A couple minor Fortune Die questions

So I'd totally forgotten how much fun FS was, finally have the new version and ran my first game in probably fifteen years a week and a half ago. I did have a couple of things I wanted to ask regarding Chi however. As per my standard, I think I already know the answers but I figured I'd ask.

So, spending Chi to add a Fortune Die. Is that die added before or after the initial roll is made? It never actually says, and it makes rather a large difference.
Second, assuming the Fortune Die is rolled after, can one be spent to avoid the consequences of a Way-Awful Failure? If so I foresee having few if any Way-Awful Failures in my game.

Welcome back to Feng Shui! I wish I'd played it back in the day, as Hong Kong action and kung fu movies have been my main staple entertainment for 20 years. Man, if I had known there was a game like this...!

Here's how we play the Fortune Dice on a Fortune check:

  1. Hero has 6 Fortune and wants to make a Fortune check.
  2. Hero rolls a Swerve of 3.
  3. Hero spends one of their 6 Fortune and now they have 5 Fortune.
  4. They roll a Fortune Die of 4, their Swerve becomes 7.
  5. Hero adds 7 to their current Fortune of 5, for an Action Result of 12.

That's how we do it.

Here's the text of the rule, from page 12 of the Feng Shui 2 book:

Way-Awful Failures: For me, it would depend on how the Way-Awful Failure was generated.

If they rolled a negative Result they could certainly add a Fortune die to the result to make it less bad. If they rolled a negative Action Result of -3, an added Fortune die could be rolled and possibly make the Action Result a positive result, and therefore not a Way-Awful Failure, just a normal Failure (probably).

If they rolled Boxcars and then rolled an Action Result less than the Difficulty of the check, then again they could add a Fortune die to the Result and possibly turn it into an awesome success. But if they rolled Boxcars and then rolled an Action Result which was 7 points lower than the Difficulty, a Fortune die wouldn't prevent it from being a Way-Awful Failure. Even if they rolled a 6 on the Fortune die they'd still be 1 point lower than the Difficulty of the check, which would still make it a Way-Awful Failure.

Hope this helps!

Thanks! Yeah, we had quite the campaign going in the day. Sadly, all my notes on it were lost when my laptop got stolen at Gen Con a few years back. Missing those notes now as one of the players is playing the daughter of her character from the original game.

We quick-ruled it the way you did, allowing Fortune Dice to be spent on rolls after the initial roll. But there really isn't anything in the book I could find that declared it one way or the other. The text you posted, in fact, seems to obliquely indicate that it might be the opposite way in the bolded text - add the die, then roll the check. The rest of the quote is about making Fortune Checks rather than how to add Fortune Dice to regular tests.

Your points about the Way-Awful Failure are valid. Of course, the WAF issue is only an issue if dice are added after the initial roll, so that bit's what's properly concerning.