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2:01 AM
@BESW normal... person...?
possibly not normal person stuff.
Ghost in the Shell features the Major who does not often switch off. She spends her time outside work on her own, or 'net diving, learning, improving (possibly hacking) herself, reading books, and apparently actually has a couple of friends (who may or may not be friends for reasons involving being much more than friends; I am not sure either way)
there's Sherlock who... is... Sherlock. If he's not working he's pretty depressed, as I understand it.
(Major Kusanagi does get out and about, but very rarely with people. It's mentioned she goes to see movies, but she only likes to see them on her own, etc.)
Howie may be a guy who cannot really settle down to doing normal person stuff, so he does abnormal stuff instead. Like study, or stay up all night in front of a corkboard with pins and string and newspaper clippings trying to figure something out.
Someone walks in one morning to find him asleep at his desk, and is surprised he slept at all, or sleeps ever.
 
Hmmm.
My vague idea is someone who is inescapably inhuman (I think perception is the way to go; he can't see the world the way we do) but desperately WANTS to be as human as he possibly can.
Kind of an eldritch Data?
Except less at peace with himself.
 
2:22 AM
he could spend his time painting or some other activity he finds fairly human
 
Then we run into the meta challenge of making him fit the Amaterasu campaign.
Hrm.
Artist.... would make a LOT of sense. It's thematically appropriate for a Lovecraft homage, it'd be an outlet for his otherworldly perceptions, a way to communicate them with normals, potentially even a profitable one.
And for Field Competence... well, he's got the eldritch stuff for action, and I could make him an Art Scientist.
 
A regular customer: This is such WONDERFUL art! Where do you come up with such things!?
Howie: Oh, I just paint things as I see them.
Customer: Fascinating! And that animal thing consuming itself? What's that represent?
Howie: I don't understand your question.
Customer: You know, like, a, er... metaphor. What's it a metaphor for?
Howie: Oh. Uh... the... inevitable march to destruction of the cosmos?
Customer: [turns back to the art] So profound...
 
Heheh.
Hrmm. [runs through old 4e notes]
Howie has a long and storied history as a PC I've never actually made.
Maybe returning to some of the old notions will help kickstart the brain.
 
I didn't know this! That does sound like a good idea.
 
Originally he was a 4e starlock who earnestly believed that the world was going to be destroyed by the Far Realm--soon--and had a very defeatist attitude about everything. I'd hoped he'd get more hopeful as his adventuring companions showed him they could make a difference.
That gave birth to a star pact hexblade: she was an astronomer who discovered Practical Astrology but refused to believe that there was any intelligent power behind the influence of the stars on our lives.
She had no idea that she was a warlock, instead believing her powers came from her understanding and manipulation of practical astrology. The quirk where she occasionally says "fish" instead of whatever she means to say? What are you talking about? She's perfectly fish.
Howie has roots in much older 3.5 PC, an ordinary housewife who was so intensely superstitious that EVERY random occurrence Meant Something. She ran away from her family to become an adventurer because the lamp flickered three times.
(Mechanically, she was going to be a fate manipulator.)
Hmm. Maybe I'll put Howie on the shelf and turn to the starlock for now.
 
2:51 AM
@BESW I remember hearing about this one!
@BESW who probably does not believe in the 2012 stuff because there's much much worse and the people who came up with it clearly have no imaginations at all? :)
 
Heheh.
I think she'd go the other way, actually.
Practical Astrology is totally fish and doomsdayers are just looking for something to whine about.
 
3:09 AM
Howie is probably also tangentially responsible for a Fate PC in a twosies Trogdor ran for me, set in The City from the Thief video game franchise.
He was a hardboiled noir detective who got caught and sacrificed to the Woodsie Lord by druids. The ritual was raided mid-sacrifice and he survived, but such close proximity to Woodsie blood magic infused him with druid powers that drove him mad.
 
3:22 AM
@BESW (sudden thought: what does FM do...?)
 
Nothing good, I'm sure.
It's probably the jet boosters' flaw: Don't touch that dial.
(Compels to touch it.)
 
@BESW Oh, right! Speaking of, don't you need to pick a function and a flaw for it if it's Personal Hardware? Or is it just a stunt?
 
Depends on how it's being handled mechanically.
 
It can be Just A Stunt if it's a permanent part of the character (Jessie's rocket boots).
It can simply be an advantage placed on the scene, if it's a quick jury-rigged feature that won't stick around.
 
3:27 AM
this is true
 
But if it's a Thing That Will Stick Around For A While But Is Not A Major Part Of Your Character Forever, that's where gear mechanics come into play.
If Jessie gave the car one-use jet boosters that will burn out at the end of the scene, that's just Create Advantage.
 
thoughts: last week i wanted Stellata to respond reflexively to the spiderbot's appearance by shouting "COME AND GET IT, [expletives]!" and sprouting an explosive pod-launcher using her Green Power stunt, but I wasn't sure she had the time to retrain her growth for that.
 
But if we have a jet-propelled car for the rest of the issue, she should use the Invention chapter.
 
(That was to be a self-compel based on forcing combat, though combat got forced eventually anyway!)
 
hmm.
Okay, here's a thing about me as a Fate GM:
 
3:31 AM
@BESW Or personal/borrowed hardware; not necessarily an invention (which seem to generally be major plot features that involve their own story arcs and so on).
 
If there's some fancy stunt or skill or the like that you want to try out, and it'd make sense to have access to it but you don't want to commit yet, I'm quite happy for you to use some combination of cost and Fate point expenditure to test-drive it without paying the permanent costs like stunt slots.
@doppelgreener Well, depending. We're applying it very aggressively.
Jessie would use the Invention mechanics because she's making something new on the spot (jet boosters for the car). That's one, maybe two stuntsworth of effect, which she could easily pay for without forcing an extended scene.
 
We are, but they have complications like needing materials and time and drawing attention or the right place or the right people. Some of those are on-the-spot, resolved in a scene or two, but very little of significance will be achieved in one scene alone!
 
MOST payments are of that sort, but there are two other ways.
 
What are those?
 
One "catch" is to accept a glitch in the invention: a weakness or a cost.
Or you can avoid taking a catch altogether by giving the GM's reserve pool more Fate points.
 
3:35 AM
@BESW that's an option!?
 
> The other payment for the invention is an increase in the GM’s fate point reserve. Add fate points to the GM’s reserve equal to invention’s quality. This is equal to the number of the invention’s stunt benefits minus the number of Bugs. These fate points come from the slush fund, not from the players. See Aspects and Fate Points (page 54) for more on the GM’s reserve. (ARRPG 145)
 
jeez, that actually puts inventions on the level of personal hardware. cool.
 
That's intentional.
Personal hardware is just an invention that got made offscreen.
 
(except for stellata)
@BESW One that got made offscreen where all catches are fate points.
 
Usually, anyway.
So if Jessie adds jet boosters as a permanent feature of the car mid-scene, she adds the aspect Jet Boosters, the effect "This car is absolutely faster (Vehicles) than other cars, but at cost," says its flaw is Disgustingly inefficient, and tells the GM to add a point to his reserve.
 
3:42 AM
Cool. :)
I am now thinking of Kaylee, and her introductory scene where she just takes an entire part out of the engine, screws some pipes in elsewhere, and then everything just goes.
 
The GM then spends the Fate point to compel them to run out of gas when they use the boosters.
@doppelgreener Yup. Kaylee probably has stunts about being able to ignore a certain number of catches, something like Dr. Dinosaur's "Crystals" stunt.
 
@BESW if I get Stellata into using personal hardware more, I might give her a stunt about being able to ignore a catch.
 
One thing I'd like to explore some time--if the game gets more hardware-heavy--is being able to ignore hardware costs/weaknesses/flaws while using them, rather than being able to MAKE hardware without them.
I think this is what Kaylee does, actually: Serenity is a hunk of junk, but she can smooth over its problems in ways nobody else could.
She doesn't make it any less a hunk of junk. She just makes it act like it's not.
 
But mechanically that makes it not a hunk of junk.
 
But only when she's using it.
 
3:53 AM
Ok. :)
 
When someone else tries to fly the ship, it misbehaves.
If she were removing catches, instead of ignoring them, she'd be able to fix it up so others could fly it without her help.
Hmm. Thing to think about: magical hardware. Haven't explored that yet.
 
@BESW that sounds nice actually.
akin to e.g. Stellata producing a gun that gets temperamental when others use it.
(though i might not use that, just thinking in Stellata's terms)
 
Mentioning Kaylee made me recognise that Jessie is basically Action Girl Kaylee.
 
I don't mind this at all!
 
4:11 AM
Also, I think I've got Ideas for my Practical Astrologer: hardware ideas.
Like, she's going to have magical astrolabes/orreries/telescopes/etc that channel her power to understand and manipulate the stars.
IE, use Science (Astrology) as an attack action.
 
do you know yet how that would look?
 
[fiddles with bronze instruments] "If Mars is in that house, and your aura is..." [peers at target through amber glass] "...turquoise? Okay, so that means copper..." [pulls out a big clinky bag] "...can disrupt your bright humours!" [throws a penny at the target]
 
haha.
that could do it.
I'm finding that for our adventures, the scenes that have worked best are the ones that would also be present in an atomic robo comic.
 
"You're a Pisces, right?" [flips through notebook] "It's the third Thursday after the Vernal Equinox, which means..." [shoves target gently, making him stumble two feet to the left] "...if we can just find the right spot..." [shoves him again] "...the disruption of Gaia fluids running through this area should cancel out your volitive impulses."
 
4:27 AM
then she spends a fate point to make him unable to soak it with stress, and he takes a consequence along the lines of feeling extraordinarily calm.
 
Yup.
 
@BESW @trogdor as I work on this black raven ascension thing, I'm more and more coming up with stuff I'd love to see if it were in the hands of competent people who knew exactly what they were doing and how they were going to do it.
If there are more stories about the more serious counterpart of this cult, I'd be delighted to run them.
 
I'm waiting for this session to put together anything definitive, but I'm hoping to use this cult for Agent Baker's story.
 
4:44 AM
Ok. :)
 
Alternate flair for the Practical Astrology: straight-up "horrific visions and lancing beams of starlight" which she insists despite all evidence to the contrary is totally scientific and reasonable and not inexplicable at fish.
She just hasn't worked out an accessible lexicon to fish it to the layperson yet.
 
5:03 AM
@BESW this 'fish' thing is making me grin
 
What fish thing? There's no fish thing. Why do people keeping asking me about fish? It's driving me fish the wall.
 
Yes. Well. Of course, my apologies.
 
@doppelgreener don't rank me in that category, the last 2 sessions were the first ones I have run in a while
 
@trogdor No, he means he's coming up with things for the cult to do, but the version of the cult he's running is incompetent and he wants to see these things handled by a more competent sect.
 
Yeah, that's what I mean - it's possible Agent Baker's sect is a splinter group of Black Raven Ascension, or vice versa.
So B.R.A. is going to have a lot of similar stuff to their counterpart, but their counterpart will actually know what to do with it!
 
5:13 AM
Ah ok
I read that wrong then
 
Yeah, in the hands of competent people in-universe, not in the hands of competent GMs :)
 
I am almost tempted to run something when I get back, but I don't know that I will honestly be thinking of setting up to run a session while I am gone
 
Whenever you're ready & willing
@BESW By the way, I took this to imply you'd like to run those sessions - is that right?
 
as you know, I had an idea about who decided a spider tank with a scorpion tail was a good idea
 
@doppelgreener That was my plan.
 
5:20 AM
@BESW ok. :)
I have Creepy Ideas to share then. (Other than what you might pick up in the session itself.)
 
It wasn't an incredibly fully formed idea, but I could base a session off of it with more time to think and a little bit of actual work
 
This week is you, next week is Something Different, so it won't be 'til January at least--however, I think that the issue establishing Agent Baker's Dark Past will be the conclusion of our current volume!
I'll have to check my notes, but I think with the cult as Unwanted Attention that'll wrap up the catches on the invention and we start the volume in which we go into SPAAAAAAACE.
 
5:41 AM
@trogdor this session might define that though, unless there's blanks that can be filled in
the people who decided that was B.R.A., unless some other factor was at play
 
yes
I understand this
my point was that someone else could have actually made the tank itself
 
aha right :)
 
but to be fair, I would need to wait to see what happens in this upcoming session to know if that is even plausible
 
5:55 AM
@trogdor indeed! so will I. (I don't know an answer here, and I don't know if my answers will be the answers that will fill it, and if it will ever even be required to fill this in)
 
6:22 AM
Hi there
Is here anybody?
 
@Dreamer Hi! What's up?
 
6:45 AM
Hello BESW
I just was poking to know what this room is meant for?
 
Ah. The RPG Stack Exchange is about tabletop role-playing games (such as Dungeons & Dragons), and this room is specifically about the game Fate.
 
ah I see, so fate is a game!
lol I was unaware of it
I thought you people might be discussing about the fate and horoscope
lol!
 
Well, there are literally hundreds of tabletop RPG systems. Fate's been around for a while (since about 2000), but only in the last couple years or so did it start getting a lot of attention.
 
umm great to know
so you got to play it online?
 
@Dreamer it's a tabletop RPG; you play it at an actual table with dice and stuff.
 
6:52 AM
oh thats great
 
you're in a peripheral room of an RPG site about tabletop RPGs; the main room is this one
 
We do sometimes play a little in chat rooms like this one, but tabletop RPGs are generally intended to be played in 'real life' with people sitting face-to-face around a table.
 
yeah got it
so you basically from?
 
Hmm? Not sure I understand the question.
 
@BESW By the way, I noticed the shadowrun sword to a gunfight question - specifically this answer - and it mentioned the following:
> Be a tank. Build durability, and get good at dodging, since you're going to be out front all the time. Soak up hits that would easily kill other members of your team.
This is... a little like what Harold was. I'd might make a tank-type character in our game when it might be useful.
(Not a remake of Harold, mind)
Not sure what he'd look like - hopefully someone that looks relatively normal - though he might be built with bonuses to taking hits meant for others (like Harold), having high Physique and bonuses to defending with it, and extra consequences.
He'll almost certainly have 5 physical / 2 mental stress.
 
7:08 AM
I sort of did this, though the character I did it with just has armor 4, not particular talents in taking hits for other people other than being a huge combat threat
though to be fair, he does have all physical bonus stress, and high provoke
 
@doppelgreener Defenderbot, or paladin of defence, or the like.
 
@BESW i did have in mind the idea of a paladin of some kind!
armor and all. i wonder if that'd be fine as-is. c(:
 
@doppelgreener Captain America also comes to mind.
"Fighting with a shield" is a pretty powerful symbol.
 
@trogdor which makes me think, i wonder if i can simulate something like marking in stunts to create a come and get me! thing
@BESW it is!
 
Hmm.
Toying with power ranges here, but...
 
7:16 AM
you can probably already provoke someone into attacking only you on your next turn if they attack anyone
either that, or make a simple stunt that gives you permissions to do that
 
i might borrow supernatural notions though. one somewhat common theme in anime, at least, is the idea of someone able to magically manifest a shield -- in Trigun or Bleach, literally grow one. I'd be interested in the latter.
Or some way of him getting in peoples' way.
 
The mechanic of defending on behalf of someone else is solidly in the rules already.
 
@BESW naturally
I'm just wondering about narratively how he'd do it
 
I'd probably put a lot of focus on that, like being able to move one zone as part of the action in order to throw yourself in front of someone you normally wouldn't be able to.
Or--when you place Come and get me! on an enemy, you can sacrifice one free invoke on the aspect to instead give an ally armor:2 against that enemy's attacks so long as the aspect remains.
I gotta go, but I have thoughts on magical shields as blocks, and as ranged defend actions.
 
@BESW I'd be interested to hear them!
@BESW I think in ARRPG terms, it might be more like: when you pass a free invoke on that aspect to an ally, they get +3 rather than +2 from it.
unless you mean sacrifice the invoke once to grant them armor:2 for all attacks from that enemy?
 
7:27 AM
no, I think he meant one time
I don't see a stunt making an effect that lasted that long without making an aspect
and no aspect is supposed to do anything without being invoked every time it does something
and if it does, that is in the form of giving a permission to do something with a skill you normally would not do
 
ok, well using a free invoke to provide armor:2 is less good than just using the invoke normally to provide +2, so it'd have to be more, like the ARRPG +3 instead of +2
 
7:52 AM
there's lots of stunts that go along the lines of: invoking an aspect (or using a free invoke) in {circumstance} gives a +3 bonus instead of +2.
So Paladinguy could have something like: Invoking an aspect to physically defend an ally (but not myself) gives a +3 bonus instead of +2.
It's close to Robo the Veteran's stunt:
> TEAM PLAYER: Invoking a situation aspect created by an ally gives you a +3 bonus instead of +2.
(ctrl+f'ing "+3 bonus" provides a lot of stunts of this form)
Now I too will head off. ttfn!
 
8:25 AM
It was a hasty, poorly-written stunt to get the idea out.
The intent was to give a specific defensive bonus (armor:2) instead of a generally applicable bonus (free invoke), with the tradeoff being that it's applicable to more rolls. I think it's a reasonable power exchange, though with armor:1 instead of armor:2 if need be (or armor:1 on two allies?) "as long as the aspect remains" means it can be removed relatively easily, especially since you won't have a free invoke to use to make the aspect's removal more difficult.
 
 
4 hours later…
12:31 PM
Note: Howie has to be a comedian. Not professionally, but he's got to have a strong black sense of humour to stay even moderately sane and optimistic given what he knows about the universe.
 

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