Last night, I stayed up just long enough to watch the Evil Hat “Fate More” Kickstarter project edge its way past $70,000 in the final two hours, a huge triumph. Mid-way through the campaign, you see, Fred Hicks filled in the voluminous gaps between books with more community-oriented stretch goals, which included what is likely Fate’s greatest strength — open content.
Here is where I became really excited:
Now, I don’t know much about licenses as they apply to system hacks — anything I know is bundled in with the D&D 3rd Edition OGL and the newer Creative Commons — so this graphic delivered two realisations: (1) that the War of Ashes mechanics weren’t open for use or reprinting, and (2) that they could be.
I should rewind a little here and talk briefly about War of Ashes: Fate of Agaptus. War of Ashes dwells firmly in the impulse-buy section of my collection, the part I can’t explain. I have no idea why I purchased it — worse! why I pre-purchased it! — but I know precisely why I keep it and continue to re-read it. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous book with light-hearted fun blended in with the serious issues of war, ethnicity, and geopolitics. It is also the latest “core” book for Fate out in publication (as of now), so it benefits from a currently-running hypothesis of mine in which the following is true: Evil Hat gets more canny at explaining how Fate works with every book they put out there. As such, War of Ashes is actually a great place to begin playing Fate too.
This isn’t meant to be taken as a review; I just love this book.
Anyway, so at $70k, the systems inside War of Ashes got put on Evil Hat’s workflow for open-license, which is fantastic news for me and for everybody because that means Weight is most likely chief on that list! Weight is the single most elegant manner for tracking size or scale differences in opposing forces in Fate. Weight gives, well, weight to the idea that it is dangerous to be outnumbered or outclassed. In my own game, which mimics MMORPG genre fiction, I use Weight to reflect the differences between PCs and Boss Monsters and to encourage players to engage in the social aspects of the game by gathering enough friends and allies to negate that Weight advantage. Basically, Weight allows for a mechanical enforcement of party requirements, and it’s an absolutely invaluable tool that I could not imagine the setting or genre without.
And now I don’t have to.
Yes, it’ll take a few months for the open-license to appear, but those are months in which I can get to work writing out the setting I’ve been wanting to share with others. $70k is allowing me to look forward to doing that without sacrificing even the tiniest mote. (I begin earnest planning on Monday.) It’s allowing me to look forward to what other people do with the mechanic — and all the other mechanics unlocked by Fate More — as well. It’s an exciting time, but then again, open-licenses always are in this hobby.
Next time, I’ll talk some about that setting and game I mentioned, as well as my plans for sharing it as a book. Please look forward to it!