This is Fate Condensed, a version of Fate Core System in as compact a form as we can manage. It is a complete roleplaying game; while other books might enhance your use of it, you don’t need any other book to play.
On that note, let’s get into what you do need!
What Do I Need to Play?
To play Fate Condensed you’ll need two to six friends with one acting as Game Master (GM), some dice, some tokens, writing implements, paper, and something to write short notes on (e.g., small “sticky notes”).
Fate Condensed uses Fate Dice™ when characters take action. Fate dice are six-sided dice with two 0 sides, two + sides, and two - sides. One set of four dice will work fine, but one set per player is ideal. Other alternatives exist, such as using standard six-sided dice (1-2 = -, 3-4 = 0, 5-6 = +), or the Deck of Fate, which uses cards instead of dice. We use the word “roll” throughout the text for simplicity.
For Veterans: Changes From Fate Core
Condensing the gist of a system from nearly 300 pages down to about 50 pages of text does lead to a few changes. As of this writing it has also been eight years since Fate Core System was created, so a little iteration of the design is to be expected. In particular, we highlight the following:
- We’ve shifted over to one-point stress boxes to help reduce confusion.
- “Balsera Style” initiative (also known as “elective action order” or “popcorn initiative”) is the default rather than using skills to determine turn order.
- Advancement functions a little differently; we’ve eliminated significant milestones and finessed major ones (as breakthroughs) to compensate.
- We’ve removed the notion of active opposition as separate from the defend action. This has a few minor ripple effects, particularly overcome’s tie result.
- Create an Advantage has been tweaked to offer better clarity and agency around the discovery of existing unknown aspects.
- Full defense is presented as optional and has been altered a bit to accommodate the expanded scope of the defend action. Other standard rules options are presented as well.