For example:

  • Smouldering Cart (scene aspect)
  • Snow Wolf (opponent): Master of the Tundra.
  • Gimli (PC): Master of Axes.

Gimli Attacks the Wolf, and spends 2 Fate Points to invoke the Smouldering Cart and the Wolf's Master of the Tundra (it doesn't like heat), giving him a Success with Style.

The player narrates how these Aspects help him by Gimli shoulder-barging the Wolf into the cart. The shifts are taken as usual, and the player doesn't want to down-shift to gain a boost.

In my head the Wolf has cinders in its fur (sounds like an Aspect). It's off-balance (sounds like a Boost). Or maybe the cart has exploded into pieces, leaving a big patch of ash and cinders across the area. (sounds like a scene Aspect).

Now, I'd probably just pick one and create it with a free invocation for Gimli. But that's going way beyond the rules in print, right? Is it okay to go beyond the letter of the law, or should it be up to the players to find these Advantages themselves? How far is too far?

There are ways for these things to come out naturally within the rules:

  • Cinders in Fur could be a Minor Consequence that comes from the shifts of harm.
  • Off-Balance could be left out unless they choose to down-shift. (That's not so bad.)
  • Hot Ash could be an Advantage discovered by a player so they can use it later. (But I feel like I want that to be a thing, as the GM--as part of my narration of the battle, to make things even more interesting.)

I don't want to unbalance things in the players' favour by giving them free Aspects all over the place. But at the same time, it would be fun to have a dynamic battlefield, and to be able to embellish cool moves with added details the players can use also.

up vote 4 down vote accepted

"In my head (there are all these narrative details)."

And that's all they are. They aren't invokable unless a Rule made it so. When the player decided not to gain a Boost by not down-shifting, they used the rules as intended to get the result they wanted (more shifts of damage against the wolf).

But was that enough to give the wolf a Consequence? (Cinders In Its Fur, with a free invoke.) If the hit didn't deal the wolf a Consequence, the player shouldn't get a free invoke and the narrative detail shouldn't rise to the level of invokable Aspect to use against the wolf later.

"Off Balance" would be the Boost, if the player had elected to take it, but he didn't, so, no free invoke on this either.

The cart exploding and creating a scene hazard Aspect is certainly something the GM is allowed to just do. It can cut both ways, both for or against the player. But it wouldn't be invokable for free by either side, not for any reason within the rules anyway.

I don't recommend going beyond the rules and giving away boosts or consequences to players whose actions within the rules haven't earned them.

  • Okay, that's fair enough. What happens to logical details though? Like, "I pull his trousers down with a Flashy Attack (player wants this to work towards putting him out of the fight rather than given an advantage to a future action). ...Success." As there is no aspect or boost or anything regarding his trousers being around his ankles... does it have no effect on the scene? He can fight and jump and do whatever he likes, even though his trousers are around his ankles? – Whothehellisthat Jul 25 '17 at 21:23
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    If your player wants to pull down someone's pants, that's not an Attack, it's an Overcome. If the player wants to hobble the guy, that's a Create Advantage attempt. The result on success would be the Aspect of "Hobbled by pants". – Beanluc Jul 25 '17 at 23:36
  • What I mean is, sometimes it could be any of the actions. Think of kids up against a high-school bully. Pulling down his pants could make him the laughing stock of the school, and put him out of the fight (making it an Attack). Or it could be to hobble him while they gain the upper hand (Create Advantage). Or they may be trying to get past him up the stairs and just make him waste time pulling his trousers up (Overcome). Or it could be as a response to him wailing on one of their friends (Defend). Depending on the context, any of these could be the action taken. – Whothehellisthat Jul 26 '17 at 9:28
  • But any of them would result in his trousers being round his ankles, which would make sense to be a Boost/Aspect of some kind. Would it be correct in thinking that depending on which action they go with, the trousers round the ankles is just a non-issue? So if no Boost/Aspect is created, he just pulls them up or steps out of them with no harm done? – Whothehellisthat Jul 26 '17 at 9:30
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    The trousers around the ankles IS a non-issue unless one of the rule-driven game mechanics makes it an issue. If the player wants pants-around-ankles to be a hindrance to the adversary or a benefit to their own side, they need to Create Advantage or else legitimately get a Boost (a success with style on an Attack action could result in a Boost like this, as long as the player can come up with a way which depantsing someone deals Stress). Otherwise, without a full-blown Aspect or a Boost, then, narrating pants-down is fine but the adversary just recovers from it. – Beanluc Jul 26 '17 at 19:07

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