I'm new to RPGs, and have been studying the Fate manuals. So far so good, except a niggling question about failing dice rolls and fate points.

From my reading of the manual, to Create an Advantage, I pay a fate point and roll the dice. If I fail, the advantage aspect is either not created or created with a free invocation against me. But in this case do I still lose a fate point?

In favor of keeping the fate point, it seems expensive to cost two to invoke the aspect. But on the other hand, it's similar in cost to using an aspect to reroll the dice to get another lousy roll.

Then again, the fate point economy seems to be based on good things lose you a fate point, good things cost you one.

How does it actually work?


My best guess is that I combined two sections in my mind.

In the Fate Point Economy section on spending fate points, it reads:

You spend fate points in any of the following ways:

  • Invoke an Aspect: ....
  • Power a Stunt: ....
  • Refuse a Compel: ....
  • Declare a Story Detail: To add something to the narrative based on one of your aspects, spend a fate point.

And in Four Actions it reads:

Use the create an advantage action to make a situation aspect that gives you a benefit, or to claim a benefit from any aspect you have access to.

So, if these are not the same, when does a player Declare a story detail and when does she Create an advantage?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you please quote the particular lines of text you're trying to understand? I'd like to have some more details about your situation so I can be sure my answer will be helpful. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    May 27, 2017 at 2:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you provide an example? What happens in-game? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    May 27, 2017 at 12:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW updaed with some citations \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2017 at 17:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Since your update completely changes the question, it would be better to just leave it as it was and ask a new question. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2017 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


You don't have to pay a fate point to use the Create an Advantage action. I'm afraid you misread wherever you think you read that, as the Fate Core System rules say no such thing.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you add a citation or support to this answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – user27327
    May 27, 2017 at 4:26
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can't cite a non-existence. The Fate Core rulebook doesn't say you don't have to, but neither does it ever say you do, as the asker claims. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2017 at 4:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DerekStucki You can site the primary text of the section in question to illustrate that the statement doesn't exist in it. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2017 at 6:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DerekStucki I think you're right, and that leads to a change to the question... \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2017 at 17:13

You're right, you conflated two different mechanics. One of the cool things about Fate is that it often offers more than one mechanical tool for achieving similar story results, and this is such a case.

Declaring a story detail is a negotiation with the group whereby you spend a fate point to just have something be true. The only way it can fail is if the group agrees the thing you want to declare is somehow inappropriate for the kind of game being played. This mechanic takes no in-game time and doesn't give you any extra mechanical advantage like a free invoke.

Creating an advantage is an action you take by rolling dice, and its success offers some kind of benefit your character can exploit: either a new aspect with a free invoke, or a free invoke on an existing aspect. Creating an advantage can succeed or fail by the luck of the dice, so it's risky--but if you succeed, you get a free invoke for your trouble.

Both actions are about the player gaining some benefit by changing the narrative truth of the scene, but one is riskier and gives a mechanical benefit if it succeeds while the other is a surer thing with a more purely narrative, non-mechanical effect.


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