Friday, November 10, 2017

Gorgon Archer - Strands of Fate - Character Advancement

Strands of Fate uses experience points instead of milestones to guide its character advancement. The average is supposed to be about 3 pts per session and increasing that up or down based on the events of the session and how fast the GM wants to see things advance. You spend these experience points to gain certain benefits including swapping out Abilities, Advantages, or Aspects; buying new ones, increasing Refresh and so on. 

In addition to that there is a mechanic called "Organic Advancement" where a character gains 1 experience point every time they roll either all + or all -. This experience point would only be able to be spent on benefits related to the task that generated them and thus calls for notating when and where such organic rolls occur. It also provides an incentive sometimes to keep a really terrible roll since it will provide a bonus experience point, even though most benefits cost 10 points.

I am going to assume an advancement rate of an average of about 6 points per session for eighteen sessions. This is to account for particularly eventful sessions occurring where the GM might decide to reward a particularly dramatic or high experience point total. The total points will be 108 experience points.


Character Aspect - Blessing of Medusa (10 XP)
Specialty Aspect - Layer of Traps (Craft) (5 XP)
Specialty Aspect - A Touch of Fey Magic (Knowledge) (5 XP)
Improved Binding - 1 Advantage Point (10 XP)
Gorgon +1 - 1 Ability Point (10 XP)
Refresh +1 (15 XP)
Knowledge +1 - 1 Ability Point (10 XP)
Enhanced Resources - 3 Advantage Points (30 XP)
Improved Reflexes - 1 Advantage Point (10 XP)
Character Aspect Swap - Cynical Gorgon Huntress --> Reserved Gorgon Ranger (1 XP)
Character Aspect Swap - Trust is Dangerous to Give --> Trust is Given to the Worthy (1 XP)
Character Aspect Swap - Find my Place --> Protect my People (1 XP)
Total: 108

Gorgon Archer

Defining Aspect: Reserved Gorgon Ranger
Ambition Aspect: Protect my People
Background Aspect: A Rumor of the Forest
Conviction Aspect: Trust is Given to the Worthy
Disadvantage Aspect: Child of a Monster
Character Aspect: Blessed of Medusa 

Physical: Agility 2, Endurance 2, Perception 3, Strength 1
Mental: Craft 3, Knowledge 2, Reasoning 2, Willpower 3
Social: Deception 2, Empathy 2, Persuasion 2, Resources 1
Affinity: Gorgon: 2

Extraordinary Skill: A Marksman's Eye (Perception)
Foe: The "Civilized" Folk (Persuasion)
Gear: A Hunter's Bow (Resources)
Help: Woodsmen and Druids (Persuasion)
Inferior Skill: Low Patience for Conversation (Willpower)
Extraordinary Skill: Layer of Traps (Craft)
Extraordinary Skill: A Touch of Fey Magic (Knowledge)
Power Granted Aspect: Enhanced Reflexes (Agility)

Expert Advantages 
Hunter of the Wild - You gain a +2 bonus on rolls to set ambushes or lay traps in the wilderness.
Survivalist - You gain a +2 bonus on rolls to find food or water in the wilderness.
Scary - You gain a +2 bonus on Persuasion rolls to scare people. 
Soft Style - You gain a +1 bonus to Defense rolls against Melee attacks.

Heroic Advantages 
Weapon Expertise - You gain a +2 bonus to attacks with bows.
Shadow in the Wilds - You may spend a Fate Point to make a scene or zone Aspect related to natural concealment or cover Persistent for you only for the rest of the scene.
Slippery Combatant - If you generate spin on a defense against a melee attack, you may immediately instantly move to an adjacent zone as a free action. (Though you may still have to roll to deal with obstacles preventing entry - Thryth)

Power Advantages 
Binding: Petrifying Gaze, Attack with Gorgon, Defend with Willpower, Escape with Willpower, Improved Binding (+2 bonus on rolls with this power), (2 pt)
Enhanced Reflexes: Serpent's Grace, May use Agility to defend against Ranged attacks, Improved Reflexes (+2 to Agility based defense rolls)

Refresh: 6

Gear: Shortbow (Range 1, Weapon Rating 3, Slow Firing, Large) - A Hunter's Bow
Leather Armor (Armor Rating 1, Stress OOO) - A Rumor of the Forest
Venom Milking Jars - Cynical Gorgon Huntress
Woodsman's Gear - Woodsmen and Druids
Hooded Cloak - Child of a Monster

Facility: Huntress's Lodge - Specialized Workshop Rating 2
Physical Stress: Health = Endurance + Strength

OOO Minor Consequence
OOO Moderate Consequence
OOO Severe Consequence (P)
OOO Extreme Consequence (P)
OOO Defeated Consequence (P)

Mental Stress: Mind = Reasoning + Willpower
OOOOO Minor Consequence
OOOOO Moderate Consequence
OOOOO Severe Consequence (P)
OOOOO Extreme Consequence (P)
OOOOO Defeated Consequence (P)

Social Stress: Reputation = Persuasion + Resources
OOO Minor Consequence
OOO Moderate Consequence
OOO Severe Consequence (P)
OOO Extreme Consequence (P)
OOO Defeated Consequence (P)

Further Notes

One consequence of doing these theoretical advancements where I total up the points earned over a session and just spend them all is that I never feel it adequately represents the way the in-game events can provoke changes to the plan. What I am doing here is instituting a plan, but actual game play can seriously alter that. However, this is the case with most of my theoreticals. For example, I cannot adequately predict awarded feats, blessings, or loot in a D&D campaign. All that said, this does rather represent the way Strands advancement functions in practice.

Unlike in Fate Core, where the Skills, Stunts, and Aspects represent the mindset of the character in the current situation of the game, the Abilities and Advantages of Strands of Fate represent something closer to an objective rating of those capabilities in the same manner as attempted by D&D and Hero System with their stats. In fact, the design of the gameplay shows that the mindset of Strands of Fate is much closer to considering Aspects an additive on top of the Abilities. I have heard rumors that the design of Strands of Fate came about because its creator was unable to afford a license for using GURPS. That would make Strands of Fate something of a point buy system on to which Aspects have been added.

The use of experience points means that players are unlikely to set down and consider the sort of shuffling about that I did in the Fate Core Advancement. They are instead more likely to save points up until they can afford the purchase of one of the more flat out upgrades. Also note that the original power scales of Strands of Fate grants high amounts of Refresh. One of the reasons I ended up reducing Refresh before was more because I felt 7 was a bit more than I liked for a starting character. That said, a lot of the powers and Advantages are triggered by spending a Fate Point so it's not just the Aspects that use those up. This presents Strands of Fate as very much a sort of mid-way between the statistic based games like D&D and Hero System and cinematic style games like Fate Core and Powered by the Apocalypse.

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