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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    I've recently GMing a FATE core game, and we a problem arising. Some of these may be appropriate for other systems as well I think. We have a decent emphasis is one conversations, schemes and politics, with deception and persuasion playing a big deal. But we came upon two snags:
    1) Say a player is using empathy (sense motive) to gauge if an NPC is lying to him/ her. How can I get a result of the lie succeeding, but the player not know it? The fate mechanics requires the player to know if he succeeded or not in order to decide on the use of Fate points. (A very precious resource which can affect success) Sure, we can play it blindly, with the player not knowing the target number (Or fate points used by the liar), and just investing how much they think they can, but with fate points being such a precious commodity, I think that will defeat the purpose, and make social conflicts markedly different in mechanics that physical ones, which is not quite fair.

    2) Similar, Say the PC wishes to persuade a person, and he wishes to make the appearance that he has been persuaded, without the PC knowing it? If the player knows whether he succeeded or not, then there is no way to fool them.

    I know some systems such as D&D doesn't give the target numbers for succeeding in goals, and that it's supposed to make things easier. However, even then you may have precious resources (such as action points), and some people (Like my group) Likes to play with the numbers on the table. It's a whole new topic, but it makes the game much, much better in my opinion, so consider the numbers known for this discussion.

    Solutions?
    Now, I know one possible way to play it would be to just "roleplay it", and my players are mature, and can probably do it, but it still poses two problems:
    - it ruins the surprise and of uncertainty. i'd like to get the "Wait? Did I just convince her, or is she just playing me?" or "He's either straight on the money, or one heck of a liar!" Instead of "Ok, we know we can trust them, lets play along till they betray us" sort of thing.
    - As good as roleplayers we are, I still think absolute knowledge corrupts absolutely biases players choices.

    Any ideas how to solve this?

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lord Raziere's Avatar

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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    yea probably not use fate points at all then.

    or maybe handing a fate point for accepting that you don't know whether you succeeded or not?

    as in
    "I roll (result) have I succeeded?
    well I can either tell you that, or I can hand you a fate point in return for not knowing whether you succeeded or not, knowledge or fate point, your choice"
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2013-09-22 at 12:22 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    I believe a viable fix (not a perfect solution, sadly) would be utilizing aspects to separate character and player knowledge:
    1) Roll and roleplay a social conflict. Let the players see the rolls and use their FP as they see fit. If you don't want to create blind decision situations, hiding numbers is hardly an option.
    2) For every character who witnesses or takes part in this conflict create an additional aspect. This aspect will represent character's perception of the outcome. Basically, something like "I'm sure Mr. X believed me!", "Mr. X didn't really trust me" and such*. Now when player takes a course of action you deem to be going against that aspect (which includes, but is not limited to doing something "metagamey"), you can compel it just like any other. And a problem just turned into nice a roleplaying option.

    *How you create that aspect - based on numbers, how convincing the roleplay behind it was, taking into account other character's aspects or not - that is completely up to you and your players to decide.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    Quote Originally Posted by DoomyDoom View Post
    I believe a viable fix (not a perfect solution, sadly) would be utilizing aspects to separate character and player knowledge:
    1) Roll and roleplay a social conflict. Let the players see the rolls and use their FP as they see fit. If you don't want to create blind decision situations, hiding numbers is hardly an option.
    2) For every character who witnesses or takes part in this conflict create an additional aspect. This aspect will represent character's perception of the outcome. Basically, something like "I'm sure Mr. X believed me!", "Mr. X didn't really trust me" and such*. Now when player takes a course of action you deem to be going against that aspect (which includes, but is not limited to doing something "metagamey"), you can compel it just like any other. And a problem just turned into nice a roleplaying option.

    *How you create that aspect - based on numbers, how convincing the roleplay behind it was, taking into account other character's aspects or not - that is completely up to you and your players to decide.
    ^^^This is probably a decent solution.

    Fate is not really the kind of game where you can keep things hidden from your players for very long, and it's probably best that it stays that way. Think back to some of the major points of Fate: You're trying to make an interesting, compelling story. Each player controls one character in that story, true, but everyone should be focused on creating the best overall story as much or moreso than playing just their own character. With that in mind, consider your players equal parts characters and writers. Hell, throw audience in there too. Now, when you're watching a movie, or reading a book, or partaking in any kind of story, you'll often be aware of things that the characters aren't. Absolutely so if your the writer. Often the juxtaposition of audience knowledge and character knowledge is great for dramatic storytelling. In fact, it's one of the building blocks of dramatic irony. So use it. Out of Character knowledge should be given out freely in Fate.

    If you don't trust your players not to metagame, or if you just want to make sure, however, representing misinformation through Aspects and the Fractal is a great solution.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    yea probably not use fate points at all then.

    or maybe handing a fate point for accepting that you don't know whether you succeeded or not?

    as in
    "I roll (result) have I succeeded?
    well I can either tell you that, or I can hand you a fate point in return for not knowing whether you succeeded or not, knowledge or fate point, your choice"
    Hmmm, that might have worked with action points, or some sort of a game resource that IS just an extra to the rules. Fate points however are very much integral to the FATE core system, they make the system run. I prefer not to mess too much with the way they work, as it completely overhauls the system. But thanks for the suggestion!

    Quote Originally Posted by DoomyDoom View Post
    I believe a viable fix (not a perfect solution, sadly) would be utilizing aspects to separate character and player knowledge:
    1) Roll and roleplay a social conflict. Let the players see the rolls and use their FP as they see fit. If you don't want to create blind decision situations, hiding numbers is hardly an option.
    That is the way the game is played in my group. The players roll all the dice, even for enemies and such.

    2) For every character who witnesses or takes part in this conflict create an additional aspect. This aspect will represent character's perception of the outcome. Basically, something like "I'm sure Mr. X believed me!", "Mr. X didn't really trust me" and such*. Now when player takes a course of action you deem to be going against that aspect (which includes, but is not limited to doing something "metagamey"), you can compel it just like any other. And a problem just turned into nice a roleplaying option.

    *How you create that aspect - based on numbers, how convincing the roleplay behind it was, taking into account other character's aspects or not - that is completely up to you and your players to decide.
    Hmmm, that may solve one half of the problem, the one of players acting in a biased way due to their knowledge, though it seems a bit heavy handed. But still an interesting idea. I am worried though that it ruins their surprise though. I wonder if there is a solution to that...

    Thanks for the idea, an interesting one!
    ------------------------------------

    Anyone else has an idea in mind?

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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki_42 View Post
    Fate is not really the kind of game where you can keep things hidden from your players for very long, and it's probably best that it stays that way. Think back to some of the major points of Fate: You're trying to make an interesting, compelling story. Each player controls one character in that story, true, but everyone should be focused on creating the best overall story as much or moreso than playing just their own character. With that in mind, consider your players equal parts characters and writers. Hell, throw audience in there too. Now, when you're watching a movie, or reading a book, or partaking in any kind of story, you'll often be aware of things that the characters aren't. Absolutely so if your the writer. Often the juxtaposition of audience knowledge and character knowledge is great for dramatic storytelling. In fact, it's one of the building blocks of dramatic irony. So use it. Out of Character knowledge should be given out freely in Fate.

    If you don't trust your players not to metagame, or if you just want to make sure, however, representing misinformation through Aspects and the Fractal is a great solution.
    Saw this after I posted. So basically you say to build upon players knowing some of the "behind the scenes" stuff? (They play quite well in regards to not metagaming, though as I mentioned, I think they make slight unaware biased decisions). That is a bit different in approach than our usuall D&D, where the DM controls the flow of information more. Hmmmm... I think I sort of understand, and I like it! interesting...

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    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
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    Thanks for reading!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    I probably wasn't clear in my post, but 1) and 2) aren't separate. They are "do the following" list.
    I'm not really sure what you mean by "heavy-handed", though. I did not suggest a new mechanic with lots of bookkeeping or something completely out of game style. In fact, the idea uses what is probably the most "core" and "signature" for FATE in a way it is intended to. Not sure how lighter on rules can one go barring pure "you can/can't do this because [insert storytelling reasons]" GM fiat (which, obviously, is not what you are looking for).

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Saw this after I posted. So basically you say to build upon players knowing some of the "behind the scenes" stuff? (They play quite well in regards to not metagaming, though as I mentioned, I think they make slight unaware biased decisions). That is a bit different in approach than our usuall D&D, where the DM controls the flow of information more. Hmmmm... I think I sort of understand, and I like it! interesting...
    Yeah, that's basically the gist. Sorry if I was a bit confusing.

    And yeah, it's a big change for me too. I'm getting ready to run a Fate game myself, and I'm having to adjust to this completely new style of doing things. My last campaign had a major plot point based around a lying NPC who infiltrated the party and had a lot of fun tearing them apart from the inside and testing their characters boundries and all of that, and no one suspected a thing until I revealed the truth. And that was fun. But it isn't really Fate. I'm a strong believer in different systems for different games, and as much as I love Fate, think its a great generic system, and pilfer a lot of its concepts for other games I run, its not a system for having a lot of hidden plotting.

    It would suck for Paranoia.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    I would let the roll be known. If the enemy succeeds in lying, mark the victim with a "duped" aspect. Have the "duped" aspect last until the lie is obviously false (if ever).

    Compel that aspect. If the player insists on metagaming and never self compels it, be mean and compel it without awarding him fate points.

    Alternatively, have the lie be several statements, with a few of them being true and a few (or just one) being false.
    Last edited by Con_Brio1993; 2013-09-22 at 09:57 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    Just because you fail with a roll to try to see if an NPC is lying, that doesn't mean you think he is telling the truth.

    Usually a failed roll would give "you're unsure if he's telling the truth or not" whereas a successful roll is "you know he is lying/telling the truth". This is a perfectly valid result for the player to be aware of. He failed his roll so he's unsure. The player thus gets to decide himself whether or not to believe what the NPC says.

    The same would go for persuasion. He might look to be persuaded, he might look devious, or he might not look anything specific at all.

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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    I have very sparse understanding of FATE, but in the general sense, a mechanic I like is that Sense Motive/Empathy/Insight/Whatever is the "active" skill. Likewise, it helps to look at things like "Bluff" as "Convince".

    So if someone's talking to you, the DM never has you roll checks. The PC can actively roll, in this case, Empathy. If they succeed, they learn whether or not the character is telling them the truth. If they fail, they don't know - and have to decide for themselves how they want to respond.

    Persuasion is a bit trickier, but as I understand it, actually succeeding to persuade someone in FATE is more an encounter in itself than a single check. So obviously, if they get the NPC all the way to Taken Out, yeah, the PCs dictate terms and the NPC's basically going to follow through. More likely, they drop some Consequences on the NPC and get a Concession. So maybe the Concession is, "He isn't completely convinced, but is willing to go along with it for a time." Or to a limited degree or whatever.

    Or maybe the PCs concede, and their concession is, "Okay, we leave thinking he's going to go along with it," and then the players know they have to play that out, or something.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    Hmmmm. I think I have an idea of how to act now, which is mostly by keeping things as they are, and just changing my perception of the game to a MORE collaborative story telling than I wa used in with D&D.

    A bit odd, but intriguing.
    Thanks for the advice everyone!

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    Thanks for reading!

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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    I'd generally see if I could reframe it as an active conflict rather than passive detection - I mean, you don't actually *know* if someone's lying to you unless you catch them in a contradiction, right?

    I'd generally try to look for what's at stake - that is, what both sides are trying to get out of the interaction. Presumably, each side wants something from the other side. What is that, and what are they doing to get that?

    Usually lie detection is done in a context - somebody may be trying to get you to do something, and you're determining whether you should do it or not. That's an active conflict of purposes - they want you to do something, and you want them to tell you the truth, or at least to trip themselves up, either of which will give you information.

    So, if you're trying to get someone to tell you the truth, that could be Empathy (or any of a number of other skills), probably against Will or Deceive. Success means you get the truth out of them - failure means that they get what they want.

    If you're trying to catch them in a lie, then that could be Empathy or even Deceive against probably Will or Deceive. Success means you catch them in a lie (which they may or may not be aware of), while failure means that their story holds up.

    A lot of the best way to make Fate work is figuring out the active conflicts, what's actually at stake, and use that to drive forward. Get the characters to agree to the stakes up front, and then go from there.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Problems in FATE (But also other systems): when failure shouldn't be evident

    You give some very insightful ideas Kyoryu (As usual ). This made me think a new of social conflicts and situations. I think I didn't handled them well in my game. I opened up a new thread here in order to deal with the matter. This might solve all of our social scenes problem. We were thinking too D&D like.

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    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

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