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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fatigue Made Simple

Lots of blogs talking about fatigue right now, including A Paladin in Citadel and Hidden in Shadows. I've hinted at my own take on fatigue, but I'll explain it quickly here, in its own post. It's based on bits and pieces: stuff already in Chainmail and the LBBs, the situation roll technique, and my simple wound system.

Characters can travel for 5 turns while exploring or fight for 3 rounds before needing to rest. If a character pushes these boundaries, make a d6 fatigue test (or use a tired fighter's damage rolls as the fatigue test.)

  • On 5+, the character is tired;
  • On 7+ or a second failed test, the character is very tired;
  • On 9+ or a third failed test, the character is exhausted.

A tired character is automatically overburdened and moves at half-normal rate; if the character becomes tired in combat, there is also a 1-point penalty on all rolls until the end of the combat. A very tired character keeps the penalty until able to rest. Exhausted characters immediately collapse, until to fight or move effectively.

Characters who move while literally overburdened automatically become tired. This is why the character moves at half normal rate: it's a side effect of exerting oneself. Characters who run for 3 turns likewise become tired automatically, no roll necessary; if they run more than 3 turns, roll a d6 fatigue test to see if they become very tired or exhausted.

A character must rest 1 turn, plus an additional turn for each level of fatigue. For running characters, this duplicates the rule in the LBB which says they must rest for 2 turns instead of one turn, so we aren't changing that rule at all, just expanding it in such a way that it covers other situations. Very tired characters thus become merely tired after 2 turns of rest, then are back to normal after 3 turns. Exhausted characters are able to move after two turns, but aren't fully rested until they've rested for four turns.


  1. How about you can fight for as many rounds or move for as many turns as your Con + your level, at which point you must rest for two turns?

  2. Nah, that's way too high. Besides, the 3 turns figure is already in the rules. I'll add new rules, but I try not to change established rules.

    Also, "3" is such a standard number.