I've been considering getting into tabletop for a long time now. Years ago, when I was reading D&D's 3.5 PHB, an older friend advised me that such a system would interfere with the narrative elements that make roleplaying more enjoyable, and that largely, I should seek a system that supports me as a storyteller, rather than one composed mostly of spell tables and other mechanical systems. This genuinely appealed to me - I really value narrative value and creativity in general. He actually gave me a couple of handbooks, FATE Accelerated, and FATE Core.
The thing is, I've been involved in roleplaying in some form for about 8 years now. My modus operandi has been large forum based roleplays. In these environments, I've always felt very comfortable. I've taken pleasure in being able to create characters and develop them over extended periods of time, being able to try things that I want outside of the system and see how people around me react. I've even spent a few years GMing various enviorments and NPC's, and quite enjoyed the world building aspect. However, I also felt very invulnerable from these positions, because I was able to operate under a username. While people have grown to recognize and respect that name, I never had to worry about the things I create being tied to me.
I'm finally in a social environment where several of my friends are interested in trying a RPG. They do not know about my experiences roleplaying online - in fact, nobody I know does. They are drawn immediately to 5e D&D, mostly because of the kitschy nerdy cred that comes with whatever the current edition of Dungeons and Dragons is. This seems to me like it would be a great opportunity to propose FATE and finally get the chance to play it, and generate the rich narratives that appeal to me.
What makes me very nervous is the increased vulnerability that comes with FATE. Here, everything I create and say and think will be associated with me, and I'm afraid people's perceptions of me will be altered by the ways I approach problems and try to come up with interesting ideas. Would a more rules-heavy system do a better job making me feel less vulnerable, as I have the mask of dice and numbers to hide behind? Or should I try to get my friends onboard with a game that I believe would appeal more both to me and them, despite my apprehensions about sharing my creativity in real life?
For some further clarification: What really makes me nervous is the exposure. This is a group of friends I am somewhat close to (my friends who I am closer to would be uninterested in roleplaying in general). What makes me nervous is being exposed and judged, and also feeling vulnerable when undergoing a creative process in a setting like this. I would like to know whether the FATE system is likely to intensify that feeling of vulnerability during roleplay.
Context concerning past experiences My Forum-based experience was with one continuously lasting RP I've been involved with ~8 years, and that has run for 12. When I joined it, it operated in a purely T1 based system, with a small framework for limiting special abilities and equipment as resources. Despite its slow introduction of D20 based source material, the longevity of the roleplay and the scope of the world definitely still leans towards 'if it's reasonable, and there's no system for it, you can do it.' People have notably done things such as have and raise children within the timescale of the forum, and been largely unbounded. In the eight years I definitely have rarely felt stifled by the rules introduced, but the site is also a far cry from being rigidly grounded in a list of possible actions and clear combat scenarios against GM controlled mooks. Further, the remaining T1 elements still give people pretty generous control on describing their environment and assuming things which are likely or possible but not explicitly stated, similar to FATE. On the other hand, attacks and magic powers are more strictly regulated by a list of trained techniques, somewhat similar to D&D sans any rigorous class, race or level-up features.