I have written a small summary of the FATE rules, including a few things that I have house-ruled for this campaign.
The primary concept FATE is built around, is the concept of an “aspect”. An aspect describes something about a character (or a place, or a scene, or anything else). An aspect can be “invoked” or “compelled” by a player or the GM. Invoking an aspect modifies a dice-roll (after the roll) by +/- 2. Compelling an aspect forces an action/inaction, or creates a situation based on this element of the character description. (Don’t worry if that sounds confusing, examples will explain all)
Character creation is simple – Each character has a “high concept” aspect, a “trouble” aspect, and three phase aspects. These three phase aspects tell a story from the character’s recent past, and two of them associate the character with others in the group, and are developed as a group later. A good aspect is something that can be used as a positive and a negative for your character, as negative uses are how you gain Fate points, which you need to spend for positive uses. Too many one-sided aspects and your Fate point economy will break.
There are 18 default skills:
Athletics, Burglary, Contacts, Crafts, Deceive, Drive, Empathy, Fight, Investigate, Lore, Notice, Physique, Provoke, Rapport, Resources, Shoot, Stealth, Will
For the purposes of this game, Contacts, Drive and Resources are useless, and I’m adding Technology – a catch-all skill for using and understanding all forms of tech. Rapport is also extended somewhat to be an Animal Handling skill as well.
Each character chooses 4 skills at +1, 3 at +2, 2 at +3 and 1 at +4 from that list.
Empathy and Notice are the primary “Initiative” skills. The Physique and Will skills each affect the amount of Physical and Mental “stress” a character can take. Stress and Consequences are the system’s alternative to damage.
Each character gets three Stunts. A Stunt is something that kicks in when a skill is used, in limited circumstances, and allows a special bonus. Either a +2 to the roll, or a different skill to be used in its place, or some other advantage. If you have cool ideas for stunts beyond the first three, let me know, there are other ways to include them.
Anything outside of this can be developed as “Extras”. If anyone wants to develop something like this, send me a message and I’ll help you work it out.
During play, each exchange is resolved with a roll of 4 Fate dice (D6, with 2 + faces, 2 – faces and 2 blank faces). The total you roll is added to a skill, and that number compared to a difficulty or an opponent’s roll. Less is a failure, equal is a tie, more is a success. Every two successes over the first (ie 3, 5, 7 etc) can be applied to other effects, that would usually require a second action. (Again, don’t worry if this is confusing for now).
Fate points are gained whenever one of your aspects is invoked against you, or whenever your character is compelled by one of their aspects into an action or inaction. Fate points can be spent on Invoking your aspects for a bonus or re-roll, or your opponents’ for a penalty, refusing a compel compelling your opponent into (or out of) an action, or adding narrative (again, almost always linked to your aspects).
There are four actions in Fate. Overcoming, Seeking an Advantage, Attacking, or Defending.
Overcoming is used to remove a negative aspect on a character, location or scene.
Attacking is used to directly harm an opponent.
Defending is used to reduce harm done to you.
Seeking an advantage is a way to apply an aspect to an opponent, location or scene, which comes with one free invoke of that aspect that can be used in a future action (usually an attack or overcome). This can mean changing the situation, discovering new information, or just creating an opportunity to use an existing situation to your advantage.
That is pretty much a summary of the entire book, along with a few changes I’ve made for this campaign. Character generation can start via email/facebook or comments on here, and can be completed in person when we first play. I will also explain a little more in detail about some of the points of confusion about the system.