Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[Atomic Robo] Progress so far...

Note: Progress not to scale.
For the last couple weeks, I've really been pushing to put things together for the upcoming ARRPG playtests at San Diego Comic-Con and Gam3rcon, Connecticon, and [another almost-confirmed convention in Wisconsin] next month.

(BTW, have you seen the gaming schedule for Connecticon? Swords Without Master! Misspent Youth! Fiasco! Shock! Dresden Files! Damn, that looks like a pretty great con.)

(Also remember that, at this point, we expect Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, and Zack Finfrock to be in attendance at Connecticon, possibly playing ARRPG, possibly just hanging around the table and pointing out everything that's wrong about it. Either way!)

As for the game itself, I'm really pleased with where things are so far. I sent the GMs in question four PDFs, entitled Skills and Stunts, Making Characters, Other Rules, and Sample Characters. I'll give you three guesses what they're about!

There are a lot of new twists and turns to the FATE you know and (hopefully) love, and more than a few to Fate Core, but you haven't even seen that yet so there's almost no point bringing it up. If you're a Strange FATE fan, you'll find some familiar tidbits in there as well. As I've said before, a major design goal for ARRPG is the versatility of Strange FATE in a more streamlined package.

I'm happy -- almost pleasantly surprised, even -- with how easy and fun those sample characters were to make, even if Robo's is likely to draw some criticism. I mean, I think it looks good, but it's a given that when you make a character sheet for a comic-book character, someone's going to point out that you've done it wrong, right? I have nothing but respect for those people. Keep me honest, pointer-out people.

In an odd way, the thing that might stand out the most as a big deal about these new rules is the elimination of Refresh as a character-specific stat or measure of power. It's something that's been in every FATE-based game I've ever played or seen, as far as I can recall, so for that reason alone it feels kinda cool to cut it out. That was another early design decision, too. This way is better, at least for Atomic Robo. You'll see for yourself soon enough.

Anyway. That's the update. I'll post another after Comic-Con, when there's something new to report. Until then, remain calm and trust in Science!


TQuid said...

May I inquire just how you've changed away from the refresh penalty to pay for powers/gifts?

Mike Olson said...


Basically, Refresh is tied to the narrative instead of the character.
But as a concept in the game, "Refresh" doesn't exist.

Anyone with anything resembling a "power" is going to get that from devoting a good portion of their character's identity, concept, and capabilities -- say, 33% -- toward the thing that gives them the excuse to have "powers" in the first place. But this isn't a supers game, and "powered" beings in the source material, especially in terms of anyone who could be considered a protagonist, are exceptional, to say the least.

So ARRPG won't have the power framework you might find in, to pick a completely random example, Strange FATE, but it's not trying to do the same thing as Strange FATE either (that is, serve as a supers RPG system).

I know I'm being super-vague about this right now, but... hey, look over there! Something else of interest!