3: Powered By Fate
Skills and Stunts
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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.
Fate defines skills in two ways – 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.
Basic Game Actions
Overcome: Tackle some kind of challenge, engaging task, or hindrance related to your skill.
Create an Advantage: Allows you to discover and create aspects, and lets you get free invocations of them.
Attack: You try to harm someone in a conflict physically, mentally, emotionally, or socially.
Defend: You try to keep someone from harming you, getting past you, or creating an advantage to use against you.
These are subject to change during Game and Character creation, but below is a list of skills that might be relevant to characters in 3: Powered By Fate. Each skill lists a number of default Stunts.
- Athletics – Physical fitness and moving your body
- Burglary – Stealing things and getting into places you shouldn’t
- Fight – Close-quarters combat
- Physique – Raw strength and endurance (affects physical stress and consequences)
- Ride – Handling mounts
- Shoot – Ranged combat
- Stealth – Avoiding detection, both hiding and moving about unseen
- Investigate – Finding things out through concentrated effort and in-depth scrutiny
- Lore – Knowledge and education
- Notice – Overall perception, picking out details at a glance
- Will – Mental fortitude (affects mental stress and consequences)
Magic Skills (We’ll talk about how to handle magic)
Alteration – Changing the world around you Conjuration – Summoning creatures and items from other worlds Destruction – Using the elements as weapons Illusion – Spells to trick the senses Restoration – Curative and protective spells
- Deceive – Lying to and misdirecting people
- Empathy – Knowing and being able to spot changes in a person’s mood or bearing
- Provoke – Eliciting a negative emotional response
- Rapport – Influencing people and getting them on your side with honest appeals
- Contacts – Knowing people and making connections through networking
- Crafts – Making stuff
- Resources – Applying your level of material wealth
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, etc.
Unlike skills, which are about the sort of things anyone can do in a campaign, stunts are about individual characters. Having stunts allows you to differentiate characters that have the same skills as one another.