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I noticed that a number of scenes we played during the game seemed to pass without any dice rolls. Mostly because after touching on a few point of character-based scene-setting, the players would discuss their next plan of action and then come up with something so reasonable it could not possibly fail.

I read through How can I recognise when a Scene should be skipped? and I don't really feel that these scenes really qualify for being skipped. They touch on some of the background that shows us how the characters are and act and they have clear questions, even if the question can simply be "what is our next step in this mission?"

However, they do not contain anything conflicting or contested enough to warrant dice rolls. But since some things (such as recovering from a Mild Consequence) are specifically linked to scenes passing, these scenes do factor into the game.

Should I skip them anyway? Should I just not count them as a full "scene" for these mechanical purposes? I don't really want to leave them out as they bring a lot of interesting flavour into the story (we would not have the story of the tea-addict and her constant visits to the Jasmine Dragon, nor the decleration of a secret society of tea-drinking and boardgame playing people without them) but I can also see how they can be not very exciting or dramatic and might cause the game to drag if the players keep expecting to get these scenes. (They do seem to think that the best way to plan is to play out a scene like this, rather than making a plan out of character and then skipping to the start of it)

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Scenes don't need dice.

In fact, having scenes without dice is one indicator your group may be awesome. There are two basic reasons to use a mechanic in Fate: things aren't interesting, or you don't want to choose between two interesting things.

Fate's mechanics are designed to make the story exciting: it's up to the group to decide what that means. If formal tea drinking is dramatic for my group, there's no one else who can rightfully tell us it's boring. So long as everyone at the table is engaged there's no need to bring in dice to keep things interesting, because the goal is already achieved.

We also roll the dice when we can't decide between multiple interesting outcomes. If my players agree whether success or failure (or something more complex like success at cost) is more interesting, it'd be silly to give the dice the opportunity to land on the more boring outcome.

At the end of the day, Fate's a scaffolding for telling stories of a certain broad type. While my group is keeping the story up on our own, we don't need to lean on the scaffolding. (But it's important we remember to keep the Fate point economy going, even/especially when the dice are at rest.)

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