The Key of Destiny
Chapter 1: A System of Rules.
The adventure is designed for the Fate system, a system you may be familiar with through games like Spirit of the Century, The Dresden Files RPG, Diaspora, or Bulldogs!. You do not need any of these games in order to use this adventure; all will be explained here.
What is Fate?
Fate is a rules system that determine whether or not an action is a success; the rules are a fair and impartial arbiter, and a method for modeling the way the world works.
Fate is not a system that simulates reality or physics; Fate instead seeks to emulate the way things happen in a story, the motivations of characters, and the beats of plot that drive it.
In Fate, things happen at the speed of fiction.
Example or rules elements : skills, aspects, stunts, stress tracks, consequences, and fate points.
What You’ll Need
Aside from the character sheet (see Character tab), a pencil, some friends to play with, tokens and specialized six-sided dice called Fudge dice.
A Fudge die has two faces that display a “+”, two that display a “-”, and two that are blank. Each player should have one set of four Fudge dice, though players can share in a pinch or use Fate cards or even dice simulator.
Tokens are any small, nonedible object that you have in large quantities can work: glass beads, pennies, specialized metal coins, poker chips. You’ll need about ten per player (not including the GM, who will need fifteen to twenty tokens).
The Ladder / L’échelle
Many things in Fate (such as skills and difficulties) are rated according to the ladder, which is pictured here. The ladder assigns adjective descriptors to numerical ratings; the adjective and the number can be used interchangeably. Whenever we say “the ladder” anywhere in this book, this is what we’re talking about (unless you can tell, from context, that we’re talking about an actual, physical ladder). The values on the ladder are by no means maximums or minimums; it’s possible to go beyond the ladder in either direction. There simply aren’t adjectives for those numbers.
The Ladder / L’échelle
Example: Henry kneels down and inspects the lock. The Storyteller tells him that it will be difficult to pick the lock because the lock is rated at Great (+ 4).
Roll a skill against passive opposition (the ladder)
Whenever you seek to accomplish a significant task, follow these steps:
• Roll four Fudge dice (referred to as 4dF) and tally the total: A “+” adds 1 to the total, a “-” subtracts 1, and a blank face has no effect on the total (or adds 0).
• Add the relevant skill.
• Compare the total to a difficulty, rated using the ladder. You must meet or exceed the difficulty in order to succeed.
→ Stunts or Aspects can modify this procedure (see below).
Example: Mary needs to lift a heavy piece of rebar* off of one of her allies. The GM tells her that doing so requires a Might roll at Great (+ 4), so Mary reaches for the Fudge dice. She rolls and gets 2 “+” results, a “-” result, and a blank result, for a total of 1.
She then adds her Might skill, which is rated at Good (+ 3), for a total of 4. It’s just enough! She moves the rebar so that her ally can escape from their pursuers.
*armature en fr
Roll a skill against active opposition (another roll)
You won’t always roll against a static difficulty. Sometimes you’ll roll against another character – an NPC or another player – in which case you’ll need to make an opposed roll. Both sides roll 4dF independently, add their own skill and compare their totals to each other. In the case of a tie, the initiator (that is, whichever character takes action, rather than resists it) wins.
Example: Mary and Henry run away from a pair of policemen who believe (possibly rightfully) that they are murderers and fugitives.
The GM rolls Athletics for both policemen and gets a Fair (+ 2) result (roll= + 1, skill = Average (+ 1)) for one of them and a Good (+ 3) result (roll= + 2, skill = Average (+ 1)) for the other.
Mary manages a Great (+ 4) result on her Athletics roll, and gets away. Henry on the other hand rolls badly, getting a Poor (- 1) result. The policemen catch up with him, and now Mary must
make a choice.
Shifts and Levels of Success – grade et niveau de réussite
The Demolished Ones measures success in shifts; every point by which your roll exceeds the difficulty or opposing roll generates 1 shift. The shifts you generate determine how well you succeed.
When you’re attacking, shifts generated translate directly into damage: attacking with 1 shift generates a 1-stress hit (more on this later). In addition, shifts determine the following levels of success:
1. Failure or success at a cost
When you fail to meet the difficulty of the roll, there is 2 possibilities :
- You’ve failed to do what you’re trying to do.
- Alternatively, you might succeed at some significant cost or negative side effects. You gain a scene Aspect.
When you meet the difficulty of the roll, but generate no shifts, you’ve tied. A tie is technically a success, but it can come with a minor cost. You gain a temporary aspect. When there’s a tie in an opposed roll, neither party succeeds (or both succeed at a cost, if possible).
Example: Susan tries to pick a lock. She rolls and ties. The GM tells her that she’s picked the lock, but it took her a bit longer than expected. He saddles her with the aspect “One Step from Being Caught”, though that’ll go away pretty quickly.
3. Simple Success
If you generate at least 1 shift, you succeed! You accomplish just whatever you set out to accomplish but no more.
Example: Susan tries to jump over to the next rooftop. She takes a running start and leaps, and her Athletics roll comes up a success! She makes it to the other side and continues on her way.
4. Success with Style
If you succeed with at least 3 shifts, your success is so definitive that you get some additional effect beyond what you’d normally get!
Example: Susan tries to land a solid blow on the police officer who’s trying to arrest her. She makes her Fists roll and generates a whopping 4 shifts! In addition to dealing a 4-stress hit, she gets a temporary advantage which she calls “Momentum”.
|1. Roll 4dF||2. Add your skill rating||3. Deduce the Ladder rating Or Opposition roll + skill.|
|below 0||Choose between failure or success at a major cost.|
|Equal 0||Success usually at a minor cost or fail (usually if active opposition).|
|Equal 1 or 2||You succeed (no other effect positif or negatif).|
|Equal 3 or more||You succeed with an additional positif effect (a boost).|
The Four Actions
Whenever you attempt to do something, you roll one of your skills (see below). Each skill can be used in a number of ways. All of those boil down to four basic actions that you can take. Note that the statements above about the types of success are general guidelines; what follows supersedes it if it differs.
1. Overcome an Obstacle
This is the most basic function of a skill. When you overcome an obstacle, you get past something that’s in your way. Whether it’s a locked door or a slavering monster that you have to avoid or outrun, if there’s something in your way and you’ve got to get past it, you’re overcoming an obstacle.
When you fail, you either don’t accomplish what you set out to or you do accomplish it, but you get a Scene Aspect (see below) that the GM can compel or invoke once for free.
When you tie, you can choose to either not accomplish your goal, or to accomplish your goal but gain a cost, or temporary Aspect.
When you succeed, you do whatever you set out to do.
When you succeed with style, you accomplish your goal, and gain momentum which lets you create a temporary advantage or scene aspect (see below).
Example: Susan run inside an hotel, she try to get inside the next opened room without being catched by her pursuer.(active opposition). Let’s imagine all the possible results.
|Below 0||Failure or||She reach the end of the corridor without finding any opened room.|
|Success + major cost||She get inside a room but it’s plunged in “Complete darkness” (scene Aspect).|
|=0||Failure or||She reach for the door’s handle but her pursuer close his hand on her before she could open it.|
|Success + minor cost||She manage to get to a room but is “Out of breath” (PC’s temporary Aspect).|
|=1 or 2||Simple success||She manage to get to a room and close the door behind her.|
|= 3 or more||Success with style||She manage to get to a room and “lock” the door behind her.
(The room get the scene Aspect: “Locked room”.)
2. Create or Discover an Advantage
This allows you either to discover Aspects that already exist on the scene or on other characters (PCs or NPCs) or to make up new aspects on the spot. Further, when you create an advantage you get to invoke it once for free, or pass that free invocation to one of your allies! Some advantages are temporary; when this is the case, the advantage lasts for one exchange or until you invoke it, then it goes away.
When you fail, you don’t get the temporary advantage and your opponent gets to create a temporary advantage on you!
When you tie, you can choose to either not create any advantage at all, or create a temporary advantage against your opponent (but your opponent gets to do the same against you!).
When you succeed, you create a normal advantage.
When you succeed with style, you create a normal advantage and you get two free invocations.
Example: Susan’s discussion with the policeman lets her think he could be susceptible to corruption but she isn’t sure and she does not have a lot of money. She rolls her Emphaty against the will of the policeman. If she fails, she doesn’t find out and the cop place the Aspect on her “I think she is hiding something serious!”. If she tie, she doesn’t find out as above without the aspect, or she could find out but gain the Aspect “I have something serious to hide” and place the “corrupted cop” aspect.
If she succeed, she find out the aspect “Corrupted cop” and can invoke it once for free.
If she succeed with style, same as above but can be invoke twice for free, or give one invoke to one ally.
When you attack another character, you’re choosing to inflict harm (either physical or mental) upon that person. Physical harm is represented by Health stress and physical consequences, while mental harm is represented by Composure stress and mental consequences.
When you fail, you don’t land the blow; you deal no stress.
When you tie, you can choose to either treat it as a failure and deal no stress, or deal 1 point of stress by allowing your opponent to get a temporary advantage against you.
When you succeed, you deal one point of stress for every shift you get on the roll.
When you succeed with style, you deal stress as with a success but you also get a temporary advantage against your opponent!”
Example: Susan aim her revolver at the thug and press the trigger.
If she fail, the bullet hit the wall with a loud Tchak!
If she tie, she choose between the fail result above or the bullet graze the arm of the thug, (for 1 stress point), but Susan is “shaken by the recoil”
If she succeed, the bullet hit right (dealing 1 (or 2 according to the roll) stress point)
If she succeed with style, the bullet hit hard breaking a rip (for 3 or more stress points), and found himself “slammed against the wall”.
Unlike the other three actions, defending is always a reaction to someone else’s action; if someone attacks you or tries to place an advantage on you, you defend. When you defend
with your opposing roll, you try to prevent your opponent from either dealing stress or creating an advantage. Defending isn’t restricted to protecting against attacks against yourself; you can also protect others (or even objects in the environment) with a defend action. Since you have to choose this action on your turn, doing so implies that you’re getting ready to prevent others from attacking the person or thing you’re defending.
When you do this, you roll your defense whenever that person or thing is targeted by an attack or an attempt to create an advantage.
Your own defense is considered to be Mediocre until your next turn starts if you defend someone or something else.
When you fail, your opponent gets past your defenses. Either the advantage is created or you take some stress.
When you tie, the opponent gets to choose what happens, as described under Attack and Create or Discover an Advantage above.
When you succeed, you prevent the stress or advantage from taking effect.
When you succeed with style, you prevent the stress or advantage as above, and you also get to create a temporary advantage against your attacker!
Example: Susan …
Challenges and Conflicts
When the GM wants to adjudicate an action quickly, a simple roll suffices; just roll and move on.
When you want to drill down further into the exciting bits and focus more “screen time” on the action, you go into Conflict or challenges.
- A Conflict is when characters act in opposition and try to do each other harm (see below).
- A challenge models a complex task and details the series of actions that the PCs must perform under some sort of time constraint or pressure. Without that pressure, there’s no sense of drama or urgency. Without drama or urgency, you’re better off just handling it with a single roll and moving on.
Example: Thomas try to enter the domain without being seen, find out where their friend is held prisoner break Peter out of prison. They have about a day in which to plan their prison break, execute it, and make good their escape. This is a complex task that can easily be broken down into smaller tasks, and there’s a definite constraint that the group is working against.
The GM rules that this is a challenge.
Every challenge breaks down into a series of goals that must be completed. Sometimes they must be completed in a specific order, while other times the order isn’t important – just that they all get done. A skill roll represents each goal. You can decide what skills are appropriate when you come up with each goal or you can allow the players to come up with likely skills to use. Although you can use the same skills multiple times, it’s more fun if there’s some variation. You decide how many individual tasks the challenge is broken down into. Two is a bare minimum, but three to six makes for a better experience at the table.
The GM sets the difficulty of the challenge; this is the difficulty rating on the ladder of each roll the players must make. Each roll in the challenge (including rolls that Creating Advantages) is made against this difficulty.
to be continued…