When I was looking at the section in the Fate Core rules on designing a "Good" mook on page 215, I saw the following:

Stress: Two stress boxes—a three shift hit is enough to take them out.

I feel like this is wrong. If it has 2 stress boxes, then a 3-shift hit would take out the 1-shift box and the 2-shift box, but that still wouldn't be enough to take it out.

It seems to do it right on the other examples:


No stress boxes—a one shift hit is enough to take them out.


Stress: One stress box—a two shift hit is enough to take them out.

Am I reading this wrong? Do Mooks' stress boxes only suck up 1 shift at a time, regardless of quantity of boxes?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you're reading it wrong. Each stress box can absorb a number of shifts of its ordinal or less, and you can only use one at a time. Not just mooks. From p.160:

When you take stress, check off a stress box with a value equal to the shift value of the hit. If that box is already checked, check off a higher value box. If there is no higher available box, and you can't take any consequences, you're taken out of the conflict. You can only check off one stress box per hit.

(emphasis mine)

So, when a hit lands for 3 stress on any character with 2 stress boxes, there is no box available to absorb the hit. Without consequences, a mook must be taken out. A character with consequences available could choose to take one or more, but still only one stress box can be checked per hit.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, that totally changes the way I play the game. So while it could survive a one-shift hit and a two-shift hit, it can't survive a three-shift hit? Interesting... \$\endgroup\$
    – Robert
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 23:10
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Note that a character can take multiple consequences from a given hit, assuming they have them available to take. So if you have only two stress boxes and take a hit for 7, you could take a moderate consequence, a mild consequence, and mark off your 1-stress box. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrTheWalrus - You are correct and I have edited the answer to make that clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 18:26

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