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Core RulesStory HooksEthos

Ethos Tags

Drowning the Orcs

To see an example of ethos in action, read Drowning the Orcs, a thought experiment that considers the perspective of each of the nine ethos when presented with a moral dilemma.

Invoking an Ethos Tag

Ethos tags are a way to reward players for behaving consistent with their declared ethos. Once per session, you may choose to invoke an ethos tag and gain a fate point if you take a stand for what you believe in. When you invoke your ethos tag, the GM asks you:

  • What's at stake?
  • How does what's at stake relate to your conflict?
  • What are you sacrificing to take a stand?

If the action you take reflects the sacrifice described by the ethos tag, you gain a fate point.

For example, suppose your character is a Faithful Skeptic (Judicator), and she has the conflict The Personal Liability, which reads:

The Personal Liability

Your traveling companion is the most important person in the world to you, and you would sacrifice your life for them. But they are in grave danger, and you must mitigate that threat.

Let's say this traveling companion gets into trouble with the local authorities, and your character is a dutiful knight who derives his sense of moral authority from the kingdom's laws. Despite that your traveling companion is the most important person in the world to you, you allow them to be arrested and face justice at the hands of your kingdom. While you hope that you can fight their charges through proper channels, the heartache you feel hearing your companion's pleas as they are arrested is very real.

Such a decision is definitely high stakes—after all, this person is "the most important person in the world to you"—and your conflict centers on them as your personal liability. The sacrifice you make in turning them over to the law also meets the criteria of the ethos tag for Judicator, which reads: "You do what must be done according to the dictates of your religion or creed, at great risk to your life or reputation."

Ethos Tags

The ethos tags below describe the sort of sacrifice you must make to invoke the tag. These tags are intended to be loosely interpreted by you and the GM, though the GM gets the final say as to whether your action qualifies.

Ethos Tags Table
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