Monday, May 2, 2016

Making Others Awesome

I saw a tweet the other day where someone quoted the FATE rulebook and claimed the highlighted rule was their favorite part of the game. The section, paraphrased, said that in FATE its the players job to not only have a good time and be awesome, but to make the other players in the game awesome as well. Effectively, it's your job as a player in a FATE game to make every character in the game seem awesome and have their various crowning moments. It's not something unique to FATE that can be done, and today I wanted to talk about making folks awesome, and how to do it.

2 Basic Steps
Honestly, making other people awesome - your part at least - is done in two steps. The first step is that you help them get into a position where they can be awesome. The second step is you get the hell out of their way and let them do the thing.

The Setup
The setup is easier or harder depending on what you know about the character. Mostly it involves playing a situation into the strengths of the other character. Do you have a duelist in your group? Try to set things up for their to be a big duel. Have a great social character/negotiator? Get into a big social encounter.

In other words, instead of manipulating events to avoid an area where your character is weak, you take the same steps but to put the issue into where a different character is strong. Give them their moment to shine.

Get Out Of The Way
Don't interfere. That's basically it.

By not interfering I mean let the other player character handle the situation. You set things up to give them the chance, so give them the chance. Be ready in case the dice go against you or something else happens, but don't ruin your own efforts by trying to take over a situation set up to let another character be awesome.

How Does FATE Enable This?
FATE enables this in a couple of ways, but mostly its the Fate Point economy. Tagging players to act and make scenes interesting and more situational provokes conflict, which in turn makes them more likely to be in a situation where they can be awesome. Combined with the fact that giving over aspects or fate points is cheaper than using them for yourself (and more effective) and you have a recipe for empowering others.

How To Do It In Other Games
In other games it's more about the second step than the first. Yes, you can manipulate events to the favor of other PCs. I can't tell you how, but you figure out how to change a social encounter into a combat one (hint: throw a punch), but the biggest problem most Players have is the taking a back seat.

I understand the notion too. I mean, everyone wants their moment in the spotlight, and waiting for it to come along can be hard. Still, if something is good for your character, but great for another, maybe give that other character their moment of awesome. You can still be a part of it. It can be awesome for you too. Just don't try to steal the spotlight when it's not your time to have it.

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