Friday, January 17, 2014

Four-Color FAE: Supers Gaming via Fate Accelerated - pt1


Roughly four months after posting my first supers build (and my first Google+ post!) using Fate Accelerated, I'm finally going to be running my first supers game using the system here in Seattle. 
Needless to say, I'm stoked!  
To introduce my players to my concepts using the system, I have been posting a series of 'primers' to our game community. Seeing as they might be of use to others as well, I am also sharing these to the site. Note that I will be covering some of the same ground covered by earlier site posts, but specifically tailored to what the system brings to a supers game.
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Power Facts in Fate Accelerated

As in all Fate games, the most powerful aspect of Aspects is the ability to Establish Facts:
http://fate-srd.com/fate-accelerated/aspects-fate-points#establishing-facts

In our game, these are often expressed with Power Facts: truths about the character's powers.

Although these facts do not change the effectiveness of the uses of Approaches (your approach level and stunts impact that), the scope of what you can do is largely impacted by your Aspects, as defined by power facts.

Let's look at Miss Martian, whose character sheet appears in the link.


Her power facts state that as a Martian she has the following abilities:
  • Shape-shifting: She can change her form, completely altering her physical appearance, including her organic clothing, allowing her to mimic other people as well as adapt to different environments.
  • Malleability: She can extend her limbs into large whips to grab things at great distance.
  • Healing: Her shape-shifting allows her to heal faster than a human would. 
  • Camouflage: She can change the appearance of her form (and her clothes) to match her surroundings, but she is not completely invisible.
  • Super strength: Like all Martians, Miss Martian has strength above that of a typical human.
  • Telepathy: Telepathy comes naturally to Martians. She can create a telepathic link with her teammates, which makes communications easier and untraceable. Megan can also telepathically connect with her Bio-Ship.
  • Multilingualism: Megan can speak Martian and English. She can also translate languages psychically. 
  • Telekinesis: Megan can use telekinesis to manipulate many objects with her mind. However, she can lose control when moving too many objects at once or not paying enough attention. By telekinetically moving herself, she can simulate flight. 
  • Heat/Fire Sensitive: Miss Martian can be weakened when exposed to direct heat or fire
This is, to be fair, an overwhelmingly MASSIVE list of abilities, all granted by a single aspect. Surely this is broken character compared to someone like Robin who is limited to what his wits and agility alone allows him?

Yes....and no. As noted above she is still limited in the use of all of these abilities by the strength of her approaches and stunts, just like any other character.

This is the beauty of Fate in many ways: even with all of these vast powers she is ultimately using the same four actions available to anyone else, and is no stronger in general at them than anyone else. It's just the permissions of what these actions can mean narratively is expanded by her powers.

When we get to making characters in our game, the following questions should be addressed:
  • What can your powers do?
  • How do they work and/or why can you do these things?
  • What limits can be compelled on them?
As long as the three questions above can be answered, you have created a great set of powers for the game. :-)


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Next up: Approaches vs Skills in Fate. In the interim, feel free to check out the Miss Martian build below via Google Docs.

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Miss Martian (Google Docs)