aspect is a disadvantage. It's clear enough that "Genetic defects" is leaning on the negative side. But more than that, the mantra of Fate on aspect is that they are double-edged, say more than one thing, and keep the phrasing simple, which mean that good aspects should be easy to invoke, but also equally easy to compel.

They also don't need extra crunch for certain aspects. I totally dig the idea of "upgrading" an aspect into a stunt if the player wants to have more crunch out of an aspect but as I mentioned before, if it's not important enough to have rules of its own but important enough for the character to have it on your character sheet, well that's what an aspect is.

So I'd present the Morph information like this, which is more instinctive to Fate players:

Name of the Morph
Short description
Aspects: No need for tag or have distinct nomenclature for disadvantage.
Durability: This could also be named Physical Stress or just Stress if wanted to be more close to Fate nomenclature. Otherwise, if you keep it as durability, I'd make the character sheet bears that name too not to get things confusing by mixmatching terminology.
Refresh cost:

As for Morphs tags and stunt list... well, if brough back to basic aspects instead of tags, yes, all those descriptions becomes more or less obsolete. Some of those would be easily incorporated into the stunt version of the trait. Mostly, it's the free invocation that don't fit that well. Personally, i don't really like it because it makes for a LOT of bookeeping knowing which tag free invocation you used on that session, which once is per scene, which refresh when, etc. In my own taste, there's already a LOT of aspects in game with basic Fate (each character has 5, each NPC as from 1 to 5), each scene has few, there's also the game aspects, and all the aspects that the players created. You already need to track which as free invocations, which has boost. There's a hell lot going on at the same time. I wouldn't what to add an extra layer of bookeeping which two free invocations on tags.

So here goes my opinion. It's really humble, I don't pretend having good ideas or that my ideas are better in any ways. This is totally selfish and based on my personal taste (although I know few players would probably agree).

On a side note, I think you guys are missing on a lot of very awesome feedback by not taking opinions from the Fate Core G+ community. I know it's a lot easier to assemble all the information on a single thread (on your forum) but people are not all eager to subscribe to yet another forum. Maybe you'd get a lot more feedback if one could only post on G+ on the matter of Eclipse Fate (or is it officially Transhumanity's Fate?).

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
bit of a survey of our own

For those who tested it, do/did you use the skills' fields, the tags ?
I'm thinking of using the skills, plain and simple, and having the fields as refresh free stunts, but limited in numbers, equal to the Willpower score. What do you think?

on tags, why not just call them morph boost? Because they work the exact same way.

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

Silverwave Silverwave's picture
I did use them to give it a

I did use them to give it a go but it didn't convinced me at reading and it didn't played well, as I was expecting. To be fair, I didn't talked my player about it beforehand not to influence their feeling on it but they felt the same as I did in the end of the session.

If we play another session, we will not be using them.
We'll use the basic stunts instead of skill fields and we'll just drop tags.
We didn't liked the bookeeping it added and it's more fun to play with Fate Points than free invokes automatically set at the begining of the session.