Friday, May 17, 2013

FATE-ing Dawning Star: Weapons, Armor, and Other Equipment

And now on to the topic that was the first one that came to mind as possibly problematic when I started thinking about how to convert Dawning Star to FATE: equipment. Dawning Star is a game where a character's equipment should run from the character defining weapon of choice to the mass produced sidearm of little interest, and the tech level runs from stone knives all the way to weapons that throw small singularities at you.

In FATE Core your average character can only take two points of stress before starting to suffer consequences if they want to stay in the fight. The primary way given to model weapons is to have them increase the amount of stress inflicted on the target, which is done by giving them the Weapon: (amount of extra stress inflicted) trait, while armor is a flat reduction of the amount of stress inflicted on a target (written as Armor: amount of stress reduced). Personally I don't think this has enough granularity for what I want to do with Dawning Star. With the existing Weapon rules getting hit with anything past Weapon: 2 is pretty much instant consequences for most characters unless they're wearing armor, so armor becomes required to survive. Which is not desirable. Plus it lets high levels of Armor make it really hard to hurt people (though, as with all things with FATE, you can come up with some cool advantage or really stack the aspects on to power through someone in heavy armor).

Ideally I'd like the choice of weapons and armor in setting to matter, so players. have a good reason to choose an EDF-9 Auto-Pistol over a EDF-15 Assault Rifle. To make each weapon feel unique I'd need more than range and damage to make it work, so I was thinking of adding stunts to each weapon. So something like:

EDF-9 Auto-Pistol:
The standard sidearm of the Dawning Star Republic.
  • Weapon: 1
  • Range: 1 zone
  • Concealable: +2 to Stealth checks to hide the weapon from visual inspection.
  • Armor Piercing: Reduces the effectiveness of armor by 1.
  • Capacity: 15

EDF-15 Assault Rifle
The standard longarm of the Dawning Star Republic.
  • Weapon: 1
  • Range: 2 zones
  • Burst Fire: Consume 5 shots for a +2 bonus to attacks.
  • Armor Piercing: Reduces the effectiveness of armor by 1.
  • Capacity: 40

Lumin Sword
A sword made from a rare material from the ruins of Eos that is especially effective against vaasi.
  • Weapon: 1
  • Range: Melee
  • Glow: Lumin swords provide enough light to read by in the zone they are inside when drawn.
  • Vaasi Bane: When used in an successful attack against the vaasi, the attack inflicts two additional stress.

And armor:

Rought Outs
Heavy work clothes worn by murcow ranchers made from leather, heavy clothes, and kevlar scraps.
  • Armor: 1
  • All-Weather: Gain a +2 bonus to Survival checks to defend against inclement weather.

EDF Combat Armor
Heavy combat armor used by EDF assault forces.
  • Armor: 3
  • Sealed: The armor is environmentally sealed, making the wearer immune to gas, radiation, and other environmental threats.
  • Electronics Suite: The suit has built in radio, GPS, computer, and sensor suite.
  • Aspect: Heavy and Not Subtle

The goal would be to give each item two stunts or so, with some have an aspect as well. My hope is to stat out each weapon and each suit of armor so they are close to equal, and then each character can choose some number of weapons to begin, plus being able to find more in game through loot, Resources, etc. Weapons and Armor from greater tech levels, such as the aforementioned singularity weapons, would be limited to loot since they cannot be constructed given current tech levels.

Another idea was allowing each player one weapon they can assign additional stunt or aspect to so they can customize it. This would be a unique version of the weapon, and could be lost in play. Giving everyone a signature weapon seems like a fun idea, but it is aspect bloat, which I do not want to get into.

Aside from weapons and armor, most equipment in Dawning Star would be the “allows me to use my skills” sort of equipment. I was thinking of maybe allowing players a stunt or two of special gear, but again, bloat. I personally like games where having the right gear at the right moment can totally save the day, so I'd like to encourage at least some inventory work in Dawning Star. How that is encouraged without adding too much additional stuff to keep track of I do not know.   

1 comment:

  1. Another possibility for the firearms- base the damage and some of the special stunts on the ammunition, and use the ability to chamber the ammunition to better differentiate the individual weapons. For example:

    CavTech Mark VII Revolver:
    An inexpensive handgun often used for personal protection by civilians

    Weapon: 1
    Range: by ammo
    Concealable: +2 to Stealth checks to hide the weapon from visual inspection.
    Capacity: 7
    Compatible Ammo Types: Standard, Armor piercing, Lasercaps
    Incompatible ammo types: Anti-personnel, Magnum, high velocity

    High velocity Ammo:
    Rounds made with advanced materials and propellants to allow for increased range and accuracy.

    Range: 2 zones
    Special: +1 to accuracy
    Special: If fired at a target in melee range, reduces the effectiveness of the targets armor by 1.

    Relatively new to the battlefield, these modified rounds dispense with the chemical propellants and physical projectiles, replacing them with a high energy diode laser and rechargeable capacitor. while inherently useful, they don't provide the necessary inertia to cycle most autoloaders

    Range: 2 zones
    Special: +2 to accuracy
    Special: Reduces the effectiveness of the targets armor by 2.