Alertness is a measure of your character’s regular, passive level of awareness. Specifically, it’s the perception skill to notice things the character isn’t looking for. Characters with high Alertness include bodyguards, outdoorsmen, and criminals of a sneaky variety.

Overcome Obstacles [Alertness]

Players rarely ask to roll Alertness—if they’re actively looking for something, Investigation is usually more appropriate. Alertness is more appropriate for things that players and characters don’t expect or aren’t looking for, such as a surprise or a hidden clue. In short, it’s reactive perception. As such, it’s a skill that, most often, the GM calls for players to roll.

Defend [Alertness]

Alertness can be used to defend against ambushes or attacks using the Stealth skill. When you’re ambushed, you may make one final Alertness check against the Stealth of your attacker to see if you’re surprised. If you fail this check, your defense skill is considered to be Mediocre (+ 0) for the first exchange.

Special [Alertness]

The initiative order in active, physical conflicts is determined by Alertness. The character with the highest Alertness acts first, followed by those with the next lowest Alertness, etc. Ties in initiative are resolved in favor of characters with a higher Resolve. Any remaining ties are in favor of the player closest to the GM’s right.

Alertness Stunts

Danger Sense
You have a quick and easy awareness of ambushes and other nasty surprises. When you’re ambushed, you’re able to take a full defensive action, gaining a +2 on your defense roll, regardless of whether or not you’re surprised.

Danger Is My Middle Name
You’re never surprised. You may spend a fate point to take a full, regular action even when ambushed. On top of it you may spend a fate point to go first in an exchange, regardless of your initiative. If multiple people with this stunt decide to use it, they go in turn of their normal initiative; after that, those without the stunt get a chance to act.

One Step Ahead
You’re an expert at anticipating your opponent’s plan in a physical fight. You gain a +1 to your defense when an opponent attempts a block or maneuver against you in a melee or firefight.

Ready for Anything
Your quick reflexes mean you’re always ready for a fight. Gain a +2 to your Alertness for the purposes of determining initiative order.

Sharp Eyes
You’re always laying a keen eye on your environment. You gain a +2 on Alertness checks to notice important clues or situations that others have overlooked.

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