Alternate Rules and Minigames
"Think of Fate as a machine, built to produce a specific outcome. Like many machines, Fate can be adjusted to produce other outcomes; it contains a system of dials, a network of rules that can be adjusted up, down, and to the sides to achieve the result you’re looking for. It’s robust, flexible, and—most importantly—hackable." - FATE SRD, System ToolkitFATE Spin is a series of hacks and modifications to the original FATE Core system. As such, tinkering GM's are encouraged to change rules they wish. A number of excellent suggestions can be found in the FATE Core System Toolkit. A few others are listed below:
- Escalation Die [taken from 13th Age]- A way of ensuring that combat is never drawn out. On the second round of a battle, place a die with the one-pip facing up. All player characters (or all combatants) now roll +1 on their attacks. Increase the die every following round (+2, +3, +4, +5, +6).
- Aspects [taken from FATE Core]- Reinstate the aspect system from FATE Core.
- Bonds [taken from Dungeon World]- Create a handful of relationships with other players (e.x. "___ is woefully misinformed about the world; I will teach them all that I can.") Players gain a +1 to their action if they can apply a bond to it. At the end of the session, replace the most used bond with a new bond.
- Battle Maps [taken from D&D/Pathfinder]- Give players a movement stat that corresponds to their Athletics skill (e.x. "20 ft. + 5 * Athletics"). Use a grid map that displays distance in absolute terms ("one square = 5 ft.) Consider adding rules like Attack of Oppurtunity or flanking.
- Wealth Stress [taken from FATE System Toolkit]- Similar to Physical and Mental Stress tracks, with injuries being represented as debt.
Variety is the spice of life. It's worthwhile to mix-up your sessions with the occasional mini-game for unusual circumstances.
The party has been put in charge of a small army for some reason. They have a handful of platoons that can be directed to some task. Maybe they're laying siege to a fortress, or trying to defend a village. Platoons led by player characters (or enemy captains) get extra bonuses.
Because of the cumulative teamwork bonus, stats of platoons should be very high (expect a +10 for Combat/Reaction Time). The goal of the Tactician minigame is to put players in a situation where they can't outfight enemies on their own. They need to make use of mooks and factor in things like terrain or morale. An actual battle map (as opposed to the theater of the mind) is encouraged.
At some point, nearly every party winds up on the wrong side of the law. This is a golden opportunity for Charm and Knowledge players to try their hand at a legal battle. A Contest might be a good way to handle the prosecution and defense, but it's also worth considering other options, like bribing the judge or orchestrating a jailbreak. Try representing the trial with a stress track for guilt.
Tried and true, an excellent way to distract players from their latest quest.
Bases, Boats, Airships
Need somewhere to sink your party's hard won loot? Have them adopt a fortress or town. Remember that in FATE, anything is a character. Give the base stats (Security, Prosperity, etc.) ranked on the Skill Ladder (+1, +2...) Allow the players to gain some advantage from their base, like requesting supplies or reinforcements on occasion. Make sure the base is occasionally challenged, perhaps by bandits or magical creatures.
This logic can be applied to any shared "thing" that party has. For example, an airship might have Speed, Firepower, Stability, and Reputation as its stats.
Burning Buildings and Collapsing Dungeons
Players are pretty hard on the environment, and sometimes the environment can't take it. Give structures a Physical Stress track. When it's filled, start collapsing hallways and setting fires in place of injuries. When the building runs out of injuries, have it fall (on the players, if need be).