Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Many crime stories feature a particular kind of foreshadowing and plot twist: Early in the story, you see a character doing something significant, but the scene cuts away before you find out what it is. You don't find out what happened until the climax, when the character reveals the crazy plan that they set up after the cutaway. There's often a brief flashback to the missing part of the establishing scene. It's a staple of heist stories – Leverage does it almost every episode.

How can I model these cutaway prep scenes in Fate?

share|improve this question
    
+1. Unless your cutaway scene is fairly close to the present (thus predictable) or you aply some serious railroading, you might have trouble getting there in the first place. Note that I like the idea of doing it, just that every time I tried it did not quiet work. –  Sardathrion Jun 5 '13 at 12:33

3 Answers 3

Declare Story Detail

Fate Core (page 13) talks about Declaring a Story Detail. This is where you spend a Fate point to say that something is true, provided you can relate it to one of your aspects. Convenient coincidences are a common use of this feature.

This could, all on its own, be plenty. Spend a Fate point to retroactively narrate your cutaway prep scene as the setup for the story detail you're declaring.

Drawbacks: No setup, it's all done retroactively, so no tension. And no limit on doing it, so the "special" feeling of the heist cutaway is lost.

Advantages: Simple! Nothing new! Plug and play!

share|improve this answer
    
+1, no need to invent something esoteric when system already has all the tools. If you need something 'special' you can expand it to resemble Leverage flashback scenes. –  illotum Jun 6 '13 at 17:15

Because this plot device is the hallmark of certain characters, you can model it with a stunt that creates a rule exception. Cutaway prep scenes most resemble creating an advantage, except that you don't know just what the advantage is until it comes into play much later.

Mastermind: Once per scenario, when you are not in a challenge, contest, or conflict, you can spend a fate point to end the scene and create a hidden advantage. At any later time, you may create an aspect with two free invocations as if you had created an advantage and succeeded with style.

When you reveal the hidden advantage, the aspect should be related to the cutaway scene, but you can attach it to a character or environment that wasn't present at the time if you can reasonably justify it.

share|improve this answer
    
This stunt is my best attempt at modeling the plot device, but it isn't playtested. Feedback is welcome. –  Bradd Szonye Jun 5 '13 at 12:11
    
+1 to this, only because this is a perfect stunt for making a recurring Pulp Villain that always manages to elude death! –  Professor Caprion Mar 22 at 14:22

I like the "hidden advantage" stunt idea, but it seems a little lackluster. This is going to break out of the "standard stunt" template even more, but for a once/scenario stunt (instead of once/session) I think it needs to.

It looks like the idea is that at some point when you have extra narrative power (Fate points) to blow, you can basically bank it for a rainy day, with interest.

  • Assumption: When a PC is cashing in on this stunt, he's out of FP.
  • Assumption: Based on the heist concept, this should be a 1/scenario instead of 1/session stunt. Your answer's example seems to agree.
  • Assumption: Again from the heist conceit, the stunt should be used early and cashed in on as late as possible in the story.
  • Assumption: The cash-in should be expected to successfully reverse fortune in most instances.

Now, free invocations are lovely and can stack in ways regular invocations can't, but Fate points are much more versatile: They can become invokes OR story details OR compels OR buyout from compels...

Luck In The Bank: Once per scenario, when you are not in a challenge, contest, or conflict, you can spend a fate point to end the scene and create a "hidden" aspect. At any later time you may "reveal" this aspect by determining what it is. You get one free invocation on the aspect when it is revealed, and gain one Fate point for every session since the one in which you created it. (If you reveal the aspect in the same session you created it, you instead get 1 FP for every scene since the one in which you created it.)

When you reveal the hidden aspect, it should be related to the cutaway scene, but you can attach it to a character or environment that wasn't present at the time if you can reasonably justify it.

I feel okay with making this stunt more powerful than most, because it's 1/scenario and should make up for basically having a dud stunt slot in every other scene for the entire scenario. The parenthetical FP-per-scene version is for one-shot games; if your scenario lasts more than 1 session, I strongly suggest that you encourage players to wait at least until the next session before cashing in. It's more dramatic that way.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.