How to Play Doing Things - Fighting Things - Quick Guide
Character Creation Character Advancement - Example Character Sheets - Quick Start
System Stuff Skill List - Class List - Permissions List - Stunts List
GM Information Bestiary - Random Injury Table - Worldbuilding
Battle Cunning Thought Charm
Fighter Rogue Scholar Diplomat
Barbarian Assassin Sage Spy
Knight Gleeman Tactician Chevalier
Sorcerer Druid Summoner Namer
Monster Enchanter Abjurer Priest
Warrior Monk Ranger Wizard Skald
Specialist Classes
Soldier Thief Mage Leader
Martial Artist Wanderer Loremaster Performer

The Basics

Players in a Tabletop RPG have characters, adventurous avatars that represent players in the game world. A character has their own set of skills and abilities that qualify them to be adventurers. They also have backstories, histories, and relationships with people inside the game world. It's the player's job to build their own character and play them throughout the game sessions.

Picking an Archetype

Broadly speaking, there are four kinds of adventurers: Battle, Cunning, Thought, and Charm. Most adventurers will be a mix of these types, but will focus on one area in particular.

Battle adventurers are at their best when they’re fighting. They tend to be natural athletes.

Cunning adventurers have useful abilities like outdoorsmanship or lockpicking. They tend to be sneakier than others.

Thought adventurers are knowledgeable about many things, including medicine. They tend to think their way through problems.

Charm adventurers have a way with people. They tend to talk their way out of (or into) trouble.

Veteran players may find Specialist Classes to be useful. This option is best suited to players that don't care for the way Archetypes divide up Skills or have a specific type of character in mind. Be warned, Specialist Classes are a little more complicated than standard classes.

Picking a Class

A Class is a specific way of playing an Archetype. Each class comes with a set of abilities (stunts) that make a character better at certain things.

Barbarians and knights both fall under the Battle archetype, but the two will approach playing the game in very different ways. The barbarian has stunts to make them better at hurting and scaring enemies, whereas the knight has stunts that make them tougher and able to protect allies. Players should look for a class that appeals to how they want to play.

Battle Cunning Thought Charm
Fighter Rogue Scholar Diplomat
Barbarian Assassin Sage Spy
Knight Gleeman Tactician Chevalier
Sorcerer Druid Summoner Namer
Monster Enchanter Abjurer Priest
Warrior Monk Ranger Wizard Skald
Specialist Classes
Soldier Thief Mage Leader
Martial Artist Wanderer Loremaster Performer


Some classes require a special ability to play, called a Permission. Permissions let characters do something that would otherwise be impossible, like talk to animals or cast spells. Classes that don’t require a Permission let players choose one from a list (giving them access to exotic abilities that spellcasters can't have).

Picking Skills

Skills are “what characters do”. If a player wants to climb a steep cliff, then the GM asks them to roll the appropriate skill (probably Athletics or Physique in this case). Having a higher level in a skill makes related actions more likely to succeed.

Archetype Skill Name Description
Battle Combat Striking, shooting, and doing harm.
Reaction Time Dodging attacks and traps. Acting before others.
Physique Lifting, grappling, and enduring. Determines Physical Health.
Athletics Running, climbing, jumping, and parkour.
Cunning Stealth Sneaking, sleight-of-hand, and avoiding attention.
Survival Forestry, navigation, and working with animals.
Mechanics Fixing, dismantling, and unlocking.
Notice Picking up on first impressions. Passive awareness.
Thought Medicine Treating Physical injuries and identifying poisons.
Knowledge Book learning, lore, science.
Will Resisting, opposing, and staying in control. Determines Mental Health.
Investigate Studying a target. Active awareness.
Charm Persuasion Diplomacy, bluffing, and logical arguments.
Provoke Taunting, intimidating, and emotional arguments
Counsel Treating mental injuries. Gaining trust.
Command Leadership, ordering, and coordinating.

A character's skills are based on their class. Every class should have a table (located on that class's page) that looks similar to this:

Class Primary Archetype Secondary Archetype Required Permission
Assassin Cunning Battle None

A character starts with all skills in their Primary Archetype set to Trained (+2) and all skills in their Secondary Archetype set to Proficient (+1). Then, the player chooses one skill from each archetype to increase a level. An example is shown below.

All Assassins start with a skill set that looks like this:
Trained (+2): Stealth, Survival, Mechanics, Notice
Proficient (+1): Combat, Reaction Time, Strength, Athletics

Bob the Assassin decides he wants to be better at Stealth (from the Cunning Archetype) and Athletics (from the Combat Archetype). Now his skill set looks like this:
Specialized (+3): Stealth
Trained (+2): Survival, Mechanics, Notice, Athletics
Proficient (+1): Combat, Reaction Time, Strength


In FATE Spin, health is represented by stress boxes and injuries. Stress boxes translate to how many near-misses and bruises a character can get before they're really hurt. Injuries happen when a character runs out of stress boxes. More details can be found in the Fighting Things section.

The number of stress boxes are based on the Physique and Will stats, which influence physical and mental health respectively. The table below illustrates how:

Skill Level (Physique or Will) Number of Stress Boxes
+0 Two Boxes
+1 or +2 Three Boxes
+3 or +4 Four Boxes
+5 or +6 Five Boxes

All characters start with Mild, Moderate, and Severe injury slots for both Physical and Mental health. They can receive more injury slots by taking specific stunts.

Health Mild (2) Moderate (4) Severe (6)

Finishing Touches

High Concept

A High Concept is your character in a nutshell. It's a short phrase that briefly describes who they are and what they do. This is an opportunity for player's to distinguish their character's personality. It may help to ask why this character is an adventurer, and what motivates them. A few examples are shown below:

Upbeat Poisoner Power-hungry Demonologist Wayward Disciple of the Open Palm
Philosopher Pirate Templar in Plain Clothes Cat Burglar In Over His Head
Dropout Wizard High Priest of the Silver Lynx Anarchist Druid


A character's Trouble is their fatal flaw. It's an unfortunate weakness that comes up fairly often, like "Dumb as Iron" or "Thinks He Knows More Than Everyone". Players want to choose a Trouble is quirky rather than debilitating.

The GM will search out opportunities to use this Trouble against players. This may sound like a losing proposition, but players receives a Fate Point (see Doing Things for details) each time the GM compels them with a Trouble. Troubles make for a lively session where characters behave in a more realistic or comical manner.

Magic Fixes Everything Too Sarcastic to Live Fatally Overconfident
Technically a Pacifist Honor Before Reason No Manners
Hunted by Inquisitors Vendetta With A God Crippling Addiction

The Character Sheet

The Character Sheet is a place where you store all the information about your character. This is traditionally done with pencil and paper, though its becoming more common to use a digital spreadsheet. See examples here.