Some thoughts after GMing

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wolfa127 wolfa127's picture
Some thoughts after GMing

So we have been playing six sessions of EP with the Fate ruleset and I wanted to share some thoughts. I have GMed the intro scenario in the quickstart rules, Mind the WMD, and the first scenario of the Blinding Heights campaign, Chain Reaction. I have a couple of years ago GMed both using the original BRP rules but with another player group. I have also GMed several scenarios with the older versions of Fate in other settings.

* Fate is generally a good fit for playing EP. This is especially true for introing players into the big, deep world of EP. It allows you to jump start everything and just forget alot of hard to grasp ideas. It is also fun.

* One of the things that it lets your group grace is the mesh and its social life. I really miss the social economy of the BRP rules but to be fair, the basic Fate system works fine. I just need to forget about a controlled environment of requests and contacts and accept that I need to discuss with the group what a roll of 1 shift on civ-rep gets a character in this specific case. This is hard though, converting scenarios from using the BRP rules you get a lot of “@-Rep, MoS +30:”-specific guidelines for distributing info to the players. And those are hard to discuss without giving them away. I usually go by

1: Player description, e.g. “I ask the gangster thug we met earlier...”. The more specific description the more it will override special networks and MoS if applicable.

2: Character background. If she/he is a scientist a civ-rep roll will primarily target the R-net.

3: 1 shift success: level 2 favours. 2 Shifts = MoS 30 and lvl 3. 3 Shifts = MoS 60 and lvl 4. 4 Shifts: lvl 5.

* Speaking of converting scenarios, this is otherwise fairly easy. Fate is a loose system focused on storytelling so in many cases you can wing it. I only prep NPCs. Would probably be a lot harder going the other way, Fate -> BRP.

* Also, the scenarios have a higher chance to derail (as in the players solving a problem in a way not intended/mentioned in the scenario) I would say. I however like this…

* EP for me always felt very realistic in its way of portraying combat, BRP systems usually are. Not that I actually know anything about that but I mean compared to gamey rules. It is a simulation of reality rather than a minigame. If the player group fights a group of the same number of NPCs with same gear, it’s about 50% of TPK? That is not true for Fate if you go by the usual NPC ladder of grunt -> leader -> character -> boss. I started out going by the ladder but decided to make proper characters of all NPCs, including Henchman #3, and rather not defining all the skills if short on time. This may lead to that we introduce weapon damage due to longer fights. We will see.

* I really miss defined gear stunts in the Transhumanity’s Fate core book. I understand that this may double the page count of the book, but just some very basic examples. “Saucer bot: +2 notice when outdoors.” or something. How about a stunt gear list pdf?

* I still use the normal… physical world of the old core book to determine if stuff is actually possible. As in “do a player character have any chance to spot a hidden enemy that is using an invisibility cloak?”, if no then there will be no skill roll. According to Fate rules I think it would be to roll and if the outcome is really good the character would spot the enemy. It just feels wrong to “negate” the scientific feel of a hard sci-fi like EP...

* And also, we are using the morph deck which helps alot. I bought it for the first group and thought it would be nice to have now. And it is :)

We will continue with Dance with the Devil. I will return if brain can has more think.

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Interesting, thanks for your

Interesting, thanks for your comments!

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
BtW, how much Fate had you

BtW, how much Fate had you run/played prior to this?

The gear stunt inquiry is interesting. It was a delicate balance to preserve the importance of future gadgets while not giving players a giant list of options (both in character gen and gameplay) that would lead to analysis paralysis. Maybe if we one day do a deluxe ed. of THF, we'll include more gear & morphs, but for now, I encourage you to roll your own -- but not too many. :)

If you houserule in weapon damage, I recommend taking invulnerable defense and devastating attacks out of the build, and making sure players don't take stunts that create either of those situations (but take stunts that give weapon damage/armor instead). I'd encourage you to try our way and see how you like it over a few sessions first, though.

Thanks again for the feedback.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

wolfa127 wolfa127's picture
BtW, how much Fate had you

BtW, how much Fate had you run/played prior to this?

I've been in the Fate swamps since the 3rd ed, maybe 6 years back. But this is the first time running the Core version.

I recommend taking invulnerable defense and devastating attacks out of the build

That sounds like a good idea :) I realized last session, last Monday, that I completely missed the consequence's attack penalty. We decided to keep playing as we have until we reach a major milestone as we have been roleplaying the consequences heavily so they have still been of impact. Including the penalties may change my feelings on the weapon situation :)

I encourage you to roll your own

Maybe I will draft a short list of the most common stuff a sentinel could need. I will probably add some weapons in there as well using the "If attack is successful, add X to shift value for damage"-formula.

Maybe if we one day do a deluxe ed. of THF

Yes please ^_^