I have run Fox Magic a number of times, and having done so, I have found a few house rules I’ve used that makes the game … while not better, different. The game as it stands is a fun game, and very light on the players. The game presumes the players are going to ‘win’, and that the characters, while they may meet hardships, are never really at risk of losing.
This works for some campaigns, but not others, and so with the Fox Magic Companion, I’m going to be introducing some new concepts to the Story Point System. These concepts will find their way into Cloak and Dagger, first, which needs a higher degree of seriousness as part of the game engine.
First and foremost, I’ll be adjusting how the game master uses his Story Point pool. Under the normal rules, he gets a pool based on the group and their strength, and draws from that pool for everything he does. This drains the pool very quickly, and doesn’t allow for real ‘epic’ confrontations. What I plan to do now is say that the game master sets a strength for any given encounter, from 1 to 4. This is the minimum the game master rolls for the opposition in every confrontation. The Story Point pool is freed up to augment these rolls, or to adjust the scene as normal.
A Challenge 1 opponent is a pushover, able to be defeated quickly. A Challenge 4 opponent is a monster, and almost impossible to take down. I figure that the wound system I will introduce will be used for taking down an opponent – you need to also inflict wounds equal to the opponent’s Challenge rating.
By wounds, I don’t mean ‘damage’ however. In the advanced system, you can inflict injuries (reduce attributes). Normally, to reduce an attribute in the Story Point System, the character has to act, and spend points from her attribute. If she doesn’t act, or doesn’t spend points, she can in theory go forever. What I’ve decided is that a character can ‘inflict injury’. If the target has two Complications, you can burn them to reduce the attribute by one. I figure, I’ll allow the same thing for NPC opponents as well. Hit them where it hurts, and their Challenge rating drops by one. This ‘damage’ can be anything – depends on what attribute you’re reducing: A loss of confidence, a physical wound, confusion and disorientation, or a crisis of faith.
I think this will allow for more risky play, which in some games is a good thing.