So, if you’re curious about how to handle something like Superman’s invulnerability in Fate, go read this – it’s well thought out and quite clever.
The takeaway from it, which I’m chewing on, can be paraphrased as such – Superman’s invulnerability does not prevent “taken out” results, rather, it offloads those consequences onto his environment. This is a fun trick, but what intrigues me about it is that there are many more subtle forms of invulnerability than Superman’s, specifically the narrative invulnerability of named characters from TV. You know they’re going to survive, largely intact, so how can you tie their actions directly to the tension in the story?
This idea of offloading consequences promises to be an interesting path to doing this, but I feel like it requires a next step. When you have only one Superman, it’s not hard to play the offloading by ear, but when the whole team is invulnerable, that can get weird and undifferentiated very quickly, so the question becomes how you make these things distinctive, and it strikes me that the answer is to give players some control over the direction that their offloading goes. It may not be 100% in player hands – situational offloading may also be common – but it can be a great way to differentiate the things that are important to a character.
This also might allow for one of Fred’s favorite ideas to get new legs, since it might also be a way to measure a hero’s scale. Hawkeye’s offloading is smaller and more personal than the Hulk or Thor because they’re larges “scale” heroes.
That said, I’m not yet sure how to create player-directed offloading that is evocative but easily comprehensible. I can think of some broad categories (Peopel around you, home cities, crime stats) but they’re a little bland. More, I need a good way to differentiate them from things that normally go wrong over the course of play. If all these things do is change the uniforms of the thugs I’m fighting then it might feel a little toothless.