What aspects of FAE are confusing or need a bit more explanation?
My goal is not to go too far toward Core — instead just fill in a few holes, add few elegant and/or very easy additions.
Clearly approaches is an area that needs clarification (my personal top of the list for this is a White Picket Witches style list of what you can do with approaches, along with integrating some of the ideas on costs of failure).
Another area I think needs a little help is something simple about zones. Maybe one or two things from toolkit such as more stunt templates.
Some things that I like about it are:
* Halving the ladder and using rock-paper-scissors for resolution.
* Ability to have "secret" aspects that may be discovered with create advantage, or have a "cover" that hides it.
* The ability to "give in" before RPS in exchange for loosing but being able to declare the narration of the loss.
* Having one of the approaches be -1, making it a second form of "trouble".
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sdA3j07d5tGoWeXbIydy66Fjx_MT9nRiG-hJIHXLBPY/ Let's compare notes. I think you have a lot more work put into the actual exchange between the players, when there is a test. I was staying light on that, but I can see the value in it.
* I find it a better writing environment for editing text and creating derivative works. There are many online and iPad tools that support markdown.
* You can easily use source code tools to track changes from multiple authors.
* There are numerous tools that reliably convert markdown to html, pdf, doc, etc.
* I'm working on a Steampunk OZ book using FAE, and it will be using a substantial amount of FAE text under Creative Commons.
* I wanted the SRD to use the "powered by Fate" logo, dice images, the four actions, and the stress boxes that are licensed by Evil Hat, so I have exported them to .svg and .png to facilitate their use.
The text of the existing SRD source on the Evil Hat website is complete, however, some of the links and formatting in the Evil Hat SRD do not quite match the book, thus this draft of the SRD is slightly different in non-textual ways. I'm seeking a detail-oriented person with markdown experience to double-check my choices before more broadly sharing this document (probably on github.com).
What other FAE approach variants have you seen?
It struck me at first that most of the skills can be more or less broken down into:
This list created approaches that felt more "traditional".
Might = Fight + Physique
Agility = Athletics + Shoot + Sneak
Knowledge = Lore + Craft + Resource
Sense = Investigate + Notice + Will
Esteem = Provoke + Contacts
Charisma = Deceive + Rapport + Empathy
And finally for those that like alliteration:
Might - Moving and Strength
Fight - Fighting and Shooting
Delight - Relating to people and provoking
Right - Knowing Things
Sight - Sensing Things
Night - Stealthy Things
However, the list of choices in FAE don't work for me. We have been advised to "use a genre specific set if you need one", but I my problem is that these are often just renames of the base set, and I believe there are some fundamental flaws in the base set that make choosing a new set difficult.
The base set of Approaches is Quick, Forceful, Careful, Clever, Flashy, and Sneaky. If you compare this list with the simultaneously written "White Picket Witches" (Fate Worlds Volume 1), you'll see Brilliant, Classy, Dangerous, Savvy, Treacherous, Powerful, and Sensitive. If you read those descriptions most don't well match up with any of the FAE Approaches. This illustrates the problem.
Here are my problems with the base FAE set of approaches:
First, both Quick and Clever also imply an ability, i.e. that someone using the Quick approach is fast, or the person using the Clever approach is smart. I much prefer the others that are more neutral in ability. You can be dumb and still be Careful (probably a good survival trait) and you can be weak and still be forceful (use poison or that shiv between the ribs). Thus whatever replaces Quick and Clever should still make sense with different abilities (i.e. clearly being slow and using the Quick approach, or dumb and using the Clever approach don't work.)
Secondly, there are some cross-overs that confuse players. I find that they often say they are using Clever when the mean Careful. Or Sneaky when they mean Quick. An ideal set of Approaches should be clear and not possible to confuse with each other.
Thirdly, some Approaches are more physical and others are more mental. IMHO, every approach should be able to be use for physical, mental or social tasks.
Finally, I feel that there may be some important missing approaches. Where does stopping and listening fit in? Is it Careful? Clever? Sneaky? In a world with magic, or psionics, or even simple intuition, where does trusting your instincts fit in?
I've inventoried almost every suggestion in the G+ Fate Core and FAE groups, as well as reviewed lots of other games that have attempted to reduce the list of stats to a small number, including Apocalypse World and many spin offs, TSOY/Solar System, and many story game RPGs.
Here is my initial list of seven Approachs — I'm not completely happy with them, but I think they covers the territory marginally better than the original FAE six approaches. My initial choice adjectives clearly isn't as evocative as I'd like and I'd love suggestions.
Assertive/Instinctive: You approach the problem with alacrity, and rely on your fast reactions to "just get it done now".
Passionate/Volatile: You approach the problem with strong emotion. You may use your strengths to physically, mentally, or socially force the result you desire; possibly brutally.
Methodical/Disciplined: You approach the problem in a systematic and orderly fashion, taking the time as needed.
Inquisitive/Exploratory: You approach the problem in a probing way; actively testing different directions and alternatives.
Cautious/Covert: You approach the problem in a more cautious or non-obvious fashion, using your abilities to be deceptive about your actions.
Sensitive/Intuitive: You approach the problem more passively — instead focusing on using all your senses to learn more or listening to your own intuition.
Classy/Flashy: You approach the problem using you social strengths, such as charm, wealth, persuasion, beauty, or charisma.
I believe that this set addresses all four criteria for a good Approach that I addressed above.
I'd love your thoughts on this set!
My tests now for what makes a good approach:
* It should function as much as possible to be independent from ability (if you like abilities, use a aspect, stunt, or one of the approach+ability hacks), i.e. you can be volatile if you are weak or strong, sensitive if you are dumb or smart.
* Cross-overs should be clarified. sneak and careful may both be slow, but the consequences of failure or success are different.
* Ideally a good approach applies to physical, mental and social tests.
-- Christopher Allen
What else would you like to see in a FAE Toolkit?
I am publisher of RPGnet and producer of the Infinite PDF app, and besides a free copy of Infinite PDF for the iPad a small honorarium and links in the PDF back to your home page when we publish it.
- RPG.NETPublisher, 1999 - present
- Bainbridge Graduate InstituteAssociate Faculty, Director of Collaborative Strategy, 2009 - present
- Alacrity SoftwareFounder/CEO, 2010 - present
Christopher Allen is a long-time entrepreneur, advisor, technologist and educator whose many ventures center on tools of collaboration and facilitation of online communities. As the founder of Consensus Development, Christopher helped develop SSL, the world's dominant internet security protocol, and was co-author of the IETF TLS internet-draft that is now at the heart of all secure commerce on the World Wide Web.
More recently Christopher has been a startup advisor, an executive coach, founded a multiplayer online game company, and consults for Fortune 500 companies on social web strategy. He has spoken about the social web, collaboration, privacy, and iPhone development at various conferences.
Since 2003 Christopher has been sharing his experience at his blog Life With Alacrity, where he discusses a variety of topics including entrepreneuring, the social web, social media, social software, blogging, groupware, collaboration, group dynamics, rating & ranking systems, online communities, facilitation, internet security, trust, privacy, iphone development, interface design, online game design, and internet tools.
Christopher teaches in the sustainable MBA program at BGI.edu the classes "Using the Social Web for Social Change", "Digital Influence", and is part of the faculty team that designed a totally integrated first-year sustainable business curriculum. He also acts as Director of Collaborative Strategy where he is establishing standards for digital content, ebooks, flipped classroom, online teaching platforms, and is creating a 21st-century cognitive and social pedagogy for hybrid higher education.
Christopher is also co-author of the book iOS 4 in Action an introduction to iPhone and iPad development, is co-founder and keynote speaker of iOS Dev Camp where he moderates the popular Hackathon Contest, has produced six iOS games at RPG.net/iPhone, and is currently producing for the iPad a new platform for non-linear media called Infinite Canvas.