Tuesday, December 28, 2010

[Kerberos] Update Again!

I've been banging away at this project (I was looking for a way to combine the words "Kerberos," "Club," and "FATE" to somehow come up with an acronym of KFC, and had given it up as hopeless until Ben Baugh suggested "Kerberos FATE Conversion," so there we are) every moment I can spare between eating, sleeping, and making sure my now-all-too-mobile toddler doesn't run out the front door. My pile of reference material includes SotC, DFRPG, Diaspora, Legends of Anglerre, Wild Talents 2nd Edition, and, of course, The Kerberos Club, all of which, if I were still in school, would make this the coolest research paper ever.

A ton of would-be playtesters have contacted me, and you're all on the list. Sometime during the first week of January, I'll be sending out playtest packets to everyone with a rundown of the FATE ruleset I'm using for this book (even if you already know FATE, you need to read this stuff) and character creation guidelines. The first thing I'm going to want people to do is to make some characters -- and I want them as rules-exploity and min-maxed as possible. I want to see how bad these rules can be in the hands of someone who sticks to the letter of the law but disregards everything except sheer power. As much as I try to make characters like that, I know that there's still an internal sense of reasonableness that I just can't shake, so I'll need you guys to make those game-breaking characters for me.

Ben Baugh has a great little section in The Kerberos Club entitled "What's to Stop Me From Gaming This System?" I have a similar attitude regarding my system. I already know you can break it. I just want to see how bad it can get, and trust that the average player isn't, in Ben's words, "the kind of boor" who "would want to spoil such a marvelous bit of starry-eyed game design idealism." C'mon -- we're grown-ups.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

[Kerberos] Updates!

So! Just got off the ol' Skype from my first call with Shane Ivey at Arc Dream about this whole FATE Kerberos project, and I have to say... I'm pretty damn excited. There's a lot I can't disclose yet, but there are a few things I can, so let's do that.

  • It'll be a standalone book. No surprise here, really -- without a definitive version of FATE that everyone can agree on, we kinda don't have another option. I don't think many will complain, though. This means the standard bits on what aspects are, what skills are, how the Fate Point economy works, and etc. I will endeavor to keep all of this as concise as possible, but not so much so that it isn't easily understood. This book will not stop a bullet. That's the Mike Olson guarantee.
  • FATE trumps ORE. Many bits of KC are very FATE-friendly as-is, but where ORE's mechanics and FATE's are incompatible, or where replicating what KC does with ORE would be a convoluted process, the relative rules-lightness of FATE (not that it's actually rules-light, mind you) will take priority. It's my feeling that people who buy FATE Kerberos will be doing so in large part because they like FATE, and they'll want a decidedly FATE-y version of things that plays to FATE's strengths instead of a game that tries to turn FATE into ORE. ORE is a very different animal than FATE, so if it's an equal choice between, say, making a bunch of dice rolls or just compelling an aspect, I'll go with the latter.
  • Fudge Dice are the default. My take on scaling powers uses both Fudge Dice and d6s, so that's what we're going to use. However, I know that not everyone likes Fudge Dice, so there'll also be guidelines and advice on using one or two other dice mechanics instead. Regardless, the rules will work no matter what dice mechanic you choose to use.
  • The KC you know and love will be preserved wherever possible. By this, I mean that many of the concepts used in KC (and Wild Talents, as applicable) will be retained and FATE-ized with as little alteration as I can manage. For example, characters will still have an Archetype and Convictions, but as aspects, not as their own discrete mechanical elements. If I can find a cool halfway point for a given component between ORE and FATE that stays true to both and doesn't require pages of explanation to work, then I'll take it.
  • WE NEED PLAYTESTERS. Seriously. I can't go into specifics about the timeline, but we're going to need to get some good playtesting done within the next couple months. If you're interested in this, and I know you are, leave me a comment below, send me an email, or whatever with your contact info, and we'll get materials out to you ASAP. Please note that this is contingent upon me getting my notes and stuff together in a form that can actually be sent out to people, so if you email me today, don't expect to get a playtest packet tonight. Or tomorrow. Or over the weekend. I'll also be fishing for playtesters in the FATE RPG Yahoo! Group and on RPG.net. And Facebook, too. Sure, why not. Maybe I'll set up a group there we can use. 
There's a lot more, but it's all either minutiae or stuff I just can't talk about yet. It was a pleasure to finally speak with Shane in person-ish, though. And now if you'll excuse me, I have a crap-ton of really awesome work to to do....