War Stories Update

Work on War Stories continues apace. I’m hammering the Fate system into something that’s turning out to be much lighter than most offerings currently out there. This is deliberate, and actually something that’s turning out to be easier than I first imagined. I’m essentially writing out the game afresh, but in the style I would use if I were describing it to a Con audience. Everyone already does this; see a whole bunch of helpful explanatory threads on the ‘net. I do think the official Fate books do a pretty good job of telling you how the game works already, but they do take their time (and word count) doing it.

( I was having a half-joking conversation over G+ when playing Mindjammer about how so many books seem to think extra pages of verbiage are ‘value for money’. There are Kickstarters that put extra chapters in as stretch goals. Frankly, I’d pay more money to cut some stuff!)

The key concepts benefit from simpler explanation, with some examples. I don’t intend on giving loads of advice on writing aspects for example. Instead, I’ll provide strong guidance, and some inspirational lists. Similarly, I want the game to start soon as possible, so my game has the High concept and Trouble aspects blended together, and the Phase Trio is generated in the first three sessions rather than as flashbacks.

I’ve even streamlined the dice. Mine don’t have ‘blanks’. You could use coins in a pinch.

When I visualise my game, I see it in the form of a slim softback, like an exercise book. The classic Moldvay edition of Basic D&D is my touchstone here. 64 pages, no waste, infinite possibilities. If I can’t get a system and setting into something like that kind of pagecount, I’m doing something wrong.

In order to get that done, I’m not making this game too generic. Yes, it’s about WW2, and yes, I’ll include tasters for non-standard campaigns, but I’m concentrating on plucky Brits in battle. I could of, and might still, have made the default more American (as in Band of Brothers), but actually I want to give a strong focus to my game and sticking with something ‘local’ helps with that.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “War Stories Update

  1. doctormitch

    Interested to see what you come up with. I agree it should be possible to come up with a nice tight focused but complete game with that count- and that most Fate games do not view terseness as a virtue. :)

    I’m a bit troubled by getting rid of the blanks on the dice though. If you have just +1 and -1, but not 0. If you do that, it’s impossible on four dice to roll an odd number, which is a bit wonky; things jump from 0 to +2 or -2, then to +4 or -4. If that’s not what you’re doing, ignore this comment!

    • That is indeed what I’m planning. The spread would all be in increments of 2. However, I’m also promoting the usual Fate rule of +1 for allies to an extra dice. That will happen with more regularity than a standard Fate game due to the squad based nature of the game.

      Or, playtesting with show the madness of the notion and I’ll go back to something more vanilla.

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