Solving crimes – with FATE! | Hendrik's Blog
Hi there,. the Atomic Robo RPG is an inspiring read (and a great game, too! So buy it if you like FATE and haven't already done so) and gave me some great ideas on how to play around with the mechanisms of FATE Core and the FATE toolkit. The following is largely based on Atomic Robo's excellent ...
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- Jun 14, 2014
- This nifty! I've never tried anything like this. My only fear is that the pieces the players create won't add up to something that makes sense...Jun 14, 2014
- As a regular follower of Castle and other police/investigation shows, I have some doubts.
Firstly, since the players are the ones "building" the case, I wonder how much should I as a GM create. Say it's a murder. I imagine that I get to create the victim, the murder scene (or scenes, the body could appear in one place and have been killed elsewhere) and the cause of death (at least, apparent cause of death, could be dead before being burned to a crisp in an apparently accidental fire). Is it all that I get to choose or do I even get less than that? I'm not sure what to present the players with this system.
Also, you state that the whole process happens in the crime scene. I understand that Fate is about awesome and all, but even Sherlock Holmes needs some more than just the crime scene, some legwork, etc. Does this system cover all the other out-of-crime-scene process?Jun 14, 2014
- in my experience, this is almost never a problem. Most of the time a bunch of creative players comes around with much better and consistent stories than I could create on myself.Jun 14, 2014
- Jun 14, 2014
- The brainstorming rules that inspired this hack have the PCs doing science at a mystery to figure out what's going on. There's no set timeframe on the brainstorm -- it can be a single discussion or occur over the course of multiple issues (of the comic, because this is based on a comic book). There can even be brainstorming simultaneous with other stuff, like an action scene (which is a lot of fun). The hardest part of brainstorming is keeping players from coming up with a hypothesis before they have all their data points in place. Everyone wants to solve the mystery right away, but coming up with a hypothesis before you have your facts is just bad science.
Also, in ARRPG, if you don't succeed at your brainstorm (either because of lousy rolls or because the PCs are working on their individual crackpot theories instead of banding together -- which happens!), the GM gets to put an aspect on the game of What's Going On? or It's A Mystery! or something similar. In other words, failing doesn't just revert things to the status quo -- it actively makes things worse. You tried and failed to figure out why the ants are the size of tanks, and that's a problem. You could do the same thing with this detective hack. But of course, detective stories aren't really about the detective not figuring out whodunnit, so maybe not.Jun 14, 2014
- SubJun 14, 2014
- , regarding your second question, the mechanism covers everything that is involved in reconstructing the events of the crime. That's including legwork, speaking with witnesses, going to the archives and so on.
I can also understand your doubts and thoughts on what you should prepare and create as a GM. The rules hack I presented is specifically designed for an open FATE game to harness the full creative power of your players. If you prefer a predefined plot (and in my experience most people playing detective stories do exactly that), these rules won't do you any good.
In my FATE games though, I as a GM will only present situations and opportunities to the players. No story, no plot. The story is created through play, and personally I think that's what FATE (including this rules hack) was made for.Jun 15, 2014
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