A skill is a word that describes a broad family of competency at something—such as Athletics, Fight, or Deceive—which your character might have gained through innate talent, training, or years of trial and error. Skills are the basis for everything your character actually does in the game that involves challenge and chance (and dice).

Skills are rated on the adjective ladder. The higher the rating, the better your character is at the skill. Taken together, your list of skills gives you a picture of that character’s potential for action at a glance—what you’re best at, what you’re okay at, and what you’re not so good at.

We define skills in two ways in Fate—in terms of the game actions that you can do with them, and the context in which you can use them. There are only a handful of basic game actions, but the number of potential contexts is infinite.


The Athletics skill represents your character’s general level of physical fitness, whether through training, natural gifts, or genre-specific means (like magic or genetic alteration). It’s how good you are at moving your body. As such, it is a popular choice for nearly any action-y character.


The Burglary skill covers your character’s aptitude for stealing things and getting into places that are off-limits. In genres that rely on the use of a lot of technology, this skill also includes a proficiency in the related tech, allowing the character to hack security systems, disable alarm systems, and whatnot.


Contacts is the skill of knowing and making connections with people. It presumes proficiency with all means of networking available in the setting.


Deceive is the skill about lying to and misdirecting people.


The Drive skill is all about operating vehicles and things that go fast.


Empathy involves knowing and being able to spot changes in a person’s mood or bearing. It’s basically the emotional Notice skill.


The Fight skill covers all forms of close-quarters combat (in other words, within the same zone), both unarmed and using weapons. For the ranged weapons counterpart, see Shoot.


Investigate is the skill you use to find things out. It’s a counterpart to Notice—whereas Notice revolves around situational alertness and surface observation, Investigate revolves around concentrated effort and in-depth scrutiny.


The Lore skill is about knowledge and education. As with some other skills, we called it Lore because that fits the particular flavor of our examples—other games might call it Scholarship, or Academics, or something like that.


The Lore skill is about knowledge and education. As with some other skills, we called it Lore because that fits the particular flavor of our examples—other games might call it Scholarship, or Academics, or something like that.


The Physique skill is a counterpart to Athletics, representing the character’s natural physical aptitudes, such as raw strength and endurance. In our example game, we have this skill broken out as something separate in order to create two distinct types of physical characters—the nimble guy (represented by Athletics) and the strongman (represented by Physique).


Provoke is the skill about getting someone’s dander up and eliciting negative emotional response from them—fear, anger, shame, etc. It’s the “being a jerk” skill.

To use Provoke, you need some kind of justification. That could come entirely from situation, or because you have an aspect that’s appropriate, or because you’ve created an advantage with another skill (like Rapport or Deceive), or because you’ve assessed your target’s aspects (see Empathy).

This skill requires that your target can feel emotions—robots and zombies typically can’t be provoked.


The Rapport skill is all about making positive connections to people and eliciting positive emotion. It’s the skill of being liked and trusted.


Resources describes your character’s general level of material wealth in the game world and ability to apply it. This might not always reflect cash on hand, given the different ways you can represent wealth in a particular setting—in a medieval game, it might be tied to land or vassals as much as gold; in the modern day, it might mean a number of good lines of credit.


The counterpart to Fight, Shoot is the skill of using ranged weapons, either in a conflict or on targets that don’t actively resist your attempts to shoot them (like a bull’s-eye or the broad side of a barn).


The Stealth skill allows you to avoid detection, both when hiding in place and trying to move about unseen. It pairs well with the Burglary skill.


The Will skill represents your character’s general level of mental fortitude, the same way that Physique represents your physical fortitude.


Mutatio is the skill of using magic to change things.


Perdo is the skill of using magic to hurt or destroy things.


Creo is the skill at using magic to create things from nothing.


Disco is the skill of using magic to discover things and gain information.


Mechanics is the skill of manipulating, creating and repairing machines that move. This includes everything from autocarriages all the way to airships and everything in between.


Ballistics is the skill of modifying, creating and otherwise tweaking unique ranged weapons.


Automata is the skill of creating, manipulating and repairing self directed machines.


Chemistry is the skill of creating and manipulating chemical compounds for the goal of creating different effects.


Engineering is the skill used in creating varied machinery that solves specific problems.


Transmission is the skill of making, repairing and tweaking machines that manipulate or gain information.