Aspects for Pathfinder- My $.02

One of my blogging buddies posted today about introducing Aspects from the FATE system into his upcoming Pathfinder Game. This is something that he and I have talked at great length about and something that I will be introducing into my upcoming Pirate Pathfinder game.

I’ve liked the concept of Aspects since I read about them in FATE 2.0. However it was the Dresden Files RPG that refined the mechanic, in my opinion, and made it shine.

I have several house rules I use to enhance my players and my fun and to accomplish things in a way I feel isn’t in the standard rules.

I knew Aspects were something I was going to incorporate into my game immediately after I discovered them. The only question was how I wanted to do it.

Now Chuck offers a quick and awesome idea for it:

Using Fate Points: The core rules of FATE let you get a +2 for invoking an Aspect. That’s fine but the scale is way different. Since we use Action Points which gives you +1d6, a flat +4 seems like the sweet number. The bonus can be only applied to d20 rolls.

I like this, but I wanted to incorporate Aspects into my house rules more fully. So I decided, as Chuck points out using a d6. Each character has 5 Aspects; High Concept, Trouble, and 3 others that are either Situational or Story Driven.

Using an Aspect let’s the player roll 1d6 and add that amount to any one of their rolls. 6’s explode and can be rerolled. A player could also reroll a bad outcome, even critical failures. When using an Aspect the player takes some Narrative control over the situation and describes the outcome.

How many Aspects does a player start with? 3 and as Chuck said, it is my affinity with Savage Worlds (and 3.5 Eberron) that also made me choose this number. The Aspects are activated by using Action Points.

Here are my rules for what AP can be used for:

A player starts a session with 3 Action Points unless the characters goals were realized last session, then they start with 4. The way a player gets more Action Points is either by the GM or they themselves compel their aspects in a way that can lead them to trouble.

These are used for several different things in the game:
• To gain a healing surge (which is 25% of total HP).
• To add 2d6 to any damaging attack or spell (including healing spells).
• To activate an Aspect (Cost 1 AP).
• To activate a Plot Twist (cost 3 AP).
• To take an extra action in a round (cost 2 AP).

So just like the FATE system you can only get more AP (and the use of Aspects) by compelling yourself into interesting situations or the GM doing so.

What do you think about Aspects? Any questions about how the mechanic works further?

Author: Mike Evans

I am the dude behind DIY RPG Productions. I have a fuck all punk rock attitude, love meeting new people, doing nature shit, and gaming (tabletop and console) and having a good time. I love craft beer (maybe too much), punk, grunge, and industrial music. I write books. Good for me.

5 thoughts

  1. You’ve got much more thought out rules. Good Job Dude. But then I knew that already. I’ll be twisting my GM’s arm to figure out exactly how he’s going to be using Aspects.

  2. Cool idea! Good thinking, too, adopting the High Concept and Trouble.

    I’m running a Pathfinder game at the moment. It’s coming to an end, otherwise I’d try your rules out with it.

    I like your various uses for Action Points and the idea of rolling an exploding d6 instead of adding a flat modifier sounds like it would make using Aspects pretty exciting!

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