Glimpses of Hyboria
At the start of his career, a player has three Fate Points. These Fate Points are extremely precious, since they can save a character’s life.
Fate points have seven functions: Left For Dead, Mighty Blow, Parry or Dodge, Re-roll, Resist Terror, Repentance, Destiny.
Fate Points can be regained by foreshadowing. To foreshadow, a player lists up to three situations on his character sheet. If the situation comes up during an adventure, the player gains one fate point per situation.
Examples of foreshadowing: “My character slays one of his hated foes, my character is knocked unconscious and taken prisoner, my character gets into a humorously compromising situation with a beautiful maiden” etc.
Using Fate Points
There are seven standard uses for Fate Points: Left for Dead, Mighty Blow, Parry or Dodge, Reroll, Resist Terror, Repentance and Destiny. The Games Master may allow other uses, so check with him before play.
Left for Dead: In Conan the Roleplaying Game, characters become unconscious when reduced to –1 hit points and die when reduced to –10 or fewer hit points. See Chapter 8: Combat. However, when a character’s hit points reach –10 or less by any means, he may spend one Fate Point to avoid being killed outright. He is instead ‘left for dead.’
A character who is Left for Dead appears dead upon casual examination, though he still has a chance of recovering, particularly if attended quickly by a character with the Heal skill (see page 105). If he is healed of at least one point of damage within one hour of being Left for Dead, either with the Heal skill or by sorcerous or other means, he is considered to be stable and at –9 hit points (see page 190). If he is not healed, he must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 20) after one hour. If successful, he stabilises himself and is at –9 hit points. If he fails, he is finally and irrevocably dead, whether he has any Fate Points left or not.
A character who dies through Constitution loss may also save himself by using Left for Dead; in such a case, the effect that was damaging his Constitution stops when he has a Constitution score of one point. Left for Dead cannot be used against effects that leave no possibility whatsoever of the character surviving, such as draw forth the heart.
Mighty Blow: Rather than rolling the damage dice on any successful hit or damaging magical attack, a player can elect to declare a Mighty Blow at the cost of one Fate Point. A Mighty Blow always deals the maximum possible damage. This includes any bonus damage, such as that rolled for sneak attacks. A primitive or standard quality melee weapon always shatters irreparably when used to deliver a Mighty Blow. Even an Akbitanan weapon used to deliver a Mighty Blow has a 50% chance of snapping in two, though if it does, it is usually be possible to use the broken blade as an improvised weapon. It will not be completely destroyed.
Parry or Dodge: A player may spend a Fate Point to parry or dodge normally for one round, even in circumstances where he would normally be unable to dodge or parry (such as when blinded or taken by surprise). The player gets a +5 luck bonus to his Parry or Dodge score for the round in question.
Reroll: A player can reroll one failed attack roll, skill check or saving throw that he just made. The Fate Point must be spent immediately after rolling the dice, and the player is bound by the result of the second roll – he cannot reroll again by any means.
Resist Terror: A player can spend a Fate Point to ignore the Terror of the Unknown.
Repentance: A player can spend one or more Fate Points to leave behind his old, evil life and make an effort to start afresh. Each Fate Point spent in this way removes one point of Corruption.
Destiny: A player can at any time spend one or more Fate Points, with the agreement of the Games Master, to alter the world in some minor way. Essentially, this allows the player to have some input into the story, over and above the actions of his character. This change must be one that is plausible, minor and not overwhelmingly beneficial to the Player Characters. It may well assist them to accomplish their goals but they must still accomplish those goals by their own strength and wits, not simply by spending Fate Points!
For example, a character captured by the law and imprisoned might spend a Fate Point to have a chance at escape, such as a comrade or slave-girl smuggling him a dagger or a guard becoming drunk on duty, or the discovery of a loose chunk of granite with which to smash open his ankle-chain. He may not, however, have his escape handed to him on a plate, such as by a sorcerer magically putting all the guards to sleep and bursting his door open.
Another option for this use of a Fate Point is to alter a character in some minor way by revealing a new facet of his past. This might include knowing a language that he did not know before, which proves useful in his current situation or having a contact in the area from his previous dealings in the region.
Gaining More Fate Points
When a player spends a Fate Point, it is gone forever. It does not recover with time, nor does the player automatically gain new Fate Points as he advances in level.
Fate Points may be regained by Foreshadowing. To Foreshadow, a player lists up to three situations on his character sheet. These can be anything from ‘my character slays one of his hated foes’ to ‘my character is knocked unconscious and taken prisoner’ to ‘my character gets into a humorously compromising situation with a beautiful maiden’ to ‘my character finds strength through his faith in Mitra.’ If the situation comes up in the course of an adventure, the player gains one Fate Point. Players can only gain one Fate Point per situation and they should change their Foreshadowed situations after each adventure. (Foreshadowed situations are basically a way for players to tell the Games Master what they would like to see in the game.)