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Potential FitD game, looking for feedback

A topic by Typhos Games created Nov 05, 2019 Views: 418 Replies: 2
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I’ve been working on a game for almost a year now, and I recently made the connection that the FitD ruleset would work quite well with some pretty major overhauls. I just want to get some feedback from those of you who are much more in-tune with the Blades rules. Am I falling into a trap, am I interpreting something so wrong that it could backfire, or is it something that no-one would ever play?

The game is a two to five player, GMless political game set during the French Revolution. Magic exists, and it is up to the table to determine if magic is super common or if only one or two people in the city know of its existence. Each player takes the role of a faction within the city (the Crown, the Cult, the Guild, the Revolution, the Law, or the Church) as well as an important character within that faction. 

Because of the underlying importance of fate and occultism in the game, the table draws cards from a Tarot deck instead of rolling dice. Players can then pick which card they play from the hand they draw. There is incentive to not only pick the highest card, since playing a lower card of the right suit can have long-term benefits that outweigh failing a roll right now. 

Players take turns going around the table and framing a scene they want to view. They can have only their character, or all of the characters, or any combination in the scene. The other players whose characters are not part of the scene take roles as NPCs based on whose faction makes the most sense to control that character. Anyone can call for a roll at any time. 

A key aspect I removed from Blades is that “characters always are good at what they’re doing, even on a miss.” Instead, each character has a smaller set of key skills that they are always good at per above. Anything outside of those key skills has a chance of going horribly wrong. Instead they will pull for the “Tempt Fate” action, which always has 0 cards. A posh banker is not going to look good in a sword fight, and the uncharismatic soldier is not going to look good coercing someone into spying for him with honeyed words. 

Does this sound like something people are interested in? Am I using the wrong system? Or does anyone have suggestions or criticism on how to improve the concept?

Pre-empting some questions: 

  • Most of the mechanics not listed are kept the same. XP, advancement, flashbacks, “turf”, etc. are all pretty much intact. 
  • I am taking significant inspiration from Dream Apart/Dream Askew, Legacy: Life Amongst the Ruins, Sagas of the Icelanders, The Sword the Crown and the Unspeakable Power, and many other games. 

This sounds fascinating. I can see two potential pitfalls, but I suspect they're navigable. 

The first issue is that you might have to mess with the results tables and turf systems if players are going to be members of different factions. The actual mechanics of Blades tend to assume that you're getting help a decent percentage of the time, which means that the fact that you don't have a good chance of success isn't so bad. Similarly, every character on the team is working together during downtime, which makes recovery something that different people can sacrifice an action to at different times without a sizeable problem. If everyone has to manage their own group's faction, you'll want to make some fairly substantial changes there.

The second question - what does a 0-card pull actually look like? Since there's advantage to not always taking the best card, you can't take the Blades approach of "draw two, take the worse," but presumably you want there to be a chance of success. Is it a system where tempting fate uses the Major Arcana, seperated out into a different deck, or is there something simpler for it?

(2 edits)

My envisioning of a 0 card pull is that you draw 2 cards and the other players at the table choose which one you have to use. 

More in depth, the tarot deck is all kept together and the players draw off the top. They can choose to play any card from their hand, or the rest of the players will choose to play one of their cards. 

  • If the card chosen is a King, Queen, or Knight, the action is a complete success. 
  • If the card chosen is one of the Major Arcana cards or the Ace of any suit, the action is a mixed success. Each arcana card comes with a short list of potential complications that the player can choose from. 
  • If the card is not one of the above (i.e. 2-10+page), the action is a miss. 

Players get XP for misses and can apply them to any XP track. If you play a card of the same suit as your draw it is either a critical success or you gain double XP depending on if it was a success or a miss. 

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