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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Hi, I've recently started GMing a post apocalyptic FATE core game. Most of my players and myself come from a D&D background, and the game is somewhat influenced by the Fallout genre, And we've come to a bit of a snag- some of the players feel that we need to add complexity to equipment, mostly to weapons and armor.

    CombatOwl on this forums suggested the "weapon/ armor grades" extra which comes at the end of the FATE core book, basically giving grades of 1-4 to weapons and armor based on lethality and protection, and these either reduce stress or add to it.

    Now, I'd like to share some thoughts on the matter, and get possible opinions and input.
    Reasons for adding complexity to the game
    1) Well, first of all because some of the players want it, which is big enough, they feel it will add a bit more complexity to the mechanics, and make equipment feel more unique.
    2) A main staple about a post apocalyptic/ Fallout setting is the gear you get, it's quality, and so on. It is one of the main issues of such a campaign, and warrants attention.

    My concerns however
    1) It will start an immediate arms race, to get the best weapon, and the best armor. (And I'll have a problem with enemies using better gear because of... loot). This may become a focus to the game, where in D&D fashion the party may spend more time getting gear than adventuring.
    2) It kills certain character concepts. We have for example a subtle social lady, and a guy who cares a lot about appearances and style (Some would say power armor is style, but it just doesn't fit with the character). And they also like to use smaller mosre concealed weapons. Using higher grades of weapons/ armor forces them to either reamin true to their style but subpar in combat, or just have to cop out and go power armor and plasma rifles (I know these should be rare, but the general drift)
    4) Lethality: Weapons go up, but the stress boxes do now. Even a +1 to damage, when used by 6 mooks is very very lethal against characters, as do the characters weapons against "normal" main antagonists. A guy with a plasma rifle takes crap from no body sort of thing...
    3) It shifts focus from what Fate focuses on- characters solving problems through working through them and their personality traits, to "Who has the best gear". which I wish to stay away from
    4) A concern mostly for the non weapon/ armor gear, such as stim packs, radaway and whatever we might imitate: We currently use the resources skill (Some in the forum said it has no place in a post apocalyptic wolrd, but we found a way to make it work). The skill can be highly abused to gain loads and loads of stuff, how do I balance this? How can I measure how many small items can be purchased/ gained through the use of craft and such?

    Some possible solutions/ ways to model it.
    1) Kyoryu suggested to solve the lethality issue by ruling that a better grade just adds/ reduces damage by 1 point, no matter the disparity. Mooks still stay quite powerful though, if with better weapons. but this will be unlikely most times, seems interesting though.
    2) CombatOwl suggested adding aspects, or some hindrances to better weapons or armor. Some suggestions were loading time, or needing craft every so often to make sure they work well, or including ammo. Similar stuff might go with armor.
    3) Another Idea I heard is require either a stunt, or a new skill (heavy weapons/ energy weapons in the spirit of Fallout) to activate such high grade weapons effectively. Another idea was that the use of such weapons/ armor requires enough ranks in the skill (Shoot, fight, or Physique for armor) to use properly, if not the grade is reduced by 1 or you can't use the weapon.
    4) No ideas as to the utility purchase problem yet.

    All of these add complexity however, a complexity I'm not sure I wish to add yet...

    So, Ideas? Thoughts? Does any of you have experience in this? modifications? Other extras?

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    FATE's optional weapon/armor grade rules seem like a tacked-on afterthought (which, to be fair, they probably were.) In my view, they distort the dynamics of an otherwise very fun and exciting combat system.

    At the same time, you don't want to simply say "A punch is as deadly as a plasma rifle", especially in a setting like Fallout where part of the aesthetic is that your survival depends on what gear you can scrounge together from the wastes.

    What I do is this: when a fight breaks out, I will look at what everyone on both sides is carrying, think about the physical setting, and decide which pieces of gear seem likely to give an interesting advantage or disadvantage. Then I will place some temporary aspects on individuals or teams: "Brought a knife to a gunfight", "Hard target", "Brought the dakka", or "Fast but squishy" might all be appropriate. The same sniper rifle that would give someone a "Great at range" advantage in one circumstance, could earn them "Unwieldy weapon" if it's their only means of defense in close quarters. As long as I'm assigning these, I'll also hand out things like "Holding the high ground" that deal more with the setting than with equipment.

    Don't go overboard here, and don't feel like because you used a certain aspect once, you need to keep using it as long as the character owns that item. Think of the encounter like a movie scene (albeit an as-yet unwritten one!) and decide which pieces of gear stand out enough, relative to the other players and the opposition, to devote some "screen time" to them.

    I will usually give the players one free invoke on an advantageous aspect (or two or more, if it's a really overwhelming advantage.) On a disadvantageous one, I'll tell them that I can invoke it against them once for free. After these free invokes, the aspect still exists (unless circumstances have altered or erased it), but it will cost Fate points to invoke.

    This way, they feel like their hard work scavenging gear makes a difference, but not like "my charismatic con artist needs to walk around in power armor to have any relevance in a fight." Characters who don't carry the heavy equipment will just have to think creatively and create other aspects to invoke instead.

    You mentioned that you want your characters' gear to feel unique. A piece of gear that places specific, descriptive aspects on a scene will feel a lot more memorable than one that gives them a fixed bonus. (And since this is Fallout, remember that salvaged gear will be worn-out, damaged, and quirky. The power armor might give them a "Damn near invulnerable" aspect, but its faulty climate control also gives them "Sweating like a pig." And when the building catches fire, that second aspect is suddenly more than a nuisance!)
    Last edited by mucat; 2013-09-24 at 01:07 AM.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    That's a pretty good and elegant idea mucat! Thanks for suggesting it, I'll tell my players, and see what they think!

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    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    The +/-1 based on which is 'better' is actually pretty popular on the G+ forums. I like it because it makes weapons/armor relevant, while not making them overwhelming (which straight weapon/armor ratings can quickly become).

    There's a few other ideas in the Fate System Toolkit, which is available on a pay-what-you-want-basis.

    The other way I like dealing with weapons is to effectively attach stunts to them - +1/+2 when doing something *in particular* with the weapon.

    As far as punches vs. plasma rifles go, one of the keys for me is that skills in Fate represent your overall amount of scene influence by doing whatever it is you're doing. It's not just your skill - it's skill + natural abilities + equipment or whatever.

    The real question is "how important do I want weapons and armor to be?" That's really what I use to guide my decision on how to handle weapons/armor for a particular game. For different games, that will be different - weapons and armor ratings came out of DFRPG, where the use of weapons is *often* called out as an equalizing factor between normal humans and supernatural threats. The setting also inherently discourages an arms race, since you can't really walk around Chicago with an assault rifle without attracting attention...

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by mucat View Post
    FATE's optional weapon/armor grade rules seem like a tacked-on afterthought (which, to be fair, they probably were.) In my view, they distort the dynamics of an otherwise very fun and exciting combat system.
    Not quite. As you probably know, FATE is a Fudge derivative, with several modifications. One of these was actually the removal of Fudge's rules for weapons and armor - FATE's rules are a reintroduction of them. The issue is, they are a reintroduction to a modified system with a completely different damage system, so they don't work as well as they should, plus there are terminology differences that make them a bit odd.

    More on topic: I'd keep the weapon and armor grades, but use a simple +1 for better weapon and +1 for better armor (adding these directly to the skill, not the stress of a hit) per two grades ahead for each of these. This can get a good +4 against someone, but to do so involves something like a nude person with no weapon attacking someone in powered armor and a machine gun, so this is warranted - plus, surprise and aspects make that +4 less than it could be.

    I'd also have them degrade under certain circumstances. This is a post-apocalyptic setting, weapons have no business being usable indefinitely. To do this, I'd take a page out of Fudge Firefight: On a -3 (3 minuses and a blank rolled, not a result of -3), you need to spend an action reloading. On a -4 (4 minuses rolled), the weapon degrades by one step, or just breaks if it has a grade of 1. For armor, I'd have being hit by a natural +3 or +4 degrade it by 1. If you like crunch, maybe it can only be degraded by a weapon 2 below or higher in grade.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    1) It will start an immediate arms race, to get the best weapon, and the best armor. (And I'll have a problem with enemies using better gear because of... loot). This may become a focus to the game, where in D&D fashion the party may spend more time getting gear than adventuring.
    Just tag some future-tech equipment with "Explosively Unstable," or "Hasn't Been Maintained Since The Bombs Fell." Players won't be so keen on grabbing random and strange gear when it starts exploding at inconvenient times. Incidentally, having such aspects helps the people with concealed weapons--they can use their action to create an advantage and tag "Explosively Unstable" rather than just shooting at the guy in power armor.

    2) It kills certain character concepts. We have for example a subtle social lady, and a guy who cares a lot about appearances and style (Some would say power armor is style, but it just doesn't fit with the character). And they also like to use smaller mosre concealed weapons. Using higher grades of weapons/ armor forces them to either reamin true to their style but subpar in combat, or just have to cop out and go power armor and plasma rifles (I know these should be rare, but the general drift)
    How does it kill those character concepts? Taking a derringer to a fight between folks in body armor probably should be a bad idea--maybe they should focus on social combat instead? Though honestly if you build enough potentially problematic aspects into the high grade armor and weapons there won't be a clear "best." You can actually solve this sort of problem entirely with aspects and stunts.

    Suppose you had the following bits of equipment:

    Concealed Hold-Out Pistol (Weapon 1)
    Reliable
    Short Clip
    Stunt: Conceal Me, the player may use their Shooting skill in place of Stealth to hide the Hold-Out Pistol on their person.

    Loaded with

    Armor-Piercing Rounds
    Expensive
    Rare
    Stunt: When fired in a weapon, that weapon's attacks penetrate armor better. Add +2 to damage when firing at something with an armor value.

    That's putting you at even with someone wearing Armor:3, and only -1 against the best armor available. That's not really that huge a deal--and that's with a weapon that is totally in keeping with a social character's no-visible-weapons style.

    You balance out the weapons with more useful stunts and weapon ratings by giving them bad aspects. You balance out good aspects with bad stunts or weapon ratings. Etc, etc. You avoid the arms race by making it a game of rock-paper-scissors tradeoffs instead. Aspects and stunts from equipment are the best way to build variety into equipment, especially in an equipment-centric genre like post-apocalyptic survival or a mecha game or something.

    4) Lethality: Weapons go up, but the stress boxes do now. Even a +1 to damage, when used by 6 mooks is very very lethal against characters, as do the characters weapons against "normal" main antagonists. A guy with a plasma rifle takes crap from no body sort of thing...
    People don't die when they're taken out, unless plot demands it. There's just as much story potential in needing to escape after having been defeated as there is in winning every fight. Remember; players can soak a LOT of stress through consequences, if they really need to do so. So can named enemies with stress/consequence boxes.

    3) It shifts focus from what Fate focuses on- characters solving problems through working through them and their personality traits, to "Who has the best gear". which I wish to stay away from
    Fate Core's been partly an attempt to make equipment a source of aspects and stunts for a character--a character's gear becomes a part of the character. You can give specific pieces of equipment "character" as well--by control over aspects.

    4) A concern mostly for the non weapon/ armor gear, such as stim packs, radaway and whatever we might imitate: We currently use the resources skill (Some in the forum said it has no place in a post apocalyptic wolrd, but we found a way to make it work). The skill can be highly abused to gain loads and loads of stuff, how do I balance this?
    Harsh situational penalties, forcing characters to spend a fate point to roll Resources, or having Resources degrade as it gets used over a session. Or forcing characters to make Resources checks periodically in order to keep equipment maintained property (else it acquires bad aspects and eventually fails). After all, it requires materials and parts to repair certain sorts of equipment, and the stuff you find in post-apocalypse land often isn't the highest quality anymore...

    How can I measure how many small items can be purchased/ gained through the use of craft and such?
    Ask them when they're doing all of this. Seriously, where are they getting the time to craft? Use common sense and plot requirements.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Hey CombatOwl! Glad to see you. My main problem with the focus on equipment is that it takes away from the focus on characters, personalities and such. Sure, they can go along together, but as one of my players put it "If we're going to invest so much in balancing gear and put that much importance on it, we might as well just play D&D". I'll touch on some of your points though.

    Quote Originally Posted by CombatOwl View Post
    Just tag some future-tech equipment with "Explosively Unstable," or "Hasn't Been Maintained Since The Bombs Fell." Players won't be so keen on grabbing random and strange gear when it starts exploding at inconvenient times. Incidentally, having such aspects helps the people with concealed weapons--they can use their action to create an advantage and tag "Explosively Unstable" rather than just shooting at the guy in power armor.
    I could tag those, but then they'll just fix those with craft, or find a mechanic to fix that. Yes, you can say that the skill to do that is very high, but we allready saw that with enough aspects and advantages you can overcome the nearly impossible without THAT much of a hassle. And they will make their equipment top notch given the chance. And this being an open game- I try to give the chance.

    How does it kill those character concepts? Taking a derringer to a fight between folks in body armor probably should be a bad idea--maybe they should focus on social combat instead?
    It doesn't kill the character's concept (for most), but it does kill the style. Currently the madam and the merchnat in my game use small guns, but are effective enough behind the main shooter and combatants. They are not useless how they are. But given armors and bigger weapons everyone might need to gear up much more considerably, and eventual use full body armor and heavy weapons, which just... doesn't sit well with a discrete madam with a gun. Sure, we can have concealed guns with special ammunition, add ons and the like, but then it kind of defeats the purpose of many different kinds of equipment. plus, while the small guns can get special ammunition, i'm sure the big guns might get some as well. the power disparity, and the need for the "best" stuff remains.



    You balance out the weapons with more useful stunts and weapon ratings by giving them bad aspects. You balance out good aspects with bad stunts or weapon ratings. Etc, etc. You avoid the arms race by making it a game of rock-paper-scissors tradeoffs instead.
    I prefered to avoid making a whole list of new equipment, stunts, rules, aspects and such. THe idea was to keep it simple. See the remark by my player at the start. We do like complexity, but we feel it could easily roll over to many, many other fields, and we wish to avoid that.

    People don't die when they're taken out, unless plot demands it.
    taken out earlier is still a problem. Currently the battles are extremely short, and not a very good challenge. making them even shorter seems counter intuitive to me.

    Fate Core's been partly an attempt to make equipment a source of aspects and stunts for a character--a character's gear becomes a part of the character. You can give specific pieces of equipment "character" as well--by control over aspects.
    That is an interesting point, I'll need to think about it. Currently giving special equipment aspects.

    Harsh situational penalties, forcing characters to spend a fate point to roll Resources, or having Resources degrade as it gets used over a session. Or forcing characters to make Resources checks periodically in order to keep equipment maintained property (else it acquires bad aspects and eventually fails). After all, it requires materials and parts to repair certain sorts of equipment, and the stuff you find in post-apocalypse land often isn't the highest quality anymore...
    If we end up using armor and weapons, then yes, that is a good idea on how to deal with things.

    Ask them when they're doing all of this. Seriously, where are they getting the time to craft? Use common sense and plot requirements.
    If my players liek hteir characters to have a craft or resource skill, then I intend to let them have an opportunity to use it. Currently it's between scenarios. We had small extras for special weapons such as grenades, though that may be changed.

    Thanks for the help, I hope I'm not seeming defensive, it's just that this extras seem very problematic to me in game, I'm trying to see how they might work.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Either the FATE Toolkit or the Extras section of FATE Core talks about adding a Resources stress track. The gist of it is that buying expensive goods deals "hits" to that track (the size of which is based on their Resources), and they can suffer Consequences as normal to deal with it. You might want to give it a look, seeing as scarcity of resources is kind of a big deal in post-apocalyptic settings.

    As for crafting, there really aren't any specific rules. You just sort of eyeball the difficulty of their project.
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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    I could tag those, but then they'll just fix those with craft, or find a mechanic to fix that. Yes, you can say that the skill to do that is very high, but we allready saw that with enough aspects and advantages you can overcome the nearly impossible without THAT much of a hassle. And they will make their equipment top notch given the chance. And this being an open game- I try to give the chance.
    Well, given the conventions of the genre, maintaining top-notch equipment should be a nigh impossible task. Maybe they should be able to try, but it ought to be so immensely difficult and time consuming that doing so would necessarily distract them from their other goals. Good time management on the story side (in other words, not giving them all the time in the world to do stuff) should keep them in a continual struggle to maintain such impressive gear.

    Note; you can also give special/complex/heavy weapons (and armor) stress tracks and consequence slots. Let "repairing" a piece of complex equipment be every bit as time consuming as healing physical injuries. Maybe use of some of the more powerful stunts on a weapon (full-auto bursts on poorly maintained post-apocalyptic machine guns, for example) should cause physical stress on the weapon.

    There's a lot of strategies for avoiding what you're talking about while leaving the useful mechanic of weapon and armor ratings. When it becomes a huge hassle to maintain heavy weapons and armor, your players aren't likely to use them frivolously--if they even would be in the first place. Keep in mind the vast majority of weapons would be Weapon:1 or Weapon:2--not exactly something mandating heavy armor to "survive" in combat.

    It doesn't kill the character's concept (for most), but it does kill the style. Currently the madam and the merchnat in my game use small guns, but are effective enough behind the main shooter and combatants. They are not useless how they are. But given armors and bigger weapons everyone might need to gear up much more considerably,
    That's what I mean. Why would they? If their aspects and stunts don't support the use of heavy weapons and heavy armor, why would they? They can be totally valid without heavy weapons and heavy armor, even in situations where others do have those things.

    It does seem a little strange that you seem to hold the perspective that it's totally okay for the guy with the pistol to be just as much of a threat in a fight as the guy with the heavy machine gun. That's not necessarily wrong, but it seems to me that being outgunned would actually support those character concepts better--as a natural consequence of their choice of style.

    and eventual use full body armor and heavy weapons, which just... doesn't sit well with a discrete madam with a gun. Sure, we can have concealed guns with special ammunition, add ons and the like, but then it kind of defeats the purpose of many different kinds of equipment. plus, while the small guns can get special ammunition, i'm sure the big guns might get some as well. the power disparity, and the need for the "best" stuff remains.
    I personally don't see that, but you know the group better, obviously. If you think they'll abandon their concepts in favor of improper equipment, then maybe you shouldn't include it. But it does strike me as odd that they would choose to play such characters if they were the sort of people who wanted them running around in heavy armor with heavy weapons. It's not like you actually need Weapon:4 and Armor:4 in games that use weapon and armor ratings. It's not necessary at all to engage in the "arms race," to contribute to a fight. At most you're losing -3 off any weapon (Weapon:1 vs Armor:4)--and that's pretty easily overcome with stunts, aspects, or just fate points. Or the characters can change focus to creating advantage for the characters who do support heavy weapons more, etc.

    Again, you know your group better than I do, but in my experience good players will forgo "better" equipment in favor of equipment more in keeping with their concept in roleplay-centric games. Explicitly tactical games can sometimes break that--D&D, for example--but that's not Fate at all.

    I prefered to avoid making a whole list of new equipment, stunts, rules, aspects and such. THe idea was to keep it simple. See the remark by my player at the start. We do like complexity, but we feel it could easily roll over to many, many other fields, and we wish to avoid that.
    The equipment aspect stuff is actually not that complex; Fate is designed fractally. Meaning that you can describe any object in the game as a character--including equipment. Neither does the equipment need to be described in pre-generated lists, it can be developed on the fly, and equipment can acquire aspects over time. It can be as expanded or as compressed as you want.

    Basically you can build equipment--and your players can propose equipment--exactly like characters get built. Each individual bit of equipment can have its own individual aspects, stunts, stress tracks, etc. Or not. Maybe only some equipment needs that level of detail--you can be as verbose as you want about that.

    taken out earlier is still a problem. Currently the battles are extremely short, and not a very good challenge. making them even shorter seems counter intuitive to me.
    That seems odd from my experiences with Fate. Other than faceless minions, fights should take a fair amount of time.

    That is an interesting point, I'll need to think about it. Currently giving special equipment aspects.
    The equipment aspect stuff can get to be a lot more fun. It's good for special weapons and magic stuff, but it's also good for mundane equipment too. After all, it's a lot more interesting to have

    Sir Martin Reilly's Claymore (Weapon:2)
    [Once Carried By Royalty]
    [For The King!]
    [It's Got Reach]
    Stunt: Once per session, the owner of the sword may hold it aloft to turn [For The King!] into a situation aspect.

    than some generic sword with no legacy, history, or aspects. It lets players build equipment that means something more than some easily replaceable bit of scrap--and can help build the sort of attachments that will keep a character from just replacing equipment when something marginally better shows up. I mean, who would give up the beloved gun that has followed them through all their adventures so far--and acquired aspects as a result--just to replace it with some slightly better weapon with no aspects but a slightly higher weapon value?

    If we end up using armor and weapons, then yes, that is a good idea on how to deal with things.
    Also consider the stress track proposal. That wouldn't fit for every kind of game, but it would totally be in keeping with the genre conventions of post-apocalyptic stories. You know, where stuff is supposed to be battered and half-broken anyway.

    If my players liek hteir characters to have a craft or resource skill, then I intend to let them have an opportunity to use it. Currently it's between scenarios. We had small extras for special weapons such as grenades, though that may be changed.
    To be honest, you should probably just let them make a fixed number of craft checks "between sessions" each. Like two or three craft checks. If you start having equipment wear out and need maintenance, they won't be able to stockpile too much.

    Thanks for the help, I hope I'm not seeming defensive, it's just that this extras seem very problematic to me in game, I'm trying to see how they might work.
    I understand, and the answer basically boils down to deciding what level of complexity you want. There are ways to solve all of that--some simple, others quite detailed. Fate is the sort of game where you get to choose how complex you want to make it.
    Last edited by CombatOwl; 2013-09-25 at 04:56 PM.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    It seems like one of the issues is that the better equipment doesn't have any real opportunity cost. What if there was a Gear skill, for example, which let you have a combined weapon/armor rating up to its points. Then they're pit against both each other (if you have Gear 4, you could get an awesome plasma rifle, but no armor, for example), and against other skills.

    Alternately, maybe something like how stunts are handled, you can get, say, +1 or +2 worth of gear, at the cost of a point of Refresh. So the more subtle characters may not have the big weapons and armor, but have more Fate Points.
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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    It seems like one of the issues is that the better equipment doesn't have any real opportunity cost. What if there was a Gear skill, for example, which let you have a combined weapon/armor rating up to its points. Then they're pit against both each other (if you have Gear 4, you could get an awesome plasma rifle, but no armor, for example), and against other skills.
    Generally speaking, they should inflict social penalties. Wearing a bunch of armor in town is suspicious, and will be treated as such, as is carrying the typical large weapon.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    I really know my hardware, so when I have run TDF and it's come up; weapons and armour just do what I say they do and the players roll with it.

    A guy who could give a crap about what kind of gun or hand weapon he carries gets a middling one. A character who puts more detail and effort into the description of his gear has that reflected in how it works in action.

    "I have a sawed-off shotgun" becomes a 2-shot, break action with a crudely chopped barrel and stock.

    While; "my character carries a Sig P229 with a set of laser grips, flashlight and high-visability sights in a bianchi holster at the small of her back." Gets a weapon which is of higher quality and performance.

    I carry this over to everything.

    The guy who never mentioned to me that he has anything but his pockets can't carry very much; while the hoodrat who never goes anywhere without his ratty school backpack can stuff some larger items in there. It's another way to force players to give a crap and get involved and invested in their character and the game.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Generally speaking, they should inflict social penalties. Wearing a bunch of armor in town is suspicious, and will be treated as such, as is carrying the typical large weapon.
    Exactly. The idea that people walk around in full plate mail is pretty much a D&D-ism, and doesn't really exist outside of that.

    Even if legal (big if), walking around in plate armor and a honkin' sword would be like walking around town with a shotgun and a full kevlar suit. Legal? Maybe. But you're going to get all kinds of negative attention.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by CombatOwl View Post
    To be honest, you should probably just let them make a fixed number of craft checks "between sessions" each. Like two or three craft checks. If you start having equipment wear out and need maintenance, they won't be able to stockpile too much.
    That's how we do this currently. But I see what you mean. Though I think the merchant's character will probably hire quite a few craftsman to do maintain stuff. though that too can be restricted. Someone (Too many posts on too many threads to remember,sorry). Mentioned having a resources track, and taking resources damage and such. Still, added complexity.

    I understand, and the answer basically boils down to deciding what level of complexity you want. There are ways to solve all of that--some simple, others quite detailed. Fate is the sort of game where you get to choose how complex you want to make it.
    Indeed. Currently some of my players want quite a bit more complexity, and some want very little. Trying to find a middle ground of sorts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    It seems like one of the issues is that the better equipment doesn't have any real opportunity cost. What if there was a Gear skill, for example, which let you have a combined weapon/armor rating up to its points. Then they're pit against both each other (if you have Gear 4, you could get an awesome plasma rifle, but no armor, for example), and against other skills.

    Alternately, maybe something like how stunts are handled, you can get, say, +1 or +2 worth of gear, at the cost of a point of Refresh. So the more subtle characters may not have the big weapons and armor, but have more Fate Points.
    I don't think having a stat that affects only your equipment rating is a good idea. Waht if the party happen to find a minigun? because they don't have the stat they can't use it?

    However, as I said above, some posters suggested linking the equipment to the resources skill, with strss tracks and what not, not a direct skill grade= grade of weapons and armor. But it's an interesting thought!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Generally speaking, they should inflict social penalties. Wearing a bunch of armor in town is suspicious, and will be treated as such, as is carrying the typical large weapon.
    +++
    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Exactly. The idea that people walk around in full plate mail is pretty much a D&D-ism, and doesn't really exist outside of that.

    Even if legal (big if), walking around in plate armor and a honkin' sword would be like walking around town with a shotgun and a full kevlar suit. Legal? Maybe. But you're going to get all kinds of negative attention.
    This comes back to mucat's suggestion, of giving situational aspects for types of gear that affects a situation. However:
    1) in a post apocalyptic setting such as Fallout, better armor and weapons is not sucha problem I think. I nfact it is likely to grant you a more respectful attitude.
    2) They can take the armor off in town. Yes, there might be some hassle in town, but most of it wil likely take place out of it.
    3) The combat heavy characters will care less about social engagements, and if they do want to engage socially, I don't want a reason for keeping them out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by beachhead1973 View Post
    I really know my hardware, so when I have run TDF and it's come up; weapons and armour just do what I say they do and the players roll with it.

    A guy who could give a crap about what kind of gun or hand weapon he carries gets a middling one. A character who puts more detail and effort into the description of his gear has that reflected in how it works in action.

    "I have a sawed-off shotgun" becomes a 2-shot, break action with a crudely chopped barrel and stock.

    While; "my character carries a Sig P229 with a set of laser grips, flashlight and high-visability sights in a bianchi holster at the small of her back." Gets a weapon which is of higher quality and performance.

    I carry this over to everything.

    The guy who never mentioned to me that he has anything but his pockets can't carry very much; while the hoodrat who never goes anywhere without his ratty school backpack can stuff some larger items in there. It's another way to force players to give a crap and get involved and invested in their character and the game.
    Ok, so the players may change the description of what they carry while they adventure, and find better gear and stuff. How does that deal with any of the issues I've detailed in the OP though?

    Thanks for the replies all!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-09-26 at 12:12 AM.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    By the way, have you read the System Toolkit? It's got a lot of hacks that address some of your problems pretty directly. You might be especially interested in the Red/Blue Dice rule (a weapon and armor system that's not quite so extreme) and the Scaled Invocations and Low-Powered Aspects rules (both of which limit players' ability to invoke a ton of aspects at once).
    Last edited by Mewtarthio; 2013-09-26 at 11:10 PM.
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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by beachhead1973 View Post
    The guy who never mentioned to me that he has anything but his pockets can't carry very much; while the hoodrat who never goes anywhere without his ratty school backpack can stuff some larger items in there. It's another way to force players to give a crap and get involved and invested in their character and the game.
    This seems iffy. For one thing, it's not like getting invested in the stuff a character has and getting invested in who a character is are anywhere near the same (the sort of person who fits in the 'powergamer' mold almost certainly is invested in what the character has in a big way). Plus, within FATE in particular the focus is supposed to be on who the characters are, and how that influences what they do - getting excessively detailed with equipment kind of undercuts that.

    Moreover, there's the matter of how much the players care. I'm just fine with someone described as having, say, a "two meter spear". I can visualize stuff from that, and while exactly what is being visualized will vary from person to person, it's not much of an issue. It's not like the spear being carried by the person is likely to be that important, and if it is they'll likely have an aspect for it which is longer and more detailed.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    By the way, have you read the System Toolkit? It's got a lot of hacks that address some of your problems pretty directly. You might be especially interested in the Red/Blue Dice rule (a weapon and armor system that's not quite so extreme) and the Scaled Invocations and Low-Powered Aspects rules (both of which limit players' ability to invoke a ton of aspects at once).
    I found the kickstarter after it was over... Bought the book on the pay-what-you-want basis, and taught my group. We're still testing the system, trying to see if we like it or not. SO we prefer not to invest in more books unless we think we'll use them on the long run. But thanks for the suggestion!

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    The FATE System Toolkit is also available on RPGNow.com on a pay-what-you-want basis, by the way.
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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post

    Ok, so the players may change the description of what they carry while they adventure, and find better gear and stuff. How does that deal with any of the issues I've detailed in the OP though?

    Thanks for the replies all!
    That's 90% of my in-game stress right there; people insisting on variations of; "of course I know/have that! I'm a _______" or "of course I ALWAYS carry my .50 sniper rifle everywhere I go; I'm a sniper!"

    You pick it up and get away with it, it is yours. make a note that you are taking it with you if headed into a situation that doesn't automatically suggest it. My line usually goes something like this; "What do you mean you brought your AKM to the low-key client meeting?" or alternatively; "You know what is reflected in your character sheet."

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    This seems iffy. For one thing, it's not like getting invested in the stuff a character has and getting invested in who a character is are anywhere near the same (the sort of person who fits in the 'powergamer' mold almost certainly is invested in what the character has in a big way). Plus, within FATE in particular the focus is supposed to be on who the characters are, and how that influences what they do - getting excessively detailed with equipment kind of undercuts that.

    Moreover, there's the matter of how much the players care. I'm just fine with someone described as having, say, a "two meter spear". I can visualize stuff from that, and while exactly what is being visualized will vary from person to person, it's not much of an issue. It's not like the spear being carried by the person is likely to be that important, and if it is they'll likely have an aspect for it which is longer and more detailed.
    It all comes down to if gear matters in your campaign, or not. In mine, it's usually life or death. I'm the same way when I play. I might be relying on a feature of my gear to save my ass. If I have gone to the detail of defining it, I expect the GM to either work with me or have a good explanation why not.

    Think of TDF and Focci; makes perfect sense you make a big deal out of those for a Wizard and backing that up; harry has his ".357" or his ".44 Magnum". Which is totally fine for him; he has other tricks up his sleeve. I am sure not going to give him any bonuses for his generic nameless sidearm being noteworthy accurate or concealable.

    But take this concept for a character a buddy was into; a small talent; really only good with creating shields and protective spells. The idea was a body guard with a magic forcefield wielded from a heavy leather gauntlet in one hand and a revolver in the other. Since it's his primary weapon; it's important for he and I to know he carries a heavy-barreled Colt Python in .357 with a match trigger and laser sight and exactly how many bullets he has on him, rather than Harry's "Handful". It's reliable and accurate, making up for only having 6-shots.

    Now say Harry is guest-starring in my game for whatever reason and him and my friend help take down a cult safehouse. Harry probably doesn't give a damn; but the weapons, ammo and money is how my friend keeps his character in business. IF Harry is even willing to help him he's got his typical leather duster, with I am willing to assume baggy pockets. He could grab a few wads of bills and some AKM Magazines, fine. My friend could make a reasonable case for a police belt and cargo pants. Nobody brought a backpack or dufflebag, because no one said they were. They wanna make multiple trips with arms full of guns and stuff, fine, otherwise they are SOL.

    But; let's add "Taylor". Taylor is a 15-year old kid who works under the table for the same small-time paranormal security company as my buddy, let's call him "Dave". Taylor has no parnormal powers at all. Her concept is eyes and ears. She scouted out the Cult Safehouse because she makes a point of always dressing like one of societies invisibles; a young, homeless street kid. Her main hurdles are in not sticking out in a bad nieghbourhood and creeping around without being seen and sketching a layout for the takedown. Weapons? Maybe a Garrot and some throwing knives, but that's it. But a big part of her description and gear would be a big ratty backpack with not enough stuff in it so she doesn't look like a juicy target for the other street kids. Plenty of room in there for two folding-stock AKMS and a few other small items.

    Now howsabout one of my usual suspects? Let's call this one "Trevelyne", but you may as well call him "Munchkin" and his tricks are perfect for highlighting the flaws in the FATE system, So I always work up a brain sweat with his player. High concept is written as; sneaky, rogue-type, but played more like uber-badass with all the right answers. Backstory says ex-military, skills say schmoozy face-man who can shoot. Lot's of trying to cover for missing skills with background story. "of course I know first aid, Trev is ex-military...oh, no, I do not have of that skill. Can I do it anyways?". His job is to stop any leakers, preferably non-leathally. In his profile it is noted he has a "sniper rifle." Normally that wouldn't be a problem.

    Today it's an issue. In the player's mind this is whatever kind of rifle he needs it to be at the time (in effect). She, the player doesn't see it that way, but it's how she plays it. I've fixed in my mind that this is a 5-shot fixed-magazine bolt action rifle with a bipod in .308. The sort of thing that could be legally owned by anyone and bought anywhere. Well today I've worked a wrinkle in where i have noted to the players that if either the cultists let go with very much firepower (the AKMS) or Trev fires his "High-Power Military-Style Sniper-Gun". The cops will be on the way and be there in 5 min flat (Egg timer). Trev's player makes note of attaching a silencer; a perfect example of how not detailing gear can screw the GM. If I let her do this a big part of my drama is gone; it won't make the rifle silent, but it will keep it down in bad neighborhood. And I haven't allowed anyone else a suppressed weapon, for this and other reasons.

    I say no; she makes a fuss. "I'm an ex-military sniper, of course I have a silencer on my rifle." This kind of fits the stated concept of being a sneaky rogue, but I point out she has no skill in contacts and such items are illegal, so I want her to invest in contacts when her character improves to explain it. Also; the threaded barrel reduces the "everyman" aspect of her rifle. Not every hunter has a barrel threaded for a silencer. Now if trev gets questioned by the cops, they are much less likely to buy the story about coming back from the range.

    She pouts, we move on. Things go south, she has to stop some leakers. She wings one, but the other gets in the getaway car and burns out. She fires once into the engine, but the car doesn't stop. "I shot it with a sniper rifle; it should have killed the engine." We talked about this; it's a normal rifle accessorized for long-distance work, not a .50-cal. one hit won't do it. She tries twice more before the car is out of her line of sight. Both miss because the car is accelerating and she rolled bad. The car is temporarily blocked by a moving van And she wants to shoot again; I tell her she's out of ammunition and it will take her time to reload the whole mag, less for one bullet. Again; "why don't I have more than 5-shots?" Most sniper rifles do not.

    By this stage game night has become the Me and Her show and she's making jokes and muttering under her breath about how I am picking on her, again. I avoid all this if I take the time to involve her more in what her PC's gear is like.

    It depends on the level of realism you want to have. I like a fantasy I can buy into easily, one that requires very little suspension of disbelief. My way may not work for everyone, but it prevents every player having a magic batman belt which contains whatever they need at the moment. It's very difficult to create a story which my players can enjoy if either; a) one person always has the item they need, whenever they need it and not when said item is inconvenient. or b) my narrative consists of explanations of why they cannot have things, or their perfect hammerspace solution doesn't work.

    My way makes people care about the rules and can integrate well with different play styles.

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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    Quote Originally Posted by beachhead1973 View Post
    Backstory says ex-military, skills say schmoozy face-man who can shoot. Lot's of trying to cover for missing skills with background story. "of course I know first aid, Trev is ex-military...oh, no, I do not have of that skill. Can I do it anyways?".
    Charge the player a fate point to invoke the High Concept and get +2 to the skill roll. If it's not on Trevor's sheet, then the skill has a default value of +0 (Mediocre).
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
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    Default Re: [FATE] The weapon and armor grades extra- use it or not use it?

    I moved the idea to a new thread, in the appropriate forum. I've also come with what I think is a sort of a reasonable compromise, I'd love if you can give your ideas on it, thank you.

    The relevant thread on the "other systems" forum

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