These Rules are for conflict resolution
They are not required to be used for every role play situation, just when who wins the conflict is important.
Note: The rules are still being updated, and are subject to change
The Basic Vocab:
Approaches: These are the metjods you can use in a situation, and you have bonuses associated with each.
Boost: A +2 to your roll that you can use once.
Advantage: A Boost that remains on the scene or the character until it is removed.
Invocation: the use of an advantage.
Fate Point: An expendable point that allows you to use Advantages. You may also use them for other miscellaneous things in various circumstances.
TAKING ACTION: THE 30-SECOND VERSION
- Describe what you want your character to do. See if someone or something can stop you.
- Decide what action you’re taking: create an advantage, overcome, attack, or defend.
- Decide on your approach.
- Declare any aspects or boosts you are using.
- Roll dice and add your approach’s bonus.
- Figure out your outcome.
In the forum you will roll one die. Your roll will be added to your Approach. Once you roll the dice, add up the dice result and your bonuses and see if you succeed or fail.
Once you roll your dice, add your approach bonus and any bonuses from aspects or stunts. Compare the total to a target number, which is either a fixed difficulty or the result of the GM’s roll for an NPC. Based on that comparison, your outcome is:
- You fail if your total is less than your opponent’s total.
- It’s a tie if your total is equal to your opponent’s total.
- You succeed if your total is greater than your opponent’s total.
- You succeed with style if your total is at least three greater than your opponent’s total.
ACTIONS & OUTCOMES: THE 30-SECOND VERSION
Create an Advantage:
- Fail: Don’t create or discover, or you do but your opponent (not you) gets a free advantage.
- Tie: Get a boost if creating new, or treat as success if looking for existing.
- Succeed: Create or discover the advantage, get a free invocation on it.
- Succeed with Style: Create or discover the advantage, get two free invocations on it.
Create a chance to use an Advantage you already know about:
- Fail: No additional benefit.
- Tie: Generate one free invocation on the advantage.
- Succeed: Generate one free invocation on the advantage.
- Succeed with Style: Generate two free invocations on the advantage.
- Fail: Fail, or succeed at a serious cost.
- Tie: Succeed at minor cost.
- Succeed: You accomplish your goal.
- Succeed with Style: You accomplish your goal and generate a boost.
- Fail: No effect.
- Tie: Attack doesn't harm the target, but you gain a boost.
- Succeed: Attack hits and causes damage.
- Succeed with Style: Attack hits and causes damage. May reduce damage by one to generate a boost.
- Fail: You suffer the consequences of your opponent’s success.
- Tie: Look at your opponent’s action to see what happens.
- Succeed: Your opponent doesn't get what they want.
- Succeed with Style: Your opponent doesn't get what they want, and you get a boost.
An ally can help you perform your action. When an ally helps you, they give up their action for the exchange and describe how they’re providing the help; you get a +1 to your roll for each ally that helps this way. Usually only one or two people can help this way before they start getting in each other’s way; the GM decides how many people can help at once.
Choose Your Approach
As mentioned in Who Do You Want to Be?, there are six approaches that describe how you perform actions.
- Careful: A Careful action is when you pay close attention to detail and take your time to do the job right. Lining up a long-range arrow shot. Attentively standing watch. Disarming a bank’s alarm system.
- Clever: A Clever action requires that you think fast, solve problems, or account for complex variables. Finding the weakness in an enemy swordsman’s style. Finding the weak point in a fortress wall. Fixing a computer.
- Flashy: A Flashy action draws attention to you; it’s full of style and panache. Delivering an inspiring speech to your army. Embarrassing your opponent in a duel. Producing a magical fireworks display.
- Forceful: A Forceful action isn’t subtle—it’s brute strength. Wrestling a bear. Staring down a thug. Casting a big, powerful magic spell.
- Quick: A Quick action requires that you move quickly and with dexterity. Dodging an arrow. Getting in the first punch. Disarming a bomb as it ticks 3… 2… 1…
- Sneaky: A Sneaky action is done with an emphasis on misdirection, stealth, or deceit. Talking your way out of getting arrested. Picking a pocket. Feinting in a sword fight.
So your first instinct is probably to pick the action that gives you the greatest bonus, right? But it doesn’t work like that. You have to base your choice of approach on the description of your action, and you can’t describe an action that doesn’t make any sense. Would you Forcefully creep through a dark room, hiding from the guards? No, that’s being Sneaky. Would you Quickly push that big rock out of the way of the wagon? No, that’s being Forceful. Circumstances constrain what approach you can use, so sometimes you have to go with an approach that might not play directly to your strengths.
Fate uses a ladder of adjectives and numbers to rate a character’s approaches, the result of a roll, difficulty ratings for simple checks, etc.
Here’s the ladder:
Pick your Bonuses or Advantages
Decide if this roll is important enough for you to use Advantages or Boosts on, and declare them in your post.
Roll the Dice, Add Your Bonus
Time to take up dice and roll. Take the bonus associated with the approach you’ve chosen as well as any other bonuses and add it to the result on the die. If you have a stunt that applies, add that too. That’s your total. Compare it to what your opponent (usually the GM) has.
A challenge is a series of overcome and create an advantage actions that you use to resolve an especially complicated situation. Each overcome action deals with one task or part of the situation, and you take the individual results together to figure out how the situation resolves.
To set up a challenge, decide what individual tasks or goals make up the situation, and treat each one as a separate overcome roll.
Depending on the situation, one character may be required to make several rolls, or multiple characters may be able to participate. GMs, you aren’t obligated to announce all the stages in the challenge ahead of time—adjust the steps as the challenge unfolds to keep things exciting.
The PCs are the crew of a ship caught in a storm. They decide to press on and try to get to their destination despite the weather, and the GM suggests this sounds like a challenge. Steps in resolving this challenge could be calming panicky passengers, repairing damaged rigging, and keeping the ship on the right heading.
When two or more characters are competing against one another for the same goal, but not directly trying to hurt each other, you have a contest. Examples include a car chase, a public debate, or an archery tournament.
A contest proceeds in a series of exchanges. In an exchange, every participant takes one overcome action to determine how well they do in that leg of the contest. Compare your result to everyone else’s.
If you got the highest result, you win the exchange—you score a victory (which you can represent with a tally or check mark on scratch paper) and describe how you take the lead. If you succeed with style, you mark two victories.
If there’s a tie, no one gets a victory, and an unexpected twist occurs. This could mean several things, depending on the situation—the terrain or environment shifts somehow, the parameters of the contest change, or an unanticipated variable shows up and affects all the participants. The GM creates a new situation aspect reflecting this change and puts it into play.
The first participant to achieve three victories wins the contest.
Conflicts are used to resolve situations where characters are trying to harm one another. It could be physical harm (a sword fight, a wizard’s duel, a battle with laser blasters), but it could also be mental harm (a shouting match, a tough interrogation, a magical psychic assault).
CONFLICTS: THE 30-SECOND VERSION
- Set the scene.
- Determine turn order.
- Start the first exchange.
- On your turn, take an action.
- On other people’s turns, defend against or respond to their actions as necessary.
- At the end of everyone’s turn, start a new exchange or end the conflict.
Setting the Scene
Establish what’s going on, where everyone is, and what the environment is like. Who is the opposition?
The GM also establishes zones, loosely defined areas that tell you where characters are. You determine zones based on the scene and the following guidelines:
Generally, you can interact with other characters in the same zone—or in nearby zones if you can justify acting at a distance (for example, if you have a ranged weapon or magic spell).
You can move one zone for free. An action is required to move if there’s an obstacle along the way, such as someone trying to stop you, or if you want to move two or more zones. It sometimes helps to sketch a quick map to illustrate zones.
Thugs are attacking the characters in a house. The living room is one zone, the kitchen another, the front porch another, and the yard a fourth. Anyone in the same zone can easily throw punches at each other. From the living room, you can throw things at people in the kitchen or move into the kitchen as a free action, unless the doorway is blocked. To get from the living room to the front porch or yard requires an action.
Determine Turn Order
Your turn order in a conflict is based on your approaches. In a physical conflict, compare your Quick approach to the other participants’—the one with the fastest reflexes goes first. In a mental conflict, compare your Careful approach—attention to detail will warn you of danger. Whoever has the highest approach gets to go first, and then everyone else goes in descending order. Break ties in whatever manner makes sense, with the GM having the last word.
GMs, it’s simplest if you pick your most advantageous NPC to determine your place in the turn order, and let all your NPCs go at that time. But if you have a good reason to determine turn order individually for all your NPCs, go right ahead.
Next, each character takes a turn in order. On their turn, a character can take one of the four actions. Resolve the action to determine the outcome. The conflict is over when only one side has characters still in the fight.
When you’re hit by an attack, the severity of the hit is the difference between the attack roll and your defense roll; we measure that in shifts. For instance, if your opponent gets +5 on their attack and you get a +3 on your defense, the attack deals a two shift hit (5 – 3 = 2).
Then, one of two things happens:
- You suffer stress and/or consequences, but you stay in the fight.
- You get taken out, which means you’re out of the action for a while.
STRESS & CONSEQUENCES: THE 30-SECOND VERSION
- Each character starts with three stress boxes.
- Severity of hit (in shifts) = Attack Roll – Defense Roll
- When you take a hit, you need to account for how that hit damages you. One way to absorb the damage is to take stress; you can check one stress box to handle some or all of a single hit. You can absorb a number of shifts equal to the number of the box you check: one for Box 1, two for Box 2, three for Box 3.
- You may also take one or more consequences to deal with the hit, by marking off one or more consequence slots and writing a new aspect for each one. Mild consequence = 2 shifts; moderate = 4 shifts.
- If you can’t (or decide not to) handle the entire hit, you’re taken out. Your opponent decides what happens to you.
- Giving in before your opponent’s roll allows you to control how you exit the scene. You also get one or more fate points for doing this!
- Stress and mild consequences vanish at the end of the scene, provided you get a chance to rest. Other consequences take longer.
What Is Stress?
If you get hit and don’t want to be taken out, you can choose to take stress.
Stress represents you getting tired or annoyed, taking a superficial wound, or some other condition that goes away quickly.
Your character sheet has a stress track, a row of three boxes. When you take a hit and check a stress box, the box absorbs a number of shifts equal to its number: one shift for Box 1, two for Box 2, or three for Box 3.
You can only check one stress box for any single hit, but you can check a stress box and take one or more consequences at the same time. You can’t check a stress box that has already been used!
What Are Consequences?
Consequences are new aspects that you take to reflect being seriously hurt in some way. Your character sheet has three slots where you can write consequences. Each one is labeled with a number: 2 (mild consequence), or 4 (moderate consequence). This represents the number of shifts of the hit the consequence absorbs. You can mark off as many of these as you like to handle a single hit, but only if that slot was blank to start with. If you already have a moderate consequence written down, you can’t take another one until you do something to make the first one go away!
A major downside of consequences is that each consequence is a penalty equal to the consequence level to related rolls. The more you take, the more vulnerable you are.
Let’s say that you get hit really hard and take a 4-shift hit. You check Box 2 on your stress track, which leaves you with 2 shifts to deal with. If you can’t, you’re taken out, so it’s time for a consequence. You can choose to write a description in the consequence slot labeled 2—say, Sprained Ankle. Those final 2 shifts are taken care of and you can keep fighting!
If you’re unable to absorb all of a hit’s shifts—by checking a stress box, taking consequences, or both—you’re taken out.
What Happens When I Get Taken Out?
If you get taken out, you can no longer act in the scene. Whoever takes you out narrates what happens to you. It should make sense based on how you got taken out—maybe you run from the room in shame, or maybe you get knocked unconscious.
If things look grim for you, you can give in (or concede the fight)—but you have to say that’s what you’re going to do before your opponent rolls their dice.
This is different than being taken out, because you get a say in what happens to you. Your opponent gets some major concession from you—talk about what makes sense in your situation—but it beats getting taken out and having no say at all.
Getting Better—Recovering from Stress and Consequences
At the end of each scene, clear all of your stress boxes. Recovery from a consequence is a bit more complicated; you need to explain how you recover from it—whether that’s a visit to a healer, taking a walk to calm down, or whatever makes sense with the consequence. You also need to wait an appropriate length of time.
- Mild consequence: Clear it at the end of the scene, provided you get a chance to rest.
- Moderate consequence: Clear it at the end of the next session, provided it makes sense within the story.
RENAMING MODERATE AND SEVERE CONSEQUENCES
Moderate and severe consequences stick around for a while. Therefore, at some point you may want to change the name of the aspect to better fit what’s going on in the story. For instance, after you get some medical help, Painful Broken Leg might make more sense if you change it to Hobbling on Crutches.
Magical healing is possible for some Gryphs, but it comes at a cost. At this time, the only option for healing involves taking part of the wound onto yourself. Mechanically with a successful roll and appropriate description it would allow the healer to take part of the consequences on themselves. For example, a -4 consequence which takes a long time to heal could be reduced to a -2 consequence and the healer has a -2 consequence as well.
Stunts are tricks, maneuvers, or techniques your character has that change how an approach works for your character. Generally this means you get a bonus in certain situations, but sometimes it gives you some other ability or characteristic. A stunt can also reflect specialized, high-quality, or exotic equipment that your character has access to that gives them a frequent edge over other characters.
There’s no definitive list of stunts that you pick from; much like aspects, everyone composes their own stunts. There are two basic templates to guide you in composing your stunts, so you do have something to work from.
The first type of stunt gives you a +2 bonus when you use a certain approach in a certain situation. Use this template:
Because I [describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome], I get a +2 when I[pick one: Carefully, Cleverly, Flashily, Forcefully, Quickly, Sneakily][pick one: attack, defend, create advantages, overcome] when [describe a circumstance].
- Because I am a Smooth Talker, I get a +2 when I Sneakily create advantages when I’m in conversation with someone.
- Because I am a Lover of Puzzles, I get a +2 when I Cleverly overcome obstacles when I am presented with a puzzle, riddle, or similar conundrum.
- Because I am a World-Class Duelist, I get a +2 when I Flashily attack when engaged in a one-on-one swordfight.
- Because I have a Big Kite Shield, I get a +2 when I Forcefully defend when I use my shield in close combat.
Sometimes, if the circumstance is especially restrictive, you can apply the stunt to both the create an advantage action and the overcome action.
The second type of stunt lets you make something true, do something cool, or otherwise ignore the usual rules in some way. Use this template:
Because I [describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome], once per game session I can [describe something cool you can do].
- Because I am Well Connected, once per game session I can find a helpful ally in just the right place.
- Because I am Quick on the Draw, once per game session I can choose to go first in a physical conflict.
- Because I can Run Circles Around a Leopard, once per game session I can show up anywhere I want to, provided I could run there, no matter where I started.
These templates exist to give you an idea of how stunts should be constructed, but don’t feel constrained to follow them exactly if you have a good idea. If you’d like to read more about the construction of stunts, see Skills and Stunts in Fate Core.
TOOL FOR STUNT INSPIRATION
If you're having trouble coming up with a stunt, give the Stuntmaker a go. It will generate random Fate Core style stunts to inspire you! (Just be sure to vet them with the table before using them.)
Fate points are points that allow you to take special actions, invoke good fortune to you, and sometimes change the world around you. You start with 3 Fate points, and gain them through good role play that complicates your characters life due to acting in character. They will also be regained on a regular schedule still to be determined.
- Use an Advantage on a character or in the scene for a +2 on a roll.
- Use a Stunt for a purpose it isn't usually intended for, but similar to what it already does, for example using a skill focused stunt for a different skill.
- Insert a reasonable character, tool, or environmental situation into the plot or scene if the GM approves it.
- Other uses as per the situation.
This work is based on Fate Core System and Fate Accelerated Edition, products of Evil Hat Productions, LLC, developed, authored, and edited by Leonard Balsera, Brian Engard, Jeremy Keller, Ryan Macklin, Mike Olson, Clark Valentine, Amanda Valentine, Fred Hicks, and Rob Donoghue, and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.