In my last review post I talked about the setting of Jadepunk. Today, I’m here to delve into the mechanical bits.
Unlike most Fate games that are coming out now-a-days Jadepunk is a Fate Accelerated-based game, not Core. It’s really well done, however, with the changes to the base FAE engine only adding to the setting and play experience.
Professions, not Approaches
Whilst FAE has six approaches, Jadepunk relies on six professions instead. Each profession encapsulates a specific facet of a character and shows what they are and are not innately proficient in.
The six professions are:
- Aristocrat: High society, fancy parties, and left-handed compliments
- Engineer: Making and modifying Jadetech, also used to dismantle said creations
- Explorer: All about movement, both personal and navigating giant airships, also used when in the wilds for survival
- Fighter: Kicking ass and taking name
- Scholar: The Daniel Jackson profession, it’s about knowing things and drawing conclusions
- Scoundrel: Being stealthy in words as well as actions; liars, con artists, and thieves
Unlike FAE where you can rationalize any approach to any action, in Jadepunk you are restricted in which actions can be taken with each profession. For example, Fighter is used for all physical attacks regardless of how you attack. Sword strikes, shooting your jadetech revolver, or even using a Red Jade Tattoo of Fire to go all Firebender. Of course, your profession is just your base competency, you may have a technique or device that makes you better at certain things.
###Assets, not Stunts In lieu of stunts, Jadepunk has opted to use assets instead. All in all assets are not that different from stunts, but different enough. The main difference is that you can have an asset that costs multiple refresh, while a stunt costs one refresh.
Creating assets is a points-buy process, whereas each refresh you spend gives you two features, and a minimum of one flaw. You can take more flaws to give yourself more features, allowing you to decide how you want to pay for your assets—in refresh with less flaws, or with more flaws and less refresh. It’s very much in the “what are you willing to sacrifice for success?” mentality of Fate Core.
There are three different types of assets:
- An Ally is a helpful NPC. It could be your sidekick, dire wolf companion, or even a jadetech glum
- A Device is any epic external gadget. Ranging from one-off potions, swords of high quality, or even a violin that incites passion in those who listen (true story, see Jadetech: Red Jade)
- A Technique is the only internal asset, and is what we’re used to for more “standard” stunts. “Because I’m awesome, I can…” type.
Building an asset is pretty simple, pick and choose what features and flaws you want to have, for Allies and Devices choose their aspect, and go! Each asset costs 1 refresh minimum and gives you two features and requires one flaw—of course, some features/flaws are just that awesome/detrimental that they count as two, and some features require multiple flaws. Spend more refresh to give two more features, or offset the cost of one feature with another flaw.
A feature that I want to give special note is the Harmful feature. It’s very similar to the Weapon value we know (and I dislike) but with a twist. It adds shifts of stress up to your margin of success. So even if you have a Harmful 4 Device, if you succeed with one shift it’ll only add one additional shift of stress, not four!
You can even create assets during play! If you’re familiar with Atomic Robo, the system is very similar, since it was written by the same person. Figure out what features you want, and that’s your difficulty. Make an appropriate roll—Aristocrat for a senator Ally, Scholar to study the Technique right, etc. The result of your roll then determines who gets to pick the flaws. Of course, any asset created only “costs” one refresh, so if you want more than two features there needs to be flaws to offset them.