Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Fate Accelerated] Paired Approaches

About a month ago, when Rob Donoghue was posting about his Fate Accelerated hack he's dubbed FAE 2 (in which you apply two approaches to a roll instead of one), I started thinking about the possibilities of paired approaches in terms of mechanical hooks, because that's the kind of person I am.

Anyway, the thing that struck me was how each approach just intuitively pairs better with some approaches than others. To me, at least. Like, it makes sense that you could try to be both Careful and Sneaky at the same time -- the latter seems to require the former, even -- whereas a Careful-and-Quick combo seems like a harder sell. I'm not saying you can't be both Careful and Quick; it's just not as easy as being, say, Flashy and Quick.

So I made this:
Haven't you read The Kerberos Club (Fate Edition)? I love diagrams!
When you combine related approaches (connected by a solid line), you get a +1 to your roll.

When you combine opposed approaches (unconnected by any line), you get a -1 to your roll.

Otherwise, just add the two approaches and roll.

In this variant, you'd have two approaches at +0, two at +1, and two at +2. That may be too generous. I'm not sure. Maybe three at +1 instead. Details.

(Notice how they ended up in alphabetical order if you go counter-clockwise. Coincidence? Probably, yeah.)

I'm also interested in the idea that the GM would pick one of your approaches for a given task and you'd pick the other. Maybe not all the time, but the option's there.

For example, let's say you're fleeing from eighty-five beholders and there's a locked door in your way! This is terrible. The GM says, "Whatever you're gonna do, you better do it Quick." You have Careful and Clever +2, Sneaky and Quick +0, and Forceful and Flashy +1.
  • You could be Forceful and break down the door, which would give you a +2 (+1 from Forceful, and another +1 because Forceful and Quick are related). 
  • You could be Clever and try to pick the lock at a +1 (+2 from Clever, but -1 because it's not easy being Quick and Clever). 
  • You could be Sneaky and just try to hide, for a +0 (Quick and Sneaky are both +0 for you, and they're neither related nor opposed, so it's just the sum of those two approaches).
  • Etc.
One stunt that immediately suggests itself is improving the relationship between two unrelated approaches. Maybe you're better at being Quick and Clever than most when you're responding to an insult, or at being Forceful and Careful when using explosives. In fact, if the character sheet shows the approaches as in the graphic above, you could even just draw new dotted or solid lines to reflect this. You get the idea.

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