Fate Core: Damage Rolls

The Fate System Toolkit does a fine job of giving options for different ways to implement weapons and armor, here’s another one that harkens back to the damage roll tradition.

First, calculate your Force…

Take the number of shifts you scored on an attack and add your weapon bonus. This is your Force. For instance, if you score 2 shifts on your roll and have Weapon: 2, you have 4 Force for this attack.

Second, calculate Toughness…

Take your Physique stress bonus (the amount of extra stress you gain for having a Physique of a certain level) and add your armor rating. This is your Toughness. For instance, if you have Physique 2 (stress bonus of +1) and Armor: 2, you have a Toughness of 3.

Figure out your Damage…

For each point of the opponent’s Toughness, convert a point of Force into a Fate die and roll to determine your final value. For instance, the above Force 4 vs. Toughness 3 would result in 1 + the result of 3 Fate dice. So a result of “-, +, _, +” (+1) on the Fate dice deals 2 total stress damage.

And that’s it.

Your skill roll still applies to helping you, but a high weapon modifier isn’t a guaranteed amount of stress as you have to take into account your opponent’s Toughness rating, which can alter the final result by a random amount.

This mechanic could be expanded by playing with options against the Fate dice. Here are a couple of examples.

Armor Piercing: If part or all of a weapon’s rating is armor penetrating, Toughness doesn’t convert it into Fate dice. It applies its rating as usual.

Hardened: If part or all of a protective item’s armor rating is hardened, it subtracts the attacker’s Force rating instead of converting it to Fate dice. (Armor Piercing and Hardened cancel each other out, making it a normal dice roll.)

Blow Through: If the Force rating is 3 or higher than the target’s Toughness, it doesn’t have enough resistance to have an appreciable effect and the Force is not converted to Fate dice.

Not a Scratch: If the Toughness rating is 3 or higher than the target’s Force rating, it becomes hardened against it – reducing it to zero.

You could add a few other things to the default Force or Resistance rubrics to personalize this. You could say that 1/2 of Force is always armor piercing, and/or 1/2 of Toughness is always hardened. Another thing you could do is say that there must be a static Force rating of 1 or higher to make a damage roll. Thus, if Toughness were higher than Force, it would convert the entire Force rating to Fate dice, removing even the possibility of rolling damage against it because there is no longer a static rating.

Thoughts? What’s your favorite method of handling weapon/armor or supernatural strikes/toughness in Fate Core?



  1. Very nice. Very unique. It reminds me a little of Mutants and Masterminds’ damage system ( just a little). Have you gotten to try this out, though? I’m not certain of how well it’ll run in practice.



    1. Anything that reminds one of M&M is a success in my book! 🙂

      No, I haven’t tried this out. Right now I’m working on so many games that I’m not sure I’ll ever get the chance to. It seems that everything I run anymore is a play test of one kind or another.



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