I've got a game and the PCs are at roughly 3,100 xps. I have four pcs and their fate point counts are :3, 1, 1, and 0.
We're about to tie up a long, 4 session, adventure which will see the PCs fleeing a hive city and escaping through an alien warp gate as Tyranids swarm over the city killing anything and everything. The session we just finished saw them taking out some fairly powerful foes including a single Chaos space marine through a combination of righteous fury, good planning, their psyker repeatedly making the space marine spasm and fall down (I never made a single willpower roll) and poor bad guy planning on my part. (Every bad guy was a melee oriented bad guy.) One player at least believes they deserve a fate point for this fight.
So, my question is, what is a good way to fairly award fate points? What standards do you use? Would the end of a major adventure like this qualify? Do you make the PCs do something extremely heroic and epic to earn them? I'd like advice here. As it is, one player may be losing a character before the end of next adventure depending on how things go since he is sitting on zero fate points.
I've been booed for this on the forums, but I set the bar from game one: don't expect Fate Points as award/reward for completing death-defying tasks. It's your job, no one lives forever, and the Inquisition can easily replace you. That being said, if someone thinks they "deserve" a Fate Point, maybe they do, but you're not obligated to give it to them.
That's my two Scints.
I would definitely award a fate point to whoever delivered the killing blow. For most people, Space Marines are only legends. The majority of people will never see one over the course of their entire lives. Whole planets look up to them as gods. For an individual to kill one would be a pretty big deal.
When a campaign comes to a conclusion, like the end of the Haarlock triology, I might award those with less than 2 fate points one fate point, especially if they have lost fate points during the campaign to some heroics. People who never uses a fate point, doesnt get them either.
Hmm…the replies here seem to be a big mix so far. I'm leaning towards giving them a fate point at the end of next session as that ends a 4 session fairly major adventure that has included some good RP, the big battle I described, meeting a fairly important NPC and helping her out, as well as the tyranid escape next session assuming it happens. :)
I try to keep it so that players have 2-3 fate points and I award the points based on that. As your players do not have that many fate points, awarding them 1 each after escaping a tyrnaid invasion would be fair.
Personally, I would not award a fate point for defeating the chaos space marine. Mainly becuase the use of spasm made it a much easier fight.
The only time I ever gave out a fate point was when one of the characters grappled a Daemonic Heralds face, and punched him to death, and then leapt through a portal into a collapsing section of Webway, and destroyed the villain for the entire campaign in one punch with a sweet one liner.
5 sessions too soon. :/
I award fatepoints at the end of significant adventures as part of a loosly planned arc. So in the case of my current game I will be awarding FP at the end of each Haarlock adventure and probably one in the longer section I do between Tattered Fates and Dead Stars. So over the course of a campaignt that takes them from 0 to 13000 XP they will have the opportunity to earn somewhere in the region of 5-6 FP total.
I do this because I also put the PCs in positions that risk them losing them (and they do). House of dust and ash took 3 and one from an NPC with the appropriate talent for example.
Having said that I have a player on 4 FP because he has been lucky. I will not give him a FP but I will give him some other reward when anyone else gets one. 5 is too many IMO.
This may seem like a cop-out, but I try to award Fate Points about as fast as they are Burnt.
For my campaign's early sessions, I tended to scale combat on the side of safty, since we were all learning a new game system and I didn't want to risk a Total Party Kill over GM inexperience. Hence, early on no Fate Points were awarded, but none were burnt either.
When the party hit the mid-Ranks, I started I think I had a better grasp of what constitutes a legitimate challenge and started ratcheting up the difficulty of encounters; this resulted in a few Burnt Fate Points, and I've usually capped off major encounters or storylines with one Fate Point each, so the party is currently sitting at roughly the same number of fate Points they started with.
As they get closer to Ascention, I expect Fate Points will be Burnt on a regular basis, and I plan to be more liberal in giving them out.
My 'fan-created content':
I only award them when a character acts in such exemplary manner as to impress their Inquisitor. The success in their endeavor isn't important. The nature of the player's character is. We're not talking small stuff either.
If a Guardsman pulls off an Audey L. Murphy, jumping on top of a burning APC to use a Heavy Stubber in stopping waves of enemy soldiers so that his fellow Acolytes have a chance to escape….he'll get a fate point. (Though he might have burned one just to survive)
If an Arbitrator uses the Lex Imperialis and subtly defeats an entire team of Adepts who are attempting to imprison an important contact on the pretext of crime, she'll get a fate point. (Though possibly earning an Enemy)
You know, that kind of stuff. To be true to form, grand in scale, and in service to the Imperium of Man.
I thought I'd pipe up and share my decision.
I've decided to award a fate point at the end of next session as that will be the end of a fairly major story arc as well as some epic events. I decided not to award one for the fight even though it involved a CSM because I don't like the idea of 'how hard something is' being a basis for fatepoints.
If a player defies the odds in a really impressive and important way and pulls it off without spending a fate point, I award a fate point.
If a player does something almost certainly fatal for the right reasons and survives I award a fate point.
If a player suffers a monumental string of bad luck, stays in character, keeps a stiff upper lip and doesn't whine about it they may very well get a fate point.
If I invoke GM fiat or pull out the plot hammer characters may get fate points.
If a player completely exceeds my expectations and impresses me they may get a fate point.
If a player does everything right and still fails due to bad luck, they may get a fate point.
If the other players come to me and say "so and so is doinf a great job" that player may get a fate point.
I Have given fate points in the following sitiuations:
A character defying certain death to do something in Character. Example: A techpriest in an area that leaches power from everything inclunding him, stays to give a spark of energy to Sentinel walker allowing the driver to get the machine out of there. It took him 5 rounds to do it and each round he was passing hard Toughness checks to not gain massive fatigue and permanent damage to his body that would kill him.
A character does something that would result in certain death and succeeds thanks to insane luck. Example:DH characters are not suposed to be able to kill a Big Mek from the Deathwatch game. My groups Assasin (rank 3) wielding an eviscerator goes alone to delay said big mek. He one shots him with 3 consecutive confirmed Righteous Fury rolls. Something like 50 points of damage. Surely the Emperor ( or something else) has it's eyes on that PC right?
So death defying in character roleplay or insane luck. And i mean insane.
I didn't when it happened, but after my intro mission, I should ave awarded them a FP, as the Emperor has decided of a new Fate for them form the one they were destined to get.
I never actually gave them any until now; the current mission has been going on for a (real time) year now (on mIRC, so pacing is rather slow, and half the players dropped as well) and after saving most of the nobles on the plaent and not allowing a coup d'état to happen, they might get one or two FP out of it.
From what the core book says (that I recall) FP are for world/sub-sector/sector wide events, like saving a planet from a full-blown warp incustion, stopping an Ork WAAAGH bend on burning the sector or other things like that.
I do not believe running away from a tyranids invasion (except if they spend all that running with actually Tyranids at thier heels, one slow down and they die type of running away) grants a FP
My Dark Heresy Game
I normally reward fate points for actions that impress me throughout a campaign. If I feel impressed by their actions, the Emperor also would probably feel impressed. After all, you could draw an analogy between the GM and the Emperor. So that is what I go off of. I follow my gut feeling on the matter. I ask myself, "Is this a very epic way for the Acolytes to have conducted themselves?" This game can be very punishing, so having an abundance of fate points is useful and makes the game less stressful sometimes. Personally, I would reward the Psyker with a fate point. Keeping a Space Marine incapacitated is an extraordinary feat that is beyond the means of everyday duties. That is the sort of thing that the "fates," i.e. your bad dice rolling, decided. That is what I view as a fate point worthy event.
I give fate points in two ways:
The first is one a long a punishing arc of a campaign comes to an end: they did many heroic things, harduous tasks, they suffered a lot of punishing during this time and got clear (or not) of it. I give the surviving characters a fate point (unless there is one that didn't share a lot of the quest). In your case, I would rather award a fate point to any of them after your next 4 sessions arc of your campaign; the 0 fated character will be a lot more deserving to earn them and a lot more happy if he survives until then; otherwise, he dies like it is supposed to happen to many acolytes.
The other way is when a player stays in character whatever happened and you see him evolving in hard situations that could kill him. An example that comes in my mind was the arbitrator of the first game I DMd, many years ago. The guy was a John McClane kind of badass; the player was always unlucky, though, and he went upstairs because somekilling was happening and he went up face to face with the big bad evil of the end of the quest. He charged him and racked him with shots from his combat shotguns but the renegade inquisitors was wearing power armour. He gripped the arbitrator by the neck and lifted him up and brought him to the end of the platform, which dominated the forest just under.
Disarmed and chokin, the only reaction the arbitrator got was to take his cigarette from his mouth and punch it in the inquisitor's eye. The inquisitor dropped him from the building and the guy had chance and survived the fall (but was very maimed at the end of the experience). First of all, he survived this ordeal, and second, he was very badass and in character, so I gave him a fate points after this action. This character was then level 3, now he is an ascension judge and continuing work for the emperor with a better shotgun and an iron will.