Mutant Healing Aspect

I have geeked about this in person for a bit, but I don’t think I have on my blog yet. One of the reasons I like Fate and other games that have Aspect-like things (including all those games that have lifted Aspects whole-hog) is because it lets story logic happen naturally in a game.

And that’s why Fate would be my go-to game for running X-Men.[1] Let’s look at Wolverine and his mutant healing ability. In many other games, healing has to do with regaining hit points quickly and all that math jazz. And that’s cool for those games, but that’s never felt like what I liked from seeing Wolverine be a badass. And then I played Fate.

So, sure, mechanically he probably has a stunt called “Screw you I have a mutant healing factor,” but he also has that as an aspect — one to be invoked and compelled[2]. And that’s where story logic comes in.

Invoking Mutant Healing Ability: So, totally badass, right? That means you has absolutely no problem hurting himself in the process of messing a dude’s day up. Need to slice a dude wielding a sword? Man, just impale yourself on the sword to deprive him of his weapon, and then close in. Or back up an Intimidation maneuver with showing how you’re healing before everyone’s damned eyes.

Compelling Mutant Healing Ability: Invoking is simple. This is where it gets cool in my mind. Having a healing factor is a complication in your life, man. It’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows. No, you have people hunting you down to experiment with you or your blood. If you’re the sort of person who would rather not have people know about your secret, well, getting even a little wound cooking is a serious cramp on your social life. And, frankly, the fact that you have a reputation for being hard to kill means people bring serious firepower to fights involving you. The sort of firepower that gets bystanders killed, or seriously inconveniences your life when you take wounds that would kill others…and take you a few hours to recover from, meaning you miss out on appointments and situations you’d otherwise be up for.

That’s the whole point of Mutant Healing — to create a character that can survive ridiculous fights and have that very ability create complications in his or her life. That’s what makes it interesting. And that’s why I love the double-edged element of Aspects. It means I can play Wolverine the way that I think Wolverine should be played.

[EDIT: Brad Murray has said some smart stuff in response over on his bloggy blog.]

– Ryan

[1] As an adventure game, anyway. Smallville would be it if I was running it like a drama…which, you know, with certain star characters it totally is.

[2] You notice a lack of “tag”? Yeah, one of my favorite parts of the Aspects chapter in Dresden was removing that (except for the idea of the “free tag”).