Sunday, January 19, 2014

Four-Color FAE: Supers Gaming via Fate Accelerated - pt3

In part three I examine the Approaches of Fate Accelerated vs the Skills offered in Fate Core.
Part 1 can be found here.
Part 2 linked here.

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Approaches vs Skills in Fate 
That's goddamned right.
When looking at FAE vs Fate Core, the first question asked is usually:

"Wait - but what can I do?"

This a reasonable question. Although Fate 2.0+ handily replaced the standard Stat + Skill rubric used by traditional RPG's with just Skills, FAE goes another step further still by saying:

"What you can do isn't interesting - it's HOW you do it that matters in the fiction."

But this still leaves open the question: what can you do? And what do you do well, or not so well?

As noted in my previous post discussing Power Facts, aspects are asked to do an extraordinary amount of the heavy-lifting in FAE; in-fact, much of what is defined by Skills and Extras in Fate Core.

Therein lies the answer: you can do what your aspects say that you can do. How you do them, and how well, is defined by the strength of your approaches:

  • Sneaky: Stealth, Deceit and Misdirection
  • Clever: Intellect, Games and Puzzles
  • Quick: Speed, Agility, and Fast Decisions
  • Careful : Wisdom, Awareness, and the Measured answer
  • Forceful: Strength of Body and Will, the direct approach
  • Flashy: Charismatic, Obvious and Overt actions.

What are the benefits of approaches vs skills then?

Approaches reinforce the main goal of Fate in a key way: by underlining Character Competence.

When you are using your primary or secondary approach to achieve a task, you are both confirming your character's competency at this sort of task, and confirming your character's preferred method of resolving issues. Both are great for role-playing, and underline what is already great about Fate as a system.

Coming back to the original question though: where are your skills? What can you do, and not do so well?

The answer is that the Skills are still there, but they now appear in the background. The question of whether you prefer to Provoke your opposition (a Forceful approach) or use Rapport (a Flashy approach), or simply to Deceive them (Sneaky) is based largely upon what your preferred approach happens to be.

The scope of where these actions might be applied, and how, is largely defined by Aspects and Stunts, as per Fate Core.

So in summation: what can you do in Fate Accelerated? The answer is this: you can do whatever you can justify narratively, just like in every previous version of the game.

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Additional reading:

Fred Hicks on 'One-Note Approaches'
Clark Valentine on FAE “vs” Core