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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default [FATE] A simple extra for post apocalyptic wepons, armor and equipment

    Hey folks. This thread is in continuation of this thread in the main forum. (I was told that was the wrong forum, so I'm moving things here. The short of it however is that we are a new group to FATE (GM and players included) who have started a post apocalyptic campaign. So far we played by the core rules only, with adding an aspect, stress or other parts of the Fate Fractal to small stuff in the campaign. However ,some of my players aren't satisfied, feeling that equipment is way too simplified. They want added complexity/ realism (Yes, I know FATE is a narrative based system, but still). Also, I feel like the post apocalyptic setting reuires equipment to be an important issue.

    I do have some concerns under the spolier (copy pasted from the previous thread)
    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 more concealed weapons. Using higher grades of weapons/ armor forces them to either remain true to their style but sub par 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?

    I got some interesting advice there, and I wish to build some sort of a mid way system, which will add some complexity, but won't turn the game on it's head. Here is what I came up with (none original, bits and pieces from different ideas). There are sometime examples from the my campaign to those who read it. The following is a revised an updated version according to the suggestions in the thread, the new stuff is bolded. :

    Principles of the equipment system
    1. Equipment grades reflect not exactly the type of weapon/ armor or such, but it's importance in the game, and capability. Equipment with grades reflects special weapons, ones with an impact.
    2. Equipment grades are for weapons, armor, general supplies, vehicles, building and such, but keep a record only of important things.
    3. Better equipment (higher grade) is more difficult to maintain.

    Basics grading system
    - Normal grade describes f most things- simple regular quality equipment. simple weapons and armor, simple tools, and so on. They require no maintenance, no consumables (such as ammunition), no stunt or such. No special rules. (Examples from the campaign: clothing, leather armor or patched up armor, most guns, pistols, rifles, melee weapons)
    - Grade 1 is high quality items (Like MW in D&D) or items of special capabilities, often requiring maintenance, possibly stunts, possibly consumables. They can be acquired or produced. (Examples from the campaign: Jenny sniper rifle and guns, Walter's "Hudson made" gun (Which is easy to maintain) , the madam's lie detector amulet, most vehicles.
    - Grade 2 is superb items, usually ones that cannot be easily reproduced (Requiring an in game scenario or such) Usually with substantial benefits. Tougher maintenance, almost always requiring training, and possibly other factors. (Examples from the campaign: The Sheriff's plasma rifle, the hovercrafts, Walter's Mr. handy

    Rational:Even 1-2 shifts can be a big deal, so the benefit is substantial, mostly as it is constant, and doesn't require fate points. However, I'd like to keep the focus on aspects, and this way one good aspect can rival the best technology, even if temporarily.

    Basics of maintenance and consumables
    Maintenance: grade 1 & 2 equipment can degrade. It's tough keeping good equipment functioning for long on the wastes. Equipment can degrade on two occasions:
    - General maintenance: Between scenarios a character sums up all the grades of special equipment s/he has. This is the "maintenance" target number. (The party can change equipment between themselves for this purpose). A character then rolls an appropriate skills check (Craft, resources, contacts for multiple types of items, or an appropriate skill for a same type, like shooting for guns) against this number. If the character fails, the most widely used equipment of the highest grade gains an appropriate aspect (malfunction, broken, bugs in the machine and such) with one free invoke. (usually compelled). For every 2 extra points of failure, another item malfunctions. The character may try and fix items by "field fix" after 1 session. If it's broken till next scenario, add 1 to the maintenance target number. the character may use left over from from a previous session or use the next session's fate points for this.
    - Field malfunction/ fix: Every time a character uses an item and gets a -3 or -4 on the roll, the item malfunction as above. The character may try to fix it (usually at the end of the scene) The target number is twice the grade. With an appropriate skill to the use of the item.

    Rational: The "maintenance" will hopefully limit the number of special items, and may insert interesting choices. It also adds to the feeling of "scarce hard to fix items" of the post apocalyptic world.
    The "field malfunction/ fix" adds an element of uncertainty to combat, and makes equipment less predictable.

    Consumables: ammunition, grenades, power cells, drugs, medicines and more can be obtained as well. Between sessions a character makes one roll to try and gain, create, receive such items. (I imagine resources, craft, contacts and survival used, but there may be other ideas. The character acquires double the amount of the roll. The character decides what sort of consumables they have. These do not go away after the scene.

    (All of these are examples and base line. I hope they will be enough.)
    Grade 1: Adds 1 to damage. Some example weapons-
    - Machine gun: when using ammunition, the character can add "Lead all over the place" Aspect to the scene on top of the attack action (Target number- 2). Requires training (Stunt). requires ammunition to use the stunt's ability.
    - Grenades: Attack an entire zone, No skill, but add the grade as usual. Requires training (Stunt). requires ammunition (grenades).
    - Sniper rifle: If enemy is unaware of you, you ignore cover and armor. Requires training (Stunt). doesn't require ammuniton.
    - Rocket launcher: Only attacks vehicles or other large targets only. Ignores armor, affect all in target zone. Requires training (Stunt). requires rockets (ammunition).
    Grade 2: Add 2 to damage. No exact weapons yet, but thinking mostly on energy weapons (plasma, laser) or very heavy machine guns such as a minigun or such....

    Possible effect of compel: special ability can't be used.
    Grade 1: reduce damage by 1. No concrete examples yet but some ideas:
    - Combat armor: The armor adds 1&2 stress boxes. Requires training ("Stunt- heavy armor")
    - Mini power armor: Once per scene you can add 2 to either a physique test or to melee damage. ("Stunt- heavy armor")
    Grade 2: reduce 2 damage: Some high powered suits, Not sure what abilities yet.

    Possible Compel: Armor damaged: reduces athletics by 1, or special ability cannot be used.

    Grade 2& 3 vehicles
    There are no normal grade vehicles (It's called walking...) All vehicles need maintenance.
    Grade 1: 1&2 stress boxes, mild consequence, armor 1. Require some sort of gas/ microfusion consumable
    Grade 2: 1&2&3 stress boxes, mild and moderate consequences, armor 2. Requires some sort of gas/ microfusion consumable.

    Jenny's motorcycle: Need to think if it's grade 1 or 2...

    Possible Compel: Wild steering- makes it harder to drive.

    Consumables (Most of these ideas are by false_tautology from Myth Weavers)
    - Various types of ammunition for grade 2&3 weapons.
    - Gas and microfusion fuel cells for vehicles.
    - General survival gear: Basically you note how much you have. When ever you think you could use some item (which you decide on the spot), you deduct one and use it.
    - Armor piercing Ammo: for 1 scene decrease the armor value against your shots by 1.
    - Stimpack: reduces 3 physical stress, limit of once per battle.
    - Antidote: removes a poison consequence.
    - Pain Killer: Ignore one consequence for 1 scene.
    - Radaway: Remove 2 radiation stress.

    These are but some examples.

    Does it seem simple enough? Intuitive enough? Do you think it would add to the fun of the game? Or do you think it will detract from it. Would love to hear your opinions!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2013-09-30 at 07:08 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
    Ettin in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: [FATE] A simple extra for post apocalyptic wepons, armor and equipment

    Seems pretty simple. Everyone will be walking around with +1 gear/weapons at the very least, so you might want to just reset those to zero, since there's nothing really 'there' there. Since Fate just assumes you have the stuff needed to do your job, and you've got no rules there for degradation/etc., it's probably just to not even worry about the grade one stuff, unless your players really just want to write something down.

    Another option for consumables/item degradation is to have them keyed off of failures in a way similar to AW/DW - perhaps use an ammo/maintenance box on a success with style by the defender, or on a tie, or something like that. Not entirely sure which I'd like best, just throwing some ideas out. I generally like the idea of it being triggered by the actual use of the weapon/armor/whatever, rather than on a session-basis. That also ties it back into what's happening in the game, rather than it being an abstract roll, which I almost always prefer with Fate.

    For armor, I'd have it be an option if the attacker succeeds by 3 or more, similar to the 'gain a boost at the cost of one shift', but allow degradation of armor instead of one shift.

    Doubling the consumables found per shift of success seems a bit much. I'd probably go for a flat 2 per shift of success on a scrounge, with 1 on a tie. Adjusting this upwards if necessary is probably easier than adjusting it downwards if it's too much.

    I'm not totally sure how I think about only requiring ammo for use of the special ability. It just breaks versimillitude - I have no ammo, but I can still shoot? That's just weird. If you want to tie the ammo usage to the use of the special ability, you could have the ammo degradation as above only occur when using the special ability.

    I'd also make the consumable or maintenance rolls take place during the game. Going out and scrounging for consumables is a *great* way to put yourself in a spot. If you really didn't want to do that, I'd probably just give a set number per session.

    Overall, I like the system, don't get me wrong. I think it's spot on for adding the desired 'flavor', and having the rules directly target that rather than making a convoluted system that hopes to get the desired end result.

    If I were running, I'd probably make the following adjustments, mostly outlined above:

    1) Grade one equipment is just presumed, at least for armor/weapons. It gives no bonuses, and has no penalties.

    2) I'd probably just treat ammo/condition as a single mechanic, just with different names, and attach appropriate amounts to gear based on what it did and how powerful it was.

    3) Tie ammo/condition degradation to use - probably by having it occur on a success with style by the opposition (which should be safe, since mostly this is armor/weapons, and they're almost always opposed rolls anyway). Failure by 3 or more against passive difficulty could trigger this as well, though it'd likely be more rare. Allowing use of ammo/condition as a success with cost condition would work as well, though I'd probably keep the mandated loss on an opposed success with style.

    4) I'd probably just tie most special abilities to stunt-based weapons, and let them be constantly 'on', and balance appropriately. I'd also consider giving weapons aspects that could be invoked/compelled/whatever as normal. This would then allow for a constant level of weapon differentiation, combined with 'buildup' to represent the 'stronger' aspects of using the weapon - for instance, a sniper rifle would either have the _Long Distance Bad Touch_ aspect, or maybe a _High Powered Scope_ and _Punches Holes Through Walls_ aspects, which could be invoked/CA'ed on to effectively achieve the 'bypass armor' results you gave.

    So, I'd probably model a sniper rifle like this:

    Sniper rifle
    Stunt: Reach out and touch someone: Shoots one additional zone at no penalty
    Aspects:Long Distance Bad Touch, One Shot, One Kill

    Both of the aspects could be invoked hostilely in scenarios where close shooting, or a high rate of fire are desirable. The stunt could be reworded to be a +1 or 2 when shooting at a target at least <n> zones away, not sure the value of n at this point.

    But your system is pretty damn good, the above is just how I'd probably tweak it for my personal use and tastes.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: [FATE] A simple extra for post apocalyptic wepons, armor and equipment

    Hey Kyoryu, thanks for the advice. I made a few modifications, according to your suggestions:
    - Lowered all grades by 1, and the former grade 1, now grade 0 is just called "normal grade". If for some reason people will be without their gear (A possibility in the next session) I'll just probably use an aspect or such...

    - I decided to make degradation both between scenarios and actual play. But I chose to go with a "generic" roll of -3 or -4 to make equipment malfunction. I think this way it does not rely on relative skill of opponents, so a great opponents won't have their gear malfunctioning the entire time, and a weak enemy won't have his crumpled as well. I think this way gives it more of an "uncaring force of nature/ luck/ fate" feel.

    - I agree with the "just double the consumables" approach, much simpler.

    - ammo is to use the weapons special abilities only, the only time it may look weird is with the submachine guns, but then it represents a great expenditure of bullets.

    - About the sniper rifle: We have a real problem with what constitutes a zone, and most of our battles are either too much planned and have too much going in them (Like the last battle with the Jackal from my log) or quite too little. I'd prefer not to rely too much on zones. So I think the current idea is good enough.

    Some weapons will get aspects, though again- special weapons of their kind.

    Thanks for all the help! Any more ideas?

    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!

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