The Copper Coast
You roll the dice when there’s some kind of interesting opposition keeping you from achieving your goals. If there’s no interesting opposition, you just accomplish whatever you say you’re trying to do.
Characters in a Fate game solve their problems proactively. Players, during the game you’re going to do a lot—you might break into the bad guy’s fortress, pilot a ship past a raging maelstrom , rally a group of peasants into a protest, or poll a network of waifs to get the latest word on the street.
Whenever you take action, there’s a good chance that something or someone is going to be in your way. It wouldn’t be an interesting story if the bad guy just rolled over and handed you victory on a plate—clearly, he’s got guards or locked gates to keep you out of his place. Or the maelstrom is trying to pull yo into it’s maw. Or the peasants are really afraid of the Baron. Or someone’s been bribing the waifs to keep quiet.
That’s when it’s time to take out the dice. When you make a skill roll, you’re taking one of four actions: overcome, create an advantage, attack, or defend.
• Choose the character’s skill that is appropriate to the action.
• Roll four Fate dice.
• Add together the symbols showing on the dice.
• Add your skill rating to the dice roll. The total is your result on the ladder.
• If you invoke an aspect, add +2 to your result or re-roll the dice.
Whenever you roll the dice, you’re comparing your roll to your opposition. Opposition is either active, meaning it’s another person rolling dice against you, or passive, meaning that it’s just a set rating on the ladder which represents the influence of the environment or situation you’re in.
The Four Outcomes
When you roll the dice, either you’re going to fail, tie, succeed, or succeed with style.
Every roll you make in a Fate game results in one of four outcomes, generally speaking. The specifics may change a little depending on what kind of action you’re taking (see The Four Actions), but all the game actions fit this general pattern.
If you roll lower than your opposition, you fail.
This means one of several things: you don’t get what you want, you get what you want at a serious cost, or you suffer some negative mechanical consequence. Sometimes, it means more than one of those. It’s the GM’s job to determine an appropriate cost.
If you roll the same as your opposition, you tie.
This means you get what you want, but at a minor cost, or you get a lesser version of what you wanted.
If you roll higher than your opposition by 1 or 2 shifts, you succeed.
This means you get what you want at no cost.
Succeed with Style
If you roll higher than your opposition by 3 or more shifts, you succeed with style.
This means that you get what you want, but you also get an added benefit on top of that.