I have to say that I am still surprised by the impact one short campaign using the Fate Core rules has had for my thoughts around gaming and narrative in general. We had a good bunch of players, certainly had our issues with the dynamics and the rules and such – but overall it was wonderful. The revelation part that warrants this post is how I find the Fate mechanics of Aspects, Fate Chips, Compels, Stunts, Stress, Consequences, Trouble, etc are so easy to map onto TV shows and even real life.

One the best examples at the moment is Agents of SHIELD which I only just started watching. Here we have a group that feels something like a player party with variety in the various roles and skills. The PCs each have interesting backstories that aren’t too well defined at the start and also include links between the characters of various types. You can then see the ‘compels’ coming in at various points which the players ‘take/accept’ as the idea of conspiring against our characters for the betterment of the story is central to this type of gaming/narrative. Then there are the hero moments or sudden extra capability or piece of past knowledge that turns up and clearly the players are spending fate chips to get the job done.

While Agents of SHIELD is my current favourite example, I re-watched Heroes and it mapped beautifully onto the mechanics as well even if it didn’t have a ‘party’ in the same way. The concept certainly isn’t restricted to this genre though – watching SMASH season 1 last week and it again was a great portrayal of the Fate mechanics but with a different feel and more social-centric skills and aspects.

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