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Compact Fate

An introduction to the Fate role
playing game in just four pages
(plus the OGL).

Skills are how Fate measures a character's
ability to affect the narrative and the world.
Skills are rated on the Fate ladder (see below).
Unrated Skills are treated as +0.
To use a Skill, roll 4 Fudge dice (4dF) and add
your Skill versus a difficulty. If the acting player
(the one whose turn it is) met or exceeded the
target number, the action is successful.
Otherwise the action has failed.
When an action is resisted by another character,
the roll is contested. The difficulty of the action
is the defending character's Skill as modified by
Stunts, Aspects, and equipment, if any.
Success is measured in "shifts." Subtract the
target number from the roll to generate the
number of shifts. 0 is a marginal success, 2
normal success, and 5 amazing success.
Shifts are spent to increase quality or speed of
an action. Quality represents durability. Rolls to
undo the success increase their difficulty by the
quality. Speed makes things faster or longerlasting; each shift moves the duration up or
down the time increments table (below).
Should a tie ever occur, it is typically broken by
declaring the character with the higher Skill the
winner. If this is still a tie, the GM may declare
a secondary Skill and/or a coin flip.
Option:Rolling resistance. The player of the
resisting character may roll dice instead of just
taking the value of their Skill.

Text and layout by Michael Moceri
Released under Creative Commons
Non-Commercial License. Feel free to
copy and distribute this document, but
please retain attribution and don't sell
it for a profit.
Parts of this document are copied from
Open Gaming Content (OGL) material
(the FATE ladder and time increments
table) and are bound by that license.

only get to make a certain number of rolls
before time runs out. If the player fails to roll
enough accumulated shifts before the time limit,
the task is a failure.
Extended rolls are qualified by 3 things. First is
the difficulty of the roll, which is typically 0.
The second is the number of shifts the player
must accumulate. The third is the number of
time increments allowed, typically 3 to 5.
When setting these numbers, consider the Skill
rating of the character and the difficulty of the
task. If there are 3 time increments, 15 required
shifts means that generally only a master will
succeed, while 6 means that someone with some
talent will probably do okay.
Skill Structures -- There are two general Skill
structures: Column and pyramid.
When Skills are in a column structure, each
Skill must be supported by one or more Skills at
the level beneath it. So in order to have two
Skills rated at +3, the character must have at
least two Skills rated +2, and at least as many
Skills at +1 as were at +2.
A pyramid Skill structure is similar, except that
each Skill must be supported by a greater
number of Skills below it.
Option: Unstructured Skills: This type of game
uses no Skill structure. Players may allocate
their Skill points however they wish without
exceeding the game's cap.


Option: Risky rolls. Sometimes even attempting
a roll is dangerous. In these instances, characters
risk taking Consequences by taking those
actions. (See the Conflicts section.)

An Aspect is a short phrase that describes a
narrative truth about something. Aspects can be
used to describe people, places, and things. They
are generally both good and bad.

If the character fails the roll, they take the
lowest value Consequence whose shift value is
equal to or lower than the amount by which they
failed the roll. So if they rolled 3 under the
difficulty, they take a Minor Consequence, while
rolling 1 under would result in none. For
competitive rolls, compare running totals to that
of the player who rolled the highest. Should that
Consequence not be available, take the next
most severe one. If none are available, the
character is Taken Out.

Aspects interact with a resource called Fate
Points, or FPs. Players begin each session with 5
FPs or the amount they had at the end of the
previous session, whichever is higher.

Option: Spin: If a player rolls 3 or more shifts
on a successful roll where those shifts aren't
used for anything (for example, a defense roll)
the player has generated Spin. This can be used
to give a +1 to that character's next action, if it
could possibly benefit from doing particularly
well at the roll that generated Spin.
Extended rolls -- Some actions require the
accumulation of a number of shifts over several
rolls to succeed. This is called an extended roll.
Each roll represents an amount of time
appropriate for the task at hand, and players

Example Aspects include:
* Strong as an ox
* A girl in every port
* I always pay my due
* Finest swordsman in France
All of the following uses for Aspects must make
sense in the context of the situation. "Strong as
an ox," won't help or hinder your credit score,
but it might apply if you are intimidating
someone with your strength.
Furthermore, the player using the Aspect must
narrate how the Aspect becomes involved in the
situation. So the character making the
intimidation attempt might describe his huge
muscles and loud voice.
Invocations -- Spend a FP to Invoke an Aspect
after the roll is made. The Aspect may belong to

The player of a character that inflicts a Consequence gets to Invoke it once for free. This is similar to being taken out. * Add 2 to the number of zones a character can move with an action. 2 for normal scenes. or even a Conflict. If all present are not directly involved. the player of that character may offer a Concession. * 1 Aspect from yourself or gear. * Add 1 Moderate Consequence to one Stress track * Add 1 point of armour to one Stress track * Add 2 points of stress to a successful attack made with one Skill in a particular situation. or 1 in any situation. They either break a rule or add a bonus. the scene. They have a rating. If not. roll for the contest at the top of each round and then other characters not involved act in initiative order (see Conflicts). This can be a combat Skill. someone might lock their "Strong as a bear" Aspect to add +2 to all rolls to apply strength to one particular Skill. Compels -. For instance. or Reflexive. Supplemental. you need to figure out who goes when. The exception is that each character keeps their own running tally. Invocations have 3 options. The first to reach the appropriate total accumulated shifts wins. If the attack succeeds. 1 from your target. If multiple characters reach the necessary total simultaneously. illness. Players may prevent this by suffering Consequences to reduce Stress. Defenders contest. Characters may only have the exact same Stunt one time per Skill or Stress track. it is possible that a competition will occur side by side with some other series of rolls. Simple actions are what you do with your turn. Option: Limited Stunt stacking -. and how long they take to heal: * Minor (2/ scene) * Moderate (4/ session) * Significant (6/ story) Characters have one of each type of Consequence for each Stress track. Once the scale of the conflict is determined. For example. a number of points by which they reduce Stress. 1 Consequence or Maneuver Aspect. Compels are not paid out of this pool. and you get one. or make an effect last two steps longer. *1 character Aspect. OPTION: STUNTS Stunts allow you to expand what characters are capable of doing. When one is made. First determine the scope of the conflict. Option: Limited Invocation stacking: There is a limitation to the number of Aspects that can be Invoked on one roll. The GM and Fate points -. or 3 if it's large enough that you can't take it everywhere (see below). CONFLICTS Conflicts are when one character attempts to control or change another character. but this is reduced to 1 for many combat effects.The third thing about Aspects is that they can be disadvantageous. In this case. 1 Maneuver. Reflexive actions are free. They can produce a specific Invocation to a particular Skill or a specific Declaration. These dictate some constraint to behaviour. Another character might lock "Master of the mysterious" Aspect to allow them to see immaterial spirits. and similar shenanigans. and mental strain damage Composure. This bonus is usually 2 shifts. * Reduce the penalty of an action taken with one Skill by 2 in a particular situation. Actions may be Simple. or an object involved in the action. Invocations simply add +2 to the Skill's rating.This action is an attempt to harm. with the same 3 values used to rate them. The GM has a number of points each scene equal to the number of players multiplied by a number. Characters receiving Stress check off that number of boxes of the appropriate Stress track. 1 environmental Aspect. Competitions work as an extended roll. The Gadget has 2 advances if it's small. the defending character. This may be used to enhance move actions (see below). any FPs go to the player of that character once the action resolves. When Invoking an Aspect belonging to another character. Declarations do not involve any sort of roll.the acting character. * 1 Aspect on a character or gear. while 1 can add to the roll. This is typically 1 or 2 Stunts. you accept the constraints. the advances of Gadgets each count as one Stunt. Stress tracks clear at the end of the conflict. change. 1 gear Aspect. If all present are involved in the contest. 1 can reduce penalties. * Allow one Skill to be used in the place of another in one particular circumstance.The player spends a FP to make some narrative detail related to the Aspect a fact. gun fights from automobiles. 1 environmental Aspect." Such characters are removed from the conflict in a way that fits with the conflict. This last is to simulate copilots navigating. the defender takes Stress equal to the shifts. * Add +2 to a non-combat Skill when used in a narrow circumstance. except the defending player narrates how it . When an Aspect is locked the player loses access to non-locked Invocations or Declarations with that Aspect. you must turn down the offered FP and spend one of your own. They may roll the dice a second time and take the higher roll. Option: Locked Aspects: Players may choose to "lock" one or more Aspects for the duration of a story. This number is 1 for minor scenes. If a Stress track fills up. When it is their turn. They may also use one Skill in place of another. but a full Conflict isn't appropriate (see below). or control another character. the character is "taken out. Roll attacks using an appropriate Skill. These produce a particular effect at no cost. although it can be more specific. the GM offers a FP. and weariness damage the Health track. For this purpose. If you accept it.The GM keeps one pool of FPs for all NPCs. Compels and Invocations by other players proceed as normal. typically -1 each. Declarations -. and 3 for climactic scenes. the one with the highest total wins. the player of the character inflicting Stress that takes out a character get to narrate the fashion in which the character is removed from the conflict. Whenever a character receives a Consequence. Attack -. and you can take any number per turn within reason. Physical damage.There is a limitation to the bonuses you can add to one roll from Stunts. On unrolled actions. the GM can declare two or more characters to be in competition. These shifts can be used to overcome border ratings or to generate reflexive movement * Provide a Gadget. This will determine the Skills that you use and which Stress track to use and what appropriate Consequences are (see below).The free Invocations from Maneuvers or Consequence infliction typically don't count against this limit. psychic shock. Emotional trauma. Supplemental actions are secondary actions which incur a cumulative penalty to your Simple action. including violently. * Reduce the time it takes to perform an action by two steps on the time increments chart. Stunts generally do one of the following: * Add +1 to the use of 1 Skill in a certain circumstance. Choose one Skill to resolve this. 1 from the environment. Each Aspect my only be Invoked once per action. Depending on the situation. Consequences are special Aspects (defined by the player of the character receiving them) that are used to reduce incoming Stress. players choose what sort of action to take. Examples include: * Any 2 Aspects. alternate rounds of rolling to win the contest with rounds of other tasks. The player may add 2 to their roll. 1 Consequence. COMPETITION Sometimes a simple roll isn't enough to resolve a situation. This is in the form of a Compel.

or to achieve a non-combat result through a Skill. a vast city gate. A basketball court is likely 4. Move -.grenade. at the cost of all actions. characters can Reflexively resist Maneuvers. When reasonable. the character may move 1 Zone Reflexively. the difficulty of a Maneuver is 0. or +3 for everything. and all involved parties receive 1 FP per Consequence the defending character has taken. to a maximum value of the game's Skill cap. This sort of movement is compatible with Supplemental movement. Maneuver -. a knife. 1 -. While stacked. Anyone may make a Maneuver of their own against the number of shifts of a successful Maneuver to remove the Aspect. If the Block affects more than one target. If it affects one target. The difficulty is the roll used to place it. such as a giant or a dozen people. to a minimum of 1. Personal Scale beings can become lost inside these things. As an additional option. The ratings of weapons are as follows. If it's a wall. Their Stress tracks are as long as their rating and don't take Consequences.This is a catch-all used to cover what might otherwise be represented as use of tactics. Thrown weapons have a range of 1 zone. big monster 4 -. the victim receives none in compensation. the disadvantaged party receives a -2 penalty per difference in Scale. This is a Simple action. those without enough shifts of movement may take a Supplemental penalty equal to the remaining value next turn. Larger Scale things are given statistics as necessary. They add an additional penalty to Supplemental movement equal to their rating and count as additional Zones that need to be crossed for Simple movement. but it need not be a total loss. This thing is larger than a person. which represent things like rough terrain. Achieving 0 to 2 shifts results in a "fragile" Aspect that goes away after being Invoked once. Maneuver.rifles. then it probably has . the claws of a cat 1 -. to inflict an Aspect. Making a Concession should be a decisive loss. they instead modify the shifts in order to determine Consequences. representing detaching units or a large monster using a single claw against the target. tiger 3 -. 2 -. The defending player typically loses the Conflict but achieves some secondary goal.Defensive actions get a +2 bonus for the round. If these cover the whole Supplemental action penalty. Characters that are unarmed or wielding close combat weapons can generally only target things inside the same zone. more than one Skill may be named. but the highest roll for an action that could counter yours acts in opposition to it. firearms have a range of 3. Shifts may be used to inflict Consequences as a risky roll. or tough mooks. The penalty it applies is [1+ Border]. such as cities or mountains. Unless it can be resisted. multiple mooks of the same sort can be stacked. This should be reserved for supernaturally fast characters. Each Zone corresponds with some logical division of an area. Larger scale entities can dedicate a smaller portion of their whole to overcome this. These are: * * * * Minor (2/ scene) Moderate (4/ session) Significant (6/ story) Extreme (8/ never) Option: weapons and armour: Weapons add a number of shifts of damage to successful attacks. 0 -. Block -. normal. positioning. players roll to apply Aspects to their target. Non-combat Skills -. Instead. It often doesn't make sense for two beings of vastly different scale to interact. This is something large enough that Personal Scale beings can move in or on them.Scene. or a festival and all attendees.fists. If something is expected to stop a hand gun. Larger Scales may be created as needed. Interactions between beings of different Scales are disadvantageous for one of the individuals. sword. This change must last a full story to qualify as part of the Concession.City. Non-combat Skill. such as with an army of thousands and an individual. When different Scale entities interact. the disadvantaged party doesn't even get to roll. For convenience. As no FPs were spent. a two handed sword. +1 per additional mook. The available combat actions are: Attack. Running is Simple and moves a number of Zones equal to the appropriate Skill rating. etc. while armour removes its rating (to a minimum of 0). Whenever a Maneuver successfully inflicts an Aspect on a target.Zone. getting one action per turn. Some Aspects don't make sense if they linger. possibly replacing one with the inflicted Consequence. 3 -. 3 or more shifts result in a "sticky" Aspect. the defending character is removed from the conflict in the way they describe. 4 -. Once this penalty exceeds -2. Everyone rolls at the same time. Walking is a Supplemental action to move a single Zone. Stress can overflow from one Mook to the next so long as they're in the same Zone. which are abstract measures of space. OPTION: SCALE This optional set of rules is to model interactions between things of different sizes. typically the smaller.Personal.Movement in Conflicts occurs in Zones.a dog's bite. brass knuckles 2 -. If the attacking player accepts. At the GM's option. An Aspect like "In my sights" doesn't make sense if the shooter puts down the rifle.happens. Block. the character might be allowed to move more than a single Zone Reflexively. Stacked mooks always overflow Stress. A room in a house is one Zone. These are removed when it makes sense to do so. they must all be in the same Zone and one Skill must be named. perhaps slowing down the victor so that they only achieve a partial victory. 0 -. There are two primary options for moving: walking and running. Option: Reflexive movement: It is possible to generate shifts of movement via Stunts and Aspects. this can be extended to -4 for heroic games. Players announce their actions from worst to best initiative.Region. which lasts the rest of the scene.. A single character. The difficulties of all rolls are 0. This is something large enough to contain multiple City Scale entities.One character acts to prevent another character from performing a specific action. If weapons and armour modify Stress. the player that initiated the Maneuver may Invoke the Aspect once without cost or pass off the free Invocation to another player. They receive a rating of +1. Option: More dangerous Conflicts:Characters have only one set of Consequences that they use for all tracks. Then anyone else attempting to use the named Skill to perform the specified action uses that roll as a difficulty if it is higher than the normal difficulty of the action. Zones may be separated by Borders. they act as a single character. anime surf board sword The rating of armour is based on what it's supposed to stop. The two players should negotiate the details. Generally this is worded as using one Skill to stop an action performed with 1 or more Skills. The initiating player rolls the stated Skill. higher ground. They roll at their base value. +2. it probably has a rating of 2.Characters may perform non-combat actions during a Conflict as well. Option: Simplified Conflicts: Run Conflicts as a series of risky contested rolls. such as a village. Movement and Stress are not tracked.hand gun. Defend -. Option: Mooks: These are unimportant NPCs given simpler stats. One option for the defending player is to change an Aspect. depending on whether they're easy.

with incremental changes in between. how likely is the hazard to affect someone within its bounds? If it's easy to avoid. and some Consequences. usually at 2 or higher Any hazard is likely to have an Aspect on its location. * Upgrade – Gives +2 to a specific use of one non-combat skill. Advances include: * Additional Capabilities – It does something related to its primary capabilities that it normally could not.Two or more from the +1 category. you need to consider a number of particulars. as well as the number of Stunts if they are used. it may well have an armour rating as well.Why do you pick fights with units of powerful supernatural beings? GADGETS Gadgets are things that provide characters with a bonus. The format is level -. * Minaturization – It's really small. or perform organized troop maneuvers.40 (+6) [8] This number of Skill points assumes roughly 20 Skills.25 (+4) [3] * hero -. Two more round out a character. CHARACTER CREATION First. A second purchase may bring this up to weapon:4. and it might add a bonus to certain rolls depending on its nature. Fate Ladder: +8 Legendary +7 Epic +6 Fantastic +5 Superb +4 Great +3 Good +2 Fair +1 Average +0 Mediocre -1 Poor -2 Terrible . * Alternate Usage – You may use one particular Skill in place of another in a defined situation. adjust the total accordingly. When building a hazard. but it does not make decisions. and movement. and weapons and armour (if used). Determine an average Skill rating for offense. exceptional equipment. create Stress tracks. May be taken only once per skill.Normal folk. They can add 1 Skill point per story (roughly every 3 sessions).some resistance based Skill. * Independent – It can act on its own. +1 -. The cap goes up when the total number of Skill points meets a starting campaign level with a higher cap. this section is optional. * Armed – A normally non-combat thing can be used for combat. Note that units may be mooks if those rules are used. * Rugged – Has 2 extra stress boxes over the normal capacity (usually 3). * Power -. HAZARDS Then. while the superhero level should have roughly twice this. (Requires Futurization. and does not stack with Craftsmanship. move. should have roughly as many points as Skills. They defend with their danger rating and have a Stress track equal to a normal character. Their weapon rating also acts as armour. these apply to rolls to defend. -1 0 +1 Untrained people. the GM must create a Skill list. For every fraction of 2 by which this is lower than a unit's Skill for an action (before Drill or Power modification). Option: Drill and Power: These are two optional Skills used to abstract experience and troop quality/ equipment/ supernatural power. Sometimes something in the environment is dangerous. If weapon ratings are used.This is typically supernatural power or quality equipment. Each is associated with a Skill that increases their length. Characters wishing to fight a hazard may engage it in a Conflict. If armour rules are used. if used.35 (+5) [6] * superhero -. at 30 points. * novice -. This alteration should reflect some change that occurred in play. reduce the Skill's level by 1. chemicals. * Futurization – Does something that “modern” things can't do yet. This might be fire. then select the starting level for the game.Skill points (cap) [Stunts]. Time Increments : * instant * a few moments * half a minute * a minute * a few minutes * 15 minutes * half an hour * an hour * a few hours * an afternoon * a day * a few days * a week * a few weeks * a month * a season * half a year * a year * a few years * a decade * a generation * a mortal lifetime * several mortal lifetimes Etc. or one taken to extremes. the unit leader will have a leadership Skill. what Skill is going to be used to resist the hazard? Some are going to be dodged (falling rubble) while others need to be persevered (smoke). Units typically have two Aspects. If the optional Stunt rules are being used. a car that drives in water. A burning building might have "smoke filled hallways" that can be used to escape from someone chasing a character. * Speculative Science – Does something that “modern” things can't even figure out how they might possibly do that. For example. and the GM must decide whether they need to fit any criteria. A Skill costs a number of points equal to its rating. Some require 2 advances.Training and group cohesion. If it's somewhat of a challenge. Consequences are normal for a character in that game. * Drill -. For example. this makes it weapon:2. individuals can interact beyond the normal range of 2 steps. Hazards need these as well. They're rated a little differently than normal. Second. One should cover the central concept of the character. or a genius leader. The novice level Players then build characters. * Conscious – Requires Independent. Option: Overcoming Scale: If a Stunt reduces the Scale penalty to -2 or lower (or -4 for heroic games). 0 -. The size of a Stress track is the Skill cap plus 1/2 (round up) the rating of the associated Skill. Purchase the proper number of Stunts. These rules can be used as a mass combat system. +3 -. A second should link them to some sort of problems.Slight supernatural power.30 (+5) [4] * legend -. and define their bonus and associated Skill. defense. If this is inaccurate by a large margin. Trained soldiers. * Maximaization – It's really big. Select Aspects for characters. falling rubble.) * Unbreakable – This can only be damaged by things with some special property. A third should connect them with another PC. if any. * Armoured – Reduce incoming stress by one. the cap rises from +4 to +5. Really dangerous situations (a burning building) might be +4 or even higher. Remember to purchase supporting Skills to fit the campaign structure. In games where the leader matters. The following list includes the number of Skill points and the Skill cap. May be taken only once per skill. * Craftsmanship – Gives +1 to one skill. the difficulty rises to +2 or +3. or both. decide on the Skill structure. 0 or +1 is a good difficulty. As they are derived from Stunts. First. If weapon damage rules are used. The unit's Stress tracks are determined as a normal character plus its Scale. +2 -. It can make decisions and act on its own. It acts as a weapon and armour rating.20 (+3) [2] * expert -. they gain an additional Stunt roughly every 3 times they gain a Skill point. ADVANCEMENT Players may alter one Aspect per session. a Stress track. or even explosives. Exceptional soldiers. Both ratings are added to the unit's Stress tracks. They can be mooks or not.

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