When you suggest a Compel on one of your own Aspects - and the GM accepts your suggestion - does the Fate Point get drawn from the GM's finite Fate pool for that scene, or is it created from thin air?

My assumption is that - like player characters - the GM's (named) NPCs have a limited Fate budget. Do Compels have to happen in an in-character fashion, meaning the Fate Point is given from that NPCs pool or is it just taken out of the GM's "endless handbag of Fate Points"?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Based on the SRD link in your other question, I'm tagging this [fate-core]. Fate itself has a long history and not all editions have the same clear rules about compels. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 0:57

2 Answers 2


The GM and Fate Points:

GMs, you also get to use fate points, but the rules are a little bit different than the rules for players.

When you award players fate points for compels or concession, they come out of an unlimited pool you have for doing so—you don’t have to worry about running out of fate points to award, and you always get to compel for free.

The NPCs under your control are not so lucky. They have a limited pool of fate points you get to use on their behalf. Whenever a scene starts, you get one fate point for every PC in that scene. You can use these points on behalf of any NPC you want, but you can get more in that scene if they take a compel, like PCs do.

Emphasis mine. So the GM has an unlimited supply of fate points to award for compels, and this is separate from the shared pool that NPCs use (which is for invoking aspects). Regarding your assumption about named NPCs having their own fate point pool, I don't remember the SRD covering that. As the last quoted paragraph states, the general rule is to treat NPCs as sharing a pool.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for clearing up that assumption. I assumed 'mooks' don't really get access to Fate Points, only the Big Bads or 'named' NPCs. Now I understand all NPCs share one Fate pool per scene, depending on the number of PCs in that scene. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 7:33

No, compels do not cost the GM anything.

From the Fate-SRD

Finally, and this is very important: if a player wants to compel another character, it costs a fate point to propose the complication. The GM can always compel for free, and any player can propose a compel on his or her own character for free.


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