Fate is an RPG that is centered around a particular mechanic it calls “aspects”. It is designed as a game that encourages a Director stance (excuse my use of GNS terminology please) and is focused on simulating a narrative. The Fate mechanics work by creating a rubber-banding of narrative tension, and while it seems like a direct port would work, there’s a better way to incorporate them into more traditional RPG’s.
This is the first Rationale post. In these posts we’ll take the mechanics that I’m moving forward with and we’ll scrutinize the rationale behind them.
Today, we’re going to look at the Core Mechanic. By the Core Mechanic I mean the in game mechanism for determining success, and those other pieces that are tightly bound to it. For example, GURPS Core Mechanic is “roll 3d6 under skill”, D20’s Core Mechanic is “Roll 1d20 and add Skill”, and Fates Core Mechanic is “Roll 4dF and add Skill”. In each of those cases I’m over simplifying, but those are at least the core of the core mechanic.
Previously we looked at linear Dice Mechanics and I expressed fondness for a 2d6-2d6 system. Here we’re going to explore this in a little more depth, see what problems it has, what our options are, and work out any kinks.
Some of the questions that come up are, are “How does the range affect play?”, “What happens with Highest Rolls?”, “Who Rolls?”, “How complex is this?”, etc…
What does one need to make a good dice mechanic? What would an ideal dice mechanic look like?
To understand this, consider what your game statistic and dice model in a game you are playing. Specifically, if you have two characters and the first character has a stat of 10, and the second character has a stat of 12, you know that the second character is better at doing what that stat models than the first character. So what happens when a person gets “better” at something. Primarily there are two things:
- They become more accurate
- They become more precise.