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Strife/Composure Thread

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We can use this thread to discuss various aspects of the Strife/Composure system, such as likes/dislikes and proposed changes or rehashings of the system. Many people have various often strong opinions and ideas about this system in general and I thought this would be a good place to gather them and see what we can come up with. I will start with my own idea for an addition to the strife/composure system.

Internalized Strife

The way my idea of internalized strife would work is that when a character would suffer an outburst, they could choose to either let the outburst happen as normal or internalize their strife. When they internalize their strife they prevent the outburst from happening and gain 1 point of internalized strife. Then their strife resets to the current value of internalized strife and their strife can never go below their current internalized strife. This allows the player to avoid unwanted outbursts at an inopportune time by internalizing their stress and emotions, but they will have to deal with more potent and long lasting effects of internalized strife. Internalized strife can only be removed by spending a long time of extensive rest and relaxation or similar activities to de-stress depending on the character. Something like visiting hot springs, extended meditation, going off and spending time alone, having a wild party (if that's how the character unwinds), etc. It will usually take a day like this to remove 1 point of internalized strife and the character will also need to make a roll based on the de-stressing activity they are doing at a TN equal to their current internalized strife. So, the more internalized strife the character builds, the harder it will ultimately be to remove. If it gets too high, they will be stressed all the time and may suffer other passive effects. They may also need the aid of others to be able to meet the TN, but I don’t see this happening much until the character is fairly high level and neglected keeping their stress levels low. Also, extended periods of high stress without many significant breaks could potentially cause a character to gain internalized stress automatically, such as having night guard duty for a full month uninterrupted, or being on an extended military campaign with hardly any breaks from marching and fighting, etc.

Another caveat of this system is outburst severity. It works under a similar concept to the critical strike system, but instead of specific effects it is just general severity due to the fact that outbursts can be wide and varied depending on the character/situation. When a character suffers an outburst, the severity number is based on internalized strife + how much strife they have past composure + general severity depending on situation. Then, similar to how a character does a fitness roll to reduce the severity of criticals, the player would do a meditation roll to lower the severity of the outburst. This means that outbursts can be as subtle as nearly addressing your lord with improper formalities, but stopping and correcting yourself mid-slip, or running around screaming like a lunatic and waving your sword around (assuming you are allowed one) in the middle of a court session with the emperor.

This is just a kind of addition I thought of and there are several variations and tweaks to it, especially to have it balance with the end system, but this is the gist. It allows extra tactical choices for the player regarding strife and emulates the real life aspect of internalizing stress/emotions. Feel free post your own proposed ideas for the strife/composure system or whatever other changes and comments you have.

EDIT: One variation to this could be that characters have to make a meditation roll or something to be able to control and internalize their emotions if they so choose, with TN difficulty based on the situation or something like 5 - (fire+earth)/2. This is so that temperamental characters have a harder time internalizing their emotions than more stoic and emotionally reserved characters.

During regular playtesting I will definitely use the strife/composure rules as FFG wrote them so I can test the actual system and gain real experience with it, but I may test this homebrew idea on my own in a smaller instance.

Edited by tokugawa77
clarify some issues

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