The Water Margin
Adventurers are cut from different cloth from everyone else — and players need to have a bit of control over their characters’ destinies! For this reason, every adventurer has Destiny points.
A 1st level adventurer usually has one Destiny point. You reset your total Destiny points at the start of every adventure, so a 1st level human hero starts every new adventure with one Destiny point.
Commoners (who don’t have levels) and most monsters don’t have Destiny points. NPCs only have Destiny points if they have the Great Destiny feat.
You can only have a number of Destiny points equal to ½ your character’s level (minimum 1). Higher level characters have greater destinies!
You can spend your Destiny points to activate certain abilities or to have a heroic moment.
Spending Destiny Points
You can only spend Destiny points on one act of destiny per turn, but certain bonuses might cost multiple points. Thus, if you choose to spend a Destiny point to make a critical hit, you can’t use a Destiny point for anything else until your next turn. Conversely, you could spend two Destiny points to cast a spell with metamagic, since all of the points are spent on the same amazing act.
In general, you can only spend Destiny points on actions that are taken during your turn, unless specified otherwise.
Acts of Destiny
|1||Action bonus||Add +3 (or better) to a d20 roll|
|1||Critical hit||Automatically confirm a critical hit|
|1||Extend duration||Add 1 round to the duration of an expiring effect|
|1||Residual charge||Spend one last charge from an exhausted magical item|
|1+||Spontaneous metamagic||Apply metamagic to a spell without prior preparation|
|1||Stabilize||Stabilize on your own when incapacitated|
|1+||Special effect||Negotiate with GM|
Action Bonus: Spend 1 Destiny point to add +3 to a d20 roll that you just made, such as initiative, an attack roll, or a saving throw. At 7th level, you add +4; at 13th level, you add +5.
Critical Hit: If you score a possible critical hit, you may spend one Destiny point to automatically confirm that hit without requiring a confirmation roll.
Extend Duration: If an effect upon you is about to expire, such as a spell or a class feat, and that effect usually has a duration measured in rounds, you can spend one Destiny point to extend the duration by a round. You must do this on the last round of the effect, and you can only do it once for a given effect. You can’t extend the duration of a spell that is expiring for a reason other than the duration running out — for instance, you cannot extend the duration of an invisibility spell after breaking it by attacking.
Residual Charge: If you have a charged magical item (such as a staff or wand) that you can use and that has exhausted all of its charges, you can spend one Destiny point to eke out one last additional charge from the item. You must still take an action to use the item. No further residual charge can be coaxed from the item after this. You can only eke a final charge out of an item that contains a spell that is of an order of power that you could cast; if the spell you try to coax from the item is of an order of power above your ability to cast, you can’t muster enough power to activate it.
Spontaneous Metamagic: You can apply a metamagic feat that you know to a spell at the time of casting. Spend a number of Destiny points equal to the level increase that the metamagic feat normally applies — a metamagic feat that increases the spell’s effective level by one costs 1 Destiny point, for instance. The spell’s level and casting time do not change.
Stabilize: If your character is incapacitated due to hit point damage, you can spend one Destiny point to automatically stabilize.
Special Effect: You can negotiate with the GM and the other players to decide on an acceptable other effect that you can perform with Destiny points. This might be altering the outcome of a test, miraculously avoiding death, or fortuitously discovering an overlooked clue.
h3. Gaining Destiny Points
You can regain Destiny points by performing dramatic deeds and advancing the story. Destiny points are a reward for enhancing the drama and the enjoyment of the group as a whole, or for shouldering heroic burdens; GMs should award Destiny points to encourage good gameplay. A character who has spent some points can regain points through a variety of methods:
Choose to fail a saving throw: You can deliberately fail a saving throw in order to gain a Destiny point. You only gain a point if the effect comes from a source that challenges you — that is, if you are subjected to an attack against which you are immune, or from a monster or trap that’s trivial to you, you can’t gain a Destiny point for failing your saving throw against it. You may only claim this bonus once per encounter.
Fumble an attack: When engaged in a combat against a foe that challenges you, choose to fumble an attack. You miss the attack, and your character suffers some sort of setback. Perhaps your character drops his weapon, or accidentally injures another party member. The GM will determine the nature of the fumble. You may only claim this bonus once per encounter.
Play a compelling character: You gain a Destiny point if you play a character role to the hilt in a way that improves the dramatic tenor of the game. Naturally, this is a somewhat subjective barometer. In general, if the other players and the GM agree that your character’s performance was moving, insightful, side-splittingly comedic, or otherwise a great contributor to the game, then you may gain a Destiny point. Note that your contribution should promote fun for the group; make sure that your performance entertains or involves the other characters.
Choose to take an action against your principles: A character’s alignment is a barometer of the character’s moral and ethical principles. Characters who betray those principles will suffer despair due to pangs of conscience and self-doubt, but doing so also grants you a Destiny point because you have learned something about yourself, your convictions, and your limits. At the discretion of the GM and the group, you may also gain a Destiny point if you concede a dispute or decide to change your position to support another character in a way that propels the drama of the story. Conversely, standing your ground may sometimes merit a Destiny point for compelling drama, particularly if your character refuses to compromise in the face of overwhelming incentives.
As adventurers encounter various challenges together, they’ll bond through their shared experiences. Once they’ve had a few battles under their belts, they start to learn how to work with one another and in some cases even put their lives on the line for each other.
When you start a new adventure, place a number of tokens in the camaraderie pool equal to the Charisma modifier from the party member with the highest Charisma score (minimum 0). Only players’ characters count — don’t include any hirelings or non-player characters.
As you face challenges during the course of the adventure, you gain camaraderie for overcoming them — or for suffering through unsuccessfully, assuming that anyone survives! Whenever the entire party gains a challenge mark, place one token of camaraderie in a bowl in the middle of the game table.
Camaraderie works just like Destiny points, except that anyone in the table can take it when they need it. The party, however, can veto someone’s use of camaraderie by a majority vote. (In the event of a tie, the camaraderie use is allowed.) While camaraderie is useful, don’t get caught up in arguments over when to use it — after all, it’s not too hard to gain more Destiny points with heroics, and camaraderie might make the difference in overcoming a challenge and thus gaining more camaraderie!
After the adventure, wipe away any unused camaraderie. Next time, the adventurers start fresh.
Note that your character ties might influence camaraderie. If you’ve chosen for your character to have no character ties to at least half the party, you can’t take or use camaraderie points.