Posted on : 18-09-2012 | By : Brian | In : Game Design, Musings, Role-Playing Games
John and I have been talking back and forth about what a game based on Hellboy’s Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense might look like. Hellboy comics usually start with an investigation, which is Gumshoe’s core strength. They also usually culminate in some over-the-top action, which Fate is quite good at. So what if we grafted some Fate onto Gumshoe? FateShoe anyone?
What I’m talking about specifically are aspects. The way I see it, in FateShoe aspects are ways to access a pool of points, something that I’m alternately calling the Fate Pool or the Action Pool. Action Pool sounds a bit more in keeping with the tone of the game, so I’m leaning toward that one. The Action Pool is a pool of points that can be spent like your ability pools in Gumshoe except that it’s a universal pool: 3 points can sub in for a point from an investigative ability, and you get general ability substitution on a 1-for-1 basis. Aspects are how you access the Action Pool.
You can invoke an aspect on a test; each aspect invoked allows you to spend up to 3 points from your Action Pool on the test. The only thing required to invoke the aspect is to explain how it’s relevant to the task at hand. The only way you refresh your Action Pool during a mission is to accept compels from the GM. Accepting a compel gets you a 2-point refresh, refusing a compel forfeits that refresh and costs you 1 point.
You’d want to keep the number of aspects pretty low. I’d stick with three: a High Concept, a Trouble, and a Background. I’m also toying with the idea of having relationship aspects that are shared by two characters that draw from a Trust Pool; either character could call upon it, but only on actions that involve both characters in some way. Going one step further, it might also be cool to have a mission aspect that everyone on the team can call upon in order to draw from a Mission pool.