Fate Core

Elevator Pitch: Fractal-esque game about using story Aspects to drive fiction.

Core Resolution Mechanic: 4dF + Skill vs. Difficulty

Dice Used: 4 fudge dice


Fate Core is a “generic” system, focusing on pulp-y action story-gaming. It’s a refinement of the fundamental system underlying Spirit of the Century, Starblazer Adventures, the upcoming Atomic Robo RPG, and many others. As such, it’s extensible for a wide variety of other games and genres, with a focus on those defined by proactive heroes who drive their own narratives.

System Features

Everything in Fate is defined by Aspects, short tags that define story elements which players can exploit or have used against them. Players manipulate aspects to create advantages or take down threats by spending Fate Points, while the GM can compel them to act in accordance with their aspects or those on the scene, but in doing so have to give them Fate Points.

Characters also have Skills, which are added to rolls even when you’re not invoking an Aspect for a bonus, and Stunts, which are more situational bonuses that let them do even more remarkable things. Successful attacks generate Stress, which a character can only take a certain amount of without being taken out, but which they can instead take Consequences (negative aspects granting free invokes to their creators) instead to negate.

The core feature of Fate Core is the Fate fractal, which is that essentially everything can be modeled using similar rules to a character. This allows the game to do all sorts of crazy things, from modeling firefighting to doing giant robot battles in space, with comparatively little tinkering.

Getting the Game

You can get the PDF on a pay-what-you-want basis from the Evil Hat Website or DriveThruRPG.

You can also get the book + pdf from Evil Hat.

Fate Core

Ann Arbor Game Day zcipher