For such a narrative-driven system, Fate has its fair share of crunchy elements, and not all are given the attention they deserve. Most of the time, new players to Fate games focus solely on the aspects—after all, that’s the “new shiny” compared to other games.

However, aspects are just on of what I like to call The Pillars of Fate. These pillars help uphold what Fate is, to me. I’m embarking on a new series of posts that digs down into what I consider the four pillars of Fate.

The Four Pillars

From my point of view, I see four pillars:

  • Aspects
  • Skills
  • Stress
  • Stunts

Aspects, as we all know, are the narrative given mechanical weight. They are one of the hardest mechanics for new players to grasp, but are also one of the most talked about.

Skills are the most familiar to gamers, since they are found in one form or fashion in almost every game. Heck, even AD&D had non-weapon proficiencies, which are close enough to skills.

Stress is an interesting and fairly unique mechanic in Fate, dealing more with dramatic pacing then “damage.” Many Fate games have physical, mental, and even social stress—with the occasional wealth stress track thrown in—but ignore the mechanic for other types of uses.

Stunts are at the same time the most familiar and most alien pillar of Fate. Many other games have powers, abilities, perks, feats, etc. But the way they interact with the other three pillars are, in my opinion, unique to Fate.

The Roadmap

In the coming weeks and months, I will be taking one of the pillars and dissecting it. What makes it tick? Why is it important to Fate? How can you make it your own? What are good resources about this pillar?

I don’t plan on doing just the four pillars for my next four posts. Instead, I want to intersperse them with other content as the weeks go by. This will give readers enough time to comment on each one and have a good discussion before moving on to the next one.

Short Posts are Short

I apologize for the lack of length of this post, but it has bee a crazy- busy month both at work and at home. There was so much going on that I have been struggling to find time to write. Next month is going to be better, promise!