How Fate Works
I just had a conversation with someone about the Fate RPG, and I hit some points that I would like to share.
Fate uses Aspects instead of crunchy mechanics. Think of a large power armor suit. It would be;
- Big and bulky powered combat suit.
- Full sensors and life support for 3 days.
- Has a long-range missile weapon system.
That is it. That armor is statted out and ready to play now. During the game, any time you would say “yeah but I am in this big and bulky powered combat armor”, then you spend a Fate point token to get a +2 or a re-roll of the dice. Simple right?
So it’s more about how well you describe your stuff, and how important that stuff is to you in game. If you have ever seen Guardians of the Galaxy, StarLord’s walkman is just as important to him and to driving the story, as his blasters or his jet boots. If you want your “Pet Slime Beast” to be as important as your blaster rifle you can put that in as one of your Aspects. Whenever you spend a Fate point token to tag your “Pet Slime Beast” in the story, it grants a +2 or a re-roll to the task at hand.
PLAYER: “but he lets stay for free because he can’t get over how cute my pet slimebeast is and couldn’t bear to turn us out into the cold… right?”
GM: “okay you get a +2 and the innkeeper lets you stay the night”.
Characters are made as a group because other people can tag your Aspects to give you Fate point tokens that you can use later for more bonuses. So someone could to tag your “Big and Bulky” power armor to say you can’t get around to them in time. You get a token that you can use for a +2 or a re-roll on something later. It is super fast playing and easy to grok once you let go of looking for stas and limitations that other RPGs have trained us to do.
The game uses funky dice, but it’s basically 4d6,
- 1 or 2 is NEGATIVE,
- 3 or 4 is NO MOD, and
- 5 or 6 is POSITIVE.
So if you have +2 in Computers, and a “Neural Interface Jack”, your total modifier is going to be +4 with those tasks. You are typically going to get a Result of +2 to +6, with your actual skill (+4) being the most common result. It is possible to roll +4 or -4 and generate a Result very different from your skill (computers + neural interface + high roll could generate a result of 8!) But it is very rare. Tasks aren’t as swingy as a d20 game, if you are good you are typically always good. On the virtual game table everything is rolled with [[4df]], and I have set up a button to click to generate this result.
There are other facets of the game, such as Approaches and Stunts, but once you know how Aspects and dice work, you are ready to play. And now you are…