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Real Life Examples #1: Complications and what to do

We recently asked some people who enjoy Fate Core what parts they found confusing or complicated. We have already covered the most selected response, Aspects and Fate Points here, and here. We plan to also look at Refresh and Stunts in the near future, but right now we wanted to cover a more general area of just complications in general and how they were dealt with.

I guess we are doing a whole series of things on this poll.

Fate Survey

So today we are going to look at some examples of Fate Core situations that got very complicated. It gives me a chance to walk down memory lane, and more importantly it gives us the chance to look at how the rules handle some of the crazy madness that comes from actually playing the games.

So let’s dive right on in.

The Dragon’s Tragic Death

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Simplifying Fate: Aspects and Fate Points

While we work on our next subject of Stunt Myths, related to this poll, we thought we would add something else about simplifying Fate points and Aspects.

Fate Core is a simple streamline system, but that does NOT mean it is always easy to play. The folks at Evil Hat designed it to handle everything, and sometimes figuring out how to cover that within the rules can give you quite the headache. No matter how much I think I know about the rules, there’s always something new to learn or something I assumed to be true that is not.

The trick with understanding how Fate works is to approach it like you would math (ugh) or maybe building with Legos (yay). You have to understand the very basics, and then put those basics together in order to make a complicated structure that looks like what you want. Things go wrong when you miss one of the basic elements, and it affects the large structure as a whole.

So today we are going to take another look at the rules of Fate Core and see how we can keep things simple.

Three Ways to Use Aspects

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Marvelous Monstrous Aspect Myths

Recently we conducted a survey asking players what part of Fate they found most confusing or difficult to understand.

Fate Survey

Below is our attempt to answer some of the questions in comments received in this survey.

Where to begin

Today we are going to try to tackle one of the more unique mechanical features of Fate Core, and often the most confusing for new and experience players alike: Aspects. In Fate Core, everything has aspects: characters, scenes, locations, and even the campaign itself. They are a wonderful tool, though complicated and often difficult to explain in words.

But not only can aspects be difficult to explain, they can be downright monstrous to deal with. Trying to come up with the perfect wording. Trying to remember how long each type is supposed to last. Keeping track of a growing number of them. It can be really frightening for GMs and players alike.

But like any monster we face in game, this challenge can be overcome with the right skills. Rather than write a book of our own to explain everything about how aspects can be used, I’d like to address a few myths and assumptions about aspects that really seem to be causing a lot of the confusion. Hopefully these will help make your gaming experiences easier.

What Is an Aspect

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