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Atomic Robo

Stunts

Building Stunts

Players are encouraged to create or pick stunts during play as needed, but there’s nothing wrong with deciding on some or all of them before play begins. It’s up to you.

While there’s no definitive list of stunts—the possibilities being limitless, it would be folly to try to enumerate them all—there’s absolutely a definitive list of what stunts can potentially do. When in doubt, look to these examples as guidance.

A stunt only functions when the player wants it to. If for some reason you want to sidestep the advantage a stunt gives you, by all means do so.

Each stunt confers a single benefit listed below.

Add a Bonus

Gain a bonus in a narrow circumstance

Benefit: Gain a situational +2 bonus to one application of a skill.

If you phrase this as “+2 to [action] with [skill] when [situation occurs],” you pretty much can’t go wrong.

Examples:

  • Friends in High Places: +2 to overcome with Rapport when socializing at a fancy gathering, such as a ritzy corporate or government function.

Alternately, for a stunt with a little more breadth, you can split up that +2 bonus to one application into +1 bonus to two applications. Those applications can both be for the same skill, or you can assign them to two separate skills strongly connected by a common theme.

Examples:

  • Expert Marksman: +1 to attack or create an advantage with Combat when using a firearm.
  • Martial Artist: +1 to create an advantage with Combat or Athletics when fighting unarmed.

Add a New Action to a Skill

Use a skill in an unusual way

Benefit: Use a skill to do something it normally can’t by adding a new game action to the skill in certain situations. This new action can be one that’s already covered by another skill—effectively letting you use one skill in place of another for the specified circumstance—or one that’s just not available to any skill.

Examples:

  • Backstab: Use Stealth instead of Combat to attack when the target isn’t aware of you.
  • Let’s Take It Outside: Use Physique to defend against intimidation.

Add a Rules Exception to a Skill

Bend the rules in your favor

Benefit: Make a single exception, in a narrow circumstance, for a single skill in a way that doesn’t precisely fit any existing action.

This is admittedly a pretty wibbly-wobbly rule of thumb, but some stunts simply can’t be classified neatly. For more dramatic effects, it’s a good idea to balance this benefit by requiring the character to spend a fate point, take a consequence, or sacrifice their next action, or limit the effect to once per session. Otherwise, you may find that instead of making the character cooler, the stunt just makes the game less fun. And that’s the opposite of what we’re going for.

Examples:

  • Riposte: When you use Combat to defend in melee and succeed with style, spend a fate point to immediately inflict an attack on your opponent at the shift value of your defense. For example, if you get four shifts on your defense, you’d deal a 4-shift hit to the attacker. You can’t do this again until you have another “next action” to spend (after your skipped turn goes by).
  • Mind Over Matter: Once per scene, you may check a mental stress box to absorb physical harm.

Have a Signature Aspect

Get a free invoke once per issue

Benefit: One of your character’s aspects is so important to your character, so integral, that, once per issue, you can invoke it for free.

The flip side of this is that when the GM compels that aspect, she must offer you two fate points instead of one. However, should you want to refuse the compel, you have to match the GM’s offer, one-for-one. That means you’d have to spend two fate points to refuse the initial compel.

Mark the aspect with an asterisk, or write “Signature” in parentheses next to it, as a reminder that it works a bit differently.

Examples:

  • Signature Aspect: Britain’s Most Dangerous Commando
  • Signature Aspect: Behold, the Power of Science!

Personal Hardware

Own an important possession

Benefit: Your character has an iconic possession of some kind.

This benefit lets you pick from two of the options in the sidebar. If that’s not enough to properly represent your personal hardware, you can take this stunt (and gain its benefit) multiple times.

In addition, your hardware includes any non-mechanical abilities that seem reasonable. For example, a two-way wristwatch radio gives you the ability to communicate over long distances, just as a jetpack gives you the ability to fly—no numbers or rolling required, unless doing so puts you at risk or in danger.

Examples:

  • Armored Jacket: Armor:2
  • Knuckledusters: +1 to Combat to attack when unarmed, Weapon:2

Personal Hardware Options

Pick two:

  • +1 to one situational application of one skill
  • Weapon:2
  • Armor:1
  • Add a new action to a skill (functions once per session)