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Media Notes / Fate

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Fate note is a universal RPG system published by Evil Hat Productions originally in 2003, as a Spiritual Successor to the similar Fudge system. It is designed to emphasize storytelling with little in the way of mechanical obstructions to players, and allow them to collaboratively tell stories in just about any setting that calls for the protagonists to be highly-skilled and constantly on adventures that test such skills.

Similar to FUDGE, Fate maps out difficulty on a verbal scale ranging (as written) from "-2 Terrible" to "+8 Legendary", and handles rolls with six-sided dice labelled "[+][+][ ][ ][-][-]". Unlike FUDGE, Fate gives each character a long list of skills and defaults all of them to "0 Mediocre" apart from any skills the character is supposed to be good at. These can be used among four general actions—attacking, defending, overcoming obstacles, or creating an advantage.

These rules become more fast and loose with "Aspects" and "Stunts". Aspects are short phrases that describe noteworthy things about either a character or a scene, which can be invoked at the cost of a Fate Point to grant either a re-roll or a +2 bonus to the result. On the flipside, Aspects can also be "compelled" by offering whoever has the aspect a Fate Point at the cost of having something bad happen to them that's related to the aspect. Stunts, meanwhile, are (by default) pre-determined abilities written out in a list in the book that grant characters specific benefits.

Fate has had many iterations over the course of the 2000s, with the first two editions both seeing releases in 2003 and the third edition appearing in 2006 with Spirit of the Century, with other iterations in the meantime such as The Dresden Files. However, the version people are most likely to be talking about is the 2013 iteration known as Fate Core (or alternatively, its more streamlined version, Fate: Accelerated Edition). Given the setting-flexible nature of the system, there have been many different settings for this particular version of Fate published throughout the RPG market, both first-party and third-party. A lot of the in-house settings were published across the four Fate Worlds compilation books, while standalone settings are available on Evil Hat's Fate Worlds directory.

The full rule SRD is available here, with the full book providing more setting advice and artwork.

Games released using the Fate engine:

Alternative Title(s): Fate Core