#RPG Granular FATE

3359095-twd1FATE is a very adaptable and useful system but it does lack some aspects (ha, ha) that limit its usefulness in some regards. As a pick-up-and-play system it’s accessibility is worth a great deal but for more experienced players or those who enjoy a bit more system granularity or grittiness it has a few issues.

Here’s some idle thoughts on how to possibly address some of these issues.

In order to increase granularity in the system, it’s necessary to increase its ‘range’. As standard, FATE rolls four FATE dice (or 2d6 one taking away from the other) giving a range of +/-4 (or 5) from your starting point. Doubling this range simply means doubling the amount of dice rolled, eight FATE dice or, if you prefer 2d10 (one taking away from the other) giving a range of +/-8 (or 9).

Difficulty on The Ladder would range from +15 to -4.

Granular games tend to be aiming for a more ‘realistic’ or ‘simulationist’ approach and as such bonuses and rules for FATE points and Aspects should remain the same, rather than being doubled. As such, Refresh, number of Stunts and so forth should also remain the same.

Characters have the usual Aspects and Stunts. They get double the normal number of skill points (40) and if you use the pyramid it would break down like this.

One +8 Skill.
Two +6 Skills.
Three +4 Skills.
Four +2 Skills.

Stress (Physical and Mental) starts at 4 with the usual number of consequences, though their value is doubled.

Each two points in Will of Physique adds one point of Stress to its appropriate Stress track, at 10 an additional Mild Consequence is added.

Shifts  & Style
Succeeding with style (five or more shifts) has all the usual benefits, but additionally can be used to smack enemies with temporary negative aspects or to do two points of damage (filling in the next lowest available stress box, if there is one, next highest otherwise).

Weapons & Gear
Typical weapons range from 1-8, which allows for a greater range of effect. Where, for example, in normal FATE a dagger and a shortsword might both be rated at 2, with the extended range you can split this between 3 for the dagger and four for the shortsword. Since weapon Aspects aren’t as powerful, they should also be more standard and should get a free activation each combat scene, perhaps on index cards with little tick-boxes marked on them.