Fate System Toolkit
Alternate Uses for Consequences
Just like stress, consequences can serve a variety of roles in your game, apart from the default presented in Fate Core.
Extreme Effort: Voluntarily take a consequence anytime for a bonus on a roll equal to the consequence’s value—mild grants +2, moderate +4, or severe +6. This can be dangerous, both to the PC and to the fate point economy, as with Extra Effort.
Group Consequences: Instead of tracking them individually, supporting and main NPCs share a pool of group consequences. This gives you the option to “sacrifice” a supporting NPC now to make a main NPC more challenging later. For every two supporting NPCs you expect to include in the scenario, add two mild and one moderate group consequences, to a maximum of three moderate group consequences. For each main NPC, add another mild, moderate, and severe group consequence. If a supporting or main NPC concedes, base the concession reward on the total number of consequences that NPC used during that scene.
The antagonists in Will’s superhero game all belong to a terrorist organization called CHIMERA. Minotaur and Scylla are the main NPCs, while Cerberus, Talos, and Cerastes are all supporting NPCs. That gives Will a pool of four mild, three moderate, and two severe group consequences for the lot of them.
In an early scene, the PCs face off against Cerberus, Talos, and Minotaur. During the course of the conflict, Cerberus and Minotaur each use a mild consequence—then Cerberus is taken out, Talos concedes, and Minotaur manages to escape. Will could have chosen to use some more consequences to keep Cerberus and Minotaur in the fight, but he chose to save those for a later scene. Plus, he gets a fate point for the concession—and only one, as Talos didn’t use a consequence.
By the time they hit the climactic battle, Will has one mild, one moderate, and two severe group consequences remaining to use for Scylla, Minotaur, and Cerastes, the three major NPCs in the scene, as they attempt to bring their nefarious machinations to fruition.
Collateral Consequences: In addition to their usual complement of consequences, the players can also make use of three communal consequences, one of each degree of severity. These represent damage to the environment or new complications in the story, such as Injured Bystanders or Anti-Mutant Hysteria. Players can effectively use them to offload harm from themselves onto the world around them. A collateral consequence can be cleared just like a regular one, using an overcome action with whatever skill seems most appropriate, with two exceptions. One, it must be done during the scene in which the consequence is incurred. Two, there’s no delay—with a good enough skill roll it clears immediately. This option is best suited for genres, such as supers, in which the PCs are likely to care a great deal about the world around them.