[Fate] Jednorázová vyhodnocení

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What it is about

Fate evaluates conflict situations gradually, using the logic of actions and reactions. That is, you determinate the order in which the characters act in the scene and each character performs his / her action. Characters affected by this action may perform their reaction (usually Defense or Active Opposition). The result is a relatively "traditional" gameplay that we know from many other systems (DnD, GURPS ...).


The logic of action and reaction is not the only possible. The second edition of Fate included (for certain purposes) a system that ignored the reaction - everybody reported their actions, and these were subsequently evaluated against each other. Each event thus served as an opposition to the actions of others. At the expense of less detail and "rougher" judgment, this logic offers a faster assessment of situations, making it especially popular among players who prefer more "narrative" and less "rules-ish" styles of play. (In addition, it has some additional benefits for many other players in some specific situations, namely for example close combat, but this is a completely different topic.)


For various reasons fourth edition of Fate (Core and Accelerated) does not contain this logic directly in the text of the main rules, and many players who prefer it felt sorry because of that. But in fact, there is no big problem with this logic even in the fourth edition. Fate is still Fate.


There are two basic ways of proceeding with such evaluation. Both of these have in common that you need to be able to agree on the relationship between the actions that individual characters perform. This requires a certain level of consideration and agreement between players: if 5 characters decide to perform different actions, it is necessary to be on the same wavelength of what characters defend their actions against each other and who do not. In practice, it is not so much a problem - if something is not clear at first sight, it is usually enough to describe the action just a little bit more.


All common rules still apply for all "four actions" (Overcome, Create an Advantage, Attack, Defense) as well as for Active and Passive Opposition regarding their effects and outcomes. The use of a one-shot evaluation is an intervention into the system, but it is a smaller than it seems - most of Fate can handle it without having to change anything (although some stunts related to action and reaction mechanics may require modifications).


1th option: evaluation according to shifts

In this option, the evaluation has two steps - in the first step, everyone rolls on their skills against some given difficulty and then compares their results according to the gained shifts.


The first step of the evaluation is easy: describe your action, determine the skill you will use and roll dice. If you are dealing with an environment, determine the difficulty normally. If you are dealing with another character, use one of its skills as a difficulty level (for example, if you are attacking someone with Fight 3, you roll against difficulty 3). You can adjust the roll in common ways (invoking aspects, boosts), but do not apply any of the "four results" (success with style, etc.) yet.


If you roll less than the difficulty, you simply failed. If you throw 0 or more shifts, compare your results against others. First evaluate the action of the character that has achieved most shifts and then proceed in descending order. Every time you are evaluating someone's action, determine if this action is not contradicted by any of the previously evaluated actions (meaning by actions of characters that have achieved more shifts). If so, then your action has failed automatically. If not, evaluate it in the usual way.


If someone gets for 3 and more shifts more compared to the character with best results from those who oppose her, than such character succeeds with style. If two characters who are trying for something what is in contradiction get the same number of shifts, they both tie - to that I'll return little bit later. All boosts gained can only be used in the next exchange (and boosts gained from the success with style on the attack still costs 1 shift).


This method of evaluation is (at least at first glance) slightly more complicated than the following because it contains two steps - counting shifts of all actions and then comparing them. It's still a bit faster / smoother than when you evaluate each action and reaction separately. In exchange for this, it has several advantages: it is easily interconnected with other mechanics (especially contests), it simply compares combat and non-combat actions with each other and mainly leaves a tactical variety in the game because it is often worthwhile to use some of your worse skills (since it can give more favorable difficulty).


Dividing actions

If someone decides to divide their action then they first roll for their skill, then break the result between the targets, compare the assigned values against the difficulty, and then evaluate the number of shifts they get. (Example: I'm going to attack first, I roll 7, then I split this between my two targets like 4 and 3, then I compare it against the difficulty given by their defense - let's say it's 2 for both - and I find out that I got 2 shifts against the first and 1 shift against the other, and these 2 and 1 shifts are then compared to the actions of other characters in the scene.)


Actions "in the middle"

With more characters in the scene, it can easyly happen that smebody takes an action (usually Create an Advantage) which affects more enemies at once. And sooner or later, some opponents will get less shifts than you, while others will get more, without their own actions necessarily interfering with your broad action itself.


Let's say, for example, that a sorceress decides to rise a fire wall between her allies and enemies, and only some enemies get more shifts than she, but their own actions do not prevent the wizard from casting her spell. Logically, enemies that have more shifts can do their actions, while enemies who gained less are stopped by her spell.


However, if any of the enemies who have gained more shifts prevent the sorceress from casting her spell (for example, somebody may be counterspelling her) then the sorceress would fail. Enemies who gained less than she would not be affected by her spell and they could proceed with their own actions (unless someone else was able to prevent them). It is primarily up to your group to agree what action really prevents the sorceress from acting, and generally it is better to let the action pass, if it makes a little sense. If sorceress get attacked by one or more enemies who rolled more shifts than her, it can easily be interpreted as that sorceress will cast her spell before these enemies reach her (and the witch will still affect enemies with fewer shifts).


2nd Option: evaluating according to rolls

The second way to handle this is to evalate actions literally against each other, directly according to thier roll results. Each action thus becomes the opposition for all actions that it logically contradicts to.


So if 5 characters decide to perform their actions, then everyone will roll on their skills and then compare their results against each other. Start evaluating from the one who rolled the most and go downhill. For each character, ask yourself again if any of the previously evaluated actions (ie, actions of the characters that roll higher) contradicts the action they are trying to do. If not, the action succeeded. If yes, the action failed.


To find the number of shifts you get, find the character with the highest roll that contradicts your action with hers and compare yourself against her. If you have 3 or more shifts more than the best opponent who contradicts your action, you have succeeded in style. If you have 1 or 2 shifts more, you have succeeded ordinerily. If you have the same, a tie has occurred between you (the details of the tie will be discussed below). If your opponent has one or more than one shift then you, then you fail (do not evaluate how much - any significant difference is already reflected in the success of the counterparty).


This method of evaluation is probably somewhat more intuitive than the previous one, and it is even faster and smoother because it works in one single step. Unfortunately, it has some drawbacks: there is a problem with evaluating actions that do not have a direct opponent to target (see below), and mainly favor high skills versus low. Knowing that you will be compared with the same roll of your opponent, whatever you decide to do, you will logically try to use your highest skills, which can quite reduce the variety of the game and make the conflicts somewhat stereotypical (see FAE resources about the same problem with Approaches for details of how to handle this).


Dividing actions

As with 1th option, you will first divide the outcome of your roll between your targets and then compare these divided results with the results of the other character's actions.


Actions in the middle

The same applies as in 1th option


Question of evaluation symmetry

For evaluation by rolls, it is a question whether or not to maintain or don't maintain symmetry for actions with broad effect (and for situations where multiple actions target one character). What do I mean by that? Let's say in the example used above we have a sorceress, fighter and orc in the scene. The witch rolls on 5 on her fire wall, the Ork attacked the fighter and rolled 7 and the fighter tried to escape and rolled 4.


Symmetric evaluation is a situation in which we assume that any action that can stop someone is also a full-fledged opposition. In this case, the ork gets 2 shifts (he rolled 7, sorceress 5, the difference is 2) and with this result he will hit the fighter. Symmetric evaluation is simpler, faster and leaves less room for ambiguity.


Asymmetric evaluation is a situation in which we assume that not every action that can stop a character also gives it a real opposition. In the example above, the action of the sorceress could stop the orc, but because the orc rolled more, he avoided it and therefore it doesn't continue to prevent him from performing his own action - attacking the fighter. In order to evaluate the orc's action, we compare his result (7) with the result of the fighter (4) and find out that the ork gained 3 shifts and thus succeeded in the style. Asymmetric evaluation is more complex because it requires one extra step of consideration (first you need to find out if some action stops your own, and only if you find that there is no such action, you have to find the action against which you compare your result to see the number of shifts you gain). On the other hand, it allows a more detailed depiction of the scene and it can give "more meaningful" (more fictional and less "rules-ish") results, thus reducing the drawbacks that are associated with comparing rolls directly.


Passing boosts

The fact that players compare results of their rolls directly in a single step also has the advantage that you can give boosts to players of the most successful characters right now in their action. Because it is true that players (or characters on the same side) can hand over free invocations and boosts among themselves, successful characters can use their acquired boosts to influence the scene right in the exchange in which they gained them.


For example, if an orc rolled 8 and sorceress 5, ork would obviously succeed with style and gained extra boost. He could then hand it over to his ally - a goblin - who rolled only 4 and therefore failed against the sorceress. However with orc's help (boost) he gains 6 and wins over the sorceress as well and so his action in this exchange might succeed.


Passive opposition

One of the problems with direct roll comparisson is that we assume that the action of each character has opposition in actions of other characters. But Fate also allows to roll actions "against the environment" without targeting anyone directly. Let's say, that in the example above you use a system in which casting spells as "fire wall" is rolled against some passive opposition (environment, spell difficulty...). In this case, it will not be clear how to evaluate the sorceress's action against the orc.


The easiest and way to solve the problem and the way I preffere is to reformulate the problem into conflict with someone else. For example, you declare that the witch simply casts her fire wall, but the question is whether she can do it in time - whether she can do it before the orc runs through where the wall is going to flare up, or whether the orc will run so fast that the wall will flare up behind his back. This approach will somehow bind your gaming options, respectively it forces you to formulate actions in a specific way. That does not suit many players, but many other groups play so without any problems.


If you really want to play with this, then there is the possibility of using passive opposition (static difficulties) as the required minimum for a roll to make the event happen at all. For example if casting the fire wall had a difficulty 3, then the sorceress must roll at least 3 to get the chance to act against others. If she rolls less, then her spell simply does not work. But this is more complicated, which rises a question wheteher the transition to this evaluation system will be worth doing.


Another way to deal with this is to add a passive opposition some supporting, fictitious "intention" (the wall you skip "wants to kick your legs", the spell you cast "wants to blow into your face", etc.) and then add this opposition with its "intention" into the roll evaluation as another "character" in the given exchange (without rolling it - its final result corresponds to its difficulty). This procedure is quite abstract and sometimes forms a bit strangely sounding fictitious "intentions", but again - although some do not, many others play so easily. It's mainly about what suits your group.


What with the ties?

Basic evaluation of actions in Fate (evaluation with action and response logic) automatically assumes active (acting) and passive (reactive) side. It is best seen in the case of a tie - an advantage in the form of boost automatically goes on the side of the acting character. If someone is attacking (acting) and someone is blocking (reacting) and the tie is rolled, the attacker (acting) gets boost. If someone creates an advantage against someone else who defends him / herself and they roll tie, then the one who was creating the advantage (the acting) gains boost (which is as suceeding and gaining free invocation). Etc.


In an evaluation where everything is settled at once, this logic disappears because effectively all characters act actively simultaneously. This leaves us with one unpleasant question: what about the tie? There are several options:


Tie according to contests

The easiest way to solve things is to simply use some similar already existing mechanic. Tie solutions for two actively acting parties can be found in the Contests:


Of there is a tie no one gets a victory, and an unexpected twist occurs (GM introduces some "game changing" situation aspect which influences everybody around.


Using the Tie mechanic from Contests is the simplest and easiest solution that will work as long as you have a small or 'reasonable' number of ties in your game - that is, if you don't roll much in your games, go for it. The number of ties can also be slightly reduced by the GM creating changes which rise the drama in the scene and make it more dangerous for everybody involved (this will motivate the players to use free invocations and fate points to turn the ties into successes more than they would otherwise).


Tie as double-kill

The second way to handle ties is to say that both sides have succeeded. It's a fairly action and dramatic option, which can be especially suited to rougher games. If there is a tie between some characters on the stage, then all the parties involved gain success in the value of 2 shifts.


If both characters attacked each other, they both hit. If one was creating an advantage and the other attacked, then the first one creates her advantage at the cost of being hit by her opponent (even if she tried to intimidate him, she could still succeed - perhaps demonstrating her toughness by just waving the off by her hand instead of defending herself properly etc.)


An interesting situation occurs when both parties are trying to create an advantage on each other. Both gain their advantage in terms of aspect and free invocation, which is seemingly zero to zero - but only seemingly because it does not work so in practice. First, both aspects will be reflected in their wording and will affect the fictitious potential of the participants. Second, boost, dice, other free invocations, etc. cause the situation to escalate and become more dangerous for both sides (especially, but not just when there are more than two characters on the scene)


Tie as mutual binding

And finally, sometimes it is interesting to create some completely new rule (the Tie mechanics from Contests is a relatively specific additional rule which is not critically linked with the rest of the Fate mechanics anyway). Suppose the tie symbolizes the moment of balanced forces and uncertainty. The moment when opponents corss their weapons in mutual overpowering attempt and argue face-to-face, when warriors catch themselves under the throat and start choking each other, the moment the when wizard with spell at his fingertips and the killer with the dagger in hand fall on the ground in grapple and uncertainty about who hits the other first.


Here I let myself to get inspired by one Fred's blog article, where he designed the mechanic of "bounding" between characters (to be clear, I would swear it was there when I was writing this article... but may be it is in his another blog or it got edited out :/ ). If there is a tie between the characters in the scene, then the characters between which tie against each other are mutually "bound". This means they must act against each other in their next action. If one of the characters in the next action decides to ignore the bond and do something else, it automatically passes the other the advantage in form of an situation aspect with a free invoke (like Back to the [opponent]). If by chance both sides decide that they have something better to do, nothing will happen. (If you want to be more thrilling, you can use some mechanics of a secret decesion which is revealed at the beginning of the next action to find out whether the two characters will continue with each other or whether one or both will decide to get away.)


The binding mechanism is neutral (sometimes it may benefit you, sometimes not and sometimes it may not matter), but it is a new rule and you can continue to work with it, for example by creating stunts that create it or prevents it, etc.


Few words at the end

If you want to try a one-shot evaluation but you are not sure which option to use, I personally recommend you the first one - I think it's more elegant in terms of the way it fits into Fate. On the other hand, the second option is (at least at first glance) closer to the traditional way of conflict resolution mechanics and is thus much more similar to what is described in some other games.


Basically, it is nothing complicated - the whole thing is just about how to convert the mechanical link between the action / reaction (usually Attack or Create an Advantage against the Defense) with an individual evaluation of one event after another on the link between the action / action and with overall evaluation of everything at once.


How much it will be good for you depends on the style of your game. The less you roll the dice, the more you "tell" the story (or "the more narrative you play"), the more you insist that each roll should have large impact, the better it will work. The more you like to roll and the less you worry that each single roll does not necessarily have a super-significant impact on the game, the more will suite you the basic Fate action / reaction based logic.


Of course, the use of one-shot evaluation will influence the economy of fate points - but it will actually be more due to the style you play than due to the evaluation itself (groups that prefer a one-shot evaluation are groups that usually place less emphasis on rules and dice, which are the foundation of the default of the point economy). Similarly, a one-shot evaluation is likely to be reflected in how stress boxes and consequences are scored, and for groups that prefer a one-shot evaluation, it would be best to reduce the default number of stress boxes or consequence values. These are adjustments that are already beyond the intended scope of this text (or we can discuss them in a discussion).


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Článek vložil sirien | CC Attribution 04.01.2017
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