Let’s Play With Fate Solo

Confession time. I have never played Fate. At all. I picked up the Accelerated version for dirt cheap (compared to other RPGs) and I was interested in playing it. But, it never came. Then, the Solo Roleplayer came out and with it, Fate Solo. Now, I can play Fate and have an Engine built exclusively for the system.

The thing is, which setting to play in. For those not in the know, Fate is a universal RPG, meaning that it can be applied to any kind of genre, story, and what have you. Fortunately, Evil Hat has provided several settings for me to play in. Enter Save Game, the closest thing we’re getting to Wreck-It-Ralph: The RPG. While it has a nice campaign story, I have been meaning to play out my own little scenario that for some reason my brain dreamed up, in which I get into a theatre to watch Wreck-It Ralph, only to find this plot instead of the movie’s actual plot.

The basic gist? Disney vs. Warner Brothers. It goes on to be a bit more complex than this, but basically either Daisy or Peach from Super Mario Bros. gives birth to Mickey Mouse, who, because Wreck-It Ralph is a Disney film, is essentially Jesus Christ. Everyone’s rejoicing and being happy, then Bugs Bunny steps in, and since he’s Warner Brothers’ main mascot/JC, he declares war on the Nintendo/Disney characters because of blaspheme.

Yes. My subconscious thought of this. And I can never understand why. The only thing I can do is try to bring closure to the dream, as the dream ended with me actually reading someone’s actual play of this exact setting. I figured I might as well invoke a self-fulfilling prophecy and do it myself. So, let’s play a game in which the plot seems to feel more like a Robot Chicken sketch than an actual Disney Movie.

But first, I need to create my character. My idea is that he’s a hapless video game character who, by the end of this session, will decide whether to side with Nintendo/Disney or Sony/Warner Brothers. I’m going to follow the creation rules of Fate Solo, which is basically “beef up your character like no tomorrow”, so I will put up his Sheet for those interested. First, we do Aspects.

After looking through the examples, I figured out what High Concept I’d want: Cyborg Soldier, a sort of mesh between the Space Soldiers of Halo and the Tech-based Soldiers of Titanfall. His Trouble is that he’s not a playable character, but rather an NPC with a set AI personality (“kill the player”) that he’s trying to override but still succumbs to from time to time. In short: AI Is A Crapshoot. Next are my skills. His Goal Aspect will be related to this: A Whole New Paige. His fourth and fifth Aspects are as follows: Between Two Worlds (Reflecting his stance in the Disney/WB Conflict) and Fugitive from Haloid (reflective of his backstory). I will also add Advanced Heart-Rate Seeking AI for my sixth Aspect, since it reflects Paige’s backstory as well.

I guess I’ll do the Phase Trio.

Haloid is the newest FPS game from Funco Industries. The game boasted to have intelligent AI that senses the player’s heart rate to gauge adrenaline, fear, and even health. The game got major controversy when it’s revealed that the AI was stolen from the National Institute of Mental Health and modified to identify heart rates instead of brainwaves. Funco was shut down, but not before Haloid got a cult following.

Aspect Gained from this: Advanced Heart-Rate Seeking AI.

In it, players play a gunner that they can name themselves and even assign gender to. They are assigned to infiltrate the HQ of Zaplas Corporation headed by an alien race whose leader is played by famed celebrity Sean Bean. No need to guess what happens to said alien leader. However, Zaplas is protected by mooks from both human and alien origins. Paige was just one of the countless members to confront the gunner. However, he was the only one to be spared, as the person playing the Gunner at the time was rushing it. He wound up escaping the world of Haloid, but now the Gunner is turning their guns to him as the last surviving member of Zaplas.

Aspect Gained from this: Fugitive from Haloid.

Out of the game, Paige wandered the worlds looking for a job. However, this was not long after Mickey Mouse’s birth and the declaration of war from Bugs Bunny. As such, he fell into a war Between Two Worlds. Paige just wants to be left alone. He doesn’t wish to be in any such war. But, he must run. Run for the rest of his life.

Aspect Gained from this: Stuck in a War Between Two Worlds.

Seventh will be filled during Gameplay. Now onto Skills.

  • Superb: Shoot (He’s tasked with shooting a gun, so it’s naturally his best skill)
  • Great: Run, Jump
  • Good: Punch, Sneak, Item
  • Fair: Block, Taunt, Chat, Spot
  • Average: Fix, Wreck, Respawn, Idle, Kick

The Save Game only provides eleven skills, so the last four I had to improvise. Next are stunts. Fate Solo tells me to do two more than what Save Game is giving me.

  • Trick Shot: Unlocks “Overcome” for the Shoot Skill.
  • Suppressive Fire: Unlocks “Defend” for the Shoot Skill.
  • Run and Gun: +2 to attack with Shoot Skill if the previous success was a Run skill.
  • Fastest Gun in Space: Always take the first action in this conflict.
  • Quick Time Event: +2 to attack with Shoot Skill when involved in a one-on-one duel.

Alright, let’s put it all together into a character sheet. Continue reading

The Fate Random Event System

Hey everyone. I’ll be doing Fate Solo for my next game and I had the idea of working on a Random Event system to go along with Fate Solo. So, here’s a brief system for random event generation, if you’re a big fan of that.

The first step is triggering the event. A good rule of thumb is that if the dice faces all have +s, -s, or blanks, then a Random Event is triggered. The only exception is getting blanks when asking a question, as you instead get to choose what answer you want. When asking a question, roll your dice like usual. If all the faces are +s or –s, you get a random event. Simple as that.

Although, that’s just one way. Another way is to do a Scene Roll. Every new scene, roll 2dF. If the results are 2 +s, 2 –s, or 2 blanks, you get a random event. If you feel like this is happening too frequently, you can add an additional Fate die. I’ve did some calculations, and you’re bound to get a random event 30% of the time you do a scene roll with two Fate Dice. Continue reading

Let’s Write A Story About Beloved

Hey everyone. I originally had an idea in mind for what I’d do for Valentine’s Day and play Beloved, a rather cute and funny game where you play as a hero trying to beat undefeatable monsters, only to find that the damsel he’s trying to save is not his beloved, and each time you try again and again, you face even more unbeatable monsters, until you finally settle on a damsel you rescue (each time you do this, the damsel you rescue next will have one more trait that’s like your beloved).

I do have to say, it makes for some very hard-hitting brain teasers, such as “how can I beat this monster?” to more dramatic stuff like “do I push on, even though these monsters I face next will be even tougher?” and in the end it practically asks how much you love your beloved. It makes for an even crazier brain-teaser when you realize you are in control of how these monsters are unbeatable. Will you base them off a popular character; one you know is close to impossible to beat without quick thinking, clever planning, or even a last minute Deus Ex Machina? Will you start simple (a red dragon) but make the enemies more complex as time goes on (half-red-dragon Tarrasque brought back from the Shadowfell)?

Thing is, I’m not sure how to best do this for a replay blog outside of me posting a small story blurb about a fight between the hero and the monster(s) he’s fighting, then repeat that until the hero or I am satisfied with the damsel we rescued. I worry that I might not get the best ideas in my head for how I should make each monster unbeatable in their own way, and if I do, chances are I already have a good strategy of how to beat them in mind.

So I do what I always do when in doubt regarding the RPG: research. And what I found blew my mind. You remember when I said that the game provoked thoughts as simple as defeating a monster to something as complex as settling for less or pushing for more? The author of the RPG, Ben Lehman, has a lot of other RPGs that have this dramatic thought process. Hell, one of his latest RPGs is essentially a LARP scenario where you have one last video chat with a recently deceased loved one. This post explains in more ways than one about how thought-provoking Ben’s RPGs can become. One of his quotes regarding the RPG Polaris actually makes him seem like the RPG equivalent to Lemony Snicket.

What helped me decide on what to do for Valentine’s Day was this session done by the author himself and the discussion of Beloved, in which some people also talk about what the theme of the game is. I should stick to playing the game, but not in the way you think. I will write a narrative prose in tribute to the game and a possible theme it presents. For added challenge, I will do it in media res. Without further to say, let’s begin. Continue reading

Kan Colle Knights

Guys. I don’t know what to say for this.

Do I start with a history lesson on Imperial Japan’s warships before I segue into wacky high-school hijinx? Do I just lay out the premise of this sensation? Or do I just go ahead and play the game? I guess I’ll do all of the above.

The Pacific War has been seen as the final stages to the turning point of war as it introduced the very weapon that will forever define war: the atom bomb. Of course, the war was also known for the theatre of war being dominated in the seas and the skies. Japan’s warships are no exception, as they were fierce, mighty, powerful, adorable, titanic… wait, what? Yeah. Adorable. As in someone had the idea to take the warships and turn them into human girls. Okay, I know I can just end it with “Oh, Japan”, but to be frank, that’s an overdone joke.

The Kantai Collection, or Kancolle for short, is a game where you play as the admiral of a fleet of girls reincarnated from the very warships that served Japan’s army during the Second World War as you take on a monstrous army of ships and aircraft called the Abyssal Fleet. Of course, hardships are common as you will have ships sink, tears shed, and blood spilled. It’s a pretty popular franchise and it has even been given a tabletop RPG adaptation.

But what makes this featured on this blog site is that it is able to do solo. Yes. Solo Ship Girls. So, for those keeping track, I did a World War I RPG so now it’d make sense for me to do a World War II RPG. Which would also mean I’ll do a Cold War RPG at some point in the near future. Wonder what theme what would entail…

The game begins by picking out our ships. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t seem to provide character creation rules. I’m trying my hardest to do research, but I’m ending up with nothing. The closest thing I got is this post detailing a bit of how it works. Though that said, the game provides tons of girls for me to use and I can choose up to three. So, let’s pick them out, shall we?

… Thirty characters and I have not the slightest of ideas who to pick. My gut instinct tells me to pick out the characters I know from the show, so Nagato, Fubuki, and Kongou (because there’s no Mutsuki or Kisaragi in the list), or pick characters with traits I can see combining well. Because of the fact that I’ve only seen about an episode of Kancolle (okay, two episodes, but I skipped a chunk of both episodes), I’ll go with option B.

We’ll be going with an all-battleship army of three, since Battleships are the best ships in the vessel, that and I get to say “you sunk my battleship!”

Yes, this anime can get emotional at times.

… Too soon? Well, as it turns out, there are three Kongou-class Battleships… One of them is named Kongou. Yes. Don’t look at me, I don’t make up the names. To be fair, this is based in Japanese history and there really was a naming scheme where a group of similar ships would be named after one of them, so you have Kongou-class ships, Nagato-class ships, Fubuki-class ships… Etc.

The way traits work in the game is pretty interesting. Instead of working off stats to do rolls, you use traits for task resolutions. How this works is that there’s a chart and your character only has up to five traits. When you’re asked to make a task resolution, it will be based off a certain trait. Your job is to find out how many spaces on the chart your closest trait is to that trait, and that will be your set DC. On top of this, there are defect traits that are bad for your character. They don’t end well. I really want to play the game just to test this out. But for now, here are the traits my group has: Continue reading

Test Driving The CRGE Engine

Hey everyone. This is going to be a bit of a special playtest, since it’s literally a playtest. Conjecture Games’ founder, Zach Best, asked if I can test out the Conjectural Roleplaying Gamemaster Emulator, or CRGE for short. I agreed and here we are. The RPG I’m playing with this is another movie-based title: There Is No Spoon, by Steve Darlington. Unlike Ghostbusters, I do not have a starting scenario in mind, so any story I have will be generated by CRGE.

One thing I will note right now is that there is a section that addresses the paradox of solo RPG being more of a GM’s job than a PC’s job and makes a suggestion of how to separate GM knowledge from PC knowledge, which I give kudos for. One thing I also found interesting was a section devoted to multiplayer Play-By-Post RPGs. I am actually a veteran of PbP RPGs and that I believe is where I got my start to roleplaying. There’s a lot of nice information regarding what to do when solo roleplaying, including whether to ask a big question or ask smaller questions revolving around a bigger one.

Perhaps the most important is the advice of always asking “why” after your questions are answered. Most games I played never tell this to me, but instead say “conclude from there your answer”. For example, if I were to ask Mythic if this door is locked and it says yes, it will just tell me “the door is locked. What do you do?”, but if I ask CRGE the question, it will instead say “Yes, but why is it locked?” It’s pretty thought-provoking and I like it for that. In fact, that is actually how I’ll begin this game, by asking why. Continue reading