While checking the Space Combat system for Diaspora I ran into an interesting situation and I don't know how to deal with it, should it come up.

There are a few options you can take during a Space Combat that cause your ship Stress. For example, firing Beams both offensively and defensively in the same turn. Alternatively, applying Burn during the piloting phase also causes this.

But what happens when this Stress causes your ship to be Taken Out, either intentionally or unintentionally? Normally, the attacker gets to narrate the results, but in this case the attacker isn't responsible for what happens, or there simply isn't one.

Does the person who decided to perform the action narrate? That seems like a way to get out of more serious consequences, which might be unfair. Should an action like that not be allowed? Does the storyteller narrate?

Do any rules exist, either in Diaspora or Fate itself, for what happens in a situation like this?


2 Answers 2


Why are you hitting yourself? Just Concede

Neither example you list involves a dice roll to determine damage to your ship. When you take the action, you know that it will result in the ship being out of the combat. (Oversight should not be an issue, anyone at the table that notices this fact should notify you. When it is at the latest found out during applying the hit to the stress track no dice have been rolled since your decision.)

If you believe your only option to survive is to maneuver off the map or shoot down those torpedoes, your intention is not to push pedal to the metal or switch the beams to full auto. Your intention is to avoid those ships or torpedoes. Conceding is a valid approach to realize that intention:

A concession is something you offer to end the combat instead of play it through. (Diaspora SRD)

You offer to take the aftereffects of the overdrive or premature slipstream jump or whatever you perform to end the conflict by being far away. Or you offer to overheat your beam weapons to avoid that torpedo barrage (and others after that, presumably). This ruleset is perfectly capable of handling this situation. Taking more stress or consequences that you have to later heal/repair could very well be part of the deal you make with the GM when you Concede. Since your ship is described to be able to do those things (overclock its systems to move or defend), the GM should have no problems accepting your offer.

Concession definitely hands you more power over the narrative, as that is its purpose. Take Out is not designed to handle this situation, supported by your confusion over using it. The latter also does not offer any way to enrich the narrative, compared to the former. As such, while you could force the Take Out mechanic to handle this, there is simply no upside to doing that. Just Concede.


Yes, you narrate for yourself.

It's subject to GM approval, the same way that narrating what happens to one of the GM's ships when you destroy them is subject to GM approval. (The space combat damage section calls this out as "subject of course to final approval by the referee", and mentions that in a pinch you may want to take yourself out.)

But you also get to narrate what happens to yourself when you concede a conflict, and you get fate points for doing it and for each consequence you've soaked. You don't get those when you're Taken Out.

So you could technically overheat your ship and start drifting helplessly out of enemy reach and deeper into space, but there's pretty much no benefit to doing so.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't there a big difference in that Concessions need to be accepted, but Taken Out is essentially a free narration? From what I've read, Taken Out is subject to approval by the table (ie: makes sense to the story) not to approval by the GM (the way a concession is) \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 11:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik i think that is because TO events are offered by the GM to the table, but Conceding is offered by the table (one or more players) to the GM. In both cases the two parties should be in agreement. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 11:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Added a little rules quote to clarify. But even without it - the GM is also "at the table", aren't they? \$\endgroup\$
    – Glazius
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 13:44

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