Monday, September 30, 2013

Star Frontiers Fate Core Hack! - Skills


I have been working on this hack for a while now and have had the idea in my head since I was introduced to Fate. This is one of my nostalgic favorites. I often look back on it and remember the good times, but when I pick it up again I can't help but be repulsed by the horridly primitive game system. Yet, I loved the game world and the space opera feel of the setting. Perfect fodder for a Fate Core hack right? Here is how I am going to work out Skills. I am trying to approach this in a way that keeps the general feel of the original game while still maintaining the consistency of Fate.

The handling of Skills in Star Frontiers Fate Core is perhaps the greatest departure from the basic Fate Core system. The original Alpha Dawn system ran off of PSAs or Primary Skill Areas. Players could choose from four PSAs, Military, Biosocial, Spacer and Technical. (Spacer representing the skill sets laid out in Knight Hawks.)

In Star Frontiers - Fate Core, the PSA is represented as an Approach, similar to those found in Fate Accelerated Edition. The PSA not only provides a bonus, but it also provides a contextual approach that represents how a character was trained.

With the use of the PSA Approaches, there is a distinct difference between a Biosocial Character using the Navigation skill to move through an alien jungle and a Spacer character using the same skill to navigate a Void Jump.

Mechanically this works by providing a +1 bonus to a roll with any skill that can be justified as being part of a PSA. For example, if a player wishes to use the Fight skill to attack someone and has the Military PSA Approach the skill would be rolled with its skill value +1. As characters attain milestones they can change PSA’s, have two PSA’s at a +1 or add a +1 to their existing PSA value (Max +2).

PSAs can also be used on their own to perform actions like Create Advantage or Overcome at a bonus equal to their PSA rating. Rarely will they be used to Attack or Defend outside of special circumstances which may occur.

Because of the PSA overlay Skills will be capped at 4 making the maximum Skill bonus 6.

Military PSA – Means your character picks up militant skills quickly and easily. Military skills include use of weaponry and setting and removing demolitions charges (Crafts Skill).

Biosocial PSA – Means your character is good with people and their environments. People with the biosocial primary skill area are good with biology, medicine, and how such biological beings interact with their environments around them.

Technological PSA – Means your character is good with technology in all of its forms, from computers to robots to vehicles.

Spacer PSA – Means your character is particularly adept at space travel and the use of all the equipment found on board a starship. They are also particularly adept at maneuvering in zero and low gravity environments.

Otherwise, players choose skills using the Skill Pyramid listed on page 46 of the Fate Core book.