In one of Hankerin’s YouTube videos, he talks about not wanting to spend much time on backstory. But backstory can add depth to character, and more importantly, it can affect the outcome of a situation. To this end, I thought of the Backstory d6. This is totally untested, but hear me out:
Every character starts with 5 non-replaceable backstory points. When a dire situation arises, the player can roll a d6, and come up with a convincing (GM’s call) reason from their backstory why an action automatically succeeds, or why a dire consequence can be avoided. The roll must be equal or less than their current number of backstory points to succeed, and the character drops a point for every successful roll.
The reason could be treated like a FATE aspect, that is, having both good and a bad potential, which the GM can bring up in play later. Subsequent invocations of the backstory could make a roll easy or hard, or give some other advantage. The scope and strength of the backstory is something that the GM should determine.
For example: Morg encounters a large, hungry alligator, and is down to his last couple of HP when the beast snaps its jaws at him. Morg’s player invokes the Backstory die, rolling a 3. Since this is the first time he has rolled the die, Morg has 5 points, so this is a success.
Morg’s player states that Morg grew up near a dangerous swamp, and learned the telltale signs when alligators (and other swamp creatures?) are about to go for the kill, and how to avoid them. Morg avoids the literal jaws of death, and subsequently makes easy rolls when fighting swamp creatures.
The next time he rolls the Backstory die for Morg, Morg’s player only has 4 points, and so must roll a 4 or lower.
Just an idea that came to me recently.