Hello! Dave here from Tangent Artist Tabletop. I’m taking a brief break from the world tour to explore a mechanic introduced in Save Game (see our review of it here). Specifically, I wanted to go over the mechanic of Locked Actions.
To explain: in Fate Core, there are 4 actions
- Overcome – Remove aspects and handle small threats
- Create an Advantage – Create a free aspect (without spending a fate point) with one or more free invokes; OR add invokes to an existing aspect.
- Attack – Used in conflicts to Deal stress / attempt to take an opponent out
- Defend – Used to defend against create-an-advantage or attack.
In the Fate Core, each skill in the default list can do at least 2 actions (Overcome and Create an advantage), while some can do 3-4 actions (adding attack and/or defend).
However, with the setting Save Game, the author Rob Wieland made it so that every skill has only 2 actions. Save Game has 11 skills. But, I wondered: how many unique 2-action skills could there be?
The answer is 6. Which, as coincidence would have it, is same number of approaches in Fate Accelerated. So, here’s an experimental version: FAE-Locked!
Each of the following approaches has access to the following actions:
- Overcome – Unlock locks; devise clever ways to bypass obstacles; trick minor NPCs.
- Create an Advantage – Create tools; confuse enemies; prep plans; bolster allies.
- Locked – Attack, Defend
- Overcome – Break obstacles; power through weaknesses; bully or subdue minor NPCs.
- Attack – Deal mental or physical stress with direct attacks to the target.
- Locked – Create an advantage, Defend.
- Overcome – Detangle dangerous situations; disarm bombs; remove complications.
- Defend – Carefully stay out of range of attacks and entanglements.
- Locked – Create an Advantage, Attack.
- Create an Advantage – craft flashy stories and distractions; bolster allies; create dazzling tools and plans.
- Attack – Overwhelm the opponent with attacks and displays.
- Locked – Overcome, Defend
- Create an Advantage – Sow rumors, create disguises, position self tactically.
- Defend – Use denial, obfuscation, and stealth to avoid detection and harm.
- Locked – Overcome, Attack
- Attack – Quickly shoot, strike, or insult without pause or analysis.
- Defend – Instinctively dodge attacks and attempts to hinder you.
- Locked – Overcome, Create an Advantage.
Exceptions: In some cases, it might be good the bend the rules; for example, during a Challenge, it makes sense to use any appropriate approach to overcome.
But, I’m sure you’re objecting, “But what if I want to attack with my Rogue using Sneaky?”
Fear not! Just like Save Game, we encourage players to create stunts that unlock an action for one of those approaches. We recommend phrasing the stunt in such a way to give the player almost-endless access to the Stunt, with a few rare exceptions (to keep things interesting).
Here are some examples:
Flashy – Unshakable Ego – Unlocks Overcome – You can use Flashy to overcome mental and social aspects (ex. Despair, fatigue, pain, bad reputation), or to overcome minor opponents in a non-violent way.
Forceful – Shiny Inspiration – Unlocks Create-an-Advantage – You can use Forceful to create an advantage, provided you have a bladed weapon near at hand.
Careful – Defense is A Good Offense – Unlocks Attack – You can careful to Attack, provided you are attacking an opponent who has attacked (or threatened to attack) you or someone else.
Clever – Elemental Wall – Unlocks Defend – Your elemental abilities allow you to throw up magical walls of ice and water. You can use Clever to defend against attacks and corporeal advantages; may not be used if the location has an aspect signifying that there’s no water nearby (ex. “Desert”; “Parched Land”; Sealed Bank Vault”)
Best of all, you can use this to create Reinforcement Stunts for players – phrased in such a way that new players are reminded of the right way to use an approach (and potentially cut down on Fate Debates).
Quick – Be Nimble – Unlocks Overcome – You can use Quick to make overcome actions, provided it deals with you moving or reacting quickly (ex. Nimbly jumping a fence; wriggling out of hold).
Careful – Plan Ahead – Unlocks Create Advantage – You can use Careful to create advantages, provided you are not rushed or distracted (ex. Not multitasking).
Sneaky – Surprise Attack – Unlocks Attack – You can use Sneaky to make physical and mental Attacks, provided the target is not expecting the attack (ex. You’re hidden; target is distracted; flanking the enemy).
That’s all we have for this post. Next time, we’ll be continuing on the Fate World Tour!
One thought on “Fate Hack – Locked Approaches”
This is absolutely brilliant. A rare nugget of gaming insight that only comes along once in a blue moon. Thank you . This take on Fate Accelerated Approaches helps resolve the problem of players exploiting one approach for EVERY situation. Like Cleverly attacking, defending, sneaking, charming, etc.