FATE Core doesn't have stunts that allow Companions like SOTC. I am guessing a Companion would now be an Extra. I'd like to have a fine grained way to buy companions with the detail SOTC provided -- ie companion quality and advances. Has any one done any thinking about that? What rules would you suggest?
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- Fred HicksOwner+3The "extra action" a Companion potentially represents is where this can get problematic. I'd probably stipulate that a "vanilla" 1-stunt Companion can act on its own when you're not present, but when you are present can only act on your behalf instead of you taking action. I'd charge an additional stunt to provide nothing other than the benefit of it getting to take action in addition to you when you're present.Jul 26, 2013
- The thing about companion types acting on their own is that it's a form of force multiplication. Force multiplication is powerful, both in terms of the mechanics and in terms of how many meaningful decisions you get to make about what happens.
So I'm really leery of things that let players get multiple actions on their turn. Even if it's through the filter of a theoretically weak companion. Because each multiplier is both a mechanical ability to do bigger and bigger things, and it's another chance to affect the flow of events.
I don't like setting the precedent of letting that sort of force multiplication in. That's why my example above (with the mooks searching places) involves affecting more than one zone with a single action rather than two truly independent actions.
But that's my preference and not something that explodes Fate if you do it.Jul 26, 2013
- In our Diaspora campaign, we have an engineer with a robot companion named SQUIB. SQUIB has three Skills that he can perform independently if needed; he can shoot lasers (due to illegal modifications), he can Repair busted gear, and he can conduct EVA work. SQUIB also has a couple aspects. I charged the player a stunt, an Aspect, and a skill slot.
Over time, we've established some other features inherent to SQUIB--he is sort of a walking toolkit for engineering work and he can record audio and video.
SQUIB is undoubtedly useful. He can go places that are dangerous for the players (albeit with less skill than they possess). He adds extra options in a fight and he has helped save the day by rescuing crew who were drifting in space. But I don't feel that he has unbalanced the game in our case. Part of that may be due to the fact that his Player has all the same skills that SQUIB does, though at different levels. Part of it may be due to SQUIB having a pair of his own Aspects that often get Compelled--he's illegally modified and he has an itchy trigger finger due to his kludged together software. The player's Aspect for SQUIB "My Trusty Robot Pal SQUIB" is also worded such that the player has responsibility to treat SQUIB as a more than just gear; so the player is always having to repair SQUIB or trying to modify him, which takes the bot out of action or requires some Resource rolling. And the Crew is small, so if they didn't have SQUIB they'd probably need another NPC anyway.
So in practice I see a Companion like SQUIB as being a tool for ratcheting up dramatic tension and creating problems as much as an asset for the players. Just giving him some personality and flaws independent of his Player goes a long way toward balancing his benefits.Jul 26, 2013
- I've just posted something like that over on an RPG board, let's see.
The basic idea is to treat many things as companions, even if they are not companions. Poison, Spells, Equipment, stuff like that. What they all have in common is the fact that they can add an additional action in a conflict. Since that can effectively double the fighting power of your players, handle with care.
First, you choose a skill that the companion will work with. For an animal companion, "Animal Handling" seems to be the best choice. "Alchemy" or "poison brewing" could be used for poison, "Lore" or "Magic" for Spells.
After you have a skill, you create a new character that is going to be the companion. The companion gets a skill column that caps at the same level the corresponding skill is at. So a +3 Animal Handling gets you a pet with 3 skills, one at each level of +1, +2, +3. Those skills don't have to be the same as for player characters, if you can come up with something that might fit better, that's fine (poison might have "paralyzing" as a skill, a spell might have "burning", and so on). You also get 1 stunt for the companion, every stunt you add has to come out of your own refresh.
To activate your companion (or poison or spell), you have to create an appropriate advantage. Animal Handling (Sick em!), for example. Or fight, with a poisoned dagger. Or magic for a rain of fire.
You can switch around skills and stunts as usual at milestones, but the companion never gets refresh or skill points on his own.
If everyone in your game wants to have something like this, I'd give it to them for free. If only a few want it, I think it's worth 2-3 stunts, I'm not sure yet. In any case, they would probably have to buy the extra skill to use it.Jul 26, 2013
- Thanks all! Great stuff.Jul 30, 2013
- Instead of giving your character an extra attack why not use the mob rules and give them a teamwork bonus?May 26, 2014
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