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KommissarK

Fatigue: Notable sources, and management

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So I have been examining the current sources of Fatigue in the system, and have found a few potential problems. I also think its worth highlighting just how common its going to be for parties to have 1-2 fatigue points on all members, and how this can and likely will affect combat.

 

Currently, Fatigue can be gained in a multitude of ways, most commonly:

 

-Characters get 1 point of Fatigue for failing a fear check

-Being overencumbered for an hour inflicts 1 point of Fatigue

-Weapons with the Sapping condition

-Addiction inflicts 1 point of Fatigue until the character gets a fix

-Situational modifiers like extreme heat or cold can give a GM determined amount

-Blood Loss inflicts 1 point a round

-1 hour of narrative travel inflicts 1 Fatigue

-1 hour of running in narrrative travel inflicts a total of 2 Fatigue (1 from 1 hour normal movment, 1 for running)

-Some wounds directly inflict Fatigue

 

Note, this is by no means a complete list.

 

Fatigue is removed at a rate of 1 point per hour, and at 6 hours is completely removed. Characters can at least be "active" during this time, it just can't be strenuous activity.

 

This is going to build up pretty quick. 1 hour narrative travel, 1 fatigue, fail one fear check, 1 fatigue, Situational modifier, 1 fatigue. Take a certain wound, 1 Fatigue, Suffer Blood Loss for 2 rounds, 2 Fatigue. That's already 6 Fatigue and I'm talking about a PC thats only taken maybe 2 hits in combat.

 

Throw in a Sapping weapon and its lights out for most people.

 

This isn't saying I don't like this system, I'm just pointing out that as is, if all the rules are applied to a situation, I think the majority of PCs will go unconcious long before they die. That all this talk about death, lethality, and the wounds table isn't going to mean jack if PCs go unconcious long before they die.

 

Furthermore, there are a few things I'd like to point out:

-"Midnight Visitations" the Mental Trauma will break a character. It prevents ISb amount of Fatigue points from being recovered. It stacks with itself. While the other Mental Traumas add flavor and hobble a character, this will ensure that a character might as well be discarded. ISb of 3, and recieving the trauma twice means that 6 Fatigue can't be removed. That's a Bad Thing.

 

-That narrative movement fatigue cost should really be examined again, it seems a bit high. People can walk hours on end without becoming so terribly fatigued (e.g. recovering from an hour of walking shouldn't be an hour of rest). Also, should movement rates at that point really be based on AB? Why not make it TB, as thats a better representation of "how long" a character can keep that up. Perhaps have some wording that scales fatigue gains based on how far the character actually moved (so for example if they moved at a rate equal to 1 less than the associated bonus, they generate Fatigue more slowly, if at all).

 

-The Phantom Malady malignancy needs to be reworked to actually "work" in the system, at present it modifies something that doesn't really come up. Also, it might be a tad bit too punishing. +1 on all Fatigue gains can rather quickly remove a character from play. At present that means 2 Fatigue from Blood Loss, 2 Fatigue from Fear, etc. That adds up, and I'm not sure that was considered when this Malignancy was penned.

 

-Survivor's Paranoia is a bit awkward. Tests are failed plenty of times, and 1d5 can explosively invalidate a character.

 

I get that Traumas and Malignancies are supposed to be severe hinderances, but all of the ones listed above fall under the "20" threshold, and thus are able to be accquired even the first time they come up. They seem to be classified as the "weak" end of the traumas, but mechanically, they present ways that can rather quickly remove a character from the action, with little flavour compared to the other traumas (or at least, the mechanics of these traumas provide little falvour compared to the others).

 

Sorry for the mess of a thread. I had noticed these odd effects with the Fatigue system regarding these metnal traumas/malignancies (and the narrative movement system), but didn't want to make a thread for each, nor necro an old Fatigue thread, so I thought I'd make a new one to also discuss how potenially common Fatigue can be.

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Currently, Fatigue can be gained in a multitude of ways, most commonly:

-Characters get 1 point of Fatigue for failing a fear check

The rules on this are a bit ambiguous.  There are a couple places in the text that state exactly what you say above.  But there is also this, from p251: "On a failed [fear] test, the Acolyte suffers the full penalties described, as well as 1 fatigue for each degree of failure." That is quite a bit deadlier. 

 

Psykers should note that this makes Terrify a decent attack choice. An NPC with Tb 4 and Wb 3 can be knocked out in 2 rounds at psi power 3 with some other minor source of fatigue, and 2 rounds outright at psi power 4.  And you've eliminated half their APs the entire time you're knocking them out.  Nasty, and great if you want to interrogate a combatant afterwards.

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Midnight visitations indeed should be tweaked.

Furthermore, only 1 fatigue for a failed fear test is definintely enough.

Otherwise, I am very glad with the new fatigue system and wouldnt change it too much.

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I'm in favor of removing the fatigue for narrative movement alltogether, mainly for easy of administration. If it stays, it should be lessened to 1 fatigue every Tb hours.

 

My reasoning: this is very easy to forget. You walk for 2 hours, search a building, and then end up in combat. very easy to forget the 2 points of fatigue unless you're turning the game into an adminstrative excercise. The impact is small, unless players try crazy stuff.

 

Speaking of crazy stuff: how about an 80 km hike? From personal (IRL) experience, I attempted that while in good general shape but without specific training. Took me about 16 hours, and sure, I was tired at the end but not unconscious.

 

With the current system, that would (if I'm not mistaken) require Ab 5 and cause 16 (!!) fatigue. Ignorning the Ab requirement, 16 fatigue seems too much. If I take 1 fatigue for every Tb hours of movement, this would be (with an average-joe Tb of 3) 5 fatigue. Pretty much exhausted, but good to go the next day.

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Personally, I'll use Fatigue for narrative movement on a case-by-case basis.

If the group is moving through difficult terrain, or in a very hot/cold environment, or under other strenuous circumstances, I'll give them 1-3 Fatigue each. Maybe with Toughness tests to lessen them.

I agree that the rule, as written, doesn't work that well.

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Maybe narrative movement at a slow walking pace shouldn't generate Fatigue at all.  Characters could move at an overland speed determined by their Tb and slowed by rough terrain (and possibly crowds if traveling in a densely-populated hive).  They could gain fatigue if they push themselves beyond this pace, hike for extended periods (such as a day-long hike) or if they travel through harsh weather without suitable survival gear or Resistance talents.  This makes bookkeeping much easier, allows characters to travel reasonable distances without collapsing and doesn't require additional Toughness tests.

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