Simulating a custom card game in Fate Core

In the world I created, there’s a famous card game. It has the following characteristics:

  • Complex and numerous rules
  • Spectators can bet during the match
  • The winner is the player who won more “tricks” (no specific definition of what a trick is)
  • Cheating is possible but complicated

Creating the exact rules for such game doesn’t seem worth it (it might take more time that thinking an entire campaign).

How can I simulate a match of such game? I’d like a game to be an entire scene (where PCs might be either spectators or players of the game)

I’d like to have the players have the feeling they’re really playing the game, trying to outwit their opponent, cheat, bluff, etc.

I already know it can be handled as a Contest, but I still see it hard to picture such Contest. Without creating the exact rules of the game, how can I create tension during the Contest? How can players know what kind of skills they might use?

Nonviolent “social conflict” in Fate – which skills opposes rapport?

I’m running a campaign with a few nonviolent characters. I understand how to handle physical fights, but am a bit at a loss how to deal with "social conflict", where characters need to overcome some resistance from NPCs to achieve their goals.

As Provoke is intended to harm others, it doesn’t seem to be a good choice for nonviolent characters. Rapport seems to be a better fit for characters that try to convince the NPC to hand out that piece of information that was supposed to remain a secret. However, what would be the opposed skill? Empathy? And how would you make this into an interesting contest?

Why does a character get Fate points from invocation only at the end of a scene in Fate Core?

This answer to "What happens to the fate point after a character invokes an aspect?" shows that in DFRPG (per Your Story, p. 106):

if you’re invoking an aspect on another PC or on a NPC to gain an advantage over them, that character will receive the fate point you spent, either at the end of the exchange (in conflict, see page 197) or at the end of the scene (outside of conflict).

But in Fate Core (p. 81):

if someone pays a fate point to invoke an aspect attached to your character, you gain their fate point at the end of the scene.

Why did Evil Hat change invocation so that Fate points are given out only at the end of a scene?

When to use deceive vs rapport in Fate Core

I’m running a game in fate core, using the default skill list. My players want to know which situations and types of actions will call for a deceive check as opposed to a rapport check. How can I understand this different better myself, and convey it to my players?

An example in their words, not specific to our campaign:

If the Countess of Lyndham has cooked us all dinner and it’s awful, is saying it tastes good a deceive or a rapport check?

I’ve erred on the side of: if you’re trying to mislead someone or make them believe something or see something in a certain way, it’s deceive. If you’re trying to establish a relationship with someone or persuade them to accept an argument you’re making, it’s rapport.

My players rightly point out that making a compelling argument and making a misleading argument is a fine line to tread. And I’ve had trouble so far in this campaign with a player who keeps trying to manipulate people by telling a curated version of the truth and gets upset when I call for a deceive check instead of a rapport check (which he has at +4).

Modeling cutaway prep scenes in Fate

Many crime stories feature a particular kind of foreshadowing and plot twist: Early in the story, you see a character doing something significant, but the scene cuts away before you find out what it is. You don’t find out what happened until the climax, when the character reveals the crazy plan that they set up after the cutaway. There’s often a brief flashback to the missing part of the establishing scene. It’s a staple of heist stories – Leverage does it almost every episode.

How can I model these cutaway prep scenes in Fate?

Which Time Travel Paradigm Does Fate of Cthulhu Use?

I’m trying to evaluate the degree to which Fate of Cthulhu is worth my time, money, and either waiting time or hassle related to buying specifically the PDF (I have no need for the dead tree version which is currently bundled with it). This evaluation hinges on two main factors: the Condensed rulebook (which seems worth it), and the handling of time travel (about which I’d like to find out more).

I have seen short reviews indicate that the book offers good ways to handle the usual concerns of time travel such as paradoxes. However, what that actually means and how useful that is to me depends on an unstated assumption/context, which I’d like to know about:

Which model of time travel has been chosen when writing the setting and ruleset, and which of the common switches and toggles related to that model are in what states?

If the heart of the question looks ambiguous, here’s a bit of a clarification: when I talk of the models of time travel, I mean those such as in this simplified list. Note that the list is just a starting point; it doesn’t go deep into exploring switches and toggles, e.g. how the Sensitive History model can be made more consistent and playable by use of Achron-style meta-time and change-propagation principles, or how adjusting the ‘speed’ of time waves can produce different scenarios and overall feel of a story/campaign/game.

How can I replicate the native look & feel of Fate documents?

Fate documents (whether they are rule books, adventure books, character sheets, etc.) generally have a pretty recognizable style (a typical example is the Fate Core Character Sheet). The rule books have pages with a specific layout, a specific style for page numbering, specific shapes around the edges, specific shapes for sections with GM tips, specific shapes for sections with examples, etc.

As a GM, I sometimes want to create customized sheets and handouts. Possibly I’d like to write and publish an original setting or adventure at some point. In either case, I would prefer to make something that feels like a ‘native’ Fate document (considering that the folks at Evil Hat have said they don’t mind people doing so).

How can I go about replicating that look & feel in a rich text editor or DTP software? (To me, it doesn’t matter which specific product I’d have to use.) Are there any reusable templates made by players that make this process repeatable? Is there perhaps a visual style guide that authors can follow? Anything instructions to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ or at least be able to ‘reinvent’ it faithfully?