Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    At school
    Gender
    Male

    Default Adventure Writing for Fate

    I've noticed that there's not a lot of discussion of the Fate system around here. Have people tried it out? What are their opinions?

    If you are familiar with Fate, what are some of the ways in which you write adventures differently for that system than for, say, D&D or Pathfinder? I've been treating Compels as a way to drive the Fate Point economy, but I feel like I could be doing a lot more with that mechanic, and with aspects in general.

    Finally, are there any good pre-written adventures for Fate? I've seen their 40-page campaign settings, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the adventure paths in Pathfinder and D&D. Is that something people are even interested in?
    Developer for the Sengai Jidai role-playing game, powered by FATE. Check out the latest progress at the development blog.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    I play a lot of Fate. I'm fairly well known in the Fate community.

    Generally, Fate is short on prepared adventures, and even more so on "Adventure Paths". The prepared adventures tend to look more like setups or region sourcebooks than "adventures".

    Mostly, Fate presumes that:

    a) Players will have enough agency that funneling them through a predefined set of scenes isn't viable
    b) The adventure should be tailored to the characters enough that writing a specific set of scenes wouldn't be appropriate

    I'd also that Fate is light enough, mechanically, that stripping agency at the "how do we approach this problem?" level leaves not much of a game. Like, D&D 3+ are mechanically complex enough that even if you have no real input in each encounter, the encouters are engaging enough that there's still fun to be had. That's less true with Fate.

    That doesn't mean that trying to make a prepared adventure is BadWrongFun. It's just not really what the system is designed to strongly support, and most people into it play it for the more "shared narrative" aspects of it (not necessarily "we're all writers", but at least "the GM presents the problem, the players come up with solutions").
    "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking)"

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    The Dresden Files book for Fate Accelerated has a pretty good adventure writing guide.

    One of the important parts is that you write with your group, in session 0. Everyone chips in in developing political groups for the region (or similar). You set up a sand box together, then let the players lose in it. That has the advantage of allowing everyone to be tied into the story from the start.

    Once you have a good sandbox with some 5-6 factions and a few interesting features, I Find you really only need an inciting incident and then watch the fireworks.

    My last session had an ancient venetian wizard ruling a modern day city in Croatia (in secret, he was just a rich banker), more or less totally, with the local minor talents mostly under his heel. Then, a new player moved into town, a priest of Dionysos, who hired some biker gang types and imbued them with minor power to cause unrest among the minor talents to weaken the political hold of the ruler of the city. Mostly by making people lose control of their power. The entire thing went a bit out of hand, as there was also currently a vampire on a diplomatic mission with the ruler of the city, who promptly went on a minor rampage. Due to all the problems coming up, the city ruler decided to call in a favour and get a team of magical investigators into town (the players.)
    I pretty much just left them free reign to explore any of a dozen weird magical happenings in town and find how they are all connected. The undead soldiers waking up on the graveyard, the old ascetic monk suddenly throwing away his robes and running naked through the forest, the sirens drowing tourists in the harbour, the vampire...
    Nothing much planned as to how the story would go, just a set of characters and political interests and the players in the middle.

    This was pretty much because my players decided to play a Greek pagan priest, an FBI agent who had sworn an oath to protect cities from wild magic, an immortal jewish alchemist and an Italian ship navigator-wizard.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2020-09-20 at 05:47 PM.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Finally, are there any good pre-written adventures for Fate? I've seen their 40-page campaign settings, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the adventure paths in Pathfinder and D&D. Is that something people are even interested in?
    You don't see a lot of fully "pre-made adventures" for Fate. You DO see them to an extent in some of the Worlds of Adventure, but even then they are more a general structure for a story rather than a full-on module (and also tend to be oriented towards the "World" in question as an example of the unique focuses that exist in that world).

    I do recall a friend who wanted to try and make a sort of "living campaign" for Dresden Files under Fate (we were playing in another living campaign at the time and he was seeing if that format could work). I had an inkling that it wouldn't but was willing to help playtest; this ended up being my first Fate experience, actually, and it was fun, but it ran into issues. Not only, as kyuryu said, does the game assume the players will have agency to drive the story forward, but the options available to them make coming up with a linear set of challenges rather difficult, even more than most other RPGs. Too many options exist when you can treat anything like a character and interact in a similar way. Further, games with narrative systems and narrative metacurrency can have players use a point to come up with a solution to a problem that may persist beyond that point - this is a feature, and not a bug, but it's difficult to build full adventures around that possibility, especially one that is supposed to be in a "living" setting which is supposed to be built on many tables playing an adventure and collecting the results to average into a "canon." IN a sequential game a la an adventure path, you could very easily short circuit a challenge modules in advance by clever Fate point spends and invocations.

    That said, I think there is interest in setups and frameworks that are prewritten and adaptable. I've seen a few combo short story-game set-ups out there for Fate, that offer a story and show the Fate mechanics that you could argue were at work, which could include characters, aspects, or even Extras. I think a general framework to start from is the kind of thing that Fate GMs could seek out - not a full "Adventure Path" or even module, but a set-up that says "Here is Mr. X. He has these aspects and these resources. Go nuts."

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    The way I'd personally see an adventure being published is:

    1. Lay out the various factions that the players are going to interact with, and their agendas. Bonus points if these agendas are incompatible.
    2. Lay out the world, interesting places.
    3. Spec out the key NPCs, their motivations. Bonus points if they NPCs have conflicting agendas, and double bonus points if there's conflicting agendas within the same group/faction
    4. Include some "blanks" - areas where character-specific things can be put into play. Leave some factions open, including their goals. Have a few key NPCs left with some spots or entirely blank (possibly with defaults if you don't care), so that if there's an NPC/faction relevant to a PC background, they can be slotted in.
    5. Give some ideas as to how the PCs might initially discover the Big Problem at the heart of the scenario, or at least the outlying problems.

    As an example, I ran a scenario that looked like this:

    1. There were these weird demon-like critters that had a horrible lifecycle that were acting as parasites on people, and giving them superhuman powers at a horrible cost.
    2. There were political tensions in the town between various factions that had their own agendas, and each wanted to one-up the other. While neither faction knew about the demon critters *yet*, either could see the critters as an asset if they found out.
    3. There was a third group that was mostly interested in becoming more effective. Their leader was infected with the critters and had also infected....
    4. His two friends and sister. Sister didn't necessarily start out infected. They were more or less working as bandits and not really aligned.

    I ran this a few times. I'd vary the specific NPCs a bit, and the third group would change pretty much entirely depending on the PCs. It was the town guard on one occasion, and the assassin's guild on another. But it filled the same general slot. In both cases, it was a group that at least one of the PCs had a strong connection to (I think they were either members or aspiring members).

    Discovering the critters (usually via group 4), sent the players around, knocking balls around, informing people, and interfering with plans. The game then evolved as the NPCs reacted to the players, and so on and so forth.

    Outside of the first scene, I did basically zero planning of individual scenes.

    If I were to publish this scenario, I would do basically the same, and likely also include a number of possible plot-level compels for GMs to use and/or adapt.

    In this way, I might be able to push a scenario/adventure, but it wouldn't look like an Adventure Path with a set sequence of encounters that the players would go through.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2020-09-21 at 12:31 PM.
    "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking)"

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    At school
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    Hmm...what do you think about a structure like "Masks of Nyarlathotep" or "The Darkening of Mirkwood"? Do you think those would adapt well to Fate, or be good templates to write some solid Fate adventures?

    I'm also kind of wondering if there are (ahem) aspects of Fate that would lend themselves to published adventure writing. Something that showcases the strength of the system that would be different than a D&D published adventure like Storm King's Thunder, but would be just as good in its own way.
    Developer for the Sengai Jidai role-playing game, powered by FATE. Check out the latest progress at the development blog.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    At school
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The Dresden Files book for Fate Accelerated has a pretty good adventure writing guide.

    One of the important parts is that you write with your group, in session 0. Everyone chips in in developing political groups for the region (or similar). You set up a sand box together, then let the players lose in it. That has the advantage of allowing everyone to be tied into the story from the start.

    Once you have a good sandbox with some 5-6 factions and a few interesting features, I Find you really only need an inciting incident and then watch the fireworks.

    My last session had an ancient venetian wizard ruling a modern day city in Croatia (in secret, he was just a rich banker), more or less totally, with the local minor talents mostly under his heel. Then, a new player moved into town, a priest of Dionysos, who hired some biker gang types and imbued them with minor power to cause unrest among the minor talents to weaken the political hold of the ruler of the city. Mostly by making people lose control of their power. The entire thing went a bit out of hand, as there was also currently a vampire on a diplomatic mission with the ruler of the city, who promptly went on a minor rampage. Due to all the problems coming up, the city ruler decided to call in a favour and get a team of magical investigators into town (the players.)
    I pretty much just left them free reign to explore any of a dozen weird magical happenings in town and find how they are all connected. The undead soldiers waking up on the graveyard, the old ascetic monk suddenly throwing away his robes and running naked through the forest, the sirens drowing tourists in the harbour, the vampire...
    Nothing much planned as to how the story would go, just a set of characters and political interests and the players in the middle.

    This was pretty much because my players decided to play a Greek pagan priest, an FBI agent who had sworn an oath to protect cities from wild magic, an immortal jewish alchemist and an Italian ship navigator-wizard.
    See, I kind of wonder if you just wrote that down and published it, like the town of Hommlet, if it's something that other people could use as a jumping off point to get into Fate.
    Developer for the Sengai Jidai role-playing game, powered by FATE. Check out the latest progress at the development blog.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    Honestly, not really publishable? I stole about a third each of that from a Dresden Files shortstory, an old Planescape adventure and The Secret World.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

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

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    At school
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    That's an interesting one, because the work I'm doing on Sengai Jidai is also rooted in a lot of other works - the historical period of the Sengoku Jidai, various anime, the Samurai Warriors video game, etc - but I find that as you sit down to write out the world, and iterate on the ideas, you move away from the inspirations into something that blends them together and then ultimately makes something new. Maybe if you sat down to write it out for other people to use, you'd eventually find it's unique voice.

    But not too unique. If it's meant for the Dresden Files game, then it should probably have Dresden Files touchstones (though that gets into licensing issues of its own...)
    Developer for the Sengai Jidai role-playing game, powered by FATE. Check out the latest progress at the development blog.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adventure Writing for Fate

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    That's an interesting one, because the work I'm doing on Sengai Jidai is also rooted in a lot of other works - the historical period of the Sengoku Jidai, various anime, the Samurai Warriors video game, etc - but I find that as you sit down to write out the world, and iterate on the ideas, you move away from the inspirations into something that blends them together and then ultimately makes something new. Maybe if you sat down to write it out for other people to use, you'd eventually find it's unique voice.

    But not too unique. If it's meant for the Dresden Files game, then it should probably have Dresden Files touchstones (though that gets into licensing issues of its own...)
    Nah, I scrapped most of the Dresden Files world, the only thing I really took is the idea of a Dyonisian cult. But I have a faction that is directly taken from The Secret World and the plot outline is basically a 1:1 copy from Planescape, except for giving all the NPCs Italian or Slavic names. Not publishable, really.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •