Plot Twists

Drawing Plot Twists: In order to gain a plot twist, a player must draw a plot twist card from the plot twist deck. Doing so does not require their character to use any actions and it can be done while the character is stunned, paralyzed, unconscious, or is otherwise unable to normally take actions. A player cannot draw a plot twist card when their character is dead; plot twists represent personal strokes of luck that obviously cannot be applied to one who is already deceased.

Each player begins with a single potential draw from the plot twist deck. Each time their character gains a level, the player gains an additional potential draw, to a maximum of 3 potential draws. In addition, a player can spend one of their character’s hero points in order to immediately draw a card from the plot twist deck; spending this hero point, like playing a plot twist card, does not require an action and can be done at almost any time; as long as the character in question is not dead. Finally, bonus draws from the plot twist deck can be awarded by the GM for heroic deeds; unless specified otherwise by the GM, these draws must be taken immediately and cannot be stored into a potential draw.

Using Plot Twists: After declaring that the player is going to draw a plot twist, they immediately draw a single card from the plot twist deck. The players can only spend a single potential draw in order to draw a plot twist card once per encounter; however, a GM can award the players as many draws from the plot twist deck as he or she chooses and players can spend hero points to gain additional draws from the plot twist deck; these additional draws never count against the use of the player’s potential plot twist. Note that in this definition, an encounter does not only refer to combats; it also refers to social situations, puzzles, and traps.

For example, Jewel and Omar’s players both have 1 potential draw left from the plot twist deck. Omar decides to use his potential draw, disallowing Jewel from using her own potential draw. During the next round, Jewel decides that the party desperately needs another plot twist in their favor, but because of Omar’s play last turn, she cannot use her potential draw. Instead, she decides to spend a Hero Point in order to gain another draw from the deck. Then, on Zerrick’s turn, Zerrick’s player brutally describes how his ax sliced through the chest of his victim, the detailed description of gore prompting the GM to allow Zerrick’s player to draw his own plot twist card.

Once a plot twist card has been drawn, the player must choose how to apply its effects. While each card has a very specific game rule associated with it, the player who draws the plot twist card is encouraged to try and figure out a creative way to apply the card’s effects. Each card has a theme based upon its name, and each card also describes several scenarios that could be used to alter the current situation. Since the player’s usage of plot twist cards expends each other’s potential draw for the encounter, the drawer’s comrades are allowed to give suggestions to the player who drew the card. Ultimately, however, the GM is the final arbiter of how the plot twist card functions in the situation; GMs are encouraged to allow the card to function when doing so is far and balanced, but they are also encouraged to alter the card’s function; even its game rules as printed upon the card. Ultimately, a plot twist card should never completely trivialize an encounter, though they can be used to provide aid to the players in their time of need.

Luck of Heroes and Plot Twists: The feat Luck of Heroes, found in the Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide, increases the maximum number of potential draws from the plot twist deck that a player can store to 5, up from 3. This benefit applies to halflings, as they receive Luck of Heroes as a bonus feat at 1st level (see the Hero Points page).

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Plot Twists

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