Friday, April 11, 2014

Deck Of Fridays 16: On Point

The Terrible Lords of Xibalba

Welcome back to DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF. We make a draw from the Deck of FateRPG Inspiration Cards, or another Aspect-generative randomizer. Then we do something interesting with it, using the Aspect as inspiration for a campaign or scenario seed, a situation, scene, location, NPC, thingie, etc.

This week's draw from the Deck of Fate is a card with the Aspect: On Point. Today we're casting a deadly spell, a sharp-edged mirror knife made of the darkest glass: Call Knife Point.


Call Knife Point (Evocation/Planar, Cost, Per Scene, Persistent, Corrupting): Deep within the Underworld of Xibalba lies the place known as the House of Knives. It's where the Hero Twins were tested, a place where obsidian knives hurl through the air in all directions. Demonic knives tear the living into ribbons of bloody flesh. 

The Lords of Xibalba teach the spell Call Knife Point to priests or sorcerers who please them in some way. Lord Tezcatlipoca also knows this spell; Lord Smoking Mirror teaches this spell to mortals who strike the right bargain. Both the Lords of Xibalba and Lord Tezcatlipoca favor those who sow the kind of chaos and terror which the House of Knives brings to its guests. 

The spell Call Knife Point summons forth into our world one of the obsidian flying daggers from the House of Knives. This spell can only be cast at night, or when the caster is in the Underworld. (It can also be cast in the depths of space, as long as the summoner does not face a nearby sun.)  A living demonic shard of volcanic glass from the Underworld, the Knife Point does the bidding of its summoner for one Scene. The dagger obeys the conscious thoughts of its caster. It can fly across up to three Zones per turn to strike a target of the caster's choice.

The summoner rolls CHA to call the Knife Point. If they Succeed with Style on the roll, two Knife Points appear rather than one.

Each turn, the Knife Point may attack a target of the caster's choice. The Knife Point Attacks using the caster's CHA vs. the target's DEX; shifts scored cause Physical Stress.

If a Knife Point Takes Out at least one individual, or inflicts at least one Consequence on a target during the Scene, the caster may dispel it no later than the end of that Scene.

However, should a Knife Point fail to draw blood in the Scene, the GM should draw a card from the Deck of Fate, and select the most appropriate aspect on the card to determine what the Knife Point does next.

Unquenched Knife Points frequently turn on their summoners, as the Lords of Xibalba enjoy the irony inherent in such predicaments. Such blades may also seek to escape the location where they were summoned in order to explore, and search for new prey.

Loved ones of the summoner are particularly choice targets for Knife Points. Such a loose blade remains an active threat until the sun rises - or indefinitely in a dark place such as the Underworld or the lower decks of a space hulk.


  1. Replies
    1. I created the spell originally for an entirely different game system, during the playtesting of Chad Davidson's alt history 16th C. RPG, Heirs to the Lost World. Sorcerers in league with the Lords of the Mayan Underworld of Xibalba sometimes have access to it. Still not as bad as the Puss Hurlers; they make even Mieville's Scab Smelters look wholesome.