I haven't been on the forums here for awhile and I've been used to hanging out in G+ land, so it didn't occur to me to ask here before, so this was originally posted at https://plus.google.com/+ErikAlfkin/posts/fBkbDB3Tb12
Rules hacking time: I'm getting ready to run some Mini Six after spending a goodly amount of time with Fate and Ubiquity (mostly Hollow Earth Expedition) and there are a few concepts from each that I'm considering working into the Mini Six framework.
I'm replacing the existing system of Perks and Complications with what are basically Fate Aspects (short phrases used to define interesting things about a character), but done in the Ubiquity style. The player will need to define an Archetype, a Motivation, and a Flaw. These cost no points (as Perks do) but still make things true for the character and the game world, which means that they require GM approval (possibly meaning some back-and-forth between the GM and the player before that approval is given). These also give a clear framework for the character during the rest of the creation process, as well as how that character should be played.
For example, an Archetype of "Roguishly Charming Pilot" says quite a bit about the character. When that player puts 4D into Charm, that Charm is more clearly defined (since, in my book, Charm can easily be charisma, beauty, or force of personality). So if the character takes over the bridge during a heated battle, the style of play makes more sense as "Hey, guys, you know I can get you through this," followed by a flash of white teeth and his most winning smile, rather than by barking out orders. That character should also have some kind of piloting skill, of course.
A character whose Archetype is "Elven Scout of the Gold Leaf Realm" will have whatever abilities elves of that game world have (dark vision, for example) simply by virtue of being an elf. And an "Unlicensed Wizard, Extraordinaire" will have spellcasting ability (as well as an some kind of built-in conflict with the magical establishment, by virtue of being unlicensed).
I know this makes characters more powerful than the stock Mini Six system, but this works for me because I hate seeing the beginning skills hamstrung by choosing some cool Perks. And I tend to switch games every few months, so characters don't get as much chance for advancement as they would with a longer game. I am curious to know if anyone has an opinion about this kind of shift in character power levels.
Motivation should say something about what drives the character, and I find having such a thing really helps get new games off the ground by establishing character personalities pretty quickly. They can be general motivations, like "I want all the gold!" or a bit more complex, like "The shame of being dismissed from the King's service still stings"
And Flaws are basically a reworking of Complications, except that there is only one instead of being open to two, and they do not provide additional CP at the end of a session (more about that below).
To further tie these traits into the character, Hero Points would be given out to players who find ways to roleplay these motivations and flaws (or the GM finds ways to bring them up in the game), similar to how Style Chips or Fate Points work in Ubiquity and Fate. I'm debating about leaving the spending of Hero Points the same, or specifying that the +6 to a roll must somehow tie back into the Archetype, Motivation, or Flaw.
I'm really curious to know what folks think of these ideas. Good, bad, indifferent. Any suggested tweaks? Any glaring flaws I'm overlooking? Any cool uses for this that I haven't thought of? Any way the players could make this go horribly awry?
A few extra ideas:
Any Aspect outside of the three that make up a character will exist but won't need to be explicitly written out as such, as they are in Fate. This affects a few of the things that follow.
Spending a Hero Point requires some explanation on how it fits into the narrative. For example, buying down damage can be because the Quick Thief managed to dodge at the last moment or because the attacker had a Wound (an arrow in the shoulder) that threw off his aim.
Preparatory work (what would be Creating an Advantage in Fate) can gain a +2D on a following roll, as can someone making a roll to assist. These make Aspects that, as mentioned above, don't need to be explicitly spelled out. They can certainly be used as justification for spending a Hero Point later on. ("Remember how I built that programmable robot arm to help me push the fire alarm while I was elsewhere? Well, because it's near the current fight, I'm using it to grab this guy's ankle from behind, distracting him and giving me a +6 to my attack. Here's my HP.")
The final skill list I developed looks an awful lot like the one out of Hollow Earth Expedition. Not exactly the same, but heavily inspired by it. I'll post the full list once I write up all my changes as a unified document. One important note is that I have only Fight, Shoot, and Athletics to cover all fighting skills. Block and Parry will have the same value, barring Specializations (which I am a little nervous about allowing for fighting skills).
I'm inclined to make Specialization only a +2D instead of a +3D, but on top of the Skill when first taken instead of the Attribute. So Charm of 4D, Persuasion of 1D, and a Specialization of Intimidation makes for a 7D, but also uses up 2 of 7 skill dice for character creation. Raising Persuasion to 1D+1 later on does nothing to Intimidation; that would have to be raised separately. If the base skill is not taken, the Specialization just adds to the base Attribute (4D Charm and 6D Intimidation in the above example). I need to play around a little with various builds and advancement combos before I'm set on this one.
I'm considering a static initiative of Agility rating x3 plus pips.
Adding in a dash of Savage Worlds, mooks go down (or just plain leave the fight) once they suffer a Wound. I also want to test out the idea of a separate Stun vs Wound track (similar to Savage Worlds Wounds vs Fatigue counters) because it is so helpful with things like nonlethal attacks and environmental damage. I may play it each way for a time to see how it affects things. I might also use bonuses and penalties to mimic common knowledge rolls, or I may just leave that to roleplay.
I'll likely have the players define two current and/or impending issues for the setting, as well as a few faces and places, as done in Fate Core.