Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fantasy: Artifice's Balancing Act

Reader inkylj made this comment on the Artifice entry:

Do you have any thoughts on the balance issue here? Unlike the other magic you've introduced, this one seems like it gives a permanent multi-use bonus -- effectively, it's a free stunt. Or stunts plural, since you can make multiple items, right? I'm pretty fast-and-loose about character balance in FATE but this seems like it's pushing it a bit.

Is the balance here that you can't have another kind of faster on-demand magic like Incantation? Or is it that the characters are finding magic items anyway, so what this gives you is mainly the ability to determine more precisely what you get?
Excellent points. I started to reply with another comment, but then it got so long I figured it deserved its own post.

I agree that there's a potential balance issue here, especially with a certain type of player. My problem is that I'm not that type of player, so I sometimes forget about that guy. The players in our playtest group definitely found some areas in the rules I'd written that were ripe for exploitation -- without purposely trying to min-max -- so I can totally accept that Artifice, as written, fits into that category.

One easy fix, and something that I've gone back and forth on, is reducing Refresh by 1 (or more) per item created with Artifice. That should slow down the magic-wand-factory PCs.

I see the inherent balancing factors as more narrative. If you're making a "standard gadget" -- that is, an item with three improvements -- it'll likely take a few weeks or more of game time. Is it always possible for your character to take that kind of time off? (It does go to the heart of the problem with things like Artifice and Alchemy, though, and that's that the things they let you do pretty much happen "off screen." They're down-time activities.) That's sort of up to the GM, I guess. In practical terms, it could mean cranking out one magic item of some kind between adventures, which doesn't really seem likely to create a glut of magic items. But that is, again, making an assumption about how other players and GMs will operate.

If you spend Fate Points to generate more shifts, you can speed up the process, but then you're also spending Fate Points, which lessens your ability to impact the story in other ways. Next session, you'll get those Fate Points back, so maybe that would render the whole point moot, but I'm considering having Fate Points refresh at the beginning of every story arc instead of every session, which would definitely affect things.

(Now, if you have Great Craft and roll ++++, you not only get it done in just a few days, but, in my games, you'll get a Fate Point to boot. But I'm not opposed to a character pulling off something legendary like that now and then.)

The other narrative balancer (and again, this is totally GM-dependent, so it's not much of a balancer) is that since the item wasn't acquired through a boon, I, as GM, would have no problem taking it away at some point. There's no real investment in it, so it doesn't have the narrative importance a boon-derived item would have. Either it gets irretrievably lost or stolen, or we just "forget about it" at the end of the story arc. This isn't really implied in anything I wrote, but it is in my head -- and is it really so unreasonable that you people should read my mind?

Reducing Refresh, to me, seems like a pretty good all-around adjustment here. However, if Refresh were reduced, I wouldn't be so ready to just take it away. It's too significant a character investment.

Another option, and one that I like, would be to require someone to take a story aspect for the item -- if not the artificer, then the PC who gets the item. It'd mean that you could never acquire more PC-created items than you had available story aspect slots. It also means giving up some flexibility for your character during play, and that if you don't have a story aspect open, then, well, you don't get this magic sword. Think of a reason. I'm not so interested in simulation here; justify it narratively. YMMV.

So here's my proposed fix. When a character makes an item with Artifice, one of two things happens:
  • Temporary Item: Either the artificer or the recipient of the item takes a story aspect related to the item. The item has no "narrative protection." It can be irretrievably lost or stolen, and disappears at the end of the story arc in any event. If the player chooses to make the story aspect a permanent one later, which he can do at any time, the item becomes a Permanent Item, as below.
  • Permanent Item: The artificer reduces his Refresh by 1, and at the end of the story arc the item automatically becomes the character's next boon... and all that entails.
How's that?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fantasy: Summoning

Summoning is the magical practice of calling forth servants, willing or unwilling, from the aether. The key skill for this brand of magic is Resolve.

This works a lot like Artifice, in that you first determine the attributes of the creature you want to summon, then make a skill roll against that number. If your roll is a success, then the desired creature is summoned. If your roll fails, however, it’s still summoned -- but it gives you a story aspect, representing its hold on you (or its master’s, as the case may be). If you don’t have a spare story aspect slot, you take a mental consequence appropriate to the margin of failure instead. If this consequence is Minor or Moderate, it doesn't go away like usual. Rather, it sticks around until the summoned creature is appeased or, if appropriate, dead.

If the summoning deals a Severe consequence, the creature is already the servant of a much more powerful entity, and that entity doesn't appreciate your interference -- or perhaps you've piqued its curiosity and it's taken a special interest in you. This Severe consequence goes away the same way all Severe consequences do: by altering one of your permanent aspects. Its anger or amusement is so great that it will be with you for the rest of your life in some form or other.

Whatever the case, the idea here is that you've failed to dominate the creature -- and now you owe it something.

When a creature is summoned, the summoner gives it a particular task, such as "Answer this question for me" or "Kill those guys" or "Protect me from harm in this forest." Typically, this means it sticks around for one scene. Once that task is complete, the creature disappears. The summoner can try to keep it around longer with another Resolve roll against the original target number, +2 per scene it's already been around. If this roll fails, either the creature disappears, or the summoner gets another story aspect or consequence, as if he had failed his initial Resolve roll to summon it in the first place. Aspect creatures (see below) always leave after their task is complete.

Summoning a creature takes a minimum of 15 minutes. Features of the summoned creature increase the time required, and unspent shifts reduce the time required by one step for every unspent shift, to a minimum of a minute. You can also take extra time to increase your odds of success; this yields a bonus of +1 to your Resolve roll per additional step taken, up to a +4.

  • Quality: +1 step/tier, one skill/tier, up to Great (+4). Defaults to Mediocre (+0). The creature can withstand one consequence per tier up to Good (+3).
  • Breadth: Expand the creature's skill pyramid by one degree, up to a max of two skills at its apex. For example, if the summoned creature's Quality is Fair (+2), taking Breadth once gets it another Average (+1) skill, and taking it twice gives it a third Average (+1) skill and a second Fair (+2) skill. It can't get a Good (+3) skill, though, without another advance spent on Quality. This adds +1 step/column added.
  • Quantity: By default, you only summon one creature. For each additional creature summoned, add +2 steps on the Time Chart.
  • Aspect: Add an aspect to the creature, at +1 step/aspect. This can encompass a specialized form of movement normally found in nature (e.g., a creature with “Huge Bat Wings” as an aspect can fly, if that’s what you were going for). If you want this form of movement to be something totally supernatural, like teleportation, you’ll have to pay a Fate Point to invoke it for effect. In either case, the first tag/invoke is free, because it’s a product of a skill roll.
Aspect Creatures: Note that you can summon a creature with no skills that’s nothing more than an aspect, if you want, like “Swarm of Bats.” You can send that swarm of bats over to your opponent to distract him (tag to aid your defense, or your attack, or your Stealth roll, or whatever), but it doesn’t have the ability to really take action on its own. Similarly, an aspect of “Imp” could be used in the same way, but you could also invoke it for effect to fetch something for you. However, it couldn’t attack on its own. If attacked, the aspect creature defends at Mediocre, unless you spend a Fate Point to tag its aspect and help its roll. If its defense fails, it’s killed. This is essentially your opponent maneuvering to get rid of an aspect. Only one such aspect creature can be in effect at a time.

Rhianwen, a fae sage, is having some difficulty deciphering a forgotten language carved into a long-lost piece of statuary. She suspects the mysterious words contain a clue to the location of a sought-after artifact of power. Frustrated with her failure, Rhianwen decides to summon an ancient eidolon to help clear things up. Her player decides to go for an eidolon with Great (+4) Learning and an aspect of "Scholar of a Thousand Tongues." The target to beat is Superb (+5) -- +4 for Quality and +1 for one aspect. The player rolls a +2 and adds Rhianwen's Good (+3) Resolve, for a total of Superb (+5). That's just enough, but it'll also take her a full day (15 minutes plus five steps up on the Time Chart). Rhianwen doesn't have that kind of patience. Her player pays a Fate Point and invokes her aspect "Magic Is Second Nature" for a +2 on the roll -- that brings the time required down to a few hours. So a few hours of chanting and ceremony later, the eidolon materializes and agrees to translate the carvings.

Later, following the carving's clues to the artifact, she and her companions find that their path leads them through the hunting grounds of some deadly fire drakes. Rhianwen decides to take out a little insurance policy in the form of a pair of demon servitors. First she pays for one of them: At Good (+3) Quality, with one aspect -- "Bat-Winged Demon" -- it has a target number of Great (+4). Adding a second demon increases that to Superb (+5), and means that the ceremony will take a day by default. Rhianwen's player rolls the dice... and gets a -1. Adding her Resolve only brings that to Fair (+2). She only has one Fate Point left -- there's no way she can succeed. Instead, the summoning carries on, but with a price. When the demons finally arrive, she asks them to protect her from the drakes. Grinning disconcertingly, they agree... but say that their superior, Gruntzch the Unclean, will require a service from her in exchange for their time. Swallowing hard, Rhianwen's player fills in one of her empty story aspect slots with "Indebted to Gruntzch the Unclean."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fantasy: Artifice

First of all, sorry for the delay on this -- I'd say I've been busy, but that wouldn't be -- what's the world? -- accurate. We did character creation and the first sorta session of our "SotS" campaign last weekend, which was a learning experience. I say "sorta" because I was just pulling a scenario for the night out of thin air, and I'm kinda terrible at that, so I thought it was pretty lame. However, I have a couple weeks to make sense of the mess I started with, and I'm already pretty happy with what I have so far. All I need to do now is convince my players that it's what I meant to do all along.

As for the learning experience, well, let's just say there's a world of difference between creating dozens of pre-gens for cons and actually letting players create their own characters. We came up against a lot of vagaries and misunderstandings in the rules (primarily concerning the Heritage boon), and I realized that all of those pre-gens had given me a lot of pretty unreasonable assumptions about how characters would be made. The first fix: Starting characters can take the Heritage boon or the Item boon or Companion boon, but not more than one of the three. That is, if you take Item, you can't also take Heritage or Companion. Taking two or all three results in a tangle of little details to keep track of, and that's exactly the opposite of what we're going for here. I don't think it's too restricting -- rather, it should help focus a character more.

Anyway. There'll be more on that as we go. This post is really all about Artifice.

Artifice is the creation of permanent of magical items, or of enchanting ordinary (if well-made) items. The key skill for this type of magic is Craft.

To make an enchanted item -- a sword, a ring, a cloak, etc. -- first make the mundane version of it, according to the usual rules for Craft (which are, admittedly, forthcoming). Then pick a number of improvements from the list below, and make another Craft roll. This is the Artifice roll. The difficulty for this roll is equal to double the total number of improvements.

Enchanting an existing item follows the same basic procedure, minus the part about making the item in the first place.

In either case, the higher the quality of the base item, the easier it is to enchant, like so:

Item Quality - Artifice Roll Difficulty = Modifier to Artifice Roll

For example, enchanting a Good (+3) cloak with two improvements (a total difficulty of Great (+4)) means a -1 penalty to the Artifice roll (3 - 4 = -1).

Enchanting an item takes a minimum of one day, plus one step on the time chart per improvement added. Extra time can be taken to improve the effort, at +1 bonus/+1 step on the Time Chart, to a maximum bonus of +4. Likewise, extra shifts obtained on the roll can be spent to reduce the time required at the same ratio, but not below one day.

Atakan wants to enchant his Good (+3) quality battle-axe to make it more effective against the undead and incorporeal, since there seem to be a lot more of them around these days. He picks three improvements: Craftsmanship (+1 Melee with the axe), Special Effect (Able to strike ghosts as if they were solid), and Upgrade (+2 Melee with the axe against undead). That means a Fantastic (+6) difficulty, and because the axe's quality is only Good, he'll be at a -3 for his Artifice roll (since 3 - 6 = -3). Atakan rolls +1, adds his Fair (+2) Craft, and applies that -3 penalty for a total of Mediocre (+0). He spends three Fate Points to invoke three aspects, giving him just enough (+6) to succeed. The whole process takes a few weeks (One Day + 3 steps on the Time Chart) before Ghostreaver's ready for action.

As you can see, Artifice isn't easy. It takes a lot of time, probably a lot of money, and most likely two or three Fate Points. But then again, you are creating a new and permanent magic item -- why would it be easy?


Additional Capability

The item can now do something else of roughly the same scope. Examples include a magical bow that fires arrows of pure energy, a flying cart that can travel on the ground or through the air, or a sword with a blade of fire.

Alternate Usage

This effect allows skills to be used differently. Examples include enchanted spectacles that allow the wearer to use Alertness rather than Empathy to get a read on someone, a magical sword that lets the wielder use Melee instead of Alertness for initiative, or a shield that can used to attack with Missile instead of Melee.


The item gains the ability to attack, or to allow its possessor to attack, with Melee or Missile as if he/it possessed a weapon of some kind. Examples include a scarf that can be used as a whip or a gauntlet that shoots bolts of fire.


The item provides armor-like protection. If taken once, this effect provides the benefits of Light Armor. If taken twice, it acts as Medium Armor, and three times, Heavy Armor. Examples include a cloak that provides magical protection against blows or an amulet that sheathes its wearer in abjurant energy.


Add an Aspect to the item (such as a magic shirt with "Tough As Steel"), or to the wearer upon activation (e.g., a magic cloak of flight would give its wearer the aspect "Flying" when he's... well, flying).


The item has some manner of sentience and is able to act independently in a very limited fashion. Oftentimes, this means that the item gains a skill, the rating of which is equal to the total number of effects the item possesses. This effect can be taken multiple times to either bump up a single skill or acquire new ones. How this all shakes out depends greatly on the item in question, but odds are only mental skills will be appropriate. For example, a sword containing the bound spirit of a demon might have its own Alertness skill, or Learning, of which the wielder can make use. Athletics, however, would be a tough sell, because the sword simply lacks a means of locomotion. Despite the sentience, the item can't act independently of its owner; it requires a command or prompt of some kind to activate. Note that this basic concept can also be more or less created using Specialty, below, although it'll be quite different in practice.

Prerequisite: Conscious
Like Conscious, but the device is capable of basic reasoning, and can interpret simple commands. As the name implies, the item can act independently, even if its owner is unconscious. Limited movement is possible, even without a means of locomotion, as is speech or some other form of communication with its bearer. Depending on the nature of the item, it can even have physical skills such as Melee, although these will always be limited to Mediocre (in other words, having the skill at Mediocre lets the item use it at all).
This is the "It's much bigger on the inside!" effect -- something that looks small, but which behaves as if it weren't. Examples include a pouch that holds as much as a warehouse or a hut that can sleep a small army.


The inverse of Miniaturization: Sometimes you just need something to be big. This effect is used to alter an item for circumstances when size will truly matter, such as a weapon that can’t possibly damage its intended mega-monster target without being very large, or a house-sized carriage pulled by dozens of horses that’s able to transport a huge number of passengers.


The item grants a +1 bonus to any effort using it (usually only to one skill, if it supports the use of multiple skills). This improvement may not be taken more than once per affected skill. Examples include a magically sharp sword, an amulet that imparts arcane knowledge to its wearer, or shoes that enable their wearer to run especially fast.


Specialty has a lot in common with Focus, but instead of applying a +1 bonus to the entire scope of a skill, Specialty grants +2 to a specific usage of it. A troll-slaying sword, for example, would grant a +2 bonus when used against trolls. If an item has both Focus and Specialty that apply to the same skill, only Specialty applies. That is, if that troll-slaying sword had both Focus: +1 with Melee and Specialty: +2 vs. trolls, you'd get a +2 when using it against trolls and a +1 when using it against anything else.

Special Effect

The item may now operate on different principles, like a carriage that doesn't need horses or a mace that can strike ghosts as easily as the living. The game benefit of this will depend highly on the specifics.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fantasy: Alchemy

Alchemy uses Physik (the Science equivalent) as its base skill, and covers the creation of potions, elixirs, philters, ointments, powders, and the like.

The default difficulty is Mediocre (+0). Shifts obtained on your Physik roll can be spent on:
  • Power: The effect of the concoction -- what it does. With rare exception, this will be beneficial (harmful formulations are better classified as poisons). Pick a skill, such as Alertness, Endurance, Resolve, Might, or whatever is most appropriate to the effect you want to achieve. For example, if it's a potion of strength you're after, pick Might. Each shift spent on Power increases the quality of this skill by +1.
  • Duration: How long the effect lasts, starting at a minute. Each shift spent on Duration increases the length of the effect by one step on the Time Chart.
  • Aspects: Shifts can be spent to add aspects to the imbiber, as well, to reflect grey-area stuff. If your potion turns someone into a bestial humanoid, reflect that by spending a shift on "Bestial Humanoid." A potion that has a visible effect on the imbiber -- for example, if he sprouts wings or is covered in a chitinous armored shell -- must have an aspect.
Alchemy requires a default of 15 minutes to create a potion. For every shift spent on Power or Duration, increase the time required by one step on the Time Chart. Unspent shifts reduce the time required by an equal amount -- one step per unspent shift.

Apply the potion's Power to the user's relevant skill as a bonus for the duration of the effect. Optionally, an entire category of skills (physical, mental, or social) could be affected at twice the cost -- two shifts/+1.

Augustus, eager to get the better of an upcoming business transaction, pays an alchemist to create a potion that will make him more persuasive for a while -- a Rapport effect. The alchemist has Good (+3) Physik, and rolls a +2, for a total effort of Superb (+5). He spends two shifts on Duration, to make the effect last for 15 minutes, leaving him with three shifts to spend on Power. It'll take the alchemist all day, but his customer isn't in a hurry. When he's done, Augustus will be able to receive a +3 bonus to his Rapport for 15 minutes. Hopefully it's long enough.

There's one other factor: money. But that's a pretty individual matter. For us, until we figure out how much things cost, or what money's even called in one place or another, it'll be tough to pin that one down.

What about potions that have effects entirely outside the skill system? Like a potion that gives you the power of flight, or one that turns you into a monster?

I think the easiest way to handle the former is to, well, fudge it. Make up a new skill to cover the new capability, like Flying. Nobody has flying, except flying things. You don't even have it at Mediocre (+0). But drinking a potion that gives it to you also gives you the power to use it, so if you spend a few shifts on Power to give the imbiber the Flying skill, now they can fly. Just to keep things from getting totally out of hand, though, giving someone a skill that isn't normally available costs two shifts per point of bonus. Average (+1) Flying is good enough to fly, but if you want to stand a good chance of catching or outrunning another flying thing you'll want to bump that up -- which makes potions of flight expensive, difficult, and time-consuming to make. And they should be, at least in my game.

As for monster-turning-into, that's a little easier. Let's say your potion turns the imbiber into a werewolf-like thing with supernatural strength, big sharp claws, and a canine sense of smell and hearing. Spend Power shifts on multiple skills -- Might, Melee, and Alertness -- and another shift on Aspect: Big Werewolf-Like Thing. Again, it'll be costly, hard, and take a while, but look what you're getting in the bargain!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Year Without Gygax

I can't believe it's been a year since we lost Gary Gygax. A year ago tomorrow, Andy, Jill (my wife), and I played one session of a Basic D&D game. It was Jill's first time playing an RPG, but she did great, after a little initial confusion and discomfort which I think is pretty common for first-timers. Unfortunately, we never got back to that game, but I'm thinkin' that tomorrow night we may find out what happened to Fingol and Sneaky Pete. Call it our Second Annual Gary Gygax Memorial Basic D&D Game.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fantasy: Incantation Magic

Incantation used to be called "Magecraft," back when I couldn't think of a good name for it, and has since become less of a generic "spellcasting" form of magic and more of a very specific, song-and-chant-based thing. It's also very specific to the setting, because I'm not really keen on fireballs and meteor swarms, although the basic mechanics are simple enough to be usable for a wide variety of magical effects.

(I'm not going to embarrass myself by admitting where I got the idea to have a very limited, song-based form of magic, but trust me, it's pretty embarrassing.)

Practitioners of Incantation magic are known as chanters; their spells are commonly known as songs. Incantation uses Art as its base skill, and is the most direct form of magic in the setting.

The default difficulty is Mediocre (+0). Shifts obtained on your Art roll can be spent on:
  • Power: The effect of the song -- what it does. Pick a skill, such as Intimidation, Missile, Rapport, or whatever is most appropriate to the effect you want to achieve. For example, if it's a song of charm you're after, pick Rapport. Each shift spent on Power increases the quality of this skill by +1.
  • Duration: How long the effect lasts. Damaging effects default to instant; other effects default to a few minutes. Each shift spent on Duration increases the length of the effect by one step on the Time Chart.
  • Targets: How many targets are affected. By default, this is one. You can spend shifts to affect additional targets, or spend three shifts to affect everyone (or everything) in a zone.
The length of time required to use Incantation starts at instant. For every shift spent on Power or Duration, increase the time required by one step on the Time Chart. Unspent shifts reduce the time required by an equal amount -- one step per unspent shift, to a minimum of instant.

Songs fall into three basic categories: Harm, Help, and Hinder. The alliteration is accidental, I assure you.

If the effect is meant to be harmful -- that is, if it uses Melee, Missile, Intimidation, or some other direct-damage skill -- apply the song's Power against the target's appropriate defense, usually Endurance or Resolve, depending on the flavor of the song. If the skill used is Missile, it might harm the target with sonic energy, in which case the proper defense would be Endurance, or it might baffle the target's mind with a maddening onslaught of sounds and images, in which case he'd defend with Resolve. Regardless, take the difference between the song's Power and the target's skill (the skill alone, without a roll) and deal a consequence of the corresponding type and severity. The consequence should relate directly to the effect of the song. For example, if Rain-Splitting-Rock's song of friendship (a test of Rapport vs. Resolve) deals a consequence, a good one might be "Thinks Rain-Splitting-Rock Is His Best Friend."

If the effect is beneficial to yourself or an ally, apply the song's Power as a bonus to the target's use of the same skill, as with Alchemy (more on that later).

The opposite of Help -- here you're trying to reduce the target's capability with a skill, not increase it. Compare the song's Power against the target's Endurance or Resolve, as appropriate. Any shifts obtained over that defense are applied as a penalty to the Power's selected skill for the duration of the effect. For example, a song of confusion could apply a penalty to the target's Melee, a song of blindness could penalize Alertness, or a song of lethargy work against the target's Athletics.

Penalizing multiple skills requires multiple Power skills, or all skills of a particular category (physical, mental, or social) can be penalized at double the cost (2 shifts/-1).

In essence, this is the same mechanic as Help; Help just assumes that the target is willing, and consequently offers a defense of Mediocre (+0).

Incantation can always be used to apply a fragile aspect to the target with an opposed test of Art vs. Resolve. Unlike aspects normally created using Art, they don't have to be limited to moods. Aspects like "Charmed" or "Confused" are perfectly reasonable. If you want to deal damage or accomplish anything more interesting, though, you have to jump through the above hoops.

Rain-Splitting-Rock, a satyr shamaness, is set upon by a trio of hungry wolves. Thinking quickly, she sings a song of fear -- an Intimidation effect. She adds her Good (+3) Art to her roll of +3, for a Fantastic (+6) effort. She spends two shifts to affect the two extra targets, two shifts on the song's Fair (+2) Power, which she figures should be enough to overcome their Resolve, and two shifts to increase the effect's Duration from a few minutes to half an hour, just to make sure she has enough time to get to safety. With all those shifts, that's going to take half an hour to pull off, though, but by then she'll be dinner. She spends two Fate Points and invokes two aspects ("The All-Mother sings through me" and "Shamaness of the Plains") to give her four more shifts. That'll bring the time required down to half a minute, which the GM says will be fast enough to beat the wolves' advance, but she'll be cutting it close. The wolves are just mooks, with an Average (+1) Resolve, so her song inflicts a Minor consequence of "Terrified of the Satyr." Since, as Average (+1) mooks, they don't have any Grit, the single consequence is enough to take them out, and they go running off with their tails between their legs.

Each skill or category means a different song, so if you define your song of strength as affecting Might, that's the only skill it can affect (but see Hinder, above).

This last bit isn't totally necessary, but it might be useful: A character starts knowing a number of songs equal to her Art skill, but can learn more according to her skill.

Art Skill:
Max Songs Known:
Average (+1)
Fair (+2)
Good (+3)
Great (+4)

Monday, March 2, 2009

News Flash

I have some pretty nifty news I've been holding onto for a couple weeks, but I figure that, since we just had our first conference call yesterday on the matter, I can share it now.

It looks like I'll be writing some material for the forthcoming fantasy supplement to Cubicle 7's Starblazer Adventures. I'm pretty psyched about it, even though, at this point, I don't know exactly what I'll be writing. But whatever -- I'm digging what's planned so far, and whatever it is I'm sure I'll have fun with it.

Another American guy working on it (I specify "American" because Cubicle 7's a British company with relatively few American staff, it seems) is Tom Miskey, who wrote the excellent "Spirits of Steam & Sorcery," a SotC treatment of the classic Castle Falkenstein (which R. Talsorian, apparently, is bringing back). If you're a member of the FATE Yahoo Group, you can check out the PDF here.

More news as it develops!