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Author Topic: exertion/fatigue idea for Ghosts  (Read 712 times)
Matt Wilson
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« on: September 19, 2002, 12:29:08 PM »

I imagined Ghosts having many situations in which characters are in stressful situations and have to push themselves. Not just when fighting, but in any situation.

So I thought that instead of a special combat system, apply the kinds of rules you see for combat to all abilities.

Here's what I have so far:

Characters have abilities in general areas that define aptitude in a broad range of categories. Physical, Mental, Social, Mechanical and Technical are my placeholders for now. You can also buy "tags" for each ability that can represent quirks, professions, and so on, to add to that ability when the right situation occurs. example: I have "martial artist" for physical, which adds a die to the pool when fighting or being limber or whatever.

Each ability is rated 1-5, allowing that many dice in a pool of d12s, which for now is a "choose the highest number showing" pool. If I have a 3 in technical, and I want to fix the jump drive, I roll 3d12 and take the highest die showing. The amount by which it beats an opposing roll is the number of successes, which can be loosely interpreted by GM/player 2 successes can mean 2 marginally cool things or one kind of cool thing.

Okay, what about in a crisis? Like I really need to get that jump drive fixed in a hurry? For this you can burn "exertion" dice, each adding one to your pool. Each ability can be exerted a number of times equal to its rating. After that, you've strained yourself, and you start taking penalties to all actions. But you can push yourself again, if you want, which only adds to the fatigue afterward.

What I like about it is that the concept of "damage" is tied into all activity, like the stress of a long negotiation. You put everything you had into a gruelling repair effort. And now you have to duke it out with some aliens? Better get some coffee.

Thoughts?
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deadpanbob
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2002, 12:40:04 PM »

I really like this idea.  It adds to the depth, IMHO, of other types of conflict and stress in the game.

One question tho - what about the paperwork?  Keeping track of how may times you've pushed a given ability seems like it might take a fair amount of bookeeping.

Also - wouldn't it be better to apply fatigue based on the total number of times a character exerts themselves within a given time-frame?  This would get at the idea that no matter what you exert yourself on, you're burning energy that you might sorely miss later on in the same scene/day etc.

My $0.02

Cheers,

Jason
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Matt Wilson
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2002, 02:25:53 PM »

Quote
One question tho - what about the paperwork?  Keeping track of how may times you've pushed a given ability seems like it might take a fair amount of bookeeping.


No problem. Being the DTP guy that I am, I'm already working on the character sheet. I'll post a link to a mockup when I get a chance.

Quote
Also - wouldn't it be better to apply fatigue based on the total number of times a character exerts themselves within a given time-frame?  This would get at the idea that no matter what you exert yourself on, you're burning energy that you might sorely miss later on in the same scene/day etc.


Well, that's what I meant. If you cross the threshold, you start taking penalties. How fatigue/exertion is restored is still in the works, but it's not a simple "rest for five minutes" kind of thing.
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deadpanbob
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2002, 02:44:18 PM »

Sorry.  I was reacting to this statement in your original post:

Quote from: itsmrwilson

Each ability can be exerted a number of times equal to its rating.


I took that to mean that if I have two abilities with ratings of 3 each, that I could exert each a total of twice before taking fatigue.  Instead of saying that all players have a single fatigue threshold that allows them to exert only that number of times on any ability before becoming fatigued.

And yes, I can see how a good character sheet design would do wonders for the book-keeping.

In fact, I think that somewhere someone should start a thread about the importance of character sheets in supporting the overall design.

Seems like you're headed down a fun road with Ghosts.  Looking forward to seeing more.


Cheers,

Jason
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2002, 06:45:48 AM »

I'm a big fan of this sort of system. Has it's roots in the Ars Magica system. Also, Sorcerer has rules for pushing yourself beyond your normal limits. Really cool stuff.

I like how getting tired has a cumulative efect later. In order to just get back to normal I have to push. And the next time I have to push more. That's great.

I assume there is a limit, however. At some point the player has to reach a limit on dice he can push, or else he could just push forever. Am I reading the system right?

Mike
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Matt Wilson
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2002, 07:00:17 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I'm a big fan of this sort of system. Has it's roots in the Ars Magica system. Also, Sorcerer has rules for pushing yourself beyond your normal limits. Really cool stuff.

I like how getting tired has a cumulative efect later. In order to just get back to normal I have to push. And the next time I have to push more. That's great.

I assume there is a limit, however. At some point the player has to reach a limit on dice he can push, or else he could just push forever. Am I reading the system right?

Mike


Yes.  The character sheet would allow a couple check boxes that you would mark off for pushing, but when that's maxed, it translates to real fatigue and dice penalties. It would be the same chart as if you took physical damage, except it'll go away if you rest for a significant period.
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damion
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Posts: 198


« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2002, 07:13:42 AM »

Kool, I like it. For refrences to other mechanics I'd suggest Hero and EarthDawn, although both used a 'general' push. I.e you could only push X times, rather than you can push any ability X times.  

The one issue is that since you can push every ability N times, where N is the the level of an ability with no penalty (If might be N-1, I wasn't sure).

My point is pushing becomes sorta routine, although that seems to fit with the idea of people who routinely give 110%.  

The other issue is there is a large temptation for GM's to throw in 'expendible encounters' which is basicly a way to force players to expend resourses(in this case, exhertion) before reaching the climax.
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James
Jeffrey Miller
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2002, 09:12:44 AM »

Quote from: damion
Kool, I like it. For refrences to other mechanics I'd suggest Hero and EarthDawn, although both used a 'general' push. I.e you could only push X times, rather than you can push any ability X times.  

The one issue is that since you can push every ability N times, where N is the the level of an ability with no penalty (If might be N-1, I wasn't sure).


ArM gets around that by having fatigue start early, with quite minor penalties that quickly ramp up.  Also, some actions don't fatigue - they're far too routine.

Quote from: damion

The other issue is there is a large temptation for GM's to throw in 'expendible encounters' which is basicly a way to force players to expend resourses(in this case, exhertion) before reaching the climax.


Hey, that's MY trick! ;)
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