The Enaros are a unique pantheon of gods. While powerful, they are neither omnipotent nor omniscient. However, they have a definite interest in the lives of mortals, and are wont to influence those lives as suits them best. This includes Endroren – although he is chained to the center of the world he is still able to influence those who gain his attention.
To represent both the possibility and degree of influence, a system of cards is used. These cards, with one exception, reference an aspect of a single Enaros, and possibly even the Enaros as a whole. This aspect reflects the type of influence the Enaros has chosen to exercise when the card is played. Additionally, each card is marked with a certain number of pips, rendered as small suns along the bottom of the card. As the number of pips increases, the amount of influence the Enaros exerts also increases. From a skeptic’s eye, especially if the eye is tsvergic, the greater the number of pips the more difficult it is to deny direct intervention.
A one-pip card could most certainly be attributed to dumb luck, as could a two-pip (although certainly a greater amount of luck), but a three-pip card is nothing short of a miracle (arguably mundane – crazy things do happen). A four-pip card effect is almost undeniably divine, and if the conditions are right the Enaros may even be seen exercising their influence.
The play of a card is an opportunity for role-play. The player should assume the role of the specific Enaros singled out by the card and describe why the Enaros has chosen to interfere with these specific mortal affairs, and your character in particular. Playing a card does not represent your character calling upon the gods. It is certainly possible, especially if playing a tsverg, that you do not wish divine intervention. The Enaros are not really all that concerned with what your character believes or thinks (to a point), and they will intervene if they wish, possibly even in spite of your character. Remember, the Enaros have a certain amount of sympathy for the tsverg. So, assume the mantel of an Enaros, role-play the god’s will, and have fun with the game.
A sample of cards for Droth, Lord of Trial
There is a class of cards that is not attributed to a single Enaros. These are the Blessed Favor cards. They are unique to each campaign. A Blessed Favor card has five pips on it, making it the most powerful card in the game. It can be attributed to any Enaros the player chooses at the time of play. No Blessed Favors exist within a deck when a new campaign starts. Blessed Favors are introduced for epic heroism, grand adventure, and the stuff of legends. The Blessed Favor is absolutely undeniable as direct divine intervention. The Enaros will almost certainly be seen, and even after the favor is rendered the presence of the divine will continue to be felt.
Players begin the campaign with 3 cards. Successful completion of an adventure results in a draw as well – in general 1 card award per 10-15 experience points is appropriate. Otherwise, good roleplaying, voluntary exercise of Complications in significant ways, and epic risk taking should all be rewarded with an extra card draw.
The Enaros however do not just observe anyone. If the players have yet to reach 150 character points, there should be no Blessed Favor cards or Enaros cards in the deck; only cards of 1-3 pips should be shuffled in until the characters reach 150 total character points. It may be appropriate, upon completion of an adventure at this level, to insert a four-pip Enaros card into the deck if the adventure demonstrated a particular service to that Enaros. Over time as characters grow to 150 character points they would be gaining the attention of the Enaros.
Only the count of cards is tracked from session to session. New cards are drawn every session with two exceptions: Enaros Cards (4 pips) and Divine Favor (5 pips).
These cards are redrawn each session.
These cards are unique and once drawn you keep that card until you decide to play it or convert it to Grace. However, starting with the next session the card is reshuffled into the deck. If another player draws the card, you’ve lost the Enaros’ favor and must draw a new card.
Blessed Favor cards are essentially wild cards. Stories are still required, but the ability to weave any single Enaros into the story should make that fairly straightforward. However, only one Blessed Favor card can be available to the group at any time. If one player holds a Blessed Favor and another draws a second Blessed Favor, one of them must turn the card in immediately and draw a new card, gaining +1 Grace (permanent) with a single Enaros and wiping out all Malice with that Enaros as well.
The pips are the primary effect of the card, although the story with the card is also important. Every card played requires a story describing how the Enaros has chosen to influence the situation according to a specific aspect of the Enaros. Failure to come up with a story reduces the pips on the card by half (round down).
Cards can be played at anytime, but are generally played after an action. The card can only affect the most recent roll. For example, if a character is hit he could immediately play a one-pip card to up his DCV by +2, which may cause the attacker to miss. However, once damage is rolled about all he can do is adjust hit location or stop some of the damage. GMs should take care to give a player some time to decide whether or not to play a card.
The moment another player introduces an idea about how a specific card should be played it is invalid and cannot be used in anyway. This happens most often when a players states, “I have this Grethken card I want to play,” and another player immediately jumps in saying, “Oooh, the tree above the bandit is past its prime and one of its branches snaps, dropping onto him.” This idea, and any ideas related to trees/branches falling onto bandits are no longer valid for this card play. There will be times when players cannot come up with any ideas about how to play their cards, and playing them at half-effect will not give them enough pips to be effective. That is the nature of the cards. This system of fate is not about ensuring the players always have enough luck to survive, it is about enhancing the story by the gods taking an interest in their characters.
There may be times when the play of the card is either inappropriate or could damage the game flow or plot. The GM has the final say whether a card can be used, although he should consider, especially if the story is good, that perhaps the Enaros meant for this to happen…. A good story that is vetoed should be rewarded with a bonus card if the story enhances the game.If a card is played in a way that has no impact on the characters’ success or the story fits perfectly (only the GM would know), the GM should award this story enhancement with a replacement draw of a card. This is a great way for players to replace their one-pip cards with something better.