Why My Fate Supers Design is Shaping Up to Not Being Fate

Probably the start of any great gaming system, like Fate Core or Cortex+, begins as an idea or two about another game system, like Fudge or Savage Worlds, and eventually becomes so different that it’s deserving of its own name entirely. Is that what I’m doing here? Maybe. It hasn’t come to full fruition as a completed document yet, so I don’t honestly know.

Several months ago, I started hacking Fate Core to create supers rules that were more than just stunts or skills. Over time, things have evolved. Here’s where they stand:

  • Aspects are Skills: I’ve removed skills entirely and added “sub-aspects” that describe what the aspect can do, while the aspect itself is a descriptor of how it’s done.
  • Invocations Work Differently: You no longer have to invoke to use an aspect. Instead, you can use one aspect for free and add additional ones to the roll at the cost of a Fate point, similarly to how Cortex+ uses Distinctions, but each distinction has hard and fast rules on when it can come into play. They also have limitations to describe when they can’t be used – i.e. pre-determined compels.
  • Aspect-Based Damage: Instead of stress, aspects will likely be used to determine the outcomes and effects of attack rolls. If implemented, this will probably follow a lethality tier system – something like: Situational, Non-Lethal and Lethal.
  • Different Dice: It’s looking more and more like a dice pool tagging system may be instituted, similar to Lady Blackbird or Technoir. Instead of Fudge dice, players may roll a number of d6’s and add hits – this is due to the above mechanics changing how Fate Core works in play. I’d rather be open to changing dice mechanics than force an awkward situation in order to stubbornly stick to the original concept.

Even though the above system would use Fate Core’s actions and, if the dice mechanics don’t change, outcomes, it is becoming different enough that, like other games which likely take inspiration from Fate, it may very well end up a game of its own. I know this may be disappointing to those who were expecting a complete supers system strictly for Fate Core, but sometimes the writing changes mid-stride.

It’s at the same time scary and exciting. I’m looking forward to fleshing it out once Jadepunk is out of my hands.

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