Notes

Re: Weapons/Armor – Dresden

“In my games, I want the prospect of getting shot to powerfully condition character behavior and these are my ideas for doing so.” There’s a corollary discussion of whether that level of gun dominance is appropriate for Dresden book/screen. I tend to think not, but people who have read more of the books than I (two) may have strong counter-arguments to make. But it’s three different issues - “realism,” what you want in your games, what people believe is the best fit for Dresden.

I think this is not really that simple. Several factors apply:

1) The one you note. Do these approach goes with the “if he gets his hands on me, I’m dead” philosophy? And, is it the best way?

2) The amount of ‘reality simulation’ we want in the game.

To me, the chase for this ‘realism’ in any game is just a chimera. A simple thing, like model a single shot using mathematical models, is the work of days and days of laying down formulas. Reducing that to a roll is, well, very inaccurate. Add in psychology, phisology and optics and you have a monster worth a doctoral thesis. Not something I want to do for fun.

FATE has a huge advantage by using language instead of mathematics. Still, this implies that ‘realism’ in FATE means actually ‘reliability’ of fictional events.

3) The ages old discussion: Do guns do more damage than swords? In FATE, my guess is that to even discuss this is counterintuitive. Attacks not represent a single swing or shot, but a series of blows, parries or shots. More so, the objective of conflict is to win it, not to kill the target.

  • * *

A trick shot using Guns doesn’t mean you shot at your target. Perhaps, you shot at the chandelier in the ceiling to drop it on said target. Do you get your +4 damage on this attack? And, if not, why would people do anything shot directly at their targets?

A trained swordsman normally don’t simply attack swinging and thrusting his weapon in order to hit with either the blade or the point. He might combine swings with kicks, blows, slams, etc… So, if you actually kick someone as a result of a Weapons blow, do you get the +2 bonus of your longsword?

And continuing on the same page, longswords are deadly, yes, but they are way more difficult to handle than, for instance, a spiked club. Both might, arguably, have the same bonus on an unarmored target.

On the other hand, the whole damage modifier disappears when dealing with consequences. A minor consequence is such, no matter if it was inflicted by blunt force trauma, gunshots or a katana. And consequences ARE damage.

To me, this means the problem here is semantic. And semantic problems in FATE are somewhat serious, because the system has heavy roots on language. But it also means they are easily solved. Why?

Stress tracks represent not your capacity to withstand damage, but the amount of pain (social or physical) you’re willing to endure before conceding or giving up. So, instead of damage modifiers, weapons should have ‘stress’ modifiers.

Under this approach, a gun has a bigger stress modifier than, for example, a longsword, because the gun is more demoralizing in terms of stress than a longsword. A rocket launcher would have a huge stress modifier, because even if the attack don’t kill you, you’d be more willing to concede or give up on someone with a rocket launcher rather than someone with a knife.

That sounds a lot more Dresden to me. Even werewolves fear guns, because they know they might not kill the character if they can’t close in. The swordsman gets his bonus always, because of the superiority of the menace his sword represents compared to a fisted opponent.

Armor, again in this approach, means you don’t perceive bigger weapons and guns to have that weight in determining the outcome of conflict. Hence, a Kevlar-vested defender recives his -2 to Gun attacks always, even if the attack is described as a shot to the legs. This, by the way, avoid pesky ‘called shots’ bypassing armor obnoxious tactics. This is, Kevlar gives you an edge on winning conflicts, but not necessarily in avoiding a [shot in the leg] consequence.

What do you think about this?

dsleland wrote: > 2) More applicability to a modern setting. I’m wondering whether, for example, a Computers skill is broadly useful enough in a modern setting that it should have its own skill, or would that in fact be too broad? Breadth indicates focus. If you give Computers its own skill, you’re saying “computers are really important, important enough to be something that someone can be the best at without bringing anything else; someone can rock out with this and be worthy of major screen time”. (That’s the logic of Gambling being its own skill in SOTC, after all. Major, screen-rocking awesome time, with the dice and cards and chips flying.)

Personally I think computers work better as a trapping on some broader, more encompassing skill (like Science or Academics or whatever), unless you’re playing a game where ever PC is some kind of a hacker.

Fred

Re: [FateRPG] Skill sets that are more balanced and for modern settings?

Yes, I built this list a while back (Modified with my good friend Frank Trollman): (Note, this is before I really got into FATE and learned about Trappings and such, there’s very small overlap except in rare instances like Command and Leadership)

Strength Martial Arts Heavy Weapons Acrobatics Endurance

Agility Stealth Firearms Exotic Weapon Pilot

Logic Science Research Logistics Medicine

Intuition Artisan Perception Tactics Empathy

Charisma Deception Persuasion Leadership Intimidation

Willpower Religion Command Survival Concentration

Notes

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