Initial Feedback

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bblonski bblonski's picture
Initial Feedback

I haven't had a chance to get together with my gaming group yet, but I thought I'd share some initial feedback I had reading through the rules.

The conversion guide starts off strong. I like the section on languages and muses. Very simple and elegant. I like the Firewall Phases for character concept and generating Ego Aspects. Core character generation looks simple and staight forward.

I like the skill list for the most part, although there are a few skills I feel don't fit in a Fate style game. Interface particularly I find unappealing. I don't think using softare in it's intended manner is interesting enough to have a separate skill for or even roll for in the first place. The examples giving in the skill description can easily be handled by other skills. Editing audio or video files can be handled with Art. Searching for files or infomation can be handled with Investigate. Scanning for wireless devices can be Infosec. And commaning you etco or muse should be Program, Rapport, or just automatic success. I could accept Program and Infosec being separate, but Program, Infosec, and Interface is too many skills for computer related tasks. Intrest and Profession are essentially the same and could really be handled by one skill. I also feel Psychosurgery and Medical could be combined.

Skill fields don't seem like an inherintly bad idea, but I feel they are redundant with Stunts and Aspects. As they are, fields feel like a way to sneak in a larger skill list. I could handle it if maybe there was only 3 or so Fields per skill, but there way too many as is. For example, Academics could be broken down into Natural Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. Then maybe you could take a Stunt or Aspect that specialized in a particular field like Chemistry. As it is, I had a hard time making a Scientist type character that I thought would be useful. The character's focus seemed to narrow to be useful in more then one or two situations per session. It seemed much more practical to have high r-rep to call in a specialist when needed. One pratcial issue I had with fields is they are hard to fit on the character sheet. I would probably choose to ignore skill fields in favor of specialization stunts.

Ego Stunts looked pretty good. Skill Specialization seems exploitable for combat skills though. +2 for creating advantages with your favorite weapon seems pretty powerful. Maybe limit it for combat skills.

I mostly like how Morphs work. Durability is cool and I like morph apects. Traits, like fields, don't necessarily seem like a bad idea, but seems too granular as presented. It feels like a clumsy attempt to shoehorn in aptitude bonuses in a game with no aptitudes. I'd like to see more narrative traits like "Adapted for Martian Environment" or "Adpated for Zero-G" instead of the references to aptitudes.

I don't mind traits as a list of sub-aspects to describe what the morph is good at, and I like the idea that you can tag mupltiple traits in addition to your morph aspect. Howeaver free taggable traits seem problematic. It looks like you get at around 3 free tags per point of refresh spent, which seems like too much. Especially the Enhanced Aptitude tags seem broad enought to be able to invoke in every session. Getting 3 free invokes for 1 refresh make regular stunts look unappealing by contrast. Olympians especially look appealing for the Somatics stunt, 3 Aptitude free tags, and Superb durability all for 2 refresh. Maybe it was supposed to be 3 refresh?

The weapon and armor rules look fine, but a bit simplifed compared to the rest of the rules. Instead of the different leathality and armor ratings, you could simply have numbers for weapon or armor ratings and a "Hardened" stunt for amor that make it so they can't be damaged by weapons with a lower weapon rating than their armor rating. It is essentially the same effect but allows you to have odd numbers for armor or damage. I think it might even take less space to describe than having the Lethality and Armor tables.

One change I'd make to the Firing for Advantage rule is to activate it only when you succeed with style rather than before the role. I think I've read a similar rule somewhere else (Fate Toolkit?) where you can reduce you damage by 2 to add a boost to the opponent when you succeed with style, which I prefer over taking the penalty before rolling.

An apparent oversight with Shock and Non-Stress Attacks is that you can't actually take someone out with a shock weapon. You can add aspects and a mild consequence, but you can't deal any additional damage than that. Maybe Shock attacks should do mental stress at some point?

I like the forking and morph consequence rules. Seems simple enough. One thing I noticed is that there are sunts that boost alienation rolls, but no actual rules for rolling alienation. Probably a copy paste oversight?

I'd like to see rules where alienation and integration is handled by paying refresh. If a player can't pay the total refresh cost for the morph, they are hit with free negative invokes and restrictions on tagging their morph aspects. The more refresh they pay, the more abilities of the morph become taggable. Perhaps add a rule where players can only change the amount of refresh invested in their morph by 1 per scene, so resleeving in a dramatically different morph will take a few scenes to integrate with, unless you have a stunt that allows you to integrate much faster. I think this is a nice thematic way to handle integration as it represents investing more of your identity into your morph.

The Mesh section is a bit confusing. It's not very clear when the Monitor gets to act. Once a hacker is spotted, can the Monitor perform any action it wants immediately against the hacker, or does the hacker get another subversion attempt before the Monitor can respond? I'd prefer to see counter-hacking be handled as consequnces taken during a Access Conflict rather than starting a separate intrusion. I like how the length the Access Stress Track is determined by the situation, but a slightly more concrete list would be nice. I like how the Spotted, Covert, Hidden status correlate to the Fate Outcomes. I suprised there are no rules for brute force hacking. It seems simple enough to rule that brute force hacking causes an immediate Access Conflict.

The Rep section looks pretty good. I like the Cost, Quality, Speed tradeoffs. Reminds me of *World games. It does feel weird to use a debt rating rather than a stress track. The mechanics doesn't seem that different except that social debt is open ended. I think I'd prefer a unified rep stress track with possibility for filling consequence slots if you piss of your networks.

I love the threats section. This is the kind of streamlined and creative play I'd like to see more of. I'd like to see some example contests against Nanoswarms.