RPG Designer Diary: Descriptors (03)
We are making a new edition of -U- the Game of Stories RPG. So what is the biggest difference between the new version and the original? Descriptors.
I Blame Fate
One of the games that we really enjoyed playing early in 2014 was Fate 3.0 by Evil Hat. It is a truly marvelous game, that we enjoyed greatly.
When we kept playing it in a longer campaign, however, we found that we started doing things that we liked in the game less and less. We started using Fate tokens less and less, and writing down aspects became an odd habit. The thing that we really noticed in Fate, after some time, was that we thought somethings should not have to be rolled for.
For instance, when someone turns into a dragon and gains the Dragon the Size of a House aspect, why should that require a token to invoke? We were probably playing something wrong, but this is what happened.
So, we decided to change how we were playing. And when we did that, we realized the beginning of our game, and the core part of it: Descriptors
At their core, Descriptors are really just a brief description of a part of a character, and a number next to it to rank how strong that Descriptor is for that character. This idea led us down the path of determining what Descriptors everyone had, which led us to creating set Attributes for each character.
With Attributes and other Descriptors we now had a good feel for how the characters would be made. But what did the numbers mean? This took us a bit to figure out. Finally, though we decded it would be the number of dice a player got to roll. What dice to use, though?
Next time we talk about our quest for the perfect dice roll mechanic.
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