World:Gaslight Investigations/FATE Rules
This table was constructed by Omnis and may not be entirely accurate (I'm not a math wiz). Was derived from: Fudge Dice, the "Chance of rolling this result or higher" column (defines a successful attack).
Please note that if you are using this table to determine probability for defense, (+1) to the attack roll you are defending against to use as the difficulty. This is due to a success being defined as equal or greater and a defense has to actually BEAT the attack roll (making the effective difficulty +1).
The Basic Roll
4df + Ability Rank + Other Modifiers* vs. Difficulty (* From Aspects, Advantages, etc)
Myth-Weavers [roll] tag example: [roll=Fudge Dice roll +2]4dF+2[/roll]
Awesome vs. Realism
Unlike many other game systems, FATE does not try to simulate reality. Instead, the focus here is on telling a story, a shared narrative between the GM and players.
Often times what makes for a good story isn’t always realistic. When playing games using Strands of Fate, remember to think of it as a play, novel, comic book, or movie. The players can use their Fate Points to take over some control of the story, bringing to the forefront the different aspects of the unfolding story and its characters that they think are cool. While this may not always create a perfectly realistic result, it should always create an interesting one. “That was awesome!” is almost always more fun than “That was realistic.”
Step 1: The Character Concept
Sit down and think of a solid character concept. Don’t be afraid to bounce your character concept off the GM and other players.
Step 2: Character Aspects
Your character starts with a total of five character Aspects. One is called your Defining Aspect and is essentially your character’s concept summed up in just a few words. The other four are used to further define your character and are addressed below.
If you'd like a more structured way of picking your other 4 character aspects, feel free to use the "aspect alphabet":
“A” is for Ambition
“B” is for Background
“C” is for Convictions
“D” is for Disadvantages
What is an Aspect?
An Aspect is a phrase, sentence, or character quote that describes some aspect of your character. You can spend a Fate Point to gain a bonus because of your Aspect. This is called “invoking” an Aspect. An Aspect can also work against you, earning you a Fate Point. This is called “compelling” an Aspect.
Aspects should be both positive and negative, and should never be boring. Whenever you choose an Aspect, take a minute to ask yourself what kind of situations you can imagine using it for and what kind of trouble it might get you into. The very best Aspects suggest answers to both those questions.
When you’re picking Aspects, make sure you don’t get hung up on coming up with some clever play on words or being witty. What really matters is how useful your Aspect is. If you are iffy about an Aspect, try to think of two or three different ways that Aspect could come up in the game. How do you invoke it? How can it be compelled?
As a general rule when selecting Aspects, “Cool” should always outweigh “Powerful”.
Step 3: Abilities
Purchase ranks in abilities. You have 24 ability points to distribute and cannot exceed a maximum of rank 3 in any one ability.
While Character Aspects tell us who a character is, his Abilities tell us in a very general sense what he can do. Characters will have a rank defaulting to 0 in each of the following twelve Abilities. These Abilities are very broad interpretations of your character’s capabilities, which are further defined with Specialty Aspects and Advantages.
The twelve Abilities, and what they measure about your character, are listed below:
Agility – speed, balance, hand‐eye coordination, hiding, moving quietly, manual dexterity, attacking with ranged weapons, etc.
Endurance – health, vigor, ability to withstand pain, toxins, sickness and diseases of the body, etc. Adds to your Physical stress Track.
Perception – the five senses, general awareness of your surroundings, reaction speed, etc.
Strength – raw physical might, lifting, dragging, pulling, attacking with melee weapons, etc. Adds to your Physical Stress Track.
Craft – painting, carpentry, blacksmithing, demolitions, sculpting, programming, engineering, etc.
Knowledge – history, geography, computers, physics, chemistry, pop culture, literature, etc.
Reasoning – riddles, logic problems, math, short term memory, puzzles, etc. Adds to your Mental Stress Track.
Willpower – resisting seduction, addiction, brain washing, temptation, psychic assault, etc. Adds to your Mental Stress Track.
Deception – lying, seduction, cheating ,stealing, running long term cons jobs, casing an area, picking pockets, etc.
Empathy – sense other’s emotions, detect deception, help with psychological damage, etc.
Persuasion – bargaining, contacts, debate, intimidation, sex appeal, performance, etc. Adds to your Social Stress Track.
Resources – money, credit, collateral, home, means of transportation, etc. Adds to your Social Stress Track.
Ability Ranks and what they mean
Step 4: Specialty Aspects
Specialty Aspects are what set your character apart from the masses. After you have allotted your Ability Points, you may now come up with five Specialty Aspects. These Aspects should strongly reflect some strength or weakness you have in a particular Ability. But remember, as with Character Aspects there is some benefit to having an Aspect that is a negative trait.
Note that Specialty Aspects are associated with an Ability (and an Ability may have multiple Specialties), but are not restricted to it. The purpose of this association is to better define the intent of the Aspect, not to strictly limit its use.
Like Character Aspects, you can look to the Aspect Alphabet as a guide for selecting Specialty Aspects:
“E” is for Exceptional Skill
“F” is for Foe(s)
“G” is for Gear
“H” is for Help
“I” is for Inferior Skill
Step 5: Advantages
Step 6: Starting Equipment
Fate Points & Aspects
Invoking an Aspect (Spending Fate Points)
Compelling an Aspect (Earning More Fate Points)
(Note that you do not gain a Fate Point when a persistent Aspect is compelled, and you must always pay a Fate Point to reject the compel.)
Compelling other Aspects
The GM isn’t the only one that can compel Aspects. Characters (PCs and NPCs) can spend their Fate Points to compel each other’s Aspects. When a player or NPC compels another character’s Aspects, the player offers the GM or player of the other character a Fate Point and picks one of the following results to inflict on his target:
The “compel for effect” option requires a bit more thought however. Effectively, the person offering the compel gains a bit of control over the other character’s destiny. The exact nature of the compel can be anything, but as always, it is subject to GM approval.
Wording vs. Intent
When a character takes an Aspect, he generally has some specific intent in mind in regards to how it will be used. For example, a character who takes the Surgeon at 300 Yards Aspect to demonstrate how good a sniper he is, should not also be able to invoke that Aspect when trying to grant medical attention to an ally. Just because the Aspect contains the word “surgeon”, doesn't mean the character knows anything about real surgery. The only way he knows how to open a heart is with a high powered rifle.
Persistent Aspects (“(P)”)
Denoted with a “(P)” at the end of the Aspect’s name. These Aspects impact a person, place, thing or scene to such a degree that it can be invoked or compelled for free. It does not cost a Fate Point to invoke a persistent Aspect and no one gets a Fate Point if it is compelled. Note, however, that invoking or compelling a persistent Aspect for effect still costs a Fate Point. See pg. 59 for more.
An Aspect that goes away with time.
You may use your Perception, Reasoning or Empathy to study a person, place or thing in an effort to discover Aspects it may have. See pg.63 for more.
You may roll your Knowledge or Reasoning to declare that a person, place, or thing has an Aspect you get to specify. The more interesting the Declaration, the higher the chances are of success.
Any Aspects brought into play by these methods are considered “sticky” and do not have to go away after they’re used if the GM wishes them to persist (or if circumstances merely make it reasonable that they hang around). Any subsequent uses of such Aspects, however, will cost (or grant!)a Fate Point, as usual. See pg. 65 for more.
Expert Advantages are the special skills possessed by ordinary individuals. They represent some measure of training and/or natural talent. They cost one Advantage Point (AP) each and usually grant one of the following benefits:
Playing the Game
“Stacking” Bonuses and Penalties
Whether through invoking Aspects or by purchasing Advantages, there are a lot of ways to get bonuses and penalties applied to a roll. In Strands of Fate, almost everything “stacks”. This means that if you get a +2 bonus from one source and a +1 bonus from another, you may add those together for a total of a +3 bonus. So unless it is clearly stated otherwise, you can assume any bonuses or penalties you have stack with any others.
In its broadest sense, Spin is a special effect that occurs whenever the total result of a roll exceeds the difficulty the character is rolling against by 3 or more.
That special effect may simply be color – it may mean the character looked particularly cool, or is due some recognition for excellence. In some cases, as outlined in Abilities and elsewhere, generating Spin can result in an actual game effect.
In conflict, if a character gets Spin on a defense roll, he can add a +1 bonus to his next action attack roll against his attacker.
Other applications of Spin, found throughout this book, exist as well. But in general, it serves as an easy way of making note that a character has done particularly well on a roll. Whenever characters roll well enough to generate Spin, it’s time to sit up, pay attention, and spice up the details.
Maneuvers (placing a temporary aspect)
A Maneuver is an action taken to affect the environment, other people or even yourself in a way that creates a temporary Aspect. When a character flashes a bright light in an enemy’s eyes to place a temporary Blinded Aspect on him, or counts to ten and takes a deep breath to place a temporary Focused Aspect on himself – that’s a Maneuver.
To clarify, “actions” are the normal things a character can do in a round. “Maneuvers” are special actions taken specifically to set up temporary Aspects.
A Maneuver is either a simple action or a contest, with the difficulty or opposition determined by the nature of the Maneuver. A Maneuver that doesn’t target an opponent is resolved as a simple action. Most simple Maneuvers like this result in a character rolling against a GM‐set difficulty.
Types of Action
Conflict & Consequences
Types of Conflict
Before a conflict begins, follow these simple steps:
Attacking & Defending (common examples)
Setting up a social attack may take one or more scenes, or possibly be spread over a number of game sessions that culminate in a single conflict scene. This attack roll works like any other. You select an Ability to attack with, and the defender selects an Ability to defend with.
Unlike physical and mental conflicts, you are not doing direct damage to your opponent; you are actually influencing society’s view of the defender.
Physical Movement in a Conflict
On your turn you may move into a different zone using one of the following options. (Note that the basic types of actions are described on page 257.)
Taking on Stress
The difference between the attacker’s attack roll and the defender’s defense roll is suffered by the defender as stress of the appropriate type.
You only have one row of stress boxes for each type of stress (Physical, Mental & Social), and when that row is filled, you are Defeated. However, as you suffer stress, you may elect to suffer a Consequence to reduce the amount of stress you take. The amount of stress each type of Consequence negates is listed below:
- Minor: Negates 2 points of stress
- Major: Negates 4 points of stress
- Severe(P): Negates 6 points of stress
- Extreme(P): Negates 8 points of stress
Note that you must take the Consequence at the time the stress is delivered. You may not later remove stress from your Stress Track by applying a Consequence. Also you may never have more than one Consequence of the same type per Stress Track, and you may only take one Consequence per attack.
So, for example, if you have six stress boxes and suffer five points of stress, you can either:
1. Take the five points of stress and check five stress boxes. This means that you can only take one more point of stress before being Defeated(P).
2. Take a Minor Consequence to reduce the amount of stress you suffer from five to three.
3. Take a Major Consequence and reduce the amount of stress you take from five to one.
4. Or take a Severe Consequence and reduce the amount of stress you take by six, effectively negating all of the stress taken.
If you suffer too much stress on your Stress Track, you must take a special kind of Aspect called a Consequence. There are four types of Consequence ‐ Minor, Major, Severe(P) and Extreme(P). As you take Consequences, and they are compelled, you become less and less effective at performing.
You may choose to end a conflict on your terms. If you offer a Concession to your opponent and it is accepted, you gain a FP. If he refuses and the offer was a fair one, he loses a FP. See pg. 208 for more.
The exact nature of Defeat depends largely on what type of conflict you lost. For a physical conflict, it could mean a coma or even death. A mental conflict could reduce you to a gibbering vegetable, while a social conflict could land you in prison or exiled for life. See Chapter 6 for more.
Healing Stress and Consequences
Consequence Healing Time/Difficulty