I'm wondering how much control the winning side has in fate in accepting a concession. Can the victor write actions in for his opposition?

For example, in a recent game of mine, the players killed a demon. That's exactly what they wanted. Had the demon managed to force a concession from them, though, he would not have wanted to kill or even hurt them. He wanted one of them to name him, because that would have given him more power, both in general and over them.

If they had conceded to him, would it have been in bounds for me to say that they named him, or would that be over the line, because it's forcing the characters to take a positive action?


3 Answers 3


Simply put, the victor gets what the conceder offers. They can haggle a bit but if it drags out or they disagree outright, just continue the conflict.

Just like a game of Go, the conflict ends when everybody (still standing) agrees that it ends.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 - Simple, but concise and to the point. The conceder is trying to get something (i.e. the end of the combat without giving their opponent narrative control), and thus what is offered should be with that final goal in mind. And the victor can choose if what the conceder is giving is enough. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chuck Dee
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 14:31

Short version: When PCs concede, the opponent should get "what they wanted from you", though the details should be negotiated with the PCs. However, the concession should not amount to being taken out.

Long version:

The Fate Core book limits what concession can and should not mean. All from "Conceding the Conflict" (Fate Core 167):

Concession gives the other person what they wanted from you,

As the demon wanted the party to name him, it would seem reasonable for them to do so as they concede. As @Radhil suggests in his comment, how exactly the PCs do this should be agreed collaboratively.


you get to avoid the worst parts of your fate. Yes, you lost, and the narration has to reflect that. But you can’t use this privilege to undermine the opponent’s victory, either


That can make the difference between, say, being mistakenly left for dead and ending up in the enemy’s clutches, in shackles, without any of your stuff—the sort of thing that can happen if you’re taken out instead.

Taking this into account, it depends just how bad things are for the PCs if they name the demon:

  • If it complicates their lives and the story in an interesting way, then that would seem like an excellent thing, in line with the whole spirit of the Fate rules.
  • If it would limit their actions to the same extent as being shackled and under his total control of the demon, then that would be inappropriate for a concede.

Players in Fate have much more ability to change what actually happens in the story than in other games I've played. This means you could also revise the exact effects of the demon being named, if the naming happened as part of a concession.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In this particular case, it would have meant the demon could graduate from being a generic mook demon to actually gaining unique powers. And the fact that the characters named him definitely would have gotten out. I think it would have made things pretty interesting. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 4:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ To me that sounds like the right type and level of complication for a concession. It creates a new problem for the PCs to deal with, and moves the story forwards, like the example in FC of Landon's favoured weapon being stolen when he concedes. \$\endgroup\$
    – harlandski
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 4:59

No, you can't force new things into a concession. Concession details are always offered by the conceder, not dictated by the victor.

Keep in mind that "Concession gives the other person what they wanted from you," depends on that goal being pursued during the conflict. If the conflict was "kill the demon" vs "not get killed by the PCs", then naming the demon is not what the demon wanted from the conflict that the PCs are conceding. The demon gets what it wants—not dying—and doesn't get to tack on anything new.

To force them to name him, he'd have to engage in a conflict (probably social) over that point, and win. Alternatively, the PCs could voluntarily offer that (as opposed to being forced to give it) as part of concession in a conflict that didn't include that issue. Remember too: if you don't like a concession's details, you don't have to accept it, which gives you a way to get more of what you want offered in a concession.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't that make your answer actually a yes ? Even if the conflict is physical, if the stated objective of the Demon is for the players to name him and the players concede, then the demon gets what he wants and the players name him (possible with narration in some forme of "Your lives are in my hands, give me a name or die !") ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nigralbus
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 10:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nigralbus No. There are ways to do what the OP is looking for, but retroactive to the concession isn't one of them. You don't have a physical conflict to resolve non-physical conflicts. A secret desire of one side isn't the same as openly conflicting over it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 15:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ In FATE, a conflict does not only have to be only one type of thing. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wesley Of course not. But what I got from the question wasn't "—name me! —no, I stab you! — name me! —NO! *stab stab*". The demon's desire is presented as something it would have liked to pursue had it won, not what it was actually struggling for already. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 17:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AaronLehmann Without having been here it's hard to say precisely, but that still sounds like the conflict that was being won or lost was about killing the demon, and its bargaining was just a rejected prelude to the fight. Did the demon do anything during the conflict to pursue "name me", or was that goal left alone after its hostage opening gambit failed? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 4:35

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