Recently on Twitter, I saw a Tweet from Mike Mearls on the topic of Using Fate Dice in a game of D&D. The idea was to allow players to tempt the fates for luck. His example in the game he ran was this.
House rule I used in AD&D this last weekend: Get a big pile of FATE dice, d6s with two blank sides, two with plus signs, two with a minus. At any time, a player can tempt fate and roll the whole mess of them. More pluses, something good happens, more minuses, something bad happens Literally works for almost any RPG ever invented, so how is that for platform-independent design? Best sequence was a horrid role leading to the party stumbling across a huge guard patrol, and then a crazy good role leading to the guards mistaking the PCs for new recruits.
Now, this got me thinking about how I might use a rule like this at my table. Essentially it is just the implementation of a narration dice into your game. This mechanic has existed in one form or another in several tabletop games over the years. They are an excellent tool to add a bit of creativity and storytelling into even in the simplest of dice rolls that occur at the table. In many RPGs like the newest edition of Star Wars, narration dice have been implemented wonder into their games.
My Take on the Idea
Use one Fate dice along with all your D20 rolls. You could use it as a narration aid. The blank = result as expected, on D20 + = Something beneficial in addition to dice result. A – = Something Negative occours.
So my thought process on the topic is this. When you want to add a mechanic to your game you need to take into account a few things.
- Will it improve an aspect of your game?
- Is there already a rule that exists for this?
- Is this a needed rule?
A narration or fate dice might improve aspects of your game if you as a GM like prompts of this type to help you add a deeper element to your game. There really are no rules that exist at this time that could do it better. Lastly, if you want to add more narration elements to your game then the could be an easily adopted rule. Just remember when you want to insert new mechanics like this into your game. You need to make sure it adds to the game and does not complicate or slow the game down. This is the reason why I would choose not to roll a handful of dice but just one FATE die with a D20.
Do you think this could help your game? Could you see your group adopting something like this at your table?
If using FATE dice in your D&D game is going too far, or not far enough.. Give a look at my mini review of FATE Freeport!