The Fate Core Kickstarter
Four years ago my life as a roleplayer changed forever. Almost by chance, I came across the Fate 3rd edition roleplaying game rules, in the form of Spirit of the Century by Evil Hat Productions and Starblazer Adventures by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. I’d been searching for an ideal ruleset to power my Mindjammer transhuman space opera setting – something which could handle not only dramatic interactions between characters, but conflicts between starships, space stations, governments, and even whole cultures themselves – one of the core themes of the Mindjammer game. Fate promised all these things, and so much more, and I was immediately hooked.
This week Fred Hicks, Leonard Balsera, and Rob Donohue of Evil Hat have launched the Kickstarter for Fate Core, the brand new 4th edition of the rules. And, like Fate 3rd edition before it, the new ruleset promises to be totally revolutionary. Building on the cutting edge narrative and character-driven innovations of Fate 3rd edition, Fate Core offers a richer, sophisticated, and more elegant play experience, polishing the rules mechanics popularised by the previous edition and adding some awesome firepower in the form of new innovations.
At the same time, Fate Core is even more accessible than its predecessor. If you’ve never had experience of games with narrative elements, fear not: Fate Core is very user friendly for the more “traditional” roleplayer, too. Its terminology is smoothly integrated into the RPG mainstream: you have gamemasters and player-characters, NPCs, skills and stunts, and the text is clearly targeted to speak to all kinds of gamer, regardless of experience. It’s clear, concise, and inspiring – and filled with examples of play so you can see exactly how Fate’s award-winning innovations work.
In Fate 3rd edition, we always talked about the Fate Fractal – how “everything is a character”, and the Fate rules can be used to model conflicts between individuals, cities, organizations, anything you can think of. In Fate Core, that fractal concept now permeates everything you see, to the extent that the simple-looking rules happily “unpack” or “decompress” themselves in a fractal process to fit exactly what you need. The new rules for extras are particularly powerful in this respect: now you can define superpowers, magical spells, magical items, starships, technological gizmos, familiars, sidekicks, even kingdoms and cultures, all using a simple and elegant rules mechanic which keeps your character at the focal point of play whilst imbuing him with amazing flexibility and power.
With the Kickstarter, a single dollar (that’s right – $1!) gets you immediate access to the working draft of the rules. Then, incremental pledges give you more and more, including hard-copies of the final rulesbook and a cool set of expansions and settings showing you just how to employ this mightily powerful yet generic rules-set to multiple genres. It’s a very clear Kickstarter: generous to a fault, and very clearly explaining what you’re getting and when, and all for awesome value.
At some point I’m going to appear as one of the stretch goals. I’m writing a setting supplement called BURN SHIFT – TALES OF THE WOUNDED EARTH. I’ll say no more for now, except to say it’ll be a full-featured setting playable from the get-go, representing a popular and much-loved RPG genre for the new generation of the Fate rules. I’ll post more about it and its genesis further down the road once it’s officially announced.
So, check out the Fate Core Kickstarter. Please consider pledging – Evil Hat Productions have redefined roleplaying for the 21st century with the Fate rules, providing a sophisticated, multi-layered system which can be as light or as crunchy as you like. It’s also going to power the new second edition of my Mindjammer transhuman space opera roleplaying game, available Spring 2013, and I’m massively excited to be onboard. I hope you will be too!
Normandy, 4th December 2012