Having a background in statistics, I like evaluating the mechanics of roleplaying game systems. I have previously blogged how 3d6 is not less swingy than d20 comparing different types of systems at a high level.
This post is a more detailed dive into Fate Core (the 4th edition), which has a bell curve based dice result distribution.
Fate Core is an open source roleplaying game, available under both OGL and Creative Commons licences, with several published books (available both printed and as nicely formatted PDFs). The Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) version is a short (only 40 pages) and lightweight variant of the system, with the recent Fate Condensed a streamlined version of the full system with clarifications and minor updates such as a safety tools section. (All are considered part of the same edition.)
There are several highly rated settings that use different versions of Fate, including Dresden Files, Fate of Cthulhu, Disapora, and Spirit of the Century.
Continue reading RPG Mechanics: Fate Core
What is blockchain? What makes a good blockchain? Is blockchain just a buzzword? Is a blockchain really trustless?
Let's start with the last one. The word trustless is often used to describe blockchain, however it is not really trustless — it would be better described as decentralised trust or systemic trust (trust in the system).
Rather than trust an individual (person or organisation) the trust is provided by the very system itself.
You do need to trust the transaction processors (aka miners) for the chain, and also the programmers that wrote the software being used. However you don't need to trust the individual processors or software, only that the majority are truthful. A characteristic of blockchain is that an individual bad actor, controlling only a small portion of the network, cannot take the network down.
A blockchain network can increase systemic trust through:
- A large number of processors (e.g. public chain)
- Multiple clients (i.e. multiple development teams)
- Open source (allow visibility and the option to reject changes and go a different direction)
Only two major blockchains rate highly on these trust criteria: Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). There are strong reasons why these have strong support.
Some of the others are trying, but not yet there, and worryingly some of the type cryptocurrencies are not decentralised at all, but actually controlled by a single central organisation.
Continue reading Evaluating blockchain networks