Probable Cause: Destiny

5 February, 2012

Holy red herring, is it February already? Gaming has been slow for me since I finished my game Crossroads, intended for Fastaval over Easter. If you are going to Fastaval, please consider running or at least playing Crossroads, you won’t be disappointed. If you run the game at the convention, I’ll give you a copy as a thank you. Everyone else will have to buy one, but thankfully it’s very cheap.

Destiny: the little extra with the big punch

Similiarly, I haven’t been working much on my Probable Cause police game, besides watching a bunch of William Friedkin movies, but that’s given me some energy to pick it up again.

William Petersen as the cop in Friedkin's underrated 80s movie To Live and Die in L.A.

The inspiration for how the game works is still Mouse Guard RPG, but it’s becoming more and more its own entity. I have morphed Mouse Guard’s Fate and Persona into what I’m calling Destiny. Below I’m referring to “Credo, Hunch and Burden”, which I will explain more about in the next post. Basically they are my variations of Belief and Instinct.

Destiny points allow you to re-roll 6s as new dice and add any successes to the total. They can also be used to add a die to a roll per point spent. You can use Destiny to trigger Human Nature and add your Human Nature rank as dice to any roll except Circles or Resources, albeit risking Human Nature to be lowered momentarily.
You get Destiny points when playing your character’s Credo, Hunch and Burden. There are several ways to get these important rewards, which are all handed out after a completed game session of a GM’s and players’ turn.
Destiny point can be tracked by simply noting them down on the characters sheet, or you can use tokens like poker chips or similar. Stacking them in front of you gives the group a good view of who has many Destiny points to spend at any given moment.

Using Destiny after a die roll

Reroll any sixes from a roll by spending a point of Destiny, and add any extra successes to your roll.

Using Destiny before a die roll

Add +1D per spent Destiny point before a roll (up to +3D).
Add Human Nature rank as extra dice by spending a point of Destiny.

There are many different ways of earning Destiny points, and you can use as many as you like. Destiny points help make your player character extra special and with larger than life impact on the fiction, if necessary. Destiny Points are handed out after mutual agreement among the players at the end of a play session, after both the Chair’s and players’ turns.

Get Destiny points:

1. Act on your Credo
2. Play towards your Burden
3. Play your Hunch
4. Eradicate your Burden (create new one before next GM turn)
5. Play against your Hunch to make things difficult
6. Roleplay your character


  1. Looks nice.

    When can I add human nature rank to a roll?

    What does “Roleplay your character” means? What do you think it´ll add to the game?

  2. Woohoo, comments, thanks Asbjørn!

    1. You can do that for any test (costs a Destiny point).

    2. Roleplay, well, pretty straightforward: speak in character (1st or 3rd person, doesn’t matter), act according to your fictional character and on behalf of your character’s personality, background and what’s been going on in the game. If you try to do all the other things listed how to get Destiny points, you are probably already roleplaying your character, so perhaps it’s superfluous to mention it specifically?

  3. 1. So I am guessing the +1D option is an extra, extra boost? First you add +human nature, then +1D?

    2. Well… I think it needs to more specific. And my hippie-love-and-care mentality makes me fear the “you are a good roleplayer, you are a bad roleplayer” angel.

  4. Hmm, yes. I wonder if this is too radical compared to MG, where you merely get to replace any skill with Nature. In any case, Human Nature will be “taxed” according to rules I still haven’t described here.

    Re: roleplaying, I think “good/bad roleplaying” is a complete red herring. If your fellow players like what you are doing/saying, then that’s good. If the group think you roleplayed your character, then you did.

    • Excatly. They have to judge you. I don’t like to be judged and weighed when practicing my hobby. Roleplaying should be fun, not a contest. I fear that a reward for “good roleplay” (whatever that is) might encourage that kind of thing.

      • Isn’t that a matter of life – other people, I mean?

        Anyway, they may judge you, but they can’t sentence you 🙂

        But as I said, all the other items on the list basically comprise “roleplaying”, so perhaps it’s not necessary to point it out. Especially if it scares anyone.

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