The Deck of Fate

A couple weeks ago (the last time I was at Source Comics & Games in Roseville, MN), I picked up The Deck of Fate, a card-based randomizer for the Fate role-playing game (which I reviewed back in August). The deck contains 15 cards that are pretty much “pretty/inspirational art for character building in the role-playing game,” which is totally awesome, but the bulk of the utility of the deck is the suit of dice, which is an 81-card deck that simulates the randomness of a 4dF roll.

This is an interesting way to play Fate. Presumably a player would draw a hand of five or seven cards, which would allow, then, a bit more strategy in the game while still permitting randomness to hold overall (the player can choose her failures strategically, rather than taking them as they come – a distinct positive when plotting a cinematic or literary, rather than strictly game-based, Fate game).

My “first run” idea for rules for using the Deck of Fate is thus:

  • “Random events” (the moon symbols on the tops of the cards) should be complications – they should not be used to negate (partially or fully) the effect of the card played.
  • Each player receives a hand of seven cards from the Deck of Fate at the start of play. At the start of any turn where the player has fewer than 7 cards they may draw at least 1 card; at the start of any turn where the player has fewer than 5 cards they may draw until their hand contains 5 cards.
  • Fate cards can be spent to refresh a player’s pool of Fate points, the spent fate card(s) will correspondingly lower the player’s maximum and minimum hand size, to a minimum of 4/2.
  • At the end of a scene, a player’s hand reverts to 7/5.
  • A player can spend a Fate point at any time to discard their hand and draw 7 new cards, additionally ending any hand size restriction.

Any suggestions for further Deck of Fate rules? Post in the comments!

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