Our most recent episode of Tabletop is a narrative RPG, powered by FATE, which is one of my very favorite systems for storytelling in gaming. In fact, if you’re a writer or storyteller, it has some tools and design philosophies in it that are extremely useful, whether you play RPGs or not.
Tabletop fans will likely be as excited as I am to have John Rogers (FIASCO, Season One) back, and some lady who I think was on Buffy once or whatever. We also have Ryan Macklin, who is not just one of the Fate designers, but is one of the most amazing GMs I’ve ever had the privilege to play with.
We had no idea what we were going to play when we came together, and that was be design. One of the strengths and joys of FATE is how easy it makes it for the players and the GM to build a satisfying and narratively complex experience by asking questions, collaborating to find the answers, and working together within a simple set of guidelines to define the world and their characters. Every time I’ve played FATE, I’ve had as much fun during the design phase of the adventure as I did when we were actually playing in it.
We ended up building a world that takes place after Event Zero, which is when all the rules of reality fell apart for reasons that were never completely explained or understood. Horrible monsters tore into our universe, psychic powers became real, and now there is unrest everywhere. We then designed characters who are in a Supernatural Containment Unit. They go where they are needed, to keep things under control, handle people who see things they shouldn’t see, and confront Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.
I am delighted by the way this episode came together. The art is wonderful and the storytelling is just delicious. I hope you like this as much as I do, and I hope it inspires you to play more games!