Jul 18, 2013

In Which I Rave About Fate Core

I'm not a massive Kickstarter person. I only back the odd project and typically only ones by companies I've already dealt with somehow.

A while ago I backed Evil Hat's Kickstarter for Fate Core, and my copy arrived the other week.

This book is so pretty, you guys. It's a wonderfully compact size with a gorgeous blue cover with a matte finish. The artwork is all new and the interior layout makes everything so easy to follow and understand.

As a fan of the Fate system, I'm thrilled to see it presented so cleanly. There are lots of subtle changes and clarifications to make the system easier to understand and explain. I think my favourite adjustment is that Evil Hat have provided the single best description of Aspects I've ever seen. They are the reasons we should be interested in your character.

Wow. So simple.

That's something you can apply to so much. Not just any tabletop game, but also to writing. Every character should have several reasons why people would want to see more of their story. Without that, they'll never reach their full potential. It's not what a character can do or what they look like that sets them apart. It's the reasons we find their story compelling.

I like that the book is presented as a toolkit rather than a strict rulebook. You are given the pieces with which to create whatever game you want, leaving the grittier details like magic or superpowers to the players, and advising groups to decide for themselves what rules they want to take as written and what rules they want to tweak. I can imagine that really helping to give a particular game its own idenity, rather than, for example, just another fantasy game, but with the Fate system.

Included in the book is a Veterans' Guide at the back, where players with previous Fate experience can see what's new at a glance. Brilliant idea, and again, such a simple thing that makes things so much easier for players.

As a bonus, there was a high quality bookmark included which features, on one side, a concise, but complete, summary of the base rules of the game.

If you're a Fate fan, buy a copy. It's worth having for the rules clarifications alone, many of which I'm porting over to my Dresden Files campaign.

If you're new to Fate, check it out anyway, or pick up the streamlined Fate Accelerated Edition. If you're into games where the focus is on character development and narrative over XP and loot, you may find what you're looking for here.

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