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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Murder in a Wheel

Still going through my backlog of adventure games...

One of my latest tries was Murder in a Wheel. The title made me think of something very strange at first ("Planescape" came to mind). But it's a lot more down to earth than that. Here, let me steal the tiny introduction from the game's very page:

A Locked Room Mystery
Story: Roderick, Lady Blackwin's beloved Hamster, was murdered. It is up to you to solve the crime and find the killer.

It's as simple as that. Or is it?

The game looks very much like the LucasArts games I loved (Monkey / Indy / Tentacles), if not even better when it comes to backgrounds (they did something with colors and lighting that I like very much). The intro splash screen was enough to grab my heart and send me back 15 years. It plays like you'd expect it too: a bunch of classic verbs, an inventory, items to use and misuse and characters to talk to. The only differences come from the investigative genre: giving items to people is more about "what can you tell me about this?" than actually giving the item.

The game is not too difficult. I had to resort to a walkthrough only once, and only because I didn't do something more or less obvious with an item. Oh, there's one instance where you have to do something with no clear goal in view, but at least what you have to do is nonetheless obvious given what you know and the items you have. The game plays well, is very polished and very amusing too. Despite the contemporary and rather realistic setting, it does have a few fourth-wall jokes here and there but I didn't mind them as the laughs they gave were enough compensation for slightly breaking the illusion.

I have tried a few other indie adventure games after this one, and none managed to grab me as this one did. You can guess it's a highly recommended game from me :)

(also, I just noticed the title ends up as "MiaW", which is clever)

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Playing Spirit of the Century with my parents

Yesterday, I launched a new rpg adventure of Spirit of the Century (SotC)... with my parents.

We had already tried a game back in April, when they visited, as a way of showing them what roleplaying games are like, and because I felt like DMing a tabletop game, which I hadn't done in quite a while. Back then, sadly, my father was not really into it because he had something to do early in the next morning and it kept him preoccupied. But at my big surprise, my mother said she thought it was enjoyable, and not how she envisioned it. Of course, I made sure to cater to their preferences, avoiding big supernatural happenings, monsters or even combat. Even more surprising was when my mother asked, mid-game, if her character could use telekinesis. Accommodating, and happy to see such an unexpected thing, I agreed and we added this to the character: a toned down telekinesis power.

Back to now. I'm on vacation at my parents' and I brought my roleplaying materials, having asked beforehand if they were interested in a more complete rpg experience. And so we got to it last night. It started on a sour note as my dad was once again distracted by a coming storm (we're in the country and storms need to be prepared for). Thankfully, the storm was quiet enough and we got a whole evening of gaming.

I wanted to try an actual character creation (last time we just picked a few skills, vague character types and went on with it) and we spent about 2 hours on it. I limited it to three phases : youth, first adventure and common adventure. I introduced Aspects, but it was obviously a bit too complex so early on, so we worked together to work out what happened in each phase and I tried to come up with interesting Aspects from what had been said. We ended up with a famous french artist with mystic powers (mainly sixth sense and premonitions, but occasionally other things like telekinesis, by paying a Fate Point) and a bit of an investigative streak, and a son of a rich entrepreneur, all about charming and charging head on, not caring much about wasting money, but very attached to his own properties.

Once the characters were done, there was still some time, and I knew we could get the very first part of the adventure done... And I thought it was necessary to avoid the feeling that this session was "wasted" (apparently it really didn't feel like actual playing, and I can understand that).
The first part has the PCs called by a museum manager for a mission, but before anything is told, African tribal warriors crash into the room, looking for revenge upon the manager (who visibly stole some artifact from them). Combat ensues...

This was yet another new thing : battles. I knew my parents wouldn't be too much into such things, based on what they tend to like, and how they react to games I show to them, but I wanted to try it at least once. It went pretty quickly, with only 4 minions to beat up. Surprisingly, to me, my parents didn't hesitate using their firearms to get rid of the enemies. To keep things "clean", though, I always described things as non mortal wounds and without any gorey effects (I don't care much for them in a pulp setting, and I know it might have put them off). I tried to explain Maneuvers at that point, too, but it was too much, so we just ignored it.
In the end, two warriors were scared away as the mystical artist managed to tap into her telekinetic powers to crash a book shelf near them (she made incantation-like moves, pretending to be a sorceress of sorts), and the two others were taken care of by the rich son's rifle-cane. Very pulpy :)

The museum manager then explained the mission he had for them, and we just brushed over some preparations for the trip (we still had a few minutes and I thought it would allow us to jump straight into the action for the next session).

Overall, I'm very happy with this session! My father, in particular, who didn't seem into it at first, ended up with a well developed character and apparently had fun doing this. But really, even my mom seemed to get into it as I suggested possibilities for her powers and such (she doesn't like "weird stuff", but I guess some of it is fine).
I don't know how much the battle was enjoyed, if any. I'll have to ask. At least, it didn't seem to annoy at the time.

Next session will start with a car chase in the middle of a north african market, which should be quite involving since my dad's character has Drive as a skill :)


The scenario played is "L'Armée Perdue", a french scenario for Savage Worlds.

The characters novels were :
  • Aqua Martre and the Phantom of the Louvre: about the theft of many paintings, then returned... but as fakes! Aqua reveals they're fake and goes after the Phantom, but he eludes her, and one painting is still missing.
  • Alband Duchiron in The Theft of the Trophy: where Alband's well deserved golf trophy is stolen as he is about to receive it. It is retrieved after a thrilling car chase and Alband discovers the trophy was actually an ancient artifact disguised by a coat of fake gold.
  • Aqua Martre and Alband Duchiron against the Pacific Pirates: where both heroes meet for the first time, battling against modern pirates as they were sailing towards New York. Alband shows he doesn't care for mysticism and Aqua makes use of her innocent looks to deceive the pirates.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fate Heroes - Part 2 - Gnomes

Follow up to Part 1. We left our hero, Minuteman, victorious over a group of disorganized bank robbers and running to the rescue of Man-o-War, one of his Freedom Force buddies.

Intent : Go to the St Johns church and investigate
d10 (6) : no change (I assume a permanent Chaos Factor of 5 by the way)

For the ones who don't know Mythic, the above is where you declare what the next scene should logically be, then roll a dice which result tells you if it happens as is, or with a twist (scenes can be Altered or Interrupted).

Minuteman reaches the church after a few minutes spent crossing the town.

Are there signs of conflict? No -> The church and surroundings look undisturbed.
Are there people near the church? No -> No one is explicitely at the church... just passersby.

"Odd, it is as if nothing happened!" says Minuteman with suspicion.

He tries to contact Mentor through their telepathic link.

Setting note : Mentor is an alien with mental powers (duh, uh? :p), co-creator of Freedom Force and provider of many technological wonders. For more :

Does he reply? (very likely) Not at all

"Mentor? Mentor?! I... I don't feel the telepathic link at all anymore! What is going on?"
Minuteman is getting worried but decides to at least take a look inside the church before going back to the Freedom Fortress.

Is there something unusual inside the church? Yes
What exactly? (here I tried a random event to get an answer but it wasn't inspiring so I went back to questions)
Is the inside destroyed? Yes -> It didn't look like it from outside but the church is in a bad shape.
Does it look like the results of an explosion or hand-made destruction? No -> Furniture and statues have taken visible hits.
Is there someone visible in there? Absolutely -> There's more than one person!
Are they familiar? No
Do they look responsible for the damage? Yes -> They're still wrecking what's left standing.

What do they look like? (I tried picking a random word from the dictionary but, again, wasn't inspired, so I switched to a set of D&D monster types tables I adapted)
Came up with "Swarm Fey" -> It's a group of small humanoid creatures similar to lawn gnomes in size and garbs. They are crawling over statues, running around, smashing things and cackling. It's quite the chaotic vision!

They look busy enough and Minuteman would rather take them by surprise: he tries to sneak on the side, behind some intact benches.

Stealth vs Alertness : -1 vs 1. Not good for Minuteman!

FATE allows paying Fate Points in these cases and get either a +2 or a reroll. Problem is : you need to tag an appropriate Aspect (either of your character, of the scene or of another character). So at that point, I wanted to know more about the evil gnomes, in a slightly pushy way I admit:

Do the gnomes have an Aspect defining a focus on destruction such as "Destroy! Destroy!!!" (that could be tagged to mean they're not paying attention)? Not at all -> Obviously, it backfired ;)
Instead, they get an aspect for their "sensitive hearing". I also note to give them a few points in Alertness when I start defining their stats. In any case, Minuteman is not making this roll any better...

The steps of Minuteman echo through the church and the gnomes all turn their head at the same time, looking to the source of this noise.

Have they seen him?
Stealth vs Investigation : 1 vs 2

Yes, the gnomes have spotted Minuteman.

Do they attack? (very likely) -> Yes!
Are they 1 or 2 zones away? No -> They're near the altar while our hero is near the entrance, slightly to the side. That's 2 zones away.

Main skill of the gnomes : Melee or Athletics? No -> Athletics

Evil gnomes

Fair (+2) : Athletics
Average (+1) : Melee, Alertness

Aspects :
Sensitive hearing (invoke to notice sounds, can be tagged to confuse them with loud noises)
Creepy little brats (invoke for small size and persistence)

How many are there? 5+d6 (3) = 8 -> Two groups of 4 gnomes (+2 group bonus for each on all actions)

I don't want to go into too much detail for the actual fight, so I'll keep to the highlights. Mythic didn't have any role here, but FATE was there to provide some narrative incentive instead.

It starts with Minuteman lifting the bench he was trying to hide behind and waiting for the gnomes to come closer (2 zones is a bit far to throw items with FATE... not very superheroesy, but I'm planning to fiddle with this rule later). The gnomes all run towards our hero but (failing their Athletics checks) stumble over each other and fail to progress much.

Now that they're closer, Minuteman throws the bench on the bunch (huhu). He barely fails his roll
though (gets a total of 0 which isn't enough to deal damage) and has to invoke "Might makes right!" to get some damage done, killing two gnomes (they're groups of minions so attacks "go through").
In their counterattack, none of the groups manages to get anything done to Minuteman. Worse! They fail so much that he gets spin... twice! (it's a +1 on your next attack or defense). Even though no actual damage was done on the gnomes as a result, I described it as them being roughed around, thrown against walls or crushed under boots. Just enough to keep them at bay :)

Next round, Minuteman kills two gnomes again, but has to resort to invoking "For Freedom!" (saving Man-o-War being, in a way, For Freedom... Force!) to get a +2.

Mythic was used here to know if the gnomes were artificial or organic : mechanical lawn gnomes or actual gremlin-like horrors? They turned out to be organic, so more "splortch" than "crack".

Once again, none of the gnomes manages to land a hit. Since they're minions, they can't use Fate Points until they get one through the tagging of one of their Aspects... which never happened, so... no FPs for the gnomeys.

Since the fight was getting a bit long, I really wanted to finish this quickly and used yet another Fate Point (I kept getting 0's for some reason, thanks dice!). This time, two gnomes go flying through the church, landing behind the altar.
Finally, one of the remaining gnomes clings to Minuteman's leg and gets a bite.

But it's their last action as they end up crushed in the ground the next round.

I tried to make the fight as cinematic as possible in my head, acting out status quo and even failures of the dice as positive actions anyway, just not terribly effective ones (and definitely mechanically neutral ones). I've found that doing this helps staying focused on fights (especially long ones) and gives some ideas on how to use Aspects or what kind of Maneuvers to attempts. I haven't used Maneuvers so far, but they're basically the alternative to attacks that allow you to place a new Aspect and invoke it for free once if the roll succeeds. It's especially powerful with a team of PCs.

This said, this is where I stopped so far, a few inches from the end of Scene 2. Next scene should have Minuteman going back to the Freedom Fortress... if Mythic is willing :). I might continue this during my two weeks vacation starting next week, depending on mood and other occupations.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Spooks & Nanobots

After playing so much Dwarf Fortress, I obviously ended up slightly fed up with it (I just can't take things in moderation and that's how it usually ends up... thankfully I don't drink alcohol!).

Last time my friend came and made me want to try out Dragon's Lair again, he brought Still Life 2, an adventure game, to show it to me. I showed him one of the indie adventure games I discovered during the last years: Spooks. And yesterday, I felt like playing it again, knowing it wasn't extremely long. Once done, I remembered reading the author had made another game: Nanobots, and I went on to try this one too.


The game was made with Adventure Game Studio (AGS) by Erin Robinson, aka "The Ivy" and is about a young ghoul named Mortia visiting the Carnage Val in the Land of the Dead. It's gray all around and looks like lots of fun! Well... okay, no, actually Mortia is quite bored there, and her cynical take on things is not helping, though it's the source of many laughs.

Soon enough, Mortia is coerced into playing a seemingly harmless game of darts. What she does win is beyond all imagination : a fish... that is "alive"! Why isn't the fish gray like everything else? What does "alive" mean? Why are these strange authority officers looking for it? This is just too mysterious for Mortia to ignore and she decides she will help the little fish get out of there. But first, she must find out more about the word "alive".

Spooks grabbed me way back then because it looked so much like the adventure games of my teen years. It's full of pixelly goodness and of rather good quality. What it might lack in graphical polish, it makes up for with its style (it has a somewhat Tim Burton feel, for lack of a better comparison). And of course, it has funny dialogues, unique characters to meet, and puzzles!

The puzzles are not terribly hard but not incredibly easy either! It's just the right dosage to get your brains running without frying them up in frustration. The game is not very long (a few hours) and considering I'm an adult with a job, it's something I appreciate now. I'd say it's possible to finish in one sitting but it might take two if you get stuck.

Overall, it's a very good mix of all its parts, making a very nice adventure game. Apparently there's a even a sequel in the making!


Nanobots is also made with AGS and, as I said, by the same author. It's not always obvious wether an author can follow a good game by another good game, but I'm glad to say Erin has been on a roll, and hopefully will continue to be :)

This time, the story takes place in a dorm where Groovy Greg, a hippie student, is trying to finish his project: build robots that can love. What he ends up with are the Nanobots, a group of specialized tiny bots with an attitude. So much attitude that they keep bickering instead of working together. Greg is desperate as it means he will fail his grade, which his thesis professor, Mr Killfun, is quick to remind him. He is also quick to reveal a nefarious plan as soon as Greg leaves to get some rest: the professor plans to crush the Nanobots so that *he* can reveal his own LoveBot to the world! Muahaha--*ding!* Oh, coffee, I'll be back in a minute.

A good thing for the Nanobots that the professor is so unfocused as it gives them the time to hopefully make an escape! Except... they're on a desk, very far from the ground, and with no obvious way down. And they're still bickering. But it's time for them to unite their strengths to get out of this in one piece!

The games I was reminded of by Nanobots is the Goblins series because of how each character has a specialty and must work as a team to get through trouble. It's not *just* like Goblins though, as there's no "timed coordinated sequences" at all, and there are way more characters in the team AND they're really specialized. I thought it was interesting because it challenged you to think a bit differently.

One other difference is that each bot can only carry one item and can't drop them. They need to exchange with another bot if they need something else. This particular aspect was not my favorite as it got frustrating after a while. I suppose one important thing in adventure games is to make sure the player is not slowed down by the interface as he's already busy trying to solve puzzles. It still worked, but it could have been better. The only good side of it I found is that it created some (possibly) emergent puzzles of the "how the hell do I pick that up when my hands are full and no other bot can pick what I'm carrying?" variety. But really, even though I'm mentioning it, it's definitely a *cough* nano-problem compared to the whole thing :)

As with Spooks, most of the fun is in the dialogues, unique characters and cute graphics. Oh, there's even a "hidden" hint system in there ;). It helped me quite a bit.

The game is moderately difficult. I got really stuck twice and had to resort to a walkthrough. One of these I could have found by myself but my brain got stuck in one way of thinking that just prevented it. The other, I didn't regret, because I just wouldn't have figured it out. But every puzzle is logical so I don't think the game is at fault here.

Again, another very good adventure game, although it needs a bit of interface polish to remove some unneeded frustration here and there. I strongly recommend playing the tutorial by the way, as it teaches you the concept through an amusing scene.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fate Heroes - Part 1 - Bank Robbery

The adventure proper! All mechanics will be in italics. Descriptions/narration will be in regular text.

To start this adventure, I wanted a quick set up to immediately get into something fun. Mythic (and even Fate actually) works with Scenes. Since I had an idea for how it would start, I just established it and went with it :

Freedom Force (the team of superheroes of this setting) has detected a bank robbery in progress downtown. Minuteman has been sent to deal with it.

That's it. That's my input. From now on, I use Mythic to know what happens. So I start with a bunch of questions to get an idea of the surroundings. How do Mythic questions work? You ask a yes/no question and establish a probability (Likely, No way!, etc...) Then you roll a d100 and look up the results on the Fate Chart (not related to the Fate v3 system). If the number falls under the middle point, it's a Yes. Over it's a No. And to spice things up, extreme results (very close to 0 or 100) get you an Absolutely! and a Not at all!
Let's see how it goes.

Are the bandits already leaving? (50/50) No -> They're still in the building
Is the Police here? (likely) No (double) -> The Police is not here yet!

Here I get a double (rolled 88). Usually you'd compare 8 to a "Chaos Factor" but I don't use it. For me, double = random event, always. Random events are rolled on specific tables. They give you the type and then they give you very vague words that you interpret given the context.

Random event : PC Positive, Be careful / Enemies -> The bandits haven't heard any sirens yet, so they are focusing on gathering money and not looking outside at all. They don't notice Minuteman one bit.

Are the glass doors tinted? (not sure of the word here : I mean hard to see through glass) Not at all -> got an extreme result here. The glass is crystal clear and one can perfectly see what's going on inside.

Are there many bandits in there? Yes. I roll a 2d6 and get 5, 1 = 6 bandits inside.

Do they have an apparent leader? Not at all! -> another extreme result I take as the bandits being terribly disorganized. Some of them might be tempted to turn on their pals if need be.

I get another double (99) on this question which means another random event!

Random event : Remote event, Betray / Investment -> One of the clerks, noticing how disorganized they are, tries to trick them with fake paper money.

(note : I didn't use "Remove event" properly here, as it's supposed to be something taking place quite elsewhere.... but hey, when it fires up your imagination, I call it fair game)

Do the bandits notice this? Absolutely! (double) -> Nearby bandits immediately notice it.

Random event : Ambiguous event, Create / Notoriety -> ambiguous events are meant to be "something rather irrelevant". Also, here I decided to pick a random word from a dictionary (some Mythic players use an encyclopedia or thesaurus) to get an idea about what it was. I ended up with "tour"
-> Out of nowhere, an advertisement van drives past the bank, with a booming announcement of some music band's next tour in town.

Not sure how the bandits might react to this, I ask a Mythic complex question (the Verb/Subject type you've seen for most random events so far) :
How do the bandits react? Oppress / Dreams -> The loud noise makes them jump and puts them on edge. Turning back to the clerk who tried to trick them, they get very threatening.

And that's my cue to act...

Minuteman, seeing things are getting ugly, decides to intervene, and quick! He will try to get the effect of surprise by charging through the glass doors.

Are the doors reinforced? (somewhat likely) Yes -> I use this to decide the glass Quality is not Poor (-1) but Mediocre (0)

Here I finally use FATE to roll skills and such. Crashing through glass doors will be Might (+3) vs Door Quality (0). I roll a +2 (FATE uses Fudge dice and you roll four of them, which gets you a result like so : + . . +, a plus, nothing, nothing, a plus = two plusses). This makes Minuteman's Might at +5 for this roll, against the Mediocre 0... It's a clear success and I even get spin (+3 shifts or higher over the target). Spin means it was a frank success!

Minuteman jumps through the doors bursting into many pieces, with a loud crash. He ends up in the middle of the room, met by a shocked silence. The bandits are so stunned they don't even react.

Minuteman gets a free surprise round thanks to his great roll (my decision).

He charges the thug nearest to the threatened clerk and smacks him with his staff, the Patriot.

Melee (+4) vs Thug's Quality (0) : roll -1 +4 = +3 vs 0

(note : I decided the thugs were just Mediocre, having 0 at all their stats for now)

The thug has no time to react one bit and is struck by the staff, sent rolling over the counter, on the clerk's side, knocked out. The five remaining bandits are finally getting out of their stupor.

(note : I also decided thugs would be Minions, which means they have no stress track ; one hit and they're gone)

Do some of the thugs have machineguns? Not at all! -> Actually, two of them only have knives. The others have regular guns.
Note : I decided guns would be "on par" with superheroes, while machineguns would start giving bonuses. A human with a knife, though, would get a damage malus.

So that makes one group of 2 thugs with knives and one group of 3 thugs with guns.

I roll init and get this order : Minuteman, Knives, Guns

Is one group at a distance? Yes -> random choice : the gun guys are further away

Minuteman runs towards the gun-equipped thugs, judging them more threatening for the citizens in the room.

Melee (+4) -1 (I moved to their zone) VS thug's quality (0) +1 (group bonus) : I get 4 vs -2, which gives 6 shifts for me, which is a spin (and even a double spin!).

The protector of the country moves lightning fast, no giving the thugs any time to defend. The strikes are overwhelming and three bodies drop to the ground, grunting in pain.

Note : when such weak Minions are grouped together, each stress you inflict takes one of them out. With 6 shifts, I could have beaten them up twice :)

Do the remaining thugs insist on taking on Minuteman? No

They look at each other... look at their pitiful blades... and decide a bunch of fresh air would suit them well.

End of fight.

Has the Police arrived since then? (Likely) No

But the Police isn't there yet and Minuteman can't just let these criminals run away : he goes after them immediately.

Since I had double spin on my last action and it couldn't be used in combat, I use it here to say Minuteman is already close on their heels before I even roll for pursuit.

Athletics (+3) vs Athletics (0) : 0 vs 0

The bandits run as if it was their last day on Earth... so much that even Minuteman can only keep up with them. Of course, Minuteman could hold this speed for quite a long time and wait until they tire, but there's no sense in wasting time this way. He raises his staff and energy crackles at the tip. In a wide sway, he launches the projectile, an energy eagle, towards the fleeing criminals.

Minute Missile power (+2) vs Athletics (0) : 4 vs 2 -> 2 shifts
Amusingly, the Minute Missile attack in Freedom Force is a chain one, and so it perfectly makes sense I would get two knock outs from this attack (they're Minions and even though it's not a proper battle, we can consider them grouped, thus damage "goes through" the whole group).

The eagle speeds through the air, smacking the first thug in the head before ricocheting to the second one. Both stumble from the shock and roll to the ground, out. Minuteman unhurriedly catches up and brings them back to the bank after taking off their weapons.

How much time does the Police take to come? I use a base of 1 minute and use the absolute value of 4 Fudge dice (they can yield -4 to +4, so 0 to 4 with the absolute value, with 4 being very rare). I get +3, which means 3 shifts on the time ladder, which gives half an hour.

Since the Police has not yet arrived after five minutes, Minuteman asks the bank employees for help in tying up the bad guys. It's only half an hour later that the first Police car makes an appearance.

"Glad to see you officer! But if you don't mind my asking... what took you so long?"

Complex question : Emprison / Freedom

"We would have been here earlier if we hadn't had to deal with yet another lunatic! One of your teammates got captured as he was fighting him off!"

I asked "is it a man or woman" to know if I should type "him" or "her". Also, I must note here that I first interpreted the complex question differently, thinking "some villain put most of the town cops in their own cells" or something. And then I noticed how "Freedom" could just be "Freedom Force", the team of superheroes... and it seemed much more interesting ;)

"One of my teammates? Who?!"

Here I made a list of heroes from Freedom Force and randomly picked one : Man-o-War. He's a gruff ex-sailor who got super powers as he was dealing with a stowaway on his fishboat, the Man-o-War. Both him and the stowaway, a young girl, got hit by Energy X and gained powers from it (which saved them from a large wave in a timely manner, of course). In the game, he has a Sean Connery like voice.

"It's the old man, err... Mano... Manu...?" replies the officer, unsure
"Man-o-War! I must help him at once! Where did this happen?" asks Minuteman, alarmed.

Complex question : Create / Love

"In front of the St Johns church!"

And so, Minuteman runs to the church, hopping from building to building, after leaving the bank robbers to the care of the Police. Man-o-War captured?! And who is this new villain? All will be revealed... in the next episode!

That's where I decide to end the first scene of the game. And thus, that's when I need to note down a list of open threads and NPCs. The lists are used by Mythic to define who or what is involved in some random events.

Threads : Investigate at St Johns church, Save Man-o-War!, Discover who the new villain is
NPCs : The Police force, Man-o-War, the new villain, the bank robbers

And that's where I'll stop for this post. I'll write up the second scene sometime soon!

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Fate Heroes - Part 0b - Minuteman

That's it! I'm finally ready to tackle my Fate Heroes report!

Read this if you don't know what I'm talking about. To sum it up, I will be solo-roleplaying a superhero adventure, playing Minuteman, a Freedom Force character, using the Fate v3 system and Mythic.


Here are the stats for Minuteman. I use the regular Fate ladder that goes from Mediocre (0) to Superb (+5).


Superb (+5) : Resolve
Great (+4) : Leadership, Melee
Good (+3) : Might, Athletics, Powers (10 pts)
Fair (+2) : Endurance, Alertness, Science, ?
Average (+1) : Ranged, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?

Everything else being at Mediocre (0).
  • Powers is a skill I use to represent how super powered an individual is. It's specific to my Fate Heroes variation.
  • The interrogation marks are skills I haven't decided upon yet. If during the adventure I see I don't have a skill I need to roll for and that Minuteman would likely be at least somewhat good at, I'll add it in these slots.
Health : ooooo oo OOO
Composure : ooooo ooooo OOO

I get into a bit more details about the Health and Composure track below but it's not mandatory read to follow the adventure, so feel free to skip if you don't like crunch ;)

The little circles (usually boxes but it's easier to type) represent stress. Each time you get physically diminished, you tick the box corresponding to the level of stress taken. If you take 1 stress you tick the first box. If you take 3 stress, you tick the third box (and only the third one!). If a box you should tick is already ticked, you "roll up", ticking the next free one.
Finally, when no more boxes are left, you get into Consequences, the big circles here. Whenever stress rolls up over your stress boxes, you tick the next Consequence box. While stress boxes merely represent fatigue or little nicks, consequences get more and more serious. You might be out of breath, then have a wide bleeding wound and finally broken legs.
If you still get stress past that point, you're Taken Out. Doesn't have to mean death, but you're still out of the picture.
For the composure track, it's exactly the same but with the mental (fear, keeping your wits about, etc...)

Powers (10 pts to distribute)

Hyper leap (+3) : regular characters use Athletics to run and jump like most people would. The Hyper leap power allows incredible jumps like hopping up to a roof and down from there, or crossing large distances with a single leap (possibly avoiding many land obstacles).
National Guard (+3) : not yet well define. My idea is that it puts a "Protected from bullets" aspect on Minuteman
Minute Missile (+2) : not yet sure either. For now, it's an alternative to the Ranged skill that can be used to damage or to place a "Dizzied" aspect on someone (the Minute Missile is an energy bold in the shape of an eagle that stuns people)

  • For Freedom!
  • I must take care of Liberty Lad
  • The Reds must be stopped!
  • Might makes right
  • Protecting the people of Earth
  • The Patriot (his staff)
  • Used to conceive H-bombs
  • No one left behind
  • "I'm tired of these antics!"
  • Eternal Vigilance (tag to protect from bullets)

I won't go into too much details as these might change and because you need to know a few things from the Freedom Force game to get some of them. I'll try to explain them when I use them. But as for what Aspects are to begin with, well... here's the official description. To sum it up, it's a descriptor of the character's behavior, beliefs, and things important to him. In game, when a die roll is low, you can pay a Fate Point, invoke an appropriate Aspect and you'll get either a +2 to the roll or get to reroll it. It's a story tool that says "my character should do well on this task because..." the same way movie characters do. For now, let's just say it's one of the best parts of the Fate system as it makes non statistical elements have an effect on the game ;)

Fate Points

They allow me to invoke/tag/compel Aspects (Minuteman's but also others!) to get +2 to a roll, reroll or even force someone to act in a certain way. I get 1 point per defined Aspect (10 aspects maximum), which makes it 10 Fate Points.

There! I think I have it all. That's who I'll be playing through the adventure. Next post, the adventure itself! (never thought it'd take so long to get there)

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