Stunts are tricks, maneuvers, or techniques your character has that change how an approach works for your character. Generally this means you get a bonus in certain situations, but sometimes it gives you some other ability or characteristic. A stunt can also reflect specialized, high-quality, or exotic equipment that your character has access to that gives them a frequent edge over other characters.

There’s no definitive list of stunts that you pick from; much like aspects, everyone composes their own stunts. There are two basic templates to guide you in composing your stunts, so you do have something to work from.

Situational Bonuses

The first type of stunt gives you a +2 bonus when you use a certain approach in a certain situation. Use this template:

Because I <describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome>, I get a +2 when I <pick one: Carefully, Cleverly, Flashily, Forcefully, Quickly, Sneakily> <pick one: attack, defend, create advantages, overcome> when <describe a circumstance>.

For example:

  • Because I am a Smooth Talker, I get a +2 when I Sneakily create advantages when I’m in conversation with someone.
  • Because I am a Lover of Puzzles, I get a +2 when I Cleverly overcome obstacles when I am presented with a puzzle, riddle, or similar conundrum.
  • Because I am a World-Class Duelist, I get a +2 when I Flashily attack when engaged in a one-on-one swordfight.
  • Because I have a Big Kite Shield, I get a +2 when I Forcefully defend when I use my shield in close combat.
  • Because I am a Military-Trained Sniper, I get a +2 when I Carefully attack when I have a target In My Sights.

Sometimes, if the circumstance is especially restrictive, you can apply the stunt to both the create an advantage action and the overcome action.

Triggered Effects

When you use this stunt mechanic, you create stunts that trigger under a specific narrative condition, require a skill roll, and have a specific effect as a result. Stunts like this are a great way to encourage players to do the kinds of things you want to see them do in the game, as those stunts directly reward doing those things.

  • A Friend in Every Port: Whenever you enter a settlement, you may declare you’ve visited it before and roll against Fair (+2) opposition. If you succeed, you have a friend there who owes you one favor—nothing costly or life threatening. If you succeed with style, your friend will do any one thing for you that is within his power.
  • Not to Be Trifled With: When you make it clear how dangerous you are, roll against your target’s Forceful. If you succeed, that target will not attack you or willingly come near you unless you take action against him first. If you succeed with style, neither will anyone with a lower Forceful than your target.
  • Whirlwind Step: When you assume the stance of the whirlwind, roll Flashy or Quick against Fair (+2) opposition. If you succeed, you may run on vertical surfaces and leap unlikely distances without making rolls to do so, until your next turn ends. If you succeed with style, you may instead gain these benefits for the rest of the scene.

You probably noticed that none of these stunts say what happens when you tie or fail; this is deliberate. These triggered effects tend to be powerful, so their drawbacks should be equally so. A tie should be similar to a success, but at some sort of minor cost. On a failure, feel free to apply appropriate repercussions.

Rule Changing Stunts

The third type of stunt lets you make something true, do something cool, or otherwise ignore the usual rules in some way. This is a broad category that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Giving a character a different kind of bonus to skills that’s roughly equivalent to a +2. For instance, when a skilled orator creates an advantage, it gets an extra free invoke.
  • Allowing a character to declare a minor fact is always true. For instance, a survivalist always has survival items like matches on their person, even under unlikely circumstances. This type of stunt establishes that you do not need to invoke for story details for the given fact.
  • Allowing a character to make a specific rules exception. For instance, a character might have two more stress boxes or another mild consequence slot.

Use this template:

Because I <describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome>, once per game session I can <describe something cool you can do>.

For example:

  • Because I am Well Connected, once per game session I can find a helpful ally in just the right place.
  • Because I am Quick on the Draw, once per game session I can choose to go first in a physical conflict.
  • Because I can Run Circles Around a Leopard, once per game session I can show up anywhere I want to, provided I could run there, no matter where I started.
  • Because I am Tough as Nails, I have an extra mild consequence slot.
  • Because I Don’t Believe in Magic, once per game session I can ignore the effects of a supernatural ability.

Flexible Stunts

Stunts are usually tied explicitly to an approach. What if you want your stunts to be approach-agnostic, or tied to multiple approaches, or tied to something else entirely different, like an aspect or piece of gear or a stress track? Some examples:

  • Ally’s Shield: You can invoke Dwarven Shield-Maiden when a nearby ally suffers an attack. When you do, redirect that attack to yourself. Your defense is Average (+1) against that attack.
  • Berserk Rage: When you suffer a physical consequence, you can invoke that consequence for free on your next attack. If you suffer multiple physical consequences, you get a free invocation for each.
  • Useful Little Things: Your pockets are full of useful little things. Whenever you need something, you have it, provided it’s not something too unusual (like a map to Jimmy Hoffa’s body) or too large to fit in a pocket, belt pouch, or backpack. When you say you have something, the narrator should be likely to agree.

This isn’t really a mechanical change, just a shift in how you approach stunt design. Any of the above three examples could be tied to an approach—Flashy, Attack, or Clever, for instance—but not thinking about which approach to tie your stunt to frees you up to be a bit more creative with your design, moving beyond +2s and minor rule changes.

Other Resources

The templates above exist to give you an idea of how stunts should be constructed, but don’t feel constrained to follow them exactly if you have a good idea. If you’d like to read more about the construction of stunts, see Skills and Stunts in Fate Core or try out the Stuntmaker tool at Fate-SRD. Keep in mind this tool is for inspiration. Get clearance from the narrator before you finalize anything you find there.


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