View Full Version : equality

11-23-2001, 02:48 AM
I started using this to even things out with high level characters vs low level characters.

For each character I made a graph chart with 30 boxes inside one big box then numbered them one through thirty.
To get the number of fatigue points a character has you add their constitution score and add or subtract their strength modifier, then if they have the endurance feat add that modifier and mark the appropriately numbered box which gives you the total amount of fatigue points a character has.
For each round of combat a character performs an action such as fighting, casting spells, or physical action, mark off one box if character has a light load, two boxes for medium load, and three boxes for a heavy load. Once all of the characters fatigue points have been used give them a -2 to Str and Dex.
Then start at the first box and put a second mark in the box for each more fatigue point spent. Once each box is marked a second time the character becomes exhausted and takes an additional -6 to Str and Dex. Then start marking a third mark in each box until each box has three marks in them. If they achieve that then they will become unconscous, and at the mercy of their opponent.
This makes it a little bit harder for a 20th level fighter to take on a unit of goblin infantry and survive, and adds a bit of realism.

Lord Eldred
11-25-2001, 04:52 AM
While I like the idea that it would add realism to the situation, it seems it would slow down the game a bit because it is just one more thing you have to keep track of during combat situations.

I am assuming that the monsters would have this drawback as well.

11-26-2001, 01:35 AM
Actually keeping track of fatigue is pretty easy, just mark the appropriate boxes after each round, which takes no time at all. It forces the players to make better combat decisions because nobody wants to fight when their fatigued.
As for the DM, I only keep track of fatigue in special encounters, because most of the other encounters the monsters don't last long enough to get fatigued.

Arlen Blaede
01-23-2002, 04:59 PM
I like the idea of fatigue to help equalize the the horde vs high level combats. Helps keep 'em honest. However, I think you have taken it just a little too far be making them go unconscious after the third time through. Personally I can attest to being able to do some highly intensive work for a very long while without falling unconscious. The effects I recommend would be to decrease their STR, CON, and DEX by the -2 for the first bout of fatigue; after the second I would reduce it to -4 and an additional -2 to their intelligence and wisdom as their minds become cloudy with the fatigue (also make sure they are adjusting their save values for the new temporary scores); and then I would push them the rest of the way down the line of fatigue and grant them all with a blessing of -6 to all their physical characteristics and an additional -4 to their intelligence and wisdom. Much past this and I would just leave it up to the GM as to what effects take place. Also, how quick did you allow them to recover their fatigue? Constitution bonus per round with a minimum of one per round might be a good idea. Or if you want them to really wait for the less fit characters take a negative CON bonus to mean that the character has to wait extra rounds before receiving the fatigue points back.

One note for spellcasters and fatigue; with what I have recommeded it would be possible for them to no longer be able to cast high level spells if their requisite characteristic (ie. INT/WIS/CHA) fell below the appropriate score. Example: Wizard trying to cast a 6th level spell after his INT dropped to a 14. I would let him try, but enforce a concentration roll with a +2 penalty to the target number for every point the characteristic is below the needed level for the spell. The target number would be equal to the spell level plus the previously mentioned penalty. Of course this doesn't sound too hard, but if you were to add on the damage from an Ogre hitting the wizard while he tried to cast the spell. Well, good luck to the wizard.

01-24-2002, 12:48 AM
My group and I have been using this system for over a year now, and despite having a lot of tough battles, we have rarely made it to the fatigued state, near death state yes, but not fatigued. As for recovering fatigue points you get one back per hour, plus you recover as many fatigue points as you do hit points wether you were healed by magical means, or by rest. I do like the idea of Int and Wis negatives and will probably start using them soon. Also I think for a wizard to cast a spell then, they would have to make a concentration check against their negative Int modifier as though they were taking damage, and then add any damage taken. And same would apply to priests with their Wis modifier. I think this would work better then a spell level penalty because they still have the intelligence to cast it, its just that they're a little tired now.

Arlen Blaede
01-27-2002, 07:20 AM
Well, if it's been working for you keep using it. The bit with healing also giving back an equal number of fatigue points is sound, but I'm not sure I agree with gaining one fatigue point back an hour. Honestly, it might be better to just treat recovery of fatigue points the same way the rules treat recovery from subdual damage. Seems to be fairly applicable. I'd tell you what they are, but I can remember exactly so I'm gonna make you look it up.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

02-28-2002, 12:31 AM
Some points here:

Systems such as this is much a matter of taste. Personally, I've found that it is very much part of the genre that small numbers of characters are able to take on vast amounts of enemies and come out on top. And before you object that this is Birthright, think about some of the sources that doubtless served as the inspiration for Birthright's flavor; the tales of King Arthur - in one battle, he could kill hundreds by himself in some versions; the exploits of the Fellowship of the Ring - the book contains plenty of references where members of the fellowship each slays dozens of orcs.

Of course, you could argue that it is even more heroic to struggle on despite a character's weariness or injury; I am not sure most players like to suffer a stiff penalty in this case, however. I know mine wouldn't.

I also like to keep things simple; an extra note here or there quickly adds up - and what is the point if a system like this hardly ever comes into play? Most combats doesn't last that many rounds anyway, except possibly peak fights - and that isn't exactly the best moment for characters to become winded in combat.

Speaking of which, there is one additional point, and that is that there are official states for fatigued and exhausted in the 3e DMG - you should simply use these, rather than writing out a new rule for each instance of rule-0-ing. In this case, your states mostly match those in the DMG, of course.

The 2e Combat & Tactics used a fatigue system similar to yours - I still find that such systems add unnecessary complexity, and detract from the heroic fantasy flavor somewhat with unnecessarily harsh penalties - I mean, falling unconscious after 3.5 minutes of intensive action? If you examine the numbers, a combat round in 3e is 6 seconds long; an average PC has a constitution of 12.5. With a light load, the average character lasts some 37.5 rounds, or 225 seconds, which equals about 3 minutes and 45 seconds. So much for a D&D character completing a marathon! :P

03-02-2002, 07:10 AM
Your first point is correct, such systems are a matter of taste. In some of the other discussions people were complaining that a 20th level fighter shouldn't be able to take out an infantry unit. This system is something that I pulled together to bring a more realistic flavor to the game. No the players generaly dislike the fact that they can become fatigued, but at the same time they prefer the realism of it, especially the fact that it makes them look at combat in a new way so that they no longer try to cut down the tree just to get the apple. It is also no coincidence that this system mirrors that of 3E, it was meant to. Finally as for an average PC to last only 3 min 45 sec of combat, the average human, in average shape can barely last 3 min of hand to hand combat, and thats in real life.
Besides, if you don't like it then don't use it, just don't knock it, because it does work.

03-07-2002, 11:29 PM
While your system is interesting and makes some sense (it is a game after all not reality) I have to agree with Mr Aurel on this one. I don't like adding more things to keep track of.
In stead of fatigue I use flanking and rear attack rules to even out fights between a few tough characters and large groups of week enemies. Of course the PCs kill a slew of enemies but its fantasy and they're supposed to. By giving numerous monsters flank and rear attack bonuses (maybe a few are 1st level Rogues, if your devious) my PCs suffer enough HP damage in a fight against weaker opponents that they don't rush willy nilly into every unit of goblins that walks by.
As for the 20th level fighter beating up a unit of whatever. I would simply have him grappled to the ground and if he has Herculinian Strength then I as a GM let him and he should be a very tough individual.
Again an interesting system but I think the 3d Edition covers the problems your trying to equal out in other ways.

03-08-2002, 02:07 AM
No it doesn't. It does offer a lot of different tactics to use, but does not take into account of getting tired in combat. This is one of my homerules which I used to put realism in the game because my group really goes for the adding of realism to the game, and don't give me the crap of it being a fantasy game, duh. And this worked a lot better then saying ok you've been fighting for a little while now so I say your fatigued. If you don't want to use this in your game then don't I'm not twisting your arm.

Crazy Wolf
04-10-2002, 12:29 AM
It is an interesting system. I don't think I will be using it because our fights are never that long and I don't want to bookkeeping. Do you have problems with the system when your people are doing "ruin exploration" i.e. dungeon crawl. I know that people can have a bunch of fights one after the other, have you had any problems with that?

04-10-2002, 01:16 AM
The book keeping is easy, with the bonus of knowing how many rounds have passed.

Do you have problems with the system when your people are doing "ruin exploration" i.e. dungeon crawl. I know that people can have a bunch of fights one after the other, have you had any problems with that?

I wouldn't say problems, but challenges yes. The PC's have learned how far they can push themselves before needing rest. They've also learned that every encounter needs to be fought. If you run a hack-n-slash game I wouldn't use it, it you take all the fun out of hacking and slashing. If you like roleplaying than it can enhance the game.

04-10-2002, 09:11 AM
How exactly is it "realistic" that a well-trained, highly skilled fighter will fall unconscious after less than 4 minutes of doing nearly anything?

There are actually already rules in the game to reflect exhaustion - check the forced march rules, for one. Exhaustion is mainly reflected in 3e rules through subdual damage.

A simpler system, that does approximately the same, is to treat a character as fatigued at 50% of hp, and exhausted at 25% of hp - including subdual damage. You won't have to keep track of another set of points, and characters will be loath to take too much damage, even if they have substantial amounts of hp.

Crazy Wolf
04-10-2002, 06:04 PM
Wow, Blitz, you responded to two of my posts now. I will kick around your idea with my group when everyone gets back. It is interesting.


04-10-2002, 11:29 PM
MA, maybe I shouldn't have said physical action, but instead I should have said hard physical action like running tripple spead, climbing, jumping, swimming.

highly skilled fighter will fall unconscious after less than 4 minutes

A highly skilled fighter would have dispatched his opponant by then, or he wasn't so highly skilled.

How exactly is it "realistic"

Try fighting like this yourself, you will find how tiring it can be.
When I was about 19 I went to an SCA event, I signed a little form, put on a suit of armor and went up against another who gave me a good beating. After only a few minutes of fighting I was fairly tired, mind you that I was 19 and in top physical condition, and could hump a 65 pound rucksack on a ruckmarch with the best of them, well maybe not the British SAS guys who seem to win about every Bataan Death March event held in New Mexico.

Let us get back to the original question. you asked me that How exactly is it realistic, from the terms of your question you evidently know I know it is realistic.

As for your game use what you wish.

Crazy Wolf
04-12-2002, 07:44 PM
We tried to do this but everyone liked the idea of being super human. One thing that made it more acceptable was to have a faster regeneration.

04-13-2002, 07:45 PM
What works the best for the group is whats important.