The foundation of my games are my Gamemastering Guidelines, which I put together in 2012. These were:
- Have Fun
- Roleplaying is not wargaming
- The player characters are heroes
- All the players are heroes
- The play is the thing
- Move the play forward
- The world should feel real
- The rules keep you honest
- Ignore the dice if you need to
- Learn from every session
Five years later, these still hold true, and in fact my belief in #8 is even stronger. I’ve also noticed that players have a deeper emotional response when they see all the rolls in front of them, which means I don’t hide them behind a DM (“Dice Modifier”) screen. Of course, that also means that I can’t fudge rolls that cause character deaths. For a time I used Luck points to allow players to reroll fails, since playing in a Savage Worlds Greyhawk campaign with Bennies, I now use those instead. I called them Fortunae rather than Bennies, but that’s about the only difference. Using Fortunae means that even when players roll disastrously, they can spend a Fortuna to reroll and hopefully save their character. If they keep rolling fails, then it is easier to accept that perhaps the gods have spoken and that character is fated to fail in this instance.
You can get Fortunae from the Referee by roleplaying well, solving a difficult puzzle, or adding to the game in some other way (such as coming in costume, bringing food for the group, or whatever else the referee wants to reward).
Other players can give you Fortunae from their stack as a reward for good play, for helping them, or for speaking well.
When you need to use Fortunae, other players can help you out, if they want. That’s also a good reason to be nice to the other players.