[FATE] Active defend against enemy's personal create advantage action


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I see I disagree with TheMouse, sort of. The difference is I wouldn't allow someone to defend against an action that they're not the target of, because that's essentially a free extra action. But if they're using their action on their turn they could do anything TheMouse suggested. And I forget if there's an official rile for this but I'd let someone use their action to say, "I'll wait to see what the enemy does" and then use their held action to jump in and try to disrupt them. But you need to use an action to set it up, you can't just stop people from doing stuff for free.
Check out the text box on page 131 of the core. It says that you're allowed to actively resist actions you could reasonably oppose, and that it doesn't take an action. It further adds that, should there be any doubt, an applicable aspect might be necessary.

Which is to say that everything you just said is not according to the rules as written, but if the house rule works for you and your group, then it works for you and your group.


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Personally, I think you need to allow defense rolls from interference generously, otherwise CA's that are more personal or indirect are clearly superior to ones with a target who would inherently get a roll.

Beyond Reality

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Especially since targeted advantages typically only help against the person they're 'stuck' to, while situational, scenery and (especially) personal advantages often apply to potentially everyone. I'd say tagging yourself or an ally with a personal Aspect is notably stronger compared to any other use of Create an Advantage, to the degree that it probably should require a stunt, special permissions/circumstances or at least a hefty difficulty spike compared to other uses.

So yeah, I'd definitely say that allowing an opponent (with appropriate justification) to interfere in spellcasting, shouting words of encouragement, or whatever is a good idea. FATE already kind of has a problem where overstacking and then mass-triggering Aspects is too desirable, so you wouldn't want to prevent opponents from resisting.

Of course, a lot of it also depends on how the GM tends to adjudicate difficulty....what should be the difficulty of encouraging your allies or focusing yourself? Hard to say. Basing it off something like an opponent actively trying to stab you (fighting vs spellcasting) or the enemy leader's intimidating presence (provoke vs rapport), not only helps keep things balanced it makes it easier on the GM.


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Fate Core SRD (also on page 131 of the book): "If a PC or a named NPC can reasonably interfere with whatever the action is, then you should give them the opportunity to roll active opposition. This does not count as an action for the opposing character; it’s just a basic property of resolving actions. In other words, a player doesn’t have to do anything special to earn the right to actively oppose an action, as long as the character is present and can interfere. If there’s any doubt, having an appropriate situation aspect helps justify why a character gets to actively oppose someone else."

So maybe it's not technically a defense action, even though it resembles defense mechanically by not using up your action for the round. I guess the question of whether a character would be allowed to use a defense-linked stunt to help out is probably best resolved by the GM, based on whether the fiction of the opposition matches the description of the stunt.


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Scenario 2:
The enemy has used his utility magic skill +5 to create the Magic Armor aspect but his fighting (or defense magic) bonus is only +3.
Let's assume the enemy above managed to create the advantage (whether with positive or negative free invoke is irrelevant). Could they use the Magic Armor aspect to defend against the incoming attack at full bonus (+5)? Or would you only let the enemy defend with +3 and their only bonus would be the possible invocation?
If defending with magic uses his Defense Magic skill isn't +3 his "full bonus"? He has created an advantage that lets him invoke it for a +2 or a reroll, so an invoke brings that to +5. But it's not like the +3 was less than full bonus. That's pretty clear in the text.

As I said, I am not aware of a sentence in the Fate books that advises on these two instances and my opinion is that
1) yes players should be able to actively defend if in the same area
2) the enemy should be able to make full use of his "create advantage" skill, gaining a defensive or offensive new way of using it based on the newly created aspect.
TheMouse already pointed out where the text speaks to point #1. Regarding point #2, I'm not sure what a "create advantage" skill is or why you believe a character needs to be able to make full use of it. I also don't know why you believe that a character should gain a new way of using this skill because they created an advantage. Fate Core is pretty clear on how create advantage works, so I'm confused why you think that it doesn't directly address the point. Am I missing something?
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I would mention that traditionally, something like you describe in #2 is more like a stunt, explicitly allowing the character to defend using a skill that wouldn't traditionally be used for it. However, FATE works on kind of a sliding scale, with multiple approaches and solutions to the same issue.
Agreed, a stunt would be more appropriate if this was something a character was doing regularly. But magic is always tricky to represent, and simple narrative permissions are a good enough way to represent improvising magical effects – this isn't really all that different to using create advantage to find some cover, and asserting that you can't be attacked until someone somehow overcomes that advantage.

The ability to spend a single action to emulate a stunt-benefit indefinitely is a bit strong though, so I'd suggest putting some kind of limit on it. Let's say the shield has a durability based on how well you rolled to create it, so if you rolled +6 on the create-advantage, it can soak a total of 6 stress before failing.


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Let me rephrase that: I see a disagree with TheMouse. That means I'm wrong.
Or we could say that you momentarily forgot that you were using a house rule and ignore the whole right and wrong bit. :)

Regardless, this seems a good moment to emphasize something that becomes more obvious to me as time goes by. That being that Fate (and indeed a lot of games) have a range of ways it can be played, and individual groups should try to find the particular approach that's fun for them.

My most common example is compels. Some groups like having the GM compel any given character at least once per scene, if not more. Others feel more comfortable dropping the thing where you need to play a fate point to resist. Yet others prefer self-compels to be much more common than GM-initiated compels. And a whole bunch of other variations.

I suppose my point here is that it's helpful to think of the rules as ranges rather than points. Fate works fine if you look for your group's preferred settings for those various ranges. Do you want to set the slider for active resistance of create advantage actions really low? Cool. Is it more fun for another group if they set that slider much more permissively? That's cool as well.


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Very helpful points indeed!

I think I’d allow active defending, if reasonable, but limiting it to circumstances in which the character is not otherwise engaged, probably also limiting this extra defend action to once per turn. This is meant to prevent things like a single character able to limitlessy defend actively against all of his enemies’ CV actions. In my view being passive in a 1vs1 situation while the enemy boosts themselves is not fun but same stands for a player slapping all of his enemies’ material components from a bunch of spellcasting enemies.

About the second point... sounds like stunt or simple use of free invoke goes for the majority! I’ll do that :)


Another quick create advantage related question:
FAE defend action states “the opponent does not get what they want” while the create advantage says that failure could mean “create an aspect but the enemy invokes it for free”.

Now... do you allow the creation of an aspect (with negative free invoke) on a failed CV action?
And how do you make the decision? Ask the player or you decide based on what’s most, or least helpful?

I’m thinking about cases in which an aspect with negative free invoke like “mage armor” sounds quite pointless, but also others like “monster weakness” which can be helpful even with a negative free invoke.

Beyond Reality

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It's pretty much context.

If you're trying to create a situational accent (like say busting a water pipe to make a 'slippery footing' aspect) then it makes sense to create the aspect but give the edge to the opponent rather than the creator. That said, I'd usually leave the decision to the PC (whether they're the defender or not). Does the player think the reversed aspect is going to be more interesting or just wants the aspect on the field even if the opponent gets the free invoke, then go for it. Likewise if they'd rather just fail then I'd give them the call too.

However, when creating a 'personal' aspect, which is almost always purely positive (same goes for opponent-focused aspects for the opposite reason), then it almost always makes more sense to fail to create the aspect rather than jumping through logical hoops to try and figure out how to explain how this works. Maybe in some situations it'll work, but just as a rule of thumb don't feel the need to put in the extra work for a single roll.
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