Monday, July 22, 2013

FATE Core: Retconning Advantages

FATE Core gives us a great many options as a role-playing game. Sure, there are a lot of RPGs out there that people like to modify, tweak, and otherwise hack, but FATE Core seems to be designed for it. Those of you who have been unfortunate enough to come along my little place on the internet before may be aware that I am currently working on a FATE hack tentatively titled Street. It’s a racing game, in which I am trying to emulate modern street racing movies that have been so popular, but also older ones including many Burt Reynolds movies, Cannonball Run, Death Race 2000, and more.

I found myself reminiscing about parts in older action shows. It maybe something they have gotten away with totally in more modern shows, although I know I saw it last in the remake of Knight Rider. This is the moment when the chips are down. The bad guys are about the get away. The good guys are about to get creamed. Then, someone comes over the radio and reminds the hero about the upgrade they put in earlier that day. Oh, there is that rocket launcher add-on, super charger, or something else. It kind of comes out of nowhere and it makes all the difference. That change, modification, or addition made earlier in the story that was not revealed until the moment it was needed most.

In FATE Terms, setting up this special gadget or clever plan would be considered creating an advantage. Here, I propose that players be able to retcon advantages. Retcon is the commonly accepted term for  “retroactive continuity.” This is essentially a way to go back and change the story, alter previously established facts.

I have set up the Retcon Advantage like this:

A player may spend 1 FATE point to pause game time. They then narrate what happened previously, off camera, so to speak. They make the roll, which could be a Modding roll to enhance a vehicle, a Family roll to have a pre-established ambush set up, etc.

Simple enough, no? What does everyone out there in Internetlandia think?