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FATE Game System

FATE Game System

I've heard some good things about the FATE game system, in several places, but particularly on the Weaving Myth's Podcast. I'm curious as to why, if people generally have such good opinions on it, we don't see more games being run with it?

I have a few theories. The biggest is because Fate (not FATE, fwiw) is a toolbox system without an inherent setting. When you are running a game of D&D, you know the broad strokes of what you're doing, what the PCs are like and where the game will likely go, you just need to give a rough approximation of starting level, books allowed and a few other features that are very easy and quick to list. With Fate, you have no such basis to work from, you have to either get a sourcebook (with tons available, many of which are entirely free) or create your own. This results in a larger threshold to start a game than simply using D&D and houseruling it to do other things.

Second is the nature of the mechanics making it somewhat (but not awfully) ill-suited to PbP. The conversational nature of Fate Point usage can take a while in PbP and lead to retcons and post editing bonanzas. I doubt this is a big reason because those same slowdown problems happen with most systems out there, but hey.

Third, because quality doesn't correlate one way or the other with popularity. More people know D&D and thus more people play D&D. I'd wager to say that in general (and please excuse these generalizations), people who know Fate know more other RPGs than people who know D&D (and its derivatives, PF etc). This means that potential Fate players might look to other games instead of Fate, whereas players of only a single system will almost always look towards using just that system. Fate, while setting agnostic, isn't suited for every type of game, and in many cases there are existing systems better suited than Fate for what a player might want - so they use that instead.

For some reason I was thinking it was FATE, as an acronym for something..

All very good points, makes sense.

Thanks for your input.

It used to be FATE ("Fudge Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment", and then "Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment"), but the acronym has since been dropped.

I also feel like there's a larger threshold for making a character in Fate compared to a character in D&D or similar systems. With D&D I can roll stats, choose a class, and I'm 90% done with the character sheet (background and the like might take longer, but none of that matters mechanically). Fate's aspects are much more freeform and sometimes require several passes to refine down to something that is usable for both positive and negative tags.

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