November 15, 2014

On Ancestral Favor in Fate

Ancestral Favor is a big deal in the Vivid version of Hari Ragat. It underscores and creates incentives to follow the game's lore and shapes your character's downtime, plus encourages you to take bigger and bolder risks all to earn more Ancestral Favor points to shape your story (and recover from really bad dice rolls)

The Fate version won't be using Ancestral Favor in that way, exactly. For the most part, I've tried to cleave as closely as possible to Dariel's Vivid mechanics to capture the feel of the game as much as possible. However Ancestral Favor is one mechanic I cannot simply up and translate as written into Fate.

Why? Because there is no Fate point economy in Vivid. Much of the mechanical effects that Ancestral Favor does overlaps with the Fate point economy. Simply lumping in Ancestral Favor points is going to cause confusion with ordinary Fate points.

So what do I do? Ancestral Favor is a really big thing in Vivid. The Fate version has to have it somehow.

The way I have thought to handle this is in Fate, Ancestral Favor becomes two things: Ancestral Compels and Ancestral Blessing Aspects.

Where the Vivid version has you doing certain things to gain Ancestral Favor points, Fate will have you doing certain things as Create Advantage actions to gain Ancestral Blessing Aspects. These will be things like "Amang Silayan is pleased." The players can then use these aspects using Fate points (or for free if they were the ones who created the advantage) justifying them as the favor of their ancestors inspiring them to do more or better. Sacrificing goods (Yaman or Bahandi) will make the Create Advantage roll easier, or allow you to create aspects that you can tag to make your Create Advantage roll easier. I actually have a subsystem in mind for this but it needs some refinement. I don't want to add too much complexity.

The flipside of Ancestral Blessing Aspects are Ancestral Compels. Vijadesan culture is very martial, focused on glory, and revering of the ancestors. There will be many times when the ancestral spirits will goad a character to possibly compromising on his or her goals in order to gain glory. An example is that the ancestors may resent an Orang Dakila sneaking away to avoid capture, and make the warrior realize this and complicate the Orang Dakila's escape plan since now he must try to fight at least one of his pursuers for glory, possibly compromising his escape attempt. (But he gets a Fate point for the complication)

Similarly, the Orang Dakila would know that the ancestors will reward bravado in battle, and the player may forgo the use of certain armors, shields, Secrets or even followers, complicating the original battle plans (and gaining a fate point in the process).

I tried to use the existing Fate mechanics to try to get the story effects of Ancestral Favor. I think I've done a pretty good translation. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I like this. It'll now have the same effect on story and play as HR Vivid's Ancestral Favor mechanic. I've been concerned too how you'd reconcile that with the Fate Point economy -- looks like you have.

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