Fate Tokens allow the players to modify the sheer lethality of the Harn system. They let the player take the sting out of horrible failures, and turn middling successes into shining triumphs.
Base Tokens Basics
- There are two Base pools: one for players, and one for NPCs.
- At the start of a chapter, the base token pool is filled up to the number of players. If it is already above that, then no additional are added.
- Should the base pool ever exceed twice the number of players, each additional token also adds one to the NPC base pool.
- When a base token is spent by the players, a base token is added to the NPC base pool.
- Raise or lower any die roll, +/- 1 per token.
When: At any time, after dice are rolled but before resolution is decided, base tokens can be spent from their pool. The person rolling the dice has first option, then the designated opposition, then anyone else. Any number of base tokens can be spent at one time.
Limits: A given die cannot be modified above or below is physical maximum (a d10 can only go as high as 10). A roll can only be modified once, therefore once tokens are spent no one else can spend tokens on that roll.
- Activate a feat. Many feats, and spells, require base tokens to activate.
The player pool rises by one when:
- Should the players survive a combat with more than 50% of the group still alive. If they did so without spending any tokens, they gain an additional token.
- Should a player critically succeed in a roll where their chance of success was less than 20%.
- The role-play is awesome. In this case, if the token count goes above double, the NPC pool does not rise.
- Certain story-related milestones are reached. This may mean the completion of a story seed, the realization of some new part of a quest, or other significant step has been accomplished.
- Each player has their own Blue token pool. NPCs, generally, share a Blue pool. Some special NPCs may have their own pool.
- A player may spend a blue token to convert a roll, that affects their character, into a best-case scenario for their character. Their damage roll is maxed, the NPC’s damage roll is minimized, etc.
- If the players collectively spend 4 blue tokens, they may alter almost any aspect of any story or add ones of their own. Limits:
- Established setting cannot be altered. I.e., if the players discover that the village has wheat fields, they cannot be suddenly turned into strawberry fields.
- If the change fundementally alters the current storyline, the change will be adapted such that the GM’s work is not thrown out the window entirely. I.e., The evil baron is Blue-tokened into having a heart attack. The players then find that his fiercely loyal cousin has taken up the banner of the Baron’s “great work” and continues to harass the players. The GM hereby promises a minimum of cheese-factor in this. Creativity of blue-tokening will be rewarded, cheese and silliness will not.
A player pool increases
- generally very rarely.
- At the culmination of a major arc, each player pool rises by one.
- If a character is the lynchpin for success in a major arc, and the arc is resolved without combat, that player’s pool rises by one.
- If, against all odds,
- a single player is left standing at the end of a combat
- The character bested opponents they should not have been able to beat
- None of the characters die, and none need death-cheating magic.
The NPC pool increases
- If one of the goals of an NPC are allowed to be gained, and the players had access to knowing the NPC was up to something. This can occur through the players successfully completing a story arc for an NPC.