Monday, August 11, 2014

Rules in Review - HT and Fatigue Rules

In GURPS B349, you find the Physical Tasks rules. Many of the rules deal with performance, but not the effects of performance over time which is where HT comes in. The measurable performance is a fine metric, but its actually just Half the picture. The other half is Fatigue, particularly Economies of Effort - what PCs decide to Do and how much effort they can put into it before they start suffering from Fatigue.

Running, B354 is where you find the rules for HT checks, where on a failure you lose 1FP. There is a simplicity to it, 15 seconds for running and 1 minute for Paced running. Like I've talked about before, from here you can basically make your Work related rules - HT checks for the character to conserve FP.

If you look at all the Physical Tasks: Climbing, Digging, Hiking, Jumping, Lifting and Moving, Swimming, and Throwing all of them can be resolves via HT instead of DX. HT is is how many Push ups you can do before your body tells you no more, it means how many pull ups you can do (I went climbing for the first time and found that I was my arms were shaking in exhaustion so I had to call "Down" for the spotter to let me down - That is an HT check). Digging is definitely an HT check, while ST determines how much material is moved, the time factor is his HT (every time I see someone dig a 6ft grave in a movie I'm like Holy crap thats would leave me hurting everywhere). If you had to jump a lot, like in treacherous terrain, then fatigue would set in and half your move. Lifting and moving is basically like digging and I think should have been a

My take at it is that it would have been simplified with WORK and stats for work output given ST, DX, equipment, and Skill.
  • TDM penalty. 
  • FP Cost for the Activity. Failure adds additional FP cost, equal to the Initial Cost. On a Critical failure tripple the FP cost.  
Long Distance Riding 
Here is the funny part if you look at Riding is not tackled in sufficient detail in Basic set. It is in Low Tech, LT133, where you read about HT checks. But there are no rules for Long Distance HT checks in either B349 or in Fatigue B426. So what HT checks is the system talking about? The only rule where you roll HT to avoid Fatigue is in Running!
Fatigue is the most frequently encountered struggle - everything in an Adventure is incredibly tiresome and we weigh how we best use our effort. An Attack can be foiled simply because its just to hot outside, or the warriors failed to pace themselves (see the battle of Towton).

Activity Intensity is difficult to measure, but it is more of something we can feel individual. Paced Running can be something of 120-160 heartbeats per minute for some people, while Sprinting can be 160+ bpm. More Intense activity, like Sprinting, would be another penalty of -6TDM.

HT check per...
15 seconds, a '+2 TDM, 0FP (1FP on a fail)
1 minute, a '+0 TDM, 1FP
5 minutes, '-3 TDM, 2FP
15 minutes, -4 TDM  3FP
1 hour, -6 TDM, 5FP
2 hour, -7 TDM, 7FP
4 hours, -8 TDM, 10FP

GMing  Work

I don't know how many people here budget their effort in a days work. With Immune levels going down with fatigue, and the myriad chronic conditions that aggravate with fatigue as well as the poorer decision making the most Strategic use of our physical effort tends to the painful reminder of how poorly we take good care of our health. 

So when PCs go running around doing things without any strategic efficiency of effort, or consideration of logistics these limitations should arise and give some problem solving and strategizing that becomes so useful in games. 

This also means the GM budgets the workload OVER than the fatigue levels of the average member. So adventures would take up every waking moment and more. If it doesn't deprive them of sleep, bring their fatigue levels into dangerous levels (causing them IQ penalties, Self Control Penalties, and other Temporary Disadvantages that come in) then its hell easier than a day of real world work and these can't be considered Adventures but VACATIONS! 

Adventures has worse risks than the worse day we have at work with the opportunity of a Vacation and personal advancement.  If you think in that way as your method of formulating an adventure, then players have to strategize and invest in the small but important things - like BEING HEALTHY for one. There is so much brains, strength, skill and dexterity can do and in the end of the day the Player bases his decision in the endurance budget he can afford with the cumulative risks that threaten them as they hit the redline. 

Of course if the System does not allow for that, you have problems. For those who wish to Ad Hoc that, you need to SET EXPECTATIONS. So it helps if the Rules are there for it, but you as the GM have the options to not use it. Its like a Contract with Fine Print in your favor.

Related Posts:

HT and Simplified Running.
will go through some further analysis by looking at various other systems and how they model fatigue.



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