House Rule: Utility Karma

Asik's picture

Just wanted to throw this idea out here. Used this rule in a session recently and the players enjoyed the concept.

Utility Karma. When player scores a CS on a mundane task and the CS scored offers no substantial advantage to the player, the Story Guy records that the player now has +1 point of Utility Karma. Story Guy may use one point of the player's Utility Karma to increase the success of a player's roll, e.g. a CF to MF, MS to CS, etc.

Certainly not a technical rule -- fun though, in my opinion.

Often players petition for the Utility Karma to be used. To avoid this, the Story Guy may choose not to bother telling the players that the rule is in effect. Alternatively, Story Guy may leave the decision of when to use the Utility Karma solely in the player’s hands.

McBard's picture

I think a modest Fate/Karma pool mechanic like that is a pretty good idea. However, I don't think it's a problem that the players "petition" for their use; in fact, as the GM in our group I'd rather have the players control their usage.

A middle ground might be to allow the players to petition their use, yes, but then require an Aura x5 test in order actually to use it. Perhaps a CS on this Aura check allows the use of the Karma point without losing it from the pool; conversely, a CF on this Aura check disallows its use, but also drains it from the pool.

Asik's picture

Personally, i prefer leaving the decision of when to use the Utility Karma solely in the player’s hands – less book keeping for me. However, it is an unrealistic rule to begin with and then allowing the player to choose when their Utility Kama comes into play makes it even more unrealistic.

I like your idea of the Aura test a lot. That is for sure the appropriate stat to test.