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Aspects are probably the most important facet of this game. They are the glue between game mechanics and great stories.
Many aspects are created during a game of Edgerunner. Some of these are permanent aspects that stay on their context until deliberately removed. Others are temporary aspects that last until it makes sense, and then disappear. There is no strict mechanism that defines when a temporary aspect dissolves. Use common sense to determine if they are still relevant.
Many aspects are created in the first session when the players are building their world and characters. All of these are permanent aspects, written on their related sheets. They remain on their contexts until the controlling player decides to change them during a refresh or an opponent removes one when taken out.
When determining aspects for your character or any other thing, keep in mind that aspects are the main conduit on which fate points flow. There may be a tendency to think of aspects as perks or flaws, but the best aspects are both of those at the same time.
A good aspect is versatile, such that it creates opportunities for positive and negative invocations and compels.
Intelligentis a lame aspect, as it only allows for invokes, without offering a way to regain the spent fate points.
Unbelievably intelligentis better because it opens the door for the occasional compel, without losing the potential for invocation.
A good aspect is also not too broad. Something as vague as
Sometimes good, sometimes evilis a poor aspect. It can be invoked or compelled for any roll without generating an interesting story. Aspects are supposed to generate stories.
I turn evil under fireis a much better aspect, giving the character some, well, character.
Other aspects are created in game. They may be permanent or temporary depending on how they are created, plus common sense. The referee may assign both kinds of aspects to anything he controls (ie. everything except player characters and their related entities) at will. He can assign only temporary aspects to things he does not control, and that is subject to a declaration roll by the controlling player if she disagrees. The referee should never assign permanent aspects to a player controlled entity, unless that entity is taken out.
Temporary aspects have a condition that determines how they expire. Some aspects just expire with time, some others depend on the presence or active maintenance of a character or other context. Use common sense in determining how and when a temporary aspect expires. If there is ambiguity and disagreement on if an aspect should expire, you may use a declaration (explained below) as a resolution mechanism.
Consequences are also temporary aspects with stricter rules on their creation and expiration.
The players can also create aspects. They can modify the permanent aspects on their characters or other contexts they control whenever there is a refresh. They can also modify the permanent aspects of other things they take out.
The players can also create temporary aspects on everything they do not control, using declarations, assessments and maneuvers. They all have the same mechanism. The player wishing to place an aspect on anything announces her intended aspect, her target and the skill and mechanism she will use. If the target is a passive thing like the environment or an object, then the referee determines a target number for the roll. If the target is a character or similar, then its appropriate skill is used as the target number. In any case, zero shifts are enough to place the aspect on the target. Any additional shifts can be used to gain free invokes as per the table here.
Skill + 4dF vs. 0 Skill + 4dF vs. Defense skill
Skill + 4dF vs. Shifts from aspect creation.
All aspects created this way can be invoked once by the creating player(or anyone they allow) without spending a fate point.
All of these three moves can be compelled before dice are rolled, or boosted with other aspect invocations after the fact, just like regular skill rolls.
While they all use the same mechanism above, the difference between declarations, assessments and maneuvers is only in how they affect the story and how they make sense.
Declarations are just stating facts about the world. The player invents a fact out of thin air, and attaches it to an entity as an aspect with a declaration. It is assumed to be true all along, and it is just made prominent for the story by the declaration.
The declaration is a bit different than other actions because it is a player action, not a character action. The skills of the character are irrelevant when making a declaration. Instead the support of other players decide the “skill” for making the declaration roll. When a player makes a declaration, he starts with a skill of 0, and every supporting player can contribute a +1 to this skill, or a -1 if they oppose the idea. Then he rolls the dice. Since the aspect is assumed to be there all along, there is no “time” involved, so all of the shifts from the roll go towards the persistence threshold of the new aspect.
Lydia, Jade’s player declares that the library Jade just connected to has
an extensive collection on pharmacology. Jon and Selena(the referee) second the idea, but William opposes, so the effective “skill” is assumed to be +1.
Lydia rolls a +1 ⊞⊡⊡⊟, getting 2 shifts. That is the persistence of the new aspect.
Selena(referee) notes that Jade is
light on her feetand compels Lydia into accepting that Jade is currently wearing
old comfortable sneakers, which she will promptly use to make Jade unfit for the posh social event she’s about to attend.
As in every compel, Lydia has the option of taking the fate point and accepting the compel, getting the new aspect on Jade, or giving Selena a fate point and telling why Jade isn’t wearing her sneakers today.
It is also possible to “declare” character or faction aspects, upgrades and skills as well as local and global issues this way, if they were left blank in the first session. If you are declaring an upgrade for your character this way, you must get enough shifts to match the bonus the upgrade provides.
Assessments are observations or preparations made by the player’s character. A player can gain a free invoke for an existing aspect by having a character assess it.
The story representation of the assessment is that the character employs a skill in order to observe the target and prepare for exploiting an aspect he discovers.
Since the aspect in question is an already established aspect, shifts generated on an assessment are only good for reducing the time required or making the assessment harder to resist in a conflict.
Making an assessment assumes that the assessing character is on the scene and able to observe or study the target.
William, Hargan’s player wants to exploit Gatto’s
Never without a cigaraspect, so he makes an assessment using Hargan’s Empathy of 1 versus Gatto’s Stealth of 2. He rolls a +2 ⊞⊞⊞⊟. Hargan has just noticed that Gatto is
never without a cigar. He’s going to remember that. It’s one free invoke William can use later.
Maneuvers are actions taken by a character to change something in the world. The character must be able to perform the required action. If successful, then the new aspect becomes immediately available.
You can use manuvers to model preparing for another action, even another maneuver.
Switch wants to take out the perimeter guard before he reaches his pillbox and raises the alarm. At this long range, it is a tough call. He would risk giving away his position in addition to missing the guard.
He wants to take aim first, but with this range and a running guard, even that is quite hard. So he decides to
dig in for the long shot. That is an easy maneuver with a target of zero, easily done. Then he takes aim to put the guard
in his sights. He misses the target for that but tags the first aspect (
dig in…) for a +2 bonus to make it happen.
Finally, he makes the shot, tagging
in his sightsand invoking
dig in for the long shot(spending 1 fate point) for a whopping +4 bonus and takes the guard down.
Consequences are mostly negative or impeding aspects voluntarily taken by a player controlling a character (or another entity) in return for receiving a boost to a specific skill use.
Every entity (characters, factions etc…) has a fixed number of consequence slots. Each slot provides a set amount of boost to a roll when used. Characters, for example, have three slots, mild, moderate and severe, providing +1, +2 and +4 to rolls by default. Other entities may have different sets of consequence slots.
Jade is trying to finish her research about her target datafortress (a maneuver which will allow her to place the aspect
"Like the back of my hand"on it, giving her an advantage later) before it is too late. She managed to reduce the time from a day to a few hours with shifts from her roll, but even that is not enough.
Lydia, Jade’s player elects to give Jade a moderate consequence to get another +2 on her roll and reduce the time to half an hour. She writes
"Tired and confused"on Jade’s moderate consequence slot. Jade will be really groggy for some time.
The consequence can be tagged by an opponent if there is one, and it can be invoked or compelled just like a regular aspect.
Only a controlling player may voluntarily take consequences. You can’t put consequences on characters or other entities you do not control.
A consequence slot, once used, remains full for a specific period as shown here. It is not possible to alter these periods. Once a consequence slot gets used, it remains full and thus unusable for the specified period of time.
But it is possible to modify a consequence, that is, replace it with a more benign version of itself, reflecting the effort to mitigate the original. Turning a
deep cuts all aroundinto
bandages and grafts all aroundwith the Medical skill, or transforming
lack of sleepinto
so much caffeinewith some clever use of the Survival skill are all acceptable.