OOC: Reference - Game Play.   Posted by Control.Group: 0
 GM, 8 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 04:20
00.00: Meta-Game Reference
I've amassed a fairly large array of instructions and house-rules over my time running DFRPG.  Here's the collection of stuff.  This is all pretty much going to be opaque when in play.  But I want it clear how I'll be dealing with things.

Message 01: Index of References
Message 02: Info: Time-Increment & The Ladder
Message 03: Info: Initiative & Dice-Rolling
Message 04: Info: The Mechanics of Invoking and Compelling Aspects
Message 05: Info: Assessments
Message 06: Info: Declarations
Message 07: Info: Maneuvers
Message 15: Rule: Scene, Session & Scenario - Lengths of Time
Message 16: Rule: Consequences and Recovery - How Long Will That Take?
Message 18: Rule: Tasks over Time
Message 19: Info: DFRPG RPOL Combat
Message 20: Rule: Discovering Aspects

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:24, Tue 19 July 2016.

 GM, 9 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 04:21
Time Increments & The Ladder
TIMEThe LadderColors
An Instant
A few moments
Half a minute
A Minute
A few minutes
15 minutes
Half an hour
An hour
A Few hours
An afternoon
A day
A few days
A week
A few weeks
A month
A few months
A Season
Half a year
A year
A few years
A decade
A generation
A mortal lifetime
Several mortal lifetimes
+8 Legendary
+7 Epic
+6 Fantastic
+5 Superb
+4 Great
+3 Good
+2 Fair
+1 Average
0 Mediocre
1 Poor
2 Terrible


This message was last edited by the GM at 09:27, Wed 08 July 2015.

 GM, 10 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 04:21
Initiative & Dice-Rolling
The DFRPG book says that Initiative is based entirely on the characters Alertness.  I do not like the static nature of this.  For sake of brevity, I will roll initiative when going into a potential combat situation.  If it never comes into play... great!

Initiative will be: 4dF(X) + Your character's Alertness.

I reserve the right to roll for passive actions (first impressions, alertness/notice checks, possibly even initiative..  Asking for a roll then waiting for it and adjudicating it is three steps where I believe one would suffice.

Given the nature of the fate-economy, I will almost always make those roll-results known so that you can decide whether it's worth spending a fate-point on to invoke an Aspect or making a declaration to give you a reroll or +2 to the roll.

Remember, you can make this decision after the roll.  That's hugely important.  There's no point spending a fate point if you were just going to succeed, anyway.  Likewise, there's no point in rolling if there was no chance at success.

If you can't imagine a dramatic positive and a dramatic negative result from a roll... don't roll.  Just go with the drama. However!  If you choose to roll, you are obligated to play by the results of that roll.   I am similarly obligated.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:20, Tue 19 July 2016.

 GM, 11 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 04:22
The Mechanics of Invoking and Compelling Aspects

You can Invoke an Aspect by stating that you are doing so and working it into both the mechanics (+2 to a roll or reroll the roll--decided after the fact) and putting it into the narrative somehow.  You forfeit one of the points from your fate-point pool.

You can also invoke for effect which allows you to declare a fact of the game...  Usually it's going to be something that will benefit you somehow, but can't necessarily be put into direct mechanical conflict terms.  This still costs you a fate-point.

The GM can Compel an Aspect in the same manner, only he adds to your fate-point pool.  You do have the option to decline a compel, but it will cost you a fate-point to do so.   The GM has the right to escalate this to up to two fate-points.

While the book does not get into bidding wars, I do not wish to go any further than two fate-points worth.  Mainly because players can compel other characters' Aspects buying it with their own fate-points.

It is NOT my goal to be stingy with fate-points.  In fact, if you've been playing to character and can point to each Aspect and say "I've been playing according to this.", I'll give you a fate-point for sticking to character.  Note, this has to be more than a one-liner or passing observation.

Giving up your spot in line at the grocery-store isn't going to be enough to earn a fate point for playing "SELFLESS SUPPORT", but giving it up to that pregnant lady with a squalling kid when you've got painkillers in your basket and a gunshot wound in your belly...  that would probably qualify.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:27, Fri 05 Sept 2014.

 GM, 12 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 04:23
Assessments (YS115, YS195)
  • Discover an existing Aspect
    • I want to see if I can figure out this guy's fighting style
    • What's the best way into the building to avoid the guard's attention?
    • Is there any special property to these sigils?
  • Typically takes time to learn the Aspect.
    • Gotta watch the guy fight for a bit.  One quick glance isn't likely to tell you what's what, even with a proficient Fists rating.
    • Gotta case the building.  Schematics alone won't do it.  A High Burglary rating won't give it to you unless you do the footwork.
    • Gotta do some research - A huge high scholarship rating doesn't mean you know everything already.  It means you know how to find out.
  • Reveals a Taggable Aspect
  • These Taggable Aspects typically aren't done for immediate benefit, but for setting up a benefit down the road.
  • You can Guess an Aspect:
    • Roll an assessment, but if it's a live target, they can defend (treated as an opposed roll, your assessment threshold will be their defense).  You will get an Aspect out of this.  If you failed, it will likely be wrong.
    • Spend a Fate Point.  A live target they cannot defend if you've chosen to spend a Fate Point to guess.  If you're wrong, you won't get an Aspect.  If you're right (or reasonably close) you'll get an Aspect.  The difference here is that if you're wrong, you'll know it.
      • I need to know how you plan to use this Aspect when you make the guess.
      • For example:  You're going to a funeral in a Catholic cathedral.  You make the guess that the atmosphere will be "SOMBER AND SEDATE".  You spend a fate point and ask.  It's "MY GRIEF IS RESTRAINED" which is close enough.
      • You make the right choice in wearing the grey pinstripe suit instead of the jolly clown suit
  • As this is an existing Aspect, it can be tagged again and again.  The first time is free.  All subsequent times, you'll need to spend  Fate-Point for it.

 GM, 13 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 04:23
Declarations (YS20, YS116, YS196 & YS141)
  • Create a Taggable Aspect
    • I have a Flashlight!
    • Hey, those rags are on fire.  Luckily, the Janitor left a bucket of water nearby!
    • Drunken Witnesses
  • It takes no time... these declarations just suddenly are.  You are helping to define the scene.
  • Creates a Taggable Aspect
  • These Taggable Aspects usually have some immediate benefit.
  • You do not spend a Fate Point to create a declaration!
    • You roll for it, like an Assessment above
    • You don't spend a fate-point to create a declaration, because the declaration creates Taggable Aspects, and after the first tag, you may be spending fate-points to invoke them again.  No point in making you pay twice for the priviledge
  • As this is now an existing Aspect, it can be tagged again and again.  The first time is free.  All subsequent times, you'll need to spend  Fate-Point for it.

 GM, 14 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 04:23
Maneuvers (YS207)
  • Create a Taggable Aspect
  • Maneuvers are done as attacks but do not impose damage.  Rather, they grant a bonus to a future attack.
    • The Aspect generated from the maneuver can be passed on to someone else
      Agnes brought the wall down on top of the vampire, placing on it the Aspect PINNED DOWN.  She lets Lee use the +2 from that bonus to center his aim...

    You must roll for the maneuver as you would roll an attack
    • Exact successes place a Fragile Aspect on the target--good for one round only (The vampire scrambles out from under the rubble next round)
    • Increased levels of success place Sticky Aspects on the target, meaning it lasts longer and others can tag the Aspect in future rounds.
  • Like the Assessments and Declarations, this is now an existing Aspect.  For so long as it is so, it can be tagged again and again.  The first time is free and can be tagged by the one who did the maneuver.  They can also pass this free-tag on to someone else (with their permission).  All subsequent tags will require a faet-point.

 GM, 23 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 07:11
Scene, Session & Scenario - Lengths of Time
DFRPG is designed for a tabletop game experience, not for a play-by-post.  There are a lot of references to powers and effects happening "once per session".  We need to translate this into terms more amenable to a play-by-post format.

So, here's my basic rule-of-thumb.  I want your thoughts on this and ideas for how to make this better.

DFRPG Terms:
  • A Scene is a discrete narrative element that chronicles what happened in a specific location at  specific time.  There is no meta-game distinction for how long this lasts.
  • A session is approximately three to six hours of game-play, essentially one gathering.  The session will likely encompass a handful of scenes.
  • A Scenario is a story-arc, or a chapter in a story-arc.  It has a distinct beginning and end-point.  This might be done in one session (ie, a one-shot) or over several sessions.

For our purposes:
  • A Scene is unchanged from the definition above.  In this game, a scene will be presented in a distinct thread.  A location may be reused, but each distinct scene will have it's own thread.  When the scene is over, the thread will be closed.
  • A Session (or Episode) is a collection of scenes.  It ends when we reach some sort of narratively important point.  The completion of a Session will result in a Minor Milestone (see YS88).  Items and stunts that can be used "once per session" will need to make narrative sense before being used again.  If in doubt, talk to me in the metagame thread!
  • A Scenario (or Season) is a collection of  session (episodes).  It encompasses the whole of a story.  This will result in a Significant or Major Milestone, depending on how long and how involved the story has been.

 GM, 24 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 07:12
Consequences and Recovery - How Long Will That Take?
We are going to take a little bit of a different tack on Healing Consequences.  I am hoping that I am staying within the spirit of the setting with this.  if you have any concerns, let's discuss it.

The book defines the consequences and recovery from them as follows:
  • Minor Consequence - cancels 2 stress, lasts for one scene after recovery starts (BRUISED HANDS, DISTRACTED)
  • Moderate Consequence - cancels 4 stress, lasts until the end of the next session after recovery starts (FIRST DEGREE BURN, EXHAUSTED)
  • Severe Consequence - cancels 6 stress, lasts for the next scenario or two or three sessions after recovery starts

Narrative Justification
First off, please realize that Consequences need a narrative justification before they can be healed.  That's the whole "After recovery starts bit.

If your character has A BLOODY NOSE at the end of scene 01.01, he does not automatically heal up at the start of scene 01.02.    He is going to have a bloody nose through scene 01.02.  He should be doing what he can to justify recovery... wadding tissue up his nostrils, putting ice on his nose... whatever.  That is the narrative justification so that when scene 01.03 rolls around, he's free and clear and the Minor Consequence is gone.  Also note that you cannot start recovery on a Consequence during the scene in which the character acquired the Consequence.  You pretty much have to carry the consequence through the next scene (or down-time).

What about down-time between scenes?
Okay, so what if scene 01.02 takes place an hour after scene 01.01?  Or even the next day?
This can also serve as narrative justification.  But we need some sort of narrative reference to justify the removal of the Consequence.    So, give me a line that acknowledges the existence (and removal) of the consequence:  "Mike touched his nose, tenderly.  It took hours to get the bleeding to stop the night before, and he was worried about how he looked..."   Awesome.

What About Moderate and Severe Consequences
Here's where we start really deviating from the book.  When we agree on a Consequence, we're also going to have to agree on how long that consequence should last before recovery should start.

How long do you think the following Consequences should last?  I've put my knee-jerk thoughts after.  This is entirely open to negotiation and discussion.  That's what the Meta-Game thread is for.

  • Exhausted (Moderate mental) - A day or a few days
  • Tongue-Tied (Minor social) - A minute or a few minutes
  • Grumpy (Moderate social/mental) - A few hours to a day
  • Taking This Out on the Next Person I See (Minor social) - 15 minutes to an afternoon
  • Blinding Migraine (Moderate mental) - An afternoon to a day
  • Broken Finger (Moderate physical) - a few days to a few weeks
  • Cracked Rib (Severe/Moderate physical) - a week to a month
  • Belly Slash (Severe physical) - a week to a month
  • Post-Combat-Shakes (Minor physical) - 15 minutes to an hour
  • Curb-Stomped (Severe/Extreme physical) - a month to a season
  • Did Someone Get the Number of that Semi? (Severe/Extreme physical) - a few months to a year

Note that the Time ladder looks like this:
An Instant
A few moments
Half a minute
A Minute
A few minutes
15 minutes
Half an hour
An hour
A Few hours
An afternoon
A day
A few days
A week
A few weeks
A month
A few months
A Season
Half a year
A year
A few years
A decade
A generation
A mortal lifetime
Several mortal lifetimes

Extreme Consequences
I hope we don't ever have to use these... but the dramatic potential is absolutely awesome.    Extreme Consequences cancel out 8-stress, but you must replace one of your existing Aspects with an Aspect referencing the Consequence.  Harry's burnt hand is the primary ezample used for this.

Our guy, Mike, took the Extreme Physical Consequence DID SOMEONE GET THE NUMBER OF THAT SEMI?, because he is all sorts of messed up.  After weeks in the hospital, his player decides that Mike now walks with a severe limp...  So, Mike switches out one of his Aspects to AIN'T EVER GONNA WALK RIGHT AGAIN
 GM, 26 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2014
at 07:17
Tasks over Time
On occasion, we'll have reason to undertake a task over a period of time.  Examples might be:
  • Library-time to do research on   (Scholarship)
  • Lab-time to do a forensic study  (Investigation, Scholarship)
  • Working a crowd (Rapport)
  • Creating a weather-shelter in the scrublands (Survival)

There are three ways to approach this:  narratively, mechanically, and with hand-waving.  Narratively, we roleplay it out.  Mechanically, we roll dice.  Ideally, we roll dice when there's no real drama to roleplaying it out.  To my mind, this applies to most solitary pursuits.  "Oh!  there she goes, reading again!  How exciting!"

Once again, we will only use this approach if there's sufficient drama to warrant a dice-roll.  If there's no drama in failure, you won't fail.   If this is a task that serves to get us to the next stage of the story, then you will succeed.   If, however, there is potential drama in a failure, I definitely want the roll.

Like Cheer-Saving Thaumaturgy, this is simply to save us time...

You roll 4dF + the appropriate skill.
  • If you match the assigned threshold, that's how long it takes to do the task.
  • If you fall short of the assigned threshold, the amount you fall short of translates to increased time and/or decreased results.
  • If you exceed the threshold, the amount you exceed by shortens the time taken.


If there's no drama in failure, you won't fail.

We'll just hand-wave it and move on.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:15, Tue 19 July 2016.

 GM, 343 posts
Tue 19 Jul 2016
at 03:21
Here's how combat works here...
  1. GM records the NPC actions in a GM-only thread before the start of any combat exchange.  This will not be revealed until the combat breakdown stage, later.
  2. GM calls for an initiative roll.  This is 4dF(X) + ALERTNESS(X).
    GM participates in this on equal footing... most the time.
  3. Players post their actions:
    • Roll Initiative
    • Declare Action
    • Roll for said action

  4. GM posts a draft "Exchange Breakdown".
    GM may choose to include "default actions" for those who haven't posted an action before a declared deadline.
  5. PCs will roll defense & spend fate-points as they choose.
  6. GM will post completed exchange breakdown
  7. GM will post narrative

The draft exchange breakdown will look like this:


Shoot NPC:Mark, Guns:+2, Weapon-Value:+2
PC:Steve rolled 4dF(+1) + Guns(+2) == Attack(+3)
NPC:Mark rolled (Private to GM: 4dF(-3) + Athletics(+2) + Speed(+2) ==) Defend(+1)
Attack(+3) - Defend(+1) == Effort(+2) + Weapon-Value(+2) - Armor(+2) == Damage(+2)
NPC:Mark takes 2-stress from Steve's gun attack
Mark already has the two-dot stress marked off.  It'll have to roll-up to the 3rd stress dot.


Attack Steve, Fists:+3, Weapon-Value:+2
NPC:Mark rolled (Private to GM: 4dF(+3) + Fists(+3) ==) Attack(+6)
Steve, roll to defend.  Athletics to Dodge or Fists for close-combat
Default Outcome: GM rolled 4dF(+1) + Athletics(+3) == Defend(+4)
Attack(+6) - Defend(+4) == Effort(+2) + Weapon-Value(+2) == Damage(+4)
Steve takes 4-stress from Mark's Claws attack

After the draft is posted, the actions are defined.  Only the rolls can be changed, fate-points spent, consequences defined.

Important Note
It is possible, under this process, that a player may declare an action (ie, "I run for the tree-line!" and then find out that they cannot complete their action because someone higher up in the initiative roster has made that action impossible (Sadly, Mike just knocked her off her feet).

In this situation, you'll need to come up with something else to do during that action that does not contradict what has happened...
 GM, 344 posts
Tue 19 Jul 2016
at 03:22
Discovering Aspects
One of the big issues that often comes up with Dresden Files games is the fact that Dresden is a Private Investigator...  This often colors the games toward some sort of mystery.

A Mystery game sometimes poses a problem in Fate because there is information about what's really going on that the characters do not have access to yet.

However, if you refer to Your Story p113, you'll note that the heading on that page is:
CREATING AND DISCOVERING ASPECTS IN PLAY.  So, we have a mechanism for discovery in play already.  But it's still not quite appropriate for revealing that Old Man Jenkins was really sneaking around wearing a monster mask because the amusement park was in receivership...

So, after reading a little on Ryan Macklin's page The Fifth Action for Fate Core, I'd like to make a rule-change.

When you roll for an assessment, maneuver or declaration--anything that discovers or creates an Aspect for you can also be used to discover a relevant piece of information that becomes fact in the story.

It probably wouldn't be of any real advantage to you to slap GOING INTO RECEIVERSHIP on the amusement park.   How would you ever tag or invoke this?  But your character discovering that this is soemthing that is happening could be a huge deal, as it lays groundwork for unraveling the mystery.

We will run with this and adjust as necessary as we go.

Also note:  http://ryanmacklin.com/ is an awesom blog for Fate Core and Dresden Files.   He was an Assistant Editor on the Dresden Files Your Story and Our World, and heavily involved with The Paranet papers too.  Definitely worth the time to peruse his blog.