Saturday, January 25, 2014

Four-Color FAE: Supers Gaming via Fate Accelerated - pt8

In part 8 of the series, I present the idea of using Fate's Concession mechanic liberally in our game, rather than 'fighting to the death' like is standard in traditional RPG's.
  • See the whole Four-Color FAE series here
Concessions before Consequences

Stop me if you've heard this one before:

The hero enters into a conflict with the villain, but before anyone takes any real and lasting injuries, the villain gets away scott-free with whatever their goal was (usually some form of loot, mcguffin or maybe a hostage).

What, you've heard it before?

Well, of course you have: it's a staple scene of heroic fiction. And as superhero comics are an extension of heroic fiction in general, in comic books this sort of scene happens all the time.

In Fate terms, this sort of scene would be the result of the hero (or heroes) offering a Concession; a means in Fate by which one can end a conflict before anyone is 'Taken Out':

The world of four-color heroes involves lots and lots of dangerous action, but the participants are rarely (if ever) permanently harmed. In our game, this would be modeled via Fate's system of offering concessions.

It's great to keep this mechanic in mind as we play. Although it may not feel right at first to 'fail' in a particular scene ("Wait - I can't give up; they have the magic idol AND my girlfriend!"), it's common in the fiction to fail-forward; and this sort of thing is fully supported in Fate.

If you ever seem in danger of taking a lasting (Moderate +) consequence, feel free to offer a Concession, take your Fate Points, and keep things moving forward.

You might not stop them at the museum, but you might stop them at their secret lair; you might not stop them at their secret lair, but you can stop them at the docks. Show up with a big pile of Fate Points, and sooner or later, things are going to go your way.

You are heroes, after all. That's how it works.