I would like to point out all the rules here are drafts and ideas, and had neither play tests or fully thought through. If anyone has anything to offer, leave a comment and we can all develop these ideas, sort of for the Greater Good :-p
I first had this idea when playing with the idea of a sort of role playing dux, with characters having to create a war band and grow in power, wealth and status. I invented more backgrounds that gave you special abilities, and had the smart idea to change the fate deck. This depended on the status of the noble (his experience and also his background, so a nobleman's son was proud, a warrior's son was savvy in the ways of war, etc...
Players would then have some cards automatically, and others could be chosen from a list. Characters might also gain other abilities and cards later, and also have (thanks Jim) secondary traits, which can or good or bad. These are then added to a generic deck (maybe the unsuited cards in the original game).
Backgrounds and their effects
Of course, if you play a Saxon and Briton game you can use the backgrounds provided, and Jim has some interesting medieval ones (designed for the 15th century but they might work for earlier). You could also go for fantasy ones, if that's what you play.
Backgrounds, as we all know, provides money and loyalty, and, to add a bit of spice, we could give our nobles a hereditary trait, given to him by his father/family (or lack of!), that might effect lots, or not at all, the game. Some examples of what I'm on about:
-Son of a lower nobleman (Esquire, Reeve...): More loyalty to other nobles and might be trained in war, giving him 1 random Veteran card (more below).
-Son of a steppe nomad: Maybe Huns or Mongols. He can ride a horse and fire a bow on the move. Gains a random card from the Speed or Tribal chief categories.
-Son of a priest: Knows religions practices of his country, and is automatically Devout (as well as any other Dux traits). He gains a random Believer card.
-Son of a barbarian: Gains a Courageous or Berserker card.
So what do these words in italics mean?!? Pray read on, if your still with me.
The words in italics; fate card categories
Under these ideas, fate cards are put into several categories, making them easier to class. Some ideas are:
-Courageous: Cards of knightly values, such as being brave and killing many enemies singly handily. Some are Hero of the Age, Armour Bright and some i invented.
-Veteran: A fighter, these cards give you bonuses in combat, such as Shieldwall Braced, Aggressive Charge and Bounding move.
-Speed: Allow movement through some terrain without penalties, and maybe the use of boats along rivers or the sea.
-Tribal Chief: If a steppe nomad, these cards allow a mounted force to unleash arrows at the gallop and make hit-and-run attacks of a less mobile foe.
-Berserker: Mad men and savages all, these cards are dangerous in hand to hand, but might leave men vulnerable because of their rage.
-Cunning: The sneaky tricks, allowing ambushes and feints to confuse a foe.
-Lucky: A lesser trait, these cards allow the impossible to become possible, and turn events around, but they are few.
-Believer: Reduce shock and give religious bravery to the men. These might be useful for Crusaders.
There are tons of things that could be done, the sky's the limit!
Traits; what are they?
Role players know them, the characteristics that define our heroes. Our Dux nobles are no different, so each one has 2 traits, a primary one and a secondary one. The primary is one of the above, and really defines our nobles. The secondary is either given to him through his background, or gained through battle and experience. Unlike primary traits, secondary traits can be bad; for example, a noble who sees his leader loose battle after battle might become disillusioned and begin to think he could do better (Look what a mess you've got me into! hint hint).
I won't gone into them in depth yet. There could be hundreds, but we need to keep things simple, so lets reduce it to a dozen TOPS! No more! If not i'll go mad (too late, perhaps).
Relax, the post is over
So ends part 1. I'll group these coming posts under a new label, Max's Fate and maybe create a page with links to easily find the posts. I hope some of you find them useful. Next time i'll introduce some new Fate Cards and define them into the categories, and the power of traits.