Share this project


Share this project

Characters live at the core of Fate! Fate Core is the latest edition of Evil Hat Productions' popular Fate roleplaying game system.
Characters live at the core of Fate! Fate Core is the latest edition of Evil Hat Productions' popular Fate roleplaying game system.
10,103 backers pledged $433,365 to help bring this project to life.

Dealing Fate a New Hand: Stretch Goal Update!

Posted by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions (Creator)

One of the top requests we've had over the years has been for an "official" version of fate point counters for folks to use in their games. We love this idea! But we've never hit on an implementation that seemed to make good sense to us as a product, whether it's due to manufacturing hurdles, or our ability to produce enough fate point tokens at a low enough price point to make us happy, or other things.

Today, we're announcing a stretch goal that points in a new direction that would make it much more possible: the Deck of Fate. This 100-card deck would sport a "fate point token" on the back of every card, giving an entire play group an attactive, easily portable way to track their fate point supply at a very affordable price.

But fate points are only one side of the Deck of Fate.

On the other side of the cards -- for 81 of them, at least -- we'll be showing something like what you see on the right, above: one of the 81 possible results when you throw down four fudge dice (4dF).

At its simplest, this means that you can shuffle this "sub-deck" and deal out a random result equivalent to a 4dF without needing your dice on hand. So right in your pocket, in a handy tuck box, you'll get both a 19-card fate point supply (the spares) and an 81-card substitute for your fudge dice.

But we're planning to make the Deck of Fate more than just that. Here's some of the extra value and "hooks" we'll be packing into our dice-cards:

  • On each card, you'll get two short phrases that suggest different ways to interpret the fall of the dice. Is that +4 result coming from "incredible luck", or executing your skill with "perfect form"?
  • Did you know there are three different patterns of dice that will get you a zero result? One pattern occurs 12 times, another occurs 6 times, and another occurs only once. We'll be including icons, not shown in this early prototype image, which will indicate the rarity of each pattern. Can you figure out some additional game-hooks based on how rare a pattern is? We sure can.
  • By arranging the dice in a column, you'll be able to determine which die of each card is the "first" one (the outermost). We'll reinforce this with a triangle or simple pointer in the final design. Games that use the Deck of Fate will be able to hook into this as well -- imagine effects that occur only when the "first" die shows a plus sign, and so on. (Something you could achieve with differently colored fudge dice for sure, but this is pretty elegant too.)
  • Card games! We'll be noodling out a card game or two you can play with a Deck of Fate, and we'll put the rules on the back of one of those spare fate point cards, and/or make the rules for such games downloadable from our website. Fred's a big fan of trick-taking games, and is already puzzling out a "capture the stars" card game for this...

We're excited about the possibilities of the Deck of Fate, and hope you are too! 

If we hit the stretch funding goal for the Deck, we'll finish up the deck's design and get it into production. It's too early to say when we'd be able to put this out to the market, nor what the price would be, but as your reward for getting us to the goal, all backers will get the digital files to "print and play" their own Deck of Fate if they want -- or to use the graphics to create additional cards to stow in a Deck, adding a little customized flavor.

Are you ready to make the Deck of Fate happen? Well, shuffle up and deal, folks -- we're all in!


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Selene O'Rourke

      Once the design is finalized, and the PDF has been released, is there a chance you could also direct us to a good company to print them? That way, we can make some reasonable quality decks (without depending on our own laser printers, in many cases) prior to the official release at our Friendly Local Gaming Store?

    2. Adán Tejada on

      "So we're keeping it as something that will be sold outside of the project, rather than within it."

      Ok. My mistake. I thought this was going to be a free add-on to this project, not something sold separately. Yes. Sell it separately. What you said.

    3. Jay Elmore on

      Kate and Fred:
      …damn, that does change things around a bit. I'm not used to tabletop RPGs and LARPing being used interchangeably.

    4. Alan De Smet on

      You might consider making the card backs symmetrical. It will help those of us who feel compelled to ensure all of the backs are arranged "correctly."

    5. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      That's covered in the post, Mr. Pig! We don't know for sure when these decks will get printed, so we can't make them add-ons within the scope of the Kickstarter.

      Sean, that's certainly one of the things being considered.

    6. Joseph Le May

      Will we be able to add-on extra decks, because YES.

    7. Missing avatar

      F.A. on

      @Sean Cox +1

      Perhaps even the ladder and the four actions?

    8. Ray Otus on

      There are a lot of possibilities with a deck instead of dice. For instance, you could give players a "hand" of five rolls and make them manage their resources during the game.

    9. Ray Otus on

      Are you kidding me? AWESOME. I have been wanting tools like this ever since the Saga-based Marvel Superhero Adventure Game. Love the idea!

    10. Missing avatar

      Sean Cox on

      Perhaps on the backs of at least some of the generic fate cards, list a reminder about what Fate points can be used to do? I'm sure new players would appreciate it.

    11. Tom Miskey

      Here I am developing a version of FATE that uses a deck of playing cards, and you go and make some FATE cards! (Of course, mine is for a standard deck). :)

      @John and Jason: Having a Hand of FATE and subbing in a card from your hand is definitely something I'm using too. I wrestled with the question of what to do about "bad cards", and considered allowing them to be used on opponents, but then why couldn't you use good cards to aid allies? And if you could, why have individual hands at all since they could all be used by anyone at any time?

      The big breakthrough was getting rid of objectively "bad" cards and making it subjective. The red-suited cards are for mental skills (Hearts for Social, Diamonds for Knowledge) and the black-suited cards are for physical skills (Spades for Action, Clubs for Intrigue). If you use a card of the proper color for the skill, it's a bonus. If you use a card of the wrong color, it's a penalty. Therefore, every card has the opportunity to be a good or bad card, depending upon when it comes up and the skill being used.

      You could do something similar with these cards by saying +'s are positive for physical skills and negative for mental, and -'s are positive for mental skills and negative for physical. Then, even if you have a "-4" in your hand, it can be a very good thing if you play it on a mental or social skill.

    12. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      Kate points out one of the "hidden" features of the product, yup!

    13. Kate Kirby on

      One thing cards are excellent for that dice are lousy for: LARPs. It's quick, portable, and easy to pull out a deck from your pocket or bag, flip a card, and go. (And for added LARP usability, put a hole punch in the corner of each card and put them on a key ring, then easy random flip! I've actually done this, with a bell curve of each stat pre-rolled on stickers, and it worked really magnificently.)

      Yes, I do want to play an Atomic Robo fate LARP at GenCon, why do you ask?

    14. Fletcher on

      One possible idea that my group likes to use for fate points is paperclips. You might design the fate point side of the card to support using paper clicks or pointers so that one card can represent more than one faint point (if the players so wish)

    15. Wayne Williams on

      Might be interesting to draw some extra cards when you invoke an aspect rather than taking the +2

    16. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      Jay -- "Fate System Toolkit" is synonymous to "Extras Toolbox + Magic System Toolkit".

    17. Jay Elmore on

      Fred: thanks for the response, and not having perfect distribution of random results by using a deck is not a dealbreaker. I think the descriptive text on the cards makes up for it. :)
      Also, I love the hardcover Toolkit upgrade! (That's the Extras Toolbox, or both extra books in one?)

    18. Missing avatar

      John "johnkzin" Rudd

      I wouldn't see it being a replacement for dice either ... but it might make an interesting variation for how to use your Fate point. Every game session, you get your refresh in these cards. Either in the conventional manner (giving the card to the GM "face down", just giving up a fate point) ... or use the numbered side of the card to both "use a fate point" _AND_ get a specific dice result and/or narrative description.

      Player: I use my fate card to try to find a secret door, and instead of rolling I get the benefit of having rolled +3

      GM: but the card says "clumsy form", so while you succeeded with some shifts, you did it while stumbling across the room, literally tripping into the secret door head first.

    19. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      These aren't going to excite everyone, Peter. In fact, knowing that is why we revealed two stretch goals today instead of one. (See the front page of the project for the details.)

    20. Missing avatar

      Peter Smith on

      I would love a set of these cards.

      I'm getting all sorts of ideas about dealing hands instead of rolling dice.

      Could add an extra layer of resource management to a conflict. If you dealt five rounds of cards at a time, you could kinda plan the arch of the conflict for your character.

    21. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      I hear you, Adán, but there are some complicating factors there, such as: the decks might not get done until well after all three books are printed and shipped; and even if we could get the timing to work out, as a non-book item, we wouldn't be able to stick with media mail as our domestic shipping solution, which could add between $5 and $10 in shipping costs to any given shipment that included the deck. Supposing that this was a $10 or $15 card deck, asking folks to pony up $20 or $25 -- much of which would be immediately spent on shipping rather than actually contributing to the Kickstarter campaign's funding goal -- doesn't look to me like a winning solution. So we're keeping it as something that will be sold outside of the project, rather than within it.

    22. Gary Forbis on

      Just in the interest of honest feedback I'm going to say this doesn't excite me terribly. I just like the feeling of rolling dice. (If you want to talk dice, though, I'd love to see some 12-sided fate dice with 4 each of +, -, and blank and within each set of 4 is a face with nothing, one with one symbol or colored dot, one with a different symbol or colored dot, and one with both. This allows you to generate all kinds of different probabilities with a single roll. Another technique would be two fate results per face allowing a full 4dF on 2 dice).

      If there is enough of value in the cards without using them in lieu of dice, I might get them. I enjoyed the Master Deck add on for Torg/Masterbook.

    23. Jack Carr / Never Dice Alone (Games) on

      I was jumping on to suggest that the remaining 19 "blank" cards could be used as a "Major Arcana". Glad you're thinking of it already, Fred. Great way to stimulate story ideas, use feature characters from Spirit/Shadow of the Century.

    24. Adán Tejada on

      My personal opinion is that this type of thing should be an a la carte add-on. You set up the funding matrix to pay for the project -- you shouldn't have to eek out things like these cards from that money. Yes, you are "over funded" but that everyone who is backing is getting what they pledged for (in some cases a LOT for very little).

    25. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      Roach -- Thanks! I did check it out. Our preferred card manufacturer has breakpoints at 81 and 100 -- so it was either produce the deck with *no* spares, or produce it with 19 spares. Deliberately chosen. :)

    26. The Roach

      Before you set it up at 100 cards - check out whether producing 104/108/112 card decks (poker deck size) would make the decks cheaper. Some companies producing playing cards have a 'standard' set up dor normal dck sizes, and differring from them occasionally costs extra, meaning adding a couple of cards can make production cheaper, though it's by no means guaranteed.

    27. Jason Gagnon on

      I wonder if I set it up so that each player gets cards equal to refresh rate and then spent a fate point to swap a card from the hand for the one drawn. Perhaps use the negative ones as a way to set up manuevers on npc's and they get the penalty on the card. Just an idea that I might have to consider.

    28. Haphazard Projects on

      Awesome idea! This KS just keeps getting more and more epic! I'm really happy to see the huge response to this!

    29. CodeMichael on

      I'd buy a deck. Very cool idea.

    30. Mark Mealman on

      I like this. Might be interesting to see the deck usable in other ways. I really liked the Torg drama deck and my current group has fallen in love with the Savage World's use of a normal deck of cards used for initiative. I'd also sometimes just draw cards myself to sort of "divine" random events and reactions in the world.

      In fact I used John's ideas where various suits would impact the world in different ways, whether it was an NPCs initial reaction to the party or whether some event was favorable or not for the group. It was a great way to lead the game into new directions I wouldn't have normally made myself.

    31. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      Oh, also -- the goal is $175k for this, plus there's another stretch goal in the updated graphic. Check the front page!

    32. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      Jay: That's intentionally left as a "void" -- something you can decide what you want to do. A common deck, where everyone draws through the 81 possibilities before reshuffling would allow for a "perfect distribution", but won't sit well with everyone. Or folks can shuffle each time. Etc. The potential to get the limitations of a card deck is actually one of the features of the product, and why I don't think it'll *fully* replace dice, but will be a fun alternative for specific games.

      John: We're contemplating that stuff. The way the 81 cards "chunk up" around various results is a little problematic for that goal, but we're still noodling.

    33. Missing avatar

      John "johnkzin" Rudd

      A: I love the idea

      B: if it doesn't make the design "too busy", it'd be nice to see conventional suits on the cards as well. Maybe also Tarot "suits" (I forget the correct term for it). Why/What-for? It could be used as a variation of your "short phrase" idea. Diamonds = fortune = luck and/or money ... if the card is of a diamonds suit, then it means your success involved luck and/or wealth. Hearts = emotion or life, so the result has some connection to emotion or life, adrenaline, etc.

      It could also lead to interesting variations of conventional games ... poker with conventional suits and fudge numbers, instead of 2-10 and face cards. :-)

    34. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      Jayson - We're not going to make them to be sold and shipped through the kickstarter. That's the distinction we're making here. (See second to last paragraph in the post.) :)

      Phil - Card game rules, images from our other Fate games, blanks so folks can hack the deck, other such things -- lots of possibilities. :) (Major arcana? -- that'd probably need additional funding for art, but hmmm. Simple references for certain concepts in Fate? A possibility.)

    35. Jay Elmore on

      …so what is the new stretch goal?

      I like the descriptive terms on the cards though, to encourage thinking about WHY your character got that +4 (or -2 or zero).

      The only problem I see with using cards vs. dice is that drawing one result removes that result from the pool of available results unless there are multiples of each permutation (like +4 and -4); even then, drawing cards will skew future results away from already selected results. Unless you shuffle before each draw, which might mean more wear and tear on the card.

    36. PK Sullivan on

      I really dig this stretch goal. When I ran a Dresden Files RPG one-shot for some friends last year, one of them took a normal deck of cards, pared it down to 36 cards, marked 12 with +, 12 with -, and left 12 blank. he'd then shuffle and deal four cards as his dice roll each time he took action. This seems like a much more elegant solution than that and it has Fate points built into it! I only have one question. What are the other 19 cards going to have on the face side if they don't have a dice result?

    37. Terry Colligan on

      My group has been playing Tenra Banshou Zero some lately. We have been using cheap poker chips for the Aiki chits, and thought that they would work great for handing out fate points in our fate games. We enjoy throwing them at each other when we think someone deserves an Aiki chit and they don't hurt when you get hit by them.

    38. Ian Millington on

      How bizarre a coincidence is that. This hit about five minutes after being notified that my kickstarter for Dicecards has been accepted:

      They also have fudge dice on them (plus tens of other things), and tokens of various kinds (though not fate specifically). Funny old world.

      Clearly dice on cards is something that I think is very cool. If you're into them, perhaps look out for my kickstarter launching in a week or so!

    39. Missing avatar

      Jayson Stevens on

      FAQ: No, we're not going to make non-book items for this Kickstarter

      Less than two weeks later: So... how about cards, huh?

      Myself: GIMMEE!