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Fate Core

Stunts & Refresh

Pick or invent three to five stunts. Determine how many fate points you start play with.

Stunts change how skills work for your character. Picking and inventing stunts are covered in the Skills and Stunts section.

You get three stunts for free, and you can take up to two more stunts at the cost of lowering your refresh by one each. (The gist is this: the more cool tricks you can do, the more you’ll need to accept compels to get fate points.) Figuring out stunts can take a while, so you may want to pick one for now and determine the rest of them during play.

Lily decides to take the Warmaster stunt as one of her freebies: +2 to Fight rolls made to create an advantage against an opponent, provided the opponent has a fighting style or weakness she can exploit.

For her remaining free stunts, she picks Second-Story Girl and Danger Sense. You can see the write-ups for these on her character sheet.

Adjusting Refresh

A player character in Fate starts with a refresh of 3. That means he’ll start each session off with at least 3 fate points.

If you pick four stunts, your refresh is 2. If you pick five stunts, your refresh is 1.

Note: some Fate games will change this setup. Regardless of how stunts work in your game, you can never have a refresh lower than 1.

You can adjust these defaults if you want to, and give out more free stunts if you want the PCs to have a lot of cool tricks and special bonuses. You can also change the default refresh rate—higher refresh means that the PCs won’t need to take compels as often (think 4-color superhero comics), and lower refresh means they’ll need to take several early in every session in order to have a decent supply (think Die Hard). Also, the higher your refresh, the more likely it is that players will buy stunts.