The Fate of All House Rules

I started collecting notes from a couple older posts to more concisely explain my house rules for Fate-based games. I'm not done yet – I am still working on resolution rules that don't use fate dice, and combat rules that may or may not split attack rolls from damage rolls – but even just half a page in, I'm starting to think maybe this stopped being "house rules" somewhere along the way and started being more easily understood as a new game. Hmm. Well, we'll see how it looks when I'm done. My goal is that it'll be pretty seamless to use with all those Fate "Worlds of Adventure" I bought. Those things are great.

Details. (1) Any information about people, objects, or the environment established in conversation is a detail you can exploit. (2) When you exploit a detail in your description of an action, add +2 to your roll, or make an extra roll and take the better result. You can do this before or after rolling, but if you do it after a bad roll, you have to explain how the detail allows you to quickly react and attempt to course-correct. You can only exploit any given detail once per roll, but you can exploit multiple details per roll. Agree as a group how many details make sense to allow per roll based on the kind of game you’re playing; 3 is a good default number, but you might want more for over-the-top action.

Luck. (3) The first time someone exploits any given detail, it’s free. After that, as long as it still makes sense, anyone can exploit a detail again by using luck. You get 3 luck each session; gain 1 (up to your max) anytime you push your luck by doing something that makes sense for you to do, given details about your character or the situation, despite a major penalty or certain disaster. (4) The GM will be sure to suggest opportunities.

(1) Details replace both aspects and boosts in Fate Core.
(2) "Exploit a detail" is just a more self-explanatory way to say "invoke an aspect."
(3) Renamed because "fate points" feel too “meta” to some traditional and OSR players, but nobody seems to mind basically the exact same thing in Dungeon Crawl Classics when they call it "luck."
(4) This is kinder than compels, but I think Blades in the Dark’s "devil’s bargain" is actually more interesting than a compel and still leaves players feeling like they get to be "behind their character's eyes."
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