Traits, Tags, and other Important Things


Rolling the Dice

When you try to overcome an obstacle, you roll dice. Start with one die. Add a die if you have a trait that can help you. If that trait has any tags that apply, add another die for each tag. Finally, add any number of dice from your personal pool of dice (your pool starts with 3 dice).

Roll all the dice you’ve gathered. Each die that shows 4 or higher is a hit. You need hits equal to the difficulty level (usually 3) to pass the obstacle.


If you pass, discard all the dice you rolled (including any pool dice you used). Don’t worry, you can get your pool dice back.

If you don’t pass, you don’t yet achieve your goal. But, you get to keep the pool dice you rolled and add another die to your pool. The GM will escalate the situation in some way and you might be able to try again.


When events warrant or especially when you fail a roll, the GM may impose a condition on your character: Injured, Dead, Tired, Angry, Lost, Hunted, or Trapped. When you take a condition, mark its box and say how it comes about. [Note: The “dead” condition just means “presumed dead” unless you say otherwise.]


If your character is in a position to help another character, you can give them a die from your pool. Say what your character does to help. If the roll fails, you get your pool die back. If it succeeds, your die is lost.


You can only use your pool dice if you tag one of your aspects. You need not roll all of your pool dice at one time.

If you get into trouble because of one of your aspects, you get 2 XP or 2 pool dice (or 1 XP and 1 pool die). When you have accumulated 5 XP, you earn an advance. You can spend an advance on one of the following:
• Add a new Trait (based on something you learned during play or on some past experience that has come to light)
• Add a tag to an existing trait
• Learn a Secret (if you have the means to)

You can hold on to advances if you want, and spend them at any time, even in the middle of a battle!


You can refresh your pool back to 3 dice by having a refreshment scene with another character. You may also remove a condition or regain the use of a Secret, depending on the details of the scene. A refreshment scene is a good time to ask questions (in character) so the other player can show off aspects of his or her PC—“Why did you choose this life?”— Why did you take this job?” etc. Refreshment scenes can be flashbacks, too.

Earning Dice

You earn dice when your aspects create problems for your character. When this occurs, it’s said that the aspect is compelled. When your character ends up in a situation where his compelled aspect suggests a problematic course of action, the GM should offer you a choice: spend a fate point to ignore the problem, or acknowledge the problem and earn a fate point. Sometimes, the GM may also simply award a fate point to you without explanation, indicating that one of your aspects is going to complicate an upcoming situation. You can refuse that point and spend one of your own to avoid the complication, but it’s not a good idea to do that too often, because you will probably need the fate point in the future. And let’s face it—that’s a pretty boring way to play anyway. Drama is a good thing.

This isn’t just the GM’s show; you can trigger compels as well—on yourself or on others— either by explicitly indicating that an aspect may be complicating things or by playing to your aspects from the get-go and reminding the GM after the fact that your character already behaved as if compelled. The GM isn’t always obligated to agree that a compel is appropriate, but it’s important that players participate here.

Traits, Tags, and other Important Things

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