What Version Is This?

Since late 2012, there has been only one version of Fate from Evil Hat: Fate Core System, the fourth edition of the system.

Ah, but what about Fate Accelerated, the perspicacious Fate afficionado might ask? Thing is, that’s Fate Core too—it’s the same system, just with different dial settings (i.e., configuration options/flavors) for stress tracks, the skill list, stunts, and NPC design. Any apparent differences in the _core functions_of the system are due to accidents of parallel development and can be considered unintentional—with apologies to the rules lawyers out there! If a conflict between the designs exists, Fate Core System is the authority.

These two perspectives on Fate Core come together here, in Fate Condensed—very literally, in fact. Condensed began as the Accelerated text, minus all of the Accelerated dial settings, replaced by Core’s. From that starting-point we applied eight years of community-play experience to refine and clarify. That effort produced some minor differences as noted on page XX, but whether you choose to play with them or without, the system is still Fate Core at the end of the day. We feel Condensed is an improvement for sure, but there are no edition wars to be had here (and please don’t try to start one). It’s all Fate Core.

What Came Before

Fate started as a hack of the Fudge system circa 2000, a culmination of a few fevered conversations Fred Hicks and Rob Donoghue had about what they might do to run another Amber game. The versions that arose between then and 2005 were free, digital, and released to the Fudge community online to a surprisingly enthusiastic reception. These spanned from “Fate Zero” up to Fate 2.0.

Then, Jim Butcher offered them a chance to create an RPG based on the Dresden Files, triggering the establishment of Evil Hat as a company and a new take on the Fate system, first seen in Spirit of the Century (2006) and eventually The Dresden Files RPG (2010). The version of Fate found in both those (and thanks to open licensing, a number of others) was Fate 3.0.

The effort to extract the system (by Leonard Balsera and Ryan Macklin) to present it on its own led to many improvements, and that gave us Fate Core.


In one form or another, Fate has always been open-licensable. You can find details about licensing Fate for your projects at http://www.faterpg.com/licensing

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