Wheel of Fate+

I recently came across WoF thanks to Brennen, and while I like most of the system, I feel it could use a few tweaks to completely round out the system and make it a finished product. So I am thinking I will throw something together with a few ideas from a couple different games and if I get a chance, do a play-test before I leave for training. I decided I would use this blog as a sort of journal in the process.

Basic mechanic.
Essentially you roll xD6 dice whenever you want to do something. Easy, fast and simple. Extra Dice can be granted by the GM based on the situation, these dice are rolled and the result simply added to the total. Bonus Dice act a little different, they are rolled along with the normal dice, but then only the highest dice are added. For example, if you have Physical 3d6 and the GM grants you an extra die, you roll 4d6, but only added the highest 3 rolls. Penalty Dice work the same, but you only take the lowest die rolls.

Contests, Difficulty and Whammies.
Contests are called for by the GM whenever a player performs and action that would not be automatic. Using the appropriate attribute (see below), players will roll a number of dice and attempt to roll equal to or higher than a difficulty set forth by the GM.

Difficulty Chart
5 – Average
10 – Tough
15 – Demanding
20 – Challenging
25 – Formidable

Anytime a Contest is rolled and the winner of the contest beats the opposition or the Difficulty by 5 points, this is called a Whammy. Multiple Whammies are possible with each additional 5 points, thus beating an opponent by 10 would result in two Whammies.

Other characters may help another perform an action. To do so, simply add the dice the helping character would roll to perform the action normally as Bonus Dice to the primary character’s for his Contest.

Characters will have three stats, Physical, Mental, and Social. These three attributes showcase the main abilities inherent in all beings. These will be rated in a xD6 style:

0d – Incapable of acting in this regard.
1d – Limited ability to perform actions.
2d – Average or Normal level of ability.
3d – Talented or gifted.
4d – Exceptional ability.
5d – Masterful ability.
6d – Limit of natural ability.

The rating in these Attributes also serves as a manner of health or hit points for the character, as they take Stress Dice (see below) to these Attributes, the character becomes less and less able to continue actions using that Attribute.

Players are given eight die to distribute among their three Attributes. They may place these as they wish, but each Attribute must have at a minimum a 1d and no higher than a 5d. Average for most characters would be a 2d.

Within these three Attributes, players will choose Focuses, a Focus being something that the character is particularly good at. Players have three die to spend on Focuses, and can spend these as they wish, getting three seperate Focuses, a single Focus, etc. Each die spent adds a die rating to the chosen Focus based on the related Attribute. A Physical Focus might be Martial Arts, Swordmanship, or Hunting. A Mental Focus could be Physicist, ESP, or Detective. A Social Focus might be Etiquette, Persuasion, or Intimidate.

Aspects are short descriptive tools that set a character apart from others. These can be as broad or narrow as the GM decides he wants for his game and can range from things that are important to the character, to special interests or skills, to fears and phobias, to contacts that could come up in a game. Remember they can be either helpful or complicating and are used to help flesh out the character in the game. Sample Aspects are “Protects his younger brother at all costs”, “Unnatural fear of spiders”, “Uncanny ability to notice small details”, “Refuses to let another person better him….at anything”, “Un-trusting of others”.

During a game a player can invoke an Aspect if they feel it pertains to a situation, granting the player an Bonus Die for the Contest. Another player or the GM can invoke an Aspect at any time and these can take the form of Bonus or Penalty Dice added to the Contest.

Stress Dice.
When a character attempts an action and fails, he is given a Stress Die to that Attribute, thus you can take a Stress Die to Physical in one Contest then in another take a Stress Die to you Mental Attribute. If the opponent got a Whammy, an additional Stress Die is award for each Whammy. Stress Die cause the Attribute’s rating to fall, one die for each Stress Die. If you have equal to more Stress Die than you have a rating in that Attribute then you are unable to use that Attribute (or any related Focus). If a character has more stress than physical, he is knocked out, if he has more stress than mental, you’re insensible and babbling or confused, and if you have more stress than social, you’re incoherent or shocked.

Destiny Dice.
Destiny Dice are a number of dice a character has that a player can use to influence the situation in certain ways. GMs can award exceptional role-playing or creativeness by handing out additional Destiny Die during a game. Every character starts with three die that can be spent in the following ways:

  • Prior to any Contest roll, add a single Bonus Die to the next roll.
  • Declare a fact to influence the game (such as “I pull a rope from my backpack!” or “I suddenly remember I have met the stranger years before.”)
  • After any Contest roll, add a single point to be added to the total.

GMs may also award Destiny Dice to players by tempting them to certain actions during a game, usually with regard to a character’s Aspects. For example, if a character had an Aspect such as “Always looks out for himself” and finds himself in a situation where he could abandon his fellow characters in their time of need, the GM could offer Destiny Dice (in whatever amount) to the player to call on the Aspect influencing the character’s action. However, the player does not have to accept this offer and can have his character act as he wishes, if he accepts the Destiny Dice, he must act as decreed by the GM.

Order of Play.
Whenever it becomes important to determine the order in which characters act, the character
with the higher total number of dice in the Attribute or Focus they are using for the Contest goes first. Ties go at the same time, any Stress Dice being applied only after both sides have acted.


2 thoughts on “Wheel of Fate+

  1. Good job writing this up.

    I have a few ideas for alternate rules that I’ve used while running WoF. These are mainly stolen from Spirit of the Century.

    Stress Boxes and Consequences
    Instead of taking stress dice directly to your attribute, give each attribute a number of stress boxes equal to its score.

    When you take damage, just check off a box. When you’ve checked off all the boxes, you’re out of the conflict.

    You may choose to take a consequence instead of a box of damage (whammies do an extra box or so of damage). You can take four consequences (in SotC there are only three types, I’ve invented a fourth).

    The first consequence is mild, and applies a penalty die to the next die only. This might be represented by a scratch, bruise, or having sand kicked in your face.

    The second consequence is moderate, and applies a penalty die to all related rolls for the remainder of the scene. This might be represented as a broken nose, a more severe cut.

    The third consequence is severe, and applies a two penalty dice to all related rolls until the consequence has been removed through play. This could be a broken rib or bone, or a serious stab or gunshot wound.

    The fourth consequence is grievous (my idea!), and applies three penalty dice to all related rolls until the wound heals. A grievous wound is applied to the character in the form of a new aspect. It might represent a missing limb or other permanent disfigurement, mental illness, or spiritual damage.

  2. I plan on having the ‘boxes’ you describe on the character sheet, just like the one I sent you the other day, nice and easy to track. So how you describe it there is essentially how it will function in game play.
    I like the idea of a minor consequence that only effects the next die roll (reminds me allot of Savage World’s “shaken”) and I like the idea of allowing players to choose a consequence, especially for the added role-playing opportunities that chopping off and arm or ripping out an eye would offer. However, I really like the idea that as the character takes stress they slowly start to wear down, they don’t function as well as they did previously. And while consequences do replicate this, it is an added think to track, adding a little to the complexity of the system. I do like giving the player the option to accept something that will effect their character in a major way though….I will have to think on it.
    I wonder if it might be good to include a consequence rule though, perhaps just allowing a player to choose a consequence in place of taking that last stress die. Sort of a way to keep them in the fight, fighting through the pain to stay on their feet.

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