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LotR's Weariness translation to d20

Started by apeiron, February 06, 2004, 06:07:17 PM

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@ My favorite part of the LotR RPG is the Weariness system.  So i'm attempting here to recreate it for d20.  If this is something that interests you, feel free to share your own ideas and help me develop my proposal.  If you thing the LotR RPG or the Weariness ideais 'teh suck', don't bother posting here please.

@ i think this version is ok, but i might remove the chart and make a point per failure system instead.

Version One

Weariness is the aggregate of physical and emotional strain placed upon adventuring characters.  Such stress can take a toll on one's ability to concentrate and even the will to carry on.

Weariness is expressed in 6 degress

The Weariness Chart

Lvl   Degree          Penalty       Rest        
0     Hale            None          
1     Winded          +2            10 Minutes
2     Tired           +4            1 Hour
3     Weary           +6            2 Hours
4     Spent           +8            4 Hours
5     Exhausted       +15           1 Day            

Chart Details

0 - Hale: The character is fully rested and ready for anything
1 through 4: These are the intermediate states of weariness with no special effect
5 - Exhausted: In this state a character is too tired or distraught to do much of anything but hobble about slowly.

The penalty is assigned to all d20 rolls, saves, attacks and skill rolls alike.  Picking a DC 15 Lock when Spent would require a check against DC 23.  Unless the rogue can Take 20 and has the skill+atrib bonus of 3 or better, the can't pick that lock until they rest a bit.

This marks the amount of rest time required to shed that level of Weariness.  For instance if a character is Weary, they must rest about 3 hours and ten minutes to return to Hale.

Weariness Checks

Certain events or actions will call for a Weariness Check.  
- Strenuous Physical Activity: At the end of a difficult battle or hard day of marching
- Demoralizing Event: Witnessing the Death of a friend or loved one, failing to achieve some goal, lousy weather
- Strenuous Mental Activity: Casting multiple spells or one big spell, staying up all night hacking the Gibson
- Injury: A particularly painful or damaging wound

When something calls for a Wearness Check, Roll 20 + CON Bonus + CHA Bonus + WIS Bonus versus an appropriate DC.  15 is a good starting point for a Weariness Check.  Note that the DC must include any penalty for current Weariness.

- Botch: A Roll of 1, the player must make a recovery roll against the same DC, if that roll succeeds, then they gain one Wearness Level, if it fails, they gain two.

- Simple Failure: Total roll + bonuses is less than the DC, the character gains a Weariness Level

- Success: Total Roll + bonuses is greater than the DC but less than twice the DC, the character is not Wearied by the event.

- Outstanding Success: Total Roll + bonuses is at least twice the DC, not only do they not gain Weariness, they lose one if they had one.

In addition to rest, some events might invigorate or inspire the character to shake off their Weariness.  What these events might be should be tailored to the character and situation.  A character fond of good drink and hearty food can recover more quickly by visiting the local pub.  If the party succeeds at some important goal, all of the characters might be entitled to some recovery.  There is no roll for recovery, it is a judgement call as to how much of what causes how much recovery.  Typically, only one level should be recovered per event.

On your feet soldier!
Heroes can sometimes shake off the effects of sadness, pain and exhaustion to perform extraordinary feats.  To attempt this, the player must make a series of Weariness Checks, one check for each level.  So a character with 3 levels must make three checks.  These rolls are pass/fail.  For each pass result, the character may ignore one level of Weariness for that scene.  In the above example, the character passes 2 of the three, and may act as if they were merely Winded.  The downside, is that at the end of that scene, they regain all of those levels plus one more.  So the example character would go from Weary to Winded and then down to Spent at the end of the scene.
If you live in the NoVA/DC area and would like help developing your games, or to help others do so, send me a PM.  i'm running a monthly gathering that needs developers and testers.

Bob the Fighter

I think that the inclusion of emotional stress as a factor is a wonderful idea!
That sense of "anything that hinders" causing a penalty is a good one, something that I haven't really seen before.
Be here now.


Hullo -

Probably just a matter of taste, but I think your penalties are too high, by almost a factor of two, by comparison with the sizes of modifiers used elsewhere in the game.

Other than that, it looks like a very nice implementation.

- James


@ Thanks!  As i was writing them, i wondered it the penalties were too steep myself, i'll make an edit.  That is another reason why i was thinking of a nice linear non-chart approach might be better.  One way of dealing with the steepness of the penalties is make the check easier or less frequent.  Another consideration is that with high level characters, those penalties would start to loose their effect.  A -6 might only negate your skill points but not your attrib bonus.  Alas, i have no means to play test this idea.

@ Well, i can't do an edit, so this will have to do...

Replace the penalty progression with:

-1, -3, -5, -7, -9

Epic Characters

The penalties will eventually become moot as their bonuses and skills get higher.  To accommodate this use this progression:

-2. -4, -6, -8, -10
If you live in the NoVA/DC area and would like help developing your games, or to help others do so, send me a PM.  i'm running a monthly gathering that needs developers and testers.