PF Wizkids should take the Pathfinder 1.0 ruleset and publish their own RPG.

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
About all I can say to this is that if Fate can't do all the things @Aldarc says here it can't do (an assertion I have to take on faith as I'm not all that familiar with the Fate system) then it's probably not a game I'd be interested in playing.
Let me see...

Fate is not designed for zero-to-hero narratives - Mostly true. Fate is actually very well designed to express how a person changes when exposed to events in their world. The design isn't about increase in overall power, but is about change in response to events.

It's not designed for exploration and dungeon crawls - In the square-crawling sense, true. In the sense of exploring exciting, unknown, dynamic locations, totally false. You can whip out more interesting traps, terrain, and situations in FATE than in just about any other system.

It's not a game about rewarding good tactical play - Completely false. FATE is very much about engaging with the details fo a scene provided. It just isn't grid-based-movement tactics.

...players engaging an in-universe resource management minigame - True.

....or solving puzzles - false. FATE provides at least as much support for puzzles as any version of D&D does. Note how puzzles in D&D are generally things outside the ruleset?

....And sort of the action declarations that a player can make or encouraged to make will differ between games. - I admit this one seems a little hard to parse. I don't think either game really limits the declarations a player can make, but the effective ones in D&D combat heavily lean on a specific list defined by character build and abilities, and out of combat lean heavily to a restricted list of skills - D&D leans to each character having a picklist of specific actions they will generally take. I think FATE gives players more ways to boost their own chances, and so allow a soemwhat broader approach to situations than the D&D picklist. What kind of declarations the player is "encouraged to make" is determined by scenario/adventure design, and is not directly a function of the ruleset in either game.
 

MichaelSomething

Adventurer
I can't convince my players to play the Tales of Equestria RPG but I can get them to play 5E and give out quests that are remarkably similar to friendship problems...
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I hope you don't mind my clarifying my terse overview:
Fate is not designed for zero-to-hero narratives - Mostly true. Fate is actually very well designed to express how a person changes when exposed to events in their world. The design isn't about increase in overall power, but is about change in response to events.
Here, I also had in mind things like how a AD&D fighter would become a "lord" at level 9, but a player in Fate could declare that their fighting-person a "lord" in their aspect at the very beginning. You can start as a "grizzled veteran of a thousand wars" or something in Fate.

It's not designed for exploration and dungeon crawls - In the square-crawling sense, true. In the sense of exploring exciting, unknown, dynamic locations, totally false. You can whip out more interesting traps, terrain, and situations in FATE than in just about any other system.
Here, I meant more in Lanefan's sense of exploration and dungeon crawls that focuses on skilled play, simulated prefixed environments, and the like. Fate, IMHO, usually has more blank spaces in its play that are filled by the proactive play of players. For example, a character with the aspect "Disgraced Bodyguard of the Prince" could invoke their aspect to declare a narrative fact that is consistent with the fiction: e.g., "Because I was a bodyguard for the prince, I know that there is a secret escape route into the manor that connects the kitchen to the shed in the garden." The GM can accept the fate point and go with the new narrative fiction. This sort of thing doesn't really jive well with Lanefan's own sense of what D&D exploration and dungeon crawls entail.

It's not a game about rewarding good tactical play - Completely false. FATE is very much about engaging with the details fo a scene provided. It just isn't grid-based-movement tactics.
Here, I was referring more to the grid-based movement tactics here as opposed to the more abstract Creating an Advantage and Invoking Aspects actions where a lot of the tactical scene-engagement comes into play. Fate wasn't built out of a tactical skirmish wargame. D&D was.

....or solving puzzles - false. FATE provides at least as much support for puzzles as any version of D&D does. Note how puzzles in D&D are generally things outside the ruleset?
Traps and puzzles are often part of the resource management game, a means to whittle things like HP and spells. Fate's not really into that. I can't even recall Fate talking about puzzles, apart from using an Overcome Will roll. The Book of Hanz even admits that Fate's not too interested in puzzles.

....And sort of the action declarations that a player can make or encouraged to make will differ between games. - I admit this one seems a little hard to parse. I don't think either game really limits the declarations a player can make, but the effective ones in D&D combat heavily lean on a specific list defined by character build and abilities, and out of combat lean heavily to a restricted list of skills - D&D leans to each character having a picklist of specific actions they will generally take. I think FATE gives players more ways to boost their own chances, and so allow a soemwhat broader approach to situations than the D&D picklist. What kind of declarations the player is "encouraged to make" is determined by scenario/adventure design, and is not directly a function of the ruleset in either game.
Create an Advantage, invoking aspects, aspect permissions, declare a story detail, conceding a conflict, compels, etc.
 
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Arilyn

Adventurer
I really like Fate, and the more we play, the more aware we are of its stretchiness. It can do more than the pulp adventures the designers thought it was made for. I could probably use Fate for almost any genre, but I don't, because other systems have different flavours, which are fun to explore. Other systems can be totally dedicated to their topic, like Pendragon, Nobilis or One Ring. But, if I could only ever own one RPG, I'd choose Fate for its versatility.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
What kind of declarations the player is "encouraged to make" is determined by scenario/adventure design, and is not directly a function of the ruleset in either game.
The narrative content of each decision may vary by scenario rather than ruleset, but the method of making that decision is very much a function of the system involved. D&D tells us to make decisions as our characters would make them, and strongly condemns meta-gaming. FATE tells us to make decisions that will create a better story, with rules to encourage meta-gaming.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
I have access to Pugmire and Mau, Odyssey of the Dragonlords, Arcanis, Midgard, Fateforge, Esper Genesis, and Adventures in Middle Earth. I'm still not sure what innovations that I am supposed to be "wowed" by in these books. Do you have some particular examples of innovations in mind? That said, I don't think that arguing that they pass a technical definition of innovation - creating something that previously didn't exist - really is all that helpful to discussion since it seems to want to equivocate between the two senses of meaning here.
Whether you are subjectively personally wowed is besides the point though is it not? We have something to benchmark -> Whether these games are just retreading similar ideas and just reskinning ideas and mechanics.

Odyssey of the Dragonlords has epic paths.
Ultramodern5 has lifepaths and ladders. And of course takes a modern spin.
Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for 5e provides their own dread and insanity mechanics.
I am sure the as mentioned above is just retreading and reskinning ideas and mechanics. I will take a look at the others.

Whether or not a GM approves 3pp materials for their games seems like an orthogonal issue.
I am asking whether you would. Because you have expressed fatigue and disdain at 5e material Borgifying the market.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I do not think we can meaningful divorce scenario design from system. The way a GM is supposed to design and present scenarios is part of system design. Examples include:
  • Fronts and GM moves in Apocalypse World
  • Scenario design and scene framing in Burning Wheel
  • Module Design in B/X which is extremely different than adventure design in modern D&D
  • Kickers, Bangs, and Scene Framing in Sorcerer
  • Scene Framing and Arcs in Masks
  • Scores in Blades in the Dark
 

Parmandur

Legend
I do not think we can meaningful divorce scenario design from system. The way a GM is supposed to design and present scenarios is part of system design. Examples include:
  • Fronts and GM moves in Apocalypse World
  • Scenario design and scene framing in Burning Wheel
  • Module Design in B/X which is extremely different than adventure design in modern D&D
  • Kickers, Bangs, and Scene Framing in Sorcerer
  • Scene Framing and Arcs in Masks
  • Scores in Blades in the Dark
And yet people take scenarios meant for one game and play them in another all the time.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Whether you are subjectively personally wowed is besides the point though is it not? We have something to benchmark -> Whether these games are just retreading similar ideas and just reskinning ideas and mechanics.
I recall saying that a lot of them are not that some of them aren't. As to whether or not being personally wowed is beside the point, how about you tell me? You are the one who first put forth the proposition "They are in fact innovating mechanics." I said in response that I didn't find most of these mechanical innovations all that innovative. It seems like the technical innovations that these 5e compatible systems put forth is comparatively marginal: set pieces, window dressing, and accessories. (Which is an apt summary IMO of what you highlight below.)

Odyssey of the Dragonlords has epic paths.
Ultramodern5 has lifepaths and ladders. And of course takes a modern spin.
Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for 5e provides their own dread and insanity mechanics.
I am sure the as mentioned above is just retreading and reskinning ideas and mechanics. I will take a look at the others.
So let's be clear here, you are construing my earlier statement that "I have not seen all that much in the way of innovative mechanics come out of the 5e compatible lines. A lot of retreading of similar ideas with reskinned ideas and mechanics" as an absolute statement that there is nothing new such that this argument can be simply disproven by pointing out that any innovations at all technically occurred, but that's clearly a dishonest or at least a disingenuous reading.

But I don't particularly find most of this stuff all that innovative, and we can go through the list and talk about it in further detail and even talk of the things I find more innovative, but that seems like a bit of a distraction. Is that a subjective sense? Sure. But trying to make this argument be about an objective sense where you somehow disprove my argumentation by demonstrating that innovation technically happened seems a bit inconsequential to me. It's on the same juvenile level as when kids play freeze games where they are required not to move. One kid stands still and the other kid pedantically points out that the first kid was technically moving their chest when breathing or when they blinked.

I am asking whether you would. Because you have expressed fatigue and disdain at 5e material Borgifying the market.
I'm still seeing this as orthogonal to the issue - at least in the way that you are framing it - since a GM may prefer a tight game that only uses the official materials. Some GMs only prefer using the PHB only. Some permit everything, sky's the limit. I don't really think that this speaks to my concern about "5e material Borgifying the market." But you clearly want me to bite on this bait you have laid out, so why don't you spare us all the hassle and just pretend that you caught me in your clever ruse? At this point, I would prefer that you get to your point.

I love FATE, but sometimes it can feel very stale.
Apparently I should angrily accuse of you of attacking Fate by saying that and defend Fate from your attack. However, mature and reasonable people should recognize that you aren't somehow attacking Fate, so there is no reason to get into a needless argument where I unnecessarily accuse you of attacking Fate.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
And yet people take scenarios meant for one game and play them in another all the time.
This is generally done with games that are broadly similar or with significant alteration to fit the expectations of the game. If I am playing in a Dungeon World game and the DM tries to run a 2nd Edition railroad words will be had. That's not what I signed up for. Same thing if they did so in a B/X game. From my perspective this is just like if we are playing poker and you start taking tricks like it was euchre. That's not the game we're playing.

All games are built on social accords. We all agree that we are doing something together and agree to do it a certain way. We can agree to change that as a group if we choose to. Role playing games are not special in that way.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
This is generally done with games that are broadly similar or with significant alteration to fit the expectations of the game. If I am playing in a Dungeon World game and the DM tries to run a 2nd Edition railroad words will be had. That's not what I signed up for. Same thing if they did so in a B/X game. From my perspective this is just like if we are playing poker and you start taking tricks like it was euchre. That's not the game we're playing.

All games are built on social accords. We all agree that we are doing something together and agree to do it a certain way. We can agree to change that as a group if we choose to. Role playing games are not special in that way.
This is a strange way to look at it for me: story is story, characters are characters.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
I recall saying that a lot of them are not that some of them aren't.
I am at work so unfortunately cannot address all of what you wrote. But kindly address the above. At least word it in a way that makes more sense.

It's on the same juvenile level as when kids play freeze games where they are required not to move. One kid stands still and the other kid pedantically points out that the first kid was technically moving their chest when breathing or when they blinked.
I am not sure any of this is relevant for constructive and reasonable discussion.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
This is a strange way to look at it for me: story is story, characters are characters.
The experience at the table matters to me. This is a thing we are doing as a group. Part of what I am looking for when I play a game like Dungeon World or Masks or Apocalypse World is that we are all finding out what the story is together, including the GM. When I play these games I am not looking to be an audience member. This quote from Monsterhearts explains it better than me:

Monsterhearts said:
Keep the story feral.

The conversation that you have with the other players and with the rules create a story that couldn’t have existed in your head alone. As you play, you might feel an impulse to domesticate that story. You form an awesome plan for exactly what could happen next, and where the story could go. In your head, it’s spectacular. All you’d need to do is dictate what the other players should do, ignore the dice once or twice, and force your idea into existence. In short: you’d have to take control.

The game loses its magic when any one player attempts to take control of the story. It becomes small enough to fit inside one person’s head. The other players turn into audience members instead of participants. Nobody’s experience is enriched when one person turns the collective conversation into their own private story.

So avoid this impulse. Let the story’s messy, chaotic momentum guide it forward. In any given moment, focus on reacting to the other players. Allow others to foil your plans, or improve upon them. Trust that good story emerges from wildness. Play to find out what happens next. Let yourself be surprised.

This is the kind of thing I am talking about when I talk about playing to find out what happens.

However, when I play B/X I am definitely not looking for a story. I am looking to play a game and play it skillfully. Story is what happens after play. This is a war game.

Under the right circumstances playing through a GM's story can be fun if I know that is what we are doing. I won't put the same energy into my character, but it can be fun. The Fifth Edition I am a player in is like this. Generally in these sorts of situations I am not going to play the game or my character particularly hard because neither is really a strong focus of play.
 
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Xenonnonex

Adventurer
I recall saying that a lot of them are not that some of them aren't.
What.
As to whether or not being personally wowed is beside the point, how about you tell me? You are the one who first put forth the proposition "They are in fact innovating mechanics." I said in response that I didn't find most of these mechanical innovations all that innovative. It seems like the technical innovations that these 5e compatible systems put forth is comparatively marginal: set pieces, window dressing, and accessories. (Which is an apt summary IMO of what you highlight below.)
I hope you understand why I say your subjective opinion is besides the point. Whether they are innovating mechanics can be objectively quantified. If they are introducing mechanics that are original ideas and new and by that virtue something that has not appeared in 5e. Then yes that is innovation.

So let's be clear here, you are construing my earlier statement that "I have not seen all that much in the way of innovative mechanics come out of the 5e compatible lines. A lot of retreading of similar ideas with reskinned ideas and mechanics" as an absolute statement that there is nothing new such that this argument can be simply disproven by pointing out that any innovations at all technically occurred, but that's clearly a dishonest or at least a disingenuous reading.
No I am taking it at face value and I am approaching it from a fair and reasonable viewpoint. And I am giving examples where your statement is demonstrably incorrect. The examples clearly speak for themselves. Thinking my reply to be clearly a dishonest or disingenuous reading is a response in bad faith.

But I don't particularly find most of this stuff all that innovative, and we can go through the list and talk about it in further detail and even talk of the things I find more innovative, but that seems like a bit of a distraction. Is that a subjective sense? Sure. But trying to make this argument be about an objective sense where you somehow disprove my argumentation by demonstrating that innovation technically happened seems a bit inconsequential to me.
Sure we can discuss this further. And we can discuss why you find the examples I have given thus far are considered by you to be retreading similar ideas and reskinning ideas and mechanics. When they are clearly not. I can also find further examples.

It's on the same juvenile level as when kids play freeze games where they are required not to move. One kid stands still and the other kid pedantically points out that the first kid was technically moving their chest when breathing or when they blinked.
This is completely and utterly irrelevant.

I'm still seeing this as orthogonal to the issue - at least in the way that you are framing it - since a GM may prefer a tight game that only uses the official materials. Some GMs only prefer using the PHB only. Some permit everything, sky's the limit. I don't really think that this speaks to my concern about "5e material Borgifying the market." But you clearly want me to bite on this bait you have laid out, so why don't you spare us all the hassle and just pretend that you caught me in your clever ruse? At this point, I would prefer that you get to your point.
I am specifically asking you. There is no confusion in my framing of the question. I am asking about the players involved in your games. You are simply avoiding answering.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I said that a lot of games (i.e., not all games) are just retreading similar ideas and reskinning ideas and mechanics not that some of them aren't innovating. You are attempting to falsify a different hypothesis than the one that was put forth, hence why I find your argument to come across as pedantic.

I hope you understand why I say your subjective opinion is besides the point. Whether they are innovating mechanics can be objectively quantified. If they are introducing mechanics that are original ideas and new and by that virtue something that has not appeared in 5e. Then yes that is innovation.

This is completely and utterly irrelevant.
I would have hoped you have understood why the analogy was not irrelevant - boy was I mistaken - because it is illustrative of the sort nitpicky, pedantic games that you are trying to play. "Ah ha! You are moving when you breath," is on a similar level as "Ah ha! There is a slightly new mechanic in this game so it innovated."

No I am taking it at face value and I am approaching it from a fair and reasonable viewpoint. And I am giving examples where your statement is demonstrably incorrect. The examples clearly speak for themselves. Thinking my reply to be clearly a dishonest or disingenuous reading is a response in bad faith.
It seems to me that if you were "taking it at face value and I am approaching it from a fair and reasonable viewpoint" then you wouldn't be trying to play these pedantic games.

Sure we can discuss this further. And we can discuss why you find the examples I have given thus far are considered by you to be retreading similar ideas and reskinning ideas and mechanics. When they are clearly not. I can also find further examples.
Sure.

Odyssey of the Dragonlords has epic paths.
When you look at it in detail, it's less of an actual mechanic and more story fluff that is meant to provide an in-game hook for your character. What is the actual impact of play for this mechanic? It's kinda underwhelming given the relative emphasis the Kickstarter had on this. You can find a more robust version of "Epic Paths" with Primeval Thule's "Character Narratives," which are also similar to the ladders you mention below.

Ultramodern5 has lifepaths and ladders. And of course takes a modern spin.
Now correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Ultramodern5 just the 5e update/conversion of Ultramodern4 that was written for the 4th Edition D&D OGL? And was it not this prior iteration of Ultramodern that innovated the idea of ladders that would coexist with your class choice? And aren't these ladders not an iteration of the Character Themes from 4e Dark Sun? :unsure:

Regarding lifepaths, they even say it themselves in the book that lifepaths are just an expansion of backgrounds. From what I can tell, lifepaths seem to repackage a similar idea from Traveller albeit stripped of any mechanical weight as it applies to generating a character's backstory fluff.

Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for 5e provides their own dread and insanity mechanics.
Didn't Imaro and Parmandur establish earlier in this thread that the DMG already has its own optional mechanics for this? ;)

I can save you some time and say that I believe that Pugmire is probably one of the more innovative offerings because it crunches the game to 10 levels, streamlines some aspects of the game (though arguably not enough), and while also deconstructing the game and its character options. (It does reskin a lot though.) If it was decoupled from its somewhat charming anthromorphic setting and deconstructed further, then it would have a lot of potential as a 5e Accelerated or even as the basis for a revitalized 5e Modern.

I am specifically asking you. There is no confusion in my framing of the question. I am asking about the players involved in your games. You are simply avoiding answering.
(1) I have enough self-awareness to recognize that this answer is contextualized on the sort of game that I would want to run. (2) My players have never approached me as a GM requesting to use 3pp for 5e so it has never come up.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
D&D tells us to make decisions as our characters would make them, and strongly condemns meta-gaming. FATE tells us to make decisions that will create a better story, with rules to encourage meta-gaming.
This is oft-touted, but does not ring true.

Let us be honest - to make this claim for D&D, we have to contort ourselves around making large swaths of game-rule information an in-game construct, such that every PC is actually carrying a copy of Mordenkainen's "Howe Thee Worlde Reallye Workes" in their adventurer's packs. That book looks remarkably like a PHB, classifying spells in levels, and not batting an eye on how Druid and wizard spells have exactly the same effects, discussing how adventurer toughness seems to be quantified in levels, their toughness modeled with dice of varying sizes...

And, of course, the assertion that we don't metagame flies out the window when you get to the folks who love the tactical wargame, detailed movement, and playing the detailed rules, where all the characters go about like a well-oiled machine, even though they aren't able to communicate in detail in six seconds what everyone is going to do....

Moreover, most adventuring parties would quickly fall apart if they weren't driven by the players understanding that unless someone gets really egregious in their behavior, we all have to get along. Belkar would not be tolerated if we didn't metagame, but strangely, we all have Belkars (or some other thing we compromise on what we will work with for the good of the game) in our lives. So, the platitudes of how D&D doesn't have metagaming are... platitudes, but not the general reality.

If you really feel that somehow you work without any metagame considerations.... well fine. Go you! How confident are you that, if we walked through any convention game hall, or into any FLGS in the nation, and watched a game, I'd not be able to point out a dozen instances of metagame thinking in a given session? I don't think you should be at all confident about that.

Given that, the question isn't about what the game encourages. It is about what the game will support. And, guess what? FATE will work fine if you limit yourself to non-metagame decisions. Your aspects can be chosen to describe entirely in-game abilities and backstory.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I have a request @Aldarc that you put forward your arguments without the need to resort to snide and sniping remarks. It would be better overall for the thread. Thank you.
Almost the entirety of what I wrote addresses what you asked of me and addresses your argument. That said, I do find your argument that you are putting forth to be pedantic and involve strawmen arguments where you are falsifying a different argument than the one made. @Umbran is above, and he has made comments already about this thread. If you believe that I am stepping over the line, then you are welcome to report me and make your case.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
Almost the entirety of what I wrote addresses what you asked of me and addresses your argument. That said, I do find your argument that you are putting forth to be pedantic and involve strawmen arguments where you are falsifying a different argument than the one made. @Umbran is above, and he has made comments already about this thread. If you believe that I am stepping over the line, then you are welcome to report me and make your case.
I do not have an issue with what you write or your opinions. That has never been the issue. I and I think a few others in this thread have an issue with how you phrase your points.
 

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