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A Question to RPers about Being Faithful to Canon

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So, this was a question I asked of #regalia, and I got some nice feedback, particularly from Vritra. Just, not as much as I'd like. The question itself goes something like this:

  • In a hypothetical game system intended to fit the Nasuverse setting, (one using a skill-based model akin to White Wolf's World of Darkness or GURPS rather than something like Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder's level-based mechanics) how important would it be to make the effects of the skills in question match their effects in official games like Fate/Grand Order or EXTRA?

The reason why I'm asking is that I have been working on a sort of GURPS-like RP rule system for use on Forums, something that can be adapted to most settings with minimal tweaking. I've been toying around with this thing for a very long time. Some of you may remember some of the earliest prototypes of it from a certain fic I wrote or the aborted Steamverse RP. I've worked on it off-and-on for quite literally years, depending on my free time, waxing and waning interest, varying levels of inspiration, and my level of involvement in other creative projects I tend to use as personal entertainment. Put another way, it's something I dick around with for the lulz when I happen to feel like it.

That said, I ran into a bit of frustration when Grand Order came out and I finally got around to playing it. In particular, the gameplay is kind of... yeah... not very impressive. Most of the skills there produce a very limited range of effects, mixing and matching them with a small number of occasional demerits to give a degree of variety. Many are redundant, and with the small number of statistics that characters possess there and the limits on what can mechanically be done in the game, the range of what skills actually do in it is mediocre and way out of line with what can be achieved with a system that uses six core stats, eighteen attributes derived from those, and is open to extensive customization by GMs and Players when it comes to character creation.

Attempting to have all of these skills replicate their effects from Grand Order results in a huge number of Skills that do the same basic things while ignoring significant elements of the base system. That's just a wee bit of a problem, and while I'm fine with expanding what these abilities can do to better balance the game design, that excessive redundancy gets old fast. It's also tedious having to keep looking back a the wikis for information on their exact effects and then having to calculate what I can add to them using the point-buy system I use to design skills in order to keep them balanced. It would be much easier and faster if I could just run off the descriptions and fluff of the skills themselves and write up the whole effects on my own.

The reason why I don't, however, is because that would result in potentially changing what an official character can and can't do from their canonical depictions. This brings a bit of an extra layer, a surprisingly profound one, to the question; just how important is it to stick to canon in a fan work?

I'm aware that the Nasuverse in general, and Fate in particular, is flexible when it comes to canon. GO has Servants spontaneously picking up new Skills and Noble Phantasms because of costume changes. There are two canonical depictions of Musashi with different genders. Powerlevels, skills, and other abilities can change depending on when and where a Servant is summoned and how well-known they are in said area. However, it still leaves me questioning what I should do when it comes to designing these skills.

Oh, and for those wondering; no, I'm not asking this because I have some pending RP I'm about to unleash or anything like that. Like I said, this thing is basically just a time-wasting hobby on my part. I might condense it down into something not madness-inducing and let other people use it if they want when it's at a reasonable stage of completion. I might even use it myself, assuming I ever got enough confidence in my abilities as a GM to run a game using it, but for the time being it's just seeing use as a boredom killer and a form of mental exercise for me.

Updated October 5th, 2019 at 01:08 PM by Twelveseal

Gaming , Roleplaying , Nasuverse , The Everdream , Game Mechanics


  1. Bloble's Avatar
    You shouldn't bother with trying to replicate GO skill effects because they are mostly if not entirely divorced from what said skills would actually do in lore, and any effect they have in game is purely mechanical and meant to fit a very constrained system. Fluff and descriptions is all you should be looking at in that regard.
  2. Mcjon01's Avatar
    I would never betray my friend, Canon, not even in an RP
  3. Twelveseal's Avatar
    Guess I'm not going to get much more feedback. So far,including outside sources, the general consensus has been to ignore official content when it's problematic for the work at hand. Instead, produce a more fitting approximation of the original content.
  4. Imperial's Avatar
    A consistent and compelling story and cast of characters is more important than an arbitrary set of rules that fans slavishly adhere to in an effort to keep it legit.
  5. Mcjon01's Avatar
    If that's true what even is the point of wikis then
  6. Twelveseal's Avatar
    To serve as a theoretically objective reference to the actual content of a given topic in order to supplement or refresh the knowledge of those already familiar with it or provide reliable information to those who are new to the subject.

    That they tend to end up as battlegrounds for edit wars as contributors try to curate what people are likely to see as official and accurate, thus shaping what the less-informed view as objective reality on the topic to support their own pet theories and opinions, doesn't really change their original purpose.