The following is a guest FateRPG.com post from Fate Core community member Richard Bellingham. Richard caught our attention early on during the Fate Core kickstarter for his efforts to understand how blocking and obstacles work in Fate Core. We asked him to write up his notes to give y’all another perspective on the concepts involved. What follows is the result! (He’s from across the way, so he spells “maneuver” “manoeuvre”, but we’re sure you’ll find it in your heart to forgive him for that. Or us. Depending.)
I’d been running my Dresden Files game for just a few weeks when the FATE Core preview was released to Kickstarter backers in December last year. I read the book voraciously and was very impressed by the clarity and flexibility of the updated rules. In fact I liked them so much that I immediately began updating my Dresden game to use the FATE Core rules.
Only one area of the new rules caused me significant confusion and that was the handling of the “Block” action.
In Dresden Files blocking was one of the core actions types. The player would describe what their character was doing and what types of action they were trying to block and then roll an appropriate skill at a difficulty set by the GM. Shifts on this roll would then increase the difficulty for blocked targets to perform the action(s) which were intended to be blocked. Likewise the borders between conflict zones could be assigned a Barrier Rating which acted as a block for anyone attempting to cross them.
Blocking and barriers have both been deleted in FATE Core and their function has been absorbed within the more general rules for the Create Advantage and Situation Aspects. In the first draft however it wasn’t entirely clear exactly how this had been done.
Over the next few weeks I and many others discussed the topic exhaustively with Fred Hicks and system developer Lenny Balsera. They gave us lots of details of the intent behind the new rules and examples of how they apply that made the situation a lot clearer, but these examples were scattered across the Yahoo Group, Google+, the Kickstarter comments and Twitter.
The guide you are about to read was compiled primarily for my own reference before the March preview of the rules was released that makes most of these systems and the intent behind them much clearer. I’ve been sharing it on Google+ whenever the topic arises (which it is still wont to do with some regularity) as I had the freedom to go into the ideas behind the different types of obstacle with more depth and clarity than the book’s page count allows. Where possible I’ve quoted clarifications from the developers or given explicit page references.
All page references relate to the March 18th Preview of FATE Core.
Blocking and Obstacles in FATE Core
Aspects Are Always True
This is a fundamental rule of Fate Core which is worth stressing before you read the rest of this text. Aspects remain true whether or not they are invoked (FC 76). Once someone gains the Hands Cuffed Behind My Back aspect they aren’t going to be doing anything that requires their hands to be in front of them until they have overcome the aspect. The GM is also free to consider aspects when working out what difficulty should apply to an action (FC 192).
Situation Aspects may provide Passive or Active Opposition
Situation aspects now fill the role that was previously occupied by barriers, representing obstacles that apply to crossing between zones (e.g. “Sheer Cliff”). Other situation aspects, like “Blacker than Midnight” or “Slippery Floor”, may provide constant passive opposition to certain actions (FC 131). The type (passive or active) and level of opposition is set by the GM. For instance, “Slippery Floor” might provide passive opposition at Fair to any action involving rapid movement while an “Imposing Wall” might provide Great passive opposition to moving between zones. You can also mix in the rule about treating Aspects as characters – for example “Moat of Fire” might provide Good active opposition when you try to cross it and also inflict damage with a “Burning Things” skill if you fail (FC 208).
“You could have passive opposition by GM fiat, or passive opposition justified precisely from a scene aspect like ‘Littered With Debris’ at the GMs discretion or player insistence or whatever. Group consensus.
“Like, a major, major role of [situation] aspects is to serve as a rubric for the GM to say, “Hey, there should probably be opposition there, because X is true.” So, that debris could still affect someone if no one invoked it – the GM always, always has the power to suggest that opposition exists. If someone did invoke it, it could add to that opposition.”
Situation Aspects can be used as a passive Defence
It’s implicit in the previous notes on aspects as opposition but I’ve separated out to highlight it as an important concept: Characters can create advantages with situation aspects to obtain a passive defence against certain kinds of action as long as this is internally consistent with the fiction.
Example: You’re a stealthy but not particularly athletic character who has ended up in a gunfight in a packed warehouse. Rather than trying to dodge the gunfire you decide to take cover behind some packing crates. You roll Stealth to create advantage on the “Piles of packing crates” to establish that you are now tucked behind cover, making it harder to shoot you. Mechanically the GM decides that the gunman needs to beat a passive difficulty of Good to hit you through the crate. Because you succeeded on your create advantage action you not only established your position behind the crates in the narrative but also gained a free invocation which you can use to make the passive opposition to shooting you Superb for one exchange.
Situation Aspects can be created tactically to block certain actions
Characters can proactively block certain actions by creating applicable advantages. If you successfully place the “Painful Headlock” aspect on another character then that aspect remains in play until you let it go, the victim manages to overcome the headlock, or the fiction otherwise implies that the grapple is no longer sustainable. Narratively this restricts the actions available to the victim until he has overcome the grapple and at the very least allows you to provide active opposition against actions where that makes sense in the fiction (see below).
NPCs and Characters can provide active opposition when this is supported by the fiction
If you can arguably be ‘in the way’ of an action (as is often justified by aspects like Grappled or All Up In His Grill) then you can provide active opposition to it (FC 131). This does not require an action and it does not count as a Defend action.
Example: You have created advantage with your Shoot skill to establish that you’re providing “Covering Fire” in your zone. This means you can provide active opposition to movement or to other actions that would logically be hampered by the flying lead with your Shoot skill.
This does not necessarily require a situation aspect though if in doubt a relevant aspect should always be considered as sufficient justification.
Example: If you’ve mentioned that you are standing next to a door then you can provide active opposition to anyone trying to move through the door by physically getting in their way, even though there isn’t an aspect in play to support this: It just makes sense in the fiction.
Where your active opposition helps to defend another (such as when you have a gunman grappled) then the active opposition and defence rolls do not stack. Either one of them rolls and the target has to live with the result or if the table agrees the the defender or the target (whoever has the highest value) rolls with a +1 teamwork modifier (Per discussion with Lenny).
If you allow the teamwork option bear in mind that a teamwork action means that all participants are subject to the negative consequences in the event of a failure (FC 174). Depending on the exact events unfolding this may or may not be appropriate.
Example: Fred uses his eldritch powers to create a Wall of Fire aspect between him and Lenny and a psychotic gunman. The gunman shoots at Lenny and Fred argues that he can use his wall of fire as justification for providing active opposition. Lenny says he’s also going to try and dodge in case the bullet makes it through the wall of fire. The table agrees that this is an example of teamwork so the one with the highest skill rolls against the gunman with a +1 bonus. If they fail to defend it doesn’t make any sense for the bullet to hit Fred and Lenny, so the table agrees that the worst that can happen is Lenny takes the hit by himself.
NPCs and Characters can Defend to provide opposition
Defend actions are usually reserved for cases where you are trying to fend off an ‘attack’ or negative consequence for yourself. However, you can also defend others as long as it makes sense for you to be able to get in the way of the attack (or get them out of the way of it) but this has the drawback that you must suffer the hit yourself if you fail to defend successfully. (FC 159) This is subtly different from the case of providing active opposition. Lenny says:
“The assumption I probably left out of the text is that being the source of active opposition and taking a defend action aren’t the same thing. The former is just a fictional justification – it’s no different than the GM setting a difficulty. It just changes who gets to roll. The latter is specifically intertwined with attack and create advantage as described in the book.”
The observant among you will note that FC 140 says that opposition to an attack always counts as a defend roll and this remains true when the one providing opposition is the target.
An invoked aspect can add +2 to any opposition you choose
If you can justify how the aspect gets in the way you can either pass a +2 benefit to another character’s active opposition roll or simply add 2 to a source of passive opposition. This means that if there would have been no opposition, your invocation provides it at Fair (FC 68).
The other side of the coin relates to getting rid of or overcoming obstacles.
If you want to get rid of a situation aspect, you can do it in one of two ways: roll an overcome action specifically for the purpose of getting rid of the aspect, or roll some other kind of action that would make the aspect make no sense if you succeed (FC 78).
Example:, if you’re Grappled, you could try a sprint action to move away. If you succeed, it wouldn’t make sense for you to be Grappled anymore, so you’d also get rid of that aspect.
If a character can interfere with your action, they get to roll active opposition against you as per normal. Otherwise, GMs, it’s your job to set passive opposition or just allow the player to get rid of the aspect without a roll, if there’s nothing risky or interesting in the way.
Finally, if at any point it simply makes no sense for a situation aspect to be in play, get rid of it.
Example: If you’re Grappled but the opponent holding you describes wandering off to do something else, it no longer makes sense for the Grappled aspect to be in play and it is immediately discarded.
Regarding the level of difficulty to overcome an obstacle, Leonard says:
“Setting the level of passive opposition for anything is the GM’s province unless a player is making a hard statement by spending a fate point. You can talk about it, like you can talk about anything, but the GM retains the last word.”
This is an important change from Dresden Files, where the difficulty to overcome a block was set by the shifts obtained on the block. Changing the way this works has two major advantages:
- You don’t have to remember the successes rolled when you later come to work out the difficulty of overcoming an obstacle
- You can’t stack lots of aspects when you create the obstacle to make it virtually impossible to overcome. Instead you have to burn fate points or invocations whenever the obstacle is challenged in order to maintain it at a high level. This prevents the game from getting blocked or bogged down for a sustained period by an obstacle.
This means that a character’s skill (+/- luck) no longer correlates directly to the difficulty to overcome an obstacle. Instead GMs are encouraged to use the usual rules for setting difficulty based on the needs of the story or the realities of the situation.
Example: John Rambo is alone in the forest and he decides to set up some pits and wooden traps to deter people from following him into the wilderness. He describes what he’s setting up and the GM considers his description, Rambo’s aspects, the materials available and the time he’s taking and settles on passive opposition of Good to overcome the traps. He also notes that most of the traps are deadly and that they will inflict a Good attack with weapon 2 on anybody who fails to overcome them…
When an obstacle is overcome, it’s overcome
As to what happens to an aspect/obstacle when it’s overcome, Lenny clarifies:
“When an obstacle is overcome, it’s overcome – whatever considerations need to go into effect to make that legitimate, make them. That may mean the aspect goes away. That may mean you call ninja bullshit on pulling the same trick over again. It’s the same kind of thing as, ‘talk about a concession until you find something that has real teeth’.”
If the obstacle is not overcome, it’s not overcome. i.e. it stays in effect until it’s overcome, subject to modification by context.
“So, in the cover fire example that’s starting to make me feel like hearing “Love Shack” at karaoke, failing [to overcome] means no opportunity to fire, and maybe other costs atop that. Next turn, whatever that person does, firing at the intended target is off-limits. That can choose any other actions, though.”
The changes on blocking in FATE Core may take a little getting used to if you’re used to Dresden and earlier iterations of FATE. Once you realise that it’s all about aspects though it becomes apparent that the Core way of doing things is a significant improvement, streamlining the process of getting in people’s way so that it doesn’t get in your way.
The Block action was always basically a Manoeuvre action that created a slightly unusual aspect which required a certain amount of effort to overcome. Now all aspects are the same and there’s no need to refer to the action of creating an obstacle aspect by a special name.
Hopefully this has been a useful guide to the various options available to you in FATE Core and, more importantly, gave you some insight into how and why these options work.
I would be interested to see your Fate Core Dresden Files conversion, as I am just about to start a campaign using Fate Core myself
Hi Justin. It’s not a full conversion though I have a system for evocation and I’ve been Core-ifying other elements as I’ve come across them.
What I’ve got is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z_uUBgMbFFBKvpaNDhRd0wI-4p3hGlzq1WkK4_2eCZQ/edit
Thanks Richard. Yes I eventually tracked that down. I am trying to properly Core-ify Dresden files by changing the magic system so magic is more like a skill, without dealing with power shifts etc- my players dont get on with that at all, It hasnt been that easy though.
[…] is all stuff that’s been covered before, and better, elsewhere. Richard Bellingham has an excellent guide to blocks and such over at faterpg.com, and you should totally read it if you’re playing Fate […]
Nice, that whole “acting to remove whatever conditions make sense in one go” is one of my favourite things from technoir.
I would like to ask you about the situation when one character is invoking an aspect to increase passive opposition so that other character has a higher probability to fail in overcoming a trap.
Conflict: We have one zone cave, 2 characters (Ninja and PC for example)
1.first Exchange ends and PC has boost on himself “Shaky balance”
2. Second Exchange starts
a) environmental action occurs (because of an action of some other participants): “Huge boulder is falling”.
b) GM calls for overcome action to not be hurt by the boulder and both participants use Athletic skill to jump away
c) Ninja goes first and he is successful in dodging the boulder
d) PC goes after him and player of Ninja is invoking previously mentioned boost (+2 to passive opposition on falling boulder) on PC who fails his roll and is hurt by the boulder
Is it really a correct aspect usage? Is it possible to invoke an aspect like this even-thought It is not Ninjas turn (he already had his and he is not defending against action of PC or what)
This is a real game situation from actual play, and I would like to know if is it a correct use of aspect invocation. For me it sounds very strange and I think that a character can invoke aspect only on his turn in the exchange (stunts can change that of course). I understand that if there was no boulder falling from the ceiling, the Ninja would be able to use that boost just like any other relevant aspect – but the described situation with boulder is something completely else as I believe
Can you explain to me when you can invoke an aspect for a “+2 to passive opposition” please?
First to Aljen:
That sounds like an incorrect application of the rules. The PC tried to combine his evasion of the bolder with his pursuit of the Ninja. The GM should have insisted that both players make a roll to evade the bolder ONLY. After the check to avoid is made, the PC can continue his pursuit of the Ninja, but the ninja would have the option to invoke the aspect of the bolder as a distraction to aid in his escape. Actions following the bolder could best be described as a contest of pursue / evade, with the winner determining the outcome.
Now to the “Game Designers” responsible for this rules redesign:
Dial it back a notch! There is such a thing as over-streamlining. While aspects are a good mechanic to encourage role-playing, they should not replace supernatural powers or stunts. The aspect of “Pro-Gunslinger” shouldn’t be treated the same as “Breaths Fire”.
More importantly, relagating all block manuvers to situational aspects over simplifies the game to its detriment. Using this new system, a person who has never held a gun in their life is just as effective at providing suppresive fire as a trained commando.
I came here interested in a clairification of the evocation block rules for Dresden, only to find the mechanics being thown to the wayside in favor of a faster and simpler game. To this I say, flipping a coin would be fast and easy, but it wouldn’t be roleplaying.
There’s nothing stopping you from using the rules presented in the Dresden Files RPG. Later streamlined versions of rules do not suddenly make older rulesets stop working.
I have to say that I do not believe the exclusion of Block in the rules was a wise choice. It is a simple mechanic that achieves a goal not easily duplicated by the Create Advantage rule. I don’t know why it was excluded but I do hope it is returned to the Fate Core rules.
As far as “There is such a thing as over-streamlining.” I would have to disagree with you. Sometimes a game with subtle nuances can be so dumbed down it no longer appeals.
Just my opinion. YMMV.
You can invoke aspects at any time, not just on your turn. Avoiding damage from a falling boulder is not an Overcome action but rather a Defend action. This is an important distinction because the Outcomes are different for the different actions. Mechanically the ninja used the “Shaky balance” boost to increase the result of the roll made by the Falling Boulder “character” and this is perfectly allowable in the rules.
John: Your analysis of the new ‘block’ system is incomplete. A skilled gunman is still better at laying down suppressive fire than an untrained person who has never held a gun. Suppressive fire most often takes the form of providing justification for active opposition against actions taken by other players. If your skilled soldier is laying down suppressive fire with his Shoot skill then he gets to roll Shoot to actively oppose actions attempted by the people he is suppressing. Even if the suppressive fire were being used entirely as passive opposition the GM would be sensible to benchmark the level of opposition provided based on the skill of the gunman.
WHILE I’M WRITING, the reason Block was removed from the system was the following scenario:
Jack wants to stop people from getting into his house. He rolls to create a block which constitutes him making a barricade out of furniture and other stuff he has lying around the house. He gets a lucky roll on his Crafts, taking him up from Good to Epic (+7). He has some fate points spare so he invokes his Anal About Details aspect and his My Home Is My Castle aspect for +4. The total block rating is now 11.
In order for people to get through that block (which can’t be whittled down, only overcome in a single action), they need to get 11 or higher on a roll. Jack can now just sit back and do nothing while his opponent tries again and again to get past the barricaded door with his puny Fight of Good. This costs no further resources on Jack’s part.
Thank you for your response Richard. But it is still not that clear to me. 🙁
“This is an important distinction because the Outcomes are different for the different actions. Mechanically the ninja used the “Shaky balance” boost to increase the result of the roll made by the Falling Boulder “character” and this is perfectly allowable in the rules.”
So it meansthat in my described situation eventhought the ninja would not be able to interfere in fiction with the Defend* action of PC (he could be standing on the other side of room or in a different house for example) his player (GM) is allowed to use the aspect and mechanicaly interfere? Would any other player be able to do the same?
“the ninja used the “Shaky balance” boost to increase the result of the roll”
Actually Ninja raised by +2 the ‘difficulty’ of the passive opposition “Falling boulder” so that the PCs Defend would fail. Whe he was doing it, he was already safe (as he passed his Defend roll).
My point was that the boulder should never have been an Obstacle to overcome. The key words were “The GM called for a roll not to be hurt by the boulder”. If the stakes of a roll are potential injury, that’s an Attack. The roll you use to defend against an attack is a Defence.
This point is irrelevant to your larger question but it’s important to get the right one of the Four Actions because it can affect the Outcome.
Anyway, to answer your question, yes. Invocations can be used irrespective of relative positioning. It’s a metagame system and requires no direct interaction between the characters. As long as you can justify how the Aspect complicates or aids a situation, an invocation can be used.
The way the GM should have framed it was that the boulder was an NPC (thanks to the Fate fractal) attacking with a skill of, say, Superb. Each character then gets to roll their Athletics to defend against the attack and takes stress if they fail to reach or exceed a result of Superb. It makes perfect sense that the “Shaky Balance” boost made it more difficult for the player to get out of the way of the falling boulder so using that boost to increase the boulder’s attack to +7 makes perfect sense. This requires no additional action on the part of the ninja.
Thank you very much. Now it is clear to me 🙂
I like it.
This has really helped me get my head around the whole situation; so first off let me say Thank you.
Secondly I have a question about breaking out of an aspect without using an overcome action. The example of sprinting away to break a grapple seems to contradict all aspects being true. If a person is in some kind of grapple it is typically very hard to escape. It seems it would be proper to escape, then try and sprint away. Thus trying to sprint to break a grapple comes off as a grab for a double action, at least to me.
Can you give a better example or explain the sprint one in a better manner? Thank you
I’m glad it was helpful!
The sprinting out of a grapple example is, sort of, a double action. Rather than first rolling to overcome the grapple and then on another turn sprinting to a location of their choice, they’re relying on the sprint making the grapple no longer true.
However, this is fine because the fact they’re grappled justifies the grappling player rolling active opposition against their attempt to escape. This doesn’t cost the grappling player anything and can actively oppose any action taken by the victim in the same way, as long as he can justify how being grappled hinders the victim.
You’ll find that it often seems fairer to allow this sort of ‘double dipping’ on overcoming AND acting to occur than forcing a special overcome action, depending on the aspect in question.
This is all very useful!
Question: How about a character using serious cover, e.g. a trench or a bunker?
Should the GM just add – say – 2 to the character’s defence for as long as they are in the bunker?
Usually obstacles used to help defences (without invoking) such as the trench or bunker you suggest provide a ‘difficulty floor’ on anyone trying to shoot the protected target, but they can still roll their athletics to dodge if that isn’t adequate.
That represents the situation where the character is occasionally popping his head in and out of cover to fire back or keep track of what’s going on, meaning that there are occasionally opportunities to shoot at him, but the shot is difficult because he’s behind cover. If you decide the trench provides a base difficulty of Good to shoot people in it then that means the guy doesn’t have to roll his defence at all unless his enemy beats the base difficulty of Good.
There may be circumstances where the passive defence offered by an obstacle completely replaces the person’s own active roll. For instance if you’re completely hiding behind a wall while you’re working on repairing a McGuffin, anyone trying to shoot you must get past the defence afforded by the wall even if you aren’t in a position to defend yourself.
Thanks for this enlightening post. Regarding your last comment, it seems it answers a question I’ve been long struggling with.
So in a situation where an NPC shoots a PC in a trench or behind a crate (ie. an obstacle with an opposition of Good to Shooting), the NPC rolls a Shoot Attack, as normal, and if the roll is above Good, the PC rolls an Athletics Defense, it that it?
It works like Spirit of the Century’s Block then, it’s just called “aspect” here instead of “block” and block’s “defense” is renamed “opposition” (SotC p60: “When, later that exchange, any enemy tries to attack the protected character, the protected character gets the benefit of both the blocker’s defense as well as his own, whichever is better.”).
What’s weird is that I would handle exactly the same a situation were a PC1 is grappling an NPC to prevent it from shooting a PC2: PC1 creates an advantage and place a “Grappled” on NPC. At its turn NPC shoots, PC1 rolls Physique to oppose (not defend) and if not enough, PC2 rolls Athetics to defend.
However, you said “Where your active opposition helps to defend another (such as when you have a gunman grappled) then the active opposition and defence rolls do not stack. Either one of them rolls and the target has to live with the result […]” (I cut the teamwork part)
It’s not the same: here only one roll can be done, instead of doing two and keeping the best.
“Thanks for this enlightening post. Regarding your last comment, it seems it answers a question I’ve been long struggling with.”
Glad I could be of assistance!
“So in a situation where an NPC shoots a PC in a trench or behind a crate (ie. an obstacle with an opposition of Good to Shooting), the NPC rolls a Shoot Attack, as normal, and if the roll is above Good, the PC rolls an Athletics Defense, it that it?”
That’s the way I was describing, and from what I can tell this method has become fairly popular. It makes logical sense and means that cover has an advantage beyond being able to invoke it as an obstacle… but there are also those who do NOT like this method because they don’t like to eyeball the defence given by obstacles and prefer to use aspects only when they’re invoked.
“It works like Spirit of the Century’s Block then, it’s just called “aspect” here instead of “block” and block’s “defense” is renamed ‘opposition'”
More or less, yes. That’s why the article is called a “Guide to Blocks & Obstacles”. The main difference is that when you create a block in SOTC it has a rating based on your shifts when you made it, and that doesn’t happen in Fate Core. If I spend a few minutes putting together a *Ramshackle Barricade* and roll Great (+4) I don’t get a Great (+4) obstacle rating barricade. The GM considers the materials that went into it and decides it’s only a Fair (+2) barrier, but I get two free invokes on it because I succeeded with style to create it.
“What’s weird is that I would handle exactly the same a situation were a PC1 is grappling an NPC to prevent it from shooting a PC2: PC1 creates an advantage and place a “Grappled” on NPC. At its turn NPC shoots, PC1 rolls Physique to oppose (not defend) and if not enough, PC2 rolls Athetics to defend.
However, you said “Where your active opposition helps to defend another (such as when you have a gunman grappled) then the active opposition and defence rolls do not stack. Either one of them rolls and the target has to live with the result […]” (I cut the teamwork part)”
The difference here is that a passive obstacle like a wall or barrier doesn’t get to roll, it just applies a flat difficulty floor on an attack. The guy grappling the gunman gets to roll actively, potentially increasing his opposition substantially.
In Fate there is only one roll on each side in an action. If multiple people can interfere, that’s what the teamwork bonus is for.
Of course, the guy grappling with the gunman also has the option of using the Defend Other action, in which case his is the defence roll, the target can give a teamwork bonus, and if the roll fails the gunman shoots the defender instead of the intended target.
“It’s not the same: here only one roll can be done, instead of doing two and keeping the best.”
Thanks for the quick answer!
I wish if there is a new edition to FATE Core that this way of taking into account obstacles for shooting will be exemplified. (FC is quite dense, but some common situations like this one don’t have a dedicated example section for themselves)
A final question, when you shoot at somebody whose afar (ie. 3 zones away for instance) but not behind any sort of protection, would you consider the extra distance (compared to, say, your weapon ideal range) as an “obstacle” that will oppose the shoot in the same manner? Or is there another way to deal with that?
It’s just that it is nice that you can tell firing with a gun apart from firing with a sniper rifle, for example. (Not trying to get fiddly, just to enforce a tense tone where your PCs don’t lack will or skills, but have to deal with the scarcity of adapted gear, like when you’re on the top of a hill and hordes of zombies are coming from all around)
That is probably the easiest way to handle shooting at extreme range, yes; it’s an obstacle to be overcome by the shooter.
In fact, bearing in mind that there’s no reasonable way the target could dodge a shot from an unseen shooter at a significant range, that might be the only defence they get.
Dodging bullets has always puzzled me. Shoot clearly says it is to be defended with an Athletics roll.
Given a human cannot dodge bullets, I guessed from it that the normal state of characters during a fight is that they are constantly mobile. Therefore they’re not actually dodging when defending, just assessing how much they were mobile and thus hard to aim when the enemy fired at them.
This implies for me that immobility is the _abnormal_ state here (and then should ideally be justified with an aspect).
So in this mindset, a target that is away and unaware of the shooter would still roll active Athletics defense, provided she wasn’t static or just walking at a regular pace when she got shot.
Would you agree with me or am I misinterpreting why Shoot should be defended with Athletics?
Well, as the book says it’s up to you whether people can dodge bullets or not. I agree with you that this partly represents not standing still (zig-zagging, ducking, and moving rapidly instead of strolling for example), but if you can see a shooter you can also deliberately dodge where he’s aiming to make it harder to shoot you.
The standard rule in Fate would always be to let people roll a defence, yes. In the case of an ambush or sniper-style scenario, that could theoretically be a Notice rather than Athletics defence, though.
Well thanks for the advice!
I think that’s also the way I’ll handle armors in my Fate Freeport game. Both armors as extras (from Fate Core) and armors as X free invocations (X depending on armor thickness, from Fate Freepor Companion) don’t satisfy me because both don’t capture well the fact that an armor doesn’t _diminishes_ damages but _opposes_ it: armor either blocks damages (possibly filling its own stress boxes) or let them fully pass.
Saying that a light armor provides (like a “block” aspect) a +1 passive opposition or a heavy armor one of +3 before defender rolls (ie. saying that defender cannot roll worse than +1 or +3) captures nicely IMHO the fact that only the best blows (those hitting unprotected body parts) will land.
Of course this is negated in case of armor-piercing weapons.