Age of Ravens: Fate System Guide for New Players (Part One)



With the Fate of Cthulhu KS in full swing, I’ve revised and updated my Fate System Guide for New Players. The first half’s up on the blog today.

Fate System Guide for New Players (Part One)

As I mention in the post, I’m one of the Fate-friendly gamers on the Gauntlet. That’s been a running joke because of some of my friend’s attitudes about the game, koff Rich koff. I like it warts and all, especially the flexibility it offers. So I wanted to offer an entry-point overview for those wondering what’s up with the game. (And I recognize it opens me up to the “I hate Fate because of X” comments).

But there’s stuff there for non-Fate players. One of the beauties of the system is that the light-weight mechanics don’t take up too much room in the text. You could easily pick up Uprising, Fate of Cthulhu, or the Fate Horror Toolkit and get great, usable material for other games. That’s going to be particularly true for next week’s post when I go through all the amazing Worlds of Adventure supplements.


I haven’t played Fate, but I have some queries/reservations about it (based on my limited understanding)

During a fight, if someone creates an aspect eg sets the wall on fire.

  • they have used their action/turn to do this.
  • if no one else uses this aspect, then that turn is wasted in terms of action economy.
  • making that aspect socially obligates others to use their turn/bennies in conjunction with the aspect?

So i’m not sure how making/changing/removing aspects A-affects the flow of the timeline of events, and B-affects the flow of team cohesion. ?


So I have only played Fate once or twice, but for your wall burning example - in my limited experience Fate tends to require a fair amount of meta discussion - at least a comfort bouncing in and out since the whole idea of Aspects is pretty meta. That being the case I would assume that you wouldn’t do something creating a temporary Aspect unless you were planning to use it yourself or you had already coordinated with another player to do so. When I played it was very much a chain of doing things people built on until one person Did The Thing making use of all those supporting actions.


I’ve always played pretty loose with aspects on the table. I’ve played with some Fate vets who cover the table with them. I don’t do that. Creating an aspect has an intent: changing the situation or supporting someone. In the latter case it feels like an active result and I stress that-- in some cases its about reading that intent and scope of results to see if its more Overcome or Create Advantage. If its a support action, we try to give it shape.

Part of the reason that works for me is that I work in smaller scales. In some games I’ve seen GMs create big number obstacles constantly to tax the player’s resources. That’s not what I’m about. We’re playing a story game and we go to the system for resolution questions. Costs given to up things are a kind of hard move, spending resources should be a hard choice, etc. I keep things moving so we don’t bog down on things. It’s actually a critique that I got from Gerrit, and I think a reasonable one, that I de-emphasize the economy in play.