The Half Ladder

I love the ladder. Its slick, its easy, Its also kinda easy to Hit Legendary.

So while playing with Fate for my FATE LARP, Fate D8 and a Gritty FATE setting called Manifest Destiny, I worked out a quick fix with a buddy that has some interesting ramifications.

The Long and the short of it is I doubled the Ladder, but kept the names.

Number Adjective
+16 Legendary
+14 Epic
+12 Fantastic
+10 Superb
+8 Great
+6 Good
+4 Fair
+2 Average
0 Mediocre
-2 Poor
-4 Terrible

The Spaces between the rungs are now are “Better then” Or “Nearly” depending on your perspective and description. So a +5 could be Nearly Good or better/more then Fair. The Skills stay the same, as does the Pyramid, only now there is a level between them. Skill advancements now can be handed out as +2, and either applied to One skill or split between two. A skill at a +7 is better then good, but its not Great so does not count as great for figuring… its still in the “Good” Tier.

This does some really interesting things, most notably make dice less of a factor. Now a Max Roll might move you up 2 Rungs at best, which is an interesting change. It Definitely fits better with FateD8, where the Range can JUMP, and for LARP where i am going diceless and so gradients of skill need to be more visable, but with more classic FATE dice it is nifty too. Your Skill is Suddenly more important while the dice become less. It also paves the way for things like your High Concept adding +3 or some sort of Minor/Lesser Aspects that only add +1… or maybe even Minor (+1) Major (+2) and Catastrophic (+3) Consequences.

Anyway thats where I am at. Thoughts?

PS. So the First draft of this post got deleted by WordPress. Bummer. I had to rewrite it but I think I hit all the major points.

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5 thoughts on “The Half Ladder

  1. TriskalJM says:

    Very interesting. I have a niggling doubt that I’m missing some implications here, but that’s probably because I don’t have a wealth of experience to pull from. I think you’ve got something interesting here for sure.

    • johnoghue says:

      Yeah I am definitely aware there is a certain… something I am missing. I think its tied to the Fate Pool economy, and the weakening of the invocation and Fate point, but I DOn’t know if I have the size of it yet. I thought about changing a standard Aspect invocation to a +3 rather then an +2, so I could bring that back as a viable patch if it becomes a problem… Or give more fate points. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

    • johnoghue says:

      Oh! Stress! That’s the thing I missed. +2 Shifts=1 Stress, Otherwise the hits become CRAZY very quickly.

  2. michaelvanstrander says:

    One potential issue is that this creates a divide between the number and the adjective, as now you have to differentiate between a skill at Good (+6) and Good (+7). You have to emphasize the number instead of only referring to the adjective. I don’t think this is too much of a problem, as I think most folks use the adjective (#) notation, but it could create some confusion.

    Also, how hard will it be for someone at Average to hit a Good result? Will this impact the Fate Point economy? That is to say will people be more reliant on Fate Points to hit mid-to-high difficulties?

    I like that this steepens the difficulty at the high end. I agree it seemed too easy to hit legendary, but you might need to scale it down a bit in the mid range. Definitely worth play-testing to find the sweet spot.

    • johnoghue says:

      Yeah I am not sure how it will play out.

      In a grittier setting like say Chuthulu, I don’t think thats a huge problem an average +2 Skilled person should only be able to get a good +6 once in a blue moon without Aspects, and I am kinda ok with that for my space western as well since I am gonna be a little aspect heavy.

      Actually that is possibly an appeal of this. It lets me be a little aspect heavy and that’s OK. I have found the Balance between Usable Interesting Aspects and To many Aspects making the scene unbalanced.

      in Classic FATE I think you hit the “There are tow many aspects in play, the numbers are getting to high” stage before you get to the “There are to many aspect sin play to keep track” stage. and this might mitigate that.

      Now that being said I think you have to add something like 2 Shifts is a Stress, which I am ok with since the whole idea of Aspects giving a +2 established the concept of a Base 2 system. I also might do something like On a tie, Nothing happens, 1 Shift gives you an advantage, 2+ shifts is Spin (Or stress or whatever)

      Still working on it.

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