A Basic Intro to Fate

Maybe you’ve never heard of Fate before but had it recommended to you by a friend. Or you’ve never played an RPG, but it sure looked like fun in that Tabletop video. (Missed it? It’s up on Alpha and should appear on YouTube in a few months, which we will also link. We’ll link it like the wind!) Maybe one of your friends talked you into showing up for a game, but you don’t know what you’re in for. Whatever the reason, you’re looking for the basics.

This Introduction is written for people who are new to RPGs in general, or storytelling RPGs like Fate in particular. If you’re looking for more detailed information, check out the Evil Hat website (www.evilhat.com) for more info on Fate products or the Fate SRD (www.fate-srd.com) for a detailed explanation of the rules.

What is this thing?

Fate is a storytelling RPG. That means a couple of things:

  • In RPGs or roleplaying games, each player controls a character, deciding what that person does and says in reaction to the situations that the gamemaster (or GM) presents.
  • Fate is a game that focuses on storytelling. The core rules are fairly simple. The goal is that the players at the table will spend more time thinking of creative ways to get out of a sticky situation and less time figuring out what the rules say on the matter.

What is it like to play?

Your play experience will vary depending on the people at your table. Your group may decide to act out what happens in each scene or summarize what their characters do. You might play a game with a lot of social interaction and conversation, or one that feels more like a Hollywood action film, complete with things exploding in slow motion. Thinking about the kind of movies and TV shows you like as a group can help you whittle down how you’d like to play.

There are lots of actual play videos and podcasts available on the Internet to get you started as well. Search for “Fate Core actual play” to get started.

But this is just a bunch of rules! What do we do with them?

Fate Core is what’s known as a setting-less system. That means you can use it to play in any world you like. Your favorite book or movie? You can use that as the setting. That story that’s been bouncing around in your head for years? You can use that too. But what if you don’t have any ideas yet, or you have an idea but no idea how to get started?

Evil Hat offers a lot of resources in the Fate Core line of books to help:

  • Fate Core: This multi-award winning book contains the basic rules of Fate. You’ll need a copy to play most, but not all, Fate games.
  • Fate Accelerated Edition: If you read Fate Core and feel like it’s too much to start with, try Fate Accelerated. This is a pared-down version of the Fate Core rules and a particularly good way to get a taste of what the game is like. You’ll need either Fate Core or Fate Accelerated to play, but not both.
  • Fate Worlds: Fate Worlds provide settings and stories to fuel your Fate games in a variety of genres. Worlds are available in print and electronic formats, and some use the Fate Core rules while others use Fate Accelerated.
  • Fate Toolkits: The Toolkits are a growing line of rules ideas to help you create your own games. Toolkits give you rules for things like equipment, space ships, and monsters, or tools to build your own rules to your liking.
  • Stand-alone games: If you’d rather have everything you need in one book—rules, setting, and story ideas—try one of our stand alone games.

How do I get started?

If you want a game with more robust rules, and you have a setting idea, start with Fate Core.

If you want a game with simpler, easier-to-digest rules, and you have a setting idea, start with Fate Accelerated.

If you want more robust rules with a setting provided, select one of the following bullets:

If you want simpler rules with a setting provided, select one of the following bullets: