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Stark464

Thoughts on Fatigue?

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Who uses the fatigue mechanic? If so, when, why, how and what for? 

 

It seems like a good idea, like Strain in the FFG Star Wars system, but I always forget about it, and like insanity points, always feels vindictive to players to say "Oh that was a particularly stressful conversation for you...take 2 fatigue!!" I mean its not Call of Cthulu. Especially when the mechanic doesn't regulate itself by telling you how much to give for what. 

 

Maybe as a bonus question: What mechanic is more fun than Fatigue that hardly gets used?

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i rarely use Fatigue, except when it's a pretty obvious complication for the Acolytes to consider. For example - they've got to get from Hive A to Voidport B in only X amount of time, and I'm making a production out of the difficulty involved - running, hopping from mag-train to auto-carriage and fighting through crowds, etc. so that when they reach their destination, it makes sense that they are tired / sore / breathless, and could impact their combat ability (or whatever). I like the Fatigue mechanic, too, but some of the gains (and the recovery process) seem kind of arbitrary, so like many of the rules (I've got an easy-going group of Acolytes), I just wing it.

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Same, and that's a good point. I guess I haven't really had my group on a 'ticking clock' yet, but would be useful for that. Maybe also the stress of being undercover or something like that. The less fellowship you have, the harder you find it and the more fatigue you take.

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Considering Fatigue can actually be lethal when it reaches over double your Fatigue Threshold, it can be a very important mechanic as it's most generally use case comes from the Bleeding condition on many of the Critical Hit charts. Awarding some Fatigue for strenuous activities like failing a climb test can be a good alternative where the fall may end up killing a character, or when put in a situation that clearly calls for some sort of test or be inflicted with Fatigue (Interrogation, forced labor in a prison camp, etc). 

 

Really thinking about the situations where it would be appropriate, makes the Fatigue mechanic not so bad. Your looking at possible cues from:

 

Wrestling down a wild animal

Grappling actions can cause Fatigue

Athletics tests that can be pushed to hard (climbing, sprinting long distance, swimming against a heavy current, etc)

Bleeding out / Crit results

 

So long as the players take care to rest between being extreme, the danger of Fatigue will almost never invoke death unless your player is being reckless as all hell (possibly from a scenario that demands it, like stopping a radical from summoning angry daemons or something like that). 

For most uses, it's just going to lower your characters in halve when your reach around the medium of the threshold, making skill tests harder for the character whose Characteristic bonus is lower than the Fatigue level. Really captures the severity of it all when your acolyte is bleeding out, needs to sprint across a battlefield, and aim shot the baddy but his visions going (ballistic skill cut in half from being lower than the Fatigue level), etc.

 

All in all, I love the mechanic. It's not used heavily in my campaigns, but I do make use of it when it makes sense to use it. 

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Sounds like you have very active players, I like it. Mine have been essentially sleuthing around and not really getting out of breath yet. I do want to make a setting that allows for a) large, open areas to max out weapon ranges, b) chance to gain fatigue or have to use skills like survival and athletics, and c) a chance for the players to plan a mission/attack rather then walking into the lion's den then having to play it by ear. 

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Here's a follow-up question: Since fatigue covers a number of situations (mental exhaustion, physical exhaustion and non-lethal injury), does it make sense to apply the recovery mechanisms accordingly? Don't have my book on hand - but I believe recaf will remove a couple levels of fatigue. This makes sense if the Acolytes have been up all night researching in a data-vault; less so if they just got their clocks cleaned in unarmed combat.

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I use it when rules specifically call for it (weapons with Shocking; being on fire); but beyond that, I can only remember a couple of times when I've handed it out situationally.  Once was due to having been up all night, the other was due to having just climbed up a very long garbage chute.  

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I use it when they are in "extreme" environments and don't have the required survival skills to thrive there. Though it is not that often that the players find themselves in an extreme environment.

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I use it as follows;

 

There are THREE types of Challenges in the Game: Combat, Social, Environmental

 

When the Players are in control of a situation I'll ask them so "what's the option" then they choose a method from the THREE and devise a plan based off of that.

 

If/when a player opts to handle a challenge by not fighting it nor talking to it but rather opting to climb, jump, swim or whathave you around the challenge in order to progress the story forward - they then perform some sort of physical based Skill Test (say Acrobatics - im not looking at the book right now so bear with)...

 

If and when they fail for every two degrees of failure I give them one level of fatigue (risk vs reward is the very basis of RPG play), but they negotiate the Challenge regardless of the dice roll - what was important was the Player's intent / idea / thinking!

 

If your wonder what the Social option does in my game when you fail; some sort of lingering consequence in most cases aka a setback, sure you got past the bouncer using Charm but now all the security staff inside are watching you - example FIN

 

Hope this helps some!

 

Stay GAMING

Morbid

 

P.S. like Alox I do the same...

 

I use it when they are in "extreme" environments and don't have the required survival skills to thrive there. Though it is not that often that the players find themselves in an extreme environment.

 

Also say your on Fire, Poisoned, Etc...

 

1 Hour of Rest removes 1 level of Fatigue if I remember correctly

Edited by MorbidDon

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My group makes extensive use of the fatigue mechanic, though this may be partially because we're a particularly active group. Besides results on the crit table, the GM will often assign fatigue for extended actions, or if we've been going for a particularly long period of time (pushing and fighting our way through enemy territory for half a day, without rest? Start taking fatigue now, until you guys stop to rest). Alternatively, he uses fatigue in lieu of "pain" to reflect our characters being inhibited or restricted by unpleasant conditions. Been tortured lately? In addition to minor damage, that's usually meaning we take levels of fatigue to reflect that our actions are being inhibited by the aftereffects of the torture, until we can rest and recover from it. Got jabbed with a sedative? Fatigue. Etc.

Edited by ColArana

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