Construction starship Silver Hart has been captured. Miles wakes up in contact with aliens who've kidnapped his crew, read their computer files, and stolen his friend's lucky dice. Now he's forced into an alien edition of Fate, a game in which die rolls and luck-bending rules override physics. He's offered unique magic, a word of divine might... but the gamemasters decide that the word should be "Cloth."
With this dubious blessing, Miles sets out to find his crewmates and pry answers from Hart's captors, before they decide humans have ceased to amuse them.
Part of the "LitRPG" or "GameLit" genre combining game logic with fantasy and science fiction. This story is unusual for using a real tabletop RPG system called Fate.
(Fate™ is a trademark of Evil Hat Productions, LLC, and its rules and logo are used with permission.)
My Opinion: 230 pages, $3.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a LitRPG story that uses the tabletop game rules from the Fate system.
Those game rules come through very clearly and the system is explained clearly throughout the story as it is used. It comes through so clearly, that the story itself feels like a recorded tabletop experience. All the parts of the Fate system are explained as they are used. There are conversations between the main character (MC) and the alien GM just like there would be in a tabletop game with both player and GM justifying their use of fate points. There is still good RPG progress: gaining new stunts (special abilities), modifying new powers, and organizing and gaining skill points for better rolls. The downside of this is that very little seems to happen without a conversation between the MC and the GM, which sometimes feels like it interrupts the flow of the scene.
Storywise, it’s pretty slice of life with a nice bit of magical crafting thrown in. The MC goes through a variety of scenes with little hints given by NPCs and the GM about what he and the rest of the crew need to do to advance the story. Combat isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. It’s the one place where the conversation between the MC and the GM regularly feel like it interrupts the flow. During the other story moments, those conversations add a nice explanation about the MCs thinking as a player. There are a good variety of game situations ranging from puzzles, to straight combat, to social situations, to crafting opportunities.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. It takes a risk trying out a RPG system not everyone is familiar with, but does the work of explaining the system to newcomers well. It also does a great job of highlighting one of the core parts of the Fate system, which is the ability to cooperatively storytell and shape the story with fate points, aspects, and stunts.
Score: 7.5 out of 10