Tuesday, August 25, 2015

#RPGaDay Day 25: Favorite Revolutionary Game Mechanic

So for Favorite Revolutionary Game Mechanic, I'm going to go with the Fate Deck from Marvel SAGA, with a list of reasons why.

  • It provides a nice mix of randomization, combined with resource management and decision making. Each character has a variable hand of cards, based off of their experience level, and uses that to decide what to do and when to do it, generally attempting to match up their actions with the cards in their hand. Why?
  • Trump. If the card you play matches your active ability, you Trump, which means you get to flip over the top card of the Fate Deck and add it to your total. If you Trump again, you keep adding. It can make for some truly explosive moments in-game.
  • Pushing. As part of that resource management, if you need just a little something extra to put you over the top on an action, you can Push. You Push by spending a card and adding it to your action total, but not redrawing it, to simulate the exertion of the effort...because sometimes you need to hold that gate just a little longer so the last civilian can slip through...
  • Edge. Probably my favorite mechanic of all. The great equalizer. Every character has an Edge score. They can play any number of cards equal to, or less than, their Edge score before playing their action card. What does that mean in play? Say She-Hulk has an Edge of 2 and a Hand Size of 4. She's holding the 2 of Intellect, 8 of Doom, 6 of Agility and 4 of Agility. If she wants to punch someone (Strength), she knuckles down and uses the 8 of Doom (giving that card to the Narrator to use against her later), but she can also add that 2 of Intellect, giving her a 10 to go with her Strength of 17 (for an action total of 27 - Impressive).  Now Captain America, who has a Will of 12, wants to calm a rioting crowd. His hand includes the 3, 4 and 7 of Doom, the 6 of Will and the 4 and 6 of Strength. He can dump the 3 and 4 of Doom, plus the 4 of Will to set his score of 23...before playing the 6 of Will to push it to 29, which also Trumps! Captain America is very resourceful in SAGA, and Edge can be more important than cool powers and high scores.

    See kinda why I love Marvel SAGA?