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.

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