Comparison Of Various Versions Of Fate

Comparison of different variants of FATE

This page compares the different variants of FATE 3.0 games from Evil Hat Productions, Cubicle 7, VSCA Publishing and Void Star Games.
The information has been gathered in this thread (

Core Design Concept

Spirit of the Century Turn of the century pulp action! The father of FATE 3.0.
Starblazers Adventures Sci-Fi themed pulp action. Heavily influenced by SotC, but features a few design tweaks.
Dresden Files RPG Based off the popular Dresden Files series of novels. Focuses on modern day urban fantasy/horror. Evolution of FATE as originally published in SotC, but with a grittier tone.
Strands of Fate A generic toolkit for using FATE to run games of any power level or genre. Features a heavy revision of FATE 3.0 to make it more accessible and versatile.
Diaspora "Hard" sci-fi themed action. More condensed and focussed version of FATE leaning toward more "realistic" action vs. the "over the top" action of SotC.
Awesome Adventures Genre-neutral pulp action. Essentially a streamlining of SotC.

Fate Point Refresh Rate

Spirit of the Century Refresh Rate is 10.
Starblazers Adventures Refresh Rate is equal to 10 minus the number of Stunts a character has. The Refresh Rate can be increased as part of character improvement.
Dresden Files RPG Refresh Rate is equal to its Max Refresh minus the number of Stunts and Powers the character has bought. The Max Refresh can be 6, 7, 8 or 10, depending on the power scale set for the game.
Strands of Fate Refresh Rate is determined by the Campaign Power Level. The more powerful the characters, the higher the Refresh.
Diaspora Refresh Rate is 5 for PCs, 5 for Ships.
Awesome Adventures Refresh Rate is 10.


Spirit of the Century There are 28 skills. Buying skills is based on the skill pyramid holding 15 skills. The remaining 13 skills default to mediocre.
Starblazers Adventures Standard skills are accessed at default of mediocre; power skills can only be accessed with at least one point in skill and an appropriate aspect.
Dresden Files RPG TODO
Strands of Fate Strands replaces "Skills" with 12 broad "Abilities" common to most any character of any genre (Strength, Knowledge, Persuasion, etc.) Character and Specialty Aspects are used in conjunction with Advantages to more specifically define the capabilities a character might have. So a soldier shooting a gun would roll his Agility, invoke his "US Marine" Aspect, and gain +1 bonus from his Weapon Specialist Advantage.
Diaspora TODO
Awesome Adventures There are 21 skills. Everyone has a skill pyramid holding 21 skills with all skills appearing on their character sheet.


Spirit of the Century Stunts range from single sentence descriptions to entire sub-systems in complexity. You gain a fixed number at character creation.
Starblazers Adventures Pretty much the same as SotC.
Dresden Files RPG Stunts are divided between those available to "vanilla mortals" and the powers used by the supernatural. You spend Refresh to buy Stunts.
Strands of Fate Characters gain a number of Advantages based on the campaign power level. They are broken down into three tiers, Expert, Heroic and Powers.
Diaspora Players begin with three stunts. There are four broad stunt categories, with a semi-freeform stunt construction within each category.
Awesome Adventures No stunts. Special effects and powers are handled through 'invoking aspects for effect.'


Spirit of the Century Two different stress tracks (Health, Composure). Base length is 5 boxes. Only one box of stress if marked off at a time, the particular stress box is determined by Effect of the attack roll, e.g. if Effect is 3 the third box is marked off. If that box is already marked off the next box up is marked off.
Starblazers Adventures Two different stress tracks (Health, Composure). Base length is 5 boxes. A number of boxes of stress equal to the Effect of the attack roll (plus any weapon damage modifier) are marked off, e.g. if Effect is 3 (and there is no weapon damage modifier) three stress boxes are marked off.
Dresden Files RPG Three different stress tracks (Physical, Mental, Social). Base length is 2 boxes. Damage is treated exactly like in SotC.
Strands of Fate Method 1 (Default): You have a set of stress boxes associated with each Consequence. Once that set is filled you suffer the associated Consequence and further stress begins accumulating on the next worse stress track. Method 2 (Thresholds): No stress boxes. If you take an amount of stress equal to or greater than your threshold, you suffer a Consequence. Method 3 (Single Set): Very similar to SBA's stress system.
Diaspora Three different stress tracks (Health, Composure, Wealth). Base length is 3 boxes. Damage may be reduced, before application to stress tracks, by taking Consequences. Stress is marked from the box corresponding to the shifts gained, and goes down. If the highest box to be hit is already filled, fill the next higher box, and all boxes below. There are mini-games relating to social combat, mass combat, and ship to ship combat that modify this system.
Awesome Adventures There are no stress boxes; the margin of success determines the level of Consequence dealt.


Spirit of the Century Consequences are Mild, Moderate and Severe. The first Consequence taken is always Mild, the second always Moderate, the third always Severe.
Starblazers Adventures Consequences are Minor, Major, Severe & Extreme. The type of Consequence taken is chosen by the player, and may vary depending upon how much Stress needs to be replaced with the consequence. A Minor consequence negates 2 stress, Major 4 stress, Severe 6 stress and Extreme negates 8 stress. Any Stress that is not negated completely is marked off on the Stress track. A character can only normally take 3 consequences before being taken out.
Dresden Files RPG Consequences are treated like in SBA, except that Extreme Consequences have special status and cannot be taken lightly, they change one the character Aspects to reflect the trauma and they are not easily "healed".
Strands of Fate All three stress systems use Minor, Major, Severe, Extreme, Defeated.
Diaspora Mild Consequences reduce shifts by 1, Moderate by 2, and Severe by 4. Players may only ever (without a stunt) have three Consequences, and only one of each kind - regardless of what track the Consequence is on.
Awesome Adventures Characters have two Minor Consequences, one Moderate, one Severe, and one Critical, which is a permanent change to the character.

Companions’ Stress

Spirit of the Century Companions don’t have a Stress track; they can only provide an additional Consequence for the attached character.
Starblazers Adventures Companions have a Stress track equal to their Quality +1, e.g. a Fair (+2) Companion has 3 stress boxes. They still provide an additional Consequence for the attached character as well.
Dresden Files RPG Has no Companion/Extras rules.
Strands of Fate Has no Companion rules. There are four different tiers of NPCs that is determined by their importance in the campaign. Also, groups of extras can be handled as a single "Unit" for faster play.
Diaspora Has no Companion rules.
Awesome Adventures Has no Companion rules.

Companions’ Skills

Spirit of the Century By default Companions have no Skills. A ‘Skilled’ advance provides one skill at the companion’s quality, two skills at quality -1, or three skills at quality -2. Subsequent advances allow another layer of that pyramid to be selected.
Starblazers Adventures By default Companions have a Skill “column” with one skill at their Quality, one skill at Quality-1, one skill at Quality -2 etc, down to Average. A ‘Skilled’ advance provides an additional column, but with a peak rating of one less, e.g. a Good (+3) Companion’s first Skilled advance would provide an extra Fair(+2) skill and an extra Average (+1), for a total of one Good (+3), two Fair (+2) and two Average (+1); a further Skilled advance would provide only a single Average (+1) skill.
Dresden Files RPG Has no Companion rules.
Strands of Fate Has no Companion rules.
Diaspora Has no Companion rules.
Awesome Adventures Has no Companion rules.


Spirit of the Century Weapons do not provide a damage bonus.
Starblazers Adventures Weapons provide a bonus to the amount of Stress inflicted by a successful attack.
Dresden Files RPG Weapons provide a bonus to the amount of Stress inflicted by a successful attack (similar to SBA, but a bit less granular.)
Strands of Fate Weapons provide a bonus to the amount of Stress inflicted. Optionally, they may also provide their own Aspects.
Diaspora Weapons have Harm and Penetration values - Harm is a bonus to offensive rolls, Penetration is a penalty to armor Defensive value. They also have Stunts and Aspects.
Awesome Adventures Weapons do not provide a damage bonus.


Spirit of the Century Only really mentioned under Gadgets and Gizmos, they impede a roll-up on an already checked stress box (or something like it).
Starblazers Adventures Armors can subtract an amount of shifts of damage equal to its value after a succesful attack, before the wearer has to absorb stress. Armor and shields can take additional stress by accepting one or more Consequences, depending on the type of armor/shield.
Dresden Files RPG Similar to SBA, but less granular. Armors have unlimited uses barring narrative events saying otherwise.
Strands of Fate Two options. Armor may either provide a simple bonus to your defense roll or you may divert stress to an armor stress track.
Diaspora Armor automatically reduces the attacker's roll by its Defensive value minus the Weapon's penetration. Armor also has Stunts and Aspects.
Awesome Adventures Armor does not provide a mechanical bonus.
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