I've been wanting to make a comical Fate one-shot, but never gotten the main mechanic to work, so looking for some suggestions.

My idea is a fantasy setting, but instead of being brave warriors and wizards, the players will run an inn/pub that has one last chance to save it from being closed down. The reason why they might get closed down can be decided with the players, (need to get they rent money, to many warnings from the sheriff, harboring rebels) what ever makes the tension right and sets up possible comical situations.

My dilemma is I need a "timer" or a stress track that would indicate how close the players are to failure. For instance, if it we're the "sheriff will shut them down if they make too much noise again" scenario then should be some kind of a stress track that goes down if the (for instance) band gets drunk and plays to loud, and then how many time can something happen until the sheriff kick in the door and closes the place. Plus, my hope is to make it a one-shot, something that can be played in a few hours.

I would love to hear your suggestions on how I could get a stress track to give tension and worry, and a timer that would indicate when play is over.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't really understand the question. What you describe is exactly what a normal stress track does, right? How are you envisioning it is different? \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Sep 28 '17 at 9:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik He's using it to measure not whether a character is Taken Out, but how close a mission is to failure. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Sep 28 '17 at 12:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you wanted to explore different games, this sounds like a good match for Follow: lamemage.com/follow \$\endgroup\$ – glenatron Oct 3 '17 at 12:20

Sounds like a job for the Fate Fractal

As detailed on p.270 in the Fate Core rules, the Bronze Rule — aka the Fate Fractal — lets you build the tavern like a character and give it a stress track of its own. Then, when the Sheriff or the townsfolk want to shut it down, let them attack it and try to "take it out," rendering it shut down. Aspects like "Too damn loud!" and "Free ale tonight!" could come into play, for example.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Might be worth linking to the original blog post on this topic, which explains it really well: faterpg.com/2011/the-core-of-fate-core \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Sep 28 '17 at 12:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik It's in the core book as well, and that one's gone through at least a round of editing. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Sep 28 '17 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ In that case, maybe a page number? The answer is a little light on information right now, even if you've gotten it right :) \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Sep 28 '17 at 12:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik You've got more than enough rep to improve it, if you think so. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Sep 28 '17 at 12:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would, except I don't have the book here :) \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Sep 28 '17 at 12:16

Sounds like a job for the Fate Adversary Toolkit!

There is a section about building “countdown clocks” for just such a purpose.


A countdown adds urgency to an adversary: deal with it now or things will get worse. Whether you're talking about a ticking bomb, a ritual near completion, a bus teetering on the edge of a suspension bridge, or a soldier with a radio who's about to call in reinforcements, countdowns force the PCs to act quickly or face a worse outcome.

It then goes on to give examples on how to come up with the number of stress boxes and what conditions mark a box of stress.


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