Telling Stories Together
So you’ve gathered your friends, your dice, and your index cards, and you’re ready to play Fate Accelerated Edition (it’ll be called [FAE] from now on). Time to tell some stories!
What Do You Mean, “Tell Stories”?
[FAE] is all about telling stories. You create a group of characters and follow them through some imaginary adventure that you all take turns telling little parts of.
Think about a movie, video game, or TV show you like where the characters go on adventures—something like The Legend of Korra or Star Wars or The Avengers or the Zelda games or Doctor Who or The Lord of the Rings. Now imagine a similar sort of story, where you and your friends around the table make the decisions for the characters as they move through the story, and the story changes as you make those decisions.
Sometimes someone makes a decision to try something and you don’t know for sure how it would turn out; that’s when you roll dice to see what happens next. The higher you roll, the better the chance that things work out the way you want them to.
So How Do We Do It?
Well, first you need to figure out what kind of story you’re going to tell. What genre are you interested in? Fantasy? Science fiction? Modern-day adventure? Will you play in the world of a TV show or comic book or movie that you love, or will you create your own world? For some great advice about how to design the framework of your game, see Game Creation in Fate Core.
Next, it’s time to choose who will be the players, and who will be the gamemaster. Of the people around the table, all but one are referred to as players. Each player takes on the role of one player character or PC in the story, and puts themselves in their character’s shoes to make the decisions that their character would make. The remaining person is called the gamemaster or GM. The GM’s job is to present challenges to the players and to portray all the characters that aren’t controlled by the players (non-player characters or NPCs).
Once you decide who the GM will be, and what the genre and framework of the story will be, it’s time for the players to make their characters—that’s in the next section.
Telling Stories “Together”? What Do You Mean?
All the people at the table, GM and players alike, are responsible for telling the story. When you make a decision for your character (or for one of the NPCs, if you’re the GM), think about two things.
First, put yourself in your character’s shoes and think hard about what they would do—even if it’s not the best idea. If you’re playing a character that sometimes makes poor decisions, don’t be afraid to make a poor decision for them on purpose.
Second—and this is really important—think about the story that’s being told. Think about the choice that would make that story even better: more interesting, more exciting, funnier. Would a certain choice give another player’s character a chance to be awesome? Strongly consider making that choice.
That’s how you tell great stories together—by not being afraid for your character to make mistakes, and by making choices that make the story more interesting for everyone at the table—not just you.