FATE Mechanics
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Anthologica Universe Atlas / Universes / Maikros / FATE Mechanics

Aspects and Fate Points

Where your skills tell us what you can do, it's your aspects that tell us who you are. Aspects should not be overly long; a three-to-five word phrase, usually. It's also great if they're clever turns of phrase, too - but it should also be clear what they mean. Every character has five aspects:

High Concept: This is a basic overall description of you. It should probably contain a concise job description or other important affiliation, as well as an adjective or genitive or two. It can be a bit longer and less striking than other aspects, to fit all that info in. If you are a mage, that should probably be expressed here. Also, being a non-human should be expressed here. Examples: Forlorn Geomantic Wizard; Small-town Heartbreaker; Impetuous Incarnate Warrior
Trouble: This is a persistent thing that, as the name suggests, comes to make trouble for you - and thus the party - usually at inconvenient times. It can be external or internal, either is fine. Examples: Former Assassin of Igion; Always Gotta Go; "I need my teddy!"
Drive: This is what motivates you. What keeps you going. What you want. It could be some kind of object or item, but it could also be a concept, ideal, or even a person. If you can combine multiple of those, even better. Examples: The Honour of the Lion Order; All-Consuming Greed; Mom's Old Sword
Personality: This is a kind of miscellaneous grab bag of an aspect. Some quirk of your personality that, while it doesn't necessarily drive you to adventure or cause you trouble all the time, nevertheless affects you. Examples: "Awww, kitty!"; Cheerfully Drunken Lout; Search Every Corner!
Camaraderie: This is something to do with your connection to the party. It could be the party as a whole, or one specific other member. Examples: "Evnika'll get me out of this!"; Keeping This Parade on the Street; Always by My Brother

Aspects are used to do two things: invoke and compel. When you invoke an aspect, that facet of your personality is helping you out, giving you an edge in the situation. When an aspect is compelled, whether by you or the GM, it is hindering you - and the party - in some fashion. This is where Fate Points come in - to invoke an aspect, not only does the situation need to be appropriate, but you must spend a Fate Point. For this, you can then rerollĀ  roll you just made or add a +2 to it. You may invoke multiple aspects, spending multiple Fate Points, on one roll. Fate point bonuses stack with eachother, so if you invoked two aspects for a +2 bonus each, it would total a +4 bonus. When one of your aspects is compelled, you are forced to act in some way - as dictated by your personality - that hinders you and the party. For this, you recieve a Fate Point that you can spend on an invoke later. However, you may also refuse the compel at the cost of a Fate Point.

Therefore, good aspects should be readily used for both invoking and compelling - that is, they should be simultaneously positive and negative traits - to keep the Fate Points flowing! An example of this would be that the aforementioned aspect "All-Consuming Greed" would be very helpful when you're fighting in an arena for a cash prize, or trying to steal something expensive, or bargaining for a low price on items. It would hinder you, however, when you get caught stealing some trinket you couldn't resist, or when an important NPC thinks lesser of you for it - and the whole party, by association - or when you refuse to let other party members use your healing scrolls, because they're YOURS, damnit! Good aspects should readily present such scenarios. Try to think of two or three situations each where you would invoke and compel an aspect, as I have done here.

Another important concept here is refresh. Every PC has a base refresh of 6, which means they start each session with a minimum of 6 Fate Points. If they ended the last session with fewer than 6, their Fate Point count is raised to 6. If they ended the last session with more than 6, however, they do not lose Fate Points. Refresh isn't just used for your base fate points, though. It is also the currency spent on stunts for your character, essential for further specializing their abilities. If, for example, you have spent 5 refresh on stunts at character creation, your remaining refresh rate is 1.

Statistics and Other Mechanics











Formulaic Magic

Formulaic Magic is the skill for enchanting items, inscribing rituals, and writing scrolls. Enchanting gems and inscribing rituals are acts that take a long time, with a more complex effect taking longer. They tend to have some kind of mostly permanent effect, like an enchanted gem giving a sword an aura of fire, or a ritual creating a soundproof area. Scrolls are basically pre-made, one-use spells with some kind of instant or temporary effect, much like Spark Magic. One difference from Spark Magic is that a scroll can do multiple things at once, which would have to be done one at a time using Spark Magic. While anyone can learn magical formulae, a character still needs to be capable of Spark Magic to actually activate a gem or ritual. Scrolls also need to be initially infused with some mana to work, but they can be written to have an activation trigger that anyone can do. If a character has both this skill and Spark Magic at +1 or higher, it can be assumed that they are making some scrolls during some of their spare time, and thus can pull them out to use at any time. Scrolls do have one big limitation, however - while a mage can throw them around all the time like it's Spark Magic, they will soon find themselves out of scrolls.








Spark Magic

Spark Magic is the skill for on-the-spot casting of magic. It tends to be more limited in scope than Formulaic magic - you can't do everything at once. Even so, magic is still versatile, and so Spark Magic is capable of all four actions. However, unlike Formulaic Magic, a mage can just keep doing Spark Magic until they get tired.





Every character has a base of two stress boxes on both their physical and mental stress tracks. More stress boxes can be acquired if a certain skill is higher than 0 - if it is at +1 or +2, the character gains an extra stress box; if it is at +3 or +4, the character gains two extra stress boxes. For the physical track, this skill is Physique - for the mental track, it is Will.

Magic Schools:

To be a mage, a character must have Spark Magic at at least +1. A character's Spark Magic value determines how many schools of magic they may know. Each school is a stunt that costs one refresh.

Human Schools:


Shorragite Schools:


Ansu & Incarnates:

To be non-human, a character must take a special stunt that determines which species they belong to.


Ansu mages may only take Shorragite Magic Schools as their schools, and they are the only ones allowed to do so.
They also get +2 to Empathy defenses vs Deceit.
Being an ansu costs 1 refresh.


Incarnates may not take any magic school other than Biomancy, which they are also required to take. They are also required to have Spark Magic at at least +1.
As mana spirits taking human form, they remain on Maikros in their spirit form when killed, instead of being shunted into the underworld.
It is only in their spirit form that they may be truly killed, but in this state they also may not be harmed by nonmagical effects. Similarly, while in spirit form, they may not interact with anything except via magic. This counts as a severe consequence, and thus takes as long as any severe consequence to be removed. This consequence cannot be lessened or removed by magic, as its recovery process is already a magical effect. Upon the removal of the consequence, the incarnate takes their permanent human form again.
Being an incarnate costs 3 refresh, which includes the cost of being a mage of the Biomancy school.