FAE: Shifting Approaches

This is more of a post-let than a detailed post, but it was an idea that occurred to me and I wanted to get it out there for anyone who might benefit from it or do something interesting with it (which, by the way, is carte blanche for you to do so, if you feel so motivated).

In Fate Accelerated Edition, characters use different Approaches to perform actions, choosing from Careful, Flashy, Forceful, etc. (or whatever other names the Approaches are given).

One classic element of fictional conflicts is encouraging, forcing, or tricking an opponent or rival into using an Approach that puts them at a disadvantage: get a normally careful foe angry enough to attack with abandon, make a somewhat dim-witted rival overestimate his own cleverness, put a forceful, flashy character in a situation where being sneaky and subtle is called for (or vice versa).

This is essentially Creating an Advantage except, rather than sussing out or creating an aspect, you’re shifting the conflict to a different approach. So, on a tie or success, you get a sense of the opponent’s weakest approach and get to shift the conflict there for one exchange. If you succeed with style, you keep it there for two exchanges and, at the GM’s option, can spend a fate point to keep it there for an additional exchange.

Example: Two sword-fighters  are facing-off, and it quickly becomes clear they’re evenly matched in the Quick and Flashy department, so one tries to taunt her opponent with a Flashy maneuver to get him angry enough to try a Forceful attack. On a tie or success, she goads her foe into taking a Forceful approach for the next exchange, perhaps giving her an opening for a Quick attack. If she succeeds with style, her foe is so unhinged, he goes Forceful for the next two exchanges at least.

Addendum: Why is this any better than just creating an advantage or getting a bonus? Apart from the flavor of it, shifting approaches can have a more variable bonus (depending on the spread between the subject’s best and worst approaches applicable to the situation) plus it can potentially deny the target access to stunts based on a particular approach: If your foe’s best stunt is based on being Flashy, for example, and you force him into a situation where he has to be Sneaky, then that stunt is likely off the table for the moment, giving you an added advantage.

ICONS: Hero Pack 5

HeroPack5cover300xDan “The Man” Houser brings you Hero Pack 5 for ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying, now available on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow!

Like previous entries in the popular Hero Pack series, this one features dozens of fan-created heroes and villains, by ICONS players for ICONS players, with a twist: characters are paired, hero with arch-nemesis, hero team versus villain team, with three pairs of solo hero/villain enemies and seven pairs of teams (fourteen total) as arch-foes, all ready to use in your ICONS game!

Plus the characters in Hero Pack 5 use the updated power descriptions and formats from the Great Power sourcebook, making it immediately useful with those rules.

Grab a pack of inspiration for your ICONS game with Hero Pack 5! Get it now at DriveThruRPG!

ICONS: Knacks

iconsknacksKnacks are a new type of trait for ICONS, neither ability, specialty, nor power. A knack can have one of the following effects, chosen when the knack is created and acquired:

  • Substitutes one ability level for another in relation to a specific kind of test or usage. Examples include swapping Strength for Willpower for intimidating (“My might is intimidating!”) or Intellect for Coordination for Dodging (“Totally saw that one coming.”).
  • Provides a +2 bonus for a specific type of test in the form: “Because I [something unique about the character] I get a bonus when I [particular situation or test].” For example, “Because I once belonged to the criminal underworld, I get a bonus when I interact with criminals on their own terms.”
  • Provides the effects of a power at a level equal to a “linked” ability. Note that this does not count as the “Ability-Linked” limit for powers that feature it (see the Great Power sourcebook for details).
  • Provides a declared benefit the player can bring into play based on a specific Specialty, reflecting the character’s knowledge, experience, or resources. For example, “As a Business Expert, I know a lot of people in this field. One of them should be able to help us out.” This follows the same guidelines as a retcon (ICONS, p. 80).

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Re: Animated • Justice League “Metamorphosis” – Part 2

jl23This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“Metamorphosis” – Part 2

This is where the action starts happening and Part 2 of “Metamorphosis,” in contrast to the solo origin story of Part 1, is full of fights that give the League a run for their money.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “Metamorphosis” – Part 1

jl22This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“Metamorphosis” – Part 1

Fun Science Fact: I was incredibly fond of “elemental” heroes as a kid, they actually made me want to learn about the periodic table and the properties of the various elements and chemical reactions. So, naturally, I have a soft spot for Metamorpho, the Element Man, sometime ally (and occasional member) of the Justice League.

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Re: Animated • Justice League “A Knight of Shadows” – Part 2

jl21This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“A Knight of Shadows” – Part 2

Part 2 the episode opens with J’onn apologizing to an injured Batman, explaining how, in spite of the illusory nature of Le Fey’s temptations, “I would do anything to embrace my loved ones again.” Now we get some idea of the sympathy Batman feels for J’onn’s plight. (Subtle references to Batman’s motivations are common in this first season, with the viewer well aware, but Batman never acknowledging them.)

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Re: Animated • Justice League “A Knight of Shadows” – Part 1

jl20This blog takes a look at episodes from the Justice League animated series from a tabletop roleplaying game perspective, both in terms of game design and game play.

Obligatory Spoiler Warning: I will be discussing the events of the episode in the post. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the show and this blog and have not seen the show, go and do that first. The blog will make much more sense, and you won’t have your enjoyment of the show spoiled. You Have Been Warned.

“A Knight of Shadows” – Part 1

The Justice League series is full of homages to the late, great Jack “The King” Kirby, and perhaps the most prominent in the first season is “A Knight of Shadows” featuring one of Kirby’s enduring DC creations: Etrigan, the Demon.

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