Fights, psychic duels or high-stakes social conflicts are the dramatic high points of the game, and should be played out in more detail.
The conflict will most often be a scene in it’s own right. The GM can frame the scene by describing the location. Any adjective used in the description can be treated as an aspect, which players can tag. In such a conflict scene, the posting sequence is by necessity more formalised. Play is divided into distinct rounds, in which each player is expected to post once.
- Whoever initiates the conflict (be it a player, or the GM) declares the action for the character(s) starting the conflict.
- Each remaining player declares their character’s action. There is no set order; players post according to whenever they’re online, which can depend on things like time zones. Players declaring later in the round may take previous players declarations into account.
- Once everyone had posted once, or after a pre-agreed time period has passed (typically 24, 48 or 72 hours), the GM declares the actions of any NPCs whose actions weren’t declared in at the beginning of the conflict. If any players did not post by the deadline, the GM declares their actions as well, which will be all-out-defence unless the player had specified otherwise in an earlier round.
- The GM resolves all the actions in the round, and writes a post describing the outcome.
- If the conflict is still ongoing, the GM may declare the actions for some or all of the NPCs in the scene, and things continue into the next round.
In each round, a character may do one of the following.
- An attack, which is an action intended to harm an opponent with the intention of taking them out.
- A manoeuvre, assessment or declaration, which brings a new aspect into play.
- All-out defence. You are at +2, but cannot hurt your opponent if you win.
All actions are resolved simultaneously, with a single roll also covering initiative and defence. An action succeeds if the character rolls better than their opponent, and fails if it doesn’t.
If a character is up against multiple opponents, they have a penalty of -1 to their roll for each additional opponent, unless they have a stunt that avoids this. In addition, they have to beat whichever of their opponents made the best roll in order for their attack or manoeuvre to succeed. If the outnumbered character fails, any of their opponents who beat the characters roll succeed with their attacks.
It often takes more than one successful attack to defeat an opponent. Each character has a resistance, which is the numeric value of a skill plus two. Which skill you use depends on the type of conflict.
- If the conflict is a physical one, such as a fight, use Endurance
- If the conflict is mental, such as a psionic duel, or possibly an interrogation, use Willpower
- If the conflict is social, use whichever is the highest of Nobility and Rank
- If the conflict is abstract, but focuses on a specific skill, such as a high-stakes game of Thlan, then use the skill itself.
For an attack, if the number of shifts exceeds resistance, the losing character is taken out, and their fate is in the hands of whoever performed the attack.
If the number of shifts is equal or lower to the resistance, then the losing character takes a consequence. This can be a physical wound, a social embarrassment, or whatever. A consequence is an aspect, and like any other aspect it can be tagged. Unlike an aspect resulting from a manoeuvre, it can’t be free-tagged; you still need to spend a FATE point.
The severity of the consequence depends on how many shifts compared with the resistance. If it’s only one shift, it’s cuts and bruises, or a minor embarrassment which will be forgotten by the next scene. If it’s only one less than the resistance, then it’s likely to be a much more serious wound that might take some time to heal.
Each time a character takes a consequence, it reduced the resistance by one. Once the resistance reaches zero, they’re automatically taken out.