In response to Richard Bellingham's posted discussion about "the puppet strings are too visible" and yet an in-game reason for changing things like magic is more acceptable, let me expand upon something I mentioned once before...

Fate Template:  The Fated
(A Fate Template is a setting or rules modification that can fit over other settings or rules, similar to a d20 monster template)

There are people in the world with the ability to literally change the world.  When something happens in their presence that contradicts their callings, they can invoke the power of fate and roll back time for a few moments and change what happened, succeeding where they once had failed, or altering the world to suit them.  They are called "The Fated", and the only people that can even notice their alterations are other Fated... to ordinary humans, the new version of events is the only one that has ever existed. 

But every power comes with a price, and these "Fated" are subjected to the might of the very forces they call upon to change the world... Fate compels them to give in to their own inner desires and demons.  They can try to use their power to stave off these compulsions, but that both weakens them and gives them less power to manipulate events.

If you've seen the "Butterfly Effect" movies, that is what I'm talking about, but limited to events that just happened rather than the past.  To a Fated, they see something happen, they invoke their power of fate, time rolls backwards for a moment, and then replays in a different way, a way that is to the Fated one's desires.  If another Fated one interferes in this process, there is a momentary temporal clash (to their eyes) until a victor emerges and guides the rewritten history.  To all the ordinary humans watching, the rewritten history is the only one, and they didn't notice any changes.

In game effects, there are no changes except that it is the CHARACTERS that know they are invoking Fate, accepting or fighting off compels, and rewriting events as they happen, not just the players.  They can see the workings of the system as a form of reality alteration.  And they know that they are not the only ones with this power, that there are others out there using it to change the world toward twisted or evil purposes... you don't think a little Austrian guy with a bad mustache became leader of the 3rd Reich and tried to take over the world WITHOUT the power to shape Fate and change reality retroactively, do you?  And he is far from the only one... from serial killers who always seem to slip away from the police, to powerful tycoons that are above the law, far too many of the Fated have accepted karmic compels to their dark inner desires and used that power for nefarious ends, but the players KNOW what's going on, they see the changes, they know that events are being manipulated and they are the only ones able to do something about it.

The Fated... will you accept your destiny in order to change the world?
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