Nova Praxis: Core

After reading a bit more of the NP PDF than I had before my previous post, I’m certain I’ll be playing Nova Praxis using the newer Fate Core rules. This is partially due to my preference for simplicity vs explicitness, and partially because I’m lazy and don’t feel like memorizing two sets of [mostly] overlapping rules. I’m actually quite the rules lawyer outside of RPGs, but when it comes to storytellin’, I ain’t about to rassle no player over the finer points of some obscure codex I’ve yet to lay my eyes upon.

This is one of the selling points of Fate Core: understand the gist of how aspects, stress tracks and consequences work, the Four Actions and Four Outcomes, and Zones. Toss in Skills and Stunts as you’re creating a character and you basically know it all. Any additional rules are more or less gravy. Aspects are such a powerful mechanic – one I failed to grasp, or at least remember from my early forays with Over The Edge, only to appreciate them a decade later via HeroScape and Marvel Heroic, before Fate Core – that they can cover nearly any situation on-the-fly with little or no page-flipping, bickering or break-taking necessary. I’ll likely go on future tangents about “aspect-oriented” role play (a term I’m borrowing/corrupting from my hacker brethren) at some point. First a list of touch points, in no particular order. Future posts may touch on the specifics of how some of these differ and why you might choose one over the other.

  • Actions and Outcomes – removing spin/stall, terms like effort
  • Character aspects – concept is aspect, include historical “phases” from Core alongside “scoped” Aspect Alphabet aspects (or swap for Aspect Alphabet entirely? Not sure yet. NP’s Scope rule refers to something else, to be clear)
  • Skill/Stunt lists for NP are great and custom-built for flavor and D&D feat-like tactical options. They have hooks for some of the unique “classes” of characters like SIMs and Savants that need no retooling. Just need to think through using the Four Actions instead of the old Maneuver/etc. Special consideration should also be given to House Networking, as it contributes to starting Rep-Rating. Likewise Licensed is important if you want legitimate Augmentations
  • Skill pyramid needs slight retuning just to de-clutter the character sheet and bring inline with Core (1 +4 at the apex)
  • Weapon and armor ratings in NP are nice and simple, effectively identical to the basic examples given in Fate Core’s Extras chapter. They add flavor and danger, and a gear-lusting gamist will enjoy picking up the occasional super-powered rifle that has an aspect or stunt associated with it as well
  • System stress track needs to be added for Savant characters, and the Actions/Outcomes interpolated into it
  • Character advancement – I haven’t given this much thought yet, as I tend to think in more realistic “people don’t change that much!” terms, but it’s bound to come up. The NP rule box for this seems a bit simplistic for me, and I think the Core rules were more flexible but I haven’t internalized them yet
  • Gear – if there was one reason to buy the book (beyond the killer setting!) this would be it. No comments just yet, beyond the fact that Drones, Augmentations and Vehicles are all great content.
  • System attacks – throughout the book there are numerous sections on attacking or compromising remote computer systems, even though much of the fluff mentions that Mimir-tech is nigh impregnable. I think we need some clarification from the author here
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