Following on from my look at the Accelerated Edition, I've bought and (eventually) read through FATE Core. It's surprisingly dense, at least in terms of what I expected. I suppose being roughly A5-sized I mentally pegged it as a small book, whereas it's actually got about as much content in it as the average D&D rulebook. On top of that, this one is entirely 100% mechanics, which increases its relative density. There's no monsters, settings or spell lists in here that can be skimmed, only a great deal of system, all of which is important in trying to get your head round how this stuff works.
Lest that sound critical, I should say that although it wasn't a light read, I found it very interesting and rather well-presented. I might do a better overview of the book some other time, as it's now after 11pm and I should get to bed. Anyway, it was enticing enough that I'm considering trying to run it, which is about all a game can hope for.
Okay, strictly speaking a game could hope to fill me with wild and uncontrollable enthusiasm, but since I already have a large list of Games To Run, a gaming circle with highly incompatible timetables and too many hobbies, you'd have to be something pretty damn special.
And so I turn to my automatic port of call for wanting to run a game: Actual Play podcasts. Short of playing one, there's nothing like sitting in on someone else's game session to get a feel for at least one way a game might work. Ideally, several perspectives are nice. There's a huge difference between having read the rules for invoking mana burns, and feeling comfortable making on-the-fly rulings when your PCs decide to stick their hand in a dimensional vortex.
Could I find any? Like hell. Same as last time I tried. For all the attention it gets, there is an incomprehensible dearth of podcastery. I think I saw two Youtube channels referred to; now, with respect, while I am entirely on board with the notion of listening to a bunch of nerds I never met pretend to be talking mouse paladins when I am doing the dishes or running in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard through lack of basic common sense, few things are less compelling than the prospect of watching people play RPGs. And this is to say nothing of the fact that videos tie you to a screen, wasting valuable time rather than occupying my mind during boring activities. This is the exact opposite of what podcasts are for. The same thought confronts me whenever I encounter, say, review channels where someone talks into a camera for half an hour. Just... why?
ANYWAY. There were also references to a couple of FATE-based Dresden Files games, where "Actual Play" was understood to mean "talking about a game what we played previously, with observations", a genre I would generally summarise as "not Actual Play". This is the equivalent of offering World Cup Matches Live! and then screening Steven Gerrard reminiscing about the game for twenty minutes. The word "review" would seem eminently appropriate.
So, abject failure one again. It's looking increasingly like I need to run some FATE just so I can make my own podcast and stick it online for everyone else to listen to. Bizarre.