Fate of the North Star: “Designer” Notes

In one recent post I uploaded my little Fate hack of Hokuto no Ken. Here are a couple of issues that are worth clarifying.

I have not included this iconic attack as a martial art stunt:

Why? Because it is pretty unclear that it is a thing at all. First, it is only mentioned once in the manga (much more often in the anime). Second, many other characters (some of them not even Hokuto practitioners) are seen performing analogous attacks: off the top of my head I can think of Shin, Rei and Falco. So I thought that after all it was better left as narrative flavour to a run-of-the-mill Fate Attack.

Also, a clarification on Hokuto’s pressure points. The phrasing of the Pressure Points stunt may be a little convoluted (I have revised it slightly, check the latest draft). The notion, though, should be familiar to Fate players. The idea there is only that the stunt gives you narrative justification for declaring a bit of truth that usually are beyond other characters power. (Perhaps it could have been managed directly through invocations of a Hokuto aspect, but I wanted it to be a stunt because the fact declared are likely to have both narrative and mechanical consequences: blindness, paralysis etc.).

As most things in Fate, it is only used when it is interesting for the player to bring something in the narrative spotlight. If all you need is killing an opponent gruesomely, you do not have to resort to the stunt. It is not necessarily the case that what in fiction is the use of a pressure point must be modeled by this stunt. The use of pressure points in healing, for instance, is explicitly modeled by the stunt Healing Touch. But see what I wrote in the section On “Techniques”: any time your character takes out an opponent, you can assume that you did so by pressing their pressure points. Only, in that case you will not have any of the advantages enabled by the Pressure Point stunt: inflicting mental consequences, making them happen “in three hours” etc. For that, you must know the stunt and pay fate points.


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