Skills and Stunts
- Defining Skills
- Defining Stunts
- Building Stunts
- The Default Skill List
A skill is a word that describes a broad family of competency at something—such as Athletics, Fighting, or Deceit—which your character might have gained through innate talent, training, or years of trial and error. Skills are the basis for everything your character actually does in the game that involves challenge and chance (and dice).
Skills are rated on the adjective ladder. The higher the rating, the better your character is at the skill. Taken together, your list of skills gives you a picture of that character’s potential for action at a glance—what you’re best at, what you’re okay at, and what you’re not so good at.
We define skills in two ways in Fate—in terms of the game actions that you can do with a skill, and the context in which you can use them. There are only a handful of basic game actions, but the number of potential contexts is infinite.
The Basic Game Actions
We cover these in more detail in Actions and Outcomes, but here’s a quick reference so that you don’t have to flip all the way over there right now.
Overcome: True to its name, you tackle some kind of challenge, engaging task, or hindrance related to your skill.
Create an Advantage: Whether you’re discovering something that already exists about an opponent or creating a situation that helps you succeed, Creating advantages allows you to discover and create aspects, and lets you get free invocations of them.
Attack: You try to harm someone in a conflict. That harm may be physical, mental, emotional, or social in nature.
Defend: You try to keep someone from harming you, getting past you, or creating an advantage to use against you.
There are also some special effects that some skills perform, such as giving you additional stress boxes for a conflict. See Physique and Will in the default skill list below for examples.
Even though there are only four actions that all skills adhere to, the skill in question lends context to the action. For example, both Burglary and Crafts (see the default skill list below) allow you create an advantage, but only under very different contexts—Burglary allows you to do it when you’re casing a place you’re about to break into, and Crafts allows you to do it when you’re examining a piece of machinery. The different skills let you differentiate the PCs’ abilities from one another a bit, allowing each person to have a unique contribution to the game.
A stunt is a special trait your character has that changes the way a skill works for you. Stunts indicate some special, privileged way a character uses a skill that is unique to whoever has that stunt, which is a pretty common trope in a lot of settings—special or elite training, exceptional talents, the mark of destiny, genetic alteration, innate coolness, and a myriad of other reasons all explain why some people get more out of their skills than others do.
Unlike skills, which are about the sort of things anyone can do in your campaign, stunts are about individual characters. For that reason, the next several pages are about how to make your own stunts, but we’ll also have example stunts listed under each skill in the Default Skill List.
Having stunts in your game allows you to differentiate characters that have the same skills one another.
Landon and Cynere both have a high Fighting skill, but Cynere also has the Warmaster stunt, which makes her better at creating advantages with the skill. This differentiates the two characters a great deal—Cynere has a unique capability to analyze and understand her enemies’ weaknesses in a way Landon doesn’t.
One might imagine Cynere starting a fight by testing an enemy with moves and jabs, carefully assessing her opponent’s limits before moving in for a decisive strike, whereas Landon is happy to wade in and chop away.
You can also use this to set apart a certain set of abilities as belonging to a dedicated few, if that’s something your setting needs. For example, in a contemporary setting, you might feel that there shouldn’t be a base skill that allows just anyone to have medical training. (Unless, of course, it’s a game about doctors.) However, as a stunt for another, more general knowledge skill (like Lore), you can have one character be “the doctor” if that’s what the player wants.
Stunts and Refresh
Taking a new stunt beyond the first reduces your character’s refresh rate by one.
In Fate, we allow players to take stunts during character creation, or leave open the option to take stunts during play. There are a number of example stunts listed under each skill entry below. These are not a hard and fast list; rather, they’re there to show you how to create your own (though you can certainly lift directly from the book if you’d like to).
We also have a definitive list of all the things that stunts can potentially do, to help you when you’re coming up with them for your game. When in doubt, look at the listed stunts for guidance, as well as those the example characters have.
Adding a New Action to a Skill
The most basic option for a stunt is to allow a skill to do something that it normally can’t do. It adds a new action onto the base skill in certain situations, for those with this stunt. This new action can be one that’s available to another skill (allowing one skill to swap for another under certain circumstances), or one that’s not available to any skill.
Here are some new action stunts:
- Backstab You can use Stealth to make physical attacks, provided your target isn’t already aware of your presence.
- The Fight in the Dog You can use Intimidation to enter the kinds of contests that you’d normally need Physique for, whenever your ability to psych your opponent out with the force of your presence alone would be a factor.
- You’re Never Safe You can use Burglary to make mental attacks and create advantages against a target, by staging a heist in such a way as to shatter their confidence in their security.
Adding a Bonus to an Action
Another use for a stunt is to give a skill to get an automatic bonus under a particular, very narrow circumstance, effectively letting a character specialize in something. The circumstance should be narrower than what the normal action allows, and only apply to one particular action or pair or actions.
The usual bonus is +2 to the skill total. However, if you want, you can also express the bonus gives as two shifts of additional effect after the roll succeeds, if that makes more sense. Remember, higher shifts on a roll allows your action to be more effective in certain ways.
You can also use this to establish any effect worth two shifts as an additional benefit of succeeding at the skill roll. This might be Fair (+2) passive opposition, the equivalent of a 2-point hit, a mild consequence, or an advantage that takes Fair (+2) opposition to remove.
Here ar some examples of adding a bonus to an action:
- Arcane Expert. Gain a +2 bonus to create an advantage using Lore, whenever the situation has specifically to do with the supernatural or occult.
- Lead in the Air You really like emptying clips. Any time you’re using a fully automatic weapon and you succeed at a Shooting attack, you automatically create a Fair (+2) opposition against sprint actions in that zone until your next turn, because of all the lead in the air.
- Child of the Court. Gain a +2 bonus to any attempt to overcome obstacles with Rapport, when you’re at an aristocratic function, such as a royal ball.
Creating a Rules Exception
Finally, a stunt can allow a skill to make a single exception, in a narrow circumstance, for any other game rule that doesn’t precisely fit into the category of an action. The Challenges, Contests, and Conflicts chapter is full of different little rules about the circumstances under which a skill can be used and what happens when you use them. Stunts can break those, allowing your character to stretch the boundaries of the possible.
The only limit to this is that a stunt can’t change any of the basic rules for aspects in terms of invoking, compelling, and the fate point econmy. Those always remain the same.
Here are some stunts that create rules exceptions:
- Ritualist. Use Lore in place of another skill during a challenge, allowing you to use Lore twice in the same challenge.
- Hogtie. When you use Crafts to create a Hogtied (or similar) advantage on someone, you can always actively oppose any overcome rolls to escape the hogtie, even if you’re not there. That’s how good your hogties are.
- Riposte. If you succeed with style on a Fighting defense, you can choose to inflict a 2-shift hit rather than take a boost.
Balancing Stunt Utility
If you look at most of the example stunts, you’ll notice that the circumstances under which you can use the stunt are pretty narrow compared to the base skills they modify. That’s the sweet spot you want to shoot for with your own stunts—you want them to be limited enough in scope that it feels special when you use them, but not so narrow that you never see them come up after you take them.
If the stunt effectively takes over one of the skill’s base actions, it’s not limited enough. You don’t want a stunt replacing the skill it modifies.
The two main ways to limit a stunt are by keeping its effects to a specific action or pair of actions (only creating an advantage or only attacks and defend rolls), or by limiting the situations in which you can use it (only when you’re among nobles, only when it deals with the supernatural, and so on).
For the best results, use both—have the stunt restricted to a specific action, which can only be used in a very specific in-game situation. If you’re worried about the situation being too narrow, back up and think of the ways the skill might be used in play. If you can see it being relevant to one of those things, you’re probably on the right track. If you can’t, you may need to adjust the stunt a little to make sure it’ll come up.
You can also restrict a stunt by only allowing it to be used once in a certain period of game time, such as once per conflict, once per scene, or once per session.
Lenny’s considering a stunt for Landon called “My Blade Strikes True,” with which he wants to add two shifts to any successful Fighting attack when he wields his personal, custom-forged family sword.
Amanda thinks it over. It fulfills all the criteria for limitations, but there’s one problem—neither Amanda nor Lenny can envision very many situations where Landon wouldn’t be using his heirloom sword. So he’d basically be able to use that stunt every time he attacked someone, which would replace the normal use of the Fighting skill. She decides that’s too much, and asks him to modify the stunt.
Lenny thinks about it, and says, “Well, how about if it lets me do that whenever I’m fighting a member of a rival family with my heirloom sword?”
Amanda asks, “Were we going to establish rival families to the Darkwoods in this game? I thought the point was for you guys to travel all over the place and get a bit lost in the world.”
Lenny agrees that it probably wouldn’t come up often enough, and thinks some more.
Then it comes to him. “How about this—what if, when someone uses their 2-point stress box to absorb one of my Fighting attacks with the sword, I can make them use their mild consequence instead?”
Amanda likes this, because it’ll come up in nearly every conflict Landon gets into, but it won’t be something he can take advantage of every exchange. She asks for a further restriction of one use per conflict, and they call it done.
On Landon’s sheet, Lenny writes:
- My Blade Strikes True. Once per conflict, you can force the opponent to use a mild consequence instead of a 2-point stress box on a successful Fighting attack with your heirloom sword.
If you want to get detailed about a particular kind of training or talent, you can create a stunt family for it. This is a group of stunts that are related to and chain off of each other somehow.
This allows you to create things like fighting styles or elite schools in your setting and represents the benefits of belonging to them. It also helps you get specific about what types of specialized competence are available, if you want to give your game a sense of having distinct “character classes”—so there might be an “Ace Pilot” or a “Cat Burglar” family of stunts.
Creating a stunt family is easy. You make one stunt that serves as a prerequisite for all the others in the family, qualifying you to take further stunts up the chain. Then, you need to create a handful of stunts that are all related somehow to the prerequisite, either stacking its effects or branching out into another set of effects.
Perhaps the simplest way of handling a related stunt is just making the original stunt more effective in the same situation:
- If the stunt added an action, narrow it further and give the new action a bonus. Follow the same rules for adding a bonus—the circumstances in which it applies should be narrower than that of the base action.
- If the stunt gave a bonus to an action, give an additional +2 bonus to the same action or add an additional two-shift effect to that action.
- If the stunt made a rules exception, make it even more of an exception. (This might be difficult depending on what the original exception is. Don’t worry, you have other options.)
Keep in mind that the upgraded stunt effectively replaces the original. You can look at it as a single super-stunt that costs two slots (and two refresh) for the price of being more powerful than other stunts.
Here are some stunts that stack:
- Advanced Warmaster (requires Warmaster) When you’re fighting anyone who is armed with a sword, you get a further +2 bonus to creating an advantage using Warmaster.
- Scion of the Court (requires Child of the Court) When you overcome an obstacle with Child of the Court, you may additionally create an advantage that describes how the general attitude turns in your favor, which you can use for the rest of the scene. If anyone wants to try and get rid of this aspect, they must overcome Fair (+2) opposition.
- Advanced Ritualist (requires Ritualist) You gain a +2 bonus when you use Lore in place of another skill during a challenge. This allows you to use Lore twice in the same challenge.
When you branch, you create a new stunt that relates to the original in terms of theme or subject matter, but provides a wholly new effect. If you look at stacking effects as expanding a stunt or skill vertically, you can look at branching effects as expanding them laterally.
If your original stunt added an action to a skill, a branching stunt might add a different action to that skill, or it might provide a bonus to a different action the skill already has, or create a rules exception, etc. The mechanical effect isn’t connected to the prerequisite stunt at all, but provides a complementary bit of awesome.
This allows you to provide a few different paths to being awesome that follow from a single stunt. You can use this to highlight different elements of a certain skill and help characters who are both highly ranked in the same skill to differentiate from each other by following different stunt families.
As an example of how this works, let’s take a look at the Deceit skill. If you look at the skill description, there are several avenues that we might enhance with stunts: lying, sleight of hand and misdirection, disguise, creating cover stories, or social conflict.
So let’s make our first stunt something like this:
- Fast Talk You get a +2 to overcome obstacles with Deceit, provided you don’t have to talk to the person you’re trying to deceive for more than a few sentences before blowing past them.
Here are some potential options for branching off of that stunt:
- Quick Disguise (requires Fast Talk) You’re able to put together a convincing disguise in a heartbeat, using items from your surroundings. You can roll Deceit to create a disguise without any time to prepare, in nearly any situation.
- Instant Cover (requires Fast Talk) You can whip up a cover story like no one’s business, even if you haven’t made an effort to establish it beforehand. Any time you overcome an obstacle in public using Deceit, automatically add a scene aspect representing your cover story, which you can use to your advantage the rest of the sceneand stick a free invocation on it.
- Hey, What’s That? (requires Fast Talk) Gain a +2 bonus whenever you’re using Deceit to momentarily distract someone, as long as part of the distraction involves saying something.
Every one of those stunts thematically relates to very quick, spontaneous uses of Deceit, but they each have a different flavor of awesome.
The Default Skill List
Here is a basic list of example skills for you to use in your Fate games along with example stunts tied to each. They’re the ones we’re using for all the examples in this book, and should give you a good foundation from which to tweak your own lists, adding and subtracting skills as best fits your setting. For more on creating your own skills, see the Extras chapter.
Each skill description contains a list of game actions that you can use the skill for. This list is not necessarily exhaustive—see our guidelines for what to do with unlisted actions on page XX.
The Athletics skill represents your character’s general level of physical fitness, whether through training, natural gifts, or genre-specific means (like magic or genetic alteration). It’s how good you are at moving your body. As such, it is a popular choice for nearly any action-y character.
Athletics is all but ubiquitous among every genre appropriate for Fate—it would only be unnecessary in a game that focused exclusively on interpersonal interaction and had no physical conflict.
Overcome: Athletics allows you to overcome any obstacle that requires physical movement—jumping, running, climbing, swimming, etc. If it resembles something you’d do in the decathlon, you’d roll Athletics. You use overcome actions with Athletics to move between zones in a conflict if there’s a scene aspect or other obstacle in your way. You’d also roll Athletics to chase or race in any contests or challenges that rely on these types of activities.
Create an Advantage: When you’re creating an advantage with Athletics, you’re jumping to high ground, running faster than the opponent can keep up with, or performing dazzling acrobatic maneuvers in order to confound your foes.
Attack: Athletics is not meant as an attack skill.
Defend: Athletics is a catch-all skill to roll for defense in a physical conflict, against close-quarters and ranged attacks. You can also use it to defend against characters trying to move past you, if you’re in a position to physically interfere with whoever’s making the attempt.
- Body Check You may use Athletics to charge an enemy at least two zones away, and your roll counts as a physical attack. If the enemy defends successfully, you can move into their zone regardless. You may only do this if your movement would otherwise have been unrestricted by a scene aspect.
- Hardcore Parkour. +2 to create advantages with Athletics if you are in a chase across rooftops or a similarly precarious environment.
- Roll with the Blow. When you succeed with style on a defend action against an opponent’s Fighting roll, you gain a scene aspect with a free invocation, as opposed to just a boost.
The Burglary skill covers your character’s aptitude for stealing things and getting into places that are off-limits.
In genres that rely on the use of a lot of technology, this skill also includes a proficiency in the related tech, allowing the character to hack security systems, disable alarm systems, and whatnot.
Overcome: As stated above, Burglary allows you to overcome any obstacle related to theft or infiltration. Bypassing locks and traps, pickpocketing and filching, covering your tracks, and other such activities all fall under the purview of this skill.
Create an Advantage: You can case a location with Burglary, to determine how hard it will be to break into and what kind of security you’re dealing with, as well as discover any vulnerabilities you might exploit. You can also examine the work of other burglars to determine how a particular heist was done, and create or discover aspects related to whatever evidence they may have left behind.
Attack: Burglary isn’t used for attacks.
Defend: Same here. It’s not really a conflict skill, so there’s not a lot of opportunity to use it to defend.
- Always a Way Out. +2 on Burglary rolls made to create an advantage whenever you’re trying to escape from a location.
- Security Specialist You can spend a few minutes beefing up security and otherwise creating counter-burglary measures on a particular security element, like a lock, computer system, or devious trap. Whenever someone tries to overcome your security, you’re entitled to resist their attempt with your own Burglary roll (even if you’re not present).
- Talk the Talk You can use Burglary in place of Contacts whenever you’re dealing specifically with other thieves and burglars.
Contacts is the skill of knowing people and making connections with people. It presumes proficiency with all means of networking available in the setting.
Overcome: You use Contacts to overcome any obstacle related to finding someone you need to find. Whether that’s old-fashioned “man on the street” type of work, polling your information network, or searching archives and computer databases, you’re able to hunt down people or somehow get access to them.
Create an Advantage: Contacts allows you to know who the perfect person to talk to is for anything you might need, or to decide that you know the perfect person already. It’s likely that you’ll create story details instead with this skill, represented by aspects. (“Hey, guys, my contacts tell me that Joe Steel is the Best Mechanic For A Thousand Miles—we should talk to him.”)
You can also create an advantage that represents what the word on the street is about a particular individual, object, or location, based on what your contacts tell you. These aspects almost always deal with reputation more than fact, such as Known as a Mean Guy or Notorious Swindler. Whether that person lives up to their reputation is anybody’s guess, though that doesn’t invalidate the aspect—people often have misleading reputations about themselves that complicate their lives.
Contacts could also be used to create aspects representing use of your information network to plant information or get you information to help in the conflict.
Attack: Contacts isn’t used for attacks; it’s hard to harm someone simply by knowing people.
Defend: Contacts can be used to defend against people creating social advantages against you, provided your information network can be brought to bear in the situation. You might also use it to keep someone from using Deceit or Contacts to go “off the grid”, or to interfere with Investigation attempts to find you.
- Ear to the Ground. Whenever someone initiates a conflict against you in an area where you’ve built a network of contacts, you can roll Contacts against a Fair (+2) difficulty. If you succeed, you automatically go first in the conflict because you got a tip-off that it was coming.
- Rumormonger. +2 to create an advantage when you plant vicious (and likely untrue) rumors about someone else.
- The Weight of Reputation You can use Contacts instead of Intimidation to create advantages based on the fear generated by the sinister reputation you’ve cultivated for yourself and all the shady associates you have. You should have an appropriate aspect to pair with this stunt.
Crafts is the skill of working with machinery, for good or ill.
The default skill is called Crafts because it’s what we use in the examples, but this skill might vary a great deal depending on the setting and what kind of technology is available. In a modern or sci-fi setting, this might be Engineering or Mechanics instead.
Overcome: Crafts allows you to build, break, or fix machinery, presuming you have the time and tools you need. Often, actions with Crafts happen as one component of a more complex situation, making it a popular skill for challenges. For example, if you’re just fixing a broken door, neither success nor failure is interesting; you should just succeed and move on. Now, if you’re trying to get your car to start while a pack of werewolves is hunting you…
Create an Advantage: You can use Crafts to create aspects representing features of a piece of machinery and create aspects that work to your advantage, whether that’s pointing out a useful feature or strength (Rugged Construction, Armor-Plated) or a vulnerability for you to exploit (Flaw in the Cross-Beam, Hasty Work).
Creating Crafts advantages can also take the form of quick and dirty sabotage or jury-rigging on mechanical objects in the scene. For example, you might create a Makeshift Pulley to help you get to the platform above you, or throw something into the ballista that’s firing on you to give it a Jammed Pivoting Joint and make it harder to hit you.
Attack: You probably won’t use Crafts to attack in a conflict, unless the conflict is specifically about using machinery, like with siege weaponry. GMs and players, talk over the likelihood of this happening in your game if you have someone who is really interested in taking this skill. Usually, weapons you craft are likely to be used with other skills to attack—a guy who makes a sword still needs Fighting to wield it well!
Defend: As with attacking, Crafts doesn’t block, unless you’re somehow using it as the skill to control a piece of machinery that you block with.
- Always Making Useful Things. Whenever you’re in a situation that demands a certain tool, you may make an overcome roll to declare that you retroactively happen to have one on hand. If you succeed with style, you can add an boost to that item as per normal.
- Better than New!. Whenever you succeed with style on an overcome action to repair a piece of machinery, you gain a scene aspect instead of just a boost.
- Collateral Damage You can use Crafts to attack people physically, provided there are machines and structures in the area that you can use to cause them damage (for example, steam pipes that could be ruptured, wires that could be severed, portcullises that could be dropped).
Deceit, naturally, is the skill about lying to and misdirecting people.
Overcome: Most of the time, you use Deceit to bluff your way past someone or to give a false impression. This often happens in situations where the stakes aren’t high enough for a contest or conflict, but you still want to roll to see if things get complicated or not. More complicated cons might involve a contest or challenge, as you layer the deception to achieve your goal.
Deceit is the skill you use for determining if a disguise works, whether on yourself or others. You’ll need to have the time and supplies to create the desired effect.
You can also use Deceit to do small tricks of sleight-of-hand and misdirection.
Create an Advantage: You might use Deceit to obtain information from someone who (falsely) believes you to be trustworthy. This is more likely to get you story details than an aspect, but if the information represents a tangible advantage, it might net you an aspect.
You can also use Deceit to declare a false impression you’re putting forward as an aspect. So, if you’re undercover at a royal ball, you might use Deceit to declare a Wealthy Noble Cover Story on the scene, to help you mingle with the guests.
Deceit can apply to creating distractions, momentary bluffs, or any other form of misdirection, similar to declaring a false impression above. You might also use Deceit in physical conflict for feints and fake-outs, allowing you to put an enemy Off-Balance and capitalize on that.
Attack: Deceit is an indirect skill that creates a lot of opportunities you can capitalize on, but doesn’t do direct harm to an individual.
Defend: You can use Deceit to defend against efforts made to discern your true motives with the Empathy skill, and throw off Investigation attempts with false information.
- Lies upon Lies. +2 to create a Deceit advantage against someone who has believed one of your lies already during this session.
- Mind Games You can use Deceit to make mental attacks against an opponent, provided you have some form of leverage or ammunition in the form of an aspect representing your opponent’s weakness.
- One Person, Many Faces. Whenever you meet someone new, you can spend a fate point in order to declare that you’ve met that person before, but under a different name and identity. Create an aspect to represent your cover story, and you can use Deceit in place of Rapport whenever interacting with that person.
The Drive skill is all about operating vehicles and things that go fast.
Like Crafts, how the Drive skill appears in your games is going to depend a lot on how much action you intend to have inside of vehicles or other forms of transportation, and what kind of technology is available in your setting.
For example, a low-tech setting (like our example setting) might have Ride instead of Drive, because the main transportation is animal-based. A futuristic setting revolving around people in a space opera military might have Drive (for cars), Pilot (for starships), and Operate (for tanks or heavy military vehicles).
Overcome: Drive is the equivalent of Athletics when you’re in a vehicle—you use it to successfully accomplish movement in the face of difficult circumstances, like rough terrain, small amounts of clearance, or stunt driving. Obviously, Drive is also ripe for contests, especially chases and races.
Create an Advantage: You can use Drive to determine the best way to get somewhere in a vehicle, and a good enough roll might allow you to learn features of the route that get expressed as aspects, or declare that you know a Convenient Shortcut or something similar.
You can also just read the Athletics description, and then make it about a vehicle. Advantages created using Drive often revolve around getting good positioning, doing a fancy maneuver (Did A Barrel Roll, anyone?), or putting your opponent in a bad spot.
Attack: Drive isn’t usually used as an attack skill (though stunts can certainly alter this).
Defend: Avoiding damage to a vehicle in a physical conflict is one of the most common uses of Drive. You can also use it to defend against advantages being created against you or sprint actions by someone trying to get past you in a vehicle.
- Hard to Shake. +2 to Drive whenever you’re pursuing another vehicle in a chase scene.
- Pedal to the Metal You can coax more speed out of your vehicle than seems possible. Whenever you’re engaged in any contest where speed is the primary factor (such as a chase or race of some kind), when you tie with your Drive roll it’s considered a success. In addition, you can spend a fate point whenever you roll an actual success in order to turn it into a success with style.
- Ramming Speed! You can use Drive (and your vehicle) to attack another vehicle by ramming it or sideswiping it. There’s inherent danger in taking such a foolhardy action though; unless you succeed with style, your vehicle gets a scene aspect representing the damage done to it. If you fail or tie, you have to fill your vehicle’s lowest consequence slot instead. Fortune favors the bold!
Empathy involves knowing and being able to spot changes in a person’s mood or bearing. It’s basically the emotional Notice skill.
Overcome: You don’t really use Empathy to overcome obstacles directly—normally, you find out some information with it, and then use another skill to act. In some cases, though, you might use Empathy like you would Notice, to see if you catch a change in someone’s attitude or intent.
Create an Advantage: The main strength of this skill, you can use Empathy to read a person’s emotional state and get a general sense of who they are, presuming you have some kind of interpersonal contact with them. Most often, you’ll use this to assess the aspects that are on another character’s sheet, but sometimes, you’ll also be able to create new aspects, especially on one of the NPCs. If the target has some reason to be aware that you’re trying to read them, they can defend with Deceit or Rapport.
You can also use Empathy to try and discover what circumstances will allow you to do mental attacks on someone, figuring out their breaking points.
Attack:. Empathy can’t really be used in this capacity.
Defend: This is the skill to go to in order to defend against Deceit actions, allowing you to pierce through lies and see through to someone’s true intent. You can also use it to defend against those creating social advantages against you in general.
Special: Empathy is the main skill you use to help others recover from social and mental consequences.
- Lie Whisperer. +2 to all Empathy rolls made to discern or discover lies, whether they’re directed at you or someone else.
- Nose for Trouble You can use Empathy instead of Notice to determine your initiative in a conflict, provided you’ve gotten a chance to observe or speak to those involved for at least a few minutes beforehand during this scene.
- Psychologist. Once per session you can reduce someone else’s consequence by one level of severity (severe into moderate, moderate to minor, minor to nothing at all) by succeeding on an Empathy roll with a difficulty of Fair (+2) for a minor consequence, Good (+3) for moderate, or Great (+4) for severe. You need to be able to talk with the person you’re treating for at least half an hour in order for them to receive the benefits of this stunt, and you can’t use it on yourself.
The Fighting skill covers all forms of close-quarters combat (in other words, within the same zone), both unarmed and using weapons. For the ranged weapons counterpart, see Shooting.
Overcome: Since you don’t really use Fighting outside of a conflict, it’s not often used to overcome obstacles. You might use it to display your fighting prowess in a demonstration, or to participate in some kind of regulated bout or sport fighting, which would allow you to use this skill in a contest.
Create an Advantage: You’ll probably use Fighting for most of the advantages you create in a physical conflict. Any number of special moves can be covered with advantages, whether it’s a targeted strike to stun, a “dirty move”, disarming, and so on; you could even use Fighting to assess another fighter’s style, spotting weaknesses in his or her form that you can exploit. See Challenges, Contests, and Conflicts for more examples of advantages in a conflict—most of the ones listed you can do with Fighting.
Attack: This is self-explanatory. You make physical attacks with Fighting. Remember, this is for close-in work, so you have to be in the same zone as your opponent.
Defend: You use Fighting to defend against any other attack or advantage attempt made with Fighting, as well as pretty much any action where violently interposing yourself could prevent it from happening. You can’t use this skill to defend against Shooting attacks, unless the setting is fantastical enough that you can catch missles or swat them from the air or use laser swords to deflect blasters.
- Heavy Hitter. When you succeed with style on a Fighting attack, you gain a full scene aspect with a free invocation, instead of just a boost.
- Hurled Weapon You can use Fighting in order to throw melee weapons into adjacent zones. Doing so puts a scene aspect called Disarmed on you, which you have to deal with, but no one gets to invoke that for free.
- Killing Stroke. Once per scene, when you force an opponent to take a consequence, you can spend a fate point to increase the severity of the consequence that he must take (so minor becomes moderate, moderate becomes severe). If your opponent was already going to take a severe consequence, he must either take a severe consequence and a second consequence or be taken out.
Intimidation covers your character’s ability to inspire fear in others, effectively using the threat of violence to cow or manipulate them. Particularly heinous individuals might include torture as part of their Intimidation attempts.
This skill requires that your opponents can feel fear—robots and zombies typically can’t be imtimidated. Usually, they can’t deliberately intimidate you, either.
Overcome: You can use Intimidation to scare someone into getting what you want, whenever the GM frames the situation as an obstacle rather than a contest or a conflict. This will often happen when you’re going up against nameless NPCs or it isn’t worthwhile to play out the particulars.
Create an Advantage: You use Intimidation to get information out of someone with the use of threats, which could take the form of an aspect. You might also learn a target’s aspects by seeing how they respond to your intimidation attempt.
Intimidation also allows you to psych people out in a conflict, force them into a defensive posture, startle them, or otherwise use your intimidating presence to create an advantage. In a conflict, it allows you to bring in particular threats or circumstances in the scene to enhance the effect of your efforts, like brandishing a weapon or reminding the target that you’re isolated.
Attack: You can make mental attacks with Intimidation, to destroy the confidence and resolve of an opponent. Keep in mind that your relationship with the target and the circumstances you’re in figure a great deal into whether or not you can use this skill.
However, Intimidation doesn’t require an Empathy roll to know how to get to your opponent beforehand—negative emotion is a universal enough language that as long as you’re in the right situation, you can make mental attacks.
Not all attacks with Intimidation have to take the form of cowing the opponent—you can also use it to provoke another uncontrolled, negative emotional response like anger or loss of composure.
Defend: Intimidation will protect you against mental attacks made against you, by making the attacker hesitate. Keep in mind that to do this, you need to be in a position to intimidate the attacker in return—it’s hard to use Intimidation when you’re bound and gagged, for example.
- Armor of Fear You can use Intimidation to defend against Fighting attacks, but only until the first time you’re dealt stress in a conflict. You can make your opponents hesitate to attack, but when someone shows them that you’re only human your advantage disappears.
- Provoke Violence. When you create an advantage on an opponent using Intimidation, you can use your free invocation to become the target of that character’s next relevant action, drawing the attention away from another target.
- Torturer. +2 to Intimidation attacks made to deal mental stress, provided you have implements of torture you can use against your target.
Investigation is the skill you use to find things out. It’s a counterpart to Notice—whereas Notice revolves around situational alertness and surface observation, Investigation revolves around concentrated effort and in-depth scrutiny.
Overcome: Investigation obstacles are all about information that’s hard to uncover for some reason. Analyzing a crime scene for clues, searching a cluttered room for the item you need, even pouring over a musty old tome to try and find the passage that makes everything make sense.
Racing against the clock to collect evidence before the cops show up or disaster occurs is a classic way to use Investigation in a challenge.
Create an Advantage:. Investigation is probably one of the most versatile skills that you can use to create an advantage, because as long as you’re willing to take the time, you can find out just about anything about anyone, or discover nearly any detail about a place or object. Likewise, it provides you a lot of power to make up aspects about nearly anything in the game world that your character could reasonably unearth.
Because that sounds broad, consider the following as just a few of the possibilities: eavesdropping on a conversation, looking for clues at a crime scene, examining records, verifying the truth of a piece of information, conducting surveillance, and researching a cover story.
Attack: Investigation isn’t used to make attacks.
Defend: Same here.
- Attention to Detail You can use Investigation instead of Empathy in order to defend against attempts to use Deceit against you. What others discover through gut reactions and intuition, you learn through careful observation of microexpressions.
- Eavesdropper. On a successful Investigation roll to create an advantage by eavesdropping on a conversation, you can discover or create one additional aspect (though this doesn’t give you an extra free invocation).
- The Power of Deduction. Once per scene you can spend a fate point (and a few minutes of observation) to make a special Investigation roll representing your potent deductive faculties. You may discover or create an aspect for each shift you make on this roll, on either the scene or the target of your observations, though you may only invoke one of them for free.
The Lore skill is about knowledge and education. As with some other skills, it’s called Lore because that fits the particular flavor of our examples—other games might call it Scholarship, or Academics, or something like that.
If your game has a reason to prioritize different fields of knowledge as being separate from one another, you might have several skills that follow the same basic template. For example, you might have a Lore skill that’s reserved for supernatural and arcane knowledge, and a Scholar skill for more traditional education.
Overcome: You can use Lore to overcome any obstacle that requires applying the knowledge that your character has to achieve a goal. For example, you might roll Lore to decipher some ancient language on a tomb wall, under the presumption that your character might have researched it at some point.
Frankly, you can use Lore as a go-to skill any time you need to know if your character can answer a difficult question, where some tension exists in not knowing the answer.
Create an Advantage: Like Investigation, Lore provides a lot of very flexible opportunities to create advantages, provided you can research the subject in question. More often than not, you’ll be using Lore to get a story detail, some obscure bit of information that you uncover or know already, but if that information gives you an edge in a future scene, it might take the form of an aspect. Likewise, you can use Lore to make create advantages based on any subject matter your character might have studied, which gives you a fun way to add details to the setting.
Attack: Lore isn’t used in conflicts.
(In our examples, the magic that Zird the Arcane uses is based on Lore, so that’s a unique exception to this—he could conceivably use Lore for magical attacks and defenses. See the Extras chapter for more details about ways to do magic and powers.)
Defend: Lore isn’t used to defend.
- I’ve Read about That! You’ve read hundreds – if not thousands – of books on a wide variety of topics. You can spend a fate point to use Lore in place of any other skill for one roll or exchange, provided you can justify having read about the action you’re attempting.
- Shield of Reason You can use Lore as a defense against Intimidation attempts, provided you can justify your ability to overcome your fear through rational thought and reason.
- Specialist. Choose a field of specialization, such as herbology, criminology, or zoology. You get a +2 to all Lore rolls relating to that field of specialization.
The Notice skill involves just that—noticing things. It’s a counterpart to Investigation, representing a character’s overall perception, ability to pick out details at a glance, and other powers of observation. Usually, when you use Notice, it’s very quick compared to Investigation, so the kinds of details you get from it are more superficial, but you also don’t have to expend as much effort to find them.
Overcome: You don’t really use Notice to overcome obstacles too often but when you do it’s used in a reactive way: noticing something in a scene, hearing a faint sound, spotting the concealed gun in that guy’s waistband.
Note that this isn’t license for GMs to call for Notice rolls left and right to see how generally observant the players’ characters are; that’s boring. Instead, call for Notice rolls when succeeding would result in something interesting happening and when failure would result in something just as interesting happening.
Create an Advantage: You use Notice to create aspects based on direct observation—looking over a room for details that stand out, finding an escape route in a debris-filled building, noticing someone sticking out in a crowd, etc. When you’re watching people, Notice can tell you what’s going on with them externally; for internal changes, see Empathy. You might also use Notice to declare that your character spots something that you can use to your advantage in a situation, such as a convenient Escape Route when you’re trying to get out of a building, or a Subtle Weakness in the enemy’s line of defense. For example, if you’re in a barroom brawl you could make a Notice roll to say that you spot a puddle on the floor, right next to your opponent’s feet, that could cause him to slip.
Attack: Notice isn’t really used for attacks.
Defend: You can use Notice to defend against any uses of Stealth to try and get the drop on you or ambush you, or to discover that you’re being observed.
- Danger Sense. At the start of any physical conflict that would normally be a surprise for you, you’re entitled to make a free Notice roll to create an advantage based on the fact that you’re not as surprised as the enemy thinks you should be.
- Keen Hearing. +2 on Notice rolls made to detect sounds.
- Reactive Shot You can use Notice instead of Shooting to make quick, reactive shots that don’t involve a lot of aiming. However, because you’re having a knee-jerk reaction, you’re not allowed to concretely identify your target before using this stunt. So, for example, you might be able to shoot at someone you see moving in the bushes with this stunt, but you won’t be able to tell if it’s friend or foe before you pull the trigger. Choose carefully!
The Physique skill is a counterpart to Athletics, representing the character’s natural physical aptitudes, such as raw strength and endurance. In our example game, we have this skill broken out as something separate in order to create two distinct types of physical characters—the nimble guy (represented by Athletics) and the strongman (represented by Physique).
In your game, you might not find this distinction necessary, but if that’s the case, keep in mind that you’ll still want the players to be able to make these distinctions somehow.
Overcome: You can use Physique to overcome any obstacles that require the application of brute force, which most often lets you overcome a scene aspect on a zone, or any other physical impedance, like prison bars or locked gates. Complex obstacles might be required to smash, break, or otherwise bypass something that’s reinforced. Of course, Physique is the classic skill for arm-wrestling matches and other contests of applied strength, as well as marathons or other endurance-based challenges.
Create an Advantage: Physique has a lot of potential in physical conflict for advantages, usually related to grappling and holding someone in place, making them Pinned or Locked Down You might also use it as a way of discovering physical impairments possessed by the target—grappling the old mercenary tells you that he has a Bum Leg or somesuch.
Attack: Physique is not used to harm people directly—see the Fighting skill for that.
Defend: Though you don’t generally use Physique to defend against attacks, you can use Physique to provide active opposition to someone else’s movement, provided you’re in a small enough space that you can effectively use your body to block access. You might also interpose something heavy and brace it to stop someone from sprinting.
Special: The Physique skill gives you additional physical stress or consequence slots. Average or Fair gives you a 3-point stress box. Good or Great gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb and above give you an additional mild consequence slot in addition to 4-pointadditional stress boxes.
- Grappler. +2 to Physique rolls made to create advantages on an enemy by wrestling or grappling with them.
- Take the Blow You can use Physique to defend against Fighting attacks made with fists or blunt instruments, though you always take 1 shift of stress on a tie.
- Tough as Nails. Once per session you can reduce the severity of a moderate physical consequence to a mild physical consequence, or erase a mild physical consequence altogether, at the cost of a fate point.
The Rapport skill is all about influencing people and getting them on your side. Unlike Deceit, it mainly relies on the use of honest appeals and natural charisma, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s just for nice guys—people can manipulate and affect you by being straightforward just as much as they can by lying to you.
Overcome: Like Deceit and Intimidation, you use Rapport to get what you want out of people, in situations where it’s not interesting or dramatic to play out a contest or a conflict. Whether it’s convincing a city guard to leave you alone via your charm, flattering a politician with just the right words, ingratiating yourself to the locals in a tavern, or calming down an otherwise tense situation, Rapport is the skill to use.
Create an Advantage: You might use Rapport to get information out of someone you’re interacting with, by coming across as a trustworthy individual. While this will more often result in story details, if the information has a tangible benefit to you, you might represent it as an aspect such as Talkative or Helpful.
Attack: Rapport isn’t typically used for attacks.
Defend: You can use Rapport to defend against attempts made to create advantages against you with Rapport or Deceit. Talking your way out of situations is your bread and butter, and as such, you know how to turn hostile words against themselves. As long as the situation is verbal in nature, you can use this against Intimidation as well.
You have to dig deeper in order to defend against mental attacks—see the Will skill for that.
- Best Foot Forward. +2 to any Rapport roll made against a target whom you’ve been able to prepare to meet.
- Haggle. Provided your Resources is no lower than 2 shifts below the difficulty of the roll, you can use Rapport instead of Resources to buy things from stores and individual merchants.
- Popular. Once per scene, when you meet someone for the first time, you can make a Rapport roll against a Fair (+2) difficulty to declare that you already know them and are on good terms with them. Place an aspect to this effect on the target, but you don’t get any free invocations on that aspect.
Resources describes your character’s general level of material wealth in the game world and ability to apply it. This might not always reflect cash on hand, given the different ways you can represent wealth in a particular setting—in a medieval game, it might be tied to land or vassals as much as gold; in the modern day, it might mean a number of good lines of credit.
This skill is in the default list to give you a basic, easy way to handle wealth as an abstraction without getting into minutiae or bookkeeping. Some people might consider it odd to give a static skill rating for something that we’re used to seeing as a finite resource. If that bothers you, see the sidebar below for suggestions on how to create limitations on Resources use.
Overcome: You can use Resources to get yourself out of or past any situation where throwing money at the problem will help, such as committing bribery and acquiring rare or expensive things. Complex obstacles or contests might involve auctions or bidding wars.
Create an Advantage: You might use Resources to grease the wheels and make people more friendly, whether that represents an actual bribe (I Scratch Your Back . . . or simply buying drinks for people (In Vino Veritas). You can also use Resources to declare that you have something you need on hand, or can quickly acquire it, which could give you an aspect representing the object.
Attack: Resources isn’t used for attacks.
Defend: Resources isn’t used to defend.
- Money Talks You can use Resources instead of Rapport in any situation where ostentatious displays of material wealth might aid your cause.
- Savvy Investor. Whenever you create an advantage with Resources that represents a return on investments you’ve made, you can invoke that aspect for free one additional time.
- Trust Fund Baby. Once per session, you may take a boost representing a windfall or influx of cash, and you get one additional free invocation on it before it’s gone.
The counterpart to Fighting, Shooting is the skill of using ranged weaponry, either in a conflict or on targets that don’t actively resist your attempts to shoot them (like a bull’s-eye or the broad side of a barn).
Again, as with Fighting, if it’s important to your setting to divide up different types of ranged weaponry, you might separate this out into skills like Bows, Guns, Energy Weapons, etc. Don’t go nuts with this unless it’s key to your game.
Overcome: Unless, for some reason, you need to demonstrate your Shooting ability in a non-conflict situation, you probably won’t be using this skill for normal obstacles much. Obviously, contests involving Shooting are a popular staple of a lot of adventure fiction, and we recommend you look for the opportunity to have them if you have a character who specializes in this.
Create an Advantage: In physical conflict, Shooting can be used to perform a wide variety of moves, like trick shots, keeping someone under heavy fire, and the like. In cinematic games, you might even be able to disarm people and pin their sleeves to walls—pretty much anything you’ve seen in an action movie. You could also make the argument for creating aspects based on your knowledge of guns (like placing a Prone to Jams aspect on an opponent’s gun).
Attack: This skill makes physical attacks. You can make them from up to two zones away, unlike with Fighting. (Sometimes the range will change with the weapon.)
Defend: Shooting is unique in that it doesn’t really have a defense component to it—you’d use Athletics for that. You could use it to lay down some covering fire though, which might act as a defense for your allies or a way to provide opposition to someone else’s movement, though it could just as easily be represented by creating an advantage (Covering Fire or Hail of Bullets, for example).
- Called Shot. During a conflict, spend a fate point and declare a specific condition you want to inflict on a target, like “Shot in the Hand”. If you succeed, you place that as a scene aspect on them in addition to hitting them for stress.
- Quick on the Draw You can use Shooting instead of Notice to determine initiative in any physical conflict where shooting quickly would be useful.
- Uncanny Accuracy. Whenever you invoke a scene aspect that represents accuracy or aim on a Shooting attack roll, you can remove that aspect in order to increase the severity of the consequence that your target must take. If your target would just take stress, she’ll take a mild consequence instead; if she’d normally take a severe consequence, she’s taken out.
The Stealth skill allows you to avoid detection, both in hiding in place and moving about unseen. It pairs well with the Burglary skill.
Overcome: You can use Stealth in order to get past any situation that primarily depends on you not being seen. Sneaking past sentries and security, hiding from a pursuer, keeping yourself from leaving evidence as you pass through a place, and any other such uses all fall under the purview of Stealth.
Create an Advantage: You’ll mainly use Stealth to create aspects on yourself, setting yourself in an ideal position for an attack or ambush in a conflict. That way, you can be Well-Hidden when the guards pass by and take advantage of that, or Hard to Pin Down if you’re fighting in the dark.
Attack: Stealth isn’t used to make attacks.
Defend: You can use this to foil any Notice attempt to try and pinpoint you or seek you out, as well as to try and throw of the scent of an Investigation attempt from someone trying to track you.
- Face in the Crowd. +2 to any Stealth rolls made to lose yourself in a large crowd of people.
- Ninja Vanish. Once per scene you can spend a fate point to roll Stealth and vanish. When you vanish, you can’t be targeted by attacks or attempts to create advantages against you unless the attacker first beats your Stealth roll with a Notice roll. The effect ends when your next turn starts, or if someone beats your Stealth roll.
- Slippery Target. Provided you’re in darkness or shadow, you can use Stealth to defend against Shooting attacks from enemies that are at least one zone away.
The Will skill represents your character’s general level of mental fortitude, the same way that Physique represents your physical fortitude.
Overcome: You can use Will to pit yourself against obstacles that require mental effort. Puzzles and riddles can fall under this category, as well as any mentally absorbing task, like deciphering a code. Use Will when it’s only a matter of time before you overcome the mental challenge, and Lore if it takes something more than brute mental force to get past it. Many of the obstacles that you go up against with Will might be complex, to reflect the effort involved.
Contests of Will might reflect particularly challenging games, like chess, or competing in a hard set of exams. In settings where magic or psychic abilities are common, contests of Will are popular occurrences.
Create an Advantage: You can use Will to place aspects on yourself, representing a state of deep concentration or focus.
Attack: Will isn’t really used for attacks, although in settings where you allow psychic abilities, full-on psychic conflict might be something you can do with this skill. That’s the sort of thing that would be added to this skill by taking a stunt.
Defend: Will is the main skill you use to defend against mental attacks from Deceit, Rapport, or Intimidation, representing you holding onto your convictions at all cost.
Special: The Will skill gives you additional mental stress boxes or consequence slots. Average or Fair gives you a 3-point stress box. Good or Great gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb and above give you an additional mild consequence slot in addition to the 4-point stress boxes.
- Sleep when you’re Dead You can use Will instead of Physique whenever you’re trying to resist any effect having to do with fatigue, exhaustion, or sleep deprivation.
- Hard Boiled. Once per session you can choose to ignore a mild or moderate consequence for the duration of the scene. It can’t be compelled against you and can’t be invoked by your enemies. At the end of the scene it comes back worse, though; if it’s a mild consequence it becomes a moderate consequence. If it was already moderate, it becomes severe.
- Indomitable. +2 to Will rolls made to defend against Intimidation attacks made to deal mental stress to you.
The Four Actions
Cynere’s Character Sheet
Filling Stunts in Play
GMs, sometimes you’re going to want to create a list of stunts for your game beforehand, if you have some particular set of abilities you want to reinforce as being important or unique to your game that the players can reference during character creation. Usually, you’ll do this as part of creating extras; see Extras for more details.
Just because you have a stunt doesn’t mean you always have to use it when it becomes relevant. Using a stunt is always a choice, and you can opt not to use a stunt if you don’t think it would be appropriate or you just don’t want to.
For example, Landon has a stunt that allows him to use Fighting in place of Athletics when defending against arrows and other missile attacks. Whenever he’s attacked by an archer, he can choose to use Figthing – or he can simply use Athletics as anyone else would. It’s entirely his choice.
Succeed with Style
Challenges, Contests, and Conflicts
Aspects and Fate Points
Fate Point-Powered Stunts
Another way to restrict how often a stunt comes into play is to have it cost a fate point to use. This is a good option if the desired stunt effect is very powerful, or there doesn’t seem to be a good way for you to change the wording of the stunt to make it come up less often in play.
Our best advice for determining what really powerful means is that it either goes beyond the specified limits we gave above (so, if it adds a new action to a skill and a bonus), or significantly affects conflicts. Specifically, almost any stunt that allows you to do extra damage in a conflict should cost a fate point to use.
Extras as Skills
Creating Setting With Skills
Skills are one of your primary mechanical ways to reinforce the setting you’re using or creating for your game. The skills provided in this list are deliberately generic so that they can be used in a variety of settings, and the stunts provided continue this trend by not being tied to any particular setting.
When you’re creating your own setting for use with Fate, you should also create your own skill list. The default list we provide is a good starting point, but creating skills specific to your world an help make your world seem richer by reinforcing the story with mechanics. Stunts, too, should reflect the kinds of abilities available in your world.
You might decide that Athletics is inappropriate for defense against firearms or other high-tech ranged weapons in your setting. There really isn’t any other skill that defends against them, though. If you make this decision, it will make those weapons very, very dangerous. Or have another skill defend against them.
So Many Crafts…
If working with different types of tech is important to your game, you might have several of these skills in your list. So, a futuristic game might have Engineering, Cybernetics, and Biotechnology, all basically with the same moves available for their respective type of tech. In such a game, an individual character can’t be proficient at all of them without expending a lot of skill ranks.
If you’re going to do this, make sure that you have a reason for it besides pedantry—if the only thing that splitting the skills gets you are the same effects with different names, you should keep it more generalized and use stunts to handle the specialties..
If building constructs and creating items is a big part of your game, check out Extras, for a discussion of what might result from the use of Crafts.
Different Vehicles, Different Skills
The advice is the same as for Crafts—don’t go nuts with reskinning this skill unless it makes a real, tangible difference in your game. Especially consider the option of having one skill that’s modified by stunts (see Building Stunts.)
The Art(S) Of Fighting
It’s a given that most games that you play with Fate will feature a decent amount of action and physical conflict. This is another area of emphasis, like with the Crafts skill, where the skills you choose to have for combat speak volumes on what your game’s about.
In the examples, we’ve got Fighting and Shooting as separate skills, to give us a basic division without getting too much into minutiae. Notably, though, this suggests that fighting with a weapon and fighting bare-handed are pretty much the same—there’s no inherent advantage in doing one over the other. It’s a pretty common choice to further separate unarmed and armed melee, like Fists and Weapons.
You could specialize even further, if you wanted different classes of weapons to have their own skills (Swords, Polearms, Axes, Plasma Guns, Slugthrowers, etc.), but again, we recommend you not go too crazy with this unless it’s really important to your setting. Specialized weapon use can also be modeled by using stunts.
Stress and Consequences
If someone is using the Resources skill a bit too often, or you just want to represent how continually tapping into your source of wealth provides diminishing returns, you can try one of the following ideas:
Roll to create “advantages” against the character after any use of Resources, using their Resource level as your rating. The character can use Resources to defend. If they fail to defend, they take an aspect that reflects their temporary loss of wealth, like Dead Broke or something similar.
Every time the character succeeds at a Resources roll, decrease the skill by one level for the remainder of that session. If they succeed at a Resources roll at Mediocre (+0), they can no longer make any Resources rolls that session.
If you really want to get crazy, you can make finances a category of conflict and harm, giving the character stress for having a high score, but we don’t recommend you get that far into it unless you plan to make having material wealth a major part of your game.
Adding a New Action to a Skill
Stress and Consequences