A Hard Day's Night
Here is the description from the Fate book:
“Aspects represent elements of the character that are not reflected by their skills, including things like the characterís advantages, disadvantages, connections and even attributes.
The exact form that aspects take in a game depends on the taste of the players. At their simplest, they are a dramatic replacement for more traditional attributes like strength or intelligence. Used to their full advantage, they can represent the characterís ties to the game world in a manner that bears directly on play.”
In a nut shell, aspects are much like distinctions from Marvel. They define the life, personality, and world surrounding your character, whether he is brave and proud or the artist son of the king, aspects make your character who they are.
Aspects will come in one of two forms, high concept and troubles. The high concept is going to be your character concept essentially, so Detective, Criminal or what have you. To make this aspect more complex and interesting you should expand on that by adding adjectives, or ties to other NPC groups or something like that. So Detective becomes Hard-Boiled Cop or Private Investigator for P. T. Winters, and Criminal could become Enforcer for the Carlito Family or Silver-Tongued Confidence Man. The more interesting you make the aspect, the more you will get out of it. Invoking aspects in ways that complicate things for you is a great way to pick up fate points.
Troubles are the flaws I’ve been talking about. This aspect is specifically designed to be an obstacle for your character, and something you can invoke as a hindrance or complication for you to gain fate points. Troubles can be positively invoked, for instance a heavy drinker could use that aspect in a drinking contest or to know things about liquor and potentially etiquette around it.
Aspects can be used in a few different ways: They can be invoked positively to gain a reroll, they can be negatively invoked to gain fate points, and they passive represent the limit of Fate points for a given situation. The third, passive use is a little more complicated than it seems, so read this one carefully.
1. Positive Invocation: An aspect can be positively invoked to for a reroll on anything that your aspect would be directly involved with (such as a swordplay for a duelist or interrogating a witness for a detective). With this option, you reroll all four dice. The other option is to gain a flat +2 on the roll. You can decide to use either of these invocations after the dice have been rolled. Both of these options cost a fate point
2. Negative Invocation: When an aspect is invoked in a way that is harmful to the PC, the PC gains a fate point. For example, someone with the “Drunk” aspect having a few more drinks instead of keeping an eye on the person he’s supposed to be tailing or a “Proud” character speaking up against the king’s advisor because he did not like the way he was introduced. Both of these situations, the PC could invoke his aspect negatively to gain a fate point or the GM could invoke the aspect and tell the PC what they will do and give them a fate point in return.
3. Passive Limitations: This third case comes into play when the GM negatively invokes an aspect in order to make a PC do something. When this happens, a bidding war can occur between the PC and GM where the PC can match the GMs fate point bids in order to not have the aspect negatively invoked.
For example, the GM invokes the “Proud” aspect in the example above saying, “The servant is careless and stupid, Lord Mareth shows you much disrespect by using someone so incapable of being in the presence of individuals such as yourself,” offering the PC a Fate point. The PC responds with, “The servant is the one who is careless, it is he who should be chastised, not Lord Mareth.” The PC calls the fate point from the GM with one of his own. This goes back and forth until one person backs out of the bidding war and takes the fate points or the passive limit is reached. This passive limit is set by the refresh pool. So if the refresh is 2, the limit would be 2.