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So I thought I’d take some time to discuss turn order in Fate Core based games. Those of you familiar with Fate are aware that turn order is fairly well fixed in that system based on your skills and the type of conflict in which you are engaged. Here is the relevant text from the Fate Core rulebook:

“Your turn order in a conflict is based on your skills. In a physical conflict, compare your Notice skill to the other participants. In a mental conflict, compare your Empathy skill. Whoever has the highest goes first, then everyone else in descending order.

If there’s a tie, compare a secondary or tertiary skill. For physical conflicts, that’s Athletics, then Physique. For mental conflicts, Rapport, then Will.”

The turn order rules as written are fine, but I personally prefer a little randomness thrown in to shake things up. After all, whenever conflict occurs in a novel it rarely follows the turn order paradigm. There are many things which can and do affect the ability of characters to take action in a conflict.

So, with that in mind, I came up with a few tweaks to the turn order system to make conflicts a touch more engaging:

Characters roll 2dF each exchange to determine their turn order

At the beginning of each exchange, have each character roll two fate dice and at the result to their skill to determine their turn order. So if My Notice was Good (+3) My range for turn order would be anywhere from +1 to +5. In the event of ties, the characters roll is also added in to their secondary and tertiary skills to determine who goes first. If you feel a +/- 2 point range is too large, you could reduce it to rolling 1 fate die, but then you lose the advantage of the bell curve giving a larger probability to a result of 0.

Characters can invoke aspects and boosts to improve their turn order

If an aspect or boost can reasonably be applied to a characters turn order, then go ahead and use it to do so. Treat it the same way you would invoke an aspect or boost for an action roll.

Characters can be compelled to worsen their turn order

If an aspect or consequence can reasonably be applied to a characters turn order, then go ahead and use it against them. Treat it the same way you would any other compel.


Tales Of The Old Republic Arcteryx