Do NPCs Get Personal FATE Points?

RobShanti

Explorer
In the Fate Core system, there is no mention as to whether NPCs get built with their own personal FATE points (FPs). The Rules as Written seem to say in a bit of a circuitous way that NPCs don't get personal FPs like PCs do, but I have found at least a single contradiction in the rulebook.

I did a CNTRL+F search of the Core Rule .pdf, and every mention of FPs is in the context of PCs, not NPCs. Same with the term "Refresh"; in fact, page 49 of the Core Rulebook specifically says, "A player character in Fate starts with a refresh of 3" (emphasis added). In fact, the book is replete with references to Refresh specifically in terms of PCs, rather than NPCs.

On page 82, it says:

"GMs, you also get to use fate points, but the rules are a little bit different than the rules for players....The NPCs under your control....have a limited pool of fate points you get to use on their behalf. Whenever a scene starts, you get one fate point for every PC in that scene. You can use these points on behalf of any NPC you want, but you can get more in that scene if they take a compel, like PCs do."

But the book contradicts all these things on pg. 220, which may just be inartfully worded:

"Main NPCs are the closest you’re ever going to get to playing a PC yourself. They have full character sheets just like a PC does, with five aspects, a full distribution of skills, and a selection of stunts." (This isn't the contradictory part...notice how FPs are noticeably absent from this list...but the book goes on...) "Because they have all the same things on their sheet as PCs do, main NPCs will require a lot more of your time and attention than other characters."

If Main NPCs have ALL the same things on their sheet as PCs do, then they should have FPs too, shouldn 't they? Unless the book just meant more along the lines that all of the things on the Main NPCs' sheets appear also on the PCs sheets. I guess that's a fair reading of that passage, but it doesn't really tell us anything we haven't already seen in every RPG ever, so it seems to obvious to be a meaningful interpretation of that passage.

Also, the Core Rulebook recommends on pg. 223 that the GM "pre-load the NPC with some free invocations [of pre-created advantages] if it’s reasonable that they’ve had time to place those aspects. Use this trick in good faith, though—two or three such aspects is probably pushing the limit." I think that's definitely a good idea if your NPCs don't have their own FPs.

So, I'm getting the impression that NPCs are not built with personal FPs like PCs are, but rather all rely on the GM's scene pool of FPs.

So, if an NPC concedes in a conflict, or gets one of his aspects invoked against him, the FP that he would normally earn from that circumstance goes into the GM's scene pool, and not on the NPC's character sheet? What happens when that scene ends? Where does the NPC's earned FP go?

What if an NPC is built with one of those Stunts that requires a FP to activate it? Does that come out of the GM's scene pool of FPs?
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
In the Fate Core system, there is no mention as to whether NPCs get built with their own personal FATE points (FPs). The Rules as Written seem to say in a bit of a circuitous way that NPCs don't get personal FPs like PCs do, but I have found at least a single contradiction in the rulebook.
There are a couple of places where there are seeming contradictions in the Fate Core SRD. You noted one.

There's another where at one point they talk of Supporting NPCs taking the Fate Points from Conceding, so that they come back stronger, while at another they talk about how fate points from Compels and Conceding should go into the GMs pool.

And, yeah, the seeming conflict is annoying :(

So, I'm getting the impression that NPCs are not built with personal FPs like PCs are, but rather all rely on the GM's scene pool of FPs.
Yes. I think the idea of the big Main NPCs having "everything" a PC does - that's in terms of having aspects, stunts, and stress. None of the NPCs are built with the same rules PCs are.

So, if an NPC concedes in a conflict, or gets one of his aspects invoked against him, the FP that he would normally earn from that circumstance goes into the GM's scene pool, and not on the NPC's character sheet? What happens when that scene ends? Where does the NPC's earned FP go?
The most consistent reading is that when an NPC is compelled, the points go into the pool. I the GM concedes for an NPC, the points go into the pool. If the pool ends with more points than it started, the extra points go into the next scene.

If the GM concedes for all NPCs in the scene, such that the scene ends, the points go into the pool for the next scene.

What if an NPC is built with one of those Stunts that requires a FP to activate it? Does that come out of the GM's scene pool of FPs?
Yep. Note: the GM is refreshing completely every scene, maybe with some points carrying over. The PCs are only getting their refresh back per session. PCs are much more dependent on the fate point economy than the npcs are.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Everything I've seen says "No, NPCs do not get their own."

That said, giving a major NPC a separate pool is not entirely untoward... but if you do, he only gets them refreshed by PC's tagging his personal aspects against them or compelling them via their aspects; don't let them tap the group pool.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
That said, giving a major NPC a separate pool is not entirely untoward... but if you do, he only gets them refreshed by PC's tagging his personal aspects against them or compelling them via their aspects; don't let them tap the group pool.
I'd advise differently - You can give an important NPC their own fate points, but only a couple, and (obviously) they only get to spend them for their own actions, not slide them into the group pool. The major NPC can also spend from the group pool - because that means the rest of the group drawing from the pool will be less awesome.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
NPCs dont get fate points, just the GM pool.
Instead the GM gets to put Situation Aspects all over the scene which they can then compel to their hearts content. You also get bonus FP for every consequence an NPC suffers before the concede

my advice is be liberal with your situation aspects, and use multiple minion NPCs (which you happily concede) and compel at every chance so that your PCs have to pay up their precious FP
 
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I, generally, start with a pool of 1 FP/pc. If players compel an NPC, those FP go in the pool. I use a different, unlimited, pool for GM compels.
I’m pretty free with FPs, and minions, who are defeated, put their FPs in the pool for the Boss. I try to use those FPs up before the session is done so that the PCs are getting lots of compels and FPs which they can use for cool invokes. I try to encourage players to use FPs instead of horde them.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I, generally, start with a pool of 1 FP/pc. If players compel an NPC, those FP go in the pool. I use a different, unlimited, pool for GM compels.
Yes, that's bog-standard in Fate Core.

I’m pretty free with FPs, and minions, who are defeated, put their FPs in the pool for the Boss.
I am not sure what you're saying here.

Fate Core recognizes three levels of NPC - Nameless, Supporting, and Main NPCs.

Namless NPCs are mooks and minions, and have maybe an aspect or two to give them some color and function. They don't typically concede, mostly because they are nameless, and you can't tell if the Mook you see in Scene 3 is the same person as was in Scene 1. They don't have fate points to put in the pool for their boss.

Supporting NPCs are lieutenants - they have names, and the GM is advised to specifically have them concede conflicts so they can show up repeatedly. When they do that, they leave fate points in the pool when they go.

Main NPCs are Bosses, central antagonists to an arc or campaign. They are statted out pretty much like PCs, full of aspects and stunts, with the exception that normally they don't have their own fate points. Interestingly, the core rules suggest that Main NPCs don't typically concede conflicts - presumably because you are only directly in conflict at them at a climax scene, in which case conceding would more often be anti-climactic.
 

RobShanti

Explorer
Yes, the Core Rules recommends -- it seems in lieu of giving NPCs any FATE points -- giving NPCs "advantages" that they have "created" prior to the encounter with the PCs (if that could reasonably have happened). The book says to give an NPC one such advantage and that giving them "two or three is probably pushing the limit" (Core Rulebook, p. 223). So, in a way, that's KINDA like giving an NPC a FP, but one that is LIMITED to use in the circumstance described by the created advantage.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
Why would NPCs use Fate points?

Fate SRD said:
You use tokens to represent how many fate points you have at any given time during play. Fate points are one of your most important resources in Fate—they’re a measure of how much influence you have to make the story go in your character’s favor.

You can spend fate points to invoke an aspect, to declare a story detail, or to activate certain powerful stunts.

You earn fate points by accepting a compel on one of your aspects.

. . .

You spend fate points in any of the following ways:

  • Invoke an Aspect: Invoking an aspect costs you one fate point, unless the invocation is free.
  • Power a Stunt: Some stunts are very potent, and as such, cost a fate point in order to activate.
  • Refuse a Compel: Once a compel is proposed, you can pay a fate point to avoid the complication associated with it.
  • Declare a Story Detail: To add something to the narrative based on one of your aspects, spend a fate point.
Now, I'm not an expert :oops: , but invoking an aspect grants a +2 bonus to various rolls. As GM, you can add +2 to whatever you want, so that benefit is a wash.

Accept/refuse a compel: GMs compel, so I would hope you're not compelling yourself. If a PC's action, or fate point, creates something that looks like a compel on an NPC, you'd just be nerfing that PC's fun if you had (and used) an NPC fate point to reject it.

Declaring story details is the GM's job, so you don't need FP for that, either.

Powering Stunts is what's left here, and I suppose you wouldn't want to over-power your Main NPC's stunts. If the Main NPC might be overpowered, then 1 FP per player should be fine, right? If the Main NPC might be underpowered, you might want to be adding to the rest of its character sheet, not just the Fate Points.
 

RobShanti

Explorer
Well, it comes up often in my games like this:

GM: Okay, the Big Bad Evil Guy goes first and rolls his Attack against you. (Rolls the dice) He gets a total of four. Roll your Defense.

PLAYER: (rolls and does his math) I defend with a total of three...but...(picks up a FATE chip), I have the aspect "Always at the ready," so, my three is actually a five.

This is where my NPC could use a Fate Point. The BBEG NPC has the aspect "Got it out for [this Player's character]" so he wants to invoke that to turn his Attack roll of 4 to a 5. So, I've always wondered if I need to use the GM's scene pool of FPs (1 FP per PC per scene) for this, or if the NPC is built with the same three FPs the PCs are built with.

Based on the input I've received here, which seems to corroborate what I gleaned from the passages I quoted in the OP, it look like the NPC is not built with his own FPs, but rather must draw from the GM's 1-FP-per-PC-per-scene pool.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Now, I'm not an expert :oops: , but invoking an aspect grants a +2 bonus to various rolls. As GM, you can add +2 to whatever you want...
In an absolute sense, yes, the GM can do anything they wish. But, that's not how the game is designed to work, with a GM arbitrarily assigning bonuses when they feel like it. There's some expectation that the GM is playing by the rules, which means if they want to add a +2, they really ought to have an Aspect somewhere and invoke it with a point.

This is important - in D&D, the entire world is in the GMs hands, and the players have little narrative control - the GM's power is absolute, and they can make up everything. FATE shares the narrative control around more. The NPC Fate Pool is there to help enforce the sharing aspect, by giving the GM a budget for it.

By the way, you are forgetting the "re-roll all dice" function of Fate Points.

You are also forgetting the "add +2 to a source of passive opposition" function.

Accept/refuse a compel: GMs compel, so I would hope you're not compelling yourself.
Note that not all NPCs are opposition to the players. Some are allies. An ally might compel something against an antagonist.

If a PC's action, or fate point, creates something that looks like a compel on an NPC, you'd just be nerfing that PC's fun if you had (and used) an NPC fate point to reject it.
Sometimes, for reasons the players are not yet aware, a proposed compel from a player won't be as cool at they hope. Rejecting the compel, then, still burns through a valuable resource, so the player gets a little something for their effort.

Declaring story details is the GM's job, so you don't need FP for that, either.
If you are declaring a story detail that is very specifically in the NPC's favor, you really should use a fate point. Same for hostile compels - if you, the GM want to compel a thing to make the PC's life difficult, that's a standard compel. If the NPC effectively wants to compel a thing, for their own direct benefit, that should be a hostile compel, and cost the NPC a Fate point.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Why would NPCs use Fate points?
As GM, you can add +2 to whatever you want, so that benefit is a wash.
you clearly are applying a D&D mentality to a game that was design in rejection of most of D&D's procedural tropes...

The basic concept of Fate is that the GM frames the scene, establishes the NPCs in scene, and then turns them loose and runs the NPCs in scene almost like PCs.

Another concept of import: almost everything is opposed rolls. Set a difficulty is a last resort.
Fate Core p 131 said:
Active or Passive?
If a PC or a named NPC can reasonably interfere with whatever the action is, then you should give them the opportunity to roll active opposition. This does not count as an action for the opposing character; it’s just a basic property of resolving actions.
There is another concept that's not stated this way, but is in mechanics: Scenes are essentially characters, too. They lack skills, usually don't get actions, but usually have aspects.

For the GM to get a +2 for an NPC, some PC gets a fate point, or some NPC spends one from the NPC pool.
From the GM pool: tagging a scene aspect or invoking the NPC's personal aspect.
Pay the PC from the NPC pool: Tagging their aspect on an NPC action.
Pay the PC from the unlimited pool: Compel a PC, extract a concession
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
This is important - in D&D, the entire world is in the GMs hands, and the players have little narrative control - the GM's power is absolute, and they can make up everything. FATE shares the narrative control around more. The NPC Fate Pool is there to help enforce the sharing aspect, by giving the GM a budget for it.

Note that not all NPCs are opposition to the players. Some are allies. An ally might compel something against an antagonist.

Sometimes, for reasons the players are not yet aware, a proposed compel from a player won't be as cool at they hope. Rejecting the compel, then, still burns through a valuable resource, so the player gets a little something for their effort.

If you are declaring a story detail that is very specifically in the NPC's favor, you really should use a fate point. Same for hostile compels - if you, the GM want to compel a thing to make the PC's life difficult, that's a standard compel. If the NPC effectively wants to compel a thing, for their own direct benefit, that should be a hostile compel, and cost the NPC a Fate point.
Good points. But...

I'm not hopping in the boat, yet. Fate shares narrative control, but nowhere on a level of PbtA. If NPCs needed FP, the rules would grant them to each NPC. As it stands, a per-PC budget means that the GM gets to ruin a PC's fun once per scene.

Allied NPC FP are completely worthless. There's no reason for them to compel anything against an antagonist, because that's literally the GM having a conversation with herself: "hey, Me, will I accept the story turning against another character I'm running in exchange for a Fate point?" "Well, Me, I don't know. It's not like I'm in control of everything else, anyways..."

I don't see how compels can come from players. That doesn't seem to be one of the uses of a fate point. But, again, not an expert.

If you're declaring story details that are in favor of the NPCs, you don't need a fate point - you need GM practice. Alternatively, you know exactly what you're doing, and it will keep the PCs on the edge of their seats up until the climactic ending of the encounter. Either way, no FP needed. If an NPC wants a compel, you're metagaming that NPC, and should see point 1.

you clearly are applying a D&D mentality to a game that was design in rejection of most of D&D's procedural tropes...

The basic concept of Fate is that the GM frames the scene, establishes the NPCs in scene, and then turns them loose and runs the NPCs in scene almost like PCs.

Another concept of import: almost everything is opposed rolls. Set a difficulty is a last resort.
I'm applying GM, not DM, mentality, which echoes this from the Fate SRD:

Fate SRD said:
You describe the environments and places the PCs go to during the game, and you create the scenarios and situations they interact with. You also act as a final arbiter of the rules, determining the outcome of the PCs’ decisions and how that impacts the story as it unfolds.
I would say that the basic concept of Fate is that the GM frames the scene, the PCs react to it with their characters, and then Fate Points allow PCs to tactically increase the dramatic impact of the whole thing.

I'm not seeing difficulty as a last resort. In fact, the SRD advises that GMs can just use the Ladder for NPCs if they don't want to roll. So let's say it's at least 50/50. The point is that GMs set difficulty, which means that GMs (NPCs) don't need FP.

In another one of the contradictions (ambiguities?) that @Umbran mentions, the SRD points out that GMs are the "chairman, not god" (despite determining the outcome of the PCs' decisions). That disagreements should result in "brief discussions." This is not a D&D procedural trope, true, but if the GM is running everything mechanically, there's no need to bring this up. Unless the GM has the narrative control that I understand him/her to have.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
I'm not really sure what you have in mind here. Apocalypse World doesn't have a player-side "fate poiint" mechanic.
AWE/PBTA does have the same level of player narrative control as Fate Core. It's about the only element I think Mike has gotten correct. The fate point mechanic isn't technically narrative control... it's mechanical leverage.

Fate in the Fate Core flavor grants players a lot more mechanical leverage, however, than AWE/PBTA, and the GM as well...
The fundamental role of the GM in PBTA is to decide when they need to roll, and secondarily, to play NPCs.
The fundamental role of the GM in Fate Core is to frame scenes, compel PCs, and play NPCs; setting difficulties is explicitly after rejection of "say yes" and "opposed by"... and there's no further element in that decision tree. At least not in the released PDF's texts.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
As it stands, a per-PC budget means that the GM gets to ruin a PC's fun once per scene.
If you are viewing the GM as an antagonist, well, you're done anyway - you've already effectively argued that the GM has the right to set arbitrarily high bonuses on their own rolls, so you are the one giving them unlimited power to ruin fun.

If you view the GM as a co-conspirator in generating fun, then - the GM is given some design guidelines for the skills and stunts on NPCs, and a budget of Fate points to work with sets a bar. These comprise a limit on GM power, not an extension of it.

"Well, Me, I don't know. It's not like I'm in control of everything else, anyways..."
Again - that's kind of the point here. The system expects the GM to actually be following the guidelines, which recommends limits on skill bonuses for various types of NPCs. Limits + budget = limited GM power. If at any time you assume unlimited GM power, yes, that power is open to abuse. Go figure :/

I don't see how compels can come from players. That doesn't seem to be one of the uses of a fate point. But, again, not an expert.
Okay, so, here's a thought - if your experience with the system is limited, rather than make a whole stack of what you admit may be poorly founded assertions, and then arguing with folks when they suggest they may not be accurate, you might try instead asking questions. The result is apt to be a more constructive discussion.

But, rather dig into this hole, let us make it simple - if you don't want to have the GM paying to resist those... then when you are GMing, don't do that! You'll have the points for other things, then. That's a choice you, as a GM, can make.

I'm not seeing difficulty as a last resort. In fact, the SRD advises that GMs can just use the Ladder for NPCs if they don't want to roll.
Passive defense or opposition is for when the NPC is unimportant (so, really only for Nameless NPCs), or the NPC is legitimately caught unaware or occupied and unable to act or engage. The GM is not supposed to set static difficulties round by round in an extended conflict.

Unless the GM has the narrative control that I understand him/her to have.
The ability to always set whatever desired bonus they want on any roll is not an intended level of GM control in FATE. They are expected to follow guidelines for NPC creation, and use the FATE point pool to interact with character and scene Aspects - this ensures a certain balance/sharing between GM and players, and that the NPC's results are narratively consistent with the scene framing.

All-in-all, your argument seem to end up in the realm of "Well, if I ignore the details of how the rules say I should run the game, I don't need this mechanical element!"

In effect - Yes you can house-rule away the GM Fate Point Pool. Congrats! But you will find that the game then runs almost entirely on GM Fiat, which seems to be a result you want to avoid, since you have stated an aversion to the potential of the GM ruining player fun.
 

pemerton

Legend
The fundamental role of the GM in PBTA is to decide when they need to roll, and secondarily, to play NPCs.
As someone who is preparing to GM Apocalypse World, that's not quite how I see it. The rest of this post isn't to quibble pointlessly with you - I've gor a reasonable sense from your posting history of the range of RPGs you've played/GMed, and am not meaning to interrogiate or cast doubt on your expertise.; I'm headed somewhere else which is a little bit OT, but seems relavent to the issue raised by @DMMike.

In Apocalypse Word, determining when to roll - under the principles that if you do it, you do it and to do it, do it - seems primarily a table function. Perhaps the GM has a "chair of the committee" sort of responsibility - "there are two ways they sometimes don’t line up, and it’s your job as MC to deal with them" (p 12) - but that seems more like an outcome of the GM's role in managing the fiction.

It's that role of managing the fiction - helping keep everyone on the same page as to what is happening in the ficiton, and introducing new fiction when appropriate - that I would see as fundamental for the AW GM. (And as I read the rules and prepare, in my mind, for running this game it's the number one thing I'm thinking about!)

The prescribed agenda - "Make Apocalypse World seem real; Make the players’ characters’ lives not boring; Play to find out what happens" - is all about the content of the ficiton and the process of establishing it. The instruction to "Always say what the principles demand, what the rules demand, what your prep demands and what honesty demands" is about the establishment of fiction (by saying things). The principles speak to this too.

The two places where I see significant reference to player "narrative control" is in the principles "ask provocative questions and build on the answers" and "sometimes, disclaim decision-making" - one way of doing the latter is to "put it in the players’ hands". But this is all GM-initiated, and to me seems no different from what might be done in most mainstream RPGs. I have used one or both techniques in GMing 4e D&D, Classic Traveller, Cthulhu Dark, Dying Earth, Burning Wheel and Prince Valiant.

The reason I'm going through all this, and honing in on the GM's role in establishing and managing the fiction, is because I want to push back against what, in this thread, I see as an instance of a more general trend on ENWorld. That trend is to characterise any approach to GMing, or to managing and establishing the fiction of a game, that implicitly or overtly eschews railroading, as involving player narrative control. Which then robs us of a useful vocabulary for labelling mechanics that work in (what Edwards/The Forge calls) director stance, whereby players wthout GM mediation can directly establish fiction beyond the remit of their PCs' immediate causal influence.

I've read the rules for Fate Core but never played it and am not currently planning to, and so I haven't given them the same degree of thought as I have Apocalypse World. But looking at them right now, I see (p 80) that a player can spent a fate point to (among other things) declare a story detail based on one of his/her PC's aspect, or to invoke an aspect. Page 68 says that invoking an aspect means getting a benefit for your character (or another's - there's an abmiguity in that respect vis-a-vis the option to "pass a +2 benefit to another character's roll").

It seems to me that this does give a player narrative control in the "director stance" sense. For instance, a player whose character has the aspects Wizard for hire and Rivals in the Collegia Arcana (this is an example from the book) presumably could spend a point to introduce a detail such as that the Conclave of the Collegia is meeting tonight. And if a scene includes a "situation aspect" like Thick mud then presumably a player could spend a fate point to invoke that aspect against an opposed NPC, the logic being that the NPC has become stuck in the mud. As I read the rules, the player wouldn't have to further establish that it is his/her PC who caused the NPC to become stuck in the mud.

Apocalypse World doesn't have these sorts of mechanics. In the "Advanced ****ery" chapter, the following is described as "a pretty interesting custom peripheral move" (p 276)"

When you declare retroactively that you’ve already set something up, roll+sharp. On a 10+, it’s just as you say. On a 7–9, you set it up, yes, but here at the crucial moment the MC can introduce some hitch or delay. On a miss, you set it up, yes, but since then things you don’t know about have seriously changed.​

It goes on to say (p 277) "The subtle effect . . . is to expand the player’s, like, area of involvement: into the past . . . [and] move toward a new game, a game based on, but no longer, Apocalypse World."

The absence of this sort of thing from default AW is why I don't think it's all that accurate to descirbe it as a game involving player narrative control.
 

pemerton

Legend
@Umbran - all your stuff about limits on GM power etc is crystal clear. (I don't play Fate but I play Cortex+ Heroic, which uses a somewhat similar approach via the Doom Pool.)

But a question about NPC compels. Page 82 says "you can get more [fate points] in theat scen if they [the NPCs in that scene] take a compel, like PCs do". Pagae 71 says "If you're in a situation when haing or being around a certain aspect means your character's life is more dramatic or complicated, someone can compel the aspect" and then says that either the compel is accepted - earning a point - or refused - costing a point. Spending a fate point to refuse a compel is also mentioned on p 80 as one of the ways to spend a fate pont, just as page 81 lists accepting a compel as one way to earn a point.

Page 71 also has the following rule which seems like it should have been on the p 80 list but (presumably due to an editing oversight) is not there - "if a player wants to compel another character, it costs a fate point to propose the complication."

So suppose the GM's antagonist NPC has the aspect Hubristic mastermind, and the PCs have been caught in the NPC's death trap. It seems that the players could suggest that a hubristic mastermind would leave them unguarded, being overwhelmingly confident of the success of his cunning ploy. It seems that a player can pay a fate point to propse that complication, and then either the GM can accept the complication and put a fate point into his/her own pool, or refuse the complication and pay a fate point out of his/her pool. (As I read the rules the player's spend point does not go into anyone's pool but is simply gone.)

To me this seems to be what @DMMike has missed. Have I got it roughly right?

EDIT: Also, and in response to the OP - p 81 lists as a way to earn a fate point having your aspects invoked against you: "If someone pays a fate point to invoke an aspect attached to your character, you gain their fate point at the end of the scene." It seems to me that the GM doesn't get fate points in this way, as the rules on page 82 - which mention in-scene fate points for accepting compels, and mention end-of-scene fate points for comples and conceding - don't say anything about it. Stepping back from the rules text to the system logic, this way of earning fate points looks to me like an aspect of player/GM asymmetry that complements the asymmetry I alread noted in having to spend to provoke a compel. That is, players have to pay to muck around with someone else's stuff, and they get paid when someone else mucks about with their stuff. Which is a clear nod to the traditional distinction between GM and player roles in a RPG.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Page 71 also has the following rule which seems like it should have been on the p 80 list but (presumably due to an editing oversight) is not there - "if a player wants to compel another character, it costs a fate point to propose the complication."

So suppose the GM's antagonist NPC has the aspect Hubristic mastermind, and the PCs have been caught in the NPC's death trap. It seems that the players could suggest that a hubristic mastermind would leave them unguarded, being overwhelmingly confident of the success of his cunning ploy. It seems that a player can pay a fate point to propse that complication, and then either the GM can accept the complication and put a fate point into his/her own pool, or refuse the complication and pay a fate point out of his/her pool. (As I read the rules the player's spend point does not go into anyone's pool but is simply gone.)

To me this seems to be what @DMMike has missed. Have I got it roughly right?
Pretty much. There's some ambiguity in "compel" and "hostile invocation".

EDIT: Also, and in response to the OP - p 81 lists as a way to earn a fate point having your aspects invoked against you: "If someone pays a fate point to invoke an aspect attached to your character, you gain their fate point at the end of the scene." It seems to me that the GM doesn't get fate points in this way, as the rules on page 82 - which mention in-scene fate points for accepting compels, and mention end-of-scene fate points for comples and conceding - don't say anything about it.
I quote a note in the FATE Core SRD: GM Fate Points for Hostile Invokes:

"Lenny has stated that he always intended for hostile invokes on NPCs to grant fate points to the GM for the next scene..."

Where Lenny is Leonard Balsera, lead system developer for the Dresden Files Fate game.
 

pemerton

Legend
I quote a note in the FATE Core SRD: GM Fate Points for Hostile Invokes:

"Lenny has stated that he always intended for hostile invokes on NPCs to grant fate points to the GM for the next scene..."

Where Lenny is Leonard Balsera, lead system developer for the Dresden Files Fate game.
OK, that contradicts my reasoning above!

The structure of this gives the GM an advantage - gets points for hostile invokes but has no need to pay for compels. How does it work out in play? Does the numerical advantage the players have (ie there are more of them) outweigh the GM's structural advantage?
 

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