So. Given the success of SWING I’m thinking about future FATE projects and about the nature of the FATE system and what criticisms and thoughts have come up in the feedback. To be honest, SWING isn’t as ‘fat’ as it appears. The decision to go half-size made it somewhat more than twice as thick, turning it into a brick, but the glaring ‘flaw’ in FATE’s ‘easy’ credentials is the massive amount of space that goes into the stunts, their descriptions and their implementations.
I think the solution to this may be to make stunts, other than specialist stunts, into more generic bonuses and let a lot of the stunt ‘weight’ get pulled by aspects. Let’s face it, a lot of stunts could be handled by aspects, especially if we loosen up the FATE points economy like I did in SWING. Let the stunts become things like generic +2 bonuses, superhuman or supernatural abilities, initiative bonuses and a few other generic things like extra stress or consequences. Aspects can handle things like being a natural linguist, eidetic memories and so on and stunts can go into inherent ‘edges’ and things like equipment and ships.
With that gumph cut out you free up a lot of space, without gutting the system back to a skeleton as happened with ICONS. That leaves you more room to establish a setting – though I’m always in two minds about leaving a game open for people to put their own spin on it or weaving my own background for people to play in. I’m never sure quite which approach to take because while people are free to ignore any background that they want to they don’t seem to like to do that. Equally there’s a number of people who want a strong, canonical background that’s well written. It’s a puzzle.
I’m hoping SWING represents a new era for Postmortem Studios, it’s a truly popular product that can only get more popular once I get it into broader distribution. I’m adjusting to the whole ‘thing’ of supporting a popular line, though it’s taking a bit of adjustment. Usually I flit from one idea to the next, onto the next thing one after another. That’s just the way my brain works. There’s only so much time I have for everything I have to do as a one-man show and another big adjustment this last year has been in ‘letting’ other people work for me.
Wish me luck!