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Vladimir Filipović
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Vladimir Filipović

Settings, Worlds, Rules  - 
 
A mechanical question:

Recently a player wanted a curious stunt: "When someone else gets a boost, I can spend a FP to turn it into a full-blown aspect."
The PC would accomplish this by saying something congratulatory but smartassy along the formula "wow, you sure X'ed that like Y" - delivered that (blow) like a postman; executed that (maneuver) like Stalin; something something like a Klingon the Merry Wives of Windsor.
(I'm heavily editing for brevity here, but I think I'm being faithful to the core of his idea.)

The player hoped to get a couple of free invocations out of each such aspect, above the one free invoke that the boost itself would have had. His reasoning was: I'm spending a FP which is itself normally worth one invoke; if I'm already dedicating one whole stunt to this ability, I should get some extra benefit, such as one more freebie.

My reasoning is this: When you normally promote a boost into an aspect, it costs you an action (i.e. your turn); it also permits failure and active opposition (though also SwS and teamwork); and at the baseline it gives you one free invoke (above the boost itself).
With your special ability, getting the same results as the normal CaA at guaranteed basic success (which is IMHO kinda worth about one FP) and not needing to spend an action (which should be worth about one more FP), if all that costs you only 1 FP, that's already a seriously sweet deal compared to the normal CaA you could have used. Not to mention you'd also often be able to aspectify someone else's boost from a distance without much justification.

Now, one new worthwhile ability or tactical choice that by default nobody else has - that would already have been a fair value for a stunt, without any sweetening with bonuses or freebies. And you're also getting a very general stunt that'll be useful in nearly every Conflict/Contest, no matter the playing field. So that's already twice a good deal. Seems to me like it would be closer to normal stunts if you simply had to use your action for this, or I guess if you got no free invokes.

We weren't immediately buying each other's arguments, and we were wary of descending into a rabbit-hole debate (I'm leery of mechanically fancy stunts in general, and he's fond of them) so we were eager to compromise and we easily settled on the obvious middle ground between his "2 freebies" and my "0 freebies", and not using up an action. I guess I'll wait and see if he ends up backseat-dominating every fight.

What do you think?
About that whole balancing calculus, and also about any other ways of making the main effect work?
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19 comments
 
Thanks for all your advice, folks!

To make one thing clearer that may not have come across fully: the initial idea was not about the character influencing other people through speech and psychology. It was more akin to the standard mechanisms where a player makes a decision, and the character merely reveals it to the "audience" by fictionally discovering, remembering or pointing it out. E.g. spend a FP to declare something, roll Contacts to remember that you know a fishmonger, roll Knowledge/Lore to explain that these elves are superstitious. It might not work in all situations ever, but it wouldn't be limited by who can hear and understand the character.

+Stephen Morffew, promoting boosts is just the mundane CaA, as you suggest, not a special rule. There's a boost, and you decide to create an aspect that's exactly the same as that boost (or worded a bit more appropriately) and you may or may not use up the boost in the CaA attempt. That application was given a bit of prominence and clarity by this article: ryanmacklin.com - Fate Boosts Revisited
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