I’m loving the new iteration of Fate, especially the Accelerated Edition (hereafter called FAE). But, there seems to be confusion in some corners about FAE stunts. So, I’m going to write up a break down of stunts. Hopefully this will help some people out.
Their are two types of stunts in FAE, the bonus stunt and the open-ended stunt.
I’ll deal with the open-ended stunts first because they will largely depend on the GM who runs your game. The formula to follow for open-ended stunts is:
Because I [describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome], once per game session I can [describe something cool you can do].
The first bracketed section “[describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome]” is simple. It’s nothing more than a bit of description or an evocative name. The second bracketed section “[describe something cool you can do]” is the tricky part. Most GMs won’t let you get away with having a death ray that allows you to kill everyone on the planet in a single action, but there are some game where that’s perfectly valid. These types of stunts offer such a wide variety of options that it really comes down to what your GM will let you get away with.
The bonus stunts come next, and are far easier to talk about. But, paradoxically, seem to also cause the most confusion. The formula to follow for bonus stunts is:
Because I [describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome], I get a +2 when I [pick one: Carefully, Cleverly, Flashily, Forcefully, Quickly, Sneakily] [pick one: attack, defend, create advantages, overcome] when [describe a circumstance].
Much longer and at times harder for new players to get a grasp on. I’ll shorten it for ease of use into this:
“Because I [cool stunt name], I get a +2 when I [pick an approach] [pick an action] when [describe a circumstance].”
Now, naming the stunt something cool can be hard, but it’s not vital to the mechanics. And since the “approach X action” dynamic is limited to 24 combinations (six approaches times four actions), there’s not much to worry about there. However, it’s that final bit of text, the “[describe a circumstance]” that seems to be the hang-up some players can’t get past.
The simplest way that I’ve seen for new players to overcome this obstacle is to directly tie the circumstance to the cool stunt name. For example, in a Star Wars FAE game some stunts might read:
“Because I [Love to Fight Droids], I get a +2 when I [Forcefully] [Attack] when [fighting droids].”
“Because I [am Always Calm], I get a +2 when I [Carefully] [Create an Advantage] when [meditating].”
Or for a superheroes game a few choice stunts might read:
“Because I [am a Super-Speedster], I get a +2 when I [Quickly] [Defend] when [fighting hand-to-hand].”
“Because I [have this Magic Ring], I get a +2 when I [Flashily] [Overcome] when [using constructs formed with my ring].”
Now I’m aware this is fairly basic advice for some gamers, but I’m a strong proponent for new gamers, especially younger gamers, entering the hobby. So if you think this quick post is simplistic, then it’s likely not meant for you.
Good luck and good gaming.