The Aspect system in Fate v3 is a direct extension of the system used in Fate v2, and the following discussion assumes that the reader is reasonably familiar with the use of Aspects in Fate v2. (Fate v2 is available from http://www.faterpg.com/.)
There are three kinds of Aspects:
- Intrinsic Character Aspects
- Temporary Character Aspects
- Scene Aspects
There are three ways that Aspects can affect the game:
Intrinsic Character Aspects
Intrinsic Character Aspects are virtually unchanged from Fate v2. In Fate v2 they were simply called 'Aspects' since there was no other use for Aspects. There are two important changes in v3:
- Aspects no longer have levels
- Making use of Aspects now costs one FP (see the section on Invoking)
Temporary Character Aspects
A character may have a number of Aspects assigned to them as result of game play, to represent some condition or the result of a maneuver. These temporary Aspects can be classified as being either fragile (which is cleared when it is tagged, and can often be easily cleared by changing the character's circumstances), or sticky (indicating it may tagged multiple times, and may require a specific action on the part of the character for it to be cleared, or just sufficient passage of time).
Temporary Character Aspects may be assigned to characters for a variety of reasons, but the two most common circumstances are as follows:
:Consequences:When a character fails to defend against an attack, and don't have the required stress levels to 'absorb' the attack, they must take a consequence. Consequences are always sticky.
:Maneuver Results:When a character succeeds in a maneuver designed to put an opponent at some disadvantage, that disadvantage is represented as a temporary Aspect on the target. As a rule, Maneuver Results are fragile.
Every scene in Fate v3 can have any number of Aspects associated with it. These Aspects may be obvious based on the general description of the scene (i.e. a dark cave will have the 'Dark' Aspect), or may not be so obvious (i.e. that same dark cave may have the 'Trapped' Aspect, which the characters wouldn't be aware of until they successfully used some skill to detect that).
A character's own Aspect can be Invoked when appropriate (please edit, needs elaboration) to give the player one of the following bonuses:
- Any die roll can be rerolled from scratch
- Any die roll can be given a +2 bonus
- The player may make a minor edit or addition to the scene beneficial to the character in harmony with the Invoked Aspect (subject to GM approval)
Whenever an Aspect could potentially result in some negative effect on the character, or result in a restriction of choice, the player gets one FP from the GM for their trouble. They may 'buy off' the Compel by paying the GM one FP instead of receiving one FP, in which case the Aspect doesn't negatively affect the situation.
Compels never result in a simple penalty to a roll, they always have some RP effect (which may indirectly make exercising certain skills more difficult).
Tagging an Aspect refers to bringing into play an Aspect which does not belong to the character receiving the benefit. In general, Tagging costs one FP just like Invoking, but there is one exception: If the Aspect in question was not obvious and the character discovered it through the use of a skill, the initial tag is free! However, this free tag must be used as soon as is reasonably possible after the discovery, and always within the same scene. If the scene changes, or too much time passes, the tag can still be made, but it must be paid for. This free tag may be transferred to another character when reasonable.
There are three basic types of tags:
Tagging a Scene Aspect
Scene Aspects can be tagged by any character as though the Aspect in question were on their character sheet and were being Invoked.
Tagging Another Character's Aspect For a Bonus
Could mean tagging a friend's positive aspect, or tagging an opponent's negative aspect. Results in +2 or a reroll.
Tagging Another Character's Aspect 'For Effect'
This is basically paying the GM to force a specific compel on the target.
Tagging for effect (Hamlet is trying to elicit a guilty reaction):
Hamlet somehow knows about the 'Guilty Conscience', but isn't owed a free tag. Hamlet's player tosses the GM a FP, saying that he's tagging for effect, and the GM brandishes a FP at Claudius with a raised eyebrow. Claudius either takes the FP and accepts the compel, or hands over one of his own.
Hamlet has used an Assessment Action, perhaps his Empathy, earlier in the scene and has discovered Claudius' 'Guilty Conscience'. Hamlet thus has a free tag up his sleeve, which he uses during the play without paying a FP. The GM compels Claudius' aspect as normal (Claudius takes a FP and the compel, or pays a FP and resists).
Hamlet guesses that Claudius has the aspect, but doesn't know for sure. Nonetheless, he pays a FP to the GM. If Claudius has an aspect in the ballpark of 'Guilty Conscience', the GM compels it as normal (Claudius takes a FP and the compel, or pays a FP and resists). If not, Hamlet forgoes or regains his FP, depending on whether the absence of that aspect is deemed secret or not.
Tagging for +2 or a re-roll (say, Hamlet is trying to Intimidate Claudius):
Hamlet somehow knows about the 'Guilty Conscience', but isn't owed a free tag. Hamlet's player tosses the GM a FP. The GM passes the FP on to Claudius, and Hamlet's Intimidation roll gets +2.
Hamlet has used an Assessment Action, perhaps his Empathy, eariler in the scene and has discovered Claudius' 'Guilty Conscience'. Hamlet thus has a free tag up his sleeve. Hamlet's Intimidation roll gets +2, and no FP change hands.
Hamlet guesses that Claudius has the aspect, but doesn't know for sure. Nonetheless, he pays a FP to the GM. If Claudius has an aspect in the ballpark of 'Guilty Conscience', Hamlet gets +2 on the roll and Claudius gets the FP. If not, Hamlet forgoes or regains his FP, depending on whether the absence of that aspect is deemed secret or not.