In combat, situational aspects sometimes tend to interfere with consequences. In theory, the "create advantage" action allows an opponent to create virtually any aspect, from "Stabbed in the hand" to "Head lobbed off". While these extreme cases might be quite clear, it's the intermediate aspects that I'm wondering about.

For example, a character wielding a war hammer wants to create "Broken Hand" on an enemy. This seems fairly plausible in the situation, but it would also circumvent the entire stress track system to create what is essentially a consequence in nature, if not in name.

Is there anything in the official or any accepted house rule on how to deal with that? What is the best rule of thumb to avoid this dilemma?


2 Answers 2


Situational aspects are transient

They will most likely go away at the end of the scene. Their persistence is not earned, and thus they shouldn't be created as persistent. It's a matter of phrasing more than anything: "Banged-Up Hand" would do exactly the same thing as "Broken Hand", without presuming it'll stick around.

The severity of consequences is differentiated only by their description rather than mechanical effect (if you don't count how long it takes to get rid of them). Unless a situational aspect is obviously temporary, such as the always favorite "On Fire", it probably shouldn't exceed a mild consequence's narrative in its impact. Even then, it'll likely turn out to have looked worse than it really is, in order to fade after the scene ends.

...Unless they have been permanent all along

Note that the Create an Advantage action may be used to discover an aspect. You may, potentially, hit the enemy with a sledgehammer to discover they have a "Badly Healed Arm" from their previous hammer-related accident. That's something GM has to agree to, obviously, but if they do this will have been true from the start.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the response! So the key thing is to phrase temporary/situational aspects in a way that can feasibly be temporary. Got it, that clears things up! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 8:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would add that, since Advantages are transient by definition, it something isn't transient, it's not a (valid) Advantage. Ask the person to rephrase or choose another advantage to create. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 12:55

Keep in mind the #1 rule of FATE: describe what you want to do in terms of story, then find mechanics that fit.

For example, a character wielding a war hammer wants to create "Broken Hand" on an enemy.

This is putting the cart before the horse. First the character should describe their goal in terms of the story then you and the character work out what mechanics will be in play

PC: I want to create an advantage on him called "broken hand"

GM: Why don't we step back from the mechanics for a second. Is your goal literally trying to damage his hand, or are you just trying to make it harder for him to hit you?

PC: I want to hurt him bad enough that whenever he looks at his hand he's going to remember me.

GM: Okay, since you're interested in hurting him, we'll do this as an attack, but you should know things don't always go the way you plan in battle so there's no guarantee the hit will actually get his hand even if you do cause quite a bit of damage. [Now the player just has to manage to inflict enough damage for a severe consequence.]


PC: I want his hand out of commission so he has a harder time of attacking me.

GM: Okay, that's a Create an Advantage with your fighting skill. If you succeed enough at it, he'll have an aspect reflecting the fact that you hurt his hand somehow and you'll be able to invoke that on your defend rolls. [This can be overcome eventually, when the enemy either manages to shake it off or announce 'I am not left handed']


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