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The way I understood it, any Consequence (mild, severe, extreme) in any Fate build has to have a recover action modify it before it can start fading away. So I have several questions:

  • If a character gains a Slightly Shaken (Mild) consequence and despite plenty of time to rest, does it heal unless addressed with a roll?

  • Is there any difference in recovery mechanics between FAE and Core?

  • What happens if someone fails a recovery roll? (John gets a +1 on trying to "unshake" Mark)

  • If a character gains a Moderate Consequence, but nothing happens for a long time in-game, does it get healed?

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It's all explained here: Recovering from a consequence in Fate Core and Fate Accelerated

To address your questions:

In Core you need to roll and then wait an appropriate time. Then you get to clear mild consequences and rename moderate and severe ones. In Accelerated you would not need to roll - just explain how you recovered in a way that makes sense.

If a character gains a Slightly Shaken (Mild) slot, clear it after the rest automatically in FAE. In Core you would have to roll some skill to justify that your rest was sufficient to compose yourself.

In case of recovery roll failure you would narrate that his lack of skill or proper care did not remove the consequence. (John would try to talk to Mark, but Mark is too distressed to listen).

In Core, again, it is not healed automatically. You need to make a roll. Cuts and wounds do not heal if PCs don't take time to bandage them. In Accelerated this is hand-waved though. So, after a time in FAE or time and successful roll in Core, you would rename a moderate consequence to something less bothersome, to signify that healing process has started.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually find this to be the oddest thing about consequences in Fate Core as written: recovery starts automatically at certain milestones for Moderate, Severe, and Extreme consequences if a recovery action has not already been taken; but Mild consequences don't have a milestone for automatic recovery. \$\endgroup\$ – Malice Vidrine Feb 15 '16 at 21:50
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Fate Core

If a recovery roll "fails" you may still succeed at a cost, since it's an overcome action. Recovering from a Consequence says that:

The action in question is an overcome action; the obstacle is the consequence that you took.

The overcome action states that:

When you fail an overcome action, you have two options. You can simply fail, which means you don’t attain your goal or get what you were after, or you can succeed at a serious cost.

We have a nice list of possible costs, and just amp them up a bit for a serious one.

In short, any time you roll to recover from a consequence, you can always do so. Sometimes it'll cost you, though.

Fate Accelerated

In FAE there are no recovery rolls, consequences just get better.

  • Mild consequence: Clear it at the end of the scene, provided you get a chance to rest.
  • Moderate consequence: Clear it at the end of the next session, provided it makes sense within the story.
  • Severe consequence: Clear it at the end of the scenario, provided it makes sense within the story.
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