Let's say that on my Turn during this Exchange I want to Create an Advantage: I Know That Fighting Style! - I spend my turn observing the opponent's fighting style. This takes a little bit of time to achieve, story-wise.

Mechanically, if the action succeeds, the Aspect is created immediately. Will my fellow players be able to invoke it immediately, even though it might not make sense story-wise?

I come from simulationist RPGs and I'm still wrapping my head around Fate Core. In Pathfinder, rounds are defined as 6-second fragments, where everyone's turn kind of happens at the same time.

Mechanically, in Fate you'd have access to this advantage immediately, but for it to make sense you'd have to at least wait until your next turn to use it (representing the time it took to observe your opponent), and consider communicating it to your fellow party members the exchange after that for them to take advantage of that new Aspect too (representing the time it takes for you to convey to your friends what the enemy's weak spots are).

Am I overcomplicating it?


2 Answers 2


Fiction First

Hi Marc. You are running into one of the differences between rules-first systems and fiction-first systems.

Fiction-first means that the rules serve the story unfolding between the players: When something happens in the story that matches a trigger condition in the rules, the mechanics engage and the results feed back into the story. Outside of those circumstances, the story does not bend to serve the rules.

That means that nothing in Fate ever happens unless it makes sense in the story. Look at the aspect you created: I know that fighting style!

Who knows the style? I - the character who created the advantage - do.

Someone else being able to leverage that aspect must make sense in the fiction or the mechanics will never engage. Does the acting character shout, "He's using Drunken Peacock!" to his teammates? Well, then, they might be able to invoke it if they are similar martial arts experts who also know the weaknesses of Drunken Peacock style. What makes sense in the story comes first - what the rules say about it comes second, or not at all.

If you are shouting the information to a cop shooting at the opponent, will it matter? Will it mean enough to the cop to be an advantage? That depends - and you should probably talk it over with the table! Is the cop a John McClane type - NYPD all the way? Then probably not. Is she a Hard Boiled type gunkata master? Then she might deserve the advantage because she knows how a Drunken Peacock is gonna zig and zag.

Obviously, the character who made the observation took his turn (by doing something in the story that engaged the mechanics) to create that advantage and he won't get another turn until later (because the outcome of the mechanics feeds back into the story). But whether characters who act after the advantage exists can use it or not depends not on a detailed reading of the rules, but on an understanding of the fictional situation.

You are overcomplicating it - but it's a natural consequence of changing paradigms and rulesets at the same time.


Yes, you're over-complicating it.

There's no real hard-and-fast rule about exactly how long an action takes in Fate (or what it involves), so there's nothing to stop you from saying that you spend your turn studying your opponent, then shout "I know that fighting style!" as part of that same action to all of your buddies because talking is a free action.

While it's true that whether or not your buddies can make use of the Advantage you created is up to the "fictional logic" of the story, in a strict rules-as-read sense there's absolutely nothing requiring you to limit your action to studying your opponent now and then forcing you to hold off on announcing it until your next turn.


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