Skills And Stunts

Defining Skills

A skill is a word that describes a broad family of competency at something—such as Athletics, Fight, or Deceive—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 them, 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 allow you to 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.

Defining Stunts

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 as one another.

Landon and Cynere both have a high Fight 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.

Landon and Cynere both have a high Fight 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 three reduces your character’s refresh rate by one.

Building Stunts

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 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.

GMs, if you have some particular set of abilities you want to reinforce as being important or unique to your game, you’re going to want to create a list of stunts that the players can reference during character creation. Usually, you’ll do this as part of creating extras; see the Extras chapter for more details.

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 Provoke 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.

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, you could have a stunt that allows you to use Fight in place of Athletics when defending against arrows and other missile attacks. Whenever you’re attacked by an archer, you can choose to use Fight—or simply use Athletics as anyone else would. It’s entirely your choice.

Adding A Bonus To An Action

Another use for a stunt is to give a skill 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 of actions.

The usual bonus is +2 to the skill total. However, if you want, you can also express the bonus as two shifts of additional effect after the roll succeeds, if that makes more sense. Remember, higher shifts on a roll allow 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 are 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 magazines. Any time you’re using a fully automatic weapon and you succeed at a Shoot attack, you automatically create a Fair (+2) opposition against movement in that zone until your next turn, because of all the lead in the air. (Normally, you’d need to take a separate action to set up this kind of interference, but with the stunt, it’s free.)
  • 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.

Players, when you’re building stunts that give an action bonus, look out for situations that seem like they’d only come up rarely in play. Like, the Arcane Expert stunt above would be inappropriate if your game doesn’t deal with the supernatural a lot, and Child of the Court will be useless if your campaign doesn’t deal with the nobility on a fairly regular basis. If you don’t think you’ll use the stunt at least twice in most of your game sessions, change the condition associated with the bonus.

GMs, it’s on you to help the players make sure their stunts see use—look at the conditions they choose here as a “laundry list” of stuff that you want to trend toward in your sessions.

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 economy. 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 (also using Crafts), even if you’re not there. (Normally, if you weren’t there, the escaping character would roll against passive opposition, making it a lot easier to escape.)
  • Riposte. If you succeed with style on a Fight 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 them 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 all 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 attack 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 the stunt being relevant to one of those uses, 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.

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 stress in a conflict should cost a fate point to use.

Lenny’s considering a stunt for Landon called “My Blade Strikes True.” He wants it to add two shifts to any successful Fight 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 Fight 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 Fight 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 Fight attack with your heirloom sword.

Stunt Families

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 competencies 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 the effects or branching out into another set of effects.

Stacking 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 a situation aspect that describes how the general attitude turns in your favor. 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.
Branching Effects

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 highly ranked in the same skill differentiate from each other by following different stunt families.

As an example of how this works, let’s take a look at the Deceive 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 Deceive, 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 Deceive 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 Deceive, automatically add a situation aspect representing your cover story, and stick a free invocation on it.
  • Hey, What’s That? (requires Fast Talk.) Gain a +2 bonus whenever you’re using Deceive 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 Deceive, 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 edge cases.

Skill List

SkillOvercomeCreate an AdvantageAttackDefend

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 can help make it seem richer by reinforcing the story with mechanics. Stunts, too, should reflect the kinds of abilities available in your world.

Skills And Gear

Some of the skills, like Shoot and Crafts, imply the need for gear. We presume by default that if you have a skill, you also have the tools you need to use it, and that the effectiveness of those tools is built into the skill result. If you want to make gear special, you’ll want to look at the Extras chapter.


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 roll Athletics. You use overcome actions with Athletics to move between zones in a conflict if there’s a situation aspect or other obstacle in your way. You 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.

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.

Athletics Stunts
  • Sprinter. You move two zones for free in a conflict without rolling, instead of one, provided there are no situation aspects restricting movement.
  • Hardcore Parkour. +2 to overcome actions with Athletics if you are in a chase across rooftops or a similarly precarious environment.
  • Dazing Counter. When you succeed with style on a defend action against an opponent’s Fight roll, you automatically counter with some sort of nerve punch or stunning blow. You get to attach theDazed situation aspect to your opponent with a free invoke, instead of 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

Burglary Stunts
  • 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 don’t have to be present to provide active opposition to someone trying to overcome security measures you put in place or worked on. (Normally, a character would roll against passive opposition for that.)
  • 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 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 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 that complicate their lives.

Contacts could also be used to create aspects that represent using your information network to plant or acquire information.

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 Deceive or Contacts to go “off the grid”, or to interfere with Investigate attempts to find you.

Contacts Stunts
  • Ear to the Ground. Whenever someone initiates a conflict against you in an area where you’ve built a network of contacts, you use Contacts instead of Notice to determine turn order, because you got tipped off in time.
  • Rumormonger. +2 to create an advantage when you plant vicious rumors about someone else. The Weight of Reputation. You can use Contacts instead of Provoke 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, pointing out useful features or strengths you can use to your advantage (Armor-Plated, Rugged Construction) 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 Fight to wield it well!

Defend: As with attacking, Crafts doesn’t defend, unless you’re somehow using it as the skill to control a piece of machinery that you block with.

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 is the same effects with different names, you should keep it more generalized and use stunts to handle the specialties.

Crafts Stunts
  • Always Making Useful Things. You don’t ever have to spend a fate point to declare that you have the proper tools for a particular job using Crafts, even in extreme situations (like being imprisoned and separated from all your stuff). This source of opposition is just off the table.
  • Better than New! Whenever you succeed with style on an overcome action to repair a piece of machinery, you can immediately give it a new situation aspect (with a free invoke) reflecting the improvements you’ve made, instead of just a boost.
  • Surgical Strikes. When using Crafts in a conflict involving machinery, you can filter out unwanted targets from whole-zone attacks without having to divide up your shifts (normally, you’d need to divide your roll between your targets).

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.


Deceive is the skill about lying to and misdirecting people.

Overcome: Use Deceive to bluff your way past someone, or to get someone to believe a lie, or to get something out of someone because they believe in one of your lies. For nameless NPCs, this is just an overcome roll, but for PCs or named NPCs, it requires a contest, and the target opposes with Empathy. Winning this contest could justify placing a situation aspect on your target, if buying into your lie could help you in a future scene.

Deceive 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. (Note: This is mainly a Hearts of Steelthing; in some games, this may not be appropriate for Deceive by default and should require a stunt.)

You can also use Deceive to do small tricks of sleight-of-hand and misdirection.

Create an Advantage: Use Deceive to create momentary distractions, cover stories, or false impressions. You could feint in a swordfight, putting an opponent Off-Balance and setting you up for an attack. You could do the whole, “What’s that over there!” trick to give you a Head Start when you run away. You could establish a Wealthy Noble Cover Story for when you attend a royal ball. You could trick someone into revealing one of their aspects or other information.

Attack: Deceive is an indirect skill that creates a lot of opportunities you can capitalize on, but it doesn’t do direct harm to an individual.

Defend: You can use Deceive to throw off Investigation attempts with false information and to defend against efforts made to discern your true motives with the Empathy skill.

Deceive Stunts
  • Lies upon Lies. +2 to create a Deceive advantage against someone who has believed one of your lies already during this session.
  • Mind Games. You can use Deceive in place of Provoke to make mental attacks, as long as you can make up a clever lie as part of the attack.
  • One Person, Many Faces. Whenever you meet someone new, you can spend a fate point to declare that you’ve met that person before, but under a different name and identity. Create a situation aspect to represent your cover story, and you can use Deceive in place of Rapport whenever interacting with that person.
Social Skills And Other Characters

Many of the social skills have actions that let you change the emotional state of another character or make them accept some fact in the story (like believing one of your lies).

A successful use of a social skill does not confer the authority to force another character to act contrary to their nature or how the person controlling the character sees them. If another PC gets affected by one of your skills, the player gets input on how their character responds. They can’t negate your victory, but they can choose what it looks like.

So, you may successfully Provoke by getting in their face and screaming at them, intending to scare them into hesitation and create an advantage. But if the other player doesn’t imagine his character reacting that way, you should work out an alternative—maybe you make him so angry that he’s unbalanced by his rage, or you embarrass him by making a spectacle around him in public.

As long as you get your advantage, you’re fine. Use it as an opportunity to create story with other people, instead of shutting them down.


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 Hearts of Steel) 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).

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).

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.

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). If you want to ram a vehicle, you can attack with Drive, but you take the same shifts of harm you inflict.

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 overcome actions of someone trying to move past you in a vehicle.

Drive Stunts
  • 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) and you tie with your Drive roll, it’s considered a success.
  • Ramming Speed! When ramming another vehicle, you ignore two shifts of damage. So if you ram and hit for four shifts, you only take two yourself.


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: 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 on another character’s sheet, but sometimes you’ll also be able to create new aspects, especially on NPCs. If the target has some reason to be aware that you’re trying to read them, they can defend with Deceive or Rapport.

You can also use Empathy to discover what circumstances will allow you to make 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 Deceive 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 consequences that are mental in nature.

Empathy Stunts
  • 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 turn order 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 to moderate, moderate to mild, mild to nothing at all) by succeeding on an Empathy roll with a difficulty of Fair (+2) for a mild consequence, Good (+3) for moderate, or Great (+4) for severe. You need 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. (Normally, this roll would only start the recovery process, instead of changing the consequence level.)


The Fight 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 Shoot.

Overcome: Since you don’t really use Fight 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 Fight for most of the advantages you create in a physical conflict. Any number of special moves can be covered with advantages: a targeted strike to stun, a “dirty move,” disarming, and so on. You could even use Fight to assess another fighter’s style, spotting weaknesses in his or her form that you can exploit.

Attack: This is self-explanatory. You make physical attacks with Fight. Remember, this is for close-in work, so you have to be in the same zone as your opponent

Defend: You use Fight to defend against any other attack or create an advantage attempt made with Fight, 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 Shoot attacks, unless the setting is fantastical enough that you can catch missiles or swat them from the air or use laser swords to deflect blasters.

Fight Stunts
  • Heavy Hitter. When you succeed with style on a Fight attack and choose to reduce the result by one to gain a boost, you gain a full situation aspect with a free invocation instead.
  • Backup Weapon. Whenever someone’s about to hit you with a Disarmed situation aspect or something similar, spend a fate point to declare you have a backup weapon. Instead of a situation aspect, your opponent gets a boost, representing the momentary distraction you suffer having to switch.
  • Killing Stroke. Once per scene, when you force an opponent to take a consequence, you can spend a fate point to increase the consequence’s severity (so mild 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.
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 Fight and Shoot 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—into Fists and Weapons, for example.

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 extras.


Investigate is the skill you use to find things out. It’s a counterpart to Notice—whereas Notice revolves around situational alertness and surface observation, Investigate revolves around concentrated effort and in-depth scrutiny.

Overcome: Investigate 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 poring 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 Investigate in a challenge.

Create an Advantage: Investigate is probably one of the most versatile skills you can use to create an advantage. As long as you’re willing to take the time, you can find out just about anything about anyone, discover nearly any detail about a place or object, or otherwise make up aspects about nearly anything in the game world that your character could reasonably unearth.

If that sounds broad, consider the following as just a few of the possibilities for using Investigate: 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: Investigate isn’t used to make attacks.

Defend: Same here.

Investigate Stunts
  • Attention to Detail. You can use Investigate instead of Empathy to defend against Deceive attempts. What others discover through gut reactions and intuition, you learn through careful observation of microexpressions.
  • Eavesdropper. On a successful Investigate 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 Investigate roll representing your potent deductive faculties. For each shift you make on this roll you discover or create an aspect, 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, we called it 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 your character’s knowledge 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 Investigate, 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 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.

Lore Stunts
  • 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 Provoke 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 Investigate, 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 Investigate, 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 failing would result in something just as interesting.

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 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 get the drop on you or ambush you, or to discover that you’re being observed.

Notice Stunts
  • Danger Sense. You have an almost preternatural capacity for detecting danger. Your Notice skill works unimpeded by conditions like total concealment, darkness, or other sensory impairments in situations where someone or something intends to harm you.
  • Body Language Reader. You can use Notice in place of Empathy to learn the aspects of a target through observation.
  • Reactive Shot. You can use Notice instead of Shoot 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 to make with separate skills—though you might still let players make that distinction with stunts and aspects.

Overcome: You can use Physique to overcome any obstacles that require the application of brute force—most often to overcome a situation aspect on a zone—or any other physical impedance, like prison bars or locked gates. 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 for advantages in physical conflict, 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 Fight skill for that.

Defend: Though you don’t generally use Physique to defend against attacks, you can use it 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 getting through.

Special: The Physique skill gives you additional physical stress or consequence slots. Average (+1) or Fair (+2) gives you a 3-point stress box. Good (+3) or Great (+4) gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb (+5)and above give you an additional mild consequence slot along with the additional stress boxes. This slot can only be used for physical harm.

Physique Stunts
  • 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 Fight attacks made with fists or blunt instruments, though you always take 1 shift of stress on a tie.
  • Tough as Nails. Once per session, at the cost of a fate point, you can reduce the severity of a moderate consequence that’s physical in nature to a mild consequence (if your mild consequence slot is free), or erase a mild consequence altogether.


Provoke is the skill about getting someone’s dander up and eliciting negative emotional response from them—fear, anger, shame, etc. It’s the “being a jerk” skill.

To use Provoke, you need some kind of justification. That could come entirely from situation, or because you have an aspect that’s appropriate, or because you’ve created an advantage with another skill (like Rapport or Deceive), or because you’ve assessed your target’s aspects (see Empathy).

This skill requires that your target can feel emotions—robots and zombies typically can’t be provoked.

Overcome: You can Provoke someone into doing what you want in a fit of emotional pique. You might intimidate them for information, piss them off so badly that they act out, or scare them into running away. This will often happen when you’re going up against nameless NPCs or it isn’t worthwhile to play out the particulars. Against PCs or important NPCs, you’ll need to win a contest. They oppose with Will.

Create an Advantage: You can create advantages representing momentary emotional states, like Enraged, Shocked, or Hesitant. Your target opposes with Will.

Attack: You can make mental attacks with Provoke, to do emotional harm to an opponent. Your relationship with the target and the circumstances you’re in figure a great deal into whether or not you can use this action.

Defend: Being good at provoking others doesn’t make you better at avoiding it yourself. You need Will for that.

Provoke Stunts
  • Armor of Fear. You can use Provoke to defend against Fight 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 Provoke, you can use your free invocation to become the target of that character’s next relevant action, drawing their attention away from another target.
  • Okay, Fine! You can use Provoke in place of Empathy to learn a target’s aspects, by bullying them until they reveal one to you. The target defends against this with Will. (If the GM thinks the aspect is particularly vulnerable to your hostile approach, you get a +2 bonus.)


The Rapport skill is all about making positive connections to people and eliciting positive emotion. It’s the skill of being liked and trusted.

Overcome: Use Rapport to charm or inspire people to do what you want, or to establish a good connection with them. Charm your way past the guard, convince someone to take you into their confidence, or become the man of the hour at the local tavern. For nameless NPCs, this is just an overcome action, but you may have to enter a contest to sufficiently ingratiate yourself to a named NPC or PC.

Create an Advantage: Use Rapport to establish a positive mood on a target or in a scene or to get someone to confide in you out of a genuine sense of trust. You could pep talk someone into having Elevated Confidence, or stir a crowd into a Joyful Fervor, or simply make someone Talkative or Helpful.

Attack: Rapport doesn’t cause harm, so you don’t use it for attacks.

Defend: Rapport defends against any skill used to damage your reputation, sour a mood you’ve created, or make you look bad in front of other people. It does not, however, defend against mental attacks. That requires Will.

Rapport Stunts
  • Best Foot Forward. Twice per session, you may upgrade a boost you receive with Rapport into a full situation aspect with a free invocation.
  • Demagogue. +2 to Rapport when you’re delivering an inspiring speech in front of a crowd. (If there are named NPCs or PCs in the scene, you may target them all simultaneously with one roll rather than dividing up your shifts.)
  • Popular. If you’re in an area where you’re popular and well-liked, you can use Rapport in place of Contacts. You may be able to establish your popularity by spending a fate point to declare a story detail, or because of prior justification.


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 this sidebar for ways to limit Resources.

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 or acquiring rare and expensive things. Challenges 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.

Resources Stunts
  • Money Talks. You can use Resources instead of Rapport in any situation where ostentatious displays of material wealth might aid your cause.
  • Savvy Investor. You get an additional free invoke when you create advantages with Resources, provided that they describe a monetary return on an investment you made in a previous session. (In other words, you can’t retroactively declare that you did it, but if it happened in the course of play, you get higher returns.)
  • Trust Fund Baby. Twice per session, you may take a boost representing a windfall or influx of cash.
Limiting Resources

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:

Any time a character succeeds at a Resources roll, but doesn’t succeed with style, give them a situation aspect that reflects their temporary loss of wealth, like Thin Wallet or Strapped for Cash. If it happens again, just rename the aspect as something worse—Strapped for Cash becomes Dead Broke, Dead Broke becomes Debt to Creditors. The aspect is not a consequence, but it should make good compel fodder for characters who are shopping until they drop. It can go away if the character takes a break from spending cash, or at the end of the session.

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 give each character a wealth stress track, giving them extra stress boxes for having a high Resources, but we don’t recommend going that far unless you plan on making material wealth a major part of your game.


The counterpart to Fight, Shoot 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 Fight, if it’s important to your setting to make a distinction between 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 Shoot ability in a non-conflict situation, you probably won’t be using this skill for normal obstacles much. Obviously, contests involving Shoot are a popular staple 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 conflicts, Shoot 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 Fight. (Sometimes the range will change with the weapon.)

Defend: Shoot is unique in that it doesn’t really have a defence component to it—you’d use Athletics for that. You could use it to lay down some covering fire—which might act as a defence for your allies or 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).

Shoot Stunts
  • Called Shot. During a Shoot attack, 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 situation aspect on them in addition to hitting them for stress.
  • Quick on the Draw. You can use Shoot instead of Notice to determine turn order in any physical conflict where shooting quickly would be useful.
  • Uncanny Accuracy. Once per conflict, stack an additional free invoke on an advantage you’ve created to represent the time you take to aim or line up a shot (like In My Sights).


The Stealth skill allows you to avoid detection, both when hiding in place and trying to move about unseen. It pairs well with the Burglary skill.

Overcome: You can use Stealth to get past any situation that primarily depends on you not being seen. Sneaking past sentries and security, hiding from a pursuer, avoiding 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 Notice attempts to pinpoint you or seek you out, as well as to try to throw off the scent of an Investigate attempt from someone trying to track you.

Stealth Stunts
  • Face in the Crowd. +2 to any Stealth roll to blend into a crowd. What a “crowd” means will depend on the environment—a subway station requires more people to be crowded than a small bar.
  • Ninja Vanish. Once per scene, you can vanish while in plain sight by spending a fate point, using a smoke pellet or other mysterious technique. This places the Vanished boost on you. While you’re vanished, no one can attack or create an advantage on you until after they’ve succeeded at an overcome roll with Notice to suss out where you went (basically meaning they have to give up an exchange to try). This aspect goes away as soon as you invoke it, or someone makes that overcome roll.
  • Slippery Target. Provided you’re in darkness or shadow, you can use Stealth to defend against Shoot 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 made part of challenges, 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. That said, 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 Will by taking a stunt or extra.

Defend: Will is the main skill you use to defend against mental attacks from Provoke, representing your control over your reactions.

Special: The Will skill gives you additional mental stress boxes or consequence slots. Average (+1) or Fair (+2) gives you a 3-point stress box. Good (+3) or Great (+4) gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb (+5) and above give you an additional mild consequence slot along with the additional stress boxes. This slot can only be used for mental harm.

Will Stunts
  • Strength From Determination. Use Will instead of Physique on any overcome rolls representing feats of strength.
  • Hard Boiled. You can choose to ignore a mild or moderate consequence for the duration of the scene. It can’t be compelled against you or invoked by your enemies. At the end of the scene it comes back worse, though; if it was a mild consequence it becomes a moderate consequence, and if it was already moderate, it becomes severe.
  • Indomitable. +2 to defend against Provoke attacks specifically related to intimidation and fear.
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