[RPG] How to make Fate combat fast & fun


I love the Fate system, both Core and FAE. However, I have been having a really hard time making combat fun for my players.

It is hard to explain the combat in Fate to my players in a non-abstract way. On paper, the "Roll 2d6 for Attack and Subtract the 2d6 Defense Roll (accounting for situational modifiers) for Stress Damage" seems simplistic, but factoring in trying to explain the shifts and stress track makes it a bit cumbersome.

Is there a way to make Fate combat more appealing to my players? Or am I just not understanding the combat correctly? I have only run the game a few times, but combat has always been a sore point everytime we have to resolve it.

Can anyone help?

Best Answer

Concentrate on the story

Combat should not be the PCs and bad guys hitting each other until someone has to lose all his stress and concede the fight. Combat should be solved with the narrative, just like most of Fate gameplay is based on narrative.

For example, the GM could propose to a player:

  • "Since you're Swift as a Snail, why don't we say that Dr. Evil catches up with you and blocks you from running off with the Item of Doom?"
  • "Since you're Bent on Revenge, why don't you try to engage the dangerous monster in close combat?"

Now the player gets a fate point and has to Overcome this problem before he can fight back.

The players should also be Creating Advantages, not just Attacking.

  • "Let me use my handy bag of spikes to create the aspect Prickly Floor. Now the bad guy will have trouble getting close to us."

  • "Since I'm a Seasoned Planar Traveler, let me step into the Ethereal plane for a moment to sneak up on him from behind without him noticing."

Now you can attack with a +2 boost and see if you manage to take the opponent out of the fight.

If the enemy is still in the fight, repeat the process, using story elements to describe what's happening.

However, if this isn't the kind of combat you're looking for, you can always try to design an Extra to make combat more fun, or using a different system entirely just for combat.

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