OOC: Reference: DFA Mechanics.   Posted by Control.Group: 0
 GM, 21 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 19:51
OOC: 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 transparent when in play.  But I want it clear how I'll be dealing with things.

Message 01: Info: Index of References
Message 02: Info: Time-Increment & The Ladder
Message 03: Rule: Initiative & Dice-Rolling
Message 04: Rule: Scene, Session & Scenario - Lengths of Time
Message 05: Rule: Consequences and Recovery - How Long Will That Take?
Message 06: Rule: RPOL Combat
Message 07: Rule: Conflict Countdown
Message 08: Rule: Weapons & Armor
Message 09: Info: Sample Character Sheet
Message 10: Book Rule:  Conditions
Message 11: Book Rule:  Scale

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:13, Sun 07 May 2017.

 GM, 22 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 19:51
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 03:06, Sat 20 May 2017.

 GM, 23 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 19:57
Initiative &  Dice-Rolling

For sake of brevity, I will determine initiative when going into a potential combat situation.  Typically Initiative is based on your approaches. In a physical conflict, your Quick approach will be key.  In a mental conflict, The Careful approach will likely be key.  It ma be that conditions apply.

I reserve the right to roll for passive actions (first impressions, alertness/notice checks.  Asking for a roll then waiting for it and adjudicating it is three steps where I believe one would suffice.  I will usually make those roll-results known so that you can decide whether it's worth spending a fate-point, etc. to modify your standing.  Remember, you can make this decision to spend fate-points after the roll.

If you can't imagine a dramatic positive and a dramatic negative result from a roll... don't roll.  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 00:38, Tue 21 Mar 2017.

 GM, 24 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 20:01
Scenes, Sessions, Stories - How long is that?
For our purposes:
  • 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 FA33-34).  Items and stunts that can be used "once per session" will reset.  This still needs to make narrative sense (ie, a one-shot weapon that hasn't been reloaded in a scene that follows immediately after another scene, can't be used until it's reloaded)..  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, 25 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 20:06
Consequences & Recovery
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.
 GM, 26 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 23:13
RPOL Combat
Okay, here's my basic breakdown.

  1. As the GM, I pre-define all the NPC moves for the round.  I write myself a note in the GM-Only thread.
  2. The players post their moves and rolls together.  They have the option to declare up front that they're spending fate points and/or conditions under which it'll happen.
  3. I draft an "Exchange Breakdown" and include "default actions" for those who haven't posted an action.
  4. PCs will roll defense & spend fate-points as they choose.  In very rare circumstances, I might spend fate-points from the GM-Pool...  The "draft exchange" isn't set in stone yet.
  5. I post the completed exchange breakdown
  6. I or one of the players will post a narrative breakdown of what just happened...

The draft exchange breakdown typically looks like this:
  • +3 Steve
    • Action: Shoot NPC:Mark with Focus+2
    • PC:Steve rolled 4dF(+1) + Focus(+2) == Attack(+3)
      • NPC:Mark rolled (Private to GM: 4dF(-1) + Haste(+2) ==) Defend(+1)
      • THEREFORE: Attack(+3) - Defend(+1) == Damage(+2)
      • NPC:Mark takes 2-stress from Steve's gun attack
      • Mark already has two-dot of stress marked off.  It'll have to roll-up to the 3rd stress dot.
  • +3 Mark
    • Action: Attack Steve with his bare fists using Force+3
    • NPC:Mark rolled (Private to GM: 4dF(+3) + Force(+3) ==) Attack(+6)
    • Steve, roll to defend.  Haste to Dodge or Force for close-combat.
      • Default Outcome (if you don't act by Wednesday):
        • GM rolled 4dF(+1) + Haste(+3) == Defend(+4)
        • Attack(+6) - Defend(+4) == Damage(+2)
        • Steve takes 2-stress from Mark's Claws attack.
        • You wanna spend a fate point?
  • +2 Joanne
    • Action: Create Advantage "FURIOUSLY DISTRACTED" on Mark with Guile+2
    • PC:Joanne rolled 4dF(+3) + Guile(+2) == Attack(+5)
      • NPC: Mark rolled Intellect to defend.  (Private to GM: 4dF(0) + Intellect(+2) ==) Defend(+2)
      • THEREFORE: Attack(+5) - Defend(++2) == Create Advantage(+3)
      • Joanne creates "FURIOUSLY DISTRACTED" on Mark
      • In fact, it was  Success with Style, so...  Joanne gets two free invocations she can use starting with the next exchange!

After the draft exchange  is posted, the actions are defined.  Fate-points can still be  spent and Aspects/Consequences defined.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:13, Sun 07 May 2017.

 GM, 27 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 23:13
Conflict Countdown
Conflict Countdown
Based on the article Conflict Countdown by Brendan Conway, published by Magpie Games in The Fate Codex Volume 2

When a conflict begins, I may choose to set up a "Conflict Counter" of up to six boxes. Every second stress box triggers a Conflict Twist.

A Twist
A twist is a change to the circumstances of the conflict, something that complicates, expands, or redirects the stakes of the battle. Twists make the conflicts ever-changing and interesting, but they shouldn’t give an advantage to the opposition or punish the players. Instead, they keep the story moving whenever conflicts start to bog down.

If any of the twists can work as a compel on one of the PCs’ aspects or on an existing scene aspect the PCs still get their fate points as normal for compels.  If you refuse a compel based on a twist, we'll probably need to negotiate a different twist instead.

I will start marking stress in the first track,  once every character in the conflict has had one action—unless any PC in the conflicts
  • Succeeds with style on an attack or defense;
  • Inflicts or suffers a consequence; or
  • Compels a character using an existing aspect

In other words, if no Aspect is compelled or created via a Consequence and no success-with-style occurs, the conflict counter will continue to count down.

Each time two stress-boxes are ticked of, a new Twist will be introduced. If the conflict counter is full-up with six boxes checked off, the seventh will force the conflict to end in a Shake-Up.

The Shake-Up
A shake-up is a major change to the circumstances of the conflict, like a twist but amplified. A shake-up always ends the prior conflict entirely, but often leads directly into another conflict.

            [1] [2] TWIST   [1] [2] TWIST   [1] [2] TWIST  

This work uses material from Conflict Countdown, published by Magpie Games in The Fate Codex Volume 2, Issue 3 and written by Brendan Conway, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en_US )

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:29, Mon 20 Mar 2017.

 GM, 28 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 23:19
Weapons & Armor
Weapons & Armor
We are using Weapon & Armor Values.   Weapon & Armor-Values are applied once a hit has been determined to be a successful.  The remaining Effort of the hit is added to the Weapon-Value.  Any Armor-value is subtracted from this.

In this way it is possible to hit a target but not do any damage (the armor was successful).  It is also possible to hit a target for +0 and then apply weapon-damage to do +2 damage...

+1Small "Pocket" weapons,dagger, stun-gun, taser
+2Bigger weaponspistol, sword
+3Two-handed weaponsrifle

+1Light armorsilk, leather and kevlar, standard EVA suit
+2Heavier armorChain & ballistic armor
+3Heavy armorFull plate, full
+4Very Heavy ArmorPowered-armor

Of course, the trade-off with armor is that it impact maneuverability and not all armor defends well against all attacks. Chainmail may work well at fending off sword-blows but crushing weapons (mace, etc) will still crush.

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 23:28, Sun 19 Mar 2017.

 GM, 29 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 23:53
Character Sheet
This is a sample only.  You are not obligated to use this.

Refresh: 3

Stress, Stunts & Conditions
Stress: (OOO OOO),
Mantle Information:  (Mantle Stunts, Mantle Conditions)

One Good, Two Fair, Two Average, One Mediocre
Flair +0, Focus +0, Force +0, Guile +0, Haste +0, Intellect +0

High-Concept: UNDEFINED
Trouble:      UNDEFINED
Open:         UNDEFINED
Open:         UNDEFINED
Open:         UNDEFINED


NAME: Name (Mantle Title)
REFRESH: 3/3 APPROACHES: Flair +0, Focus +0, Force +0, Guile +0, Haste +0, Intellect +0; ASPECTS: HIGH-CONCEPT, TROUBLE, ORIGINAL FIRST, OPTIONAL SECOND, OPTIONAL THIRD; MANTLE: Mantle Stunt, Mantle Stunt, Mantle Condition, Mantle Condition; STRESS & CONDITIONS: Stress OOO OOO, Mantle Condition OOO OOO, Condition OOO OOO

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:47, Sat 22 Apr 2017.

 GM, 63 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 05:34
 A condition represents and initiates special rules following certain events during the game. You mark the condition when the event transpires and apply all rules in the condition’s description. Recovery from the condition is requisite before you can mark it again.

Three types of conditions are as follows:
  • Fleeting: You recover from the condition during a prolonged respite from the action, at the end of the scene, or at some other similarly trivial point.
  • Sticky: Concrete action must be taken to recover the condition and a dice roll is typically mandated.
  • Lasting: Same as a sticky condition but time must pass (usually an entire session), or you must also fulfill a secondary objective to recover.

This models persistent harm to your character and the innate features of having a particular mantle. Each character receives three conditions by default:
  • In Peril (sticky)
    You may mark the In Peril condition whenever you are hit by an attack. Negate up to four shifts of damage from the attack and then create an aspect that describes how the attack causes damage not easily shaken o  (such as a Broken Leg or Shattered Reputation). Whoever inflicted  the condition is awarded a free invoke on that aspect. Recover from In Peril when you act deliberately to resolve the peril: medical attention for an injury, a bribe to erase the slight on your reputation.  is typically entails overcoming an obstacle against an opposition of Great (+4) or higher.
  • Doomed (lasting), and
    You may mark the Doomed condition whenever you are hit by an attack. Negate up to six shifts of damage from the attack and then create an aspect that describes how the attack has rendered you almost helpless, such as Bleeding Out or Ready to Embrace the Dark Side. Whoever in icted the condition is awarded a free invoke on that aspect. Recover from Doomed when you act deliberately to resolve the doom: emergency medical attention, the intervention of a White Council healer skilled in mental magic, or something similar.  is typically entails overcoming an obstacle against an opposition of Great (+4) or higher. Clear out Doomed at the end of the next session after you’ve started recovery. If Doomed is checked and you are taken out (page 189), death is one of the possible outcomes.
  • Indebted (sticky).
    Mark one or more boxes when you have accrued a debt to a powerful group, person, or entity.  The number of boxes you mark depends on the magnitude of the favor done for you; the GM has  final say.
    Recover boxes of Indebted by doing favors for the lender in return, on their terms. Typically, a fairly safe but challenging task recovers one box, a dangerous task recovers two boxes, and a task that puts you in mortal danger or could otherwise permanently impact you recovers all boxes.
    You may carry debt with more than one lender, but must recover them separately.  (ie, if you have one box of debt to a demon and one to a local sorcerer, when you do something for the demon worth two boxes of recovery, it does not remove your debt to the sorcerer.)  If all boxes are full and you wish to acquire more debt, you may default on one of your current debts—the GM will tell you what happens, but you may clear out those boxes for further use.

 GM, 64 posts
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 05:40
The game includes five potential levels of scale:
  • Mundane (Willa)
    This represents all things absent of supernatural influence, the common homo sapiens without magical power or sponsorship.
  • Supernatural (most of you guys)
    This comprises the majority of mantles described within this treatise, i.e., any phenomena beyond mortal ken, such as magic or magi- cal creatures. Inexperienced Knights of the Cross or of the Faerie Courts may operate on this level. Wizards, vampires, changelings, and scions are de facto representatives of this level.
  • Otherwordly
    Otherworldly dictates the most powerful of those supernatural forces in our mortal realm. Senior Council wizards, Lord Raith of the White Court of vampires, legendary creatures such as the naagloshii, and Sidhe nobility. At the GM’s discretion, this level may include experienced Knights of the Cross and other emissaries of power.
  • Legendary
    This includes direct influence of major, named powers from the Nevernever, including Queens Mab and Titania, the Ladies of the Faerie Courts, and the dragon Ferrovax. Also ranking here are individuals who represent the pinnacle of their supernatural collective, e.g., Nicodemus.
  • Godlike
    Godlike involves direct influence of the universe’s mightiest forces: the angelic Host, Hades, Odin and other named gods, the Mothers of the Faerie Courts, and so on.

When applying scale to two opposing forces or individuals, compare each side’s level and then apply one of the following benefits to whichever is scaled higher:
  • +1 per scale level to their action before the roll
  • +2 per scale level to the result after the roll, if the roll succeeds
  • 1 free invocation per scale level on a successful advantage after the roll

 GM, 119 posts
Mon 1 May 2017
at 09:31
Ritual Magic
Ritual magic needs to be expressed in game terms.  A simple tracking ritual is strong enough narratively, that it can be introduced as an Advantage or a Stunt, without necessarily needing to roll dice at all, or simply rolling it as an appropriate Overcome action.  But the bigger, more complex stuff... That's going to require some negotiation.

You may realize the effect you desire is easily modeled by the standard results of the game’s actions. For example, a practitioner’s ward of a building may be represented with a create an advantage action (or multiple actions, if the practitioner has sufcient preparation time) and invoking the aspect whenever the ward’s influence is relevant. If the character desires achievement of a simple goal (e.g., tracking down a target), use an overcome action. A battle of wills with a summoned entity can be a conflict between the wizard and that entity; the sole change is the contextual interpretation of damage and being taken out.

Sometimes, however, the associations are not so clear: the effect you desire is better described as temporary access to a stunt or condition with the desired effect, something more powerful than, or vastly different from, what the character can normally bring to bear. At such a juncture, treat the situation as a full ritual spell and use the system delineated on the following:

In game context, a successful ritual spell is represented by temporary stunt effects and/or conditions that model a given magical effect. Potential outcomes are near limitless—one may duplicate any ability possessed by any mantle in this book, or invent new ones as one’s imagination dictates, according to the guidelines on page 114. In general, the desired outcomes tend to coalesce around a few common themes:
  • Temporarily granting a supernatural boon
  • Defining the terms of a supernatural pact or bargain
  • Enchanting an item with a particular ability to solve a specific problem
  • Imbuing a location with a supernatural property
  • Inconveniencing or harming others from a distance
  • Gaining access to information otherwise impossible to learn
  • Summoning beings from the Nevernever

In general, if the GM judges that the desired effect you describe is best represented as one or more stunts or conditions, that action is a ritual spell. Preparing and performing ritual spells requires time and energy and must never be undertaken lightly.

You cannot cast any spell in which you doubt either your ability or your purpose. Your values and convictions must also align with the spell’s nature and intent... In general, magic never responds to someone acting against their nature. Compassionate people find it challenging to lay curses upon or magically harm another. Those quick to anger find their magic alters course toward destructive ends. Exceptions usually transpire as a result of extreme stress or a profound grudge toward a particular individual or group.

Within the game, the GM and player should therefore review the character’s aspects and current situation in light of the desired effect to determine whether the character’s belief is strong enough to justify attempting the ritual.

Direct harm or serious inconvenience to a target should require that the target or an affiliated group is named in one of the character’s aspects as an object of ire; the ritual should be consistent with aspects representing the character’s personal philosophies. If the ritual’s intent is summoning an entity for its aid, the character should possess an aspect that is sympathetic with the entity’s principles or suggests a direct relationship. The GM may impose complications (page 173) if the character does not have the requisite relationship or suggest that the player rethink the ritual to conform more closely to the ethos of the player’s character


Step One: Name the effect.
Summarize the desired outcome until you and the GM are satisfied.
You should be able to state specifically in one or two sentences the desired outcome in game terms. GMs should guide players to this specificity and note any issues, risks, or problems envisioned with the ritual and determine whether that desired effect is achievable through the game’s normal actions or could be better expressed as a milestone

Step Two: Describe the effect.
Build the stunts and conditions you need to fully realize the ritual.
You build the rules for the effect by combining a number of the standard effects from stunts and conditions, and combine as many of them as you need until you have described all the facets of your ritual’s effects in game terms.
If your ritual imparts or requires a condition, you must determine if it is fleeting, sticky, or lasting, as well as what circumstances trigger the condition and how long the effects last. If your ritual provides stunt benefits, you should make a note of how many normal stunts, or normal stunts’ worth of benefits, you had to use to represent the spell.

Step Tree: Prepare the spell.
Take an overcome action with an appropriate approach to determine the accuracy of your preparations.
Preparing a ritual spell is normally an application of the Focus approach, although GMs may entertain suggestions as to the appropriateness of a different approach. The PC may also be required to pay an additional cost, regardless of the ritual’s outcome, to use the preferred approach. Either way, the PC makes an overcome action against opposition based on the number of conditions and stunts attached to the ritual:
  • +2 for every stunt or fleeting condition
  • +3 for every sticky condition
  • +4 for every lasting condition

If the roll to overcome seems difficult, know that failing the roll does not equate to failing to perform the ritual; it merely determines who chooses the nature of costs required for the ritual in the next step

Step Four: Pay the cost.
Do whatever is necessary to perform the ritual.
As Wizard Dresden noted in an early casefle, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In this, the final step, we make this truth manifest. Costs are dependent on the number of requisite conditions or stunts for the ritual:
  • Each stunt or fleeting condition requires one cost
  • Each sticky condition requires two costs
  • Each lasting condition requires three costs

Players render payment by accepting narrative complications or by spending their character’s resources. Who chooses these costs is a direct outcome of your roll to prepare the ritual:
  • Success with style, you choose all of them.
  • Success, you choose all but one
  • Tie, you and the GM take turns choosing costs, with the GM starting
  • If you fail, the GM chooses all costs.

You may accept costs in several categories of complication; each complication pays one cost.
  • Time:
    Performing the ritual takes longer than expected and thus the
    situation you face will worsen or someone will have the opportunity to
    gain an advantage on you. You complete the ritual in time to be useful,
    but perhaps just barely.
  • Components:
    A rare component or a common component with limited availability must be acquired before proceeding with the ritual. Examples include a stronger symbolic link to the target, more sophisticated ritual trappings, or obscure lore that you do not currently possess.
  • Assistance:
    You require the aid of a certain NPC or faction outside of your usual network of associates, such as an expert in a particular kind of magic. You must convince them to assist you and may risk their demand for a boon in exchange.
  • Special Circumstance:
    The ritual must be completed at a specific place or time or under a specific circumstance such as a full moon, a storm, or a natural disaster, and you must somehow ensure your readiness for when that circumstance comes to pass.
  • Attention:
    Performing the ritual attracts unwanted and unfortunate notice. This party, whoever they may be, will immediately seek to interfere with or meddle in your affairs for their own gain.
  • Altered Effect or Drawback:
    You must revise the effect to include a critical complication, weakness, or drawback or change the spell’s workings to your detriment.

Many complications require you to play entire scenes to make sure they are fulfilled; this outcome is as intended. Te more ambitious a practitioner’s reach, the more consuming a given act of ritual magic, the more the ritual consumes the caster’s life. An extremely potent ritual may become the subject of an entire scenario or even a story arc.

At the GM’s discretion, marking a sticky or lasting condition pays one cost of a spell. Choosing a lasting condition over a sticky condition gives no additional benefit; such are the demands of the universe. You must justify how marking the condition helps with the ritual. In the case of Indebted or other multi-box conditions, it should require marking two or three boxes to pay the cost—more if the condition is from a Pure Mortal mantle.

If the ritual’s effect is represented by a condition, recovering from the condition ends the spell. If the result is a stunt effects, you have until the end of the scenario to declare in which scene you are using your ritual; you benefit from those stunts for the duration of that scene or until your next point of significant downtime. GMs should be flexible in ruling on duration; if one scene leads directly into another, the spell’s effects may be allowed to continue.
 GM, 121 posts
Tue 2 May 2017
at 02:24
Basic Actions
To resolve an action taken by your character:
  1. Describe your character’s objective and how they plan to accomplish it.
  2. If what your character is attempting is possible, determine whether any opposition to the action exists owing to time constraints, circumstances, or interference from other characters.
  3. If there is no opposition, your character succeeds and you move on.
  4. Otherwise, decide which approach most suits your description of the action as allowed by the circumstances: Flair, Focus, Force, Guile, Haste, or Intellect.
  5. Determine which of the four actions best fits your character’s objective in performing the action: create an advantage, overcome, attack, or defend.
  6. Roll the dice and add the result to your character’s rating in that approach. To improve your roll, apply any stunt or teamwork bonuses or invoke helpful aspects.
  7. Resolve the outcome: succeed, succeed with style, tie, or fail.

The Four Actions and Four Outcomes are just as they are described in Fate Accelerated.

Six approaches define how you can accomplish an action:
  • Flair:
    An action that draws attention to you, replete with style and panache.
    Examples: Delivering an inspiring speech to your army, embarrassing your opponent in a duel, producing a magical fireworks display.
  • Focus:
    Time-consuming action in which close attention is paid to detail so the task is properly executed on the first attempt.
    Examples: Lining up a long-range sniper rifle shot, attentively standing watch, disarming a bank’s alarm system.
  • Force:
    A display of brute strength rather than subtlety.
    Examples: Wrestling a troll, staring down a werewolf, casting a powerful magic spell.
  • Guile:
    An effort focusing on misdirection, stealth, or deceit.
    Examples: Talking your way out of getting arrested, picking a pocket, feinting in a sword fight.
  • Haste:
    A dexterous movement with alacrity.
    Examples: Dodging a shot, landing the first punch, disarming a bomb as it ticks 3…2…1.
  • Intellect:
    Quick thinking, the solving of complex problems, or accounting for numerous variables at once.
    Examples: Code breaking, outwitting a Fae courtier, counting cards in a poker game.