Playing Online

I was so looking forward to a relaxing game
of RotR…

So, after missing out on a prepared game this week of the Rise of the Runelords I was pretty down as I love my in person games that are generally my stress relief from work.  A few weeks back I accidentally stumbled into a hangout (I had it appear and say I was invited but said nothing about what it was so I hopped in) where they were creating characters for a game called Fate Core.  It was this group that came to my rescue this week and allowed me to get my groove on!

When I stumbled into the hangout I found a group of gents who seemed familiar with one another talking about what style of game they wanted to play.  They welcomed me and told me they were going to make some Fate characters and have a game.  I replied that I had never heard of it and could I sit in.  Well, it seems that sitting in to them means make a character!  They decided they would make characters that were a spoof of the A-Team of sorts so in short order I was drafted into making a character along with them.  I ended up making the pilot/driver Murdoch in their system as a reinvention.  Fate Core at it’s heart is a neat system that allows a lot of power to the player.  The character is made by coming up with things called “Aspects” that define your character concepts.  It is good if they contain short sayings, so the main aspect for Derek (my Murdoch remake) was “Always in the pilot seat”.  These are tied to the use of fate points in the game.  If the action you are doing can be tied to your aspects, you can use fate points to enhance or reroll etc.

It is a deliciously simple system that is fleshed out with skills (that you can build stunts or specialties with) and then you are in to it.  I joined a game they were having last weekend but I was at work and it was a busy day so not much got done in the way of roleplaying.  But it did stir some thoughts in my head of trying some optional rules in Pathfinder I had been avoiding besides the fact that some of my players had asked about them.  But more of that in a little bit.  It was with some relief that yesterday I got an invite to a game with these guys and I got my roleplay on.  It was really good too as a lot of it was surrounded by vehicles and I got to shine in some regards.  I am sure that I will remember the call my character made to an Indian call centre to find out about a particular engine part for quite some time.

Had never heard of it prior to a few weeks ago…

It is from this game though that I have a criticism of Fate as an overview from a player that knew nothing about it at all.  That criticism is that the damage system seems to be a bit confusing.  To see how the opponents that we opened up on had to cross out stresses and then have some kind of arbitrary effect put on them confuses me, and terrifies me that I may have to do something similar to myself if I get damaged?  I have a copy of the rules so I need to read this section to see if I can make sense of the combat and damage section.  Apart from this I have to say a big thanks to my C-Team mates (+Jonathan Henry+Cameron Corniuk+Robert Hanz, +Tim King and Cameron’s wife Jen)  for the great game we had, releasing the stress of a hard week at work!

So, back to the Pathfinder options I want to play with.  In the Serpent Skull game that is coming to a close soon a couple of my players asked about using the Hero Point system that was introduced in the Advanced Players Guide.  I have not much been a fan of it before.  But, after playing Fate I saw a way to get players to be allowed Hero Points and encourage them to flesh out the character and play them according to their concept.  And I plan to do this (as if you haven’t guessed already) using “Aspects”.  I am trialling this in the Reign of Winter game that I am running via hangout.  Here is the text of a message that I sent to my Reign of Winter players this morning to clarify the idea of what is required of them.  I prefaced it on Monday when we had our first game.

Hi all.  +Cam Mcloughlin asked me to put up the details of the hero point stuff that we will be starting with next week.  The rules for hero points are in the PRD under the Advanced Players Guide New Rules section.  I am twisting this slightly to include a proviso to most uses of the Hero points.  

The twist is you will have three “aspects”.  That is short statements that represent the character.  The first “aspect” should represent your overiding character concept.  e.g. If I were to play a gunslinger who was a law enforcer I may have the aspect “Delivering justice, one shot at a time”.

The second “aspect” will be a trouble aspect.  This is a source of possible conflict for the character so running with the same character concept as above (i.e. the gunslinger) I may have “I have to go, somewhere there is a crime happening” showing that he is overzealous in enforcement of the law and also a little paranoid.

The final “aspect” will be created by another player for your character.  It will be based on a little improptu roleplay session that the other player will come up with that describes how you met and also displays an aspect.  Using the above example another player states “The bandit had the tip of her dagger pushing against my throat even after I was stripped of all my valuables.  I looked up into her eyes and knew I was looking at Lady Death herself.  And then BANG! The sound ricocheted off the walls of the alley and the bandits head exploded like a watermelon dropped on pavers.  A gloved hand reached down and helped me up.  It was a law man with a gun” and then the player gives the gunslinger the “aspect” “Just in the nick of time.”

So, you will be able to use hero points in game IF the use of the hero point can be connected to one of your aspects.  The ONLY exception to this will be the “Cheat Death” usage which will be avialable at any stage to you, regardless of Fate points.

I hope this helps out and gives you an idea of what you want.

Woo hoo!  New book smell!

So, if this works it should intensify the players characterisation of the alter egos and allow them a benefit in the form of Hero Points that allow a range of bonuses and abilities.  It can also save them from death, if they have enough of the points to share around.  Will my trial work?  I will tell you how it goes after Monday night’s game!

By the way, my hard copy arrived yesterday 🙂 Soooooo excited, see!


  1. Glad you’re enjoying the game! Fate’s a bit of a different critter.

    Damage ain’t that big of a deal. It just applies aspects, which go away over time – they don’t really have any “special” power over you beyond any other aspect.

    And I’ve heard of a lot of people adding aspects and fate points to other games after playing Fate. You’ll have to let me know how that works out for you 🙂


  2. I go on for a bit about metagame currencies over at Gaming Ballistic and basically came to the conclusion that yes, I like them, Sam I Am.

    It was an interesting (if brief!) bit of fun to play the random IT/Helpdesk guy using Fate. That I could wing it with little to no background of the game and not disrupt things speaks well of both the system and players. Was fun.


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