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Awarding Fate Points


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#1 kjakan

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:18 PM

I've usually awarded FP based on group achievements, i.e. the group succeeds with a main plot goal and everybody gets a cookie. Unfortunately, my players are prone to taking different lebvels of risk, so the more adventurous ones tend to be the ones who burn the most FP, while the cautious ones tend to rack up a considerable pool of them. As a result, I'm pretty tight about awarding FP: The group doesn't need them, as proved by the FP average. However, the players that are burning them do.

The obvious answer is of course to award FP on an individual basis, though I've always avoided doing this. Awarding FP is a stamp of approval from the GM, a statement that that says: "Yeah! That's what the game is supposed to be about!" Which kind of tells the other guys: "Oh, you suck!"

Yeah, I know:  I'm exaggerating.

I guess I need some inspiration from you guys. In what situations have you awarded FP to individual characters, or the group?

-K



#2 Kasatka

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:21 AM

 Ive always stuck by the idea that FP should only every be earnt if the player characters pull off something amazing WITHOUT the use (spending or burning) of fate points.

My reasoning is that if you needed to expend some of your finite 'plot points' to get through a situation then it wasnt very heroic, conversely taking down some major nemesis or resolving a plot line without expending 'plot points' is very heroic.


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper.

Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.


#3 Alekzanter

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:27 AM

 "The group doesn't need them, as proved by the FP average. However, the players that are burning them do."

I've experienced this is my game, as well, but with a slight differentiation. It's not the cautious Players, it's the timid Players. I have Players who not only meta-game their characters, but also participate in a "in the back, supporting you" role, and as far as I'm concerned that makes for a wuss Marine. No one likes their characters to die, but the Grim Dark is full of death, so I say let' em die. I think I may have given out Fate Points at the end of one of Dark Heresy's 'Purge the Unclean' adventures, as was suggested, but in doing so I learned from the mistake. Those who play their characters to face the challenge head-on get the glory for the Emperor…and die. Those that creep about in the backfield with fancy-slippers excuses for how they're "supporting their fellows" will horde Fate Points. So I never give out Fate Points, AND I do my best to kill one particular character every session; if it dies, it dies, and if it lives, it spent a Fate point to do so.

As a Player I don't want my characters to die, but then again I don't get much chance to play. As a GM I use my PCs as supporting NPCs, and sometimes I kill them. I give my PCs the deaths they deserve: heroic, defiant to the last, noble. Not the inglorious deaths that usually unfold: falls in a pit, eats the poisoned sweet cake…you know the ones. But I try to kill all PCs with a dash or heroism, and if a Player is gonna hide behind his compatriots and horde Fate Points then I take the glory away from them.

I say never award Fate Points. You'll always regret it. Let PCs die, and as the GM you decide whether its a noble death or the poisoned sweet cake. 

 



#4 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:34 AM

I think not giving out any Fate points is a little drastic. Players invest a lot of time and energy into developing their characters and the Fate point mechanic is intended as a failsafe to ensure that they don't have to say bye bye to their characters due to some unlucky rolls.

Having said that, gaining more Fate Points should be a pretty rare occurence and should be awarded for taking risks, risks that make the story better and the game more enjoyable. If your character just makes stupid descisions that are out of character for their PC, then that shouldn't be rewarded. However, if your Space Wolf Assault Marine charges the deamon to buy his colleagues a few seconds to re-deploy but somehow, through cleaver or inspired tactics, manages to slay it or cripple it largely on his own, that might warrant a fate point. Likewise, persuing a series of bold Social tests that might have some possibly catastrophic repercussions for failure might be another example. 

As for the more cautious types: there's nothing wrong with those players not getting Fate points. Rather than trusting to Fate/The Emperor/Luck to see them through, they've chosen to put their trust in logic and forethought. Nothing wrong with that.

There are essentially two ways to use Fate points: proactive or reactive. (Ie: get a +10 to a roll is proactive, reroll a roll is reactive.) This means that even the cautious players should be able to find uses for fate points besides Hail Mary's and miraculous recoveries.

 

Burning fate is not mandatory, by the way. On one instance, our GM gave one of our players a freebie: he'd done something suitable epic and awesome but was struck down. The GM offered to give him a Fate point which he could burn on the spot if he wanted to keep his character. The player choose NOT to burn fate and let their characters die because it was appropriate / cooler that way.

 

 

Fate points are intended to make the game more fun by giving the players a little control over the store to oppose the randomness of the die rolls. As long as everybody is having fun and your players still feel a real sense of fear or anxiety when combat starts, you're doing it right.



#5 Decessor

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:50 AM

I generally award fate points for staggering team efforts. I'm fine with handing them out a bit more often in my current campaign, because the killteam are gelling together incredibly well and have to yet to complete a mission with anything less than spectacular success.



#6 kjakan

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:02 AM

I'm trying to break away from the "no FP rut" I seem to be stuck in, so I'm looking for good reason to actually hand them out.

How about this: When the group achieves a goal, I award them a number of FP. I'm thinking 1 FP for a significant victory or plot advancement, to 3 for completing a story arc. Then it's up to the players to agree on who get's one. Maybe the guy who's low on FP right now should get one, maybe the guy who just blew an FP on something stupid should wait, and maybe the cautious guy should get one since he's always the guy that misses out. But most importantly, the guy who did something "Hell, yeah!"-awesome gets a point because the GM says so.

After all, it's not just about what the GM thinks is cool, but also what the individual players like, and what the group likes.

-K



#7 Macharias the Mendicant

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:07 AM

kjakan said:

I'm trying to break away from the "no FP rut" I seem to be stuck in, so I'm looking for good reason to actually hand them out.

How about this: When the group achieves a goal, I award them a number of FP. I'm thinking 1 FP for a significant victory or plot advancement, to 3 for completing a story arc. Then it's up to the players to agree on who get's one. Maybe the guy who's low on FP right now should get one, maybe the guy who just blew an FP on something stupid should wait, and maybe the cautious guy should get one since he's always the guy that misses out. But most importantly, the guy who did something "Hell, yeah!"-awesome gets a point because the GM says so.

After all, it's not just about what the GM thinks is cool, but also what the individual players like, and what the group likes.

-K

Sounds like a great idea.

And "Hell yeah" moments are some of the best reasons for Fate points. I played a Navigator in a RT game who threw himself into the void to rescue the unconsciois Captain who was floating away forever.Somehow, after saving him, I managed to get back with the captain but it nearly cost us both a burnt fate point. Instead I was awarded one and no one was happier than the guy who plays the Captain.



#8 Kasatka

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 01:46 AM

kjakan said:

I'm trying to break away from the "no FP rut" I seem to be stuck in, so I'm looking for good reason to actually hand them out.

How about this: When the group achieves a goal, I award them a number of FP. I'm thinking 1 FP for a significant victory or plot advancement, to 3 for completing a story arc. Then it's up to the players to agree on who get's one. Maybe the guy who's low on FP right now should get one, maybe the guy who just blew an FP on something stupid should wait, and maybe the cautious guy should get one since he's always the guy that misses out. But most importantly, the guy who did something "Hell, yeah!"-awesome gets a point because the GM says so.

After all, it's not just about what the GM thinks is cool, but also what the individual players like, and what the group likes.

-K

Forcing the players to pick who recieves the FP is an interesting mechanic, but rather than handing the group a number of FP and then getting them to decide. Ask the players to each pick a character to recieve a point, with the GM also casting a vote. The appointed commander of the mission should break ties.


Only the insane have strength enough to prosper.

Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.


#9 Gaire

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:54 AM

 I think I've given out two, maybe three Fate Points over the course of my campaign. They're at like 48,500 XP, Renown of ~95, and most of them have 4 or 5 Fate Points laying around. Given, my Kill-Team has been hilariously lucky with taking minimum damage, avoiding attacks, and benefiting from horrible rolls on my part- to the point that Tyranids have been dubbed the Derp-Mind. Never before have I seen so many rolls of 100 on attacks and Toughness saves. So yeah, I handed out one for completing the Emperor Protects and one for gathering the coalition of Imperial Forces in the Reach to take down the Chaos Undivided army on Samech and plug up the new Eye of Terror that was forming in the Hadex Anomaly. So… each time they've actually saved the Crusade, they've gotten a fate point.






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