Monday, February 18, 2013

Fatigue and Economy of Effort;

Fatigue is not something for every game table. But to simulations its practically ubiquitous in all strategic decision making. Fatigue affects both mind and body, despite what people may believe (that's the odd thing about science).

Anyone who had to make big decisions, I think would have experienced more regrettable decisions while fatigued than having had rest and refreshed. There is a reason why we let a big decision wait till after a good nights sleep.

I'm sure Fatigue in all its froms: as we exercise, work, study, problem solve, and have fun affects our decision making and should affect the decision making in the RPG. It failing to appear to pose an adequately remove the color of a difficult task.

First thing I tell newbies in Airsoft is Track your Fatigue, its so fundamental that we avoid heat stroke, accidents, and injuries by being self aware about our condition. If you think you should be tired, take a long swig of water; stay in the shade; dont rush the enemy when your out of breath; plan your rest points as you advance to the enemy position.

So I feel pretty disheartened when a system reflects fatigue poorly, gives me very little wiggle room, or ignores it all together. I can Adhoc the rules but adhoc has trade-offs.

Fading Suns Revised edition - mentions fatigue but doesnt give any examples of it as far as i've used the search terms. It basically makes it purely Adhoc, it is a system that has yet to adopt "conditions" or "status effects" like stunned, dazed, fatigued, exhausted, frightened, etc...  Given how the rules work i can "paste"over the D20 conditions.  D20 Fading Suns, surprisingly has Fatigue and conditions since one can argue it draws from DnD 3.0E its base rules. I don't know how it may be odd that in one version of a game, because of a system, players have to deal with fatigue while in a different version the GM may adhoc the ruling which may be inconsistent.

L5R - Fatigue is measured of Days of being awake and Fasting. The penalties are per day of staying awake per stamina. My problem is that I need to argue a character is tired/fatigued. I can clarify what consitutes "days of awake" in equivalency in work hours. Exeeding the days awake or period tired does not necessarily consequence to sleepiness but it is often the case, for others (like me) all my compulsions gets easily triggered and I go zombie mode.

Mongoose Traveller has fatigue rules, which is much more than the previous systems mentioned (found in p74). It can be pretty harsh since its measured in number of melee attacks in a DAY, number of hours awake, and heavy labor hours (wait does that mean an attack is equal to an Hour of heavy labor?).

Song of Ice and Fire RPG has one of the better Fatigue rules of the group found in page 169. It also have overland travelling rules which help in logistical challenges. Unfortunately the character sheet does not have it where it counts - in the front along with wounds, injury, destiny points and damage.

Ugg, to satisfy my Compulsions i need to tweak and align the system's view of the world to how I, the GM, views it. I realize that it goes back to the AC is Damage Reduction argument and Tappy's Argument that System is Flavor. I realize that there are assumptions of reality/or how we understand the world that influence our reasoning several "bounds" away; to rearrange those assumptions tends to muck up our reasoning down the line. The more scientific the assumptions, IMO, the more sturdy they are against all sorts of crap the players throw at me.
example. Economy of Effort (Fatigue Rules), if we don't have any rules then how does this devalue a stat like Endurance or Stamina? Why should I make a build conceptually high-end/sta but I don't spend the points because It will not show up in play (warriors that have "regular" endurance and have no travelling skills -I was asking my bro how people spent their skills. If we drove i can understand having "average" end/sta but if you walked about >10,000 steps a day then you better get the skills or you will be wasting time getting to point A to B (Punctuality and Deadlines) . Are characters "fresh" every day, they are able to maintain optimal attention and awareness?
After learning about warfare, and that 99% of a soldier does is travel and logistics and how travelling (being in the right place in the right time) can mean more than who has a better sword technique game systems or settings that continue the fallacy snap my suspenders of disbelief. This is comparing all the warfare I've read.

Hopefully Future Topics:

If science is true regardless if you believe it or not, whats the point of being scientific or trying to adhere to scientific principle when playing an RPG which is make-believe game? (very very narrow audience: Science Geeks and RPGamers).

Science in RPGs: How and Do scientific Assumptions make for better toolset for a GM?

Rant: I hate tweaking other peoples systems, because I don't get credit and the knowledge created does not go into any database to create any foundation for a better system. I really have to work on my Open RPG system, right now after all that I've learned from the other systems my biggest obstacle is that it will be another 60-80 hour project with very little achievement goals... and no one to try out the game system.


Douglas Cole said...

Hey! You should definitely point to that incredibly well-written, thoughtful article on fatigue in GURPS called "The Last Gasp."

Modest? Me? When shilling and shamelessly self-promoting? :-)

(Pyramid #3/44)

justin aquino said...

HAHAHA! Yes I was curious about those rules for a while! I promise it will be in my next month's RPG purchase :D