Question about Fate Points

Something I’ve been noticing in my game is that my characters will burn through Persona to add dice and tap their natures, but they end up sitting on large piles of Fate points because they don’t roll the 6s when they need them. Does anyone else have this problem? Is there something I’m missing?

If not, are there any other ways we could use our Fate points? One of my players suggested spending a certain number of Fate could allow a mouse to “shrug off” an injury penalty for a scene, and another suggested some type of conversion with Persona points. I’m hesitant to house rule, but it seems like a waste when somebody has 8 Fate points and they’re staring at a monumental roll and there’s nothing they can do but hope they’ll roll 6s.

Yeah, those fate points seem to pile up. I’ve been thinking along the same lines as you, but also reluctant to houserule. One thing I’ve been tempted to use them for, is to do something about failed recovery rolls. When you use a check to recover from H&T, Tired or Angry, and you fail - then nothing happens, besides from loosing the check (and logging a failed roll). That seems so wrong and boring. And maybe you could say that you then can spend a fate point to get back the check? Not to atempt the recovery roll once again, but to use it for something else?

What about giving them harder stuff to deal with? Or different stuff than they’re used to dealing with? If a player is making a test with 3 dice and the ob is 5, then those fate points give one hope, especially with a pile of them!

Also, how often are there conflicts in your sessions? I’ve found that Fate comes in useful for the mice there, where lots of tests (and dice) are rolled. The extra successes have an actual effect there for sure.

I usually try to mix up different levels of obstacles and utilize different skills to solve them. As for conflicts, we tend to have 1-2 per session, depending on how things shake out with twists and the player’s turn. I challenge my players regularly though, and as I said they’re more than willing to spend rewards points, but the problem is that it’s random whether they can even USE their Fate points. I will say that, when they roll those 6s they aren’t shy to use them, but we still end up with a surplus.

Gotcha. I guess my point would be to let them build up. It’s not my job as GM to spend them. If the players start to get annoyed with having so many, they should get into situations where they need them, such as high OB tests or conflicts. A player can always say that they want a specific test or conflict. That’s written in the book.

Higher Obs won’t fix it because you basically can’t spend the Fate unless you roll a six.

What about using a d8 and counting 6, 7, and 8 as a 6?

This has been my issue. As far as using a d8, I’m not keen on changing the central, core mechanic of the game. I think I’m going to try letting them use a handful of points (like 3) to “shrug off” an injury for a scene, and see if that works. I’m less inclined to offer the exchange rate to Persona points that I discussed in my original post, but we’ll see how it works. Worst case scenario and they’ll just always have Fate points to use when they roll them 6s.

Following up again, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like only open-ending rolls when you have some 6s, and I like the rate at which that happens. The problem that I’ve been having is that a good player is going to pretty reliably be earning 3 or so Fate points in a session, and there are far less opportunities to SPEND the Fate then their are to EARN it. In BWG, there are a couple of different ways to spend each kind of point, and I was just hoping for some ideas to try to cut down my surplus by finding alternative ways for my players to use their hoards of Fate.

I don’t know Mouse Guard that well–does it count 1s as failure dice, subtracting from successes? If so, then add this basic rule from BW:
“spending a Fate point allows you to re-roll one failed dice”

Now, that’s normally for already open-ended tests; but it could be applied generally to any test…?

That’s not a bad idea! There’s no rule in MG that subtracts from your successes, but you still have failures and getting to re-roll them could be a big deal, especially if you’ve only missed your Ob by 1 (which happens all the time to my group).

I like it; I’ll let you know how it works out. Thanks!

Tell us how it goes.

My 2 bits: Twists and Conditions are a key driver in the game and they result from failures. I’d rather have mice running around with pockets full of unusable FP than reduce the number of failure rolls even a little.

Yeah, that’s something I was thinking about. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on how it changes the flow of the game. If they’re able to just throw Fate at any roll and turn it into a success then that’ll be a problem and we’ll have to cut it.

I think you’re being too generous in giving out Fate points.


The problem is for your players to figure out.

Each of the ways to earn fate points are contrasted by ways to earn persona points.

They are earning too many fate points by acting on their beliefs (instead of challenging and growing out of them), not achieving their goals (they are only working towards them), and overplaying their instincts (instead of roleplaying against them).

Also, they can choose to use their fate points for easier challenges, pretty much any time a 6 is rolled they should be spending those (especially if the have so many stored up.)

Meh. We have this in our BW game. My character is sitting on about 14 FP but few persona (sometimes no persona). It’s not a thing. It just means if I roll a six I can always open it. The way I look at it, Fate Points prime a pump that should just keep going after its begun. Playing with your beliefs is fun. After you get the hang of it, FP are just little shineys that tell you you’ve been doing the things you’re supposed to. They have a non-economic value. But in the beginning they’re very good for getting things kicked off.

Cross posted with Jasper. The meh was for the idea that the GM was being too generous.

Why would i do that? I want the Fate point. If i want to change my instinct to a new one i just do so.

1’s don’t subtract from successes in BW either.

Astronomy forks can

That’s pretty much how we play. I don’t want to give the impression that my characters are somehow stingy with their points or that they don’t need to spend them. We just have a surplus–which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

And to Mr. Deliverator–I have been called MANY THINGS as a GM and a DM, but generous is NOT one of them, and I take GREAT OFFENSE to my honor. We will meet at dawn!