The Fate Random Event System

Hey everyone. I’ll be doing Fate Solo for my next game and I had the idea of working on a Random Event system to go along with Fate Solo. So, here’s a brief system for random event generation, if you’re a big fan of that.

The first step is triggering the event. A good rule of thumb is that if the dice faces all have +s, -s, or blanks, then a Random Event is triggered. The only exception is getting blanks when asking a question, as you instead get to choose what answer you want. When asking a question, roll your dice like usual. If all the faces are +s or –s, you get a random event. Simple as that.

Although, that’s just one way. Another way is to do a Scene Roll. Every new scene, roll 2dF. If the results are 2 +s, 2 –s, or 2 blanks, you get a random event. If you feel like this is happening too frequently, you can add an additional Fate die. I’ve did some calculations, and you’re bound to get a random event 30% of the time you do a scene roll with two Fate Dice. Continue reading

How To Play Dread With The Mythic GM Emulator

If you are in for horror games, but think making D&D have scary plot elements isn’t enough, I absolutely recommend Dread. This game is horrific and actually emulates the tense feelings of a horror movie by a very unique game mechanic. You don’t roll dice, but rather pull Jenga blocks. You heard right. Success or Failure depends entirely on playing a game of Jenga.

My alternative opening would have been: “You want to play Jenga, but want to have a story to the game for each block you pull?” but this seems more probable. While Dread makes for a good party game, for the solo player, it might need a little adjusting. For one, you may need to find the space, time, and money to grab a Jenga tower, set it up, pull blocks from it, and do it all over when it topples over. Heck, you might be looking at this because you’re playing the game with your friends, but the problem is that you don’t have the tower, or it’s in such a bad quality that it’s unplayable.

Let this guide save you the hassle. For this, you’re going to need the Mythic GM Emulator, though only the Fate Chart applies, though if you wish, you can also use it to help guide your game like you would any other solo game. You will use this chart’s Odds rank to substitute the tower, with the starting rank being “Impossible”. By now, Dread and Mythic vets might get where I’m going with this. But first, we have to start at the beginning.

For starters, consider how many characters are playing. For example: if solo, how many do characters you’ll play and if group, how many people are playing. If it’s less than five, then shift the Odds rank up by one rank for the number of players you lack to make five. For example, if you have four players, the Odds rank starts at “No Way” instead, and if you have three, it starts at “Very Unlikely”.

Play continues like a normal game of Dread, except for when you do pulls. Now here’s where the Mythic GM Emulator comes in. For those who don’t know what the Mythic GM Emulator is, it’s a simple engine that has you roll a D100 to answer yes/no questions using a chart based off certain factors like the odds of the question turning up yes or no and how bad things have gotten up to that point.

The latter is referred to as the Chaos Factor. Make it high enough and you can make impossible questions like “Does a cow land on me for no reason?” very probable. However, for making pulls, the Chaos Factor is fixed at 5, the regular Chaos Factor. Whenever you make a pull, the question you ask will not be “Do I succeed?” or any variant of what the context of the pull is. Instead ask “Does the tower fall?”

For those who haven’t played Mythic, the way to read a Fate Chart is simple. Associate the odds with the Chaos Factor (which in this case of the question is always at 5) and make your roll. Line up the two axis and read the number there. If the number matches or is lower than the center number, then the answer is a yes, but if it exceeds it, then it’s a no.

In the case of Dread, you’re asking the Fate Chart if the tower falls. If yes, the tower falls and you fail your task, having horrible stuff happen to your character. If no, then congrats, you made the pull. For every three pulls made, push up the Odds rank by one. So, in the example mentioned above, after three pulls, the “Very Unlikely” rank becomes “Unlikely”.

The mechanic behind this idea is to emulate an actual Jenga tower. Early on, the tower is sturdy and there are loose blocks to pull out and easily place. But as the game goes on, the tower becomes more unbalanced, finding the loose blocks will be harder, and one mispull could spell the doom for the entire tower. In other words, you can easily play a game of Jenga with paper and dice.

When the tower “falls” and you “build it back up”, the Odds rank resets with the exception of two factors: one, the Odds you set up if you had less than five players at the start and two, an added rank for the fallen character. For example, if there were five players and one of their characters falls, the odds go to “No Way” instead of “Impossible”. If another one falls, it becomes “Very Unlikely” and so forth. Same holds true if there were less than five.

By now, Mythic vets will be asking “what about the exceptional answers?” to which non-Mythic vets will be asking “the exceptional whats?” For the latter, you may notice two numbers next to the large center number. These are the Exceptional Answers. Meeting or being lower than the left number means you got an exceptional yes while meeting or being higher than the right number means an exceptional no.

So how do you factor that into Dread? Simple. An Exceptional No will mean that the Tower has become sturdy enough to facilitate more pulls and that you push the rank down instead of up. For example, if the odds were around “No Way!” and you got an Exceptional No, then it goes down to “Impossible” and any pulls counting to the next Odds shift get reset to reflect that, so if you had one pull left before the Odds rank got shifted up and the Exceptional No happens, then you reset that and start at 3 Pulls until Rank Shift.

If it’s an Exceptional Yes, however, it’s different. The character pushes the tower down (which for those who haven’t played Dread means they succeeded the task, but heroically sacrificed themselves in the process) and the tower is rebuilt like normal.

And there you have it. That is how you play Dread with the lack of a Jenga tower. You can also use this system for multiple reasons, such as playing with kids who might not be good at playing Jenga or if you or a friend lacks the dexterity to play Jenga. The main idea though is for people who are experienced in Solo RPGs and would like to give this game a shot without having to hassle with a tower

However, if you can, use the tower. It is ridiculously fun with it and Dread can easily be a good party role playing game much like Snakes on a Plane or Fiasco.

Once Upon A Mythic Time: Combining the Mythic GM Emulator with The Once Upon A Time Game

Alright, I personally loved this game and upon getting the newest expansion, I decided to play with it by doing an old idea of mine: combining Once Upon A Time with Mythic GM Emulator. If in the event that you’re without the Mythic GM Emulator, there are options for you. You can buy the PDF online from this site or you can use the Online Flash version. I recommend the Flash Version for those who have a hard time keeping track of things.

I’ve play tested this once, but I’m planning to play test some more to iron out the rules. As such, if you see a red star next to a rule (*), that means I have not play tested that particular rule. In the meanwhile, I’ll use my playtest for examples for the rules I have tested out. Keep in mind that there may be rules I haven’t considered yet, so be prepared for rule updates. These will be denoted with a blue star (*). When you see a green star next to a rule (*), that means it’s not really a rule but rather a piece of advice.

And before we continue, this is for solo gamers, though I’m sure you can expand this for more players… I just gotta figure out how. For now, these rules are for solo players.

Also, Spoiler Warning for the Knightly Tales expansion… if you’re concerned about that.

Set-up begins like so:

  • Take your OUAT deck (what expansions you use is up to you, I used the Knightly Tales expansion only for this) and separate them into their respective categories (Character, Aspect, Event, etc.). Give the six separate decks (counting the Ending Deck) a good shuffle. A good piece of advice is to use differently colored items to put over your decks, so you can identify which deck is which. I used colored dice, but you can use whatever you want. *
  • Draw the Ending Card. This will be your Thread, the one thing you must complete to end the game. In the example test play, I drew an Ending card that described that a woman’s courage driving away the bandits and saving the one she loved.
  • Draw five Character cards and pick one. This will be your player character. Return the other four to the deck and shuffle. If you have a fixed idea who your character will be, you may pick your character out of the character deck and shuffle the rest.
  • Draw an Aspect Card. This Aspect Card will describe the personality of your player character. Combine with the above Character Card and come up with a brief story for your character. For example, I chose a Knight and drew the Dishonored card. The story I concluded with was that the Knight was an assassin for hire, hence he is a knight without his honor.
  • Draw three cards from the Thing Deck. These cards will be what your character will have at the time. For example, my character had a Relic, a Love Token, and Armor. Along with this, any items depicted on your Character Card or other cards (excluding Ending and Thing cards) not mentioned in the three Thing cards (i.e. the Lance seen on the Knight card) are assumed to be on your person as well, provided the Fate Chart answers Yes to the question of “Does my character have [X]”, with the odds to it being Very Likely. These questions can be asked at any time, though only once per item.
  • Draw a Place card and an Event Card. The Place Card will be where your Character will begin and the Event will be what is currently going on. For example, my Knight begins at the Castle and the Event is a Quest he takes.
  • In the event that a Card runs a paradox with your other cards (I.e. a Washed Ashore card when your character has a Pirate Ship and a Boat as their items), ask it a Fate question of “Does he lose these items” with the odds being Likely. If yes, discard and draw again, up to three for Things. *
    • If said paradox takes your Player Character out of the action (I.e. The Unconscious Aspect) draw a new Character and aspect card. This will be your temporary PC until the Character is back in action. After that, discard the temporary PC cards. Temporary PCs do not get Things. *
  • Take the following dice if you’re playing:
    • D100 (two D10s) (These will be what you use to ask the Fate Chart)
    • D6 (This is how to determine randomly which deck to draw from, as well as track damage)
    • D20 (This will keep track of your Player Character’s health)
    • D10 (This will keep track of the Chaos Factor)
  • Finally, you are ready to begin.

Game plays out like so:

  • Describe how your character got into the situation he got into. For example, “The Knight got assigned a special mission from the King to go escort his daughter to another Kingdom as part of a pilgrimage.” You do not have to make a Scene roll for the first scene.
  • Once you finished your setup, describe what your character will do. You can do anything you can think of, but here are some ideas to get you started. *
    • Find a character, preferably someone mentioned in the beginning description, and interact with them. If you want to interact with someone not mentioned in the description, first choose who you want to interact with (i.e. The Chef) and consult the Fate Chart accordingly. If it’s yes, you get to interact with that chosen character. If not, draw from the Characters Deck and talk to that. *
    • Get something not mentioned in either the art of the cards or the three Thing Cards. Choose an item, ask the Fate Chart if you get it, and if it says no, draw from the Thing Deck. *
    • Go someplace else. This will end the scene, however.
  • Roll upon the Fate Chart when asking Yes/No questions and play along accordingly.
  • Ending Scene Rules and Beginning Scene Rules apply the same as they are applied in Mythic. If the Scene is altered, draw a new Place card automatically. *
  • Beginning a new Scene in a different place applies like so; Discard the current Place card (and Event Card unless the Event extends past said Place) Choose a place (if it’s not obvious, like the drawbridge being outside of a castle) and ask if you go there. Roll upon the Fate Chart. If yes, you’re there. If not, draw from the Places deck.
  • If you are not sure what to do next, roll the six-sided dice and draw from the following Deck:
    • 1: Character Deck
    • 2: Aspect Deck
    • 3: Thing Deck
    • 4: Place Deck
    • 5: Event Deck
    • 6: Roll on Mythic’s Event Subject tables.
  • Regarding Interrupt Cards:
    • When you draw one, it triggers a Random Event. *
    • When you have one in your inventory (as in your Character, Aspect, Things, and/or Current Place and Event cards) that’s an Interrupt Card, you can exhaust/discard that to cancel a Random Event, albeit with heavy consequences.
      • Exhausting your Character Card means your Player Character is dead or has left the story. Discard all your Aspect and Thing Cards and redraw.
      • Exhausting your Aspect Card means your character changed character dramatically. Draw a new Aspect.
      • Exhausting a Thing Card means you’ve disposed of the item or it was destroyed. You do not get to draw a new Thing Card unless you do not have any Thing Cards.
      • Exhausting the Current Place Card means you have gone away from that place. Discard the card, end the Scene and draw a new Card shortly after doing the Scene Roll.
      • Exhausting the Current Event Card means the event has finished. Roll on the Fate Chart to see if a new Event takes its place, with the odds being 50/50.
  • If you run out of cards to draw in any deck, take all the cards from the Discard pile, split them into their proper category, and shuffle the decks again. In the event that you run out of Ending Cards, the game ends. *
  • Random Events are handled normally, but with some variations. *
    • Remote/Ambiguous Event: Draw an Event Card. Roll the Event Meaning tables and determine where it fits into the story.
    • NPC Action/Negative/Positive: It’s best to keep a list of characters you mention in the play besides your Player Character for this. *Otherwise, if there isn’t any character with your Player Character, draw a Character Card.
    • Introduce a new NPC: Draw a Character Card and Aspect and combine them to make a new NPC. Roll the Event Meaning tables and determine where it fits into the story.
    • Move Toward/Away From a Thread: The Thread in this case is your Ending Card.
    • Close A Thread: You can do one of two things (depending on how you want to play it):
      • Discard the Ending Card and either end the game on a downer note or draw a new one.
      • Draw a new Ending Card, roll the Event Meaning tables, determine where it fits into the story and continue play. Now you must finish both your old and new Ending Cards in order to finish the game.
  • Game ends when you complete the Ending Card’s condition or if you run out of Ending Cards. Game also ends if your character dies (not counting exhausting the card to stop a Random Event). * Have fun.

Regarding combat:

  • Roll on the Fate Chart with odds of 50/50 if you hit the person. Upon hitting, roll the D6. Roll to see if you kill him. Roll increases in odds by one step every time you ask that question (i.e., First time you hit, use 50/50, second time use Somewhat Likely, etc.) save for 1s, in which you roll Impossible odds on.

Well, hope that this inspires some people to play it. I might either do a playtest here or upload one of my playtests for you guys to hear. If there is something I didn’t mention or a possibility I overlooked, please point it out and I’ll attend to it ASAP.