It’s key to understanding any game by speaking the same language. Here are the most important terms you will encounter in a Fate style game.
Game Master or GM – the player in charge of running the game
Shifts – the number above or below the target Overcome.
Refresh – the number of fate points a player starts with in a game session.
Skills – a set of bonuses you can use in specific situations.
Stunt – a special trait that changes the way a skill can be used
Boost – a single use bonus often from Succeeding with Style
Aspect – an aspect is a description that can be used by the players or GM to make a scene something more. If they player or GM can leverage the aspect, they can gain advantage against the other.
Invoke – means the same as using or activating any aspect.
Compel – means someone else uses an aspect against your character to add a complication in exchange for a fate point.
Damage and/or Mental Stress
Stress – each character has a number of shifts that they can absorb both mentally and physically. These boxes and consequences are part of the stress track.
Consequences – these come in 4 levels each designated by the number of shifts of stress they cause. Mild = 2 stress, Moderate = 4 stress, Severe = 6 stress and Extreme = 8 stress and a permanent character aspect.
Consequence, Mild – Examples: Black Eye, Bruised Hand, Winded, Flustered, Cranky, Temporarily Blinded
Consequence, Moderate – Examples: Deep Cut, First Degree Burn, Exhausted, Drunk, Terrified.
Consequence, Severe – Examples: Second-Degree Burn, Compound Fracture, Guts Hanging Out, Crippling Shame, Trauma-Induced Phobia.
Consequence, Extreme – An extreme consequence will absorb up to 8-shifts of a hit, but at a very serious cost—you must replace one of your aspects (except the high concept, that’s off limits) with the extreme consequence. That’s right, an extreme consequence is so serious that taking it literally changes who you are.
Absorb – each character has a stress track that can be used to reduce the Shifts in the event of stress on the character.
Taken Out – when you don’t have any stress or consequences left to buy off all the shifts of a hit, that means you’re taken out.
Fate Points – fate points are the currency of the game. They can be used to improve rolls, add a story element, activate an aspect or refuse a compel.
Spending Fate Points – Fate Points power the following actions: Invoke an aspect, Power a stunt, Refuse a compel or Declare a story detail
Earning Fate Points – Fate Points can be gained by Accepting a Compel, Have Your Aspects Invoked Against You or Conceding in a Conflict
Fail – when you roll lower than the target Overcome. Results in a serious complication.
Tie – when you roll the same as the target Overcome. Results in a minor complication
Succeeding – this is when you roll higher than the Overcome.
Succeed with style – this is when you over complete a task leading to a bonus Boost.
Active opposition – when someone rolling dice against you
Passive opposition – when you need to exceed a target number
Attack – when you want to hurt someone
Defend – when you want to prevent attacks or advantages on your character
Create an Advantage – invoke an aspect for free
Overcome – when you use a skill to get past an obstacle.
Scenario – unit of game time usually lasting from one to four sessions, and made up of a number of discrete scenes.
Session – the actual game day played
Scene – a unit of game time lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour or more, during which the players try to achieve a goal or otherwise accomplish something significant in a scenario.