FES: Game Basics & Page Index

I talk about it regularly on Cohost! See the #FES tag.

FES, or Fantasy Entertainment System, is a 3d6 game with stacking advantage.

The central idea is based around: If you want to target a difficulty for the “average” base-level difficulty the party should face, you should target a 20 for your total dice roll plus modifiers.

Players are the only ones who roll dice, so if a 3d6 challenge is made against a creature that is not a player, whoever sets the rules can establish what the expected difficulty of an average roll should be like.

To modify difficulty, think about what represents the challenge’s skill and advantages:

  • If intended to represent the base skill or effectiveness of a challenge target, increase the DC
  • If intended to represent an external factor that affects the target, treat it as disadvantage for the challenger instead

To complete a challenge, you roll the dice, accumulate a result, and whoever is responsible for the difficulty setting lets you know how much above or under you went. If you rolled above, your task succeeds at a measure equal to the difference. Similarly, if you roll below, then you are negatively affected instead in equal measure.

Mechanically, the game works like so:

  1. Evaluate your situation and your character, and determine all narrative and mechanical advantages and disadvantages, and decide if you’re going to spend any determination points on the roll.
  2. Subtract the number of advantages by the number disadvantages in your situation. The difference is the number of dice that you add to your dice pool.
  3. Roll the total dice. If you have advantage (0 or more), keep the 3 highest; if you have disadvantage, keep the 3 lowest.
  4. If you have an acquisition that lets you use your proficiency bonus with a challenge, you may add your proficiency level to the total.
  5. Add the relevant ability score to the total.
  6. If you chose to add determination points before rolling, add them to the roll’s total.

The consequences of a roll are typically expected to take the form of either physical or mental damage, but this can be ignored where damage does not make sense.

Once a character reaches 0 hp, they obtain a trauma that makes sense based on the damage done. This can range from “annoyed” to “lost” to “unconscious” or “dead”.

After rolling, it’s a matter of filling out your character sheet and using it to determine advantages, disadvantages, and flat bonuses that might be relevant.

Otherwise, the game is effectively freeform roleplay. Avoid rolling for trivial challenges - use challenges to help the game be interesting and fun, there’s no need to roll every little thing!

Using the forum

Index of Rules Posts

Discussions about game balance/design

Kobold Town worldbuilding

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