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- Join Date
- Jun 2008
[Marvel Heroic Roleplaying] Fate/Heroic
When I read Fate/stay night, I fell in love with the setting. More recently, I watched Fate/Zero, and then started watching the new Unlimited Blade Works anime, and that put me in a Fate/stay night mood. I am the sort of person who cannot help but stat things up. I have also recently ended a long-running Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game, which is an *amazing* system for superhero and superhero-ish games.
The results of this, I hope, are obvious: I (with the invaluable help of MonstrousMouse) did a quick-and-dirty conversion of Marvel Heroic into a system for representing the Grail War, and then started statting up characters. I call the system Fate/Heroic, because why not.
Spoiler: Rules• All characters have three stress tracks, Physical, Emotional, and Magical. Physical stress represents what it does in Marvel Heroic, and Emotional is a conflation of that game’s Emotional and Mental. Mana, meanwhile, represents how magically exhausted you are; a lot of magical powers require you to stress up your magical stress to use them. Only supernatural characters have magical stress. Mental Stress is not included because no-one in Fate/stay night specifically targets it; in a game that incorporated significant Tsukihime elements, it would be necessary.
• The specialties are:
Charisma (Leadership and general force of personality, replaces Menace Expert)
Conviction (ability to hold fast to your beliefs; used solely to defend against social and mental attacks.)
Psych (understanding of people’s minds; used for social attack and defense)
Mystic (knowledge of the rules of magic and ability to use magic)
Supernatural (knowledge of the mystical secret world, similar to Cosmic)
Tactics (tactical and strategic ability, used for tactical assets, leading armies, and knowledge of historical generals)
Riding (a renamed Vehicle Expert)
Spoiler: ClarificationThe difference between Mystic and Supernatural is that Kotomine’s father has Supernatural but not Mystic (he works for the Church, but has no magical training) while Emiya Shirou has Mystic but not Supernatural (he knows some magic, but is completely ignorant about the setting).
• It is assumed that the Weapon power can be used defensively as well as offensively, unlike in Marvel Heroic, at least when defending against other Weapon-wielders. It is also assumed that the Reflexes power *cannot* be used to dodge area-of-effect attacks, unlike in Marvel Heroic.
• Since counterattacking is hilariously overpowered in regular Marvel Heroic, it is banned to characters without counterattack SFX.
Spoiler: Design NoteDon’t give people counterattack SFX, or if you do, it should be ‘d6 stress’, not ‘effect die stress.’ Counterattacks break the game.
Spoiler: Design DecisionsI used the stat sheets to approximate servants’ powers. Approximate translations:
<c: nothing or d6, as appropriate.
Combat specialties above d8 were reserved for characters who are presented as being extremely able fighters even by the standards of other Servants. d12 specialties of all types are reserved for characters where Just How Good They Are acts as a superpower - FSN’s Fake Assassin and Fate/Zero’s Berserker for Combat, FSN’s Caster for Mystic.
• Command Seals can be used for the following purposes: to, as an action, 100% successfully, command a Servant to take a single simple action or fail at an action; to amplify a Servant taking an action that he wants to do anyway (mechanically, that’s a d12 Stunt for a single action, a d10 Asset for a scene, or d8 Asset for the story); or to make it harder for a Servant to take an action - a d12 Complication for a scene or d10 Complication for the story. These Assets and Complications don’t go away under normal circumstances. A Command Seal can also be used to instantly summon your Servant to your position. Alternatively, characters with Mystic Expert can sacrifice a Command Seal instead of stepping up their magical stress.
• Spirits, such as Servants (other than Arturia Pendragon), can dematerialize. Dematerialized spirits cannot be harmed by anything other than spirits or magic, cannot affect the material world, and cannot be perceived by anyone without Mystic Senses. Dematerialization in an action scene requires a roll against the Doom Pool. Materialization in an action scene does not.
• Under normal circumstances, Servants normally vanish at the end of the scene after the one in which their Master is killed. Servants with Independent Action (Archers and Lancers) don’t, but they can’t recover magical stress so long as they have no Master.
• d12 stress is the point at which you, physically speaking, ought to be dead, and aren’t purely because of your Heroic Willpower. This isn’t a rule, but a definition. Unimportant NPC extras do die at d12 stress. This is a rule.
Spoiler: Optional RulesLethality: One of the places where Fate/stay night corresponds poorly to Marvel Heroic - in Fate/stay night, characters die left and right; in the Marvel universe, that’s only the case during major crossovers.
My suggestion would be to add a sort of “chunky salsa rule” - to say that any attack that inflicts physical or magical stress that, after all other modifiers, is rated “d12 stepped up twice” (“d12++, or d16”) is instantly fatal, but not make any other changes.
A simpler solution would be to remove physical trauma from the game and have a character die when dealt physical stress past d12, or at least to give the character who stressed him out the option of killing the stressed out character. This would incentivize people to focus on physical stress, instead of mental or emotional; this would be good because Marvel Heroic’s physical combat rules are better than its mental and emotional combat rules.
If you are using one of these solutions, In order to prevent PCs from getting killed off left and right (unless that’s the kind of game you want), the GM could let player characters purchase ‘get out of death free’ cards at a price of 10 xp, which can be used for their character or for any NPC they’re attached to. Naturally, those would be once-offs.
Of course, you could just do nothing, leaving the game as it is. That would be better if you want to have a long-running game and keep PC mortality low, and better if you want recurring villains. The downside is that it reduces the tension of combat.
If you come up with a better solution than any of these three, let me know!
Creating Your Own Servants: One possible suggestion for play-by-post games where players are playing a small subset of the Servants in the story would be for Noble Phantasms to go not only unrevealed but uncreated until such time as they are ready to be used, letting them act as a Schrodinger’s Gun to be defined - or purchased with XP - when necessary. Under those conditions, I’d suggest that a full additional Noble Phantasm (up to a cap of three) would be worth 20 XP, and a new invocation for an old one would be worth 10 XP.
And here’s the character sheets.
Spoiler: Fate/Zero Sheets
Spoiler: Fate/stay night Sheets
I don’t have any actual plans to run a Fate/Heroic game, by the way, but if anyone else does, send me a private message. I’d be interested to see how it turns out. Also, I'm working on a quick reference sheet, so comments on that would be appreciated.