Fate’s been able to handle aspects for campaign theme, mood, setting tropes, all that jazz since aspects were created. We handle some of the with Dresden’s City Creation, with the Themes and Threats of the city and locations in it, but it can go farther. A good friend of mine, Morgan Ellis, pushes the envelope here with aspects he’ll put down about the theme of a game. Some that we’ve come up with in conversation or in play:
- “Training montages”, for spy or thriller games
- “Kirby dots“, for comic book-inspired games
- “True Love Conquers All”, for romance-infused games
etc. He was talking to us about wanting to do a Shadowrun Fate game, because when he first picked up Shadowrun 2/e as a kid, he fell in love with the cover. He wanted to play the cover. For various reasons, the game in ended up playing wasn’t the game from the cover.
Here’s where it gets all crazyhouse. We started deconstructing it, figuring out what aspects would work well, when another friend of ours, Carl Rigney, suggested just making the cover image an aspect. It might have been a joke at first, but it got us thinking hard about the idea. It isn’t actually too far a leap from some of the very high-concept aspects like “Sins of the Past” or anything like that. With those aspects, a bit of conversation about what an invocation or compel is makes for smoother play. Same goes here; what conversation could be had about invoking this cover image? Compelling it?
I wouldn’t go crazy with images for aspects all the time, but a cover image, that’s some interesting thinking. Haven’t played with it yet, but I’m certainly going to at some point. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Or, if you try it, let me know!
So, for the audience participation portion of the week: How would you invoke this cover image aspect? How would you compel it?