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Fate Core


The Physique skill is a counterpart to Athletics, representing the character’s natural physical aptitudes, such as raw strength and endurance. In our example game, we have this skill broken out as something separate in order to create two distinct types of physical characters—the nimble guy (represented by Athletics) and the strongman (represented by Physique).

In your game, you might not find this distinction necessary to make with separate skills—though you might still let players make that distinction with stunts and aspects.

OOvercome: You can use Physique to overcome any obstacles that require the application of brute force—most often to overcome a situation aspect on a zone—or any other physical impedance, like prison bars or locked gates. Of course, Physique is the classic skill for arm-wrestling matches and other contests of applied strength, as well as marathons or other endurance-based challenges.

CCreate an Advantage: Physique has a lot of potential for advantages in physical conflict, usually related to grappling and holding someone in place, making them Pinned or Locked Down. You might also use it as a way of discovering physical impairments possessed by the target—grappling the old mercenary tells you that he has a Bum Leg or some such.

AAttack: Physique is not used to harm people directly—see the Fight skill for that.

DDefend: Though you don’t generally use Physique to defend against attacks, you can use it to provide active opposition to someone else’s movement, provided you’re in a small enough space that you can effectively use your body to block access. You might also interpose something heavy and brace it to stop someone from getting through.

Special: The Physique skill gives you additional physical stress or consequence slots. Average (+1) or Fair (+2) gives you a 3-point stress box. Good (+3) or Great (+4) gives you a 3-point and a 4-point stress box. Superb (+5)and above give you an additional mild consequence slot along with the additional stress boxes. This slot can only be used for physical harm.

Physique Stunts

  • Grappler. +2 to Physique rolls made to create advantages on an enemy by wrestling or grappling with them.
  • Take the Blow. You can use Physique to defend against Fight attacks made with fists or blunt instruments, though you always take 1 shift of stress on a tie.
  • Tough as Nails. Once per session, at the cost of a fate point, you can reduce the severity of a moderate consequence that’s physical in nature to a mild consequence (if your mild consequence slot is free), or erase a mild consequence altogether.