Someone is WRONG on the internet. . .again!

Rather than writing (which I should be), I found myself sucked down a rabbit hole I normally know better than to avoid: Quora.

[With apologies for my post title to Randall Munroe and his great comic, specifically Duty Calls.]

This is the question that snared my attention: What is your opinion of the FATE RPG system (the one with the fudge dice)?

TLDR; I didn’t add an answer of my own. Francis Dickinson nailed it. +eleventy

However, another never-played-Fate maroon felt compelled to vomit into the void. I won’t reprint Ryan Marshall’s answer except to point out that his entire experience with Fate is that he “powered [reading] on through [Fate Core] anyway” already operating on the presumption that he didn’t like it. Confirmation bias much, bro? Feel free to downvote his answer at your leisure.

Here’s my answer to his bloviation (also featured on Quora with slightly different formatting):

You’re missing some crucial distinctions, Ryan.

For the sake of argument, I’ll stipulate to your (and my daughter’s) premise that Captain America is “the perfect soldier.” Steve still has plenty of opportunities to accumulate Fate points. Any reading of the things that happen to him during any comic or movie in which he is featured demonstrate this narrative fixture. He has weaknesses in the form of human interactions and emotional blind spots. His primary Trouble could be expressed as Loyal to a Fault. It drives the entire plot of The Winter Soldier.

Also, consider that a player in a Fate-based game accumulates fate points whenever her character is compelled to a decision or an event by an aspect. It does NOT have to be that character’s aspect. Any aspect in play is eligible for compels and invocations at any time. You could, in theory, make your personal version of Steve Rogers as “perfect” as you like and still accumulate a fate point when the GM drops Ironman on your head by compelling the game aspect Obey the Law. Whoops.

Let’s play “Name that Aspect.” I’ll bet you can come up with the character “flaw” that compels Steve NOT to turn over Fury’s flash drive to Pierce in The Winter Soldier and thereby become a fugitive and an enemy of the state. Hint: It rhymes with An Overdeveloped Sense of _____.

A new hero enters the arena!

I do get to play from time to time, not just run play test games. I stoked to get to play today, too. Mack is running an adaptation of Venture City based in the One Punch Man universe set in San Antonio, Texas. Our first epic session last week involved rescuing a YouTube star’s kitty from a tree, being attacked by “super haters” and their dobermans, and foiling a robbery of a Valero Cornerstore by a “super hater” sympathizer intending to ambush us. [You can tell how seriously we take our gaming!]

In the spirit of excitement, I figured I’d share my character with you, because he’s the awesomest. No. Srsly. He’s all the good bits of Mumen Rider rolled into an All-American cybernetic package.

Prognos (a.k.a. Allan Small)

An unassuming, average looking fellow with brown eyes and brown hair cut in what will be the fashion next season. Dresses formally in suit and tie in what will be the next breakout designer’s look.

  • High Concept: Spoiler Alert!
  • Trouble: I brake for underdogs.
  • Prophet for Fun & Profit
  • All Six Degrees
  • A Techno-Wizard Is Never Late

Constructed as a government experiment to produce the perfect infiltration agent in the form of a human/AI hybrid, Allan arranged to have Project Prognos canceled as a dismal failure. Given a 10% medical discharge (because he causes headaches in others around him and he complains of mild arthritis due to the cyberwire installations), he is now an attorney (mostly pro bono) who works as a financial advisor (day-trader) for charities, community organizer (rabble-rouser and lobbyist) for several NGOs, political advisor to local campaigns (only liberty-minded candidates), and civil rights activist for libertarian causes–when he’s not saving puppies, getting kitties out of trees, or fighting crime. It’s the little distractions that keep him from going mad with boredom brought on by always knowing what other people are thinking as well as what’s going to happen next.

Refresh: 2


  • Basic Precognition (Defend against physical attacks with Notice)
    • Drawback: Always Looking to the Future, Never His Mind On Where He Is
    • Special Effect: Physical Recovery/You recover from all physical stress.
    • Special Effect: Mental Recovery/You recover from all mental stress.
    • Collateral Damage: Future Echoes/Everyone else attacks at -4 for the rest of the scene.
  • Master Precognition (Enhancement; +2 Notice to defend against physical attacks)
  • Basic Influence (Synergy; Attack Rapport vs. Will to force others to act as I chose.)
  • Basic Teleportation (Synergy; Move up to 3 zones in line of sight as an action.)
  • Basic Telepathy (Synergy; Use Notice to read surface thoughts and detect unfamiliar minds in my current or adjacent zones.)
  • Master Telepathy (Enhancement; +2 Notice when reading minds)
  • Basic Energy Blast (Synergy; You can fire a projectile of some sort–microwave laser, with a range of three zones, using Shoot.)
  • Basic Technology Theme (Cyberwire Implants along all neural and nerve pathways; Power Amplification/Nullification don’t work on me.)


  • Great (+4): Rapport
  • Good (+3): Shoot, Contacts
  • Fair (+2): Notice, Resources, Burglary
  • Average (+1): Lore, Stealth, Crafting, Investigate


Dear Parents/Teachers, you were wrong!

I love my parents dearly. However, I am going to issue a HUGE nyah-nyah in their general direction today. Along with all those teachers who told me to stop daydreaming. Science says you were WRONG! Heh.

Smile with tongue out

Daydreaming man
Daydreaming while working on complex mental tasks may not be such a crime; a new study suggests it can actually enhance mental performance.

p.s. Please do NOT tell my children or team members this.

Time for remedial English?

Egad! I can only correct so many hundreds of proposed edits to Modernity before I start to discern a pattern. It isn’t simply that I do not live and breath the Chicago Manual of Style (any edition), it’s that I apparently have no fundamental understanding of a few basic English concepts. Based on the copious quantity of proposed edits, you wouldn’t think that I have a bachelors of science with a minor in English.

I’m prepared to defend my abuse of punctuation, eclectic vocabulary, and my idiosyncratic love of the semicolon, but. . . How did I get this far in life and always misuse “that” and “which”?

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with editors before, but I’ve never had one make me cry over the difference between hyphens and emdashes.


Back to the grindstone.