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An aspect is a word, phrase, or sentence that describes something centrally important to your character or to the narrative of the Discovered Universe. Aspects allow you to alter the narrative - to cheat Fate. There are an endless variety of aspects, but no matter what they’re called they all work pretty much the same way. The main difference is how long they stick around before going away. In this guide we're focussed on Character Aspects, but it's worth being familiar with Situational Aspects, Consequences, and Boosts. You'll learn more about how they work during game play.
Character Aspects allow you to change the story in ways that tie in with your character’s tendencies, skills, or problems. You can also use them to establish facts about the setting, such as the presence of magic or the existence of a useful ally, dangerous enemy, or secret organization. (There is no magic in the Discovered Universe.)
Good Character Aspects are double edged swords: they have pros and cons. Ask yourself:
- How might the aspect help you? These are situations you’d invoke it to gain an advantage.
- How might it hurt you? Theses are situations when it would be compelled against you to put you at a disadvantage.
- I’ll Get You, von Stendahl!: Invoke this when acting against von Stendahl to improve your chances. Get a fate point when your dislike for von Stendahl compells you do something foolish to try to get him.
- Hair Trigger Nerves: Invoke this when being extra vigilant and careful would help you. Get a fate point when this compells you to be jumpy and be distracted by threats that aren’t really there.
All characters have two primary Aspects: their High Concept and their Trouble. These aspects can be a motto your character lives by, a personality quirk, a description of a relationship you have with another character, an important possession or bit of equipment your character has, or any other part of your character that is vitally important. In the Discovered Universe characters usually have one additional aspect that they define about themselves, one that another player gives them (defining their relationship), and one that defines a relationship with another character.
These aspects describe the surroundings that the action is taking place in. This includes aspects you create or discover using the create an advantage action. A situation aspect usually vanishes at the end of the scene it was part of, or when someone takes some action that would change or get rid of it. Essentially, they last only as long as the situational element they represent lasts.
To get rid of a situation aspect, you can attempt an overcome action to eliminate it, provided you can think of a way your character could accomplish it—dump a bucket of water on the Raging Fire, use evasive maneuvers to escape the enemy fighter that’s On Your Tail. An opponent may use a Defend action to try to preserve the aspect, if they can describe how they do it.
Examples: On Fire; Bright Sunlight; Crowd of Angry People; Knocked to the Ground