I love Lady Blackbird (it’s free, go flip through it). Never play it, but I’ve read through it so many times. The characters are so well developed and unique. Each role in the game has a solid two or three things that make them stand out.
I love FATE (it’s free, go flip through it). Never play it, but I’ve read through it so many times. The characters can be whatever you want as a player. Each role can be defined by their high concept, trouble, and extra aspects that make them whatever you want them to be.
But Lady Blackbird has downsides, for both the player and the GM. For the player, you choose which character to play and nothing else. Some may find those rails distasteful and constricting. For the GM, you can really only play that scenario once with the same group. You have to move on to another game after that. And if you as the GM wanted to design your own niche, complex characters for your games like in Lady Blackbird, you have a lot of work cut out for you making those characters JUST right.
But FATE has downsides too, both for the player and the GM. For the player, you choose everything about the character. I mean everything. Analysis paralysis much? Some may find that freedom uncomfortable and anxiety-provoking. Not to mention that some players get into a rut of playing the same way with the same archetypes over and over. For the GM, you can’t plan around that kind of open-endedness. At least, not in the same session. FATE really needs a session zero to get the groundwork laid down and familiar otherwise you have to hone your improv skills JUST right.
Lady Blackbird? Constricted (but excellent) characters, one time play which makes scenario planning easy.
FATE? Promptless (but limitless) characters, infinite plays and configurations which makes scenario planning difficult.
My solution: The Trait Draft (read on here).