I started recently GMing a Fate Accelerated campaign set in modern day. This is my first attempt at using the system. During the session the PCs ended up in a shoot-out and none of us were really sure which Approach was more fit for shooting. We ended using Quick as default, but the doubt stuck with me...

What approach would you use for the regular shoot-out scene?

up vote 24 down vote accepted

Use the approach which makes sense for how you're shooting at the time.

Approaches were a little difficult to wrap my head around at first. Unlike skills, they aren't about what I'm doing: they're about how I'm doing it. Any approach could be appropriate for shooting a gun, depending on the context of the action.

  • Lining up a sniper shot? I'll Carefully take my time.
  • Shooting a fancy chandelier to place the aspect Shattered glass on the floor? That's a Clever thing to do.
  • Trick shots to impress a girl? I'm gonna be Flashy about that.
  • Intimidating someone by shooting the wall next to him? I'm Forcefully taking control of the situation.
  • Shooting the getaway car's tire before it's out of sight? I gotta do that Quickly.
  • Shooting a blowdart from cover to quietly take down a guard? If I'm not Sneaky, what's the point?

When I narrate an action, I consider how I'm doing it, and assign the corresponding approach to the roll. Sometimes, though, it's not super clear-cut what the appropriate approach is. When that happens I have to analyse the situation and make a judgement call.

To re-visit the sniper example: Maybe I'm also trying to do it stealthily. But I can't roll Sneaky and Careful, so I have to decide which is more important: hitting the target or staying hidden?

Or the getaway car: If I'm trying to blow out his tire, do I have time to Carefully line up a shot, or must I do it Quickly and probably face a higher target difficulty to succeed without cost?

When I figure these things out, I then roll the most crucial approach. In the sniper example, the player probably gets to decide. But as a GM I'd likely rule that shooting out the getaway car's tire before they get around the corner must be done Quickly, since there's no time to be Careful--if I roll Careful on that action, I should automatically fail because I take too long (and that's just boring and frustrating, so it shouldn't be rolled at all).

  • 2
    Exactly! If it doesn't make sense in the fiction, it never gets rolled! – gomad Nov 7 '14 at 12:44

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