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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    My gaming group has recently decided to try the FATE core system (to which we are new). We also decided to try for a post apocalyptic setting, instead of our usual D&D based high fantasy games. This thread will detail our experiences with the system, with the setting, all from my view as GM. So is this for you? It is if:
    - You are curious to learn a bit on the system, and how new players grow into it. (You don't need to know the specifics of the system, I explain the needed stuff).
    - You are interested in making a sort of a sandbox (mostly) game in a post apocalyptic setting.
    - You are interested in seeing the "behind the scenes" of my GMing, how to plan things before play, how to deal with issues arising in it.
    - Or even if you just like a good story. Most is not original, but I think I put things up interestingly enough, and the players do add A LOT to the game!

    This first post deal with a few basics: What sort of playing group, what sort of writing do I plan for the thread, some basics of FATE as a system to those who don't know it. I also added a part with links to the sessions log, for those who are not interested in the other discussions in the thread. For those interested in how the group evolves through learning the game, and GM's dillemas and such I just suggest reading the thread. Lots of good advice here! The second post details the basic setting and characters, and on the third we start the show! You can freely skip ahead to what interests you.

    Ok, lets see:
    Our Playing Group
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    We're all in our mid 30s, and have been playing as a group for several years now. A good group that stuck despite work, studies, families and kids, and other stuff. We don't meet that often though- Our usual schedule was about once every 3-4 weeks. We come from a D&D (up to 3.5), pathfinder and shadowrun backgrounds. We have good experience in thise systems, but those systems only.

    My "strengths" (As they are) as a GM are usually enabling detaield enough open scene that enables lots of different routes of action, with complex enough results. My players like my ideas on the whole. My "weaknesses" are mainly not that great improvisational skills, and sometime a tendency to make things too complex to wrap your head around.

    Or so I think, my players may differ. I'll detail about the players alongside their characters.


    What to expect writing style
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    If you read any of my previous logs, you'll know I often write looooooonnng, and detailed. I'll try to avoid that here, and focus on the main issues that came up. It will be written from a GM's seat though- not a player, not story telling, but from the role of one running the game. As such expect many side notes, or a "behind the screen" view to design, problems, and so on.

    I aim to make shorter posts than in previous logs, so as not to intimidate with walls of text. This thread will probably be of a niche interest as it is.


    Why FATE? What is this system?
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    FATE is a system geared towards telling a collaborative story between players and GM. Yes, I know that is what lots of RPGs say, but from the few I read, FATE's mechanics truly emphasize this. A few of the core Ideas:
    - The system is supposed to be easy enough, and instinctual enough in order to fit to any type of genre/ idea. It emphasizes telling a STORY, instead of SIMULATING the game world. As such it forgoes many of the minutiae of other systems, in order to make the game be more streamlined, and action paced.

    - Aspects and Fate points: fate points are sort like karma/ edge/ action points/ other source of "extra power" that can be used. Aspects are short phrases/ sentences/ things that define what is important: about a character, about a place, about an organization, about an object, about the game world! Aspects can be invoked to grant a bonus (which cost fate points), or compelled (which replenishes fate points). Aspects can be nearly everything, and are not limited by numbers or mechanics, though there are guidelines to make good aspects. It's a sort of an art we still try to master.

    - Fate Dice: each dice can give you a +1, 0 or -1, and you roll four, and add them to your relevant skill. this creates a curve instead of the randomality of a d20 (for better or worse), meaning even a difference of 1 point in a skill is impressive.

    - Skills and target numbers: Skill levels are designed as "average/ +1" or "good/ +3". Unlike D&D or other simulationist systems, there is little to define the target number to cross, other than what the group agrees too, and seem appropriate at the moment. The skill includes EVERYTHING that comes into play (For example a fighting skill includes your armor, all kind of training, your weapons and such) EXCEPT for the aspects in the game. As the player/ GM you decide what the level of skill means in story terms. You can use skills to Overcome an obstacle, Create an advantage (creating an aspect) or attack and defend. The skills all work quite similariy.

    - Stunts: basically all kind of ways to break the general rules of what skills can do. A bit like Feats, only you get less, and the book only give suggestions, you make your own with the GM. (Again, there are guidelines).

    - I'll get to GMing tools when I detail the game.


    Links to sessions' posts



    Alrighty. lets go!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-10-07 at 03:22 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    The DMs in our group (Me and another) had trouble preparing enough stuff in time. D&D is such a system that focuses on so many small details, it was really bothersome for us DM to manage with the little free time we had. Plus, our group aimed more at roleplay (A lot of our fun is between players, without the GM intervening), so we sought a more streamlined system.

    I read a bit and suggested Fate, and we decided to do a sort of an "Introductory adventure", in a Post Apocalyptic world- I was to prepare a minimal setting, an adventure, and give them characters to choose from. We decided basically on something like "Fallout 1&2" or "Mad Max" kind of world, But I was on my own from there. Fate assumes the GM and players working together initially to decide the nature of the adventures/ scenarios, but as this was an introduction...

    A very basic setting- "Hello Little Town!"
    Fate has Game aspects, things that can be used through out the game (These can change). Often there are two, about current or impending issues. I didn't want to reveal the problem yet, and just set a general game apsect: Harsh survival in a post apocalyptic world. People (Myself included) Can now use this using Fate points to either gain a bonus, or compel for a ocmplication.

    I wanted to created a small isolated place, where the PCs are the big shots. That way- it's up to them to save the day. I came up with the (admitedlly unimaginatively named) Little town:
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    Out in the wild a large family known as The Jenkins made a discovery- what looks like an old days party working micro-fusion fueling station, made mostly for trucks and such (A few were left there, bad in bad repair). The place even came with a few solar panels. The Jenkins formed a small settlement around this resource, that slowly grew- The Jenkins were reasonable and practical folks, who welcomed anyone who had a useful skill, pulled their own weight, and deferred to them as rulers of this settlement, known later as Little town. (The name will do for this small play).

    The Jenkins are a large family (around 80 people) who believe in polygamy and interbreeding if needs be. (Their family tree is… interesting). They are quite bright, resourceful, and highly practical, even compared to the normal denzin of the wasteland. They guard their micro-fusion station jealously, but other than that run the town reasonably fairly. It's a tad hard to tell them apart since due to genetics they look quite the same.

    Aspects:
    - "We help our own"
    - "Do what needs doing…"
    - "The fusion is Jenkins' fusion!"


    Common Jenkins: most skills at Average (+1)/ Fair (+2). A few individuals may have higher (rare ones)

    Little town is far out on the wasteland, and as such has little connection with the world, and mostly relies on itself. It has 3 caravans that trade with it from river city (about 2 weeks away). There are ruins scattered in a few days walk from Littletown, but it's dangerous work going scavenging- wild beasts lurk aplenty.

    Little town have about 380 residents, about a 120 of them are under 14. Most are farmers or other small craftsmen, few if any with more than average (+1)/ Fair (+2) skills. They just want to make a life for themselves and get by.


    Now considering The player character have a slew of skills, a few even at +3 or +4, this meant the PCs are considerably more skileld than most people in town, with a... few exceptions.

    So who are these PCs already?
    I designed 8 PCs to choose from, for 5 players. The inspiration for PCs I drew mainly from westerns, and they are mostly cly as wellches, because face it- cliches become cliches because people love them! Each character has one High Aspects that defines it, 1 Trouble (THe main issue against she struggles), and 3 others, 5 in total. I intentionally left the fifth one open, as an exercise to the players on how to make aspects. I also gave only a brief description, letting each person "fill in the blanks" as they liked.

    The Preacher
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    Player: A guy who likes to play roleplay complex character. Has some acting background. His character are often at a... "disagreement" with the Merchant guy's characters, proved true this game as well! (We found out that a goodly managed conflict adds a lot to the game).
    In the previous logs he played Danves the cursed half elf, and Glimji, the persecuted Gnome Beguiler.
    Character: Brother Walter- : A priest with a not so gentle past, this ex bandit/ raider has found faith, and is trying to bring it to this small town. Not a specific religion, but an overall belief in the purpose in things, of some supervision, and of man's responsibility to his fellow men. the preacher is not a zealot or admonisher of hell and heaven and so on. He is a practical man, trying to bring a bit of spirituality to the wasteland.

    The preacher is a man of faith, but a practical one who isn't afraid to wield a machete if the need comes...
    Aspects:
    - Bringing hope to a faithless world
    - The one armed marvel
    - Ain't always been a priest
    - These are MY people!
    - The one he chose: Root them before they grow.
    Key Skills: Will, Fight and Rapport (Like Diplomacy).

    My thoughts:
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    The preacher was designed as 1 of the 2 more versatile characters. I was quite surprised that the player chose this character, as hasn't shown any inclination to the spiritual with his other characters so far. But I guess he liked the duality of the character. I was a bit worried about the last aspect, as I didn't quite see when it will come into play, but we decided to roll with it.


    The Merchant
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    Player: This guy is the Belkar of our group. His characters are quite often complete bastards. He is a team player however, and a great roleplayer that brings a lot to the group.
    In the previous campaigns he played Ipiks the lizardmen, Gabriel the cleric of the Silver Flame and Killpi, the "honest business man!"
    Character: D**k Mighty(He chose an appropriate name that made us all laugh). The merchant has made his considerable wealth by being unscrupulous in trade and building a successful trade caravan up to the little town. A skilled driver and caravan leader, he decided to settle in the frontier for now, believing there may be untapped riches here, and liking being a "big fish in a little pond" in this little town. He currently owns a substantial part of the town, competing with the Jenkins for influence.
    The merchant has vast wealth, and is willing to do what's necessary to gain more. He is a man with ambition and a plan
    Aspects:
    - "Making profit anyway I can!"
    - Wanna bet?
    - Savage of the bad lands
    - Fast cars and fast women!
    - The one he chose: Doesn't give a S**t about anybody
    Key Skills: Resources, Deceive, Drive.

    Pics:
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    My thoughts
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    I assumed the player might choose this character, it fitted his style. Resources is an abstract of wealth, and we sought to explore how this mechanic works. It gave us some trouble in the beginning...

    The last aspect kind of falls/ duplicate the first one, but we tried to roll with it.


    The Biker girl
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    Player: The other part time DM of our group. A Forgotten Realms fan, and a very resourceful player, often seeking evolving characters, as he have made this one.
    In previous campaign he played Red the Ultimate Magus, and DMed the "It began with a crash" campaign.
    Character: Jenny Wilson lost her parents at an early aged, and lived with her mechanic brothers. As things grew problematic where they lived, they moved on their modified bikes to this little town, selling themselves as part mechanics, part mercenaries. Jenny developed an unhealthy attachment with one of the other PCs (The player chose D**k Mighty, how appropriate). Not necessarily abusive, but definitely off. She is however quite peppy, happy, and ready to roll!
    The player came with a picture for Jenny in the likeness of... Lara Croft.
    Aspects:
    - Mercenary thrill seeker biker with blazing guns!
    - Trouble: Originally this was supposed to reflect the relationship with Mighty, but he changed this to something more general:“what a mess I got myself into”
    - Live fast and keep it simple
    - High tech groovy!
    - The player created: “just look at her!”
    Key Skills: Pilot, shoot, Craft

    Pics:
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    My thoughts:
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    This was the second vesatile character. I was originally inspired by Harlequin from Batman the animated series, but the player chose to take it somewhere else.


    The Mutant
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    Player: The quiet one who hits hard when it counts. The player is usually more on the ups of the rules (At least in D&D), but often prefers not to stand out, and plays very dependable characters. He usually pipes in at moral debates, acting as a moral compass for the group.
    Character: Ruphalo is Similar to the big mutants of the Fallout series, this mutant was captured and used as forced labor in a mine of another town, only to be freed by the Jenkins. The mine collapsed, but he decided to come and serve them in their new place. Excellent crafts man, (And with some knowledge of explosives) the mutant is a sort of a gentle giant- beneficial at most times, but also an excellent melee fighter, a complement to the Sheriff.
    The Mutant is the gentle giant, builder and supreme fighter.
    Aspects:
    - The gentle giant mutant
    - They all fear me
    - A life debt to the Jenkins
    - Thought before action
    - He chose: Big strong hands (aren't always enough)
    Key Skills: Physique, Fight, Craft

    My thoughts
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    Now this was difficult... The player had a real hard time coming with an aspect. and the last one kind of falls in the first one, a duplicate. We later had trouble with his explosive stunt, but that will come later.


    The Sheriff
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    Player:Actually not one of our group, but a brother to another player (The preacher). Excellent roleplayer, wished to try out the system. After the introduction session he couldn't play with our schedule anymore. But he was in for the first session.
    Character: The Sheriff was born to a hard life, and soon learned how to handle a gun. He proved to be a remarkable shot, and a prime fighter. He used this skill mostly as a soldier to one of the warlords of the waste, but after having been a part of too gruesome a battle, he chose to use his skills for the kill for other purposes. The Jenkins hired him to be the law/ security man of their little town, a position which grants him both pleasure and headache. He wishes that can compensate for the bad karma he accumulated.
    The Sheriff is a bad ass warrior, with a grumpy spirit
    Aspects:
    - "I'm the sheriff of this god damned town!"
    - Haunted by the past
    - "This ain't gonna end well I tell ya!"
    - I'm getting too old for this S**t!
    - The player chose: "Stick to your gut feeling"
    Key Skills: Shoot, Investigate, Athletics

    My thoughts
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    Probably the best planned character of the lot, or that may be my impression due to how he played it. Hell, every western needs a Sheriff!


    Characters that were not chosen (Briefly):
    - The Madame: An owner of the only entertainment house in Littletown, including shows, drinks, music, dances and... companionship. Was made to be the most socially skilled character.
    - The Doctor: A zany surgeon with a knife. Was supposed to be the scholar/ healer/ intellectual of the group.
    - The Scavenger: As the name says. a partly mad character, that is good at stealth and burglary.

    Ok, ENOUGH introduction, lets get to it!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-09-16 at 04:39 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Session 1, part 1- "They are coming for us all!"

    I used various types of music in this session, which I compiled with the great help of the playground. After awhile the players found it distracting, but I think it can be useful for other games as well, no? lets begin...

    I put down the simple map of Little Town I made, and started the session: "Pa Jenkins died..." The old bugger died due to a heart attack after dancing with one of the Madame's girls. The town people were called to Grave Hill (Hey, I said I was keeping it simple! ) To say a few words. We played out the funeral, giving each person a chance to speak. They provided the goods: The preacher gave an inspirational speech about Pa Jenkin's vision and desire, Ruphalo spoke little, but appropriately, The Sheriff told a small anecdote about Pa Jenkin's philosophy, and Mr Mighty? Well, he made a speech verging real close on an open fire fight, but made it double meaning enough to avoid it, and get away with it. Jenny clung to D**k, but didn't speak at this place. She had troubles of her own.

    Soon later the different individuals were called to the Merilyn, the Madame's pleasure house, to converse about things with the new town's rulers- Pa Jenkin's son Burt, and more importantly- the stern steel woman known as Ma Jenkins.

    In the Merylin she put her concerns frankly on the table- Now that pa Jenkins was dead, is there anyone going to cause trouble with the transition? The two under examination were mostly the Preacher "We ain't a spiritual town, so don't you get any ideas!" and Mr. Mighty, who didn't like it and spoke back, elegantly, and soon the debate heated up considerably.

    But it could go no further, as Joe the scavenger burst in, followed by his dangy mutt, wanting to speak, but becoming silent due to the glare of all the important people. After a bit of reassuring by the Sheriff and others, He finally blurted out what seemed like nonsense- "They are coming! They are coming for us all! The white men! I saw them sneaking! They wish to eat us raw!" and other such stuff. The Sheriff decided to investigate, taking Ryphalo the mutant with him, when they heard gun shots from the northern farms. Mighty rushed off as well, as if raiders come, they might come for his stuff as well!

    Design notes
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    Two opportunities to talk a bit, get a bit in character, get a bit into the skin of the characters, before trouble hits. I usually love to let conversations develop, But in this case I had a limited time for the intro session.


    First Fight scene- what are they?!
    They rushed to the northern farms. Here I had a small map as well. A note about FATE tactical encounters: Again, things are simplified- there is not grid, no measured distances. Instead there are "Zones"- areas with some focal interest point (Aspect/s). a movement gets you from one zone to another (There can be obstacles to prevent that), but basically int the same zone people are considered to be close to melee range.

    Something got the party attention. Here we started using Aspects: I compelled Jenny's player to "Keep it fast and simple" (Or was it "what a mess I get into?" some time has passed) so due to her character, she rushed to the barn and barged in, getting into melee range with...

    Spoiler
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    What were these things? skinny humanoids, very pale, red eyes, and sharp claws/ teeth. They were munching on the farmer, eating him raw, which caused Jenny to psyche out a bit! (I considered this a mental attack. Attacks can be physical or mental, Each tracked separately, I wanted to show that). Jenny got to fight in the barn, the close range not enabling her to shoot the creatures! meanwhile, they blocked her escape.

    there were 4 other white raiders, who got into a fight with the party outside, acting individually. This was... a confusing fight, mainly because it took us a bit to understand how the dice worked (In D&D terms think about it as rolling 4d3-8, and add to your skill) and so on.

    Mighty's player decided to try and create two advantages (basically- create an aspect with one free use). He used his resource to claim he had a flash light (with which he tried to light the scene), and some lighter fluid (which he used to set fire to the barn because... Well, just because. I don't always understand him!)

    They fought the 6 savage humanoids, and killed them all, suffering but minor stress after all. It was then that they heard gunshots and screams from deeper in Littletown!

    Thoughts and design notes
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    This was supposed to be an introductory battle, to see how dice work, attacking and defending, and possibly some aspects. We used the aspects but a little though, and nearly none of the situational aspects.

    At that point I found the lack of a tactical map confusing, definitely not something I was used to. I kinda missed the tactical depth.

    As for stats for stats? Couldn't be simpler:
    Vampyrs
    "Aversion to sunlight"
    "Unbridled savagery"
    "Feed upon the flesh"

    Skills: fight +2, stealth, athletics provoke +1
    Stunts: when eating people (action) they can target characters up to 1 zone away with provoke for stress damage.
    Stress: 1 box of 1
    Note: The players didn't find out any of these aspects yet...


    Mid town fight- They have hounds too!
    They started rushing towards the mid town. I compelled the Sheriff by "Too Old for this S***!" which left him a bit panting behind. Mighty used his "fast cars and fast women!" aspect to claim he knows that Dr. Cross' car is nearby, and him and Jenny jumped into it, and drove fast, arriving a few rounds before. (The decision with the Sheriff was not a good one- Basically I made him sit one more round out. I should have just given him an aspect "winded" or some such).

    Jenny and Mighty came in quick, and saw some of the Ghouls (As the party came to call them) eating and attacking some people. Mighty drove to run them over, but Jenny pulled the car aside. (she won her drive roll) "They are already dead!" said Mighty, but Jenny couldn't bring herself to run town people.

    It was then they saw the "other" type of ghoul- ones just as disgusting, but wearing clothes, holding shotguns, and sitting atop big red furred hounds, looking like a rottweiler but small horse sized! These were the Mugg hounds.

    Spoiler
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    They drove trying to avoid their enemies, and put some bullets in them. Meanwhile the rest arrived from another direction, and got into a fight with some more. Aspects were now being used quite a bit, as the ghouls were fighting as a team, and In FATE this sort of make them one super stat, with some skills combining to have greater effect, giving numbers a REAL punch!

    The mutant was under attack of one of the riders, his hound, and several ghouls, while the sheriff tried to shoot the other rider, and the priest coming in with his machete.

    Then something interesting happened- Jenny decided to actually ride over some ghouls, and we had to decide how will that be handled. We came up with some idea on the fly, and some rolls, which due to some damage and bad luck (The Doctor's car was never much). Got the car damaged enough to grind to a full stop... just between some ghouls. They started trying to grab and get the two of the car, and they were burning Fate points to void that, when Jenny's player compelled himself: "What a mess I get myself into!" as she tried to grab at D**k, but instead grabbed his lighter fluid, spilling it all over. "Damn! We get about a minute before this car blows up!" But D*** isn't a man to be outdone. "Wanna Bet?" he compelled himself, the cigar falling from his smiling face.

    They had 1 round to get out, so they let themselves be pulled outside and then turned and ran, as the car blew up, killing the nearby ghouls!

    Ruphalo got injured, but due to being "As tough as Nails" (A stunt) shruged off the damage, and manged to kill a hound and rider, before the few remaining ran off. The raiders have retreated, for now... But what was this mess?

    Thoughts and design notes
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    This was supposed to be a more complex battle, with 3 types of enemies (Vampyrs, Mogol riders and Mugg hounds). In fact, the battle quickly turned into two battles, two groups, one with a car! (That I didn't prepare for!) However, I was delighted how easy it was to just improvise something for the car. As the book says, you can turn anything in the world to aspects, skills, stunts and stress. This worked fairly well, for now. Battle was still confusing, as the car moved more quickly between "zones". I was surprised however to see how naturally zones came to be defined, even without much pre-thought. Not perfect, but useful. Tactics have improved a bit by using aspects, some of them by the scene, some of them created by the players.

    A note on fighting as a team: This is the first example, but it came to be a HUGE deal later on- numbers really matter in FATE. Swarms of minions far below your power level can be deadly.

    The new enemies:
    Mogol rider
    Good opposition:
    "Aversion to sunlight"
    "Herder of the pack"
    "Smarter then they look"
    Skill: shoot +3, athletics +2, notice fight & ride +1
    Stress: box of 1, box of 2

    Mugg hounds
    "Lock down determination"
    "Just a big doggy!"

    Skills: Athletics +3, fight +2, notice, physique & stealth +1
    Can move 2 zones!
    Stress: box of 1, box of 2


    End of first "fate session"
    This was about 3.5- 4 hours into the session. Our sessions usually last for about 7 hours, but "Fate Sessions" usually last for about 2-4 hours. FATE sessions have mechanical effect- when some Fate points refresh, when some wounds heal, and the ability to slightly alter your character. (Called a Minor Milestone). We've decided to have this "Event" now, and continue on.

    Main thoughts so far:
    - Aspect use is not intuitive to D&D players, but we're getting there.
    - Is there enough tactical depth to the game? Is the stream lining good for our group, or not so much?
    - Improvisation seem much easier than with D&D, which for me is a big bonus. Need to check it on further.

    We have currently played 3 group sessions (= 6 Fate Sessions) I will update on them as time permits.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-09-16 at 05:55 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    I'm done with the first part. will go on some time later... Would love to hear thoughts, comments, and questions.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Sorry that I haven't updated yet, I had some things happening in my personal life, and didn't find the time to write a proper update post. Back to the saddle now, I'll try to update more regularly. Where were we?

    Session 1, part 2- A heated discussion, and The not-so-good doctor

    The raiders gone for now, Little town turned to do some damage control. (And this being a new "Fate Session", the characters got 3 Fate points) There were nearly 20 people dead from the attack, and quite a few bodies of the raiders, but with little clues. The Sheriff went on to do his job- to investigate the clues, While Jenny was so shaken by the night's occurrences, that she went ahead to get as drunk as possible. While the Sheriff investigated, each went on his own- D*ck made sure none of his stuff got stolen, Ruphalo helped the Sheriff, and The preacher tried to calm the town's people, to lift their spirits in this dark hour.

    The Sheriff found quite some clues (He got a stunt that lets him find more than usual with the skill):
    - The raiders light weight equipment and tactics fitted those of a "scouting party". There are probably more, but how many more?
    - On one of the Mogol's he found a fading Brochure with the title of "Welcome to Forrest Ville!" on it. Wasn't there a ruin of such a town just a bit north?
    - One of the mogols had a huge wide lashing mark on his back, something that seemed to come from some "huge barbed whip"?

    The players also figured out the "Unbridled savagery" and "eaters of flesh" aspects easily enough. As day light came one of them made the observation that the flesh emited strange smell under the light. "Aversion to sunlight". There was a disturbing growing body of evidence that this was just the start. It was time to make a decision.

    The Fate of Little town!
    Ma Jenkins called for a meeting in front of the Jenkins manor, sort of like the town's square. "Sheriff, what did you find about this attack?" the crone said, and the Sheriff stood up simply, and displayed the facts. "They are just the forefront, we can expect more. I don't know how many more, but probably quite a bit. And I think they have stronger creatures than we have seen." He remembered back to the whip. "I think they may be coming from Forrest Ville". Ma Jenkins sighed and nodded. "What shall we do now. Any ideas anyone?"

    Brother Walter the preacher stood up and suggested to find out more, to send an expedition to Forrest ville, and perhaps even strike at their core. To this D*ck mighty objected, saying they should find a way to fortify Littletown and protect it! What chance did they have against such a horde with a small scouting group?

    Luckily, Fate has a good mechanic for solving such situations- a contest, and so I suggested we play it. Basically- each of them tries their way (Brother Walter through rapport, D*ck through deceit) to persuade the crowd and Ma Jenkins. They compete against each other, back and forth until someone wins 3 times.

    The preacher spoke of the need to learn more before they strike again, while **** called to stop a suicide mission, not to let the good skilled people of the town go to waste. Brother Walter called upon his "ain't always been a priest" aspect to claim that he knows how such raiders work, and that in their resting place they are more vulnerable, perhaps hiding from the sunlight. D*ck called on the same aspect, calling the preacher's dedication to Littletown into light. Brother Walter didn't stay in debt "You would make profit anyway you can! How can we trust YOU?"

    In the middle of this exchange they tied, which calls for... an unexpected complication, that can be used by, or hamper, both sides. I thought for a moment, and then the madame stood up, offering a 3rd alternative! "You speak of a great horde of raiders. Little town is not made of warriors- we are farmer, craftsmen, and many have already died to this small scouting party! I say we need to flee! We should pack up quickly, and make a hasty way towards Rivertown! There with their numbers we might find safety!"

    In short, the discussion turned 3 ways, and I used the madame's aspects, as well as the other two to fight back. She soon came up gaining advantage! This is when D*ck changed tactics, and joined forces with Brother Walter and forced all his venom to attack the Madame, and enable Brother Walter to succeed ("Hey, I can't let her win- I'll lose everything! And he's more ahead than me!")

    In short, Bother Walter called upon "These are MY people!" and "Bringing hope to the hopeless" and gained the favor of the crowd and Ma Jenkins. "Well argued. Ok, Brother Walter- assemble a team of scouts to go to Forrest Ville. We'll prepare the town for defense while you are gone."

    A course of action has been decided.

    Design notes and thoughts about Contests
    Spoiler
    Show
    I like giving meaningful choices, or at least complex situations. I planned somewhat towards all 3 likely decisions (A force to Forrest ville, Barricade and protect the town or evacuate) but I was ready to go with other crazy ideas.

    The basic plan for the game was wave, then deal with something Not requiring straight up fighting, then possibly another wave, another more subtle issue, and possibly a final wave and climax. Things however have changed...

    About the discussion and contest: I really liked that- it gave a more gradual feel to "Social combat" rather than just "roll diplomacy" and the fact you got to use your aspects, and your rival aspects really added up to thing. I especially liked the "Unexpected complication" outcome of a tie. This is one of my favorite mechanics.


    Starting to gear up!
    The party wanted to gear up, but then began a big discussion (led by Jenny's player) about getting a real monster of a vehicle, refitting it heavily and making a real go for it! Tell the truth, I didn't quite know how to react to it at that moment. The idea was that most vehicles here were barely functioning junk (Except for Jenny and D*ck's vehicles- her motorcycle, his terran jeep) I decided to treat this as a Challenge (Another mechanic, again you need 3 or more successes but against a passive DC.) We decided on a roll of resources (for the base), Mechanics (to fix it) and... I don't remember the third. However, Only Ruphalo actually worked on it at all, while the others did other roleplay stuff. As things became a bit stalled, I moved on to the next scene. We needed to find a better solution for the vehicle.

    Hostage situation, and the plot thickens
    Which is when the Sheriff heard there were still some ghouls in town! a group of them barricaded themselves inside of one of D*ck Mighty's warehouses! (The player: "WHAT? I hope they didn't damage any of the goods!", "They got hostages their, your workers!", "Yeah yeah... the goods?") It was already sunny, and the party got around the warehouse, when a strangely sweet but deep voice talked to them. It identified itself as Dr. Marlo, one of the mutants (He gave them their right names), who came here seeking... something in the town. They are all drawn to it. Something in it calls to them. He suggested they will give it to them, and then the Vampyrs will let them live, let them be free... If not, then the great horde will come, and devour the town. The speech was intelligent, sophisticated.

    Spoiler
    Show


    Jenny snuck by the warehouse, and manged to spot (create an advantage) a small hole through which she peeked. Inside were 8 Vampyrs, and 2 Mogols, along with some prisoners in the warehouse that held the ramshackle vehicles of D*ck Mighty. And there was another mutant, a bit bigger, covered in scales, wearing a stained lab coat. There were also two prisoners who were lying on the floor looking... not well, ill, sweating, breathing hard.

    The Sheriff and the preacher conversed with Dr. Marlo, who claimed he was once a scientist till he was transformed, and that he is now trying to find a way to reverse the mutations, and that he believes that whatever is in this town will enable him to do so. They also learned that this was just ONE horde, and apparently there are many. "We are a plague, and if not cured, we shall consume you all!"

    I don't remember who exactly, but one of the characters made a slightly surprising turn of events. (I think it was the Sheriff) "Ok, come with us, and let us see what you look for. We can decide then!" They talked and managed to persuade the doctor (It was fairly easy using what he came for) and the doctro and some of his mutants came in two beaten and shaded cars. The Aversion to sunlight did not cause them damage, just discomfort.

    This is me, making villains
    So they all drove into the middle of Little town, and Dr. Marlo pushed on, becoming more and more excited, more frantic, till they reached a small about to fall hovel. The Sheriff, preacher and Ruphalo entered inside with the lizardine doctor, to find Talila, one of Little town's residents, and her twin children- Michael and Rose.

    "Them!" exclaimed Dr. Marlo, frightening them all. "It's in them! In their flesh, or blood, or skin! Give me them! They are the answer, the cure! They are the source, what we've been searching for so long!" There were a few moments of hesitation, before the Sheriff called. "Screw this! I'm the sheriff of this god damned town! No way you're taking them!"

    The battle was fierce at the start- the doctor had a poisonous barb coming from a sheath in his hand with which he tried to poison the warrior, who fought him in the tight quarters, while D*ck and Jenny fought the mooks outside. The battle however was quite bland unfortunately, and VERY one sided- Numbers are a BIG deal in Fate. The Sheriff, preacher and Ruphalo ganged up on the doctor and burned it's Fate points quickly, and then continued to cause him serious harm, even breaking his arm and causing a head concussion, partly blinding him.

    In D&D it would be dead, but in Fate there is a possibility to "Concede the fight"- You avoid the worst outcomes of the fight, but you pay some heavy price. This sort of enables characters to avoid death, and the DM to have recurring villains. You can play without this rule though, we decided to try it out.

    Dr. Marlo conceded, begging for his life. They decided to lock him up in the Sheriff's office (1 cell), and interrogate him, learning a few more aspects as they went. They also found "Dr. Marlo's map" which had 10 red marking on it, 8 of them are crosses, and 2 more circles around Little town and River town. also they found a few vials and injections. Fro mthe state of the two prisoners in the warehouse they understtod Dr. Marlo was trying to make more Vampyrs? "Must have new test subjects to test potential medications on! You may have beaten me, But soon my children will come, and then you will all perish!" he laughed blindly.

    It was time to get into action!

    Design Note
    Spoiler
    Show
    The hotage situation was not a situation with a written solution. I try to avoid that. My philosophy is to come up with a situation, give it enough detail and complexity so no direct obvious solution is obvious, maybe try and think of likely approaches and counter reactions, but other than that just roll with the players. Which is what happened here, The players acted in a way I didn't expect.

    About antagonist: I often seem to suck at "big bosses", which Dr. Marlo partly was (More like a minor boss). In previous campaigns the major bosses got beat up pretty easily. I will learn from here onwards though...

    ----------------------------------------
    This is where the first session ended (Or the second "Fate session"). I had really expected to go a lot farther, and perhaps finish the introductory session, but apparently we were going to have a second session to wrap this up! All in all people were quite excited about the new system, the characters and game so far. This looked promising...

    But there were a few things to settle before the new session comes up. I'll deal with that in the next post- "Between sessions". Hope you like it so far, chip in and give me a holler if you like it, or have any questions.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-09-16 at 05:58 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    I'm happy to help if you have any specific Fate questions. The Fate Core group on G+ is also a great resource.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I'm happy to help if you have any specific Fate questions. The Fate Core group on G+ is also a great resource.
    I'd love any input about things we may be doing wrong, or can do better. I sort of try and give the tale of the group and the gaming, along the tale of the actual in game plot. I'll discuss some stuff that we came across, and if you wish to give advice, it's more than welcomed!

    Currently trying to catch up on updates, which brings me to...

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Between Sessions 1 & 2- First kinks in the wheels

    (One thing I forgot to mention- I used music throughout the first session, drawing from The help of the playground. Some good music there! My players found it distracting due to trying to focus on the new game, but I still recommend it. I added a link to the thread in the first session.)

    So the group was excited, but some issues came up. I'll try to detail them to the best of my memory (and looking through past emails):

    1. The guy playing the Sheriff was a one time guest, and he couldn't come up to the next meeting. He loved the game, but couldn't manage to meet at our times, so he bowed out. The Sheriff was one of the more battle oriented in the group, so this needed a bit more accommodating to.

    2. The Players kept talking about future adventures. This caught me a bit by surprise, as I mostly planned this adventure to be a one shot. (Though I'll admit I did put a few future hooks in it, if that might be the case). I decided to play it out and see when the adventure ends. I didn't quite have follow up ideas at that point...

    3. There came the matter of the vehicle the party wanted to build and refit. There were lots of discussions on the emails, but in the end I got the idea they wanted something quite permanent, to last them for (potential) future adventures. Something serious and operative, not just a ride. I ruled out that this kind of an undertaking would call for an adventure in itself, and would not fit now. The party could fit a good enough vehicle to go into the wasteland, but that is it's own challenge. I'll describe how we dealt with it mechanically in the session itself.

    4. Another issue that came up is non mundane weapons, such as machine guns, grenades, explosives, rocket launchers, and so on. A discussion came up: On one hand these are a staple of a post apocalyptic Fallout-like setting, and they are part of the fun. On the other hand we didn't want to get bogged down with lots of extra rules. The system was about the story, not the simulation.

    (Since Fate is supposed to fit to many different genres, an integral part of fitting the game to your setting is called "Extras"- extra rues for things like magic, psychic powers, monsters, space travel, vampires and so on... depending on your fancy. These however usually tend to be kept simple, using stunts, aspects, stress and skills somehow.)

    We decided to finish the introduction adventure first, and then decide how to tackle these issues. For now we'll stick to the basics. We're new to this as it is.

    4. We did however decide to pick something simple for vehicles: A vehicle has stress boxes and consequences (actual damage that doesn't go off at the end of the fight). They may have aspect to represent a special quality of them. If hitting meat targets, only the vehicle takes stress, the passengers and drivers do not.

    With that I'll move on to the second session.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-08-29 at 02:56 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Session 2, part 1- Of races, plans and betrayel

    The sheriff's player bowed out from the game, due to time constraints. We did however have an observer- The preacher's player ex-girlfriend (Or something, I didn't ask too much) She recently played Fallout 3 and was curious about this game, so she asked to watch. We of course agreed! This will become important later on.

    The party has just captured Dr. Marlo, the twisted mutant doctor, and decided to step up their plans to go scout the Vampyrs temporary hideout, with a hidden hope to possibly blowing them all up. But first they needed transportation! We decided to do this as a Challenge: Basically a series of steps towards a goal, who all need to be done. You can approach the different tasks by whatever means you wish however. It's important to note that in Fate even if you fail on a roll you may succeed, with a minor or major cost however, to be decided... The party wanted to put all kinds of add ons to the vehicle, and we decided these will be Overcome actions- they succeed or fail on their own.

    Mechanically it looked something like this:
    Challenge: get decent wasteland transportation,
    Stage 1- Get a basic vehicle.
    Stage 2- Fix it well enough to be hardy and sturdy.
    Stage 3- Get enough power in fuel or microfusion to get them all the way.

    Additions the party wanted:
    - Make some armor for the vehicle.
    - Add UV lights to the vehicles (To utilize the Vampyrs "aversion to sunlight" aspect)
    - Add a machine gun to the vehicle as well.

    D*ck decided to use his resources to pull out the best vehicles he can. He rolled quite high, and invsted aspects to make an impressive success (Called "Succeed with style", sort of like a super crit on checks). We wanted to represent this, and he had an idea- On top of the fast and maneuverable terran quad, D*ck had his eye on an old beat up wreck of a truck I drew up in the warehouse Dr. Marlo barricaded in before. I agreed to that, but they'll need to fix it too.

    So The two mechanics- Ruphalo the mutant and Jenny the mercenary went to work on the two vehicles, and their combined skills did make them operable in time.They still needed power, so the preacher went to the Jenkins and made his way to them. It was no real problem, as the Jenkins provided the needed micro fusion cells. More than that, they offered some men to come with them! Cousin Billy (I was trying hard to make them somewhat Hill-billy like) and 8 more Jenkins will escort them and offer some help if needed. The party didn't quite know how to take it. (Especially D*ck who didn't like the Jenkins much) but they accepted the help.

    The Rich Mr. Mighty was able to find some UV lights in his warehouses, While Jenny found an old clanky machine gun, with some limited ammunition, both were added to the quad, while Ruphalo put some added armor plates to the quad. (We treated all of these as aspects with one free use). The vehicles were ready to go!

    The results?
    Spoiler
    Show





    All of this got them to afternoon. Jenny loaded her motorcycle on the back of D*ck's truck, and went to drive the quad, with Ruphalo beside her, and The preacher who ain't always been a priest on the machine gun. Cousin Billy and the jenkins followed in tow.

    It was time for the expedition to Forrest ville!

    Some dirt racing!
    The group made good headway, till they reached the bridge over the river. They expected this to be a potential ambush, and so decided that the quad will go ahead, with the others waiting. Jenny drove closer, but they noticed the mogols jumping from their shaded hidey places on their partly covered basic quads, and drove off!

    "Damn! they're gonna get away!" Jenny pushed the pedal, and went over the bridge... and into the trap they had between the scattered debris. But the party used their "armored vehicle" aspect to protect against this and raced on. And D*ck raced after them, not noticing the trap as well, and got the truck stuck on the bridge.

    It was time for another contest, but this time against 3 other vehicles. and on each vehicle there were people who could shoot the others, and create more advantages. Now, if Jenny knows how to do something, it's to drive! She overtook the first car quickly, and the Preacher shot them down, the quad turning over and burning with the mogols in it. The other two were a bit more difficult, and Both Jenny and Brother Walter used some aspcts to get them, the machine gun helping, but at the end jamming (compel) due to Brother Walter's tough handling with his one arm. As they got close to the last quad Ruphalo leaped between the vehicles and ground the quad to a halt, and smashed the poor remaining mogols to bits.

    All through this D*ck smiled and smoked his cigar. The truck blocked the Jenkins's approach. The guy knows how to relax when things are out of control.

    Safe for now, the prudent party decided to not waste what they gained, and hid the last surviving quad for potential further use. (Paranoid bunch! )

    Design notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    I wanted to achieve a few things in this scene:
    - first I wanted to have a fairly simple encounter to refresh the player's memory about the dice, skills, and how contests and conflict went.
    - I wanted us to try and test a slightly more complex scene- contest on the one side, conflict on the other.
    - And still an important challenge. Had any of the quads escaped, the party would have been in real trouble now.

    One thing I failed to do though was provide an interesting terrain or conditions for the race. The only aspects the people used were their own and on occasion- of the vehicles. We need to do situational aspects better!


    So... Where exactly in Forrest Ville?
    The scouts arrived at the ruined remains of Forrest Ville, but then understood they don;t exactly know where to look. It was here I realized a little mistake I made- finding the Vampyrs base would normally relied on Investigate, which only the Sheriff had, and the rest lacked. Still- Time to get a bit creative, no?

    I don't quite remember how they found the clues- footprints of many feet, strong chemical odor, Some HUGE footprints?... and more. The party was trying to be creative, and I was somewhat lenient. I think they used their Notice skill the most. D*ck produced a pair of thermal scopes. (Using resources) The preacher used his knowledge before being a priest, and Jenny her mercenary skills and more. In the end they found the place- what looked like an old chemical plant, used to augument the taste of cattle, only from the smell of it- it was up and running again?

    Design Notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    I didn't plan it well, and I'm not just talking about relying on one main skill the characters don't have, but also since I didn't quite plan (or think on the post in the meeting) about consequences of failure. It was sort of a foregone conclusion they will find the plant, which is a bad assumption of a GM to do. There need to always be a real possibility of failure, but I didn't plan for it, and so dragged this on and pushed them along.

    And it felt like it a bit- something to get through, not a meaningful intersection. Thankfully enough this was a very minor part of the whole shabang, and I think the rest went quite well.


    Ok, so now what do we do?
    The party was on a hill overseeing the plant, and the sun was starting to set. They knew time was of the essence. But scouting came first. They spent several minutes trying to locate any threats, any clues. D*ck's limitless arsenal of useful gadgets came to the fore once more. We started feeling uncomfortable about this- Like a guy with a bag of holding of endless surprises. But this was his main skill, no?

    The picture the party got could be summarized so:
    - The plant is fenced on 3 sides, on the fourth thee is the river the party crossed before.
    - There are 2 main buildings, one of them much larger in the center, and 1-2 smaller buildings, on the far side.
    - There was a high tower coming out from the main building, it seemed a bit armored, but no one in it.
    - There were no Vampyrs or Mogol guards either!
    - There was movement though, pairs of somethings moving around the place in a distinct pattern. Mr. Mighty's scope saw these as small circular mechnical beings. Jenny the High Tech Groovey recognized these as Centagon! Pre war simple alarm system- they were usually connected to some central computer, and some power source. They could alert all who is connected tothe central computer though. The party estimated there were about 3-4 pairs.
    - At the far side of the plants they saw more movements- another fence, and in it about 10-20 humanoids, human most likely. They seemed primitive, probably tribals. The party assumed these poor humans are either food supply, or destined to become future Vampyrs.

    Ok, so now what? The party assumed the bulk of the force was hiding inside one or tow of the main buildings. They sought to try and maybe sneak in, maybe rescue the prisoners, maybe plant some explosives? (Ruphalo has a stunt that enables him to use explosives, but he has to set them in a non combat situation. He wasn't able to use it yet, which was frustrating. I originally envisioned this coming useful to protect the town from further waves. It needed a change).

    Now, with my group, when there is a situation which can be handled in many ways, they will discuss, analyze, argue, discuss again, rethink things and more. Quite exasperating really. So I make a point at having some time pressure in most such situation. After they had enough time I "reminded" them that the sun was setting even more. So they settled finally on this:
    Jenny and Ruphalo will swim the river, and come at the side of the compound. Jenny thought she recognized where the Centagons linger two much between the two buildings, and assumed this was their recharge station, along with the main computer. (D*ck even supplied some EMP guns...) They will try to disable it, and maybe Ruphalo could plant some explosives. The player asked if he can prepare them for quicker use, and I agreed for the cost of a Fate point. Meanwhile Brother Walter will get to the far side, and will try to liberate the prisoners, perhaps they could learn something from them? D*ck, who lacked any kindof real infiltration skills, or impressive combat skills, will stay behind on the hill as reinforcement for when (Not IF, some of the party gave me meaningful looks. They know me so well! ) things will go bad. And the Jenkins? Um, they could stay on the hill as well. Cousin Billy was fine with that. D*ck provided communication radios for the 3 groups. The "bag of surprises" started to really break the feel of a real world. But we let it slide for now.

    With less than an hour for daylight, the party started executing their plan.

    The wrong time, the wrong place for old blood
    It went more or less to plan at the start. Jenny and Ruphalo went mostly undetected, and snuck past Centagons to the charg station, and got into a fight with the two snoozing Mogols there. Brother Walter was frustrated at climbing the fence due to being short one arm, but managed non the less.

    It was then I made a decision that turned the session around, which I'm not entirely sure if it was good or bad- I decided it was time for betrayal! For Cousin Billy and his folk didn't come to this mission to help the party, they figured out it was indeed a suicide mission, and them crazy biker chick and mutant were proving just that! But they mainly came to dispose of an old threat to the Jenkins. Namely- D*ck Mighty.

    Luckily enough he locks his doors, and that saved him from getting butchered on the spot. He started the truck and moved the slow vehicle around at full speed, ramming one of the group, Noticing their plan was discovered, they start shooting at the truck, trying to put enough damage into it to stop it.

    The gun fire was well heard over the landscape. I didn't say they were really smart now? Jenny, Ruphalo and Walter cursed. Walter suddenly faced some sleepy Vampyr guards who awoke, but manged to hide from them, as they ran towards the main gates. He succeeded doing though with a price though- a Mugg hound spotted him, and came to see the nosy neighbor. Meanwhile Ruphalo crushed the mogols, And Jenny decided not to mess about with the computer and just "kept it simple" and smashed the controls. Centagons around the compound went off, but the damage was done already. The door to the central building (Which were quite near to where Jenny and Ruphalo were, flew open with dozens of Vampyrs and Mogols streaming out. Oh, did I mention the guard tower's dozing guards woke up, and were starting to pellet them with fire?

    A round of curses went around the room.

    Design Notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    I planned on the Jenkins acting as antagonists since they seemed somewhat like that from the start, and I felt that they needed "extra push" in that direction. Though admittedly, this push may have been a bit too far, as it turned the focus of the players on them later on, more than the Vampyrs menace.

    The decision has bad points- I basically didn't allow the party to fully execute their plan, or investigate inside. (Which I planned quite a lot for). But on the other hand it's a lovely unexpected twist, and it REALLY brought the tension up. Plus, it made an emotionally evoking enemy. Which is always a good thing, no?

    Why exactly did I do it? I don't quite know. I originally planned the Jenkins to betray the party once they get out, and are badly beaten, but in the spur of the moment, with the party split so nicely, and D*ck so vulnerable (The player LOVES nearly impossible under dog situations) I just thought it would be cool.

    The Betrayers?
    6 Jenkins
    Skills: drive +2, shoot, stealth +1

    3 Elite Jenkins (Amongst them Cousin Billy)
    Skills: Shoot: +3 Drive, athletics: +2 Fight, craft, lore +1
    Aspects"One big happy family"
    "**** Mighty goes down


    "Run! Run away! No- that way! Wait! I'm being shot at! Me too!"
    On the hill **** managed to run more of the Jenkins down, but the truck was taking heavy damage .They didn't expect him to be such a resistance! But as a "Savage of the bad lands" D*ck wasn't about to go down! As the truck nearly collapsed, He decided to try something else, and rove the truck towards the plants gates! As the truck launched down hill D*ck climebed to the back of the truck, cut the bonds of Jenny's bike, and with quite an impressive turn of skill soared with bike back towards the hill just as the truck toppled over crushing some of hungry horde with it.

    Meanwhile Brother Walter fought the mugg haund, who wounded him nicely, but he came up with the upper hand (Pun intended! ) still determined to "bring hope to a faithless world", and free these poor souls. He got to them and broke the lock on their cage, and then with a few sweeping inspiring words he convinced them to basically "get the hell out of here!" He ran trying to lead the tribals over the fence and by it where the river met the fence.

    Jenny and Ruphalo however, had quite a bit more trouble. They started running with the tower putting bullets in them, while taking some cover withe the various crates and stuff around (Yay! finally some use of situational aspects), but they were mostly out running the horde behind them. "Can I use the prepared explosives now?" Asked Ruphalo, and I agreed, it seemed cool and appropriate. One semi grenade- semi explosive later, and a loud "Boom!" and there were many dead Vampyrs and mogols back, the rest unsure of whether to pursue. This gave them some time, and Walter called them to come towards him. (And away from D*ck Mighty)

    Speaking of which, **** was riding towards the last Jenkins on Jenny's motorcycle (Her player: "If there is even a scratch!") But behind him there was the horde coming! fueled by his anger, He manged to do some fancy driving, making Cousin Billy fall, and then... running the bike's tyre over his face. Meanwhile one jenkins tried to sabotage the groups' hard earend quad, but died to D*ck Mighty's bullets. the rest turned to run, and two Mugg hounds with Mogol riders on them. Another contest, but the Mogols actually got running Jenkins before D*ck had, but the rest put even more wounds to him. Barely alive, with the horde behind him, D*ck knew that he "Doesn't give a sh*t about anybody!" and contacted the party through radio: "I'm going south! Can't help you now!"

    Meanwhile more vampyrs came out of other places, And Ruphalo and JEnny were running like hell. Coming by A centagon I compelled JEnny to have a look (High Tech Groovy) and though she came under some attacks, she took the robot's computing unit. Ruphaloe was taking some heavy damage as well, But was fighting it off, while The precher was trying to shoot down the mogols in the tower.

    It was then that IT came out from one of the side hanger sized door of the main building- some towering creature, looking like some sort of giant, approximately two stories tall. The party didn't make any details in the darkness, butthey as sure as hell weren't staying to find out! They remembered the signs of the "Huge barbed whip", and were in no ocndition to face that.

    Dooublign their efforts they crossed the fence, swam up river, decided on getting as far up north as possible (The Vampyrs proved to be poor swimmers), along with the tribals, and try and regroup there. Jenny called to D*ck with the radio, who went south towards Littletown. "Find a way to get to us, we're going north!"

    The Vampyrs didn't pursue those who went up north. They had a target- Little town still had to fall down. And so the party was split- Walter, Jenny and Ruphalo somewhat wounded, going far north, with no vehicles. While D*ck alone on his bike going south, a horde of Vampyrs behind him.

    GM notes for this turnout of a scene
    Spoiler
    Show
    This was great fun! I think the players enjoyed it immensely too. They like fighting great odds, and thinking fast. I didn't plan this (I planned a thorough investigation and infiltration of the plant) but having a good grasp of the situation and set up involved, and the great ease FATE enables to improvise with made this quite easy.

    ---------------------------------------------
    The first half (more like 2/3rds) of the session ended here. We had a short break while they talked plans, and they got 3 fate points back (Which were sorely needed!).

    I'm not sure I'll be able to update tomorrow or the day after, but most likely I'll update on Sunday or Monday. I hope you're enjoying the read, please feel free to put your voice (or writing) in.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-08-29 at 03:20 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Final Gynecology exam is over! Psychiatry next, but hopefully I'll have a bit more time to update. In the mean time, a tiny tiny vacation! So where were we?

    Session 2, part 2- Ma Jenkins' Folly, Final show down! Ogre and the Siren

    The party was separated, D*ck was alone and on his heels where The Vampyrs, and the rest ran up north to some remains of a patchy forest, with no vehicles or anything. But that didn't bother people, what bothered them was that they were betrayed- by the Jenkins! A sure proof way to get players motivated is to screw them over. They will do whatever it takes, WHATEVER it takes to get their revenge. Works every time! we had a little break as they discussed their plans. Meanwhile, I listened, and though up of challenges to come.

    The benefits of being prudent, and a question of loyalty
    D*ck changed course, taking Jenny's Harley away from the horde's path, going somewhat west, intending for them to go past him. As much as he wanted to get back into town and shoot Ma Jenkins in the face, he was in no shape for that, and definitely not prepared to face the whole tribe. Grudingly he had to admit he needed the rest. He had an idea, he hoped it was not too late.

    Meanwhile up north the party tried to rest and figure out what to do. "We should start walking back!" demanded the preacher. "To where? Little town may be doomed, and we'll never get there in time!" replied Jenny, in a bitter mood. "D*ck will come for us, I think..." The preacher snorted his contempt. "Oh yeah! HE will come! The rich bastard who doesn't give sh*t about anyone else will just RIDE to our rescue, I'm sure!" Jenny didn't quite know how to respond, and tried to defend D*ck weakly, but she had doubts herself. He was not exactly the most moral of men.

    Brother Walter sat down, running his one hand through his hair. "We need to decide what to do. I'm not leaving the town to the Vampyrs, or the Jenkins. These are MY people!" But he was at a lost as to what to do. Ruphalo surprisingly got in the conversation. "I do not wish to go against the JEnkins, they saved my life back in the mines" (PArt of the back story, and also an aspect I was surprised he played!). The other two watched him stunned. "They just tried to kill you! You don't think your debt to them is over?" Ruphalo shrugged his great shoulder. "They tried to kill Mighty, not us. They just didn't plan it well". Brother Walter was beyond itself. "Didn't plan it well? We were in the middle of the Vampyrs compound? They left you as dead Ruphalo!" The big mutant shrugged again, but added nothing. It seemed to shy from verbal confrontations, and added no more.

    The trio was watched curiously by the tribals they rescued. Walter went to them, and tried to talk to their hearts, to promise them a future in Littletown, or at least good trade if they will join them, to help them fight to rescue it. Having had most of their people taken by the Vampyrs for... whatever cause (They didn't find out) Mau, the remaining leader of the small bunch wasn't exactly enthusiastic to help, despite avid persuasion (and poor rolls). At the end they decided to just sleep for a few hours this night, get some of their strength back.

    Near morning however Jenny was awakened by her radio. "Jenny, you there? where the hell are you guys?" D*ck's annoyed voice came over the radio. She hurried and explained their location, and soon enough after He reached them, on the quad they hid after the bridge race, a bit roughed up, but in working order, and with Jenny's bike strapped to the rear. Apparently being prudent paid off!

    D*ck came down from the quad, in a foul mood. "Now, lets get back and kick some Jenkins!" Noticing the tribals he tried his own manner of persuasion. "You come with us, I get you guns, I get booze, I get you shiny stuff if you fight for us!" He didn't exactly hide his contempt for the tribals. Walter talked against him "You're just using them!" But Mau and his people liked D*ck's suggestion, as they needed some stuff to survive the wasteland.

    Unfortunately they had no vehicles for the tribals, and in the end just bid them farewell, With Brother Walter preparing to perhaps get back and help them.

    Things have changed here lately...
    The party rode back, communicating through their radios, and decided to stop on a hill nearby Littletown, and scout it, with D*ck trying to use his radio to maybe find out how things are. It proved a bit surprising!

    D*ck's henchman (forgot the name I've given this NPC) responded to the radio, surprised. "Is that you boss? They said you were dead!", "Well it happens I'm not, what's going on in the town?" "Well boss, Soon after you left, Ma Jenkins went to talk with the creepy mutant Doctor guy, and then got Talila and her kids taken to the manor! She said that it's the dawn of a new age- that the only way to stop the night mutants was to help them find what they want, and maybe Little town can benefit in the process. Some of them settled here, and people say they are doing experiments in the manor! The creepy Doctor is there as well! And they are saying the rest of their force are coming tonight. People are scared boss! what do we do?!"

    "Wait, you said "the rest of their numbers", how many Vampyrs are in the town now?", "about 50-80 I think" The party cursed. they went to planning. Amongst other things they somehow came to the conclusion that Ma Jenkins had some deal with the horde long BEFORE they came here (Which is an... interesting idea Might use it myself). They also learned that the Mogols brought some sort of simple armored hovercraft. They didn't know how to deal with that many Vampyrs, or that many Jenkins. So, as Jenny suggested "Lets use them against each other, lets cause a fight! We'll get them at each other's throats, and use the diversion to get that hag!"

    Viva la revulition
    Mr. NPC-who's-name-I-Don't-remember got persuaded to sneak the party in town, towards D*ck's manor (It's good to be rich) in return for some good words with The Madam's ladies ("I really like Mary Beth... mmmmm...") Ruphalo's size almost caused trouble, but they were finally in town. They managed to also get the madam to meet them. "We need you to try and provoke the town to fight once all hell breaks out. We also need you to convey a little message- say to the Jenkins that **** and Jenny hides in THIS house. (The hosue they pointed too was a derelict resting place for Vampyrs from the sun, which they scouted earlier). give us half an hour to get into position though..." The madam agreed, and went to start talking some resistance in the town folks.

    Jenny and Walter decided to head towards a vantage point, and wished to sneak in the town. I deemed it a challenge. D*ck supplied some camouflage gear from his mansion (He was angry that most of it was ransacked though. People took the news of his death... kindly) and the two were able to get into position easily enough. They watched and waited.

    Meanwhile D*ck got one of his more down beaten cars, and had his man drive it with him and Ruphalo under covers towards a point looking at the fence of the Jenkins manor. He too waited.

    And spurned by the Madam's words, a group of Jenkins came rushing down the street towards the Vampyrs hide out. (I tried compelling Jenny, saying one of her concerned brothers were there as well, but the player didn't accept, the first time in the game!) As soon as they got there, they bust in "Where is Mighty?" Which is when Jenny shot one bullet to a Jenkins head, and Walter shot a Vampyr.

    A few gun shots and howls later, all hell broke loose! The Vampyrs howled an attack, the Jenkins as well, and the settlers of Littletown fought to regain their town! In the midst of it all Jenny and Walter ran to where D*ck and Ruphalo were hiding.

    But there were more surprises on the way! From the middle of the Jenkins manor a great whirring noise came, and a turret came up, along with a high tech cannon, who suddenly shot an energy beam towards the Mogols Hovercraft! The party exchanged worried glances, but decided they were too far in this to back now. It was Ma baker in the turret, and she was furious!

    For some reason I don't exactly fathom, the preacher tried to sneak over open ground to the Jenkins mannor, only to be shot at by some of the Jenkins holed up there (I ruled that their diversion took about 1/2-2/3rds of their forces out of the manor. There was still resistance though!) The lazer turned his way and he could see Ma Jenkins in her turret, aiming at him, and barely missing, living scorched ground. It looked as if there was some sort of an energy shield around the top of the turret?

    D*ck sighed, then cursed. "There goes another car!" as he just put the peddale to the metal and rammed his way through the fence, putting his car near the building. The rest jumped out and made their way towards the doors, taking slight damage from the frantic shots of the Jenkins. D*ck stayed in the car for a moment too long, as Ma Baker's laser burned through the roof and almost incinerated him, as he rolled off just in time, cursing again for the loss of his car. Ruphalo got to the door and despite reinforcments and a bar on the other side just broke itwide open with his mutant's strength, the rest coming behind him. Then they faced about 10 Jenkins there, obviously frightened of the entire situation. "I don't wanna hurt them" said Ruphalo, but the rest got engaged. Still- numbers pack a punch, and this wasn't doing them good.

    To make matter's worse, Dr. Marlo appeared fro ma side corridor! "You again? Don't you give up? we are here! we have what we want! And soon our major force will arrive, My Ogre and Sirine leading them! You are dead as we speak!"

    Which is when the party did something brilliant, they stopped fighting the Jenkins, and talked to their hearts- about the wrongness of what Ma Jenkins was doing, about this path taking Little town down, about Talila's children, and more. Brother Walter joined forces with Mr. mighty and they got them to hesitate long enough. Ma Baker called down to her sons, undoing the effect, but the party would not relent and spoke again. "is this what Pa Baker wanted for the town? Is this the fate of Littletown" they managed to turn their opinions once more, and turn on Marlo!" And as I said before- Numbers matter! the surprised doctor was ganged up on, the Jenkins beating up all their frustration! This time, there was no conceding.

    But there was someone else listening- Burt Jenkings, Ma Jenkins's son. He was too persuaded, and took some of his men and shot down the Microfusion station powering up M Jenkins laser. the turret went down, and Ma Baker escorted under guns to a hold cell in the manor, while the fighting outside finishing, the Vampyrs far less strong in daylight. Burt came out, apologizing profusely. "We shouldn't have listened to her, we knew she was wrong, but... well... she was our ma!" and such excuses. The party wasn't that convinced, but decided to let that rest for now. For night was approaching, and FAST! The major part of the Vampyrs horde was coming.

    Design notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    I had the Jenkins as possible side antagonists from the beginning, but they became major only when Cousin Billy and his pals betrayed the party. So while the party discussed plans I came up with some ideas. I thought that the Microfusion might power something nifty, and though up the laser cannon. Not exactly a great element (And it got bypassed real fast with the party's tactics), but it added tension, which was it's purpose. Really easy to stat it though!

    As before, I decided to make up a situation, and let the party break their minds figuring out how to deal with it. They came with a decent and fun plan, so we went with it. Breaking into the Jenkins manor was far easier than I expected with D*ck's car and Ruphalo's strength, but they did quite well. The entire thing was improvised, and I just loved how easy it was to do so!

    Some stats for those interested:
    Ma Jenkins
    "I taught my sons well!"
    "Old fashioned crone"

    Gun aspects:
    "Charging power gap"
    "Rotator not fully operational"

    Skills:
    Great: Provoke
    Good: Rapport, Will (Shoot in the gun)
    Fair: Physique, Shoot, Deceive
    Average: Lore, fight, craft, Athletics

    OOOO
    OOOO
    Stunts:
    Intimidating persona: once per scene can use provoke on all without splitting her dice.
    Tough old biddy: uses her will for physical stress
    Mother's love: for a Fate point, Ma Jenkins can grant aid to ALL her siblings for a single round.

    Laser cannon Stunts:
    - It burns! On a successful hit the gun causes 2 more stress
    - Disintegrate cover: if the target used cover to defend, the cover aspect is destroyed
    - Power screen: each successful shot is rerolled

    (power screen can be taken down by taking down the generator, inside the mansion, causing it 4 stress)

    Burt Jenkins
    - Not much of a people's person.
    - Master rancher and hunter.
    - Ain't too bright, trying to do what's right.

    OOO
    OO
    Skills:
    Good: Shoot
    Fair: Rapport, stealth
    Average: Physique, athletics, fight

    Jenkins:

    Craft +2
    Atheltics, shoot, fight +1


    Boss Fight! Ogre and Sirine
    The town got as prepared as it could to the coming of the Vampyrs. We skimmed over that since the session was getting late, and we sought to finish the intro adventure that session. So I... cut corners a bit... As the rest of the horde came, a mogol spoke up a challenge: "You are strong, stronger than others before you! You killed Marlo, you killed many of us, you destroyed the flying fortress." (Forgot about that- I decided that the hover crat was taken down, not salvageable at this point) "But you cannot beat our strongest! Bring your strong, and face our champions! Ogre and Sirine!" Now the party assumed the ogre was the huge impressive fella two stories high they saw back at the plant, and they guessed the giant barbed whip belongs to it as well, but the Sirine?

    Soon after they heard the town people yelling as it approached, coming into the Junkyard, the final battle zone. Now this battle zone I prepared with quite a few aspects to be used (Scraps of old junk, a water tower, a partially working crane, and a few other stuff). but most of the party decided to focus on their own aspects, we're still not doing this well enough.

    The shadow loomed, and huge figure came out, twisted and meaty, They saw the creature with a thick metal helmet covering it's entire face other htan his jaw, even his eyes, and something? someone? perched on it's shoulder/ back? They didn't have time to think when that someone shot Jenny with it's sniper rifle, a very precise shot, taking the breath of her! So this was the Sirine... The ogre Lashed with a "whip" (Actually a telecommunication cord) at the biggest target- Ruphalo, and hit him, entangling him, and drawing him towards him, to bash the mutant with his other weapon- a street light pole. But Ruphalo, instead of resisting, rushed towards the Ogre, unleashing a fearsome bellow, striking at it! Inspired by the giant Brother Walter rushed after him to offer aid! Meanwhile, D*ck who surmized this was NOT the kind of battle he wants to be in, decided to get into the crane, and went to lift some cars to drop on the monster.

    Ruphalo was struck however by a great cacophony of fear and loathing in his head, a psychich attack by the Sirine, as the ogre tried to strike him. This is where we understood how to go nova in Fate... Ruphalo's player haven't used nearly any fate point during the game, and accepted his share of compels, which meant he had LOTS of Fate points now, and it showed! for the reminder of the fight Ruphalo shelled out fate points like a stream, to protect and to hit the ogre quite mightily. Foucsing on him, The precher used his fighting and inspirationl skills to create advantages to further the mutant's attacks (A tactic he began to like), while Jenny tried to take out the Sirine in a shootout.

    But the Sirine appeared to have the upper hand, and after 2-3 exchanges already had shot Jenny's lung (Sever consequence, one step beneath death), so when the next shot came aligned Jenny's player conceded his fight. We needed a price though, and decided Jenny blocks the last shot with her Barret, breaking it (One of her stunts relies on two her using her two barrets).

    D*ck unfortunately couldn't hit the ogre with the cars, but managed to distrat it a bit. Brother Walter noticed a weak point- a twisted ankle, (Aspect) which they used to attack the beast, (and give me extra fate points to use against them). The fight dragged on till all fate points were lost, except those of Ruphalo, who kept hitting hard, till finally, with one might blow he took down the Ogre, Killing the Sirine as well, as they were connected to each other.

    Hearing the death growls of their champions, the Vampyrs and mogols around Littltown broke into a panic, fleeing into the night, leaderless. Gone for now, but not forgotten.

    Now was a time to rejoice though- it seems Little town was saved! Oh, and get Jenny to Dr. Cross, quick!

    Design notes and thoughts about the end battle
    Spoiler
    Show
    I think it was a good attempt for a first try, but there is quite a bit to improve. At one point it just turned to the old D&D familiar of "I hit it again!" Which I hoped to avoid, which this system is supposed to avoid. I didn't use scene aspects as the antagonists, I didn't really plan for them, which is not a good design. Also, there was not enough build up to the scene, the players were not really emotionally invested in it. I don't quite do Boss scenes well enough, it's my weak point, but getting better. The players enjoyed it though (Except for Jenny's player who came to close to dying to his liking!)

    One thing that bothered me about the fight which D*ck's player later mentioned- it lacked the "going all out" element that you get in D&D, where in the final battle you use the best spells, best magic items, all the action points and so on. True, Ruphalo used many fate points (and the rest depleted theirs entirely), but it still didn't feel the same. Something to think about...

    Stats?
    Beauty and the Beast
    "half brawn, half brain, conjoined"
    "Share the suffering"
    "half crippled, half blind, but compensating"
    "weak ankle"
    Gaps of speed…

    Skills:
    +6: Provoke, physique
    Superb: fight, athletics
    Great: shoot, Empathy
    Good: Will, notice

    Stress: OOOO (+ mild)
    Stress: OOOO

    Stunts:
    2 minds, joined body: can take 2 actions though with one stress and consequence track
    Great Whip: the beast can attack from 2 zones away. If hits then fight vs. physique or be dragged one zone each round.
    Psionic crush: using a fate point, the siren can attack with her mind a single target by using provoke from one zone away.
    Regenerate: Once per scene the beast can use it's action to roll physique against a physical consequence to eliminate it.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    And so our introduction to FATE was concluded! Not my best adventure, but still not bad. I only regret the somewhat forced ending... The party was thrilled, and had some thoughts about things to come, and issues to deal with (D*ck's player: "I would like to have a quiet word with Ma Jenkins, alone...") and they wished to continue gaming in this setting! Which I guess is a... good thing?

    However, I didn't quite plan for this evolving into a full campaign, and we still had a lot of issues to resolve before contiuing. If we were to make it a serious campaign, we need to make some Extra rules, and perhaps some changes as well. But that, I'll discuss in my next post. Hopefully later today or tomorrow.

    A request: Writing these post takes time, and some investment. Though I enjoy writing, knowing others read this as well is a great encouragement. IF you liked this odd beginning to a game so far, it would gladden me to know so. Thanks!

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    In between Sessions 2 & 3- Ironing out a few rules, Trying to set the ground for a new campaign

    So the Introductory game was successful. So successful in fact the party wanted to continue with the same characters, same setting (As minimal as it was). Now, though I put a few hints of potential bigger things, I didn't have a "great master plan"/ game arc/ campaign in mind. I am used to the D&D general frame of mind when designing adventures, but the FATE system seems to have a much more cooperative role in adventure planning, with the players giving a great deal of the input in terms of what aspects they want to see used (Either of their characters, or of the world) or in other terms- what great issues concern them. FATE has a different approach of designing adventures, which is far more loose in form, based on using aspects to create contradicting conflicts, motivations and goals, setting the opposition, a general plan, the first scene and... see how it goes. While on general principles this is quite similar to the way I design adventures, the FATE system leaves much more to improvisation and reacting on the spot. I wanted to try that.

    Characters adjustment
    First things first though. Since the characters were premade by me, I offered them all a free character make up, including scraping a character and making a new one. Jenny's player took the most active interest, and tried to use Jenny's "near death" experience to start alter her perception, make a bit of character development. He changed his trouble aspect of "What a mess I get myself into" into "dodging the reaper". We also needed to choose what exactly does the damage to the Barret means. After discussion we decided that it may jam on certain rolls of the dice, making the gun inoperable till fixed. She could still use her other gun to fire, but for her "double shot" stunt she needed them both.

    D*ck's player also felt like the character wasn't exactly... fitting the image he wanted to give it. He changed 3 aspects: His primary aspect of "Making money anyway I can" into "I'm but an honest business man" (This is a cynical joke from a previous character, which was Belkar like, but liked to claim he was an honest business man, just after murdering someone). "Doesn't give sh*t about anyone!" was changed to "Few friends, many enemies"( He LOVES conflict!) and "fast cars, fast women" was changed to "Weapon and drug baron" which made out most of his income. He wanted to make D*ck a more suave, more subtle, and more "big time" merchant than he was so far, downplaying the driving skills for social skills.

    The rest made minor changes to skills, but not to aspects. Also, all characters gained one average +1 skill for completing the scenario. I don't quite remember what everyone chose (it's in between emails and word documents) We did add another skill: Survival, detailing surviving the Wastelands (A bit like Outdoors man from Fallout I think?)

    Any interest?
    I then tried to see what the players are interested in. I suggested a few issues:
    - The Vampyrs menace: They were dispersed, but the danger was far from gone.
    - A matter of blood: Why were Michael and Rose so special? What drew the Vampyrs to them? Are any others interested in them?
    - Ma Jenkins Folly: Where exactly did the old biddy get a laser cannon? How long was it hidden from the town? the Jenkins themselves? Can it be fixed perhaps? Tell the truth, I never thought of the origins of the laser cannon, it was just a 50's thing to pull out in the former adventure. But I was ready to make something out of it if they were interested.
    - Rivertown is only a bit south: Did it escape the Vampyrs menace, or are they also under attack? What if the Vampyrs killed members of their council on route, and there is a power vacuum?
    - Something from your own characters? Jenny's mercenary past, The preacher's hidden past? Ruphalo's relationships with other mutants? D*ck's reason for staying at this little town?

    Unfortunately, my players are lazy bastards, who have gone used to the D& mind frame as well of the DM doing most of the work. They gave very little input as to what they exactly want. D*ck's player wanted to make some sort of a power grab in Littletown, but specified no longer. Jenny's player wanted to get to a place to fix his Barret (probably Littletown), and to develop his character further. Heard little from the rest.

    So it was up to me to come up with something. I decided to use a "net adventure"- create an adventure with many potential hooks, and see what I catch. I also decided that I'll need to develop the world more than Littletown- it was good enough for an intro session, but not for a campaign. I decided I need to get the party to Rivertown, and mess things up a bit. That is what the next adventure is about, but I'll get to that in the next post. A few things to settle before that though...

    The resource skill
    In the past session we felt more and more that Resource shouldn't be used to just pull up endless things from a bag. But we didn't know quite how to fix that. Ban resources? It will kill D*ck's character. Limit it? How exaclty? what is ok, what is not? So I posted this thread here. The responses helped me, and we came to this decision:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The skill represents the material abilities of a person, in their various forms, mimicking the role of money in our world. It can be trading goods, live stock, precious items and commodities, or even just your word or contracts (Even the word and contracts of **** Mighty!). They can be used in the way money can be used in our world- to buy things, influence situations, and basically anything where you can throw money at stuff, only in other forms. The resources however do not directly represent Adventuring Gear, and cannot be used to "pop up" all kinds of equipment out of nowhere. You can try and purchase lots of things in advance if you're going on an expedition, but you're limited to things in that location. You might be able to "produce" certain things, but only if they highly fit the theme and reason of the situation (Such the lighter, maybe the binoculars and such. Vehicles? no.)


    Special weapons rules
    As mentioned on one of the earlier posts, we discussed and came to an agreement that special weapons are a staple of post apocalyptic setting, and that we need to make something for them. We needed a way to make them special enough to not come always, but cool enough to keep them interesting. Plus, Ruphalo's explosive stunt barely came up at all. We came up with 3 weapon categories (Machine guns, explosives, rockets) for which we made simple rules, to suffice for now hopefully. Ruphalo's stunt changed, but no one else took any such stunt. Jenny's player has taken the Siren's sniper rifle, and wanted to make something out of it. Currently we just gave it an aspect of "Far sight, far shoot", but no stunt yet. We decided we'll live that to later.

    Exact rules can be found here, if you're REALLY interested: (Probably not perfect, but we're still learning the way it works)
    Spoiler
    Show
    you need a stunt to be proficient with them, be it heavy weapons or explosives. the weapons sort of give you a specific stunt for that weapon They are not easy to find. For these I think we WILL count ammunition, but in a simplified form, suggestions below... Thse items can be purchased through resources or contacts, or crafted through craft between scenarios (Adventures). 1 attempt for all. Note that these can get jammed/ broken.

    - small machine guns: these can be easily carried and used. Once per scene you can use suppressive fire- anyone in a zone you select (including allies) who moves, is considered attacked by your shooting skill.
    - Large machine guns: these can be carried disassembled or placed upon vehicles or a stationary position. They function the same, but they can affect 3 adjacent zones, and act twice in a scene.

    Both machine guns require their own type of ammunition, the ammunition units are "Cartridges", where a cartridge is used each time suppressive fire is used. Shouldn't be too hard to get, but not common. Between scenarios, Cartridges can be crafted by a target number of 2, each success above adding 2

    - Grenades: These come in different types and skill. A character can throw a grenade up to 2 zones away. All targets (allies included) are attacked by an attack force of (Grenade grade+ dice roll). Alternatively a grenade can be used to "create an advantage" in the affected zone, with the grenade grade used as the skill for the test to create it.

    Grenades comes in many grades, and are created such: in between scenarios. A character with A craft skill is used. A result of 2 creates one grenade with the grenade grade of +1. Each result above either doubles the number of grenades, or upgrades the grade of all grenades by 1. Grenades cannot be created between scenarios, and their ingredients become useless after a scenario ends.

    - "Explosives": Creation rules the same as grenades, except the initial target number is 3, but the initial grade is also +3. Explosives can only be used given enough time (A few minutes). Affecting several zones require several charges. Again, materials go bad after a scenario ends.

    - "Rocket launchers": can attack only large targets (Vehicles, guard posts, giant flesh eating robots of doom), not individuals. Hit all targets in the large target, but not an entire zone. They ignore armor, attack at a force of (4+dice roll).

    Ammo is rockets, Craft DC is 4 for 1 rocket, each success above grant 2 more. Rockets go bad after a Scenario ends (Explosives ineffective).

    ---------------------------------
    And... I think that is all that happened between sessions. I was a bit nervous, as I didn't yet have an overall plan, and felt a bit like I was winging it. But I hoped to gauge my players interests more in the coming scenario. You play, you learn, no?

    1. Special projects:
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    2. My campaign logs:
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    Thanks for reading!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DarkWhisper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Writing these post takes time, and some investment. Though I enjoy writing, knowing others read this as well is a great encouragement. IF you liked this odd beginning to a game so far, it would gladden me to know so.
    I've recently taken an interest in Fate and reading a campaign log from someone (an entire group) essentially learning the system is really great.
    Also, I'm interested in how things continue.

    I like the 'design notes' section and reading the reasoning behind certain decisions.
    Good work; bookmarked - and looking for updates !

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    In case this wasn't obvious in the Fate PBP thread, I've avidly read every post, and this was my tipping point for checking out Fate.
    .

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Glad to hear you are reading DarkWhisper, Erock. Every little bit counts! I better use some of this short vacation to pick up some more. On Saturday we'll be having out 5th session, which means that I'm currently one Scenario/ adventure behind in the log, I hope to finish most if not all by the time we meet.

    Second Scenario- "A trip to Rivertown"
    3rd Session, part 1- Aftermath and the Jackal prowling

    recap from last adventure, and what happened afterwards?
    The plan was to get the party to Rivertown, but first we needed to deal with some issues of what happened in between scenarios and build tension a bit. Using the little bit the party told me about their characters in the meantime, I sent the following email to the party.

    Spoiler
    Show
    The ogre crashed to the ground, the siren on top of it, both distorted mutated figures dead. The Vampyrs, hearing their shrieks of death, lacking the leadership of Dr. Marlo, felt confused, and dispersed, fleeing to the surrounding area. But they are not gone. Jenny lay gasping on the floor, partly in shock, her beloved Barrette sporting a bullet through it.

    It was time to deal with the after math, as they say...

    Jenny was quickly moved to Dr. Cross' clinic, where he labored upon her and some of the other wounded through the mayhem between Jenkins and town's people the Vampyrs that the party caused. She Worked on her as best he could, and she lay there recuperating, thinking on her "dodging the reaper", and learning what she can from Dr. Cross books and teachings, in between bed rests. On the side she toyed with the sniper rifle the Siren had. a bit broken and damaged, but she might make something of it.

    D*ck didn't quite come to see her surprisingly. Apparently the Vampyrs caused some havoc to his holdings, and they disrupted one of his caravans, killing many of it's people. Despite his desire to grab a firmer hold of Little town, he had to put his efforts into maining his resources, and to reestablishing his image as "but an honest business man!" rumors told him that their actions may probably have not gone entirely unnoticed. He might need to inquire in Rivertown, or people who come from there. After all, a man who has "Few friends, many enemies" can't be too careful.

    Brother Walter and Ruphalo helped settle the situation in town. There were quite a few dead, and the Vampyrs were still out there. Ruphalo designed the ground works for a fence/ wall to help protect the town, the Jenkins putting their people behind it. Brother Walter tried to strengthen the resolve of the people, comfort those who have lost, and even tried to train them protect themselves better against the coming threats of this world. But even he could feel- the situation was tense, and was hanging by a thread. He may just need a miracle...

    A few big questions hung in the air: Can Burt lead the town, does he have the leadership skills for it? What of the menace of the Vampyrs? What did Ma Jenkins investigate, and where did they get the ray gun here, without anyone (including many of the Jenkins) knowing? What will be done with Talila's twins? Their blood is special, Dr. Cross said! Can it be used to benefit the town? And what shall be done with the giant rotting hulk of the ogre?

    The sheriff silently presided over Little Town, feeling the peace is on a breaking point. "I'm telling you Ruphalo, This ain't gonna end well!"


    But the party, especially D*ck mighty's player wanted to add a few stuff. Quite a few stuff. The merchant drug baron noticed the madam trying to help built the fence Ruphalo planned, and got some men to help her, himself included. Meanwhile he had a bit of a talk with her. She distrusted him, knowing of his reputation, but he tried to convince her of his intentions and care for Little town, and his desire to see it come to be something better, talking about his distrust of the Jenkins, and maybe a need to elect a new mayor to have control of the Microfusion? She of course, quite politely and elegantly, hinted that he cares more the resource than the people. A small conversation ensued, with D*ck trying to persuade her, but her high empathy and tact seeing through most (But not all!) of his deceit. Some doubt was implanted, which was what D*ck wanted. His plans to start gathering allies to overthrow the Jenkins has begun!

    GMing notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    I knew the player had something in mind, but didn't know how reverently he would go about it! The player himself is a suave and slick lawyer in real life, quite good with perusasion. I guess he wanted to play the manipulator. I improvised the discussion with the madam. My main points of arguments however came easily through the aspects- what was known of D*ck and the situation. That was quite handy.

    I decided to make change gradual. It is more believable with D*ck's reputation, and the player quite like to earn stuff, and roleplay through them instead of a quick resolution.


    He also made sure to visit Jenny in the clinic, but rarely, more "checking on his valuable asset" than anything else. Jenny's player wanted to take her more towards getting out of her usual mess, and told the doctor that she seeks to withdraw from her usual (non medical) drugs. D*ck made a bit of a B*tch move there, taking the doctor outside, basically threatening to cut off his supply (In subtle and polite yet venomous words) if he doesn't keep her on the drugs, through her IV or something else, even if she doesn't like it. The player made the doctor one of his "customers" through a decleration, so we rolled with it. Jenny's player was a bit miffed about it, but accepted it graciously. This was mostly a roleplay opportunity for both of them, and we kept it as such. Jenny was drugged without her knowing.

    About D*ck's player
    Spoiler
    Show
    If you've read previous campaign logs of mine you might recognize him as Killpi/ Ipiks/ Gabriel. The player usually plays the bastard characters, sharing similarities with Belkar, but he is also quite of a group's player, and goes a long way for the team. His antics, and inner party conflicts give a LOT of room for interesting roleplay and more. He knows when he's stepping over the line, which is rarely, and tries to make the story better, not just his character. All in all, he is great fun to have around, even if he makes us apprehensive at times.


    Microfusion and a matter of blood
    The Jenkins called the party and a few select characters (Madam included) to partake in a small urgent meeting in the Merilyn, Burt presided, with two of his siblings advising. "We're in trouble, from two directions. First the microfusion is bust. It's power converter is too damaged beyond our capabilities. We have little power left, the laser having used most of the power. If we don't fix it, we have little to trade with Rivertown, and we NEED that trade."

    Which is when Mr. Mighty interrupted. "And I really don't see why you should keep guarding it! It was Ma Jenkins that brought us to this situation, and you Burt shot the damned thing! Under Jenkins' "Leadership" Littletown has lost a substantial part of it's people, and as far as I understand the attacks keep on coming. I suggest maybe someone new should lead this town?"

    The Jenkins grimaced, and Burt spurted out "Someone like you I'd bet?" to which D*ck just smiled. "No no, I cannot undertake such a responsibility. I instead suggest someone who fought and cared for this town, and whom I believe many of this fine town's people will support! I suggest the Madam!" This caught everyone by surprise, including the madam, including me! We all understood his game though- a sort of a puppet ruler. The madam declined the offer, and a small began whether this is appropriate or not, but Burt surprisingly ended it by saying "If the town people still feel like it after the current crisis is resolved, we may talk about this further. Microfusion is Jenkins fusion, and there will be no change in power till we solve this situation." To which all agreed. D*ck however was pleased as he felt he set the seed of the idea in the Madam's mind.

    "We need capable people to get south to Rivertown, and see if any of the powers there can fix or replace or however solve the power converter issue. Ruphalo and Jenny, you are our top engineers, and probably amongst our top fighters, we'd like you to join this expedition. Ruphalo agreed due to his debt to the Jenkins (He still strongly believed in them), and Jenny called for some sort of price (Mercenary) which Burt reluctently agreed to. Plus, it would give her an excuse to find a replacement part for her Barret. She felt her bandaged torso (She still carried the Severe Consequence from the fight with the Ogre and Siren! It would follow her till the end of the scenario!) and worried of the road.

    Walter volunteered to go, he sought to help his people, and his conversational skills were most likely needed. Rivertown was a trading town after all, Barter skills were needed. And as to D*ck- "Getting the part might be fairly expensive. We'd appreciate it if you could go with them, and provide the needed resources. ate you." We will find a way to compens" Glimpsing at the madam from the side of his eye, D*ck wavered the compensation. "I am a changed man. I will do this for Little town, Her fate is my fate." Beside, he needed to check why his caravans haven't arrived yet.

    "Which leads us to ur second matter. Michael and Rose. The Sheriff has concluded the Vampyrs in the Wasteland are still drawn here. We need to get them elsewhere. There were a few attacks, and a few more town people perished. We think that getting them to Rivertown might be best!"

    The Sheriff however interceded. "With Ruphalo's fence coming up slowly, I think we might be able to defend the town and get it walled soon enough. I'm not sure what the Vampyrs will do then, but this is my goddamned town, and I don't like it sending people away. I think we might protect them."

    Which opened up a discussion between the PCs. They sure didn't like the idea of taking Talila and the children with them, and have the horde follow them. D*ck even asked the madam as to her opinion, and she said that the best for the children is the best for Littletown, and that is probably in Rivertown. Plus, if they'll go, she will escort the party, and find someplace amongst her contacts to place them, start a new life. The discussion lasted a bit longer, but they decided to take the small family. (I think mostly because they thought it would be more interesting).

    GMing notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    I didn't expect D*ck to get so involved in his plan to overthrow the Jenkins. I made myself a mental note that this is important to him. However, I also noted that other than the preacher's player (Who as usual in our games, began to be his rival) the others didn't quite care and just sought to get on with the game. Hmmmm...

    The decision with the children: The idea of them playing some central part intrigues me. This was an important decision, one which was discussed very briefly in the previous adventure. I still didn't know it's exact reprecautions except for those of the immediate future- A small part, a hunting party of the horde will follow them. I was cool with both decisions, they both presented juicy opportunities for the future!


    Getting ready
    There was very little microfusion, enough to power two vehicles. They chose D*ck's converted field jeep/ modified hammer (Which He didn't dare to endanger on the previous adventure), and Jenny's motrocyle. D*ck rode his jeep, with the family and Ruphalo inside. The madam joined beside him, which was fine for him! Walter rode behind Jenny on her motorcyle. They decided to have the Motorcycle ride ahead and scout, keeping the family more safe.

    Oh, a small thing that will become important later- due to our modified rules Ruphalo, Jenny and D*ck each used their skills to get/ craft Grenades to Ruphalo during the downtime. I think he ended up with 4-5 grenades. Time to test these rules!

    Understanding the madam is becoming more important NPC (Brother Walter tried to converse with her some more, undermine D*ck's obvious attempts) I tried to put a bit more character into her. She came dressed with more "road worthy" clothes, even packing a small gun, and some traveling equipment. D*ck was oddly starting to get impressed by her (Or was that a show?) Trying to gain more in her favor, he supplied the frightened Talila with some supplies, and a gun (Which she barely could hold, hands trembling).

    Knowing the road is long, they got on their vehicles, and set out, wishing to make most of the day while the sun is out, and the Vampyrs are hidden.

    The long way. Beginning of the hunt
    In the spirit of the times

    Design notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    My usual approach with travel is... skip it. Get to the main place of interest, and have your fun there. This approach is useful in Eberron which is my usual D&D setting. However, in a post apocalyptic setting I felt that the travel and wasteland itself should be important, dangerous, and fraught with peril. That was part of what defined the setting after all.

    But most of it was... well.. wasteland. In a high fantasy setting I had a lot of ideas of what to put on the road (Not just monsters, other stuff as well), But considering this was a road that most of the party traveled through before, and that most places were already scavenged for whatever it had, I needed to come up with new stuff. And I couldn't have it all be Vampyrs and their ilk. This was challenging, a definite blind spot. Let's see how it went


    The party made good progress, with D*ck conversing idly with the madam, talking about stories from the past, and small chatting her up, not trying to push his ideas... yet., She talked back a bit, and he got the impression she had some past in Rivertown, something she avoided. He didn't push it. They drove till near night, when Jenny and Walter reached what looked like a raided caravan (Not one of D*ck's though) the animals seemed dead, and there weren't human bodies nearby. They got closer, closer, till they noticed some movement under the hoods of one of the upturned carriages. They quickly turned back, and devised a quick plan. Jenny will go to a nearby spot, and lie with her sniper file, while the ret will approach. They suspected Vampyrs, but wanted to make sure. Jenny took her place, and the Hammer got close, with the family and madam waiting behind, while Ruphalo, D*ck and the preacher approached.

    It was indeed Vampyrs, but they changed place while the party conversed (They noticed them too) and hid between rocks near the approach. They attacked by surprise (The group was small, about 4-5 Vampyrs and 2 mogols). The fight went off quickly, with Jenny shooting the mogols from afar while Ruphalo and the preacher tackling the nearby Vampyrs. However, in the middle of the fight they sensed a smell, and some of them broke in a mad run towards the vehicle, howling wildly like mad! D*ck cursed and tried to shoot them, but it was Ruphalo with his giant stride that caught up to them and smashed them before they reached the shrieking Talila.

    "Well, there goes the element of stealth" cursed D*ck again, lighting a cigar. They surveyed the Caravan quickly, but found it was ravaged for some time now, with but hints of former human occupation, only tiny bone pieces were left. Jenny looked alarmed. "We're wasting time, lets get ahead while we can!"

    Design notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Scene wasn't a tough battle scene. I t had a few goals which it did nicely:
    - Make the party understand the horde IS after the children.
    - Provide a simple challenge to "heat the engines" sort to speak. Plus, it gives the feeling of "we can handle this kind of challenge" which was quite similar to the initial challenges of the previous adventure, a bit of feeling of growth?
    - Set the tension of the beginning of a hunt.


    A laughing matter, coming of The Jackal

    The party drove on through darkness, but it was becoming harder to drive, and Jenny was getting tired with her aching wound. Despite reservations, they decided to stop for the night, and found a mostly intact small storgae facility, and set down for a haunted sleep.

    It was in Ruphalo's watch when he heard feet (and hands?) scampering close, and suddenly a crazed, maniacal, strange laughter. (Which I tried to mimic, the group gave me the "Are you crazy?" looks). "Looky looky, they brings them out! I smells them! They come for us! How wonderful! they comesee see me!" and then he laughed hysterically again! They could hear bangs and the voices of Vampyrs trying to upturn D*ck's jeep.

    Ruphalo woke the others up, and... not exactly being a subtle fellow, opened the doors and try to strike the weird creature outside- a gangly, tall, spidery like mutant with a big jaw and long jittery limbs. Not as big as The Ogre, but similar in size to Dr. Marlo. "You comesee for Jackal too! How wonderful! Lots of bloodsee we make!" Ruphalo tried to strike it, but the creature was fast, quite fast. It dove Under Ruphalo's massive hand, and spread it's arms, holding sharp long knives, and did a sort of... dance? that struck most of the party!

    Jenny, Walter and Ruphalo tried to fight it, while D*ck tried to sneak off the back door towards his jeep ("f we lose that we're never escaping the horde!" Only the door was blocked by two more Vampyrs, and the Jackal seemed like a tough opponent. Ruphalo was flanked by a few more Vampyrs (Having positioned himself in the door way), and was taking heavy attacks from the cackling and laughing Jackal, and the Vampyrs as well.

    The battle began to look quite tough. Due to the high Atheletics skill of the Jackal (superb, +5) They could barely hit it, while it hit them nice, mainly Ruphalo, but taking stress of the others, depending who amused it most. I kept laughing and singing/ rhyming/ speaking maniacally through out the fight, giving the fight a frustrating feel. Jenny turned her attention to the Vampyrs holding D*ck up and disposed of them quickly, (Her gun not jamming) letting him out, where he snuck and got to his car, and tried to run the Vampyrs outside, but doing quite poorly (He lowered his driving skills and stunts quite a ibt in the remake). Things were looking Grim, Ruphalo was already taking consequences, and the Jackal was playing on Jenny's wounded torso too to cause her damage. They were burning fate points, but it was not helping, The Jackal was using his as well and negating the party's successes. T

    Which is when the preacher tried a different tactic- creating advantages through provoking the creature "We killed the ogre, the siren! You'll soon be as dead as Dr. Marlo!" and creating moral for the group through rapport, encouraging them, and doing some fancy machete drills, frightening the creature (poor will), they started stacking up advantages, with Rupahlo taking the brunt of the attacks, and hitting poorly, till they used most at once, and finally managed to hit the Jackal, Jenny shooting his rump nice.

    This seemed to frighten him, and it opened up some pores in his body and unlseashed some stench (Go troglodytes!) which Ruphalo nearly succombed to, if it wasn't for Brother Walter again, strengthening his resolve (A stunt he has). The Jackal then surprisingly dove once more under Ruphalo's arm, and ran quickly away. They tried shooting at it, but failed to hit it, as it whined crying in the dark. They took care of the other Vampyrs quickly, and some ran away. Only then did they catch a breath.

    Rupahlo was badly wounded- one moderate consequence, and two mild ones (He has a stunt which enables him to lower a moderate consequence to a mild one, after which he took another severe). and I think the others got mild consequences as well (Don't remember). Jenny tried to put some basic bandages, but not to much avail.

    "Right, we're getting out of here, now!" They got on the vehicles, and drove on in the night, hearing a loud cackle not far behind...

    GM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Jackal was my attempt at creating a more fight worthy and itneresting opponent. However, I still think he is quite less pwerful than The Ogre and Siren, so I don't exactly know WHY this battle turned out SOOO tough for the party! Maybe it was bad dice, maybe it was the added Vampyrs (Though they managed to do very little), Maybe it was due to the party not having as much fate points as they did in the battle with the ogre. Not sure yet.

    The main changes to make it more battle worthy were the follows:
    - Upgrade his athletics considerably.
    - Upgrade his fight skill.
    - Give it some ability to tackle action economy. I gave it a stunt enabling to attack many, but at the cost of a fate point.
    - Give him some escape method (Stench and quick running).

    I wanted this guy to become a repeating villain, but not a main one. I decided that once it gets wounded, it is so cowardly it runs away, unless there is some higher authority. (Some ideas started to form). Mostly I wanted this to become a hound after the children and party.

    The Jackal Statistics"
    Skills:
    Superb: athletics, stealth
    Great: Fight, Physique
    Good: Notice, Survival
    Fair: Will
    OOOO, OOO

    Aspects:
    "Prey upon the weak"
    "I will survive!"
    "Dedicated hunter"
    "Twisted sense of murderous humor"

    Stunts:
    - Dance of blades: Using a Fate point, the Jackal can attack 4 characters in the same zone without splitting his dice.
    - The Stench overcomes: once per scene, the Jackal can exhude a stench in his zone, of Physique. In order to attack in the same zone you need to roll higher on will.
    - Great speed: The Jackal can sprint for 2 zones instead of one.

    The battle proved quite effective. Noted that as well. I may have a new more central antagonist?

    Oh, About The family and the Madam? I kinda forgot about them in the fight. Oopsy!

    --------------------------------------
    This is where we had our "fate session" end. They got the deeply needed fate points, and drove off, into the night, with relentless pursers on their backs.

    Hope you like the read!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-09-03 at 09:37 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Nice. I'm looking into running some Fate for my folks, too.

    -O

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Thanks Obryn! I'm glad you're liking it so far! Time for another update, while I can!

    Session 3, part 2- The long road, a "warm" welcome, King Harry in the flesh!

    So the party decided to pull an all nighter after the battle with the Jackal. after some time riding I however called that Jenny find her wound aching, and the rest becoming sleepy after the long driving hours. Walter wished to Drive Jenny's bike, but she didn't trust him with his one hand. There was some heated discussion, when at last they decided D*ck will drive Jenny's harley, (He was the only one she sort of trusted) while Ruphalo will try to drive his Hammer. They drove like that for some while, when I made them roll for Physique, and compelled Ruphalo who nearly crashed the jeep. He opted to succeed with a major cost, which I called his wound opening again (The mild consequence Jenny helped try and heal). In an act of "generosity", D*ck allowed the madam to take over (He too didn't trust the preacher). The madam drove quite slow, very careful (She had no ranks in the drive skill) but they managed to get along. D*ck used this to talk a bit with Jenny, strengthen his connection with her. She told him of her new found apprehension of death, and how easily her life could have ended, a conversation she had with the priest before. D*ck didn't like where this was going and just tried to get her out of her mood. He wasn't at his best though, preoccupied with the situation.

    Yeah, I was giving them a hard time. It's the wasteland, it's supposed to be hard. They were driving on tired, Some with a temporary "sleep deprived" aspect. When they reached an old ransacked ruin. They returned to their usual driving positions, hoping to cover more ground, knowing that in the morn the Vampyrs and their ilk don't travel. (Or so they hoped?) That Jackal fellow looked awfully fast...

    Jenny and the preacher reached a street, but part of it was blockaded by two hulls of auto buses, and before they knew it (Lousy Notice) two more hulls were blockading them from the back, with... Mutants behind them? (I'm not talking Vampyr mutants, but rather Mutants as in those mentioned in Fallout, or those of Ruphalo's kind) The hammer came behind the ones in the back, but they stopped and listened.

    From a building overseeingthe trap came out a voice (and a gun out of the window), calling out robbery, to live their things, and that they won't be hurt. It was a deep voice, obviously not human, and the motorcycle duo figured out it must be another mutant, like the ones hiding behind the busses in front, and the buses at the back. I made a point of saying mutants are quite uncommon in these lands, and that Ruphalo is quite a rare exception. I hoped this would interest them.

    It didn't. Jenny just revved up her Harley, and shot in the very narrow gap between the buses, while brother Walter shot at the muties, and D*ck backed up and turned around, with Ruphalo covering fire. A short fire fight, very short in fat, while the party escaped.

    Design notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    The ambush held 5-6 mutants, but though it could evolve to a battle, I hoped it would evolve into a more social/ exploratory encounter. I especially hoped to get the least talkative member (Ruphalo) to play up a little.

    The scene was part of the "net adventure" design I made up. I had an idea of mutants coming up to human lands, and wanted to see if they would be interested. I guess they weren't! Oh well...


    A place to rest?
    The party drove on, until night neared, and I called for more Physique tests. They decided they must rest, and sought out a place to crash in, but which could be well enough hidden from The Jackal if it pursued them. This had them spend some fate points on some aspects to find a secure place, while the Jackal spend his fate points persuing them. At the end they were tied, except that the party made "gained the distance" aspect by their long driving.

    Surprisingly this is the first time I came to think of the characters (Or enemies or whatever) creating aspects just by DOING stuff, and not necessarily by making rolls. Yeah, should have been obvious, but took me awhile... So they found an old underground freeze storing unit, far out of use, but that had mostly in tact sealed doors, that blocked out smell. And yet, again in Ruphalo's watch, near morning, he could hear the cackling and confused laughter of the Jackal, not far from their hiding place. "I smellsee! Where you Hidesee? Come for me! Come to Jackal, we playsee niiiiicee, yesee?" But they were safe.

    D*ck gets an unwanted present

    As the morning came along, they decided to head on. D*ck talked more with the madam, who was somewhat impressed with his dedication to the group. While Walter tried to undermine the "false smiles and sweet lies" of D*ck, whenever he could (If a bit more subtly). The preacher however was mostly on Jenny's bike, and talked with her (in none preaching tones), trying to help her find her own way through her confusion and dillema. Jenny was very conflicted.

    Near midday Jenny and Walter sighted another torn down caravan, with the animals dead, and so looked the drivers, but Jenny was especially concernred when noticing "Mighty enterprises" logo on the cover. D*ck came rushing and they went to explore. The bodies were slashed and thrashed, and some of the stuff obviously raided and stolen. Walter was a bit concerned though "If it were Vampyrs, why didn't they eat them?" D*ck however spotted the transportable safe on the second cart, and went on it with Ruphalo, and quickly opened it.

    *Click* and KABOOM! went the explosive, the shock wave dropping Ruphalo off the cart, but doing much worse to D*ck who wasn't prepared. It gave him great burns (Mediocre consequences) and both Jenny and the Madam rushed to his aid. "Someone... set me up! Only I knew the code. A trap? but who?" mumbled D*ck through the pain. I tossed the player a fate point "few friends, many enemies" and he nodded in return. The party tried to explore the scene for any clues, but they are dismal at any skills relating to that, and failed miserably. "We'll find out in Rivertown" said Mr. Mighty, his burns still oozing, the meager band aids not working.

    They decided to rush to Rivertown, driving all the way. In their condition they couldn't face anyone, and Ruphalo and D*ck needed serious medical attention!

    They finally made it after another long day drive, arriving to the gates of the trading hub, Just at early morning of their fourth day driving. However, getting in was not going to be that easy...

    Thoughts on the long road, and design of the assassination attempt
    Spoiler
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    As explained earlier, I wanted to give the traveling between spaces some meaning, as this was a post apocalyptic setting. Whiel some players enjoyed it more or less, it didn't quite rhyme with them. As one player commented when the scenario ended- "The road just felt like a string of unconnected random encounters".

    While they weren't random (Perhaps their "Random feel" comes from the "net adventure" design?) I can understand what he felt. They didn't quite fel like a part of the bigger story, and didn't contribute much to the doings in Rivertown later on. However, I didn't HAVE a bigger story yet. Hmmmm... still requires improvement on my part I guess.

    A small important part that I learned from this- I need to have a few sample "quick fit" locations to put battles and such in. When they booked it in for the night with the Jackal battle, we just pulled something out of our head, that wasn't all that interesting, and didn't give that many interesting options. I should think of a few of thee in advance, and have them ready.

    Bomb: PCs are special characters, so I assume they might survive something that regular Joes won't. This is why they have longer stress scales, and consequences. I decided to rule the bomb like this:
    An attack of strength 5, that can only be defended with Strength and Physique if you can't defend. (Like D*ck was) or with Stress as well if you can (Like Ruphalo). Not perfect, and I still wish to improve on it. I may just get the chance!


    A bit about Rivertown
    A small explanation before we go on. A bit before the meet I emailed the party a small promo about Rivertown and the factions in it, in case they want to associate with them, and since I knew they will probably have to meet with some of them if they wanted their power converter fixed. I attach the promo here:

    Spoiler
    Show
    River town
    Aspects:
    - Regional trading hub: Rivertown was mainly built as a trading center, and focuses the trade and cultures of all surrounding settlements.
    - Underlying power struggle: Rivertown has a few major factions that compose it's rulership, via a council of representatives. They make the major decisions of Rivertown, but there are political, commercial and other attempts to gain more power by each faction.
    - Criminal undertones: As long as you don't mess with the trade, much is overlooked. There are quite a few "criminal" aspects in Rivertown, though since there is little law, it's hard quite to define crime.
    - Don't mess with the brown coats: This mercenary company functions as the peace keepers of Rivertown. Tough, skilled, and with low tolerance to insubordination, the brown coats keep things relatively quiet.
    Major power groups:
    These are the major powers, though there are many smaller ones.
    1) The purifiers:
    A group of three families who have fixed the water purifying plant on the river's edge, and have been water merchant ever since. (Most water is polluted somewhat, their water is clean). Also raise a lot of high quality cattle. Fairly paranoid, fairly religious, believing that they bring salvation to the polluted land. Preach and live "clean lives". Their knowledge of engineering is well known.
    Aspects: "cleanse the polluted", "Top engineers".
    2) The Silvertones:
    An old family, very influential, with connections in many places, quite political. High believers in education and gaining knowledge, though they have their opinion as to who that knowledge should go to. Have their hands in many things, but mostly specialize in producing common weapons, and various types of alcohol.
    Aspects: "Many ties in many places", "Knowledge is power. Our power!"
    3) King Harry and the misbegotten:
    The background radiation affected many people differently. King Harry has gathered those less fortunate in the more miserable parts of Rivertown. Together he has whipped them into an unparalleled working force that does the worst jobs. These slight mutants and odd people are often a bit more resistant to radiation, and King Harry made them into excellent scavenger teams, often seeking and finding the lost world technology. They tend to be an oddly spiritual group, their beliefs not understood by the common folk.
    Aspects: "what you want? We can do it for ya!", "A place for every freak!"
    4) The Diamonds:
    A small group of highly successful enterpeneurs, who'se past is a mystery. They built gambling houses, brothels, and anything concerning entertainment for the wide crowd. Their main establishment- "The sunny acres" is probably one of the most sinful and carnal place in the region. They are also well known as the sole distrbuters of the hallucinogenic drug known as "Sizzle", a growing commodity.
    Aspects: "Seeking the best in the world? Seek a diamond!", "You know you want to Sizzle with me baby!"
    5) The Hudson corporation:
    A large group of smaller families who have joined ther resources and influence together, who have their own private council. They grow large quantities of cattle (Though not to the quality of the Purifiers), and have many small manufactoruing factories of common goods and house hold items. They are best known however for their supreme weapon makers, amongst the best in the region.
    Aspects: "Together we can build a better future!", "Buy a Hudson, save your life!"
    6) Captain O'Riley's brown coats:
    A fairly big mercenary group, who was hired by Rivertown about 6 years ago to protect it's streets. They do not have a say in the council per se, but O'Riley does have significant influence in the town. The brown coats are known for their lack of humor, and their lack of tolerance for Bull****. Most make fairly good shots as well. Though they mostly protect Rivertown, They also hire people for other jobs, as long as these don't contradict any current contracts.
    Aspects: "Don't mess with the brown coats", "A gun for hire", "always find our man".


    There was more to it for every factions, and a few other secrets, but it would suffice to the start. I left them open enough in case I wanted to revise them, according to the PC's actions. The inspiration I think came from Fallout2's New Reno. a majortrading hub with power criminal families. Not exact, but clsoe. D*ck allready has some of his people here, but currently he was rifling through the factions, trying to see who framed him

    A warm welcome
    At the gates the wounded, burned, tired party met with 4 Brown Coats, led by Deputy Kell, a not very pleasant law man at best, a rude jerk at worst. As they saw Ruphalo get out of the car I tossed him a fate point. "They all fear you" as they raised shaking guns at him, nearly opening fire before the preacher interceded. Deputy Kell said the mutants were raiding merchants going in and out of the city (the party understood not just from Littletown's direction), and they've been waiting to question one! Hey, maybe even a hanging? Deputy Kell was looking at promotion opportunities!

    But what's this? "Just look at her!" (I tossed Jenny a fate point) Isn't that a striking resemblance to the woman described killing that guy two months ago? (In her background, Jenny killed a local crime lord called Tough Mike. Sure, it wasn't in her aspects, but the player wanted to play this out). This was a good day for Deputy Kell! He smiled as he called his men to arrest the murderer (giving her some unseemly looks) and the mutie!

    Brother Walter started to speak for them both, that they come from Littletown, that they helped save it from the Vampyrs ("Who? Ohhh.. you mean the Night Beasts!") and so on and so forth. D*ck however didn't much care for Ruphalo, and mostly wanted to get Jenny's out of trouble, trying to both intimidate the punk deputy by being "A drug and weapon's baron" and offering him promotion through his connection and influence. In the end, they succeeded to gain his interest, and somewhat concern that he might endanger merchants from Littletown, till the little weasel caved in. "Ok, but don't let me see you on the street! you keep your head down- next time I see you- it's the cells for you!"

    Design notes
    Spoiler
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    Three goals:
    - Bring some of the past and aspects of the characters to the fore, especially the fear of mutants (Which will play a big role next), and Jenny's past.
    - A chance for a conversational scene, with interesting consequences. As always- I put them up in a situation. I was quite ready to go forth with them trying to liberate them from the Brown Coats' make shift prison. Could have been fun!
    - The inital impression of Rivertown- a tough place, where people try to take advantage of you. I think that worked quite well.


    Healing and a trip to the Hudsons.
    This being very early morning, D*ck wanted to disappear before people knew they came. In a town this big an assasination could come from anywhere. (Paranoid little bastard! ) D*ck used his connection to find a local healer, someone called Siri (had to made her on the spot) who used to work for the purifiers, but now did her own discreet work. They knocked on her door and the strict looking black dressed woman opened it, took a quick glance at them, and ushered them in, though she gave a double look over Ruphalo. D*ck managed to accommodate her price, and she went on treating them both, while Jenny and Walter took a bit of a snooze. The madam however, went on her own business, using her own connections to hide Talila and her kids, hopefully this will end the matter, now that they are safe in Rivertown. (I wouldn't be quite so certain...)

    A bit about healing in FATE, and out game
    Spoiler
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    Once you take a consequence, you need a good enough roll from a medical inclined skill (In our case it's the default- Lore) in order to start a healing process. You then have to wait enough time for the healing to take place- 1 Scene for mild consequences, 1 Session for moderate, 1 Scenario for Severe. Until then you have a negative aspect that can be used by others. (But hey! it gives you Fate points like any other compel!)


    After a quick nap, Jenny and Walter went to visit the Hudsons. Being the major arm manufacturers in Rivertown, Jenny hoped to find a replacement part for her Barret. She found a master crafter, and tried to persuade him, but made the mistake of mentioning D*ck Mighty. I compelled them since D*ck was a competitor, and an unsavory one at that. Frustrated, they decided to go to King Harry's misbigotten. "They say they can get everything, worth a shot, no?"

    King Harry! In all his glory!
    They made their way to the outskirts of town, to the very dredges of Rivertown, where the poor, the mutated, the misbigotten now leave. For reference, think of the Ghouls in Fallout, only not exactly "dead-alive", but more like different sickly looking mutations, a whole hodge-podge of miscreants.

    They came to King Harry's "palace"- a great mishappen and confusing ramshackled hip of buildings and add onns and conctractions and balconies and many other stuff. Quite a few of the affected were there. They had an odd and slightly disturbing conversation with a... clerk? Who once he learned of where they came from, and the complexity of their desire, took them straight to King Harry.

    Now, The king was in his own hall, somewhat purtid in smell and color, but oddly- grandiose. He was a huge fat blob, sitting on a great comfy cushioned pedestal, with an enormous chin and great smile, with milky skin including fungus growing on it. The players dubbed him "Jabba" (Though if I remember correctly, the name and inspiration comes from some Discowrld's character. Been a long time since I read the books)

    Jenny took hold of the conversation, while the preacher oddly stood quiet most of the time (I don't know if i rubbed the player the wrong way here somehow, but his character is usually the one doing the talking). King Harry was fun to play, in his mannerisms, and his speech. The palyers were a bit disturbed by it, but a reaction is a good thing. He seemed to want a sort of a... trade! King Harry didn't have a power converter, but he knew where to find one, and could send the party there. However, I would like to get his hands on the formula of Sizzle, the drug the diamonds are spreading like a plague. It is causing bad stuff to his people, he would like to counter it. "Why don't your people get it?" King Harry smiled a mirthless smile. "You see how we look youngster, we can't 100 feet of a Diamond. They probably keep it in Sunny Acres, in a vault or something? Shouldn't be too hard..."

    Jenny and Walter didn't think so, and decided to so far recline the offer (Despite jokes about trying to convince King Harry to throw in a mechanical arm... They can find everything, yes?) and returned to the group, a bit confused and uncertain.
    ------------------------------------------------------

    This is where we ended the session, it was getting late. The party was in Rivertown, but it seemed that getting there was only half the challenge. The party assumed (correctly), that they are entering the power struggle between the different factions. At least they seemed interested!

    In the next Session we have a new player joining in, the woman who watched our second session! She though it was a blast, and asked if she could play. She is brand new to roleplay, so we had our concerns, but she seemed cool enough. How does that work out? See in the next session!

    As always, would love comments, questions, or whatever. I am not getting it quite as "Short and succinct" as I want, but no fighting one's own nature I guess.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    While I still can post in a good rate, here goes! Happy Rosh Hashana to those of you who celebrate it. For the rest of you? Just celebrate as well, why not?

    Between Session 3 & 4- Absent player, new player

    This was going to be a very special meeting, due to composition. One absent player, one new player! A new and interesting new group dynamics?

    1) Absent player:
    Our group is composed of people in their 30's, and so we have enough real life commitments that it became quite hard to schedule a session. We decided to try a solution we were (And still are) hesitant about- playing with 1 player missing. We tried this long time in a D&D campaign, and it was quite a mess. The other players couldn't cope with playingthe missing character (And I had enough to do running the session) but more than that- we really missed the player's contirbution to the game.

    Despite that, we chose to play with a missing player if we couldn't set a meeting with all players in a reasonable time (A month or less). SO this time we were to play without D*ck's player. Luckily enough we could make his character fade to the background in this situation easily enough. I guess the real test will come when one player had to play another character. Though my bet is that this will be MUCH easier than D&D due to the simplicity of character design. No biggy, eh?

    2) New player: She watched our second mission, and since she got hooked to playing Fallout 3 just recently, she got real intrigued. So she asked the preacher's player to join (He's connected to her... somehow, I'm not sure, didn't pry. Seem like good friends). She is brand new to roleplay in general, but she seemed enthusiastic and active, so we chose to bring her in! New blood and all of that.

    The Preacher's player sat with her and explained to her the basics of FATE and roleplaying, and when I contacted her to discuss her new character and role in the world she surprised me by saying she already chose a character! She will play the madam! (D*ck's player moaned when he heard that "All my plans, down the drain! Curse the preacher! HE put her up to that!" Jokingly of course... I think?)

    He sent her the files about Rivertown and such, and explained the basic plot. We first thought about doing some background (The madam could fit into many niches in Rivertown) but decided to focus on the basic play for the first meeting, and possibly add extra stuff later on. Let her get a feel for the game, for the character, for the setting and we can add things from there.

    She still went with the 4 basic aspects, quite drawn to the Madam's personality of a social manipulator, tough woman, but caring for the less fortunate. She'll add a fifth aspect once she gets the game a bit more. As to skills, she made her a bit more fight worthy and talk worthy (upgraded Rapport and Shooting instead of Empathy and Resources as original), but other than that nothing new.

    I was worried however about the Madam's conceived occupation. She was based originally after the companion character from Firefly. However, We delicately talked aboutthe subject and she declared that while the madam employes women of that profession, she does not partake in it herself, though she doesn't mind using that assumption to her advantage. This player gave a very resolute feeling, knowing exactly what she wants! Good!

    I must say I was excited- It had been a long time since we had new people in our group!

    The Madam
    Spoiler
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    Concept and background: A refined and classy lady that acts as the town's supplier of entertainment- be it a bar, a screening theater, a gambling place, conversation or even a brothel. (She runs these activities, not directly participate in them). She is intelligent, quite influential and savvy in the ways of culture and society (the little that this town has). She is also a fiery powerful spirit, not to be underestimated.

    The Madam is the subtle face and beneficial manipulator.

    Inspiration: different women who are both aware and certain of their femininity, but with guts and character to rival any other. The companion from Firefly, Esmeralda from the hunchback of Notre dame, various roles of Monica Belluci.

    Adjusted Refresh (Base Refresh): 3 (3)
    Current Fate Points: 3

    Aspects
    - "Classy subtle lady of entertainment and delight"
    - "Accustomed to finer things"
    - "Tougher than she looks"
    - "Protector of the less fortunate"

    Notes
    : The Madam owns The Merilyn, a small entertainment/ brothel house, along with a small stuff of minor security, and 4 working gals. She also holds a small assortment of fine quality items from the wasteland. (not necessarily useful)

    Skills
    Great (+4): Rapport
    Good (+3): Empathy, contacts
    Fair (+2): Athletics, Deceive, Shoot
    Average (+1): will, physique, resources, notice


    This was an.... interesting meeting...

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Session 4, part 1- Enter the Madam, conversations, dealings and mobs.

    We welcomed the new player, recapped where we were, and started the game. The party were at the clinic of Siri the healer. after being sufficiently bandaged up, D*ck rose up, and with a flourish bade farewell to the party. "I fear that the assassination attempts may continue, and I cannot risk our group or the power converter in such dealings. I shall... go investigate with my own connections. I will meet you later on, don't worry. Goodbye Madam, Jenny." And with that he left. I tried to play on him courting the Madam, though the player didn't quite get what it was about yet.

    The rest sat down to decide. Jenny and Brother Walter relayed their meeting with King Harry. They decided to split forces, and talk to others. They decided Jenny and Walter will go speak with the Purifieres, (Perhaps Jenny could converse shop?) and The Madam and Ruphalo will go to visit The Silvertones.

    A trip to the silvertones
    As they made their way in the streets, the Madam and Ruphalo heard gasps, exclamations, hushed conversations and curses. "Mutie!", "Killers!", "Abomination", "Get back to where you came from!" and more... There was some unease , but they made it to the Silvertones grounds.

    At the entrance stood two guards, who easily proved to be quite punks. One of them eying the madam without shame. They questioned them as to their reasons to come, and she tried to lie to him, saying that she and Mr. Silvertone had a long lasting relationship. One of them laughed "yeah, I bet what kind of a relationship". They nearly caught her in her lie, but she came out persuasive enough. It was a tie in the roll, which meant some minor price for success, which she made by agreeing to dinner with one of the punks. Such ties became quite common place in this session, and we kept making jokes about her dinner card. She took it well.

    They were escorted inside, into what looked like a ruin of an old world cathedral. They saw from the side the famous Silvertones Library, though they weren't escorted there. They were brought to an old looking office, with a very distinguished and respectable looking old man. The way I presented him and the way I talked made the party dub him as "The god father". He insisted on manners, etiquette, and cordiality. The Madam took head in the conversation, while Ruphalo took to the back, looking more like a bodyguard.

    Soon enough she understood that though Samuel Silvertone didn't have a power converter, he was QUITE sure he could get his hands on one, in exchange for... A little service. He could use their expertise being out of towners, and especially due to the madam's impressive conversational skills. She tried sensing his character(learning his aspects) through Empathy, and was surprised to know that... he was afraid, deeply afraid of something, though she knew not what! She decided not to use it for now. She got a bit confused and Ruphalo took over the conversation, asking about the service Mr. Silvertone sought.

    He tried to play it as a little matter, but still something he wanted done. There were two merchants, one from this town, lets call him "D", and one out of this town, a woman we'll call "W". They were int town trying to do business together, and Mr. Silvertone wished them to do no such business. "Violence? No! I am not a violent person! I am a civilized man, a man of etiquette and conscience. No, this is a matter of commerce only. They deal, you make them... not deal. A feud? A disagreement? I'll leave that to you. However, one thing is highly important- NO ONE is to know you're working for me, understood? Get that my lady, fair giant, my friends, and you'll get my gratitude, friendship, and your power converter!"

    Spoiler
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    They sought a bit more information about them, but only learned the other merchant came from far away, and dealt with some mechanical ingredients- High power capacitors?). Mr. Silvertone was reluctant to detail anything more until they'll agree. They decided to converse with their friends. As they were about to leave, the madam tried to sense if he is lying to them. She succeeded, but again-= at a minor cost. Instead of a meal we decided he now sees Ruphalo as the main speaker, and the madam as someone the smart sly mutant might have hired. She took some offense to that, but promised to return later today.

    GM design and thoughts of the madam
    Spoiler
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    As you might have guessed, and as My players have, the different factions may have different missions and the like to suggest to the party, most of them taking them across one of the other factions paths. The trades are not all equal, and there are different kinds of missions. I tried to aim for mostly "Non direct combat" missions, to try something a bit new, with a slight take from some Shadowrun style missions I've played (Though downscale in complexity)

    As to the new player- I was quite impressed, she took to the forefront, played to character, took initiative and stood her own quite well! She even suggested some of the minor costs, showing creativity. Good!


    Trip to the purifiers
    jenny and brother Walter wentto their grounds, who were just by the river, from which they purified water. As they wentthrrough the gates they could see a long line of mid class to better off people coming to buy the precious clean water. ("What, so what do we drink?", "You? radiated polluted muck!", "Yay, good to know!") They were escorted to meet one of the engineers, a woman called Peter, a bit of a tech geek, who listened to their request, and when they didn't have anything to offer in return, offered a mission ("But of course!" laughed Jenny's player).

    The Purifiers had a small water reservoir out of town, for the few rain waters that came here. Being out of town, the Brown Coats didn't protect it, and for a few weeks now, every night the Vampyrs come and steal water. The frightened guard lock themselves in their booth, while the monsters steal precious water on their cart and go away in the night. The party was asked to eliminate the threat, if they had indeed came from the besieged Littletown. How many Vampyrs? Oh, about 10-20. And there are some rumors of a bigger one. Jenny didn't like the sound of that! They decided to talk with the others. Peter bed them farewell.

    GM design
    Spoiler
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    The mission does sound simpler, but there is a twist, later... However, I didn't make the meeting very interesting or flavorful like I did with King Harry and Mr. Silvertone. Given that I've given the Purifiers slight religious and zeloty overtones, I perhaps could have played it more. Oh well...


    Pitchforks and torches, only a bit different
    The party couldn't meet at Siri's place no more. The madam suggested that one of her contacts might put them in while they stayed. We decided it's one of the Hudson's farmer and came with the name Mr. Sandman (For some strange reason I had Neil Gaiman on my mind ) However, getting to Mr. Sandman was going to be a problem...

    As the madam and Ruphalo neared the main market they saw a crowd moving in to block them, from the frnt, back, and one side. "There he is! Mutie! Get him!" there were grumbles, a rock or two thrown, and it didn't look good.

    I didn't know what they would do, but thought to maybe talk to the crowd, or threaten it. Instead, Ruphalo grabbed the madam unceremoniously, put her on his shoulder and started running between some buildings, the crowd rushing after him!

    We decided to make this a chase scene, using the Contest rules. (If they win, they get away, if they lose, conflict with a few dozens angry citizens). Ruphalo didn't make quite good at the start, where the madam was distraught tumbling on his shoulder, and tried to grab things and turn them (Unsuccessful) when she drew her gun and shot a few ceramic vases, pouring out stuff to slow the crowd. (Quite successful Create advantage). As they were getting blockaded, Ruphalo played to his strength (Literally) and climbed a roof, and while the Madam occupied the pursuing climbers, built a small rump to jump to another building, from which they snuck down and hurried to Sandman. It was a close contest (2 wins to 3)

    Getting there the Madam quickly talked with Sandman, and managed to convince him that the mutant wasn't dangerous (Mutant raiders have been attacking the Hudson cattle) and hid him in the barn.

    Walking back Jenny and Brother Walter heard about a mutant lynch in the process, but were relieved when they heard that "the damned mutie escaped!" and quickly walked to Sandman to understand what the hell happened.

    "An offer you can't refuse."
    Sandman was a widowed man, with 6 children who knew the madam earlier, when she consoled him by talking about his grief over his dead wife. they sat to eat, as they discussed options. Ruphalo was still wounded and they didn't like the odds with the Vampyrs. Walter was confused- "Why do they still water? With a cart?" but the rest just put it out as mogols, and moved on. They settled on going to talk with Mr. Silvertone again, though they were hesitant at accepting an offer without knowing exactly what it entails.

    This time it was the madam and brother Walter who went, the two more talkative members of the group, as Ruphalo couldn't go. Again they met with the sleazy guy at the entrance, who checked upon his dinner, but quicky escorted to Mr. Silvertone who dined in his own little dining room. He offered them food, drink, but they refused. With some apprehension, they agreed to his offer, and he divulged more.

    There was a small time merchant called Davis Garnald from this town, usually a long range merchant, who somehow got a connection in the form of Winifred, a merchant from Low Creek Vallet, of which Silvertone knew little. What he did know was that she was in control of High power capacitors ("A factory? A warehouse? I don't know") Which Silvertone wanted. AsWalter inquired why Walter waved him off as "My tech man says it could do good for business, soemthing we could use for electrical stuff and so, yes?" but he felt there was mroe to it. As said before, Mr. Silvertone wanted to break up this potential partnership. Davis could be easily found out. "Probably near those Hudson bastards" he muttered, with Walter acutely hearing. While Winifred stayed at the McDona in ("You can see the big yellow M over it")

    "And why can no one knows it's you wanting the deal?" Asked the madam, suspicious. Mr. Silvertone face hardened momentarily, before softening, but speaking in a bemused voice. "There are things you need to know, and there are things you don't. This you don't. Come! We are friends now! You do this for me, and I'll be good to you! Power converter in no time, yes?"

    They understood that they have agreed by hearing the details, but were uncomfortable by the entire deal. The Madam wanted to settle just one more thing though- "There is this man, at the gate, that has been bothering me, treating me with... disrespect." Mr. Silvertone rose up, apologizing, promising her that in his new position, the man wouldn't be able to obther anyone. The Misbigotten would pity him! Satisfied, though slightly worried, the madam and the preacher walked out.

    Meanwhile, at the Sandman's farm!

    I threw Ruphalo's player another chip, as some people noticed them getting there, and reported to the Brown coats. The party head a commotion as 4 of them approached, and quickly went into hiding. Again, we treated this as a contest, but due to Ruphalo's size it was hard to hide away in the fields. But there were two ties in the contest ("Unexpected complication!" ) which brought up Sandman's kids jumping out and helping look/ confusing the searchers, and also a big Brahmin that took an interest in Ruphalo. The party used the dark, the kids, and even the Brahmin to help this difficult stealthy mission, but managed to succeed, when the brown coats gave up. "He must have went somewhere else by now, damnit!" They could hear Deputy's Kell voice.

    When The madam arrived back, she needed to explain to the worried Sandman why the brown coats were visiting him, but managed to somehow ease his mind. "Damn it you guys! You're undoing away my contacts!"

    GM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    This was a scene I cam up on the spot, since they didn't quite resolve the mob issue, and I wanted to put the "Mutie distrust" thing more on focus. We kind of improvised the entire contest, which was quite funny (Jenny got covered in mud from head to toe... "Shower! I need a shower!")
    It also helped drive more the issue of the Brown Coats as an authority a bit more.


    More to the relationship then it seems
    Next morning the madam went to the McDona, having established a connection there in the form of a waitress at this motel. From her she learned that Winifred and Davis were probably more than just business partners. To make a long story short- it seemed they were possibly lovers as well? Though from the sound of it there were a few serious fights between the couple.

    Meanwhile Walter tried to ascertain Davis relation to the Hudson, but just found out he is a small time merchant, dealing with whatever falls to his lap, quite a small fish really, and possibly a bit sleazy as well...

    The combined info raised a lot of questions- were they really lovers? Might he be using her? Or is it genuine? Does he have any connection to the Hudsons? And most importantly- Are the party ok with breaking them apart?

    The discussion was long, and kind of ended the first half of the meeting.

    GM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    I intentionally wished to put morally ambiguous situations and decisions at the party's lap, to see if they like it or not. In the past we usually played D&D in the "Big heroes!" mode, But I wanted to check out something different. Net Adventure...

    ------------------------------------
    I'll stop here, so far a very easy going adventure, with some decisions to be made, and Ruphalo persecuted. ("Hang the mutie! Hang him!") So far I quite liked the new player.

    Next part is concluding this little Adventure.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-09-16 at 07:57 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    A few thoughts and suggestions on GMing Fate... (posted here by request)

    1) Sounds like you're having a good time, that's awesome :)

    2) You're right about Create Advantage not just being a roll, but being attached to "doing stuff." Fate's supposed to work that way, it's the "golden rule". Figure out what you want your character to do, then figure out how to represent that in the rules. If you go the other way - "Can I Create Advantage based on Physique?" - the game starts to suck quickly.

    3) One thing that I generally recommend for Fate is putting the players in the drivers' seat. They should be proactive, and trying to do things, not *reactive* and having things happen to them. Things *can* happen to the players of course (I can get into game structures and whatnot), but generally you want players *doing* things and getting themselves into trouble a lot of the time.

    4) I don't know what "defend with Physique and Strength instead of Stress" means. Stress isn't an active defense, it just absorbs shifts on an attack. You can't "roll" it. At the same time, Physique might be used as a defense in some cases, but it's not something that absorbs shifts from an attack.

    5) I'd probably model the vehicle modifications as Create Advantage. Then, the modifications become Situation Aspects, so they have some mechanical bits behind them. Just remember that something should happen on a failure beyond "you don't get your mod" - mucking with things can have negative consequences!

    6) Finding the vehicle probably isn't just 'using' an Aspect. It might be spending a Fate Point, or just making an appropriate Resources roll, depending on how you want to handle it. (Yes, I'm jumping around in the timeline). You don't really 'use' an aspect in that way - you either get its permissions (due to the "always true" bits), or you use it to Invoke or Compel. Same with "used the armor to defend against the bomb", though that may have just been due to brevity of description. That's not saying that you handled it "wrong" or anything - I'd look at it as an opportunity for more things to go wrong on a bad roll ;)

    7) Remember that aspects can change between sessions! THis is good for players that want to show how their character evolves over time - Aspects can be pretty specific too, like "I don't trust Johnny". Really, an aspect is mostly a way of saying "this is important to the story".

    Anyway, that's what comes to mind. Happy to assist more if you have any questions, or things you want to know other ways of handling.

    I also wrote a bunch of posts on G+ in the Fate Core community that mostly detail my process of learning Fate (and, really, *unlearning* other games). If you search for "Thought of the Day" you should get them - they may be of help.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    biggrin Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Kol,

    I've been thoroughly enjoying your posts. I'm been toying with the idea of running a Fate Core session with some friends. Reading about your ideas, their development, and then implementation has been entertaining and informative.

    Please continue to post, if it's possible!

    One small rules thing I noticed: Fate Points change hands after a conflict/scene versus during. That's to ensure it's not a "zero sum" exchange, with points just going back and forth during the same conflict.
    http://rpg.stackexchange.com/questio...-a-scene-in-co

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Fate Points spent on invocations of aspects are handed out at the end of the scene - Compels are granted immediately.

    (BTW, I had originally sent Kol my comments via PM, he asked me to share them here. His campaign is great fun to read, and I didn't want to derail it... please be assured that I'm not trying to nitpick here or say that Kol is doing a bad job in any way!)

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Kyoryu was worried he might be interrupting my log, but I feel that he has some good points and interesting advice. As I assume that some of the readers are people new to FATE and running games in it, I thought they may benefit as well, and so I asked him to post in the main log. I'll address the points made, and then continue on with the story. If you care more about that, just skip on.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    2) You're right about Create Advantage not just being a roll, but being attached to "doing stuff." Fate's supposed to work that way, it's the "golden rule". Figure out what you want your character to do, then figure out how to represent that in the rules. If you go the other way - "Can I Create Advantage based on Physique?" - the game starts to suck quickly.
    Yeah, I'm coming to realize it's about what you do, not just the rolls. I intend to play more to that in the future hopefully. I didn't mention it, but some players already taken into it, at least through equipment. Remember the Centagon processing unit Jenny got? We made it into an aspect with 1 free invoke for burglary. D*ck kept Dr. Marlo's map, as an aspect for possible leverage on Rivertown in the matter of Vampyrs, and a few more odds and ends. I don't remember everything from the adventures, little stuff may come up. it's a good way to make strategist, planning, and fore though matter more.

    3) One thing that I generally recommend for Fate is putting the players in the drivers' seat. They should be proactive, and trying to do things, not *reactive* and having things happen to them. Things *can* happen to the players of course (I can get into game structures and whatnot), but generally you want players *doing* things and getting themselves into trouble a lot of the time.
    I'm not sure, but I assume you're reffering mostly to the "On the road" section, where they mostly reacted, rather than initiated actions? I usually like to present a situation to the characters, and see what they make of it. (QUite often not any of my anticipated actions! ) I thought they were quite active in the second part of the first adventure (With deciding how to respond to the threat, executing it, and then retaking Littletown). and they've been quite active in Rivertown as well I think.

    But I agree that FATE requires more active players. I'm having some trouble with that, as we mostly come form a D&D mind set, where the DM is far more responsible for the adventure than the players. But the players are coming about (I think) and like the greater initiative. I think this is possible only due to the ease that FATE enables you to improvise. I did try to enable such freedom in D&D, but it required TREMENDOUS amount of planning and doing stats for so many things, that it bogged me down so much (with the little time I had), that we had to stop a campaign mid stride.

    It takes me about a 1/5 the amount of time to prepare for a FATE session than it does for D&D, and that is IMPORTANT with our time constraints. Also, I can improvise much easier. This I hope will lead to greater player activity and taking initiative.

    4) I don't know what "defend with Physique and Strength instead of Stress" means. Stress isn't an active defense, it just absorbs shifts on an attack. You can't "roll" it. At the same time, Physique might be used as a defense in some cases, but it's not something that absorbs shifts from an attack.
    I assume you're talking about the bomb? Yeah, I didn't quite know how to module it. I think I tried to make up a sort of a house rule for explosives or such. I agree it doesn't fly well, I'm still thinking of how to model it. (I do think it needs to be defended by Physique mostly, unles you can jump to cover, in that case- athletics). Thoughts?
    5) I'd probably model the vehicle modifications as Create Advantage. Then, the modifications become Situation Aspects, so they have some mechanical bits behind them. Just remember that something should happen on a failure beyond "you don't get your mod" - mucking with things can have negative consequences!
    You're talking about the first adventure pimped up ride? We did consider these as "create advantage" actions. I didn't quite think at the time what would happen if they failed though... I need to get used to the "failure adds to the story" mind frame. This is fun!
    6) Finding the vehicle probably isn't just 'using' an Aspect. It might be spending a Fate Point, or just making an appropriate Resources roll, depending on how you want to handle it. (Yes, I'm jumping around in the timeline). You don't really 'use' an aspect in that way - you either get its permissions (due to the "always true" bits), or you use it to Invoke or Compel. Same with "used the armor to defend against the bomb", though that may have just been due to brevity of description. That's not saying that you handled it "wrong" or anything - I'd look at it as an opportunity for more things to go wrong on a bad roll ;)
    I assume you refer to D*ck finding Dr. Cross's beat up vehicle? It was a "making a declaration" use of an aspect. I thought one of the uses of aspects was to determine small fats about the world, referring to the aspects. True, "Fast cars and fast women" Didn't directly refer to that, but it was amongst the first uses of aspects in the game, and in a creative manner, that added to the fun. I thought to allow it.

    7) Remember that aspects can change between sessions! This is good for players that want to show how their character evolves over time - Aspects can be pretty specific too, like "I don't trust Johnny". Really, an aspect is mostly a way of saying "this is important to the story".
    Oh, some characters do change aspects. Jenny changed her "What a mess I get into" into "dodge the reaper", showing her new found fear of death and possibly her change from prior shenanigans. I forgot to mention it but the preacher changed his "These are my people" to "SOME of these are my people" to show he doesn't fulyl trust the Jenkins any more."As I said before, some things slip my mind. D*ck made the most changes to his aspects, butthose were in the process of the makeover, mostly to refine his image of the character, not the changes he has gone though. Ruphalo stays the same. The player likes it that way so far.
    Anyway, that's what comes to mind. Happy to assist more if you have any questions, or things you want to know other ways of handling.
    Thank you for your advice! I like learning from more experienced people, who think about the games they play. Still a learning process, but getting there!

    I also wrote a bunch of posts on G+ in the Fate Core community that mostly detail my process of learning Fate (and, really, *unlearning* other games). If you search for "Thought of the Day" you should get them - they may be of help.
    I will, though It might take some time for me to do so. Vacation over, so I'm writing the next post and then back to studying! Psychiatry, here I come!

    Quote Originally Posted by beknoll View Post
    Kol,

    I've been thoroughly enjoying your posts. I'm been toying with the idea of running a Fate Core session with some friends. Reading about your ideas, their development, and then implementation has been entertaining and informative.

    Please continue to post, if it's possible!
    Thanks for the encouragement! I will soon catch up to the current time, after which posts may become slower, at the pace of our gaming. We hope to play about once every 2-3 weeks, but sometimes it's more.

    One small rules thing I noticed: Fate Points change hands after a conflict/scene versus during. That's to ensure it's not a "zero sum" exchange, with points just going back and forth during the same conflict.
    http://rpg.stackexchange.com/questio...-a-scene-in-co
    [QUOTE=kyoryu;15958203]Fate Points spent on invocations of aspects are handed out at the end of the scene - Compels are granted immediately.
    [quote]

    Huh, really? I guess that makes some sort of sense... Can you tell me where is that written? The preacher's player is a stickler for rules, so I would like to show him that when he asks. And I thought that giving a baddie some sort of a handicap the PCs can use is also a way of charging them with Fate points mid conflict (Like the twisted ankle of the Ogre)

    (BTW, I had originally sent Kol my comments via PM, he asked me to share them here. His campaign is great fun to read, and I didn't want to derail it... please be assured that I'm not trying to nitpick here or say that Kol is doing a bad job in any way!)
    Kyoryu, No problem, I appreciate your advice and observations, as I'm sure others here will as well. Feel free to jump in whenever you feel like it!
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I thank all who read, jump in to just say they like it (Always nice to know! ) Or who have some advice, some insight, some thought to share. Thanks for helping my game get better!

    Ok, Time to write the ending of this adventure, eh?

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Session 4, part 2- A polite refusal, A matter of appearances, Shoot out at noon!

    At the end of the discussion neither Jenny, the Madam or Brother Walter felt comfortable with breaking up lovers. (When I told D*ck this he replied with "What the hell? Such a great risk free mission! You fools!") and so decided to go back to Mr. Silvertone, and decline the offer. Brother Walter was uneasy at this- They had already accepted. Still, they decided that this time the madam will go with Jenny, as a more suitable backup.

    As they arrived in the Silvertones grounds they were now escorted to the Library (The madam noticed with satisfaction the lack of one personal). Jenny noticed several guards, several dogs, and even a small booth with some dozing Brown coats, probably as support. Inside the saw the oddly computerized library. The Silvertones valued knowledge. They met with Mr. Silvertone presiding over a few youths, learning in the somewhat old tech computers. (Jenny salivated, almost compelled to run to them). Noticing them, he motioned them to a more private chamber.

    "So, you've done it already? Good! Good!" He seemed pleased. "And you bring a new friend? each time someone else? It's good you have so many friends, shows you got talent, eh?" Needless to say, he didn't take the news well. "What? But we made a deal! I did not force you, we talked like civilized people and came to an agreement, now they will finalize the deal today, and I can't stop them! You cause me great grief! Not good, not good! Madam, you disappoint me!"

    She tried to stand her ground, appeal their case, and that this was not the type of jobs they took. However, aspects were turning up against them, but she put up her own aspects as well, and dude to a great Rapport skill, roles, and about 3 or so aspects, managed to tie (Again!) so she succeeded, at a cost (another dinner?).

    We were a bit stumped at this point, and tried to come up with ideas. It also felt a bit... boffed up that she succeeded, but we decided to play it so. At the end we played it that Mr. Silvertone was actually impressed by the way the madam presented her case, and that she almost persuaded him. He then turned to her. "Very well, I shall deal with this. I should have known that you might be too weak for this. But I like the way you talk madam. I am willing to... forgive this transgression, if you owe me a little favor. One time in the future, I will call upon you to talk for me. And then, I expect no backing out, is it understood?" He said with a low menacing voice. The madam agreed, and they were ready to depart, feelign they got out with the skin of their teeth.

    GMing thoughts
    Spoiler
    Show
    Ok, I agree, as the players said later, this still felt a bit too easy. I like to play where the dice falls thoguh, they add an impact of randomality that forces you to improvise, and often take the story places you didn't expect. In my games the players roll all the dice, even of opponents, so everything is seen.

    I think the "cost", while not exactly a "minor" one turned up nicely. It's a hook for further adventure, and the madam felt like she's making herself a contact, which is something she really seems into. At the point I didn't know what sort of future favor Silvertone might need, but when did that stop you?


    A face from the past!
    As they walked outside the library, talking in hushed tones, a group passed them by, looking to be some street thugs or something, when I threw Jenny's player a fate point, as someone suddenly drew a gun on her. "Well lookey here!"

    Suddenly many guns were drawn, and thee was quite a bit of tension. The sly looking first gun drawer too ka good look at Jenny. "If it ain't my brother's killer! I got a bullet with your name on it!" However, before things escalated, The Silvertones guards came about, calling to cease hostilities on the grounds. "You've drawn a weapon on me" Jenny replied "On Silvertones grounds... Hope you got a good excuse! and if you wish to go through with this, whomever you are, you'll soon be as dead as Not-So-Tough-Mike" the guns were withdrawn, and the smiling bastard responded. "Oh, Mr. Silvertone won't mind. And you can call me Sid, Lucky Sid, and you'll be in the ground soon enough!" They went to meet the Silvertones, as Jenny ushered the madam outside "Quickly!"

    GM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    True, it wasn't an aspect, but Jenny wrote a bit of a past where she killed Tough Mike, a local gang member, and ran from Rivertown. The player wanted to put it in somehow, so we did.

    Besides- Net design and all that...


    A side joke on D*ck's expense
    I'm not quite sure when this happened in the session, but his player sent us a message to see what it up. We decided to play a joke on him. over a course of a bit of the session we sent him messages that his vehilce blew up due to Vampyrs, that the madam was now courted by the preacher and more. He got somewhat pissed aboutthe entire thing, promising Walter to become a "two handed marvel", and that "revenge will come". However, when I recounted the game session to him a day or two later I couldn't keep up the ruse. I'm such a terrible liar.

    [U]The Purifiers' reservoir, and unexpected outcomes/U]
    The party decided to accept the Purifiers offer. They managed to Get Peter to install some permanent UV lights on both vehicles ("Succeeded with style- a permanent aspect of the vehicles, with two free invokes!) After telling Peter, they took their vehicles and set out to the reservoir, getting near dark. Talking to the few simple guards they heard the Vampyrs come every night, with great howling and noise before. They guards saw some Vampyrs figures from afar, usually by a big Vampyr, flailing it's arms. They pull the tarp of the reservoir, take their water, and pull out. Brother Walter was confused. "Wait, and they don't come for you, try to eat you or stuff?" The guards replied panicked "Thank god no! we shot at them in the first few times, and they leave us alone!" Despite Brother Walter's misgivings, the party set to prepare an ambush.

    Ruphalo bobby trapped their approach zone with two grenades. (Finally he got to use the stunt!). Jenny set up with her sniper scope to shoot them from across the reservoir, her bike nearby, and the rest decided that once the grenades go off, they ride towards them with the hammer. Walter even terrified two of the guards to join them, feeling they might need extra fire power, and because he still didn't trust them.

    Then they waited, till night came. Soon after, the wailing began, great howling noises. They waited. Then Jenny saw some figures, moving and shifting like Vampyrs, only more... cautiously? Behind them came a big Vampyr, probably another Unique one, who flailed it's arms into the air, and then stepping slwoly, awkwardly forward. behind them caem a few more figures, pulling a cart. I had Jenny rol la few rolls to see if she notices something, but no. The party got a bit tense.

    When they were in the spot, Ruphalo activated his grenades, and KABOOM, they saw some of the figures fall, and the rest wailing but in strange voices, not Vampyr like. Plus... The arm of the big one just fell off, and it was moving around frantically. Jenny tried to shoot it, but barely missed. Meanwhile the other rushed to the "Vampyrs", allready feeling something here is wrong, With Jenny and the madam on the bike behind them.

    The site was a sorry site, 5 bodies lay on the ground, a few mroe slightly wounded (Wasn't a great grenade roll), but they didn't look like Vampyrs, rather like the misbigotten mutants of King Harry's people. And the big one? A contraption propelled by another Misbigotten, apparently their leader. They were frantic, trying to bandage the wounded, trying to pull off atthe same time, when the party cornered them.

    I think some in the party felt bad (Especially the madam's player) but not that much. "That's what you get when you try to look as Vampyrs, you get people trying to kill you" Said Jenny, shaking her head a bit, but looking resolute. The others made similar comments, though Walter andthe madam went to try and help them. "Why do you come for the water anyway?" Plonker, their leader, who had a talent for imitating voices (Including howling Vampyrs voices) moaned sadly "We need the pure water for our seek. Purifiers won't sell to use, think we are an abomination, a filth to cleanse" Madam and The Preacher came up with a plan to maybe have an intermediate buy and sell water for them, perhaps one of the madam's contacts.

    As the misbigotten, with their wounded and dead went away, the party stood silent for a moment. "Well, job's done" they concluded, but with somewhat mixed feelings.

    GM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    I'm not sure whether this scene was good or not. Sure, it got some responses, but I got the feeling that by this part in the session they were expecting some big fight, and felt a bit like a fight was robbed of them. I also don't think they liked the morally ambiguous dilemmas much. Maybe it's time to return to more "big hero" stuff.

    Also, I'm thinking the misbigotten are creating more a feeling of "pathetic and weird" rather than "curiously odd and intriguing". Hmmm...


    Return of Lucky Sid
    Early dusk, the party made their way towards Sandman's farm. As they parked, and Ruphalo got into the bar, he was suddenly shot and then clubbered by part of Lucky Sid's gang! They managed to hit him quite well, and take off quite a ibt of his stress, trying to prevent him getting out, while Sid shot some nasty remarks at Jenny outise trying to lure them in to the trap.

    So Jenny? She did the exact opposite! calling him out to "fight like a real man, better than your puny coward brother did! You want to kill me? Come and fight me straight! Just the two of us! your cronies and my people aside!" The clever player played on aspects of Sid he suspected without actually knowing them, and beat the gangster's resolve, who accepted the challenge, sure of his skill and his luck.

    And so the battle field changed, in the mid of the cabbage field, with the two parties lining up a combat zone between Sid and Jenny. Sid shot first, and shot well (lots of Fate point), taking ALL of Jenny's stress out! She shot back, but his name fitted him well, and Jenny rerolled (Stunt). Walter and the madam then spoke, trying to strike fear and doubt into Sid (Create advantage) which indeed worked, but then Sid told his men to put new hols in them if anyone else speaks.

    The doubt was enough for Jenny to shoot well, and after about 2 more shots, Sid's luck seemed to have run out (Literally, no more Fate points) and he called on his men to "Kill the B*tch!". Which is exactly what our PCs have been waiting for. Ruphalo closed in and threw another grenade, taking about 3 people out, while the preacher took out his machete, and carved nice slashes through two of Sid's men. Jenny shot him hard as well, the madam following with her gun, getting down and picking one of his men's rifles to shoot Sid with it, for poetic justice. (I really liked that touch). Sid was shot well, before he conceded the fight, just wanting to escape with his life!

    They could hear Brown coats approaching after the gunfire and grenade boom, so Jenny had an idea. "Right, he concedes, but he takes blames for this entire fiasco, and the death of tough mike, to rot a nice time in prison!" That worked, and Sid and his few living men were escorted to the Brown coats headquarters. And Ruphalo? he hid in the barn with his Brahmin (We joked about it "What is it with your characters? First the Harpy, now the Brahmin?" which is a reference to an older campaign of ours, also on a log. He laughed up big this time!)

    GM design
    Spoiler
    Show
    I sort of imagined Sid's revenge to come up later, but I felt the pary really wanted their "battle rations" and so changed this up a bit. The battle was nto tough, as people had lots of fate points, and the enemies' advantage was taken by Jenny's ruse. I think it was fun, though not that challenging in retrospect.

    Sid and his gang
    Lucky Sid: "Avenge my brother's death" "sly little weasel" "better to screw you over with!"
    Great: provoke good: shoot athletics Fair: Deceive, notice, empathy
    Average: physique, will, resources OOO
    Stunts: twice per scene can force a reroll of an attack that hit him, can call new gang members to him if within territory by provoke against 2.
    Gang members:
    Athletics +2, fight/ shoot, notice +1



    Mr. Sandman and his kids were kept in the basement by two of Sids' men, and he seemed really, really displeased with the Mada m this time! ("You're ruining all of my contacts!") She promised him she'll make up to him, and make a really, really long talk with him this time.

    Maybe a dinner?

    We decided that the party will get their Power converter fixed by the Purifiers in a matter of a few days. Peter was pleased and promised they will get revenge against the Misbigotten. (The guards that escorted the party told her). And Jenny even got her guy part fixed!
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    So this is where we stopped. It was a weird adventure, of two parts: First the travel to Rivertown, than dealing in Rivertown. The players enjoyed, but they did say it wasn't challenging enough. Jenny's player commented: "It was fun, and different, but the previous adventure had us much more at the edge of our sits. There wasn't much to lose here" While the madam's player said that she felt like I was going a bit too easy on them, and asked if I can make it a bit more difficult next time.

    Beware of what you wish for! (Just kidding, not going to kill them... hard)

    The adventure for me was... so so. I too felt it lacked structure, jumping from doing this to doing that and so on. I think it was good at giving Rivertown some feel, and the power groups in it (Even though the Hudsons and Diamonds were barely touched upon). A big realization is that the Party wants more heroic style kind of adventure I think, and less ambiguous moral decisions.

    There was a new dynamic in the group due to the new player and missing player. I think it worked quite well. I wonder how things will be when the entire group will be there!

    I was really pleased with the new player. Her grasp of the rules wasn't perfect, but that mattered little- it will come with time. What mattered is that she was an active, creative, immersed and engaging player, and really- who could ask for more?

    The "net adventure" design garnered me a few insights, but as a thrilling gripping adventure it didn't go so well .I had quite a few hooks now, and a few inclinations of what the group liked, but still no Campaign in sight... It was time I'll get unto that.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Pixie in the Playground
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    smile Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    [QUOTE=kyoryu;15958203]Fate Points spent on invocations of aspects are handed out at the end of the scene - Compels are granted immediately.

    Thanks for the clarification, Kyoryu!

    I agree: Kol's campaign has been a blast to read.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Ok folks, Through a short marathon of updates, I finally got to the current time! Hurray! Updates from here on will be according to our playing frequency (Which is about once every 2-4 weeks unfortunately) or more if you have questions and what not. I hope to have you follow. If you're bored, well- there are my other logs? Non FATE though...

    A few matters still remain

    Between Session 4 & 5- A new wiki, a few articles, and a bit about arc/ campaign building

    We'll meet in 2 days from now, on Saturday. I'm not sure I'm including everything in this post, as my players have the tendency to think about the game only 1-2 days before the game, SO they may throw me a curve ball, and I may add things later, but a few things to note:

    1) We made ourselves a new Wiki for our game! I wanted to pull together all the info we had, and also have a place for short session summaries for players who missed a session or so. We've had wikis for previous games we ran, but this one is supposed to be more basic, in the works. Most of it is self explanatory, but a few notes worthy of notice:
    -Jenny's story: The player keeps recordings of our sessions as I've said, which he intends to turn into a story from his own point of view. He is more occupied than I am and so has little time to dedicate to it. It goes slow. It is currently at the end of the first session (After the first wave of Vampyrs)

    - Pics: The same player also love visual aids, and is quite good with photoshop. He informed me of his intent to add quite a few pics to the site, to give it a more appropriate feel. So the visual aspect of the wiki may change in the following week- two weeks.

    - Characters: Some are missing, yeah. The players haven't added them to the site yet. ... Not all of them like the use of wiki's.

    - Updates: Will mostly happen whenever We have anything to add. Usually I add things, with the rest contributing sporadically. I don't expect anything major will be added that won't be mentioned here.

    2) Some of you may have noticed another thread by me floating in the forum these days: How to create more interesting battles in FATE and using situational aspects. I got some good responses, and came to a few conclusions. I'm Copy pasting from that thread the main things:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Originally by Kol Korran:
    1) Your responses have made it clear to me that my group (Myself included) Still haven't got around to the narrative thought process of FATE, we're still somewhat busy adding up modifiers. In the majority of instances in our sessions so far, Using aspects/ advantages and so on had just the "+2 bonus" effect, with little description of what it means in game, but not actually considering the specifics of the aspects (except of whether it fits) or it's meaning and significance to the scene! "Dark lighting" or "enemy cowering in fear" were not used for their full effect, but rather just the bonus. With this new insight in mind, I hope I could make my players (And self) play more narratively, and take thee into account. I think it would grant the situational aspects more weight as well, and make the game much better! SO thanks for that everyone!

    Secondly, Kyoryu brings up two points that helped me understand better how FATE works:
    2) That the players lose quite a bit of their struggles/ conflicts. That is... quite different than the D&D approach (of Succeed in all!) and an interesting take on things. My players fail from time to time, but usually due to miss planning and such, not since they are being over whelmed. I was under the impression that most "failure"s in the game come from compels, not from actually, well, failing!. I'll keep this in mind!

    3) FATE conflicts are a game of bidding and chicken (Who bids more fate points, who runs first) I will need to wrap my head around it. It's not how I'm used to running conflicts, but may be quite interesting, with lots of tension. (And tension is good for a game, eh?)

    3) False_Tautology from Myth Weavers have suggested I check two articles about Fate Fractal (A suggestion that was repeated byObryn and perhaps a few more). Basically it's a way to represent everything in your game world by giving it mechanics of characters: Aspects, Skills, Stress and stunts.

    The first article: The core of FATE core- is a great articel for getting the hand of the main mechanics of FATE. If you read long enough down (Or just search for "FATE fractal") You get to what I was talking about. A very interesting read.

    "It's on Fire" is an example of how Fate fractal works, and is very short and a good explanation. Not everything is aspects...

    I intend to look at Kyuryu's articles later on, when I get the chance to look it up.

    4) Character changes and plans: I don't know everything yet, as even as I type this my players started to converse about changes and plans. Told you! What I know so far:
    - Jenny: Decided to alter her "Live fast and keep it simple" aspect to "Cut to the heart of the matter". She is less impulsive than before, and decides to maybe improve her conversational abilities, but still seeks to get to the coe of a subject, disliking bullsh*t.

    - Brother Walter: He got about 9 (!!!) fate points left at the end of the session, and he wishes to use them for... something. I guess he saved up like Ruphalo the previous scenario. He wishes to establish some deal between the misbigotten and the Purifiers, getting water to them. It's nice to see SOMEONE remembered about that. He also wishes to change his "unroot them before they grow" Aspect which was used maybe once in this adventure. Still looking for things to do in Rivertown before they head back. I feel a surprise-to-the-GM coming up.

    - D*ck: The player wants to get something out of his explorations. Either a lead, or we even thought to roleplay it for an hour or two before the session start (We usually meet before hand, to chat and so on). Also he still has a few machinations about taking over Littletown, though he didn't quite specify what. As far as I understand plan A includes the madam, and plan B may include one of the Rivertown factions?

    - Ruphalo and the madam's players haven't notify me of any plans or changes yet...

    I may update on this later on, If there are any major changes. I'll let you know.

    5) The building of a new campaign: These are general thoughts I have in the idea of making a story arc for our people. This is NOT a complete work out of the story, NOR do I intend to give everything up, I aim to share some leading thoughts on the matter.

    First of all, what did my players show an interest so far:
    - They seem to prefer "on the edge of your seat" type of action, so mostly action packed, very tense, high risk type of stuff.
    - D*ck, The Preacher and the Madam show some interest in Littletown. Littletown presents a problem in more ways than one- The characters are somewhat tied to it (Having holdings, hirelings, or an invested interest there) but it's also quite small and undeveloped. Rivertown offers much more in terms of potential, So how to balance the two? At first I thought to focus on Rivertwon (Mainly to not quite finishing the issue of Michael and Rose, "a matter of blood") but I needed to include Littletown as well. How do I include the two? Maybe an issue big enough to hold both of them together?
    - I think that though the players Liked fighting the Vampyrs, that they are starting to feel a bit too known, and without a hint on how to learn more about them. I think it's time to introduce something more threatening, and with more story behind it. I usually like putting in "Something known, something new", that way players can use things they have learned and feel an accomplishment, but also face something new- and keep the suspense and tension up.

    Now, what sort of things do we have running along? what sort of hooks, semi plots and things I can use? Lets see:
    - The Vampyrs menace, joined with "a matter of blood" and the presence of the Jackal, which I want as a recurring character. This is probably the major issue.
    - Politics in Littletown. I need to create some sort of a conflict, tense situation, in which the characters can act with or against The Jenkins (or... do something unexpected)
    - In Rivertown the two major factions that came to the eye of the players are The Silvertones (What are Mr. Silvertones schemes? What is he afraid of? Why did he need the merchants break up?) and the Misbigotten of King Henry (Which posed their own questions, but perhaps proved an interesting faction to explore). I have a few ideas of how to tie these together to my main idea. The Hudsons and Purifiers might also play a role, though I need to figure it out. I think I'll ignore the Diamonds for now.
    - Brother Walters' past, and his abilities: I felt he didn't quite had enough opportunity to shine as a public speaker, or a man of great faith and will. I may need some enemies who can cause mental damage, or mental effects.
    - Other bits and ends that might be tied: The mutants (Ruphalo's kind) coming to human lands for some reasons, and an idea of how to give the Ogre and Siren a new twist?

    I know this may be a confusing list, but I would like to come up with some concept of a background story, and then building upon it (ESPECIALLY in Fate!) is quite easy, Sort of like setting the board for a game, and then letting the players move around, bump into things, wreck some things up, run from others, and generally make the lovely mess we call a roleplay game!

    I've read briefly the Fate section of creating scenarios, which is quite intriguing- basically you first come up with a problem (Usually using the world and character situation), or even 2-3 problems, best if they are opposed in some way, and then you ask questions. The questions dictate what can happen in general. The idea however is not to write the end of things, not to decide upon a plot or a road the party must follow. (Yeah, I know I'm a bit at fault here on this. I never even imagined them not getting the power converter ) While I don't feel quite as comfortable with the FATE way of creating adventures, I'm trying to get more accustomed to it.

    I have the basics of the next scenario. I'll probably work on it more tomorrow and the day after, in the short time I can offer to it. Hopefully this will turn better, eh?

    Hope you're enjoying, the update after the session will come sometime next week I guess, time permitting. No more vacation. Drop a line if you wish! Catching up officially done!

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Remember the Centagon processing unit Jenny got? We made it into an aspect with 1 free invoke for burglary
    Sounds about right. Aspects are just "handles" on things that are established in the fiction. There's a common saying on G+ - the room isn't dark because it has a _Pitch Black_ aspect, it has a _Pitch Black_ aspect because it's dark.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    I'm not sure, but I assume you're reffering mostly to the "On the road" section, where they mostly reacted, rather than initiated actions? I usually like to present a situation to the characters, and see what they make of it.
    That's pretty much what I do and recommend :) I often deliberately avoid having a solution in mind, or even predicting what will happen. I often play it like a chess game - put a couple of 'sides' out there, let the players make a move, let the others make moves, etc. This may make the PCs *reactive* on the 'enemy turns', but I think that's okay.

    Even 'random encounters' can work, but I prefer to make them the result of a failed roll. So to get from Point A to Point B might be a Drive roll - success means you get there on time, don't get lost, and without incident. Failure means something bad happens, which could be anything from a mechanical malfunction to getting lost to an ambush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    But the players are coming about (I think) and like the greater initiative. I think this is possible only due to the ease that FATE enables you to improvise.
    Agreed. The fact that you can whip up an NPC in about thirty seconds makes improvisation pretty fluid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    It takes me about a 1/5 the amount of time to prepare for a FATE session than it does for D&D, and that is IMPORTANT with our time constraints. Also, I can improvise much easier. This I hope will lead to greater player activity and taking initiative.
    There's a thread on the Yahoo Fate group where Leonard Balsera talks about how he preps. I think he ends up taking about 30 minutes at most. That's about par for me too. Here's a link to my "GM Guide for Fate", as well as the Yahoo thread.

    https://plus.google.com/108546067488...ts/K2E4ivswdQZ
    http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/F...s/topics/25088

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    I assume you're talking about the bomb? Yeah, I didn't quite know how to module it. I think I tried to make up a sort of a house rule for explosives or such.
    Defending with Physique, eh, maybe - you already get extra stress, so that's already a benefit of Physique. Again, it depends on what the characters say they're doing. I don't think defending with Physique is "wrong" in any way.

    My bigger question was what does "defend with stress" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    I assume you refer to D*ck finding Dr. Cross's beat up vehicle? It was a "making a declaration" use of an aspect. I thought one of the uses of aspects was to determine small fats about the world, referring to the aspects.
    Yeah, but it costs a FP to do so - page 13 has an example. It's not a bad thing to just give it out, of course, but I'd be hesitant to allow free uses that frequently. That's what skills are for - they represent the 'camera time' finding the vehicle, and the chance that it could have gone wrong. Using a FP allows you to bypass that and just have it 'happen' to be there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Ruphalo stays the same. The player likes it that way so far.
    Perfectly awesome. You may wish to suggest new aspects as old ones become less relevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Fate Points spent on invocations of aspects are handed out at the end of the scene - Compels are granted immediately.
    Huh, really? I guess that makes some sort of sense... Can you tell me where is that written?
    Page 69 says that points given for invokes are given after the end of the scene. Page 71 talks about Compels, and that you accept the complication and receive a Fate Point. By omission, the Fate Point is given immediately (the "after the scene" clause for Invokes has no impact on Compels, since they're not the same thing).

    I don't know if there's something that lays it out that simply, but it's been hashed over a few times on G+ and the official word has come down that FP from hostile invokes are granted at the end of the scene, but FP from Compels are granted immediately (well, after the complication, anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Kyoryu, No problem, I appreciate your advice and observations, as I'm sure others here will as well. Feel free to jump in whenever you feel like it!
    So long as I'm being helpful! And if you have any specific things that felt weird for you, or you weren't sure how to handle, let me know and I'll see if I can help.

    And keep up the campaign journal! It's seriously fun reading!

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    DarkWhisper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Nice reading :)

    Pity the player's didn't really pick up on the 'Purifiers vs. Misbegotten' moral dilemma; I'd have been interested in the views of the various characters on this (and the tension created by it).

    Another factor why the players might be more interested in Littletown than Rivertown might be that LT has only one power left (the Jenkins clan) while Rivertown is divided amongst four of five powers.
    And with only one power to oppose them (in addition to have the basis of a power structure on their own, there), they can more easily shape Littletown and make it 'their own'.

    Btw: How smoothly did the transfer of power go from Ma Jenkins to her son ? Are there children of the late matriarch that are dissatisfied by 'Whats-his-Name' taking charge of the family clan ?
    An intra-familiy conflict might just be the powderkeg that could tear the whole of Littletown apart... ;)

    Eagerly waiting for the next update ;)

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Scow2's Avatar

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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Well... I think a big reason the party is so attached to "Littletown" is because it's "Home" - they have holdings there, and it functions as their Base of Operations... sort of. Also, although they don't see eye-to-eye with the Jenkins', they're "Safe" there (And with the sudden power changes with the Jenkins, they have a chance of making it even safer).

    In Rivertown, they're outsiders that, if they want to influence the town, have to 'pick a side', and play the competing factions against each other AND balance them, but aren't inherently invested in ANY of them. In Littletown, they are inherently invested the power centers (Mainly because they are the power centers there).

    I can't claim to speak for your players - but I think you might want to let the conflict with the Jenkins 'cool off', instead of ramp it up. A shame the Sheriff could only play the first session - I'm getting a strong "Junktown/Megaton" vibe from Littletown, with the classic/stereotypical/cliche "Corrupt Businessman (Gizmo, Colin Moriarty, D*ck Mighty/possibly Madame) Vs. Established Authority(Killian Darkwater, Lucas Simms, The Late "Pa" Jenkins/Burt Jenkins/The Sherrif/Brother Walter) conflict... except there are several more people with a claim to Lawful Authority in Littletown now that "Pa"'s dead and "Ma"'s incarcerated, and Player Characters are on both sides of the conflict. I'd suggest not bothering with forcing internal conflict in Littletown, and let the players stir stuff up, and if they get complacent-but-immobile, bring more threats and events from outside.

    Littletown may be "Undeveloped" and "Empty" right now - but that just means there's more room for the players to fill it with stuff and develop it how they need to, as a blank slate for them to take in any direction they want. The difference between Littletown and Rivertown is the former's like a level 1 D&D character, and the Latter's like a level 7 one - sure, there's more going on with the latter - but the former has more places it has yet to go.
    Last edited by Scow2; 2013-09-05 at 08:34 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Hey! People are taking an interest! Cool, I'll try and respond my thoughts as well as I can!

    There have been so many ideas running through my head these past few days, I love it when that happens! Suffice to say I think I have a much more complex and interesting "gaming table" forthe players to have their fun with, and I'll be amping the ante a bit, both social/ political wise, and "actual threat wise". The players, as I mentioned, have been active this past day, and we might be making a few changes. I'll let you know! I think it's going to be quite exciting!


    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Even 'random encounters' can work, but I prefer to make them the result of a failed roll. So to get from Point A to Point B might be a Drive roll - success means you get there on time, don't get lost, and without incident. Failure means something bad happens, which could be anything from a mechanical malfunction to getting lost to an ambush.
    Actually that could be a really cool way to make Driving or Survival (A skill we added) a very simple and easy way to resolve my "travel through the wasteland" problem... I'll need cool enough "random" encounters though. Something that means something.

    There's a thread on the Yahoo Fate group where Leonard Balsera talks about how he preps. I think he ends up taking about 30 minutes at most. That's about par for me too. Here's a link to my "GM Guide for Fate", as well as the Yahoo thread.

    https://plus.google.com/108546067488...ts/K2E4ivswdQZ
    http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/F...s/topics/25088
    Hey, I read part way through it before I needed to get to sleep,. sounds interesting though. Unfortunately we didn't do world building and character building collaboratively. I hope maybe in the next campaign? My players are more in the D&D mind set.
    Defending with Physique, eh, maybe - you already get extra stress, so that's already a benefit of Physique. Again, it depends on what the characters say they're doing. I don't think defending with Physique is "wrong" in any way.

    My bigger question was what does "defend with stress" mean?
    Yeah, just reread the rules. I think I got them wrong. I thought stress was your ability to active deflect blows and such, and so I thought that if you couldn't defend, you couldn't use stress, and so I ruled that D*ck couldn't protect from the bomb using stress...

    Still learning the system. thanks for pointing this out. I really need to come up with a good way to handle explosives.
    Yeah, but it costs a FP to do so - page 13 has an example. It's not a bad thing to just give it out, of course, but I'd be hesitant to allow free uses that frequently. That's what skills are for - they represent the 'camera time' finding the vehicle, and the chance that it could have gone wrong. Using a FP allows you to bypass that and just have it 'happen' to be there.
    Oh, sorry I didn't make that clear. D*ck did use a fate point to decide the car was there.

    Page 69 says that points given for invokes are given after the end of the scene. Page 71 talks about Compels, and that you accept the complication and receive a Fate Point. By omission, the Fate Point is given immediately (the "after the scene" clause for Invokes has no impact on Compels, since they're not the same thing).
    Cool, thanks. While going through it I noticed something else we did wrong, but the rules make more sense- the rules say that at the end of the session you get your refresh points back, IF you don't have more than the refresh value. We added regardless, which explains why some characters were able to stack up a ridiculous amount of fate points! (We have about 3-4 "Fate sessions" in a scenario!)

    And keep up the campaign journal! It's seriously fun reading!
    Glad you like it!

    Originally by DarkWhisper
    Pity the player's didn't really pick up on the 'Purifiers vs. Misbegotten' moral dilemma; I'd have been interested in the views of the various characters on this (and the tension created by it).
    Actually, I think they have! The preacher's player showed renewed interest in that. We'll be playing it this session hopefully.

    Another factor why the players might be more interested in Littletown than Rivertown might be that LT has only one power left (the Jenkins clan) while Rivertown is divided amongst four of five powers.
    And with only one power to oppose them (in addition to have the basis of a power structure on their own, there), they can more easily shape Littletown and make it 'their own'.
    That is one theory. I think that Scow2 ideas have some merit as well. Frankly I think it's just what thye started with, and attached to first, but there may be several factors.

    Btw: How smoothly did the transfer of power go from Ma Jenkins to her son ? Are there children of the late matriarch that are dissatisfied by 'Whats-his-Name' taking charge of the family clan ?
    um... Um... we didn't quite touch on that! I think we mostly glossed over it, with Burt Jenkins taking over as the oldest son. He was seen as a somewhat odd choice, never been that political himself, but currently an authority while the situation is still tough. D*ck tried to breach the subject of his incompatibility (according to D*ck) but they agreed to postpone this "discussion" until the current situation is resolved.

    Needless to say, now that the power converter is restored, D*ck has plans... (ANd I now have plans for his plans )

    About Ma Jenkins? Actually I don't think we quite touched on what happened to her! Dead? Imprisoned by the Sheriff? In the Jenkins mansion? I'm not sure we decided. (Though knowing the party she is probably dead. Betrayel will stir up some emotions indeed!)

    Eagerly waiting for the next update ;)
    Thanks! Hopefully it won't come too long after the meeting. Real life and all that jazz!


    Quote Originally Posted by Scow2 View Post
    Well... I think a big reason the party is so attached to "Littletown" is because it's "Home" - they have holdings there, and it functions as their Base of Operations... sort of. Also, although they don't see eye-to-eye with the Jenkins', they're "Safe" there (And with the sudden power changes with the Jenkins, they have a chance of making it even safer).

    In Rivertown, they're outsiders that, if they want to influence the town, have to 'pick a side', and play the competing factions against each other AND balance them, but aren't inherently invested in ANY of them. In Littletown, they are inherently invested the power centers (Mainly because they are the power centers there).

    I can't claim to speak for your players - but I think you might want to let the conflict with the Jenkins 'cool off', instead of ramp it up. A shame the Sheriff could only play the first session - I'm getting a strong "Junktown/Megaton" vibe from Littletown, with the classic/stereotypical/cliche "Corrupt Businessman (Gizmo, Colin Moriarty, D*ck Mighty/possibly Madame) Vs. Established Authority(Killian Darkwater, Lucas Simms, The Late "Pa" Jenkins/Burt Jenkins/The Sherrif/Brother Walter) conflict... except there are several more people with a claim to Lawful Authority in Littletown now that "Pa"'s dead and "Ma"'s incarcerated, and Player Characters are on both sides of the conflict. I'd suggest not bothering with forcing internal conflict in Littletown, and let the players stir stuff up, and if they get complacent-but-immobile, bring more threats and events from outside.

    Littletown may be "Undeveloped" and "Empty" right now - but that just means there's more room for the players to fill it with stuff and develop it how they need to, as a blank slate for them to take in any direction they want. The difference between Littletown and Rivertown is the former's like a level 1 D&D character, and the Latter's like a level 7 one - sure, there's more going on with the latter - but the former has more places it has yet to go.
    I like your view of Littletown has having room to develop. It might be a cool scenario, arc or even a campaign, making it grow and see it prosper. I like it!

    As to the conflict in Littletown, knowing my players, I think it's inevitable. D*ck is dead set on it, the madam seems to see where things go, and the preacher wants to bring it to a better place (Be it with the Jenkins or someone else leading. I don't think he sees himself in leadership). So knowing that, I just need to make it fun and interesting. I intend to do so by dragging Rivertown into it, and depending on what the players do, possibly adding some other external pressure to it.

    I also regret the Sheriff not playing anymore. It was a cool character, and more than that- a great player!
    ----------------------------------------------

    Thanks for the responses, interest and encouragement, does my heart good it does! Can't wait to see what happens...

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
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    smile Re: Experiences in a post apocalyptic FATE core campaign- A GM's log

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Huh, really? I guess that makes some sort of sense... Can you tell me where is that written? The preacher's player is a stickler for rules, so I would like to show him that when he asks.
    FC-69 Invoking Aspects
    "If the aspect you invoke is on someone else’s character sheet, including
    situation aspects attached to them, you give them the fate point you spent.
    They don’t actually get to use it until after the end of the scene, though."


    I'm a little confused, as "invoking an aspect on someone else's character sheet" is a compel, right?

    In regard to being immediately awarded a Fate Point for compels as per Kyoryu, this is all I could find:
    FC-71 Compelling
    "Whoever is getting compelled then has two options:
    • Accept the complication and receive a fate point
    • Pay a fate point to prevent the complication from happening"


    I thought this interesting too:
    FC-76 Aspects always true
    "This may seem self-evident, but we figured we’d call it out
    anyway—the aspects on your character sheet are true of your character at
    all times, not just when they’re invoked or compelled."


    And I was wondering how to handle Fate Points for NPCs and this covers it:
    FC-82 The GM and Fate Points
    "Whenever a scene starts, you get one fate point for every PC in that scene."

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    And I thought that giving a baddie some sort of a handicap the PCs can use is also a way of charging them with Fate points mid conflict (Like the twisted ankle of the Ogre)
    Yeah, I think it works this way. Enemy has a twisted ankle aspect. Player's can compel it by paying a Fate Point. Per the NPC rules, the NPC would get that Fate Point at the end of the scene to use in a different scene possibly.

    Out of curiosity, how in the world do you capture such detailed After-Action-Reports? Are you taking notes during the session? Do you write them up immediately after (I'm thinking no based on your previous comments)? I love the detail and would like to be able to capture as much myself.

    Again, Kol, thanks for the posting. You've gotten me through many a boring hour and given me many thoughts to ponder.

    On a side note based on what you're studying and--again out of curiosity-- you're in med school? No wonder time is tight!
    Last edited by beknoll; 2013-09-06 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Name correction

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