Playing The Game

General Rules

Most of the mechanics are the standard FATE 3.0 set. In case of doubt, refer to them.

Some of the rules presented here are a bit different than the standard set.


Damage

The damage is handled a bit different than in Spirit of the Century. The agents stress boxes are filled sequentially instead of alternatively.

When a character runs out of stress capacity boxes, he gets a consequence.

There are four kinds of consequences:

  • Mild - can be recovered at the end of the scene.
  • Moderate - can be recovered after a full night rest.
  • Severe - can be recovered after a few days or getting treatment, or at the end of the adventure.
  • Permanent - will usually last for the whole campaign, it seldom can be cured.

If a character gets damage when he has no free stress boxes, he first gets a mild consequence, then a moderate one if it happens again, and a severe one if he gets more damage.

When a character gets damage and he had already a severe consequence, he will be taken out of combat and also receive a permanent consequence.

Whenever a character gets damage, he can give a concession (surrender) and lose the fight automatically, without risking being taken out.


Minions

Minions have two traits: Type and Quality. They can also have aspects, which can be tagged to help them, or against them.

The Type determines the skills that the minion can use. There are the following types:

  • Fighter: Melee combat and conditioning skills.
  • Shooter: Firearms combat and dodging.
  • Brain: Engineering, science, medical, and/or academic skills.
  • Social: Social skills and leadership.
  • Driver: Driving and/or piloting.
  • Sneaky: Infiltration and thievery skills.
  • Scout: Survival, tracking, camouflage, alertness, and hunting skills.
  • Powerful: Contacting and resources.
  • Special: Psionic, magic, or others.

The Quality is the level at which the Minion can use the skills appropriate to its type. It is also the number of stress capacity they have. It goes from 1 to 3:

  • 1 - Thug.
  • 2 - Professional.
  • 3 - Elite.

Minions can also use common knowledge skills which don't belong to their Type (like driving a car or shooting) at a level of 0. They can also receive the advance Scope which makes them also competent (at their quality level) in another Type besides their own.

Minions cannot take any consequence and they are taken off when their stress capacity is filled.


Threats

Threats are a kind of NPC more important than the Minions, but less than Major NPCs. They are usually henchmen or liutenants of the villanious character, but sometimes they can be other kind of powerful minor characters, like beasts, monsters, and robots, which cannot be accurately represented as Minions.

Their level of quality is usually 4, but it can be any number, even beyond 5. They can also have any stress capacity level according to the kind of threat (by default, it's 4 also).

They have two Types instead of one:

  • Primary Type at their level of Quality.
  • Secondary Type at Quality -1.

They can perform other common appropriate actions at 0.

Threats can take one consequence, but if they receive more damage, they are taken off.


Major NPCs

Major Non Playing Characters are usually the villians, nemesis, and arch-enemies of the Agents, or some other NPCs that are notable for any reason.

They have a column of skills similar to the Agents, but their skills have different names, more according to the villanious character:

  • Power (Access)
  • Intellect (Analysis)
  • Fighting (Combat)
  • Fitness (Conditioning)
  • Culture (Fieldwork)
  • Sneakiness (Infiltration)
  • Social (Influence)
  • Resolve (Operations)
  • Mystery (Special Skills)
  • Engineering (Systems)

Their level is usually 5, like the agents (their highest skill is at 5), but specially powerful NPCs can have a level of 6 or even higher. It's also possible to have lesser Major NPCs with a level of 4.

Their stress capacity is calculated like the agents one, and they can take three consequences.


Companions

Companions are characters attached to one Major NPC. They are similar to Minions with a quality of 1, but they cannot act independtly, instead they follow the Major NPC and grant him a +1 bonus to certain kind of action, depending on the Companion's Type (similar to the Minion Types).

Companions can receive Advances:

  • Independent: Can dettach and act on its own.
  • Better Quality: +1 to quality.
  • Scope: One extra Type.

Menace Level

This is an optional and experimental rule based on the "budget" system used in the standard SotC chases, but extended to all conflict scenes.

When a conflict scene starts (a combat, chase, battle, or similar situation), the Menace Points (MP) are set depending on the importance of the scene (from a minor skirmish to an epic climatic battle scene) and the number of Playing Characters involved in the scene (NoA - Number of Agents). Some example MPs calculations:

  • Minor: MP = 5 x NoA
  • Major: MP = 10 x NoA
  • Climatic: MP = 20 x NoA

(Note: for a chase usually only the driving player is considered for the NoA.)

The Game Master will place his MPs on the table as a stack of counters or cards. He will be spending them, and the conflict will last until there are no MPs remaining.

The Menace Points can be spend on the following:

  • 1 MP can be converted to 1 FP (Fate Point), to be used by the Game Master.
  • 1 to 3 MP = Introduce one Minion of Quality 1 to 3.
  • 4 MPs = Introduce one Threat. The threat has 1 FP.
  • 5 MPs = Introduce one Major NPC. He has all his FPs.
  • 1 MP = Add one Companion.
  • 1 MP = Add one Modification or Advance.

The GM can choose to spend all the MPs at the beginning of the scene, or to use them slowly, sending the enemies in waves.

This system is used for balancing the fight depending on the importance of the scene, and to challenge the players, who know they will have to defeat all those menaces before they can say it was a fair victory. Also the players know, using this system, that they can win any fight if they use their cards right and manage to force the GM out of MPs. The GM will not "cheat" by pulling out of his sleeve unlimited waves of enemies.


Chases

In a chase, the agents can find themselves as either Pursuers or Prey.

The other vehicles in the chase can be threated as

The turn sequence goes as following:

  1. Prey decides a maneuver and bets for a difficulty.
  2. Prey rolls for his bet. If he fails, the prey vehicle gets damage according to the level of failure. Elsewhere he performed the maneuver as expected.
  3. Pursuer declares his own maneuver in order to overcome the prey's maneuver. It can be offensive (causes damage), or trying to modify the situation (instead of damage, it causes a temporal aspect that can be tagged free the next turn).
  4. Pursuer rolls for the prey's bet, if he fails he gets damage according to the level of failure. If he succeed he causes either damage (at the level of success) or the temporal aspect.
  5. One of the passengers in the vehicle of the prey can perform an action (which can be an attack to the pursuer vehicle or a maneuver to cause an aspect).
  6. One of the passengers in the vehicle of the pursuer (except the driver) can perform an action.

The most important in a chase is what the vehicles are doing, that is why only one of the passenger characters is allowed to act every turn. This can be explained because the chase is happening at such a high speed that the other characters have only small chances here and there to perform actions.


Vehicle Crash

If a vehicle runs out of stress capacity it will usually crash and all the passengers will take a consequence.

Some vehicles however can take one or more consequences before crashing: the vehicles considered Threat characters and the vehicles that have certain modifications.


Jumping Between Vehicles in Chases

One typical chase maneuver that is often seen in movies is jumping from one vehicle to the other in order to try to hurt or stop the other driver, or to rescue someone.

In order to do that, the pursuer or some other character must place a temporary aspect that allows it, for example: "Wheel to wheel" or "Grappling hook and rope attached to the other vehicle". When this aspect is tagged, instead of getting the usual tagging benefit, it allows for one chance for one character to jump to the other vehicle.

The jumping is performed by using the Conditioning skill. As usual, the basic difficulty is 1, with the following modifiers:

  • +1 because of the high speed.
  • +1 if the character is trying to do it undetected.
  • +1 if there are other characters in the other vehicle trying to prevent it.
  • +1 if there is no place to hold.
  • +1 if the two vehicles are of different types (for example: from land vehicle to flying vehicle).

If the character fails the roll, he will fall to the ground, receive one consequence, and be left behind in the chase (unless he manages to find a way to save the situation).

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