Important concept for people coming to Fate Core from D&D-like games: Bad touch effects don't win the fight for you; you have permission to use bad touch effects because you already won.

I admit that I'm mixing my RPG terminology a bit in that I'm using a fan base term from Exalted to describe a related concept from D&D. But it's just so applicable. Because someone stabs you with a poisoned dagger, and the poison bypasses your hit points and does bad things. An undead monster touches you with its immaterial hand, and you lose a level. Etc. The long and short is that someone hits you with the effect (ie they touch you) and it does bad things. Ergo, bad touch.

Anyway, it's a thing that comes up a lot in conversations with new Fate players who come from that sort of game. Because it's a thing in some RPGs that you have a potentially huge pile of hit points (or whatever) and they're a measure of one way to defeat you. But! There are ways around your life bar. Someone can remove you from the fight while your HP are in good shape if they use the right spell. This is super pronounced with Rolemaster, where you almost never die of HP loss, because you're too busy having critical hits remove bits of your anatomy.

The thing is, Fate doesn't work like that. Your stress and consequences are things you need to get through before you can force someone to be defeated. You can't just slip around those with the right spell or attack and take someone out. If you want to force someone to lose, you have to get through their stress and consequences. Full stop.

(I'll note at this point that I keep saying, "Force you to lose," and the like. That's on purpose. Because people can consent to losing without going through their stress and consequences. But you don't get to force someone to lose, against their consent, without beating them into the ground. Unless of course your definition of loss is entirely separate from beating them down at all, which isn't really what I'm talking about right now.)

So when someone asks me how you, I don't know, make an attack that turns someone to stone with one hit, I have to explain the answer is simple: You don't. It doesn't work that way. You could make an attack that temporarily inflicted a status ailment in the form of an aspect, which would inconvenience them as much as any other aspect. You could inflict consequences that are more lasting aspects. You could have them concede the fight in some way that turns them to stone. You can even take them out by pounding through their life bar and kill them by having that look like being turned to stone. But you don't get to sneak around their stress and consequences and win by turning them into a statue forever more.

This is the point where I imagine some of you are saying, "And?" Well, there really isn't anything after this. Because this isn't for the people for whom that's already obvious. it's for the people who've been wondering how to do bad touch effects, or who might wonder that at some point soon, and who don't realize that it's the wrong question. It's a sort of public service message, if you will.
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