It’s no real secret that I really like FATE and am a big fan of Dragon Age. Mike over at Wrath of Zombie did a little post on this subject a while ago and then I ended up in little Twitter discussion with the guys over at Dragon Age Oracle. And once again this got me thinking more about the subject.
I’ll admit up front that I haven’t play tested this yet but I am basing it on what our group has done with using Aspects in Pathfinder.
First Aspects are just for player characters and important NPC’s. There are no scene Aspects. You don’t do a maneuver to place an Aspect on a character. None of that stuff. They are a simple tool to help with role playing. Dragon Age already something similar built in. Goals and Ties. But Goals and Ties don’t have any real mechanical component to back them up.
In the heat of battle and the fervor of snack food and sugary soft drinks, players can tend to forget stuff. So, my suggestion is that player characters should have no more than four Aspects.
Concept: Look to your Background and what generally what you think of the character’s personality. Examples: Greedy Surface Dwarf, Slutty Elf Assassin (you know who I am talking about), The Last Survivor of Ostegar.
Trouble: This is the bad thing that haunts you. It makes your life “interesting” and much more difficult. Examples: Hunted by the Antivan Crows, On the run after murdering a Bann’s son. The character’s Trouble should be something unique to the character, not something that already carries many disadvantages like being an Elf or an Apostate. Those would be in the character’s Concept.
Goals: Just like the Player’s Guide for the Dragon Age RPG, This is something that drives your character to adventure. What he is looking for. What makes him get up in the morning.
Ties: This is what binds the character to the other player characters. Something that makes like or at least tolerate them. Once again, look at the Player’s Guide.
Using Aspects in play: From Pathfinder, we’ve found that 3 is the sweet spot for a Refresh. For those of you who aren’t quite familiar with the term, Refresh, in regards to FATE. That’s the minimum amount of Fate Points a character starts with at the beginning of a session.
Compelling Aspects works the same it does in FATE. You’re Aspect hinders you in some way, you gain a Fate Point.
Invoking Aspects: Once again, works just like it does in FATE. I don’t plan on crunching any numbers but my gut says that a +2 bonus to a test seems like a fair and workable number.
Changing Aspects: For this I’d say at the end of each session or when a significant change occurs to the character.
That’s pretty much it.