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Combat is a key part of any role playing game. Combat is played out in a multi-step process. At each step of the combat a FATE POINT can be spend to activate an aspect to increase/reroll the result.

Step 1. Roll Initiative

Each participant rolls dF + their notice skill adjustment.

Highest result goes first.

Step 2. Roll to Attack

Once the attacker has chosen a target player, that player (or GM NPC) can choose to take a responsive action. This can be dodging or parrying. The defender rolls dF and add Will for Mental Attacks or Athletics for Shooting/Melee. Once a dodge has been rolled that is the target defense number for the rest of the combat round. If they  player does not choose to actively defend, then use the players passive defense: Will for Mental Attacks or Athletics for Shooting/Melee.

There are a number of different ways to attack.

Mental attacks use dF + Will skill

Shooting attacks use dF + Shoot skill

Melee attacks use dF + Fight skill

Step 3. Damage

The damage amount is the amount of points over the target defense number. So if you roll a +3 vs a defense of -1, you’d score 4 damage to the target.

Step 4. Soaking Damage and Consequences

Once the damage is determined, the defender soaks damage from the attack with either a Stress Box or with a Consequence. Defensive items such as armor or protective wards could also be used by the defender to lower the damage as a boost.

Multiple Actions

Multiple actions result in penalties. For each action beyond the first the player takes a -1 penalty. If the player dodges, then attacks, the attack would be at a penalty -1.

In the event that a player wants to play the round with multiple attacks, these additional actions must be declared before any actions are taken in the round. The exception being dodging which can be declared after an attack.



Ritual Magic for Fate Core

Magic, much like magnetism or electricity, is a way to tap into the energy of the cosmos that surrounds and permeates all of existence. With the proper formulas and force of will, anyone can manipulate these energies to influence the material world. There is no black or white, the result of the application of these energies is a result of those who execute them.

All magical actions require some type of ritualistic formula commonly known as a Spell. While it may be as simple as lighting a candle, or as complex as a multi-person blood ritual, the core of each is the same – using words and actions one can create a predetermined outcome.

There are no printed working spell books. The best that a player can hope for is the notebooks of others who have tinkered with these forces; experiments at best. If a spellbook or scroll is found,  the formulas are deliberately left incomplete so that only those initiated in the use can add the missing elements – a standard practice among the magically trained. Each of these works would have its own primer to unlock the full power of the magic therein.

NOTE: Any attempts to publish any working spell formulas are always met with overwhelming destruction by powerful people.

How to Cast a Spell

One must have the specific formula, specific words, material components and the Mental Stress to power the Spell. Then the caster must roll to against the overcome. The more complex the Spell the more difficult the overcome roll will be. In the event that a Spell is successful, it will generate a one time effect.

Succeeding with Style: Desired result is achieved. Spell formula is proven stable and reusable without rolling again. Effects last for an entire scene.

Succeeding: Spell works as planned. Effects last for an entire scene.

Tie: Spell works as planned, but has a possible negative side effect. Effects are used as a one time boost.

Failing: Spell fails completely and has a possible negative side effect.

Spell Costs

Spells are not without their costs. Each time a Spell is attempted, it drains the caster of a number of Mental Stress boxes. The more powerful the result the more Mental Stress boxes are required to complete the Spell, hence the need for multi-person rituals.

It is recommended that you increase the cost of a Spell depending on the complexity of the formula and the strength of the target of the spell. A basic formula, using only one component and a simple action would cost only 1 Mental Stress, however a Spell requiring multiple steps might require multiple spells to complete successfully, taking the Mental Stress of many individuals to complete.

In the event that multiple people are present in the immediate area of a ritual, the Mental Stress should be randomly drained from individuals.

Negative Side Effects

When casting a Spell and a tie or fail is rolled, a possible side effect may occur. Roll again and anything below a zero roll will result in a consequence aspect added to the caster.

Spell Consequence Examples:

  • Temporary Amnesia – Player’s mind goes blank for the next scene.
  • Opposite Effect – Spell works, but has the exact opposite effect.
  • Paranoia – Something’s not right… can you feel them watching us?
  • Influence of Evil – The Voices are encouraging you to do bad things
  • Marked by Evil – Player(s) are a magnet for evil things.
  • Insanity – Player should make sanity checks to ensure their mind survives the effects of the eldritch
  • Spell Explosion – The Spell components combust in a ball of green fire causing minor Physical Stress

Stacking Spells

Spells can be combined with other spells to increase the effectiveness or to extend additional bonuses in the final spell. For example, in order to cast a magic circle, one should first cleanse themselves and the area (Cleansing Spell), then proceed with casting the Magic Circle, which in turn will add additional protection for a summoning spell, and so on.


Below is a sample list of common spells with components and costs associated. This is by no means a definitive list, but a starting point for your own game. In addition, these spells, while positive on their own, can be chained together to create a greater effect – such as summoning and binding ghosts and demons.

Binding, Human

Effect: A magical binding is simply a spell, or working, that restrains someone metaphysically, preventing them from doing one-thing specifically.

Components: A picture of the person you will be binding, a black ribbon, a black permanent marker, and a black candle

Formula: Take the person’s picture, and hold it at eye level. Using the black permanent marker, put a black X over their face. Now, pick up the black ribbon, and begin wrapping the person’s picture (specifically their face, then proceed down) while saying, “I bind you (person’s name) from doing (action), (action) against other people, and (action) against yourself.” Repeat until you have wrapped the entire ribbon around the picture. Drip some of the black candle wax over the ribbon’s end. Draw an equal armed cross over the entire thing and say, “It is done.” Then take the picture outside and bury it.

The spell affects the person by restricting them from taking the describe action without first making an overcome against the the spell’s casting result. ex: Dr Smoothat binds his victim from confessing to the police against him. He casts binding against them with a combined roll of +7 (arcanum skill + fate roll). The victim could not talk to any police (even if they are not known by the victim to be the police), until they made an overcome vs the +7.

Cost: 2 Mental Stress

Overcome: +2


Effect: One player gets a free Fate Point added to their pool

Components: 1 White candle

Formula: Burn the white candle completely under a full moon.

Cost: 2 Mental Stress

Overcome: +1


Effect: Remove negative, evil or spiritual aspects from a person or zone.

Components: Sage, Sandalwood or Frankincense and Sea Salt

Formula: Burn sage, sandalwood or frankincense. Sprinkle sea salt around the area. Repeat the following words, “Any energy that doesn’t serve me, please leave now. You don’t belong here. I am sending you home. Thank you.”

Cost: 1 Mental Stress

Overcome: 0 (adjust for severity of the entity or energy being cleansed). Note: a tie will only cleanse for a temporary time.

Magic Circle

Effect: A sacred circle has several purposes, the most significant of which is to define an area where formal ritual work can be performed. A circle is a place in which the rules and conditions are different to that of the everyday world. A circle is not a barrier, but a doorway to another world. To contain any magical energy raised and to prevent its dissipation until it has been used up, is another purpose of the circle. Adds 2 additional Mental Stress points to the caster’s pool, in addition to restoring the casting cost of the spell.

Components: Cleansing Spell, a flat pentagram symbol, two black candles, an athame, or sword, a small bell, a bowl of salt, a bowl of water, a chalice and a saucer.

Formula: Cleanse yourself and your chosen area with a Cleansing Spell (see above). Place the components on an altar that is to be the center of the circle. Light your candles. Holding the blade, walk around your circle, and say: “With this sacred blade I cast the circle of my craft. May it be a doorway to a sacred circle beyond time and space.” Stand in front of your altar, pick up your bell, and say: “In the names of the Gods and Goddesses, I cast this my magic circle.” Then ring the bell. Return to the North and raise your blade high in front of you. Call out: “Bear witness, Spirits of the North.” Go to the East, South and West and repeat at each. (exchanging the correct direction for the word in the spell.) At the altar, put your bowl of salt on the pentagram and lower your blade into the bowl of salt, saying: “I exorcise thee, so that it may be purified and may aid me well.” Put your bowl of water on the pentagram, take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it into the water. Lower the blade of your athame into the water, saying: “I cleanse and consecrate thee and ask you to bless this circle. Let it be!” Pick up and hold the consecrated bowl of water and walk slowly around the circle again (still clockwise), and sprinkle a few drops along the line of the Circle, saying: “I consecrate this sacred circle by the powers of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.” Pick up your chalice, pour a small amount in the saucer, then take a sip yourself. Afterward, place the chalice back on your pentagram.

Cost: 3 Mental Stress (although it will be restored upon completing the formula)

Overcome: +1

Random Location Ideas

  1. A derelict cargo ship. A corpse hangs from the mast, with only a cluster of tentacles where its face should be.
  2. A derelict sailing yacht. A corpse is tied to the wheel, killed in the midst of some terrible transformation.
  3. A desolate farm. The entire farmhouse has collapsed into a gaping abyss.
  4. A dilapidated hotel suite. The corpse of a man lies on the floor, his eyes brutally torn out.
  5. A forgotten tomb. The floor is flooded with a bizarre ichor and the walls are covered with alien symbols and strange claw marks.
  6. A forlorn train station. There is an abandoned automobile here, one side warped and melted by incredible heat.
  7. A gloomy farm. The carcass of a goat hangs in the barn, eviscerated by some sort of monstrous beast.
  8. A gothic bank building. Something monstrous has seemingly broken out of the vault.
  9. A hewn cave. A pool of bizarre ichor lies in the center of the floor.
  10. A psychiatrist’s office. The floorboards have been broken, as though by some colossal weight.
  11. A rough cave. Part of the floor has collapsed into a gaping chasm.
  12. A vast cavern. Several corpses hang from above, covered with an alien slime mold.A vast cavern. Wisps of sickening smoke move and writhe through the air.
  13. An abandoned building. The door is trapped with a crude petrol bomb and tripwire.
  14. An ancient crypt. A corpse is impaled upon a jagged spear of stone, its flesh engraved with bizarre symbols.
  15. An old fishing boat. A corpse is tied to the wheel, its skin covered with hundreds of small, circular wounds.
  16. An old sailing yacht. A corpse lies on the deck, killed in the midst of some monstrous transformation.
  17. An old textile factory. Lit candles stand scattered across the floor.
  18. An oppressive bank building. A desk drawer contains the serrated tooth of some sort of monstrous beast.
  19. Somewhere deep within a desolate desert. Bleached bones and barren rock mark the edge of a steaming spring.
  20. Somewhere deep within a gloomy forest. The trees here are strangled by thorny vines.
  21. Somewhere deep within a range of eroded mountains. An icy peak looms ahead, crowned with blade-like spires of black stone.
  22. Somewhere deep within a range of icy peaks. A corpse lies on the ground, its skull seemingly ruptured from within.
  23. Somewhere deep within a rocky desert. An abandoned truck lies buried in the sand, its engine torn to pieces by some monstrous force.

Find more random oddities over here:

Anti-Tech Field

In many supernatual situations it is common for technology to simply not work. This electromagnetic interference disrupts nearby electronics with their supernatural presence.

Furthermore it is not uncommon for supernatural creatures to use or manipulate devices. They can make phone calls, alter screen displays, drain batteries, make lights dim or just kill a signal entirely.

Once the players are out of the area of effect (i.e.: room, immediate area, etc) the effects subside and return to normal.

New Skill: Arcanum

Skill: Arcanum

Overcome: You can use Arcanum to overcome any obstacle that requires applying your character’s magical to achieve a goal. For example, you might roll Arcanum to decipher a spell formula, under the presumption that your character might have experience with similar spells at some point.

Create an Advantage: Arcanum provides a lot of very flexible opportunities to create advantages, provided you can research the subject in question. More often than not, you’ll be using Arcanum to get a story detail, some obscure bit of information about a cult ritual, magic writing or magical formula. Likewise, you can use Arcanum to create advantages to protect from the effects of Spells with ward or charms for example.

Attack: Arcanum isn’t used in conflicts.

Defend: Arcanum isn’t used to defend.

Fate Points

Every player begins the a session of the game with a number of fate points (FP) equal to how many aspects they have. Fate points are best represented by some non-edible token, such as glass beads or poker chips. Fate point change hands depending on who is doing something. The GM can spend fate points to have the players take action, where as the players can spend to have the game and other players take action. In the world of Lovecraft everything has aspects that a can be leveraged with fate points.

Spending Fate Points

Declaring a Story Detail – Showing up at just the right time or having just the right equipment can be added by spending a fate point.

Invoke or Compel an Aspect – leveraging an element of the scene to change the game. (See aspects for details)

Activate a Stunt – Some stunts have particularly potent effects, and require spending a fate point when used. (see stunts for details)