The Copper Coast
Skills are rated on the adjective ladder. The higher the rating, the better your character is at the skill. Taken together, your list of skills gives you a picture of that character’s potential for action at a glance—what you’re best at, what you’re okay at, and what you’re not so good at.
We define skills in two ways in Fate—in terms of the game actions that you can do with them, and the context in which you can use them. There are only a handful of basic game actions, but the number of potential contexts is infinite.
Skills are the way your character interacts with and changes the game world. Any time there’s a question of whether or not your character can successfully do what you want her to, a skill roll is called for.
Your skills form a pyramid, with a single skill rated at Great (+ 4)—which we’ll usually refer to as the peak skill—and more skills at each lower rating on the ladder going down to Average (+ 1):
• One Great (+ 4) skill
• Two Good (+ 3) skills
• Three Fair (+ 2) skills
• Four Average (+ 1) skills
Mediocre (+ 0) is the default for any skill you do not take. Sometimes, a skill will state that it’s unavailable if a character didn’t take it; in those cases, it’s not even at Mediocre.
The list of skills below should cover any action you choose to undertake. Each skill describes the circumstances where you can use it.
1 . Overcome (Obstacles)
2 . Create Advantage
3 . Attack
4 . Defend
Not every skill can be used in all of these ways. Each skill description specifies how the skill can be used to achieve each of these goals. If one of these goals isn’t mentioned in a skill description, the skill can’t be used to achieve the goal.
Some skills have other special uses that fall outside the ordinary. These are usually just automatic advantages conferred by the skill and rarely require a roll. Any such special uses will be noted in the skill description.