Powered by the Fate-pocalypse: Starting work on the Playbook

I have started to put together the general playbook for my Dungeon World/Fate combo, this playbook is adapted from the excellent blank playbook template created by Zarathud:
Below is my initial starting point, there is plenty of work left to do on it, but it’s a start:

Powered by the Fate-pocalypse: Back to Basics

Those who’ve been keeping up with my blog posts will be aware that I have been attempting (with varying degrees of success) to create a game that combines the best elements of two RPing systems, Fate and Dungeon World, both games that I greatly enjoy. Although i’d thrown up what I thought were some interesting ideas, when I tried to combine them the system looked quite clunky and unwieldy, which wasn’t what I was going for at all; both Fate and DW are very streamlined systems that enable to to jump straight into the action.
Looking back at my notes I think the problem is that I was trying to make the game equal parts Fate and Dungeon World; sitting down it seemed clear that the only way a combination game was going to work was if I decided at the start whether or not I wanted it to be more Dungeon World or more Fate. For the purposes of this game (and because my local players prefer a more structured approach) I decided to make the game mostly Dungeon World but with some inspiration taken from Fate.
So how do I do this?

Well I was reading the excellent Grim World that has a rough Fate hack at the back of it, essentially the player picks three hindrances and they gain a move that allows them to disadvantage their PC in return for receiving a luck point; luck points can be spent via a couple of additional basic moves to give the players an advantage, the author of the hack is the first to admit that it’s a bit rough and ready but the inspiration from Fate aspects is clear.
My Recipe for a Combination

Below is the recipe for the combination game that I intend to create:
  • Create a general one-use playbook that can be used for all types of character.
    • Will contain the core stats and hit points as per DW.
  • The playbook should have space for a character concept: effectively a two/three word description of the character, i.e. ‘brave fighter pilot’, ‘grizzled war veteran’, ‘haunted detective’, etc.
  • The playbook should also have space for five aspects.
    • A list of aspects will be provided but they can be added to by the GM of the individual game.
  • There should be a space for race/species on the playbook: effectively the different races in a game will grant access to a pre-defined special move (as detailed later).
    • The exact special moves granted will be down to the GM and their individual campaign but can be constructed using the rules provided for special moves.
  • The playbook should contain details of all basic moves (as per normal DW):
    • Hack and Slash
    • Volley
    • Defy Danger
    • Defend
    • Spout Lore
    • Discern Realities
    • Parley
    • Aid or Interfere
  • A few additional basic moves will be added:
    • A compel move (for gaining fate points from aspects)
    • Gaining bonus to a dice roll by spending a fate point move
    • Improvising an element of the setting by spending a fate point move
  • Playbook should also contain blank spaces for a number of advanced moves: advanced moves to be constructed in a manner similar to Fate Stunts.
    • Players start with three advanced moves.
    • An advanced move may do the following:
      • Grant a player a +2 dice roll in a certain set of circumstances.
      • Allow them to use a different stat for a particular type of move.
      • Increase the amount of damage a PC does in combat.
      • Decrease the amount of damage a PC does in combat. 
      • Increase the amount of HP a character has.
      • In a certain situation the player may ask a question of the GM and have it answered honestly.
      • Heal someone of damage.
      • Gain a companion.
      • Gain a particularly notable piece of equipment.
      • Cast a spell/use a psychic power (not sure how to handle this yet).
  • I may also look at adding some GM moves related to awarding fate points, etc.
Over the next week or so my plan is to create a document using the guidelines above and place it on my Google Drive, once this is done I will link to it in this blog; obviously this combination is not going to be ideal for everyone (I know that certain people aren’t keen on various concepts from DW such as HPs for example), however, it takes the elements that I personally like from both games and combines them in a way that I think will be fun to play.

Powered by the Fate-pocalypse: Rules – More thoughts on Aspects

Thinking about Aspects and chatting with my wife (who is a big fan of that old-school D&D (but simpler) feel that Dungeon World provides, less so of Fate) last night; it occurred to me that one of the problems I have had people mention to me when talking about Aspects is that it can often be difficult to know what to pick since the choices are almost limitless, certainly newcomers to the game can find it a little bewildering at first. It occurs to me that perhaps combining Aspects with the Bonds system of Dungeon World might work well.
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Effectively in Dungeon World each playbook has a number of sentences describing connections to other characters and they just have to fill in the names of other PCs; for example the barbarian sheet has the following:

Fill in the name of one of your companions in at least one:
_______________ is puny and foolish, but amusing to me.
_______________’s ways are strange and confusing.
_______________ is always getting into trouble—I must protect 
them from themselves.
_______________ shar
When a bond is resolved the player receives XP and replaces it with a new bond appropriate to the setting, however, aside from the resolution XP gain and being a great RPing guide the bonds have only a very small impact (a couple of moves have you roll 2d6+bonds) on the system.
So how could I link this with Aspects?

Well I was considering effectively providing a big list of Aspects but in a similar format and with blanks to fill in, the player could then pick a number of them for their starting character. For example, I might have something like:

  • I am being hunted by the [type] organisation known as [name of organisation].
  • I am well known throughout [name of country] as being the finest [occupation] in the land.
  • My [object] was stolen from me by [name of thief] and I cannot rest until it is returned.
I’m considering perhaps using this system to effectively replace Aspects and Bonds, also i’m considering removing the use of Fate Points and simply giving the player the ‘advantage’ (roll 2d12 rather than 1 and pick the highest) when actively pursuing the bond.
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Powered by the Fate-pocalypse: Rules – Dice Rolling, Aspects & Attributes

As part of my attempt to create a game combining elements of my two favourite systems (Fate & Dungeon World) I start collecting together some of the rules that I intend to use in the game.

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Dice Rolling

I have decided to switch from using the 2d6+attribute modifier (espoused by the Dungeon World system) to using a straight 1d12+attribute modifier to lessen the number of dice that need to be rolled and because i’m considering stealing a version of the advantage/disadvantage mechanic from D&D 5E.

Having been reading about the effects this may have on the probability of certain dice rolls (http://mathofoldschooldandd.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/2d6-versus-1d12-and-clerics-turning.html) I am interested to see what effect this has on the feel of the game.


Aspects will remain largely unchanged from Fate Accelerated and are words or phrases that describe a person, place, thing, situation or group.

A character in Fate-pocalypse can take advantage of Aspects by spend Fate Point (I am still considering whether or not to determine how many of these a character possesses, but will put up a post about it when I reach a decision).

This next bit is where the Aspect rules diverge from the Fate system making use of a version of the advantage/disadvantage rules from D&D 5E.

When a character has an Aspect that may prove advantageous in a situation they may (as long as the GM agrees) spent a Fate Point to invoke it; invoking an Aspect allows you to do the following:

  • Instead of rolling 1d12+attribute for an action the player rolls 2d12 and picks the highest number to add to their attribute (please note the Fate Point must be spent before the roll is made).
  • Help an ally; this works the same as above but the allied PC gets to roll the 2d12 and apply the highest roll to their action.
  • Establishing facts about the game world. Aspects are always true as long as they are active, so if a player has “hunted by the red arrow tribe of orcs” then they have established the existence of orcs, a tribe of them called the ‘red arrows’ and an adversarial relationship; Aspects should always be created in collaboration with the GM and other players so that they suit the game.

Please note: Only a single Aspect may be invoked per roll.

Players gain more Fate Points by allowing Aspects to be compelled against them; when an Aspect may prove disadvantageous or more complicate things for the player character then the GM can offer them a Fate Point; if the player accepts then the GM can make a move.


I have decided to use the Fate Accelerate approaches for this: Careful, Clever, Flashy, Forceful, Sneaky and Quick.

However I will be using the Dungeon World modifier spread, so each player will allocate the following modifiers between their approaches: +2, +1, +1, 0, 0, +1

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Powered by the Fate-pocalypse: Initial Ideas

After reading a very amusing blog post by Ryan Macklin (http://ryanmacklin.com/2014/07/fateworld/) regarding the recent RPGGeeks best of RPGs tournament in which Fate and Dungeon World faced off against each other in the final (with Dungeon World winning) I started thinking seriously about how feasible it would be to create a game that incorporated elements from both Fate and Dungeon World since I love both of the systems.
Over the next couple of weeks i’m going to be attempting to kludge together a system that brings together the elements that I am most fond of from both of the system; please keep in mind that there are no doubt numerous ways to combine the systems, I will not be looking to create a definitive system, but rather one that I consider to be simple and fun and that (above all) is playable.
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The Ethos of both Games

I decided first of all to decide what the concepts were from both games that I wanted to include in this combination:
from Fate:
  • Aspects – These little story tags are an inherent part of Fate, but have caused some confusion for some RPers, if possible i’d love to keep the idea of having story tags but simplify them somehow.
  • Versatility – a very simple rules system that allows scope for lots of different genres and types of game.
  • Guidelines for creating customised Stunts – the ability to create your own Stunts using the guidelines is, for me one of the great things about Fate.
  • A simplicity of actions – Fate only has four different types of actions making it very simple to grasp.
from Dungeon World:
  • A unified dice mechanic – Dungeon World has a very simple dice mechanic involving rolling 2D6 and adding a modifier, a result of less than 6 means that the GM effectively determines what happens, 7-9 means the player succeeds with a cost and 10+ means they succeed with no cost. I love the way this mechanic works in play, keeping the dice rolling (when used very simple).
  • Encouraging players to contribute to the campaign world – Dungeon World has numerous moves that allow the players to contribute (or find out about elements of the campaign world history of events), I definitely want to keep this.
Mapping Across the Elements

As my second step I decided to have a look at the elements in the systems and see if they could be mapped across to elements in the other.
Fate – Dungeon World

  • Aspects => ??? (possibly tags)
  • Approaches => Attributes (will prob use the DW att mod spread but remove the original stats and just stick with the modifiers, as Fate does)
  • Stunts => advanced moves
  • Actions => basic/advanced moves
  • 4DF + approach => 2d6 + mod (i’m more than likely going to stick with the DW style of rolling since I want to use the game’s dice mechanic)
  • Stress/Consequences => HP/conditions (probably going to go with DW’s HP/conditions for now and see how this works)
* * *
I’m pretty happy with the start i’ve made, i’ll continue to work on the combined system and make blog posts detailing my progress.