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Fate Condensed

Fate Condensed

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Fate Condensed is an updated, streamlined, 50-pages-or-less version of Fate Core System. It's completely stand-alone and features new refinements to the Fate Core engine that'll have it running better than ever. Call it Fate 4.5, if you like—it covers all the ground (and uses the same skills) as Fate Core, in about a sixth the size.

You can use Fate Condensed (FCon) to drive any game, any scenario, with proactive, capable player-characters leading dramatic lives. The easy-to-digest rules are presented here with a minimum of verbiage, letting you get to the table and roll the dice, fast. 

For game creators, the text of Fate Condensed is available for development under an open license, at a word-count that won't bust your budget when making an all-in-one-book stand-alone game Powered by Fate. 

Fate veterans will appreciate the refinements and additions to the Fate Core engine, including:

  • A shift to one-point stress boxes to help reduce player confusion.
  • The use of “Balsera Style” initiative (also known as “elective action order” or “popcorn initiative”) as the default rather than using skills to determine turn order.
  • Improvements to advancement, eliminating significant milestones and finessing major milestones to compensate.
  • Changing active opposition so it's no longer separate from the defend action.
  • Eight pages of optional rules to make building your variant of choice easy, including Dresden Files Accelerated scale rules, extreme consequences, countdowns, and a variety of ways to make your Big Bads bigger and badder.

Fate Condensed.
Refined. Streamlined. Stand-alone. Open licensed.

 
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Reviews (6)
Discussions (18)
Customer avatar
Antonio E February 28, 2020 5:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
There's a typo on page 46, first line. "tinerking" should be "tinkering"
Customer avatar
February 28, 2020 6:49 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Fixed in source. It'll be in the next round update, once we have the index.
Customer avatar
Laurence M February 28, 2020 2:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
This is so minor, but on p. 17, under SUCCESS, the word "book" is missing. It should read:

Opened! Ethan grabs the ritual book and leaves before the guards notice him.

(Also, there's a similar omission in the Success with Style example below.)
Customer avatar
February 28, 2020 3:41 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Honestly I think leaving out "book" is grammatically acceptable (it's synecdoche, essentially) — but thank you for pointing it out. I will take a look.
Customer avatar
February 27, 2020 7:38 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Updated again today, Feb 27, 2020. Probably the last round of revisions before the index goes in.

High level changes:

Turned the blue accents black because the print version will have a black & white interior.

Added to the rules options chapter:
+ a condensed version of the Obstacles section from Fate Adversary Toolkit.
+ a one page writeup on considerations in changing the skill list.

Added a rules summary in the back of the book.

Added space for an index in the back of the book. Index is in development.

Other specifics follow:

Added a page reference to the changing the skill list section at the bottom of page 9:

If you’re considering making your own skill list for your game and are looking for some ideas to kick-start your imagination, see page 46.

Page 32's final Teamwork paragraph's first sentence needed a reword as it appeared too restrictive on review.

Original...See more
Customer avatar
February 21, 2020 5:51 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Updated Fate Condensed today, Feb 21, 2020. Here's the change log! Lots of changes in this revision. Enjoy!

===

page 12:

Second bullet

Original:

If you’re inclined towards a unified track, add a couple more boxes to make up for it.

New:

If you’re inclined towards a unified track, add three more boxes to make up for it, and use the higher of Physique or Will to lengthen it as indicated.

---

Appended the following to the end of the third bullet, mainly to highlight the numerics of the different methods. Condensed's method offers more consistent stress absorption than Core's does, but veteran Fate players may miss the higher effective totals, which is the intent of offering this option.

Added:

(With the older style, a [1][2] track absorbs 2 to 3 stress, [1][2][3] = 3 to 6, [1][2][3][4] = 4 to 10.)

===

Page 15:

Original -
...See more
Customer avatar
February 21, 2020 5:51 pm UTC
PUBLISHER

Page 54:

New section talking about versions of Fate, because people keep wanting it to be a this-or-that thing instead of recognizing it's all Fate Core. :)

What Version Is This?

Since late 2012, there has been only one version of Fate from Evil Hat: Fate Core System, the fourth edition of the system.

Ah, but what about Fate Accelerated, the perspicacious Fate afficionado might ask? Thing is, that’s Fate Core too—it’s the same system, just with different dial settings (i.e., configuration options/flavors) for stress tracks, the skill list, stunts, and NPC design. Any apparent differences in the core functions of the system are due to accidents of parallel development and can be considered unintentional—with apologies to the rules lawyers out there! If a conflict between the designs exists, Fate Core System is the authority.

These two perspectives on Fate Core come together here, in Fate Condensed—very literally, in fact. Condensed...See more
Customer avatar
Marion H February 25, 2020 2:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
I need to download the newest files, but I have a question on something not here: on page 27, talking about creating Situation Aspects, you only mention using the Create an Advantage option. I can't find Declare a Story Detail as an option anywhere. Is it gone?
Customer avatar
February 25, 2020 3:32 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Page 27 isn't an appropriate place to have it since that page is talking about adding and removing aspects, not story details.

What you're looking for is on the current draft's page 24:

Invoking to Declare Story Details
You may spend a fate point to add an important or unlikely detail to the story based on an aspect in play. In cases where “aspects are always true” (page 22) suffices, you do not need to spend the fate point; paying is for when it’s a stretch.
Customer avatar
Marion H February 25, 2020 3:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks!
Customer avatar
Laurence M February 17, 2020 2:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
Would love, love, love to see a super-simple magic system included in Fate Condensed as an optional rule, so people can jump right into a fantasy game or even a supers game.

Collegia Arcana Magic works for me.

Or else I'd like something similar to Nathan Hare's High Fantasy Magic (https://fate-srd.com/odds-ends/high-fantasy-magic) but even more stripped down. As in:

1. Have an aspect that says you can do magic.

2. Use a stunt slot to define the type of magic you can do: Fire Magic, Healing Magic, Illusion Magic, etc. (And BTW, you can take several magic stunts if desired.)

3. Use your regular skill set to perform actions: Shoot to hit someone with a bolt of fire, Disable to melt the lock on a door, etc.

And that's it! Not essential, but it would be a nice addition.
Customer avatar
February 17, 2020 9:10 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
With apologies, I consider that out of scope. Magic is too specific, IMO, and there are hundreds of setting-affecting ways you could take it on; I believe those should be developed on a per-implementation basis. There are plenty of examples out there. I'd rather keep FCon focused on options-for-all-types where it offers options at all.
Customer avatar
Lukasz L February 23, 2020 5:32 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I wholeheartedly approve this. Magic is setting specific, and thus should not be a part of Condensed.
Customer avatar
Kent J. J February 15, 2020 7:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Great work as always, and an excellent condensed version for getting into the game.<br>
<br>
One question though: why has 'add +2 to passive opposition' been removed as an option for invoking an aspect? Is this intentional?
Customer avatar
February 15, 2020 8:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Another revision round is happening, but isn't done yet; that's on the list.
Customer avatar
Gerard A February 14, 2020 1:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
There's a typo on page 46, character creation as you play, second paragraph

"With this method, characters start with only a name, high concept aspect, and highest skill—if that!"

I think "if that" is supposed to be "that's it"
Customer avatar
February 14, 2020 3:48 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Nope, "if that" is intended. As in, you could start with less than that list, if you're brave enough to do so. "If that" is a phrase that essentially has an implicit few words in it; spelled out, it would be "if even that much" or similar.
Customer avatar
Robert N February 10, 2020 7:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hello and thanks for this pdf! I've noticed the cover image is quite low res. Was this intentional in order to cut down on file size or as a literal statement of the "condensed" nature? Not very important, but it's got my curiosity. Great product.
Customer avatar
February 14, 2020 3:49 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I don't think it's that low resolution (I know it isn't on my end) but the compression may have gone over the top there. I'll try to keep an eye on it in the next revision round, tho since it's a PDF, not a print product (yet), it's rarely a big deal if an image isn't as high res as it could be.
Customer avatar
David S February 08, 2020 4:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm digging (optional) Conditions and the new Stress track. Inspired to start playing/streaming Fate again! Thanks!
Customer avatar
Carl M February 07, 2020 8:03 am UTC
PURCHASER
For some reason, it will not let me review this item despite having purchased it. It is an excellent piece of work, definitely 5 stars. The addition of some of the optional rules from other sources in really excellent (like conditions; a favorite of mine because not all my players are great at coming up with descriptive consequences on the fly). Buy it, buy it now! Well worth the suggested price!
And I'd like to add my own vote for a POD as soon as possible. For my part, don't worry too much about adding a lot of art. I have 5 copies of Fate Accelerated that I hand out to players as reference during games; I'd like to use Fate Condensed booklets in the same fashion.
Excellent addition to the Fate stable; 5 stars!
Customer avatar
Emanuele P February 07, 2020 7:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
Lovely summary of Fate Core, but with important steps forward in teaching the game for new players, with an explicit mention of the "Fiction first" principle (for the first time in a core manual, as far as I remember) and better examples in the fundamental chapter "the aspects are always true", borrowed from Fate of Cthulhu. Thank you for uploading in a pdf format!
Customer avatar
Betty B February 07, 2020 4:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
Is this meant to be a replacement for Face Accelerated?
Customer avatar
February 07, 2020 6:30 am UTC
PUBLISHER
No. It's an alternative, and — like Fate Accelerated — is Fate Core.
Customer avatar
Christopher H February 06, 2020 11:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there going to be a print copy sometime down the road?
Customer avatar
February 06, 2020 11:21 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
See my answers to this question elsewhere in the discussions here.
Customer avatar
Christopher H February 07, 2020 1:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
Bzzt. I didn't scroll down far enough. Thanks. :-D
Customer avatar
February 06, 2020 10:39 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Just updated the PDF with a few changes based on the first-day feedback we got. Here you go.

Fate Condensed Changelog 2020.02.06

===

p 18, "Actions". Defend bullet now mentions defending vs. overcome:

Defend to survive an attack, stop a foe from creating an advantage, or oppose an effort to overcome an obstacle.

===

page 24, Adding another subsection under Invokes, at the bottom after the Hostile Invocations subsection:

Invoking to Declare Story Details

You may spend a fate point to add an important or unlikely detail to the story based on an aspect in play. In cases where “aspects are always true” (page XX) suffices, you do not need to spend the fate point; paying is for when it’s a stretch.


===

page 31, "Turn Order". Added this paragraph below the example:

This method of determining turn order goes by several names in online discussion:...See more
Customer avatar
Andy B February 06, 2020 3:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'd love to check this out but everytime I download the file, I get a 590kb version of the file that cannot open. Can someone please help ?
Customer avatar
February 06, 2020 5:34 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
You'll need to contact DriveThru customer service. It sounds like your download is terminating prematurely, on my filesystem at least the PDF is 604kb.
Customer avatar
Adrian M February 06, 2020 10:27 am UTC
PURCHASER
What about character sheets?
Customer avatar
February 06, 2020 5:34 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Pending but intended. This has started out as a PDF version of the SRD first & foremost. Bells and whistles to follow in revisions, as possible.
Customer avatar
Edgard H February 06, 2020 9:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Good to know! was looking for the character sheets too!
Great work, love the changes to stress, makes it so much easier to explain to players.
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52
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3.96 MB
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File Last Updated:
February 27, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on February 05, 2020.