[WFRP] Fate Points

In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, fate points separate your character from all the other people inhabiting the game world. When something tragic happens to the character, you can spend a point, indicating that your character had dodged fate and lived to face another day. With this in mind, I think fate points should be something special and epic that happens, not just a generic "the attack misses you; your turn."

In the past, we've had experiences where a character uses a fate point so that the blow that kills them never lands, just to have the GM kill them on the next attack. I feel that cheats the idea.

When a player uses a fate point, I like to have something occur that changes the whole tide of the battle. Losing characters suddenly find themselves winning the fight due to a very improbable occurrence. Characters crushed by a rock slide instead find that rocks fell everywhere around them, miraculously sparing them. It might take a moment to stop and think, but the more creative the better.


Anonymous said…
Way back at the beginning of WFRP, I wrote an article called "Hand of destiny" which appeared in White Dwarf 88 (PDF version: http://www.lski.org/pictures/tabletopgaming/gw/wd%20magazine/White%20Dwarf%2088.pdf). It also appeared in Apocrypha Now under the title "Fate Points". It includes several suggestions for the GM on how to handle Fate Points, and may be of interest.
Roger said…
I have read Apocrypha Now, but I'm always up for a re-read!
Phil Dutré said…
The best way to use Fate Points in my opinion was to keep them hidden from players. Whenever a character would get killed due to a critical hit or whatever, it was up to the GM to invent some story why he escaped. But the use of a FP was never mentioned. So, the player might have an idea that his character did spend a FP, but he was never 100% sure. The player knew the number of FPs when his character was generated, had some clue when a FP was spent, but never knew when his PC gained a FP at the end of an adventure.
This greatly diminished the pure mathematical application of FPs, and put the focus much more on the story-aspects of FPs.
Phil Dutré said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said…
That's a pretty nifty idea, Phil.
Phil Dutré said…
Of course, the drawback is that the decision to use a FP is made by the GM, not the player. Some players might be uncomfortable with that. But I do think that in a group that focuses more on story than on combat encounters, hidden FP are the better choice.
Roger said…
There's some trust involved either way. Either the players have the FPs to use and the GM trusts them to keep it story-oriented instead of mathematically oriented OR the players trust the GM to keep the FPs and use them when appropriate.
Fate points are there not just to prevent PC death, WFRPs is pretty deadly as systems go, but to generate daily Fortune Points. Players can use these to gain extra actions or re-rolls of dice and they can really add a dramatic flair to a session and swing the balance in combat. I've just finished playing Ashes of Middenheim and our GM used Fate Points to take us out of combat if we would otherwise have died. In effect you're considered dead by the villain/monster and they move on.
Roger said…
That sounds like a great way to use Fate Points. Just a note, I was thinking in a first edition mindset when writing this, so fortune points didn't even enter my mind. Good thought!

Popular posts from this blog

Current Thoughts on the OSR

Social Rules in RPGs

[D&D B/X] Kalmatta Campaign 2