So we tried out the Dresden Files RPG earlier. Overall, we had a great time. Some issues came up, though. Specifically, when you compel an aspect, the player has the choice to either accept the compel (gain a fate point) or spend a fate point to ignore the compel. What if the player has no fate points remaining? At that point, it feels cheesy to compel, as the GM winds up effectively railroading the character, frequently at a plot critical point. Is that the intention? Is this the risk you run when you spend your last fate point?
Yes, that is exactly the risk a character runs when they run out of fate points. Fate points represent a character's ability to modify... fate, or their free will. IF they don't have any fate points then they are locked into doing what their core character would do. This is the same as being an npc with 0 or less refresh, you are bound by your nature.
It may seem unfair for a GM to compel a character with no fate points, but the flip side is that the character now has a fate point to determine the outcome of a future situation.
A character out of fate is unable to reject a compel. He MUST accept it. Which will, of course, give him one to spend. But being that low should be rare.
A GM should not be limiting his compels to when a character is out of Fate Points. He should be offering compels any time the narrative makes them make sense.
Nor should the GM compel just because a player is out of Fate.
Compels should always and only be used when it makes either good story sense or good drama to do so.
Really, players should not be running out very often. If they are, you as a GM need to compel more during game, and work those aspects of theirs. If you are already working them a lot, then the players need to get over themselves and start accepting some. It's a balancing act... but so long as you're using compels that make sense in story, they should be fine.
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