Aspects in Pathfinder- Communication

The other day Chuck and I each posted on implementing Aspects in our Pathfinder games and the benefits we both felt would be gained by such a house rule.

The one thing that neither of us touched upon was communication. This is perhaps the best and most fun part of the FATE system and the Dresden Files RPG, in particular.

Take a quick gander at my Halloween One Shot. I used the FATE system and there are some pretty good, and sometimes hilarious Aspects.

The really cool thing about those Aspects are many of them came into being by Chuck’s and my discussions when I was rambling to him about the different cliché’s I was going to use as characters.

I would suggest something and Chuck would offer a counter point, building on my original thought, then I would suggest something. After one or more suggestions we would have a cool and well rounded Aspect that would be fun in game play.

I’ll use the Goth from my Halloween One Shot as an example:

• Already Dead Inside.
• “I’m Not Afraid of the Dark.”
• “I Need No One.”
• “I Don’t Care Who Did It, I Just Care How They Died.”
• Vampire Make-Up Kit.

Originally I wanted the Goth to be an emotional midget, being very cool and detached. First I had suggested Emotionally Dead, and Chuck bantered back Already Dead Inside, which was much more fun and could be used much more as an interesting Aspect.

While in this example it was only Chuck and I talking about Aspects, it is more enjoyable when in a group setting. Dresden Files RPG encourages ALL players go get involved in the discussion of everyone’s character Aspects.

With many people offering feedback and ideas you will come up with some really awesome and unique Aspects that will lend themselves well to your character ideas.


About wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn. View all posts by wrathofzombie

9 responses to “Aspects in Pathfinder- Communication

  • >B

    Came to your blog from ClockWorks and really like the content. I found ChattyGM through you too wich seems like a win for me three times.

    I *still* haven’t played any FATE based games, but I love aspects and was thinking of trying to add them to an upcoming Savage Worlds game I want to run. I know I saw some info on using aspects for SW, but I can’t seem to backtrack/google my way into the place I saw them…

    Can you point me to any particular places I might not have looked for SW / FATE aspects?


    • wrathofzombie

      Honestly for Savage Worlds I would use Aspects as it is done in FATE rather than what I do for my current games. The player invokes an Aspect and gets a +2 to a roll or maybe invoke something (this is me adding on) like a plot twist.

      That allows you to keep the Benny mechanics in place and not having to change those to incorporate Aspects.

      If you want to incorporate them- so there is less for a player to keep track of- just add invoking an Aspect to what a benny can do.

      You may need to change how the player receives bennys though.. So it makes the compelling of Aspects much more meaningful and viable.

      • >B

        Thanks for the advice. I was also thinking about taking the edges and hindrances out of the creation process (and maybe the game in general) in favor of aspects…say five at character creation. What is your opinion on that? My thinking is that a good aspect cuts both ways. If you linked it to the bennies system, then compelling could be another way of generating bennies.


      • wrathofzombie

        I think you have the right idea for taking Edges and Hindrances out. I think that SW would become too convoluted with trying to balance both, thus defeating the whole “Fast, Furious, and Fun!” aspect of it..

        I would stress to your players that creating Aspects that are a double edge sword is important. Too many games, especially DnD, have pummeled into our brains that negatives and things that hinder us are bad.

        I think games like SW, FATE, and Burning Wheel/Mouse Guard are doing the right thing and taking the negative and making it a rewarding experience.

      • >B

        Hinderances have always kind of bugged me. The first Deadlands had them, and other systems like GURPS uses them…I always felt inspired by the possibilities they offered, but they never quite match my style…I would forget to play them etc.

        So, to me the aspects seem more flexible and evocative. Strands of FATE has a little ‘ABC’ system of creating aspects that I liked a lot just looking at it, but for a SavageWorlds game I think maybe five aspects on the PC’s character sheets will be enough for them to know if they like the idea or not. My plan was to write other aspects down for the game that they could compel/tag through their storytelling without needing to really *know* that they’re there as aspects.

        The other thing I plan to borrow from Strands of FATE is the thing where the player narrates their character’s failure. I think that is another fantastic idea. Provided they do actually fail a dice roll, they have the chance to create a complication for the character…it seems to have a lot of potential.

        As a GM and player, do you see any problems with the players being able to award FATE chips or bennies to each other for awesomeness? Or maybe just a way of trading them around between the players? I don’t have any experience with this kind of economy, but I would like for it to flow pretty freely and encourage fun rather than become a super-rare resource that is only used to save a character’s bacon.


  • Chuck

    That was a a pretty fun exchange. Wait till next year,dude. More little Fate goodies on the way, 🙂

  • Tourq

    As soon as I heard about the Dresden Files RPG, I was stoked. Then I heard it was Fate, and whimpered.

    THEN, we started fooling around with Strands of Fate, and I gotta say, I think just about every role-playing game out there can benefit from FATE is some way.

    We are currently converting our Eberron campaign into FATE, and I just can’t wait.

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