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Ends and Beginnings


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My campaign of 23~ sessions has come to a close. My players really enjoyed it, saying how it was an epic journey, a shame that it's finished and all that good stuff. As a FM I'm both humbly proud of the story we all told together and looking forward to having a short break before starting another campaign.

Comparing my first session to my last is like chalk and cheese, I've learned a lot and wanted to share with you the slight changes I do to run a smoother game:

Target numbers - TN10 for early game, TN12 for late game: For context this a skill challenge for a normal check, not too easy (a -2), not too hard(a +2 & onwards). Yes the guy with 2x 5+ skills is still on easy street but consider that not every check is going to be solved with only one or two skills. Which leads into:

Make varied encounters What would a Mage/Fighter/Rogue do?: If every encounter can be solved by a social skill or violence, it will quickly become modus operandi to have skill with 5+ in those areas. Mix it up without it being a screw job.

Ignore the rank system... kinda - Just one good hit, or maybe two or three: The jump between minion and enforcer is a wide gap, 5 wound and KO'd compared to having to deal 10+ damage and a decent critical and getting past the 2 Fate points. For shorter fights, I have enforcers insta-fail a KO check, or just have them make the standard Unconsciousness check using their base skill+aspect. Rank shouldn't mean requiring a High Mod/Sev Crit in order to finish an NPC off.

Give your bosses a Deck - and a control hand: I had boss fights that were over in one round due to perfect knowledge, static TN will do that. If something feels like they should be a boss, I shuffle a separate deck and draw 2+number of players cards off the top for a control hand. It's a minor change that has been discussed to death at this point but the important part of why I do this is that it makes an encounter feel different and gives it an element of shock and surprise rather than the 'same guy but bigger' issue.

Embrace the badass - Hug them tightly: Finally, I changed my attitude about the high AVs and nigh-indestructability and rolled with it. As early as midgame the Fated are a force to be reckoned with, let them be! The Sharpest Shooter should feel like they can shoot the wings off a fly at 50 yards, the Martial-est Artist should feel like they can take on 6 dudes solo no sweat; and so on. Embrace their strengths but also remind them of their weaknesses on occasion.

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Great thoughts! I've been discovering similar things during my own campaign, but I love the idea of giving bosses a deck and control hand. I've definitely had boss fights that were over way too fast, and adding in my own deck/control hand would add a really interesting element to them. Especially for an "ancient evil" type boss, like a Fey.

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