I'm GMing a long-running game in FATE core, and I've been running into a bit of a balance problem. A couple of my players have gotten (what feels to me like) too powerful. They don't really seem to struggle with any challenge I throw their way unless I crank the difficulty of the rolls way up, which kind of breaks the fiction if I do it all the time. They've usually got aspects that are relevant to the thing they are trying that they can add +6 on any roll that's important enough. Fate points don't tend to be a limiting factor for them because they have high refresh, our sessions play slowly so they rarely spend down to zero, and they usually manage to get a lot of compels to boot. And the few stunts they do have help them create advantages so that they always have scene aspects to spend those fate points on, even if the character aspects aren't relevant. The end result is that, in their own words "we basically only fail rolls when we choose to let it go".
I don't really want to take away what they call their "fate point rockets", because that's clearly one of their core aesthetics of play. And the game is supposed to be fun. I just want to make sure I can still tell a compelling story for myself and the other two players who are more traditional and invested in plot.
When I talked to the group about this, one of the two rocketeers suggested that maybe I could
- Make compels more consequential so they don't just feel like free fate points (not sure how to do this without throwing things off too badly, but they're definitely right that my compels are not disruptive enough).
- Make them do things that will bleed off their fate points more often so they are actually a scarce resource (difficult because of high refresh, not many scenes per session).
They're probably not really well matched with the rest of the group in terms of aesthetics of play, but this game is the core of how we keep up as friends now that we're all in different cities so "find a different group" isn't really a solution.