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Fate Points and Aspects for d20 (OGL) PDF

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Are you looking for a rules light way to add a little more depth to your characters and create a more fluid and immersive storytelling environment? Fate Points and Aspects for d20 is your answer.

Fate Points and Aspects for d20 takes two of the most exciting elements of the FATE system and brings them to your d20 based games.

Fate Points give players a resource they can use influence the story and manage the fickle whims of the d20.

Aspects offer an elegant and powerful roleplaying tool, three dimensionally developing a character's personality. Aspects define who a character is much like skills, feats, spells and powers define what a character can do.

Together the two systems create and amazing roleplaying experience that will take your d20 based game to the next level.

Included you'll find:

  • A basic introduction to Fate Points and Aspects.
  • Specifics on how to use Fate Points in d20 based games.
  • Complete rules for using Aspects in d20 based games.
  • An Aspect generation system for creating characters.
  • Advice for GMs on using Aspects in game and how they affect NPCs and monsters.
  • Once you try Fate Points and Aspects in your game, you'll never go back.

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    Product Reviews (2)

    Average product rating:

    ****( ) (based on 2 ratings)

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    Personally, I LOATHE this system, for some it might be great, though

    ***( )( )

    This pdf is 25 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial & ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving 22 pages of content to introduce these new concepts to PFRPG. What do they bring to your game?

    Fate points and aspects were first introduced by the FATE roleplaying system, a narrative-driven system probably best-known for being featured in the Dresden Files-RPG. This pdf seeks to convert these mechanics to the PFRPG, offering a system similar to hero points/action points. If you're familiar with said concepts, you have a basic inkling of what to expect: The points can be used to reroll saves, hit harder, be better at skill-checks etc. Ever since Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, the concept has featured in my campaigns and I'm quite fond of it. So, how are Fate Points different? What are aspects?

    Well, aspects are essentially the essence of a character, an adventure or an encounter. A Leitmotiv, so to speak, whether it is "A light in the dark" or a character description like "Hot-blooded student of the fiery arcane arts". You basically reduce a character to an essential characteristic description and every time something comes up, for weal or woe, you can react according to said motto. I.e.: The DM has said student, while gathering information, suffer from his violent temper, potentially resulting in a brawl or other consequences and elaborates upon it.

    The player has the option to accept that the temper of his hot-blooded student got the better of him and gain a fate point for his troubles. If he declines and doesn't want to RP this flaw/suffer no negative consequences, he loses a fate point. Environments can also feature these "essences" and rules are provided to find out and potentially exploit your foe's aspects and use them against them. Of course, players an try to invent/find out aspects. Rules for the escalation of aspects, compulsions etc. are provided as well.

    Conclusion:
    Editing and formatting are ok, I did notice some minor typos. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard, is full color and features a used parchment-style with runes at the side and an exceedingly ugly font used for the headers of the sidebars. There is no printer-friendly version included in the deal. Artworks are ok, though nothing to write home about. The pdf features extensive bookmarks.

    I already mentioned that I like systems like Hero points, though this particular one left me singularly unimpressed for several reasons: First of all, it distracts from immersion in the campaign: Metagaming is an essential component of the negotiation of obtaining fate points between the DM and players, detracting severely from a coherent immersion in a gaming world. Players can and WILL try to wiggle as many FATE points out of the DM with their aspects and go for maximum breadth, somewhat detracting from the intention of the system as formulated. Worse, the intent of acting as a roleplaying catalyst is impeded by said haggling and meta-gaming.

    The fact that scenes and characters are reduced to (granted, somewhat complex) stereotypes by the system is another pet-peeve of mine that keeps me from enjoying this system at all - you detract from an organic and well-rounded personality by offering an incentive to behave like a one-sentence cliché. Especially for my kind of roleplaying, favoring shades of grey and complex, evolving PCs, this system is more or less the antithesis and, while I appreciate and understand its intention, I dislike the execution to an extent which makes it impossible to recommend it to anybody on a personal level. As a reviewer, though, I have to take into account that this system might and will appeal to some people, for which this might be exactly what they've been looking for. For these people, this pdf might be 5 stars. Personally, though, I abhor the basic concepts underlying this system. I hate it with a passion and sincerely regret wasting the time it took to read and review it as well as the money to buy it. For me, as a person, this is a 1-star file and if you share my pet-peeves, steer clear. My final verdict will be between, a 2.5, rounded up to 3 stars. I can't bring myself to rate this higher.

    Endzeitgeist out.


    Greater rewards through better role-playing

    *****

    Like a lot of Pathfinder players and GMs out there, I enjoy using hero points (from the APG). They offer a wide variety of ways in which to tweak a die roll or action to give things that more cinematic feeling. Hence, I was left scratching my head when I saw 4th Dimension Games’s sourcebook Fate Points and Aspects for d20. Reading through the book, however, quickly dispelled my confusion, and left me feeling rather surprised at just how limited hero points are compared to what’s in here.

    A twenty-five page PDF, Fate Points and Aspects for d20 takes its inspiration (as some of you may have guessed) from the FATE RPG. This isn’t any sort of attempt at a conversion of that system, per se, but rather adapts one of its signature mechanics for use in any d20 game (this isn’t to say the book isn’t Pathfinder-specific – rather, what’s here works equally well in 3.5 as it does in Pathfinder; no conversion necessary).

    On the surface, Fate Points are exceptionally similar to hero points; the actual listings of what they can do vary slightly, but that’s mostly a semantic distinction. What makes such a world of difference are the titular aspects that this book presents. Aspects are short descriptors for characters, though they can also be used for scenes or even entire adventures or campaigns. “Money-grubbing professional duelist” would be an aspect for a greedy rogue character, for example.

    The key here is that fate points aren’t gained or spent in a vacuum; their use must be tied to an aspect in some way. For example, player of the money-grubbing professional duelist who wanted to re-roll an attack roll would do so by justifying that his character – currently using a rapier in a one-on-one fight with an orc – was a professional that wouldn’t have missed. Hence, he could spend a fate point for a re-roll. Likewise, you gain fate points by the GM using an aspect against you. If the GM ruled that the money-grubbing duelist couldn’t turn down an adventure hook wherein he was promised a small fortune if he undertook the adventure, the player would gain a fate point.

    Of course, all of this is the absolute tip of the iceberg. The book goes into exquisite detail about different ways to use aspects in your game. For example, it’s entirely possible to use not only a scene’s aspect to your advantage, but to use an NPCs aspects against them. That’s assuming you can figure out what their aspects even are (something that can be done two different ways). It’s possible to use “maneuvers” to create temporary aspects that you can then use to your advantage (or someone else’s disadvantage).

    The book takes no part of this topic half-heartedly. Pages are given to topics such as generating useful aspects, the different types of aspects, and how to GM when using fate points and aspects in your game. It helps that the book is also peppered with examples of using these rules in play, as well as helpful sidebars that talk about related issues.

    There are some minor issues with the book that, while not bad, could have been better. For example, I wish that some wider uses for fate points had been given. As it is, they’re pretty much hero points with another name (and a few small tweaks, like not being able to spend 2 points to cheat death). It seems odd – though not bad – that so much space is given to the roleplaying hook provided by aspects when the payoff for using them, fate points, are comparatively limited. The uses for these are obvious, and useful, but compared to what’s in the rest of the book they don’t seem as inspired.

    Also, the book tends to be slightly keyword-happy. Using an aspect to help yourself is Invoking (capital “I”), whereas using them to hamper someone else is Compelling. Aspects can also be Tagged, situations involving aspects can be Escalated, finding existing aspects requires Assessment, and I already mentioned Maneuvers. These are just a few of the terms that come up throughout the book, and at some points you start to have trouble juggling them all. I can understand wanting to create shorthand, but this had a long list of shorthand terms.

    Of course, these are all minor complaints, which collectively amount to “I wish this book had even more awesome than it already does!” The APG introduced hero points as a mechanic for greater role-playing utility, but it wasn’t until I read this book that I felt like that promise had been actualized. Both hero points and fate points let you swing the odds to your character’s favor, but only the ones found in Fate Points and Aspects for d20 actually help to make it feel like you’re role-playing a hero.


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