Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fast Pulpy Action In Fate Accelerated

I readily admit to be a fan of the Fate system, and I have been for a while. I ran a few games back years ago when I first found the early versions of the rules online (back when I was first discovering Fudge). I preordered Spirit of the Century and I have signed copies of Starblazer Adventures, Legends of Angelerre, and the Fate version of The Kerberos Club. Yeah, I thought that the the game got to be a little bloated around third edition (Starblazer, I'm looking at you) but there was still a lot of good to be found in the game.

Fast forward through stuff everyone knows and the highly successful Fate Core Kickstarter project.

I'm more of a rules guy than a setting guy, so I have the rules parts of the new version of Fate: Fate Core, The Fate Core Toolkit and Fate Accelerated Edition. Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) has moved into being one of my games of choice. Some may know that I've been hacking it for a game inspired by paranormal romance fiction called Paranormal Friction. I have some issues with the FAE book's organization, but then I have an issue with the organization of a lot of RPGs.

Last night I was reading the trade paperback of Doc Savage: The Silver Pyramid. This was originally a mini-series done in the 80s by Denny O'Neil and the Kubert brothers. The idea was to update the concept of Doc and his mission and bring them both to the present day. On a lot of levels, the book was successful, but that can be attributed to the talent of Denny O'Neil as a writer. I really liked the idea of Doc Savage having a son, but unlike a lot of comic legacies "Junior" couldn't live up to the legacy of a man like Doc Savage. I do wish that the idea of the son could have been given more time and space to develop, but it cast a shadow (not the gun-totting one) over the legacy of the character that I really found a lot more interesting than a lot of the other attempted comic reboots of the character (DC's First Wave debacle comes to mind). Being that DC has since lost the license to the character, there are probably a lot of copies of this trade floating around comic stores that want to get rid of them. I know that's how I got mine.

Of course, this lead me to wanting a FAE remake of Spirit of the Century. Then I realized, for me at least, that I don't really need it. FAE handles the pulpy action right out of the box, sure some genre explanations might be good (I would probably also add Extras as weapons and armor from the Toolkit as a way to handle the weapons but that's a digression) but not necessary either. I know that not everyone has a couple of hundred pulp novels around, so those people would probably need some guidance. The WPA Guide To New York City would be cool, too. I wonder, since government documents are supposed to be public domain, if this could be reprinted as an RPG supplement? I'd buy it (even though I already have a copy).

Making a pulp character in the FAE rules is pretty simple. Unlike with my paranormal romance hack, you don't really have to add a lot of extra explanations. Let's make up Clark Savage, Jr. as an example. I won't spoil the character's fate (ha!) in the story in this.

Clark Savage, The Third
High Concept: Son of The Man of Bronze
Trouble: Living Up To This Legacy Is Hard
Aspects: Trained By Doc's Gang, Determined To Do It

Careful: +1
Clever: +0
Flashy: +2
Forceful: +3
Quick: +1
Sneaky: +2

As you can see, you have a character who is trying to live up to expectations, but just can't quite do it. I think that this would be a great character to play, even in a very pulpy type of campaign.