Spin (FATE rule)

When you roll for a result, you are trying to meet or exceed a target value, which is the difficulty for the roll. The difficulty indicates how hard it is to do something. Difficulties are measured on the same ladder as everything else. For instance, it might be a Mediocre (+0) difficulty to jumpstart a car, but a Good (+3) difficulty to repair that same car after a serious breakdown.

The difference between the difficulty and the effort (the result of the roll) is the magnitude of the effect, which is measured in shifts. Shifts are used to determine the potency of a character's efforts and to govern the resolution of complex actions. There's no such thing as a negative shift — any roll that does not reach the difficulty is simply considered a failure (although failing the roll by a great deal might influence how the group describes the result). If you exceed your opponent when you make a defensive roll that does not have any effect other than being a successful defense, you don't get shifts. Instead, for every three by which you exceed the attacking roll, you generate spin.

Spin can be used by you or an ally to gain +1 on a roll – basically your defensive maneuver put your opponent at a disadvantage or one of your allies at an advantage somehow. You need to use up spin by the time the turn comes back to whoever generated it – he's the last person that can take advantage. It can be handy to throw some kind of token on the table to indicate spin and let anyone pick it up. Index cards with the generator's name on it greatly aid remembering when it expires.