Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Welcome To FATE SF

Tesla grain art from the 2014 Minnesota State Fair

Or welcome back, if you are a regular here at FATE SF! I thought I'd post a brief introduction for folks who might be stopping by because of Charles Akins' EN World article Ten RPG Blogs Everyone Should be Reading. With this post, we are at 465 and counting, and I'd imagine we'll hit 500 before year's end!

I normally post about 3 times per week, and daily when time permits. We've been publishing at a slower pace this summer due to an extremely demanding project at work, but we expect the pace to pick up considerably once we are out of September.

So why FATE SF? I started this blog to preserve my sanity. After the big financial collapse of the last decade, working in non-profits became significantly harder. Grim, in fact. I needed a creative outlet.

This was a good year before Fate Core became A Thing. I thought a cool niche for blogging would be Fate-based SF games. Now mind you, back then, we only had two big Fate-based SF games: Diaspora, and Starblazer Adventures, although Bulldogs! would soon be along too I still love them, with a slight bias towards Starblazer Adventures - it just hits the spot so well for a kitchen sink space opera RPG.

Daniel Swensen's blog World Without SYN was a definite inspiration! So were a couple of OSR-inspired free thinkers, the creative geniuses behind Hereticwerks and From the Sorcerer's Skull. Through them, I discovered other points of interest and illumination such as Porky's Expanse!.

A bit more about myself. The first two SF novels I read were back in the 6th and 7th grade: James Blish's Spock Must Die, and Robert A. Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky. Delaney's Babel-17 and Nova followed shortly thereafter, as did John Christopher's City of Gold and Lead. In recent years, I have been reading more of the greats, including Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks, Cordwainer Smith, and Eleanor Arnason to name a few.

My first RPG was black box Traveller. We actually played Whitebox D&D before Traveller, because my friend Steve Gear had purchased that after hearing about it from friends in school. Just as important for me was the SPI wargame Starforce: Alpha Centauri, which offered one of the earliest future histories in gaming. (I used elements of two races from the SPI setting at Con of the North 2014 in my "Ringworld Reloaded" Mindjammer scenario.)

True Confessions:
  • My favorite game worlds - since childhood - have been Tekumel and Glorantha. 
  • My most recent Fate-based purchase wasn't SF. It was the print edition of Ryan Macklin's capable Fate conversion of the Modiphius' Achtung! Cthulhu setting. It's going to prove useful for a convention game I'll be running in February (more on that soon). (Of course, a good argument can be made that much of the Mythos is SF, so Achtung! Cthulhu could arguably be considered pulp SF!
  • I'm very interested (but haven't yet purchased) a non-Fate SF space opera game called Myriad Song. It seems pretty groovy and very Roger Dean-y. 


  1. Thanks for the shoutout! It's always a bit of a thrill, honestly, when people who do cool stuff say you inspire them, too.

    I hadn't heard of Myriad Song but that looks interesting.

    1. I finally purchased the game last night. Enjoying the read-through on PDF while the color book gets made!