Fate, The Demolished Ones, Sessions 5 and 6

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t be blogging about this game at all, right now: the last anyone would have heard about it would have been Session 3.

That doesn’t mean the game is going poorly! Far, far from it. However, there’s a ton of other stuff going on at the moment (work stuff, writing stuff, audiobook stuff, end of semester stuff, kids stuff, family stuff), and the simple fact is this: if the only way I had to record what happened in this game was writing down a detailed actual play, then nothing would be getting recorded.

Luckily, that’s not the case, since we’re playing the game on Google Hangouts “on air”, which automatically records it to Youtube. A bit of tweaking, settings changes, and playlist adjustment, and we get an excellent record of everything “previously on.”

This is everything so far:

I don’t think having these video recordings have made me any more or less likely to write down an actual play, but it does make me very happy something is being recorded, even when I’m stupidly busy.

Also, there are a few other nice benefits:

  • When I have time to ‘do stuff’ related to the game, I can prepare things for the next session, instead of writing about the last one.
  • I can rewatch prior sessions (or play them on my phone during drives and just listen to them podcast-style) to remind myself of stuff I’d introduced that I want to reincorporate.
  • The roll20 app is WONDERFUL for giving me a central place to both store and organize all the random stuff I’ve pulled together for the game, while at the same time providing means for sharing it with the players.

So: sorry for not writing things up in detail, but for real detail, nothing works much better than listening to exactly what happened in the session.

I will certainly have a post-game analysis of the good, bad, and ugly for both the game and for the Hangouts/Roll20 gaming medium. At this point, I would guess that we’ll have about eight sessions in total (tonight’s will be seven). Eight was my first estimate, then I’d started to think it would run to nine, but last session (after some hemming and hawing) the players sprang into action and pretty much skipped right over a whole subplot that didn’t grab them, so we’re back on track for eight.

The big challenge tonight? Everyone kind of split up, so we’re going to be splitting the camera time between three different scenes for awhile, which may or may not slow things down – we’re splitting up the camera time, but covering three times as much ground? Maybe? My guess is it’ll be a wash, or possibly lose us a bit of time on an additional scene where everyone gets caught up to everyone else.

I’m excited: this is the most consistent and continual RPG thing I’ve been able to run in over three years – as far as ‘online tabletop’ gaming goes, the tech has finally arrived in my opinion – I don’t know if it’s a golden age for online tabletop gaming, but it sure feels like it.


  1. Hi Doyce,

    Just watched episode 1 of the Demolished Ones and I really enjoyed the group, plot and narration style.
    Up till now everything is going great!

    I was thinking of starting my own Hangouts group with a FATE game. What resources did you use for dice rolling, maps and tokens?



    1. Hi!

      Basically, all the game-related stuff we did was handled via the Roll20 add-on within Hangouts. It does all the dice rolling, as well as handle the tabletop interface and provides and easy way to display images with the players (just drag it from your file window and drop it on the desktop, or store it in the GMs folder in roll20).

      I decided to pay for a basic membership on Roll20, but I don’t think that’s necessary, depending on what you want to do with it – I did more prep with the Demolished Ones in terms of digging for imagery and porting stats and notes from the pdf into roll20, so I could avoid hunting around for info during the game.

  2. It’s me again…
    I finally got to session 5. Still enjoying it.
    By now I can see that you didn’t use a phase trio as such but a clever on-the-go character building scheme.
    Is this in the original script?

    I’m building a story and I don’t want to use the phase trio since my target players are not game geeks and will be slowed/bored by such a formal approach.
    Do you have suggestions on how to plant character building “milestones” within the game action? Amnesia seems the easy way to go but for most of my PC’s that is not an option.



  3. Hello again!

    The pacing of the gradual acquisition of skills and aspects is, as you guessed, built into the scenario itself, but I think it’s easy enough to port into any game, even without amnesia.

    In fact, Fate Core has the option of ‘building the character as you go’ included – check out the section on “quick character creation”: http://fate-srd.com/fate-core/quick-character-creation

    If you look at my write-up on the “Supers with my Family” game that I ran (http://random-average.com/index.php/tag/dc-universe/) – you’ll see that I did something similar there.

    That game was without a doubt one of the best pick-up games I’ve played in or run. With FAE, you can easily sit everyone down with blank character sheets and begin playing immediately, teaching the game and building characters as you go. My basic outline for that game went something like this:

    • First Scene: The Golden Rule: “Describe it first, then we figure out what to roll.” Everyone sets their High Concept aspect. Use (and set) their first (and maybe second) Approach. Explain how dice work. How are roll results determined? Assign First Stunt, in a way that gives a bonus to their first (and thus most instinctive and ‘best’) action. Explain different action types, as they come up, determined by The Golden Rule.

    • Second Scene: Everyone writes a Trouble Aspect. Everyone writes their first Relationship Aspect (with one of the other characters, preferably so that everyone has an aspect pointing at them).

    • Third Scene: Second Stunt, if appropriate, possibly related to movement. Working together (Create Advantage) to overcome tougher challenges. Invoking Aspects with Fate Points, the basic idea of Boosts as ‘flimsy aspects.’ Consequences. Second Relationship Aspect (with some other player character). Additional approaches rated.

    • Fourth Scene: Fifth Aspect – the “Personal Goal” aspect, related to this scenario. Character is basically complete, barring a final stunt. Recharge everyone’s Fate Points as a reward for completing the character!

    • Fifth Scene: Dealing with opposed rolls. Using Overcome. Dealing with the concept of Armor/Weapon ratings.

    • Sixth and final scene: Everything comes together in one big scene. A great time to pick up a third stunt, if you don’t already have it.

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