Approaches

Now that we hopefully have the basics down, we're going to take a deeper dive into the different systems and how they come together.

Choose Your Approach

As we mentioned in Character, there are six approaches that describe how you perform actions.

  • Careful - Paying attention to detail and taking your time.

  • Clever - Thinking fast, solving problems, or evaluating complex variables.

  • Flashy - Calling attention to yourself; acting with style and charisma.

  • Forceful - Applying brute strength, but not necessarily with physical force.

  • Quick - Moving with speed and grace.

  • Sneaky - All manner of thievery and lies including misdirection and stealth.

Each character has each approach rated with a potential bonus from +0 and on up the ladder. Add this bonus to your dice roll to determine how well your PC performs the action you described.

So your first instinct is probably to pick the action that gives you the greatest bonus, right? But it doesn’t work like that. You have to base your choice of approach on the description of your action, and you can’t describe an action that doesn’t make any sense. Would you Forcefully creep through a dark room, hiding from the guards? No, that’s being Sneaky. Would you Quickly push that big rock out of the way of the wagon? No, that’s being Forceful. Circumstances constrain what approach you can use, so sometimes you have to go with an approach that might not play directly to your strengths.

Roll the Dice, Add Your Bonus

Time to take up dice and roll. Take the bonus associated with the approach you’ve chosen and add it to the result on the dice. If you have a stunt that applies, add that too. That’s your total. Compare it to what your opponent (usually the GM) has.

Decide Whether to Modify the Roll

Finally, decide whether you want to alter your roll by invoking aspects—we’ll talk about this a lot in Aspects and Fate Points, but the short version is spending a fate point gets you +2 to your roll, allows you a reroll, or makes things more difficult for an opponent. There's a bit more drama to it than that, but that's enough for a start.

Confused yet?

I Still Don't Understand!

Don't worry, you're not alone!

If you have never played a role-playing game before, this is probably a lot easier because there is nothing you have to first unlearn! Suffice to say that even though every game has its own rules, Fate Accelerated stands out from the pack. One of the reasons is that it involves a completely different approach to tackling the challenges presented in the game (See what I did there?).

Rather than a collection of various skills, in Super:Natural your characters will be presumed to be competent in almost any action they wish to undertake as long as that kind of action is in one of their areas of expertise. In other games, including the rules for Fate Core, individual skills determine ability. You definitely know whether or not a character is good with a rifle or skilled with computers. It says so right on the sheet. And you can measure out the skill of one character against another's by simply comparing scores.

The nice thing (simultaneously the problem) with the Accelerated rules is that we can can just hand-wave those fine details. Rather than quantify every last little thing a character can do, approaches reflect on the sorts of things of which an individual might be capable in a much more general sense. Sneaky characters will probably be stealthy but it's up to the player to determine if they know how to pick locks or or lift a wallet. Make your roll and then narrate. Failure might mean you messed up somehow. You dropped the pick or fumbled the wallet. Or it might mean you just never learned how or were taught wrong. Success could mean you were top of your class of breaking and entering school. Up to you.

An approach does not dictate what you can do, but rather the way in which your character likes to do things. Again, "Forceful" does not necessarily mean flexing and tearing the place to pieces. It can mean that, but it can also mean casting big spells, reading minds rudely, driving aggressively, or maybe even a pushy, high-pressure sales tactic. It's about attitude and has more to do with your character's style of interacting with the world than the fine details of those actions.