I’ll just talk about Fate in general a bit before any specific thoughts on particular games.
If you’re unfamiliar with the system, you roll 4 Fudge dice for everything. They’re 6-sided, with 2 blanks, 2 -, & 2 +. Roll that, modified by your skill in something (generally 0-5 outside other special modifiers).
Fate seems to be one of those systems I always have fun playing with at cons, but it never quite feels deep enough to entice me into buying games that use it. Which is kind of odd, because there’s a number of things that really ping my interests. Aspects are great from both sides of the table. As a player I can (and I’m unfamiliar with the exact terminology here) tap them to re-roll or get bonuses on a roll. The GM can also offer me fate to act in accordance with a particular aspect — this tends to be somewhat of a negative thing in gameplay. As in, the GM is saying if you stick to your aspect and do this, I’ll give you a Fate point. I’ve yet to refuse a fate point from this. It’s always too good to pass up! I like anytime I can look at my sheet and have character bits that really help me decide how my character will act. Even better when there’s the enticement of in-game rewards to play to them. More games need this sort of thing.
I’m really only marginally familiar with the source material. I haven’t read the books, but I did see the short-lived TV series (GASP).
So, I could be totally wrong when I say this, but Dresden Files strikes me as a somewhat dark setting. If that’s the case I’m not convinced a Fate system really gives it the right feel. Most Fate games I’ve played in are more light-hearted and pulpy. Fate seems to do that well. I’m not sure that’s the sort of treatment Dresden Files needed in an rpg. Really, though, I just need to start loading the novels on my Kindle. That may very well change my opinion.
Past that, I had a good time playing it like I tend to do with Fate games. The characters were all high-school students exploring a haunted house. I played the trickster and had a blast using my stunts to fuck with the other players — going invisible, changing my appearance and scaring them, etc. Eventually I burned the place down when things got too hairy (I had a “coward” aspect).
Having only barest idea of the setting I can’t really say much else about it. Once I get around to reading the books, I’d probably give it another shot, if only to see how the modified Fate system matches the books.
Sci-fi that kicks ass!
Much about what I’ve already said about Fate goes for this as well. I think Fate was a pretty good fit for the setting in Bulldogs, which has a very space-pulp feel to it.
There used to be a Bulldogs d20 game that is now, apparently, out of print. I have no experience with it and hadn’t heard of it until I heard about this new version. I did get to play with Brennan, though, and it’s always a great experience to play a game with the designer. It seems to add something to it.
What else to say? I had a good time playing it. I played a non-combat character and Fate definitely handles that sort of thing well, which is always a big bonus. Some games definitely feel very shallow outside of combat and Fate isn’t one of them.
One other thing worth noting is that the funding for Bulldogs! is thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign. I’m seeing more and more things using Kickstarter and it’s a trend I like. If your idea is solid enough and people will pledge money for it, it’s a fantastic way to do it. In every Kickstarter I’ve seen there are different levels of incentives depending on how much money you want to put into the cause.
First things first: I’m a huge fan of the setting. I sort of happened onto Brandon Sanderson a few years ago before I knew he was the author taking over the Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan’s passing. He created a really compelling world and one of the most interesting magic systems I’ve ever seen.
Now, I only got about a 10 minute demo of the game at Crafty Games’ booth at GenCon. The mechanics seemed like a simplified version of ORE. The main difference is you’re only looking for pairs to determine the outcome. Multiple pairs don’t matter and more than 2 of something doesn’t matter. Rolling 6’s (there’s some name like surges or some such) can increase the effectiveness of what you’re trying to accomplish.
In the game you can be a full-on Mistborn or a Mistling. I’m sure you can be a normal person as well. In the demo I only saw a taste of burning Pewter which simply added to your physical stat (so roll more dice).
From chatting with the guy at the booth, here’s a bit more I learned: the rule book will have some exclusive flavor text about the setting written by Sanderson that’s not available anywhere else. As far as the guy knew everything in the books was covered in the rpg. So all the different types of magic should be available. You can burn metals and you can surge them for a boost.
Can’t really offer much of an opinion on the game with such a basic demo, but I’d like to see more. I didn’t put the cash down for the pre-order set, because I didn’t find it that compelling, but I’d like to see more once it’s out.