(This is my first FATE Tutorial! It's a little on the basic side, but I want to start things off with strong fundamentals. I haven't created my FATE Tutorials circle yet, so now's your chance to get in on the ground floor! As these progress they'll become more advanced and interactive. Let me know what you think! Please.)

FATE TUTORIAL 1: The Basics, But Mostly Dice

Okay, this is going to be way basic.

FATE uses a pretty simple mechanic for resolution. At its very core it’s [Whatever Character Ability We Want To Use] + [4dF], trying to meet a specific target number.

The first thing that makes FATE an odd duck is the [4dF], or four FATE dice (or FUDGE dice, as they’re more often called, but we’re going to use FATE dice for the purposes of repetition).
Each FATE die has three possible outcomes: Plus (which is a +1) , Minus (which is a -1), or Blank ( which is 0).

Every, single roll we will ever make will use all four of our FATE dice, regardless of penalties or bonus. A random roll might look something like: Plus, Plus, Minus, Blank. The end result of that particular roll is a +1 (the sum of all results), which we would add to our [Whatever Character Ability We Want To Use] per the earlier example. This gives our FATE dice a range of -4 (Minus, Minus, Minus, Minus) to +4 (Plus, Plus, Plus, Plus), and everything in-between.

To summarize, we roll [4dF], which can give us anything from -4 to +4, and add that to our [ability]. If the result meets or exceeds the number our Game Master has set, we succeed.

Charles is desperately trying to lift the fallen steel girder off his wounded leg, but smoke is beginning to fill the room and the temperature is steadily rising. Any second now, fire is going to eat the last few barriers between itself and Charles - time is of the essence!

As Charles’ player, our GM is wants us to roll a result of +3 total using our Might (the ability associated with heavy lifting), lest we be burned alive. Charles, like all characters in these examples, has a rating of Fair (+2) in Might. An additional +1 might not seem like much to ask for, but since it’s possible to have a negative result a +1 is a higher than average roll.

We’ll roll for poor Charles, and hope for the best! Regardless of Charles’ skill and situation, we roll all four FATE dice:

Plus, Blank, Plus, Minus (+1, 0, +1, -1) - a total of +1! Charles is saved.

With a grunt of effort, Charles manages to heft the girder up just enough to free his leg, and stumble free of the burning buildng.

Extra Credit: Don’t own any of the sometimes-difficult-to-find FATE dice? No problem! Standard d6s will work just fine. Just assume the pips/numbers represent the following Pluses, Minuses and Blanks:

1-2 Minus
3-4 Blank
5-6 Plus

Trivia: You’re statistically most likely to roll a sum of 0 with FATE dice! Plan accordingly!
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