Additional Fate Point Options

Copyright Patrick Emerton © 2007

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"In addition to modifying rolls, a character may be allowed to spend a Fate Point to alter the game world in a minor way."

This article suggests some additional ways in which Fate Points may be used.

The Revised rulebook (page 53) allows Fate Points to be used to improve a roll or to improve a character's defence. Two additional options for the use of Fate Points in this sort of way are the following:

  • 1 Fate Point may be spent to turn a fumble into a roll of 10 (the Fate Point is spent after the fumble is rolled, but before it is resolved);
  • 1 Fate Point may be spent to cause an attack to ignore size caps (the Fate Point is spent before the attack is rolled).

In either case, the roll may be further modified by spending Fate Points as normal.

In addition to modifying rolls, a character may be allowed to spend a Fate Point to alter the game world in a minor way. The change must be one that is plausible, minor, and not overwhelmingly beneficial to the character or her party: it may assist in accomplishing a goal, but may not amount to the accomplishment of a goal.

Possible changes include:

  • Specifying minor details of the world (which have not been specified already by the GM or other players), such as the layout of a building or room, the colour of or lighting in an area, the availability of goods in a market place, the presence of a loose stone in a prison, etc;
  • Specifying the past of the character, such as having a contact in a particular area, or having knowledge of a relevant place or item;
  • Affecting the reactions or loyalties of an NPC, or having an NPC come to the aid of the character (such aid will always be minor rather than overwhelming: for example, it may encompass an ally smuggling an imprisoned character a dagger, but not a high-level magician rescuing the character);
  • Determining the course of events, such as a guard becoming drunk, a dream revealing some important clue, or a piece of relevant information coming to hand in some other fashion.

In some cases, the GM may rule that more than one Fate Point must be spent to achieve the desired change.

This option for the use of Fate Points works best if a character is allowed to spend Fate Points not only in circumstances of crisis or conflict, but in order to achieve a character's goal (party or personal). If a character's goals are conceived of as his or her destiny, then this option helps cement the role of Fate Points as the instruments of destiny.