I very much enjoy having tactile bits to play with at the table—dice, counters, chits, etc—so cards are a natural extension to my love of stuff. When the Deck of Fate was announced, I purchased a copy right away.

However, there hasn’t been much done with it since. Neither official “support” or fan-made uses. Today, I’m going to start what I hope is a long line of fun things you can use the Deck of Fate to do.

Hand of Dice

When you play Fate, you roll 4dF each time the GM calls for a roll. Instead of rolling dice, play cards from your hand!

With this system, you need one Deck of Fate for your entire group. Each player draws a hand of cards, and each time a (re)roll is called for, you can either play a card from your hand or draw the top card of the deck.

Hand Size

When you first sit down to play for the evening, draw a hand of cards equal to your unmodified refresh: 3 for a standard Fate Core/Accelerated game, 5 for Atomic Robo, 7 for Jadepunk, etc.

GMs get one card per player—the same amount as their per-scene fate point allotment.

Playing a Card

Whenever the GM calls for a roll, you instead get to play one card from your hand. This gives you the option of how well—or poorly—you do. If it’s not that important of a “roll” you can play a lower-value card. If it’s something you really want to succeed, play a high card!

Of course, if you don’t want to use a card from your hand, you always have the option to draw from the deck. This lets you hold on to a really good hand for when it matters most. Beware, though, since you can loose your hand if an eclipse card is played!

Shuffle and Deal

If one of the three eclipse cards are played—the 4 +s, 4 -s, or 4 blanks—the entire deck is reshuffled after the action is concluded, and a new hand is dealt to each player.

If you ever play your last card, you also redraw a new hand.

New Stunt Space

Using the Deck of Fate instead of dice also gives us a new playground for stunts! For example, you could have a stunt that lets you draw more cards, discard a card or two from a new hand, keep a card when an eclipse is played, or even using the sun/moon/eclipse symbols on the cards for stunt triggers!

For example:

  • Power of the Moon. When [specific aspect] is invoked for a reroll, add +1 for each moon symbol on the card played.
  • Ace in the Hole. If you only have one card in hand and it’s a Fair (+2) or better, you may show it to the table and pay one fate point to draw a new hand, keeping your last card.
  • Luck be a Lady Tonight. When you draw a new hand of cards, you may discard and redraw one card. If that card is Fair (+2) or better, you may discard and redraw another.