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[Fate/FAE] What's not to grok?


Registered User
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Even if you get to the same place the details matter.
Clever let's you put up a good argument to get what you want.
Do it Sneaky and you can convince whoever you're arguing with that whatever you wanted was their idea in the first place.

The issue is that Approaches are, with enough explanation by player, situation agnostic.
If the players are putting thought into the explanation that's a good thing, and can help with character and world building.

kitty voodoo

Social Justice Slytherin
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I think you’re being sarcastic here, so to make clear what my problem was:

The issue is not using Fight or Shoot in every combat. In a normal Fate game, you have other skills to use in other situation. The character who fights well isn’t as good picking locks or schmoozing with nobles.

The issue is that Approaches are, with enough explanation by player, situation agnostic. This is the equivalent of the player being able to use Fight for everything. Fighting? Fight. Picking locks? Fight. Schmoozing nobles? Fight.

However, one aspect of your description doesn’t match. Since everyone’s FAE character has the same number of points, everyone has a +3. Nobody is getting left in the dust, because everyone is using their best approach in almost every situation.

It’s not that it’s bad or unfair. It’s that it’s samey.
As GM you have every right to declare that certain approaches are not applicable in certain situations. You can't Forcefully hide for example. Also, the approach used should make sense narratively for it to apply. If the PCs can't justify an approach in a way that is narratively satisfying to you the GM, they can't use it.


Validated User
Yep to both.

I agree with what you’re saying, and I’m glad it works for many! Maybe someday I will find a group where it works.


Blogger and gamer
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For me, I think the disconnect is that the system just feels a bit flat and disconnected from the narrative. I'm not fond of the dynamic of stacking a bunch of invokes to do something, it just feels bland to me, and it makes everything feel similar in effect. I created a vulnerable point on a giant robot, but it got exploited for a bonus on a roll, when it felt like it should have given some kind of powerful-feeling boost to attacks or something.

I guess it's that it feels like there aren't enough different ways to handle aspects and results without going deep into the Fractal.


Registered User
Validated User
It's also pretty dependent upon your Aspects. The Heavy Weight Prize Fighter isn't going to be hacking the computer network no matter how Quick or Clever or Forceful he is. And Nerdy McNerdyson isn't going to busting down doors.


Validated User
Devil's Advocate/Socratic Questioning here ...

Whenever I play using Fate Core, I have an issue with players spamming Fight and Shoot whenever we get into a combat scene? One of the PCs has high rankings in these Skills and the others are not as good? How do I stop them from always using Fight and Shoot to solve their problems in combat?
Let me see if I get this straight. They have two high level combat abilities that you are complaining they use at the appropriate time, in combat?

The solution is to give them challenges that aren't combat.


Registered User
Validated User
First, let me point out that lots of Fate players discourage best-in-the-world-type aspects for exactly this reason.

That gotten out of the way, there are plenty of settings where this kind of aspect is perfectly fine. Inigo Montoya, in The Princess Bride, surely has the aspect Greatest Swordsman of His Generation, but you’ll notice that he loses his swordfight with Westley, and is nearly killed by Count Rugen. How would I handle this as a GM? Well, when Inigo’s going up against ordinary people (the sort I’d stat out as mooks), I wouldn’t bother rolling to determine if he wins, but might set up situations where there’s a bunch of guards he has to get past quickly, then say “You can definitely beat them, but let’s see if you can beat them in time.” (And it would have to be a bunch of guards, not just one nameless dude.) But if he’s up against, say, the second-greatest swordsman, well, then the outcome’s in doubt, because matters can be tipped in the other guy’s favor by luck or superior planning or Inigo’s heavy drinking.

Can the Strongest Man in the World beat an ordinary dude in arm-wrestling? Sure, don’t even bother rolling for that. But maybe you roll to see how he beats him. Does the audience cheer for him, or do they see him as a bully and boo him? Are they impressed with his technique, or offended by his brutish use of raw strength?

Or maybe, if this is a tournament, you skip over the rounds where the Strongest Man in the World is up against ordinary competitors with a brief summary — “Yeah, you beat your first three opponents without even breaking a sweat” — and jump ahead to the round where the Strongest Woman in the World shows up.
I'm also reminded here about Batman. DC frequently uses "World's Greatest Detective" as a title for Batman, which essentially also serves as one possible Aspect. It is understood in-fiction that Batman is the "World's Greatest Detective." He has the smarts, That said, Batman being the "World's Greatest Detective" does not mean that he cannot be caught unaware, stumped, or out-smarted. However, thanks to his aspect "World's Greatest Detective" Batman will be able to more consistently beat out other characters, who would presumably lack that aspect. So such aspects are not necessarily about having Automatic "I win" buttons, but about the character have a consistent edge as derived by the player's sense of the character in the fiction.


Registered User
Validated User
I think a big part of the issue is that a lot of people are used to a canned adventure path style, where not a lot of decisions have a big impact on the world, and you basically go through a kind of series of what I called "gated challenges". In that basic setup, HOW you solve a problem doesn't matter. Once you're past it, you're past it, so who cares?

I tend to see Fate as more of a series of branches. You're always moving "forward" in some way in that you can't revisit the same choice (it's been made). Even if you try to overcome something again, something else has changed in teh situation.

A good analogy for me is pool. You can try to sink a ball in a Forceful way (by slamming it super hard), in a Clever way (some trick shot), in a Careful way (just using enough force to get it in the pocket) etc. Now it may not matter for that shot, but how you do this will impact where the cue ball ends, and how the other balls on the table will be moved. So in this case the whole world is the pool table, and all of the balls are other character, situations, factions, etc. in the game. So everything you do has consequences, and the primary decision making about "how do I solve this problem" is not "how do I get the right bonus?" but "how do I do this in a way that positions me best in the future?" At a high level, that's the "real" game in Fate.
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