Using Distillation

1) Determine the Power Level

a) Each Distillation is given a power level upon creation. To use the ability exactly as described, this is all that is necessary and the character will incur no mental stress upon using it. However, if the character wishes to raise or lower that power level to lessen or intensify that effect, the character may incur 1 point of Mental stress for each shift of power they raise or lower the effect

b) Alternate methods of using the same Distillation may be obtained by dividing up the power level much in the same way as an Abstraction’s power shifts. If the Distillation is an attack of power level 5, the user may choose to affect an entire zone by spending 2 shifts of power. In this case, an entire zone would be affected by the Distillations effect as a Weapon: 3 attack.

2) Roll Discipline to match or exceed the Power Level.

a) If successful, then the Distillation works perfectly.

b) If not, then the player must choose to spend the difference either as Fallout or Backlash as per normal Abstractions.

3) In the Scene, act out the trigger

a) Every Distillation has a trigger that allows its user to activate the Distillation.

Creating Distillations

For purchasing a Distillation for a character:

  • The cost is 1 Ability Point for the first Impetus and Element needed in achieving the desired effect.

* If the effect needs more than just one Element and Impetus, the cost for each additional Element or Impetus is 1 Ability Point.

  • The default power level of a Distillation is 5.

* Creating a Distillation with a higher power level costs 1 Ability Point for each additional shift in power.

  • A player may feel that certain Distillation requires a different skill than Discipline. A player can change this by spending 1 Ability Point to use some other skill, within reason, instead of Discipline.
  • After purchasing a character’s first Distillation, that character can no longer learn Abstraction. If the character already has some Abstraction, he retains what he has but can learn no more. Make sure to run a newly created Distillation past the GM before setting it into stone to make sure it isn’t overpowered or unbalancing.
  • There are some things a player can do to offset the cost or the difficulty of the Discipline roll of a Distillation. These are all sorts of drawbacks that could potentially hamper the character or inhibit them from using the Distillation at certain times.

Examples are:

A) Making the Distillation Trigger a losable item: This offsets the Ability Point cost and the Discipline roll by 2. This item must be larger than a ring or earring. This allows the character to use the item as a focus item when using the Distillation, but it also introduces the chance that the character could lose the ability to use the Distillation.

B) This is painful: The Distillation could cause stress on the player. 1 point of Physical stress offsets the Ability Point cost by 2, and 2 points of Mental Stress offsets the Ability Point cost by 1. This means that every time the character uses the Distillation, the incur some sort of stress.

Example Distillations

Flaming Snap

A) Desired Effect: I want my character to be able to create large explosions and fireballs with a snap of his fingers.

B) Trigger: Snapping my fingers

C) Needed Elements: Fire. This effect only needs one element, taken from the Traditional School (Although the Contemporary school would work equally as well)

D) Needed Impetuses: Create, to create the initial flame. Enhance, to increase the Flame to the desired size. And lastly, Control, to manipulate the explosion and move it to where the character wants

E) Needed Power Level: This is ultimately an attack, and this character is going to rely on this for the majority of his offense. We’ll set the Power Level to 6.

F) Total Ability Points Needed: 4

G) Final Ability: A power level 6 Fire Abstraction that will Create an flame, Enhance it into a large explosion, and then Control it towards a target summoned by the character snapping his fingers.


A) Desired Effect: I want my character to be able to turn into a wolf by popping her neck.

B) Trigger: Popping my neck

C) Needed Elements: Anima, needed in manipulating living things.

D) Needed Impetus: Influence, needed to change the actual shape of the Human body into a wolf body (Technically the Distillation could stop here only the character would be left looking like a wolf with none of the wolf’s abilities. To grant the user enhanced senses, strength, agility and endurance we need the Enhance Impetus as well)

E) Needed Power Level: Since we are affecting multiple skills in this Influence and Enhance effect, we need to split up the power level accordingly. I want to increase some my character’s skills reminiscent of a wolf. For this, each +1 to a skill will take one shift of power. I want +1 to Might and Endurance, and I want a +2 to Alertness and Athletics. So those need 6 shifts in power, plus 1 for the initial change. So, the total Needed Power Level is 7.

F) Ability Point Offset: To offset the Ability Point Cost and the Discipline roll needed to achieve this effect, I will have the Distillation be based on a dog collar my character will carry around. Also, the change seems like it could be taxing, so to simulate this, I will have it cause 2 points of Mental Stress when my character changes. This leaves the total Ability Point Offset at -3 and the Discipline Roll modifier at +2.

G) Different Skill: I feel like this change should be based off a different skill than Discipline, seeing as this is more like a lack of control than a control situation. I think it reflects Conviction more than Discipline. This sets my Ability Point Cost at +1

H) Total Ability Points Needed: 2

I) Final Ability: A Distillation that allows my character to turn into a wolf with +1 Might and Endurance and +2 Alertness and Athletics by slipping on a collar and making a Superb (+5) Conviction roll.


FATE Abstraction and Distillation noobiemcfoob