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Vladimir Filipović
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How often do you see FPs spent to invoke or compel Mild Consequences?

It's occurred to me recently that I'm not sure I've ever seen that happen, so I wanted to check if my experience was unusual.

So, to be clear, I'm not asking about free invocations on the consequence, only invocations/compels fuelled by a FP.

(Question slightly edited for clarity following +Alice Vidrine's feedback.)

If you liked Sails Full of Stars as much as I did, you might be interested in the current Bundle of Holding. It includes source material for Space: 1889 that fits well with SFoS tone-wise.

A practical stress-tracking drop-in alternative.

I've realized I've never posted this anywhere online yet, and there have to be a couple of people out there who'd find it useful.

You can take up to three points of stress, each of which absorbs as many points of damage as your score in the relevant skill (let's just call it Physique for the moment). So, if your Physique is +3, and you get 5 points of damage, you can absorb all of that damage with 2 points of stress; or you can absorb 3 of the 5 damage with a single stress point, and take a mild consequence for the remainder.
You don't get extra consequence slots for very high Physique.

If your Physique is +0, your stress points still absorb a single point of damage each, but you can take only two points of stress instead of three. (In rules-lawyer language: when you already have two points of stress, you can not take a third one.)

Due to some mathematical coincidences, this all works out extremely similar to the Core default in terms of fight pacing. So why use it?

The advantage I had in mind when I came up with it was that stress can be easily tracked with physical tokens, instead of constantly rubbing an eraser over the character sheet. I just hand out red poker chips, and I know that everyone's maximum is 3.

An unexpected benefit has been that it gives a bit more flexibility about pairing up stress tracks with skills.
E.g. you could use a single "track" for both physical and mental stress, but a character can still defend with Physique against some attacks, with Will against others, and you can easily come up with unique situations that call for other skills.
Or, you can come up with a new, temporary stress track (e.g. Contacts-based) that applies to some unanticipated situation.

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Wrath of the Autarch - what a glorious f'ing game!

I was a KS backer, but hadn't managed to give the game a proper look until I got the paper version now. I'm reading through it, somewhat in order and somewhat flipping back and forth, and I keep getting amazed with the quality of the ideas, and how well they're executed.

It seems more boardgamey than I had initially understood, but that seems to only add to the experience, without diminishing the roleplaying component (from the baseline I'd expect from the pitch). It may not be for everyone, but if your tastes run in that kind of a direction, this is the best Fate publication since the System Toolkit, and a steal at $12. I didn't even realize I needed this kind of a game in my life :)

While you can (of course) use this to run a 4X RPG in a setting you build from scratch, the book gives a lot of concrete detail on a default one, with 37 statted-out provinces, several secretive NPC organizations, and specific quests involving a Romeo-and-Juliet plot, an invisible spider-island, a telepathic horror from the depths, a clan of mountain giants running a protection racket, an ancient wyrm yearning for a worthy death etc. etc.

If you're intrigued but unsure, I see the author's posted a couple of "tutorial" threads over on RPGGeek[1] that give a pretty good illustration of what goes into a session - that should get you off the fence (in one direction or the other).

The book could have benefitted from another round of proofreading, and I have to say the graphical solutions for the iconic and diagrammatic information (resources, tech trees, move summaries) are less than optimal. But if those end up being my top complaints by the time I've played this, it will be absolutely worth it.

[1] https://rpggeek.com/forum/1438054/wrath-autarch/general

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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