Category Archives: Role-Playing Games

Revisiting Fate Compel Refusal

It’s more than halfway through 2017—quite a few years after Fate Core came out—and Lenny & I still occasionally have thoughts about how to tinker under Fate’s hood. Here’s the result of our texting one another last week. Let’s take one of the weakest parts of Fate and turn it into a strength. To be totally honest,

A Different Way to Play Low-Stat Characters

I’m playing in a Dungeon World game, and my ranger/cleric has a low Intelligence and low Charisma. But somehow, I’ve become the face of our adventuring party (which I’m calling the Maestros of Failure). Now, I don’t want to play someone who is stupid/clueless or bad at talking with people, because that would bore me,

Space Wizards: an Unofficial K&T Hack

Years ago, I heard someone claim that every RPG will eventually be hacked or used to play Star Wars, like it was a some sort of natural law. Nature

How The Adventure Zone Taught Me to Remember Fun

When you design games for a living or even just as a hardcore hobby publisher, it’s super common to get wrapped into a headspace where you need to

Rating the Four Fate Actions Themselves

Many adventure game systems use the same model for creating opposition: make stats that look like PC stats, and play the rules otherwise as written (except where you don’t because you’re an NPC). We do that in Fate Core, along with the “make an abridged character most of the time.” I cut my teeth on

Using Questions as Headers

The longer I work with instructional text, whether for software or games, the more I’m convinced that we should at times use users’ questions as headers. For instance, imagine if we’d written this about situation aspects in Fate Core: How Long Do Situation Aspects Last? The short answer: aspects are true until they aren’t. Situation