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Aspects and Fate Points
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An aspect is a phrase that describes something unique or noteworthy about whatever it’s attached to. They’re the primary way you spend and gain fate points, and they influence the story by providing an opportunity for a character to get a bonus, complicating a character’s life, or adding to another character’s roll or passive opposition.
The primary way you’re going to use aspects in the game is to invoke them. If you’re in a situation where an aspect is beneficial to your character somehow, you can invoke it.
In order to invoke an aspect, explain why the aspect is relevant, spend a fate point, and you can choose one of three benefits:
- Take a +2 on your current skill roll after you’ve rolled the dice.
- Reroll all your dice.
- Pass a +2 benefit to another character’s roll, if it’s reasonable that the aspect you’re invoking would be able to help.
- Add +2 to any source of passive opposition, if it’s reasonable that the aspect you’re invoking could contribute to making things more difficult. (You can also use this to create passive opposition at Fair if there wasn’t going to be any.)
The other way you use aspects in the game are called compels. If you’re in a situation where having or being around a certain aspect means your character’s life is more dramatic or complicated, someone can compel the aspect.
That aspect can be on your character, the scene, location, game, or any other aspect that’s current available.
In order to compel an aspect, explain why the aspect is relevant, and then make an offer as to what the complication is. You can negotiate the terms of the complication a bit, until you reach a reasonable consensus. Whoever is getting compelled then has two choices:
- Accept the complication and receive a fate point
- Pay a fate point to prevent the complication from happening
Fate points are one of your most important resources in Fate – they’re a measure of how much influence you have to make the story go in your character’s favor.
When your aspects come into play, you will usually spend or gain a fate point.
You can spend fate points to invoke an aspect, to declare a story detail, or to activate certain powerful stunts.
You earn fate points by accepting a compel on one of your aspects.