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FATE stat, Luck, and Heroic Vitality

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Normally I skulk about and offer help and advice to others on here, but I'm curious about what other d100 gamers think of this houserule that I first came up with almost a year ago for my d100 AD&D PHB thing (heavily influenced by Rod's Classic Fantasy). Apologies in advance for the massive infodump I just threw out here, but I'd rather try to get everything out there now instead of leaving any ambiguity. Aside from the FATE writeup at the end, I wrote this up pretty much on-the-spot, working off of my notes. Hopefully my ramblings make sense. Please keep in mind that while this originated in my d100 AD&D thing, it's something that I figure could be useful in all d100 games, such as (a slightly pulpier) Call of Cthulhu, Legend, Runequest, Magic World, Renaissance, and others. Hope to hear from you guys on it. Thanks for your time!  -Chris aka "Lord Sephleon"


FATE is an additional Characteristic which, unlike other Characteristics, is never randomly rolled for. Instead, characters begin character creation with a standardized maximum FATE score; although the standard is usually 10, different races may have a higher or lower starting amount based on the campaign; for example, Elves begin with 7, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings have 8, Half-Orcs, and Half-Elves have 9, and Humans have 10. This maximum FATE score may be further tweaked inversely with various other aspects of the character (only during creation) via the following methods*:


1 Max FATE = 1 Characteristic point

1 Max FATE = 2 Derived Attribute points (HP, FP, MP, Initiative)

1 Max FATE = 10 points in a single skill of choice. No skill may be altered more than once

1 Max FATE = 1 Trait/Perk/Flaw/Stunt (as per GM's decision or campaign style)

1 Max FATE = 100 gp/USD in additional gear

1 Max FATE = 50 gp/USD in cash on hand

*NOTE: numbers may be altered as per GM if desired


After the character is completed, the player then marks down Luck (multiplier dependent on campaign, but tied to FATE instead of POW) and, if used, Heroic Vitality (multiplier dependent on profession/class, though GM has final say).


Luck is based on current FATE, not Maximum, so the more FATE you spend, the worse your luck gets. (To add to the above race example, Halflings have an innate +20 bonus to their Luck score, so a Halfling with 0 FATE still has a Luck of 20). In my d100 thing, Luck = 20 + [current FATE x4]


Heroic Vitality is something like what Hit Points represents in high fantasy systems like D&D: a bit of skill, luck and endurance throughout a battle that turns what should be direct hits into near misses and lucky dodges. I've been considering that characters get a number of Heroic Vitality based on class; the "warrior" types get FATE x5, the "priest" types get FATE x4, the "rogue" types get FATE x3, and the "wizard" types get FATE x2. These act like a single, additional pool of extra hit points that function much the same way as normal hit points in most respects (such as AP reduction), but they do not factor at all into location hit points. When the character reaches 0 HV, future hits deal damage to HP. All HV recovers after a good night's sleep. Healing magic/skills always affect lost HP first, then HV.


I copied/pasted the information I wrote up in my d100 thingy about FATE, FATE use, and FATE Recovery for convenience, below.



All characters begin with a default maximum of 10 FATE that can be spent throughout the game session for various reasons: rerolling, automatic successes, resisting damage, and even dealing maximum damage. Each use has a certain cost attributed to it, though note that any skills made successful through the use of FATE does NOT acquire an Experience Check as destiny guided you to your goal. Note that

NOTE: Maximum FATE can be modified at character creation to be higher or lower, though it can never rise above 20.


Rely on Luck for a single check = Gamble 1 FATE

If you must make a skill check and the chances are likely that you will fail, you can choose to gamble 1 FATE to roll a Luck check.

Critical: You succeed as per a Special Success, you may check the skill you replaced with Luck, and

you keep the point of FATE.

Special: You succeed as per a Normal Success and you may keep the point of FATE.

Normal: You barely succeed as per a Normal Success, and you lose the point of FATE.

Failure: You fail and lose the point of FATE.

Botch: You either fail and lose 2 points of FATE, or you botch and lose 1 FATE.

While not as good as making the skill itself, it ensures a better chance in some circumstances. You cannot acquire an Experience Check when using this method unless you roll a Critical Success.


Reduce Damage from a single attack = 1 FATE per point of damage reduced

You can reduce damage taken from a single attack by spending 1 FATE per point of damage that you wish to reduce. You do not have to negate the entire attack.


Reroll a single percentile roll = 1 FATE

You can reroll a single percentile roll by spending 1 FATE. You may keep either roll, and you do not acquire an Experience Check regardless of Success level.


Shift a result up by one step = 2 FATE for first step, +1 for each step thereafter

You can shift the results of a check you made by one step for the cost of 2 FATE. You can choose to spend additional FATE to continue shifting the results by an additional step per point of FATE spent (maximum of 6 FATE to shift a Botch to a Critical).

Critical > Special > Normal > Failure > Botch

You cannot acquire an Experience Check when using this method regardless of Success level.


Inflict maximum damage with a single attack = 1 FATE per damage die (without Damage Modifier)

You can inflict maximum damage with a single physical attack by spending FATE equal to the number of damage dice that the attack deals without adding Damage Modifier (which must still be rolled afterwards). 2d8 + 1d6 db = 2 FATE for 16 + 1d6 db


Avoid a Mishap = 1 FATE

In the unfortunate event that you roll a Fumble and risk a Mishap, you may choose to spend 1 FATE to negate it instead, making your check's result a failure instead. However, if combined with shifting the results by one step, you are still considered to have rolled a Fumble. This use is only to prevent a Mishap.


FATE Recovery

Spent FATE fully recovers to the character's maximum value (determined at character creation) at the end of an adventure. Additionally, you may be rewarded with a point of FATE for outstanding heroism in the face of danger, incredible roleplaying, an ingenious idea, going above and beyond in aiding the GM, or for contributing to the group's overall fun and enjoyment.

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Hey, Sephleon!


I admire and respect the work you've gone to in developing this houserule and mechanic. I think if you and your players enjoy an emphasis on Fate/Luck/HV, your mechanisms could be fun and add spice to your game--particularly with its AD&D/Classic Fantasy bent. I like the options you describe in the later part of your missive--Reduce damage to a single attack, etc. and I might just lift a few of those or compose some of my own on your inspiration :) .


Intellectually I prefer my mechanics a bit simple. Emotionally, however, I have to guard against mechanic-of-the-moment syndrome ("Oooo, pretty!"), otherwise I find my game drifting away from what I call the "D100/BRP Difference" and getting lost in the crunch. I prefer Fate or Luck points to simply reset themselves at the beginning of each session--two or three for each player based on their POW. That being said, my games are human-centered do not embrace the many classic old-school tropes yours do. 


That's one thing I love about D100; it's robust enough to accommodate both the squishers and the crunchers! As has been said, "your BRP may vary"  :)



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Present home-port: home-brew BRP/OQ SRD variant; past ports-of-call: SB '81, RQIII '84, BGB '08, RQIV(Mythras) '12,  MW '15, and OQ '17

BGB BRP: 0 edition: 20/420; .pdf edition: 06/11/08; 1st edition: 06/13/08

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I used to prefer things to be simple as well, but years (make that over a decade) of playing with people who much prefer D&D 3.5/D20 to the more modular BRP or even AD&D 2nd Ed (much to my chagrin) have made me think like a game developer (trying to find that balance of squish and crunch) instead of a roleplayer. In fact, my longtime group of 18+ years has kind of killed any love I had for level-based systems because of how absurd those systems can be (I enter Spycraft 1.0 vs D20 Modern as an off-the-beaten-path example; one could even look at Black Company D20, True 20, 3.5, and Pathfinder and see it).


Also, replenishing Fate points at the end of a session is fine for a standard 4 - 6 hour session, but that same group I mentioned? We only meet once every month or two (due to scheduling difficulties), so we make a full day out of it (usually averaging out at about 10 hours). Doesn't quite work as well in that case, which is why I avoided that one in the first place. The end of an adventure is a bit easier to work with regardless of session length, and it REALLY makes them manage that resource.


To be honest, this whole thing stemmed from my wanting to separate Luck and Fate Points from POW. I quickly came up with the idea of making Fate Points their own stat on a 0-20 scale, reducing all Fate Point costs essentially to 1 (from the BGB), and finally attaching Luck to it.


The Heroic Vitality is more of an epiphany that stemmed from many years of D&D, actually. Ever heard of the Vitality/Wounds variant of HP in D&D 3.5? That's where it comes from, except instead of relying on some random roll per level for Vitality and CON for Wounds, I decided to make FATE the "buffer pool" and normal hit points actually represent physical health. Even though I gave the above examples for different HV amounts based on class, a GM could very easily just make it FATE x2 or x3 across the board. Of course, mooks and goons wouldn't have any HV, and Henchmen/evil lieutenants would have less than a Mastermind or Villain.


One thing I didn't add in the above is the Skill Pushing rule, which I happily lifted from CoC 7th Ed. However, the big difference between theirs and mine is that I allow a pushed skill to default to another justified skill instead of the original failed skill (i.e. Pushing a failed Climb roll could lead to using Agility (catch a ledge while falling), Acrobatics (use momentum and tuck into a roll to prevent too much injury), Jump (aim for a specific ledge or safe area), or any other similar skill to try and save oneself from a long fall). A failure in the second roll generally leads to a Botch/Mishap, however, and a Botch/Mishap is just bad bad bad. 


Anyway, thanks for the response! Much appreciated, even if it's not your thing. :)

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I dig what you're doing a lot, especially the part of seperating Luck and Pow.  You've broken it down into some nice options and have a solid way of determining the Fate stat.  I also agree that there's a place for inflated hit points/heroic vitality.  Well done.  I'm going to file this away to possibly use a springboard for some of my own house rules.

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Great compliment from the legendary Chaot himself! (<-- totally a huge fan of your BRP Ravenloft stories and ideas). Thanks! I've been off the BRP high for almost a year now since my Classic Fantasy game fell apart, so it's been much slower going lately. I'm still slapping together my d100 AD&D 2E book slowly but surely, but there are so many aspects of my rules set that I feel treads new ground (or at least follows little-seen paths), and since I don't really have the support of my group, I don't really have anyone to bounce my ideas off of.


One thing about the FATE stat: it's purposely left somewhat adaptable, especially where Character Creation, Starting FATE per race and Heroic Vitality are concerned. I thought of making "simple" options of starting FATE at 10 and HV at FATE x3 across the board. Luck could also just be straight FATE x5, but seeing as how Luck is based on current FATE, I didn't want to leave characters without any FATE left to have a 0% Luck, because then "accidents" might happen to the character to protect the rest of the party from Mr. or Ms. Unlucky's "Party Luck checks."  :)


Also, I kinda don't like EDU as a stat. I mean, it's great for CoC and other such types of games where high skills help with investigation, but a Deep One might still bite your head off regardless of your 90% shotgun skill, and Sanity is easier to lose than a handful of pennies. Furthermore, it doesn't really have a place in historical or fantasy games (even says so in the BGB). It kinda makes it difficult to make semi-balanced characters when one might end up with a 9 EDU and another has a 20. Meh... I don't know. I'm probably part of a minority on that.


(Cliff's Notes version: The players requested that I bring back a specific story arc they never got to finish, and that arc takes place on a homebrew world I made that is extremely reliant on AD&D 2nd Edition magic rules and such, and since they are still pretty locked into 3.5/Pathfinder, I needed an out from that clunky system - BRP Classic Fantasy was a start, but it wasn't enough. Despite my warnings at the start of the campaign that changes would be made as we played and got a better feel for things, the campaign broke down after about a year's worth of gameplay - about 10 or 11 sessions of 10+ hours each.)

Sorry again about my exposition. I don't know how to write concisely.  :mellow:  ;D


Anyway, hope the ideas are of use, and if anyone have any comments or suggestions, I'm open to them!

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That was incredibly nice of you to say, thank you.  You're obviously an individual of taste and refinement!  :D  Ravenloft was fun and I was sad when it stopped.  I lost players to Texas and started a new job so I laid off a bit.


I didn't mention it but I like Heroic Vitality too.  There certainly both worthy concepts to pursue.  Good stuff.

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