#RPGaDay 18: Favorite SF RPG

coverbitMy favorite SF RPGs are probably Fate and Lady Blackburn. I already covered Lady Blackburn as my “favorite Free RPG,” so let’s talk about Fate!

Fate is an excellent game. It’s not a single system, so when I say it’s my favorite SF game, it could also be my favorite fantasy game, or my favorite superhero game, or my favorite detective game, or or or…

But Fate does Science Fiction really well. I’ve played two Fate sci fi campaigns (more than 2 sessions) in which we were a zany space ship crew traversing space and falling into lots of hijinks. I’ve also played a steampunk/SF Fate campaign where the premise was an alien invasion of a steampunk-tech world (I was a sapient robot!) I’m currently starting a “trapped in the game” campaign where the players are trapped in a video game world and have to get out– kind of cyberpunk, which is, of course, a subset of sci fi.

In Fate, it’s easy to describe an aspect that allows for some science thing to be true. With magic in Fate, you often find yourself creating entire magic systems to handle overpowered spells, but science fiction settings are far less prone to that. Perhaps because science fiction innately has a sense of “these things are possible…. but they cost something to get there.”

Because of Fate’s “everything is a character” approach, if you are playing a space setting, you’ll probably have a character sheet to handle your space ship’s stats, in addition to maybe creating zones for when you are actually in your ship. If you’re in a cyberworld, you might have aspects specific to that world. An alien race could be very detailed, down to a set of stunts and abilities… but a character from that race might simply have a high concept of “Andorrean diplomat” without requiring in-depth analysis of what it means to be an Andorrean or a diplomat in game terms– those things can come out when they become relevant to the story.

That, of course, isn’t even scratching the surface of what happens when you change the game from Fate Core to Fate Accelerated, and don’t even fuss with the skills. Or when you go even lighter, to microfate and do away with almost everything.

Last night, the group with whom I previously ran Epyllion and played Dungeon World made characters for our Minecraft “trapped in the video game” campaign, using Fate Core for our system. We’re starting with very little– no stunts, 4 aspects each, and a block of skills, which have been adapted to the real-world/game-world dichotomy. Fighting is only done in-game– there’s no fight skill for the real world, at all. I’m looking forward to our first game in 2 weeks, and the opportunity for the players to develop their characters’ abilities as they encounter the heavily-changed Minecraft world around them.