My group just did a session where they used scene declarations and assistive actions to take out opponents more 'powerful' than the group, and it was awesome. It worked well, giving even 'social' characters the ability to be nasty.

But now he wants to extend that to take on an even more powerful foe, by taking the time to do lots and lots of prep work and lay the ground for a massive social attack. In some ways I love the idea. In other ways, I look at the idea of +24 in free invokes and, as a DM, I go 'something is just plain wrong here'.

Am I missing a detail somewhere on declarations, and the free invokes they can give you?


For scope, the character he's attacking is a Red Court Noble built vaguely like Marcone -- while she can fight, she prefers to make her attacks social. She can kick some serious butt at need, but views it as crass and below her station.


2 Answers 2


There is nothing in the rulebooks that specifies a limit, to my knowledge, besides the fact that you only get one "free" tag on a set-up aspect, and the rest has to be invoked by narrative or cost.

That said, look at this from a conflict narrative perspective. If your group is setting up aspects to tag, those represent disadvantages to their opponent that they want to take advantage of, but they also imply that the conflict is already in progress. How much undercutting can reasonably be set up before the quarry starts getting suspicious, or worse, just by instinct, starts digging and uncovering some? How much prep work can be done before a social web of contacts starts alarming that it's under subtle attack? That can be as simple as a rumor reaching the targets ear, or her contacts going dark, or any number of things.

So what you would need to ask yourself is, for your group and your campaign, when is the limit for free tags past the point of "ridiculous"? When would an opponent be so disadvantaged and wouldn't know, presuming they were savvy? And what action would they take to cut their losses, or to retreat, or to prevent a setback, or worse, change the conflict entirely?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ This. Especially the last sentence. At some point the vampire is going to get wind of the plans and deal with the PCs on the vampire's own terms (rendering a good number of the aspects they worked for inapplicable and having built up a few pro-vampire aspects to help) \$\endgroup\$
    – Quentin
    Dec 9, 2015 at 23:08

Just to chime in with a more general principle of Fate: Fiction First. If someone is stacking up advantages, they are doing stuff, taking time and effort and having knock-on effects in your world. If they are massing an army of minions, creating informants or trashing reputations, that should be visible and possibly attract hostile attention: "One time is happenstance, twice may be coincidence, three times is enemy action"


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