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9May/110

Blender Update 5/9/2011

I really should change the name of these posts but this at least keeps them all the same.  I could I guess globally swap the name out and I might at some point.

Let's see what's changed...

Modified the damage tracks and recovery methods to further differentiate Physical from Fatigue to Mental damage.   Physical damage, as the most common damage source has two methods of recovery, an immediate 'interupt' action on your part when you get hit with damage (much like Savage World's Soak roll) and then you or someone else can (preferably someone trained in it) can work on the wounds during the downtime between fights.   There are limits, if you attempt a first aid roll and fail, the right most box on the damage track gets an X in it and it requires an extended rest (8 hours, once every 24 hours) before that box can be tried to heal again.

I think that will increase the value of First Aid such that someone in a group really should take it, preferably more than one.   And it allows for lingering damage.   Because the penalties are really kind of low from any of the damage tracks it's not so much the penalties that get you, it's the loss of the length of the track.

Fatigue damage occurs for a few things but typically it's applied from the following, for every two scenes your in without a significant rest (2 hours) you incur one level of fatigue.  If you're not actually in a scene but time is passing in game and you're awake you incur one level of fatigue every 12 hours.  So most people can go about 48 hours before they drop down unconscious from being too tired.   In a setting that allows the Healing power, having Healing used on your incurs a level of Fatigue as Healing is simply revving your body up to regenerate in my system.  The person with the power can spend more power to offset that and block the fatigue buildup or they can elect to take the fatigue on themselves and spare the patient.   I try to have options.

There will be other sample sources for fatigue as well, bad air will incur a fatigue level every X unit of time depending on how bad it is, some poisons might cause Fatigue as well extreme labor, and it's possible to 'push your run' to move faster for a turn and pick up a level of fatigue that way among others.

Fatigue is recovered one step by 2 hours of rest and doesn't require any rolls, it's just automatic.  So a full night's rest will refresh and revitalize anyone.   It's my systems answer to Healing Surges from 4th Edition, a way to regulate an adventurer's work day.  It helps to avoid the 5 minute work day and the 5 day workday.

Mental damage, as the rarest form of damage (in most settings) is a lot like Physical damage in most respects except for the recovery time.  There is a way to mitigate mental damage as it happens and characters have mental damage resistance and mental evasion.   The biggest way they differ is that you can only recover mental damage after an extended rest, not a short one.   And if you fail the recovery then you get an X in a box that lasts for a week before it can be recovered again.

The mental damage is primarily of use for horror settings, Cthulhu, Zombie Apocalypse, adventures and settings where the characters are subjected to all kinds of mind breaking sights and encounters.

Because of the way the system works in such systems it's quite likely that a character will go insane so it's a lot more 'pure mythos' than survivable.

It's possible to buy knacks that offset the penalties that can accrue from the damage tracks as well boost your ability to better mitigate the damage when it occurs and even extend one or more tracks with an extra buffer step.    And the inverse, to take a character flaw that makes you weaker in one area, removes a buffers step of your track, makes it harder to mitigate the damage or increases the penalties you suffer.   It's all about being able to build a character as close to your concept as possible.

So that covers the current way to track character damage.   Each track is the same length, six boxes, well 5 since the first box is implied as it means you're at full.  The last box means you're incapacitation in some fashion and out of play.

I'm currently working on a sample adventure that incorporates the Extended Skill system, combat encounters with Extras alone and Extra's + Villainous Stars.  It's set in the 1930's Egypt and will include horror elements to show mental damage and periods of work that will show the buildup of Fatigue.

Unfortunately due to my adventure concept I have to essentially write two adventures since it can divert pretty much right at the start into two paths but that's okay, I like that kind of thing.

I'm toying with the idea of trying to playtest online with random folks using Maptools to do the map and some VoiP conferencing system to put everyone in voice communication.  Since I don't see the sample adventure taking too long I think it would be possible to keep everyone entertained for the duration, and the system is hopefully fast enough that player downtime won't be too burdensome.   Like most, I've found the more downtime between your turn, the much more likely you are to be disengaged.

Game systems where individual rounds take forever (relatively) find players not paying attention to what's going on when it's not there turn.  In great part that's why I turned to Savage Worlds after a long 4th Edition DnD campaign in an effort to keep players engaged in what's going on.  And disengaged players just exacerbate the problem since it takes them longer to get bakc in the game when it is their turn and that just causes more downtime for everyone so everyone disengages even more.  It's a vicious cycle.

And in full part why I decided to write my own game system in an effort to keep that same speed of play, just with my own take on balance, options and mechanics.

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