Fate/Apocalypse–Moments In Fate [GUEST]

TL;DR: René-Pier Deshaies is the software developer behind Fari, the open-source VTT, but he is also a talented game developer and I’m honored he accepted to re-post his “Moments in Fate” here because, to be honest, I wish I could code and write like him.

A Powered by the Apocalypse inspired mechanic for the Fate role-playing game.

In Fate, characters can do anything, but in terms of rules and meta, there are only 4 actions a character can do. They can Attack someone or something, Defend themselves or someone else’s, Create an Advantage or Overcome an obstacle.

Lets compare this quickly to the Powered By The Apocalypse System where the players have a set of Moves. Those moves are basically actions that a character can do and each Move has a game mechanic attached to it.

For example, in Monster of the Week you have: Kick Some AssAct Under Pressure Help OutInvestigate a MysteryManipulate SomeoneProtect SomeoneRead a Bad Situation and Use Magic.

In PBTA games, Moves vehicle something that Fate Actions have a hard time doing: they clearly layout multiple examples of how the rules can be bent to match what a player wants to do.

But Moves have a big downside to them. Since there is no general underlying mechanic for them, it is harder to know what to do when a player character does something that doesn’t match any premade Move.

Fate Actions, on the contrary, shine in this situation since they are generic on purpose. That is in part because Fate’s Golden Rule:

Decide what you’re trying to accomplish first, then consult the rules to help you do it.

Fate Core

That being said, since Actions are so far on the other side of the game mechanic spectrum, they can be daunting to work with.

For example, they make it harder for new or temporarily indecisive players to know what they can do during a session.

Also, because they are very broad and generic, you need to stretch the original definition of the words to make them match certain situations. (e.g. You can use the Defend action to oppose someone else’s Create An Advantage action.)

While it’s very useful to have generic terms that empower our characters to do basically anything, imposing restrictions or initial guidelines can actually boost creativity.

Which is why I want to try to create a generic list of what I will refer to as Moments, or “Fate Moves” if you will, using the 4 Fate Actions as a base structure.

Creating a Moment

To create a Moment, you can follow the following recipe.

QuantityIngredients
1 cupPlayer Goal
1 tbspAction
1 tspSkill

For example, if a player wants to be on someone’s tail in a space battle, you could create a moment called Getting on Someone’s Tail that would look something like.

GETTING ON SOMEONE’S TAIL
Use Create an Advantage  and Drive to be on someone’s tail and gain the upper hand in a space battle.

While there is more than one way to bake a pie, this recipe will get you started so that you can create your own list of Moments that is best for your setting.

Moments are not set in stone

Even if use Moments as a starting point for your Fate campaign, the GM and the Players should always be aware that this is only a guide and if a player wants to do something that isn’t on the list, nothing should be stopping them from going for it.

Fiction First!

As a GM, if one of your players is trying to do something that is not part of the your pre-made Moments, it is part of your job to create a Moment on the spot by matching a Skill with one of the 4 Actions and describing the possible outcomes.

Getting Started

If you are looking for more concrete examples of how this can be applied, here’s a list of 10 Moments I think are relatively generic and outline the general idea behind all of this.

The following examples are based off the default Skill List which you can read more about here.

Enjoy!

HARM SOMEONE
Use Attack and [Fight / Shoot / Provoke] to deal damage to another character.

Attack | Fate Condensed


DEFEND YOURSELF
Use Defend and [Athletics / Fight / Will] to protect yourself from immediate danger.

Defend | Fate Condensed


BRACE YOURSELF
Skip your turn and gain a +2 to all your Defend rolls until the end of the turn. If no one Attacks you, gain a Boost at your next turn.

Full Defense | Fate Condensed


PROTECT SOMEONE FROM DANGER
Use Defend and [Athletics / Fight] to place yourself between immediate danger and someone in order to try to protect them.
When doing this you expose yourself to possibly suffering the effects of any failed rolls.

Defend | Fate Condensed
Exchange | Fate Condensed


STOP SOMEONE
Use Defend and [Skill] to oppose someone from trying to Create an Advantage against you.

Defend | Fate Condensed


ACT UNDER PRESSURE
Use Overcome and [Skill] to see if you can succeed the challenge.

Overcome | Fate Condensed


PROVIDE SUPPORT
Figure out who has the highest level in [Skill] among the participants. Each other participant who has at least Average (+1) in [Skill] adds a +1 to the highest person’s [Skill] level. Supporters face the same costs and consequences as the person making the roll.

Teamwork | Fate Condensed


INVESTIGATE A SITUATION
Use Create an Advantage and Investigate to try to find something to help move the story forward.

Create an Advantage | Fate Condensed


FIND SOMETHING USEFUL
Use Create an Advantage and Notice to try to find something you can use to your advantage.

Create an Advantage | Fate Condensed


MANIPULATE SOMEONE
Use Create an Advantage and [Deceive / Rapport] to convince someone to do what you tell them to do.

Create an Advantage | Fate Condensed

Thanks

Thanks to Jeremy Price and Seelie Squire for letting me bounce ideas with them during my thought process. You are awesome.

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