Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Thinking FU

I ran a game of Spirit of the Century the other week after finishing a six month campaign of May the FU Be With You. I run FU much like I run Spirit and that's hardly surprising. In many ways FU is Fate on a strict vegan diet. It's lighter, faster and can be blown around by hand waving. It's that hand waving that helps out so much. The link from what the players speak (that is, creating the fiction) and what the dice do (that is, forcing the fiction one way or the other) is solid and intuitive.

There are a couple of things that FU doesn't do and I don't think it pretends to do them. There will always be an element of matching the right system to the right setting and the right kind of story.

It's hard for me to criticise FU, partly because I've greatly enjoyed it and partly because I know Nathan. I wish it handled character development in some way. I hacked a house rule to let players spend a FU point to change gear or a descriptor, as long as the change was accompanied by an appropriate plot development. And I wish it didn't drive players towards being one-trick ponies. I've paid the price for having a character who couldn't use everything all at once, leaving me with a small dice pool. Defining descriptors and gear that work together is the means to munchkin the FU (awful grammar, I know). With the right combination a player can bring a pool of five dice before penalties. That kind of character, though, tends to use the same solution for every problem. It works well for characters like Wolverine (I stab it with my claws) but not so well for Batman (I investigate, I fight, I have money, I...). It can be dissatisfying to play that character except when they succeed so often.

I hadn't intended this to be a review of FU, just some thoughts that were percolating around in my mind.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Spirit of 2013

After a long, long hiatus from the game, tonight I'll run Spirit of the Century. It's an impromptu game that I'm running to demonstrate it. The group is moving to play a supers game and was going to use Mutants and Masterminds, then FU, but now I've suggested Fate I find that I'm the only one who knows it.

I'm going to use the great characters from the book itself as well as get some players to create their characters on the fly. It's a one-shot game and I need to flex its muscles for the group so that they can see how it works.

It brings me back to the days of the first Gen Con Oz. Those indie games on demand tables demanded nothing but SOTC for nearly the whole time. Let's see what comes from tonight, although I expect pulpy fun and laughs.

Saturday, 5 January 2013


I'm a FATE Core backer. Woo!

It's no secret that I'm an Evil Hat fanboy. I like their games and own most of them. I'm keen to support the company - and the game - that was my gateway drug into indie games. I remember downloading the PDFs for FUDGE and FATE all those years ago and wondering what to do with them. What on earth was I going to do with a system that used Aspects? And where were the polyhedral dice?

Finally seeing FATE in a beautiful book format will be a great pleasure for me. I'll keep it next to the printed copy of FATE 2 that I have from all those years ago.

As it happens, my regular gaming group is changing to a new campaign and we're deciding the system we're going to use. FATE is a leading contender. The timing is excellent.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Lego FU Thank You

The game is complete! I have the PDF in my hot little (digital) hands, and you can too!

There are some people I want to thank right now for helping me make the game.

John Reid: layout guy with a brain full of clever ideas. He spoke at me in techno-babble and then patiently explained the steps behind the babble in order to make my text look good on the page. He owns his own graphic design business, LoveHate Design.

Leith Reid: editor with more grammar-fu than I1. I've discovered that if you have her working on your text the correct strategy is "Accept all of Leith's changes and focus on her questions instead."

My playtesters: for putting up with my corruption of their otherwise fine Star Wars game. Peter, Michael, Pam and Oskar, thank you so much.

Nathan Russell: for making FU in the first place. It is teh awesome!!!!1!!


Siege Reviewed

There's been a review of Siege posted at Discordia. It's in Swedish so you might need to use your favourite translation software to read it.

Just a paragraph (courtesy of google translate).
Siege is super easy to get started and have four basic steps that, in principle, constitute the entire game. Select the type for each role person / player (police, hostages or hostage takers), give the role the person some skills and flesh, playing out scenes in the adventure that affect the role of persons to one another and drives the plot forward and finally - give each role person an epilogue.

To be such a superduperenkelt games is Siege surprisingly playable. I suspect it has with the limited premise to do.


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