by Jacob

Worldbreakers in Fate Part 3: The Mechanical Side Part 2


First off, if you haven’t read the previous two articles about Worldbreakers, you really should, otherwise you’re likely to be a bit lost:
Part 1: The Narrative Side
Part 2: The Mechanical Side Part 1

In this article, we’ll finish up the mechanical aspect of Worldbreakers, looking at changes that come into play after the Surge.


The point of Worldbreakers is to keep the big fights interesting, despite the extended lengths of the conflicts. To keep it interesting, there must be change. The point of the Surge is to transition into a different conflict, despite the fact that the enemies and scenes haven’t truly changed. But most of the conflict will feel quite different.

Change the Enemy

The first set of changes will be to the big bad. There’s a lot you could do to it. You could replace it with a wholly different monster if you want, but you’d need a dang good reason to do so. Remember, Fate is a narrative game; you have to be able to justify it. Also, of everything I present for the Worldbreaker, this is the most optional step.


Unless you equipped the monster with a terrifying amount of Stress and/or Consequences to begin with, there’s probably a good case to have the monster recover “health” a bit. While you could actually heal away previous strikes from its Stress and Consequences, I would suggest not going that route. I would give the monster some new Stress and/or Consequence slots. Remember, you don’t have to give Stress and Consequences of bigger and bigger values; you can double up. In most cases, I’d give an extra of the highest Stress and a couple extra Minor Consequence slots.

Story-wise, why would you heal the Worldbreaker? The creature has just broken up the fight to regather its strength, and strengthen its resolve. A strengthening of resolve can often translate into being able to take more punishment.

Power Up

A lot of the time, big bads will start off a fight with a sort of handicap, thinking their enemies too weak to be worried about. But, when it turns out that they’re more dangerous than previously believed, they’ll shed their handicaps and show off their full strength. Give your monster a more dangerous set of actions it can take, usually able to hurt multiple characters at once. If you decide to do this, you may want to skip the next section, or dial it back. Or you could make the creature easier to harm to offset it, causing the conflict to be an even quicker, more intense set of back-and-forth.

Change the Field of Battle

One of two different ideas are likely to happen to change up the battlefield. The two could be mixed, but then you’d have to limit them considerably.

The Field Fights Back

In this case, the Surge has actually disrupted the world around you, and it’s simply dangerous to be standing where you are. If you do this, it will often be a good idea to change up the zones (changing their boundaries can be done, if it makes sense) to reflect this change. Often, it will be more difficult to get around due to debris caused by the change.

The dangerous part of the change can have many different looks and feel. you could have lava geysers spouting all over the place, thorny, grasping vines, or portals that have the claw-tipped hands of other-worldly denizens reaching out for you. These should provide passive attacks (or Create Advantage) often against Overcome, rather than Defend or Counter-Actions, since it keeps it interesting, and you can rarely truly hurt or create an advantage against these types of obstacles.

Tide of Minions

The other option is to have the Worldbreaker summon minions to help it fight. This can be done naturally (yelling for the guards, etc) or magically. They can all come at once, a constant flow, or waves. But they should use the Mobs rules whenever possible and be fairly weak, with the most dangerous things about them being their numbers and taking the focus off of the big bad.


I realize that I didn’t get all that specific about the mechanics in these articles, but the point was to give you a place to start, since every Worldbreaker, despite following this framework, should be fairly different from any other Worldbreaker.

Also, you should keep in mind the ideas in these articles. A lot of it works for big fights in general, whether they’re Worldbreakers or not. I hope you find some inspiration from this.

Don’t forget, I’ll be putting out one more article that gives an example of a Worldbreaker. At least, that’s all I have planned so far. There’s a chance I revisit this idea and give you more, but that’s all for now.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments. Critiques are welcome.

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