(This is my eighth basic FATE Tutorial, you can find the seventh here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100212613856984996154/posts/DAqxjd2BDWy

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FATE Tutorial 8: Combat, Part 1

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Combat in FATE is pretty simple, once we’ve got all the elements down. The rolls are the same 4dF (FUDGE/FATE Dice x 4) as any other roll, Aspects get invoked, Manuevers, Assessments and Declarations are used, we end up giving and getting Consequences to prevent Shifts of Stress and being Taken Out. Very jargon-heavy, but all those elements can be found in earlier tutorials. We’re going to start very simple, and get progressively more complicated.

Sarah is going to punch Charles in the face. She is going to use her Fists ability of Fair (+2) to clobber him. Charles does not want to be punched in the face! He’s is going to use his Athletics ability of Fair (+2) to dodge Sarah’s punch. 

Sarah rolls a slightly-above-above average +1 on 4dF. That makes her punch Good (+3). If Charles rolls +1 (making his dodge Good as well) he gets hit but not for any damage (this will be important when weapons are introduced), but if he rolls anything less than +1 (and remember, 4dF goes from -4 to +4) he gets hurt. Anything above +1 means Charles has successfully dodged.

But Charles rolls +0, making his dodge Fair (+2). Since Sarah has +1 Shift above Charles’ dodge, she does 1 Shift of damage to his physical Stress. Enough Stress and Charles is taken out.

That’s combat in a nutshell. Boring, simple combat. Let’s make it a little more interesting. On Charles’ turn, he swings the stolen police baton he took from Sarah’s SUV. He wants Sarah out of the picture ASAP, and her punch has him worried. 

Charles rolls 4dF + his Weaponry ability of Fair (+2), for a total of (+3). Sarah defends with her Athletics of Fair for a total of (+3). If Charles were unarmed he would hit, but for +0 Shifts of Stress.

But Charles is armed! His police baton is worth a Weapon rating of 2. That means Charles does at least 2 Stress anytime he hits, even if he hits with +0 Shifts

Sarah isn’t interested in taking any Stress, and decides to take a mild Consequence of [Bruised Shoulder]. Remember, mild Consequences are worth 2 Stress, so she doesn’t take a single Shift.

On Sarah’s turn, she draws her gun. Since she also wants to shoot Charles this turn, drawing her gun becomes what is called a Supplemental Action. Anytime you do something minor in addition to your normal action, it’s Supplemental. It has to be something that doesn’t require a roll, or a character’s entire attention (so no guessing Aspects, you rascal!), but is more than complex than talking. All a Supplemental Action does is take -1 from the results of the roll you make in the same turn. 

So Sarah draws her gun, and fires! She rolls +1 on 4dF and has a Guns of Fair (+2). Normally, this would be a total of +3, or a Good shot, but she has to deal with the -1 from from her Supplemental Action

That’s 2 (from her Guns ability) + 1(from her rolling 4dF) - 1 (Supplemental Action) = 2, for a Fair result. Pretty easy! 2 + 1 - 1 = 2. 

Since Charles has a Fair (+2) Athletics ability, he only has to roll a +1 to completely dodge. Which he very much wants to do since Sarah’s pistol is huge! Easily a Weapon rating of 3. That’s a lot of automatic Stress on a hit.

But poor Charles rolls a -1, for an Average (+1) result on his Athletics roll to not get shot. That means Sarah will do +1 Stress before the HUGE PISTOL’s damage is even factored in. Since Charles only has 4 Shifts of Stress before he’s Taken Out this means Sarah has effectively oneshot him. He’s going to die if he doesn’t do something.

But Charles has options. He could take a moderate Consequence to eat all of that Stress, since moderate Consequences are worth all 4 of Sarah’s Shifts of Stress. It would end up being something like [Useless Bicep] or [Heavy Bleeding]. But Charles doesn’t want that, either. That’ll make it easier to get shot again!

Fortunately, Charles gave Sarah a [Bruised Shoulder], and since he’s the one that inflicted that Consequence, he gets to Tag it for free! Doesn’t even have to Assess it. Charles’ player says “Sarah’s shot would’ve been true if not for her [Bruised Shoulder]!” and wags his eyebrows triumphantly. That’s +2 to his Athletics roll, giving him a Good (+3) result! Since that exceeds Sarah’s Fair (+2) result, Charles dodges without a scratch. Since he avoids getting hit, the Weapon rating of 3 just doesn’t matter. She might as well be firing a Nerf dart-gun. The shot goes wild.

If Charles wanted to use Sarah’s [Bruised Shoulder] Consequence again, he’d have to spend a FATE Point

Stay tuned for the next episode! FATE Tutorial 8, part 2: Combat, where we’ll cover Aspects, unusual abilities in combat and cooperation. Maybe we’ll even touch a little on social and mental combat!
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