Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Rob Wieland's Shadowrun FAE Hack

Rob Wieland is one of the writers of Fate Worlds: Worlds in Shadow, as the creator of CAMELOT Trigger. He recently posted a Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) hack for Shadowrun. I think that this hack really shows how versatile FAE is in adapting the essence of another game. While I do believe that "System Matters", that not every game/genre can make the translation to FAE, Shadowrun fits well with Fate's emphasis on proactive play and character aspects.

Here's Rob's post on his Shadowrun FAE Hack for the full treatment; I'm paraphrasing:

5 Aspects
1) Archetype
2) Past
3) Team
4) Lifestyle
5) Contact

6 Approaches
1 Approach at Great (+3), 2 at Fair (+2), 2 at Average (+1), 1 at Mediocre (+0)
1) Loud
2) Hard
3) Professional
4) Quiet
5) Soft
6) Street

Stunts represent the various gear, cyber, and magic that is signature for Shadowrun.
It uses the usual FAE rubric:

Because I [aspect], I get a +2 when I [pick one: Loud, Hard, Professional, Quiet, Soft, Street] [pick one: attack, defend, create advantages, overcome] when [describe a circumstance; usually using your gear/cyber/magic]

Everyone in my gaming group was impressed with how succinctly Rob's FAE hack was able to encapsulate Shadowrun's core themes - we're planning to play a Shadowrun campaign soon.

I loved how Rob incorporated tricky mechanics in any system, Lifestyle/Resources/Money and Contact/Social Network, into the character's Aspects. If a player really wanted to make their Lifestyle or Contact stand out, it is easy enough to create a corresponding Stunt.

Rather than going Magic, Cyber, Gear, etc, for Aspects or Approaches, I love how Rob went straight to the themes of Shadowrun's genre, cyberpunk.

Drawbacks voiced:
One person said that he wanted all the tiddly-widdly crunch that Shadowrun has in its various tech and magic systems. I felt Rob really captured that with the Stunts. I think to really get that Shadowrun vibe, you would need to up the number of stunts characters receive. Where as standard FAE suggests starting with 1 stunt, and Fate Core suggests 3 stunts, I would probably go with at least 5 stunts for a Shadowrun hack. Shadowrun is gear/cyber/magic porn and as stunts represent this facet of Shadowrun, you can't skimp.

Another player felt the approaches were confusing since they overlapped in some cases. Some overlap actually doesn't bother me. It allows you to emphasis the character you want by blending which Approaches are your character's best traits. The more we talked about this hack's Approaches, the more nuanced ideas we came up with in applying each one.

Rob Wieland is someone who continually brainstorms great hacks and worlds for Fate/FAE. I know he is contributing to the Fate Patreon with 8-bit adventures in the world of Save Game, which I am looking forward to and if you love Fate, you should patron. Keep an eye on Rob, I think we will continue to see some great things from him.

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