Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fighting "Aspect Creep"

One of the things I didn't realize until after the fact with my Strands of Fate adaptation for Tribe 8 is the sheet number of aspects. On top of the character aspects there was a tribal aspect, and then if the character had Synthesis there were two Eminences apiece. I want to try to figure out a way to streamline it for Fate Core while still keeping the basic tenets of the way Synthesis works.
For those who are unfamiliar with Tribe 8 (and to help me try to focus on the important bits), there are a set of "Eminences" which are essentially archetypes - Life, Inspiration, Motion, Wisdom, Truth, etc. Tribal and Fallen characters in Silhouette have two - for each Tribe they are fixed while Fallen retain one from their birth Tribe and can choose one from their new Outlook. These characters are considered to be "awakened". In Dreams of Flesh and Spirit, I represented this as an advantage which granted a persistent aspect. The Eminences were also aspects. By this point, the character would a Tribal or Fallen aspect plus an Awakened Aspect and two Eminence Aspects (not to mention the Synthesis skill). That's four additional aspects, and it's too many.
Now, there are two things that strike me about Eminences. The first is they're more of archetypes than personal characteristics. They're universal constants and exist outside of the character. The second is that they can likely be collapsed pretty easily. Using archetypes I can see seven Tribal archetypes and four Fallen ones.
Tribal Archetypes:
  • Agnite: Child
  • Baba Yaga: Crone
  • Dahlian: Trickster
  • Evan: Mother
  • Joan: Warrior
  • Magdalen: Lover
  • Tera Sheba: Judge
Fallen Archetypes:
  • Doomsayer: Prophet
  • Herite: Heretic
  • Jacker: Avenger
  • Lightbringer: Visionary
One of the things that Eminences do in Silhouette is allow a character one reroll or a bonus on a roll during a session. Fate Points and creating advantages already mimic this, so there's nothing more to be done other than allowing the character the aspect. This aspect would be Awakened to [Archetype]. Characters who don't want to invest in Synthesis don't need to do any more - otherwise the character would only need to buy ranks in the Synthesis skill, along with any other requirements (since I need to evaluate what those might be).
The awesome thing about this solution is it could probably work just as well for the other three groups that have powers: Keepers, Z'bri and Guides. It's just a matter of identifying archetypes. One aspect, one skill, and a much less cluttered way of dealing with Synthesis.