Twists of FATE

Besides the obvious debt to the Spirit of the Century SRD, my version of FATE owes thanks to the FATE Yahoo group, the FATE of the Rings (Lord of the Rings) mod found at the Evil Hat wiki, Fred Hicks' Dictionary of Mu hack, as well as Rob Donahue's Skyfall version. Some twists are entirely my own creation and others that may appear to have been borrowed were developed concurrently. I hope to provide proper attribution in the future but others' contributions and my own notes on FATE are, for now, hopelessly muddled.


A starting character in Twist of FATE begins not with 10 Aspects, but with 5. Starting Fate Points and Refresh Rate are adjusted accordingly. Further, the Refresh Rate is one-half the number of Aspects, rounded up. The Refresh Rate for a character with five Aspects, then, is three. 1


A few Skills are designated as Restricted for starting characters. If a Skill is Restricted, it may begin at a level no higher than "Great". There may be later opportunities to raise Restricted Skills through character growth. Of course, some Stunts may also grant certain Skills greater proficiency. The following Skills are Restricted: Arcana, Archery, Fists, Resources, Weapons. 2

The skill list for Twist of Fate is different from the list in Spirit of the Century. Reference the Skills section.

Stress Track

The Stress Tracks in Twist of FATE default not to 5 boxes, but to 3. Additional boxes are earned with Average or higher Endurance or the appropriate Stunts as normal.

The Stress Track also behaves differently; when a hit exceeds a character's Stress boxes, that character is Taken Out. Unless the character's Stress boxes are entirely filled, Taken Out occurs on the victim's terms much as with a Concession in Spirit of the Century so long as the terms offered match the method of attack and are agreed to by their opposition. Conceding before you are Taken Out gives you a Fate Point.


Consequences let you reduce the amount of stress you take from a particular blow, backing away from a Taken Out result.

Take a Mild Consequence for a -2 to the Stress dealt.
Take a Moderate consequence for a -4 to the Stress dealt.
Take a Severe consequence for a -6 to the Stress dealt.

A character is still restricted to one of each kind of Consequence, and must reduce the Stress level back to or before an open Stress box to be able to avoid a Taken Out result. 3

One additional twist on Consequences - it is not explicitly stated in the standard rules, but Compels made against Consequences will generally be less favorable to the player character than those made against other Aspects. They will increase in frequency and in their ill effects depending on the severity of the Consequence (Mild, Moderate, or Severe). If the player doesn't mind these, then Consequences will simply be a nice way to gain Fate Points. But they may find themselves wishing they'd conceded that last conflict rather than continuing and risking Moderate or Severe Consequences…

Quick Conflicts

The GM may declare any conflict to be a "Quick Conflict." He is more likely to do this if not all of the player characters are involved in the scene or simply if the pacing of the conflict seems to warrant it. These conflicts work similarly to the standard method but with simultaneous rolls and the elimination of the Stress Tracks.

The rules for Quick conflicts are found here:

The durations for any Consequences inflicted, however, default to the method described immediately below.


The default recovery time from Consequences has been changed from SotC. The Stress track still clears out at the end of a Scene. Other Consequences have a default recovery time as follows:

Mild An hour
Moderate A day
Severe A few weeks

As described elsewhere, successful application of the Medicine skill (or perhaps Arcana) could potentially result in the reduction of recovery from Consequences by up to two time steps; 15 minutes for Mild, a few hours for Moderate, and a few days for Severe. At GM discretion, some Consequences may require more than just time to recover from them. 4


As Stunts are chosen by players, some may be renamed to be more genre appropriate. These will be recorded in the Rules section for reference.


In the standard rules, if the acting player and the defender in a conflict achieve the same result (tie), nothing happens. If this occurs in Twist of Fate, the acting player may declare a Heroic Effort, inflict one Stress upon themselves and inflict one Stress upon the defender. In each case, the Stress is inflicted on the lowest box available. This Stress must be Health or Composure according to the kind of conflict they are engaged in. 5

Critical Success

Rolling all blanks on offense in any conflict allows the attacker to immediately inflict a Consequence (of the mildest available) on their target irrespective of whether they generated any Shifts. This Consequence cannot be bought off or avoided in any fashion. Rolling all blanks on defense in any conflict allows the defender to avoid any stress or Consequences from their attacker irrespective of whether their attacker generated any Shifts and also to tag their opponent with a fragile Aspect of some kind (e.g. "Overextended," "The Tables Are Turned!"). This exemplary defense cannot be bought off or avoided in any fashion. The odds of rolling all blanks on 4dF is 1 in 81. 6

Earning Fate Points

The default way of earning additional Fate Points is by accepting Compels against one's Aspects. Here are additional methods:

If a player's character is not present in a scene but that player contributes a suggestion which shapes some aspect of the scene, creates a plot twist, introduces an interesting character, or adds interesting color and the other players like the suggestion, it becomes a part of the scene and the GM will award a Fate Point to that player. 7

Fate Points may also be awarded for outstanding or creative narration of a character's actions and/or words. Basically anything that makes everyone at the table nod or smile and say, "Cool!" is potentially worthy of a Fate Point.

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