I keep finding my players in situations where this doesn't make sens.

Example: There's a gun fight in a room filled with smoke. The players and NPCs have a hard time seeing anything. It feels logical that there should be a "minus" too anyone in that room trying to shoot or doing any kind of ranged attack. I understand that in this situation everyone has the same aspect against them so you could say it evens it self out, but i makes me wonder if the "smoke filled room" aspect needs to be taped every time when someone will shoot. Just seems that it is an active effect, constant, so anyone in that room is effected and should have a hard timing seeing, even without the aspect compeled.

I kinda have the same problem with and aspect like "dazed", after being hit in the head for instance. If your dazed, shouldn't the player be that constantly until the player removes the aspect or it doesn't make sens to have it anymore? Seems weird to have to tap the aspect constantly to have the players keep being dazed.


An aspect is just a mechanical reminder of a thing that's true in the story: it's always "on." This means some actions are possible or impossible, easier or harder, because of the thing the aspect describes.

However, sometimes an aspect COULD make an action or event easier or extra complicated, but it doesn't have to. This is where compels and invokes come in: using fate points to make things happen that don't have to happen, but which make sense because of an aspect.

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    \$\begingroup\$ May be worth mentioning that earlier editions of Fate (e.g. Dresden Files) ruled or gave the impression an aspect was only "on" while it was "tagged" or whatever the term was, but that this is firmly changed/clarified, and now they're always on. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 30 '16 at 11:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to flesh this answer out: An aspect is Always On but it only matters when someone pays a FP. \$\endgroup\$ – cdm014 Jan 18 '17 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @cdm014 Got a source for that? The only one I know is DFRPG, which the authors have said was an unintentional implication. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Jan 18 '17 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW core book pg 76 "the aspects on your character sheet are true of your character at all times, not just when they’re invoked or compelled." by extension aspects on the table are true all the time (that they're on the table). and this from the FATE blog managed by EvilHat "Aspects Are Always True This is a fundamental rule of Fate Core which is worth stressing before you read the rest of this text. Aspects remain true whether or not they are invoked..." (faterpg.com/2013/…) \$\endgroup\$ – cdm014 Jan 20 '17 at 3:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @cdm014 Sorry, it's the "only matters when fate points are spent" thing that confuses me about your statement. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Jan 20 '17 at 4:02

Some Aspects are more absolute than others. If a room is filled with "Absolute Darkness", that's going to make certain things absolutely impossible, without an invoke. "Dark" might just mean that it has to be Overcome. Or not. All depends how Dark it is.

"Dazed" doesn't mean they can't Shoot. What it most means, outside of whatever way they and you incorporate Dazedness into the living story, is that they're that many fewer hits away from being Taken Out (I'm assuming that they're Dazed because they took that as a Consequence).

If someone's "Dazed", but isn't roleplaying it or otherwise respecting the narrative truth of being dazed, making them Overcome it can be a way to reinforce it without having to reward their unrealistic play with Fate points (compels).

If you want "Smoke Filled Room" to be an obstacle which makes the players' Shooting harder, there are many things you can do. Go ahead and Invoke it or Compel it. Have the target (an NPC, right?) use it to create an advantage and get some free invokes on Smoke Filled Room. Make the player character Overcome the smoke. Make them roll against passive, but tough, opposition (the smoke) instead of active opposition (the NPC's Defense).


I'm still learning Fate, but I was thinking that you could handle a smoke filled room like this...

If a room is filled with smoke and the PC cannot see the NPC but knows the general direction, then the NPC is a passive target - meaning they can't actively defend. So as a GM I'd increase the difficulty, on the latter, to accommodate the lack of sight due to the smoke. It's simply harder to shoot at something you can't visually aim at.

Am I simplifying it too much?


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