Sundog Millionaires: Lofwyk

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Here’s the latest session’s adventure log.

Two things stand out about this session in my mind. First, the crew decided that they would employ what was essentially a heist strategy to free the wookiee slave. They set up a plan, created a bunch of advantages for use, and1 stuck to it, accomplishing their objective without actually killing anyone. Or even hurting anyone. Even the bit with HK-86 going off-book was non-fatal, and actually wound up helping sell the image of the ruthless, arrogant Imperials.

Second, we ran this session using the Deck of Fate. This is a deck of cards that has the same distribution of rolls as 4dF, so you can draw a card instead of rolling the dice. Why bother, then? Because the cards have some little extras to them. The one that mainly concerned me was that each card has two different phrases on it, relating to how good the “roll” that card represents is.

See, Fate Core is a very narrative system, and it puts a lot of narrative control in the hands of the players. My group is mostly casual gamers that have generally just played D&D. That means that they don’t have the mindset for taking narrative control in games, yet. I thought that the prompts on the cards would be helpful to them, giving them some ideas about how to narrate their success and failure2.

“But why,” asked one of my players, “would I want to narrate failure by bringing in a problem, like the prompts on the cards say?”

“Because,” I replied, “if you don’t choose what the negative outcome is, I will choose.” And then I grinned.

“Ah. I understand.”

For this session, I asked that everyone use the cards instead of dice, to make sure everyone got a good chance to try them out. I promised them that, after this first session, I’d let them go back to their dice or their apps if they preferred. By the end of the session, I think they were all big fans of the cards.

There are other little tricks you can implement with the cards that I may explore as we go along. The cards can be used as fate points, as well, and I have an idea about letting the players hold a hand of them based on their refresh, and allowing them to spend them either for the normal fate point function or for the “roll” value on the card. Their are also other graphical elements on the cards – moons and suns and eclipses – that could be tied to effects in game. And their are two smaller decks included, one with the various Fate Accelerated approaches, and one with the Core Arcana, a set of archetypes to help out with character creation.

All in all, the Deck of Fate is a really flexible, useful product, and I think it’s going to be the standard in Sundog Millionaires.

  1. Mostly. []
  2. Especially failure. That’s the bit that D&D and other such games really puts in the GM’s bailiwick. Not so much with Fate. []