Slenk
 member, 8 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 12:21
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
Hey all, I've been looking up the best way to do species in a Star Wars Fate Core hack. There seems to be a couple ways to do it. I'm down to the following, and would like some input on the best way to go about it.

1) Use the species as part of the High Concept and invoke/compel it as necessary in relation to characteristics of that species. I personally feel like this would be the easiest.

2) Keep it out of the High Concept, but have the players take their species as one of their starting Aspects, if non-human. This still allows being able to invoke/compel the species characteristics, but maybe adds a bit of balance for species having "abilities" humans don't, by requiring them to use up an aspect for it, while human characters wouldn't have to.

3) Use species like races in base Fate (like elves and orcs were used in the example). This seems alright, but would also require more work on figuring out potential aspects and skill flavors for each species used.

Thoughts?
Hendell
 member, 177 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 12:31
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
All of the above, each character can be as much or as little alien as it likes.  Any feature dedicated to alien is less of something else and Fate doesn't care for details.
Slenk
 member, 9 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 12:34
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
In reply to Hendell (msg # 2):

I feel like using all of the options at once would be a little too chaotic and confusing, wouldn't it?

To add, only 2 of the players have played a minimal amount of Fate, 1 has never played Fate, and the last has never played Fate and has also only ever been in 1 other game of any kind. I'm basically trying to keep it as easy to remember as possible for them.
Hendell
 member, 178 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 12:56
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
Fate is a bad system for beginners, if your players need more structure try a system they are familiar with, star wars exists in almost all the well known systems.
Slenk
 member, 10 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 12:59
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
In reply to Hendell (msg # 4):

Odd, in my experience Fate is great for beginners since it generally involves much less keeping track of numbers. While I own EotE, I'm intentionally using Fate for this group since it flows much more smoothly and quickly.

That said, I'd still appreciate input as to how to run species in Fate Core.
airellian
 member, 448 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 13:07
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
I wouldn't make a species specific aspect. Instead, I would allow players to make it as a part of their High Concept, their Trouble, or any other aspect. You should always start with the fiction, and aspects represent things that are relevant to that character's story within the fiction.

If you have a Han Solo character, I'd expect his aspects to be some combination of his swagger and charm, his blaster, the Millenium Falcon, and his trusty co-pilot Chewbacca. If your character was Chewbacca himself, I'd expect his aspects to contain his penchant for ripping arms off, his inability to speak Basic, his skill at piloting the Millenium Falcon, and his bowcaster.

It all depends on what exactly you want to emphasize with the character. If their species is relatively important to their character, then that will be emphasized via aspects and within the fiction.

This message was last edited by the user at 13:11, Tue 16 Apr.

Spire
 member, 10 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 13:21
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
It all depends on the person. Some newer players chafe under the stricture of rules the purpose of which they barely comprehend. Others need a crutch to allow them to figure out what the hell they're doing.

As for the original question, I definitely definitely wouldn't put the race as the sole High Concept since that would rob the player of a source of individualization. Either make it part of a High Concept or devote a single aspect to it. The latter works best if you operate under the concept that humans are the baseline and all other races exist in relation to that baseline, which seems common.
Slenk
 member, 11 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 13:23
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
In reply to airellian (msg # 6):

That makes sense, thanks!

I think that would work fairly well since a couple of the players are only playing certain species for cosmetic reasons, by the others view their species as more important to their background. This would be a good way to portray that for those players that care about it.
Slenk
 member, 12 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 13:26
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
In reply to Spire (msg # 7):

Yeah, the species wouldn't replace the High Concept if I went that route, just be part of the description. "Quick-witted Rodian smuggler from Tatooine" for example.
spectator
 member, 197 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 14:14
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
Working it into the high concept would be my go-to, although I suppose slipping it in another aspect could work. It just does seem defining enough in a Star Wars context to be in the high concept--it's how the character is going to be described in 5 words or less. Putting it in another aspect might work if it's not as obvious or important I suppose, like a near-human or something.

If they want it to carry more mechanical weight, stunts are of course a great place to flesh out their alien species. But I'd be very much in favour of letting them do that, rather than making them take certain skills/stunts/whatever. How much they want to mechanically express the species is up to them.

I don't think you need to worry about characters having 'abilities' because they're aliens (permissions from the aspects I guess, in Fate language). They'll be paying for anything really significant (stunts, or spending Fate points) which is intentionally balanced--the flavour of stuff their getting is the only difference. And if being a wookie lets you automatically reach stuff of the high shelf better, it also automatically makes you more of a target than a human, so if anything the net 'unwritten' bonuses even out or even stack against aliens anyway. Especially in a game like Fate, social factors can weigh just as heavily as physical traits.
Slenk
 member, 13 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 14:31
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
In reply to spectator (msg # 10):

Thanks for the input! That seems like a great take on it as well. A large part of the reason I dislike the species/race as a skill is the idea of forcing the players to forgo a skill in order to play an alien or droid. I like the idea of letting them though if they really want their character to embody the species they chose.

I think by default I'll have them include it in their high concept, but put it out there that if they want to tailor their aspects around their species, or take it as a skill (if a race has enough unique about it to warrant it), they're more than welcome to.


spectator:
Especially in a game like Fate, social factors can weigh just as heavily as physical traits.

This here was a big reason I was leaning toward having it be part of the High Concept, because even being a human in Star Wars can carry social positives or negatives depending on where you are in the galaxy. I really like the thought of being able to invoke/compel based on species, especially for social situations.
Hendell
 member, 179 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 16:27
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
It is this very versatility that makes Fate difficult for inexperienced gamers to really make use of.  Sure they can write a few things down and those may matter from time to time.  But the system offers little or now guidance about what helps and what doesn't.  It can also be a very quick trap into thinking their characters can simply do anything.

With the right group, or a GM who knows how to manage it this isn't always a problem but text is going to act against both those factors even if they exist and will likely lead new players to misunderstand the game, perhaps the very principals of gaming at all.
airellian
 member, 449 posts
Tue 16 Apr 2019
at 17:01
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
You should be paying very close to aspects, as they are supposed to be a conversation between the player and the Game Master. It's the player's way of letting the Game Master know what they want to see in the game. If you have aspects related to blasters or rusty X-Wings, then you can expect that they want to experience gunfights and aerial dogfights. If they have an aspect like "Everyone Thinks I'm Han Solo", then you can expect that they want a lot of mistaken identity plots related to their character. If they have an aspect like "Use the Force!" then they obviously want to have a Jedi-related plot attached to their character.

If they don't have any aspects explicitly related to being a droid, even if in the fiction they are a droid, then you can expect that they don't want to deal with discrimination based on their being a droid. They don't want to deal with interactions that are summed up by "We don't serve your kind here" or have to deal with droid liberation rights. Just like if you have a female character with no aspect like "Striving in a Man's World", then they probably don't want to deal with gender-based tropes or plot lines. It's just not part of their character or the story they want to experience.

Hendell:
It is this very versatility that makes Fate difficult for inexperienced gamers to really make use of.  Sure they can write a few things down and those may matter from time to time.  But the system offers little or now guidance about what helps and what doesn't.  It can also be a very quick trap into thinking their characters can simply do anything.

You could make the case that they can do anything, but it just depends on what they're willing to pay, resources or time. Part of this, I think, is that players aren't willing to concede very often, because it so often feels like losing, and they don't like to lose, even though it's a legitimate part of narratives and the game on the whole. Make sure players understand that conceding is okay and also that they can change the parameters of a conflict in a sort of ongoing negotiation.

It's also imperative that the Game Master meet them halfway. That's the social contract part of the game between player and Game Master. If the Game Master is throwing challenges at the players that don't match any of the players' aspects, then something is going wrong.
Slenk
 member, 14 posts
Wed 17 Apr 2019
at 11:50
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
In reply to airellian (msg # 13):

I completely agree about the Aspects. Outside of that, my ground is pretty good about suggesting to me what they want in the game. They're all friends I've known for over a decade, and we all pretty much know what each other are interested in anyway, so game themes haven't really been an issue.
liblarva
 member, 599 posts
Wed 17 Apr 2019
at 18:21
Hacking Fate for Star Wars
Fate works great for Star Wars. I'd say that species should be an Aspect, but it shouldn't be required to be part of the high concept. It could be, but shouldn't be forced if it doesn't fit. It all depends on how the player wants to define their character and how centrally they place species in that definition.

There is a huge difference between these two characters:

HC: World-Weary Jedi
A: Outcast Hutt

and

HC: Outcast Hutt
A: World-Weary Jedi

To me, the high concept is always central. The main defining Aspect of the character. The other Aspects are secondary, but still important. It's a question of where the player wants to focus the spotlight.

If the player wants any more mechanical weight to their species, then they can take stunts and skills to reflect their species. A stunt that reflects their long lifespan and/or high physique for a Wookie, etc.
liblarva
 member, 600 posts
Wed 17 Apr 2019
at 18:26
Re: Hacking Fate for Star Wars
Hendell:
Fate is a bad system for beginners, if your players need more structure try a system they are familiar with, star wars exists in almost all the well known systems.


I've had literally the opposite experience. I've brought more people into gaming via Fate than any other game system I've ever played. The versatility of Fate makes it head-and-shoulders the best system for newbies. Because they can do anything (within the confines of the setting and their character) and don't have to bother with the silliness of looking up minutiae rules for how much damage they take from falling 10 feet. It's when those players introduced to the hobby through Fate branch out to other games that they rankle at the notion of having rules for everything. Fate is a hurdle for many long-time gamers, not newbies.
JxJxA
 member, 219 posts
Thu 18 Apr 2019
at 06:56
Re: Hacking Fate for Star Wars
There is a Fate Core hack for Star Wars already if you're interested in checking it out and seeing if you want to use it, borrow from it, or avoid it. The following links to the pdf:

https://libskia.so/pub/Star-Wars-Fate-Edition.pdf