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Savar

wording of a rule

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when spirit activities that cause fatigue are sustained, keep the first roll and just keep adding the fatigue modifiers until the difficulty exceeds the test result, then the activity fails. If the char kept maintaining the activity until it failed they then take a stun attack equal to the modified difficulty.

 

base difficulty 13

test result was 20 success

on second round +3 fatigue no fail

3rd round +3 more fatigue still no fail

if the char drops the activity all good

if not, on 4th round +3 fatigue total is now 22 and is a fail. the activity stops and the char must resist a stun attack of 22.

 

this rule and example make sense?

 

this is for spirit based ability that when sustained cause fatigue such as spells, psychic abilities, and others as determined.

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It makes sense, I think. You might want to elaborate and add another example for reference if you want to put this out for use outside of your immediate circle, just to be sure (you never know what might confuse someone).

 

As a player, I'd be a little concerned that a good initial test result could result in a worse stun damage value to resist later on. There is the balancing factor that you can hold something "up" for longer without taking damage, but you might want to detail the setting or game tone logic there.

 

I'd also be curious about when you'd voluntarily sustain things (such as spells) over this boundary. If they drop immediately, and you have to resist damage, is there any advantage to doing so? If casting a spell (for example) at first was difficult or taxing in some other way, but you were allowed to maintain it while still resisting increasing damage each round, that could make for some interesting story opportunities.

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the point is the stun for sustaining is only if you run over, not if you drop it voluntarily.

 

if you drop it voluntary you get no stun

if you hold it too long and your "control" falters then you take stun.

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the point is the stun for sustaining is only if you run over, not if you drop it voluntarily.

 

if you drop it voluntary you get no stun

if you hold it too long and your "control" falters then you take stun.

 

I can understand that basic principle, but let me give a couple of examples to illustrate what I'm thinking regarding this.

 

1) You're sustaining a spell that benefits your actions only (it gives you +10 on any attack test, say). Its a Difficulty 13 spell, with a Fatigue modifier of +3, and you rolled a 20 when casting the spell. So the fatigue-modified difficulty of the spell will progress like this:

 

Round 1 (Cast Spell): 13 (base difficulty)

Round 2: 16

Round 3: 19

Round 4: 22 (Stun damage test, sustaining lost)

 

Can I use the benefit of this spell in Round 3 and then drop it? Can I use it in Round 4 before it automatically drops? If the answers to those questions are "yes" and "no", in what situation would a character not just drop the spell after attacking in Round 3? The disadvantage goes from nothing (unless you count the casting and sustaining as two actions for multi-action penalties in Round 1) to 22 Stun (which is a pretty hefty amount to deal with), and you're going to loose the spell, either way.

 

2) As an alternative, lets look at a reactive spell (for example, something that gives +10 to damage resistance). We'll use the same difficulties, modifiers, and rolls as with Example 1 for simplicity.

 

At first, there's an immediate reason to sustain the spell into the Stun damage round here: the player might get attacked between acting in Round 3 and loosing the spell to fatigue in Round 4. This is only really a reason if the advantage is greater than the potential risk (resisting 22 Stun Damage isn't the easiest test). How often will a +10 on an unknown number of damage resistance tests (if any) be preferable to just not dealing with resisting that (certain) damage test?

 

Its a good, solid, simple concept, and it reflects something that you want to show about the setting, which is all great. Knowing players, though, I'd expect them to typically optimize when to drop the effect to go the longest with no potential stun damage. If you want that (or don't mind it), that's all good too.

 

My biggest concern would be that the interesting story point (for me) is when the character has to start taking stun from a sustained effect, and I'd be looking for ways to encourage that or allow it to happen more frequently. Then, you get scenes where the mage is fighting to remain conscious because they're sustaining a spell that's weakening the big monster just enough for everyone else to take it down. You have someone in a psychic duel that is getting worn out keeping their mental defenses primed, but they can't risk taking a few moments to focus and reset them. In those cases, you have opposing needs and a difficult choice - hot, fresh drama.

 

This is just a suggestion, but first thought would be to allow sustaining past the first damage round (provided the acting character is still standing). You can even keep increasing the Stun damage each following round, but would create a choice with some benefit: "do I want to risk damage to keep this going one more round?" If the effect is automatically dropped, then it would feel more like a punishment than anything to me as a player.

 

A couple alternatives I'd propose (which could be combined with the above however you like):

 

-Make starting a power more challenging. Have it be the only action that can be taken in a round (no defense or anything requiring action), have a "cool down period" where it can't be used (a few round or minutes, maybe), or have an innate cost (spending a finite resource, such as a pool of Mana Points or mystic doodads that get consumed).

 

-Make it difficult to use a sustainable ability in a way where its "safe" to let drop. In the above "make weakening a monster" bit, maybe the effect keeps the caster front and center, in claw and bite range when it gets loose. Otherwise, just put the PCs up against threats that wouldn't give them a chance to pull off the effect a second time.

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I can understand that basic principle, but let me give a couple of examples to illustrate what I'm thinking regarding this.

 

1) You're sustaining a spell that benefits your actions only (it gives you +10 on any attack test, say). Its a Difficulty 13 spell, with a Fatigue modifier of +3, and you rolled a 20 when casting the spell. So the fatigue-modified difficulty of the spell will progress like this:

 

Round 1 (Cast Spell): 13 (base difficulty)

Round 2: 16

Round 3: 19

Round 4: 22 (Stun damage test, sustaining lost)

 

Can I use the benefit of this spell in Round 3 and then drop it? Can I use it in Round 4 before it automatically drops? If the answers to those questions are "yes" and "no", in what situation would a character not just drop the spell after attacking in Round 3? The disadvantage goes from nothing (unless you count the casting and sustaining as two actions for multi-action penalties in Round 1) to 22 Stun (which is a pretty hefty amount to deal with), and you're going to loose the spell, either way.

 

2) As an alternative, lets look at a reactive spell (for example, something that gives +10 to damage resistance). We'll use the same difficulties, modifiers, and rolls as with Example 1 for simplicity.

 

At first, there's an immediate reason to sustain the spell into the Stun damage round here: the player might get attacked between acting in Round 3 and loosing the spell to fatigue in Round 4. This is only really a reason if the advantage is greater than the potential risk (resisting 22 Stun Damage isn't the easiest test). How often will a +10 on an unknown number of damage resistance tests (if any) be preferable to just not dealing with resisting that (certain) damage test?

 

Its a good, solid, simple concept, and it reflects something that you want to show about the setting, which is all great. Knowing players, though, I'd expect them to typically optimize when to drop the effect to go the longest with no potential stun damage. If you want that (or don't mind it), that's all good too.

 

My biggest concern would be that the interesting story point (for me) is when the character has to start taking stun from a sustained effect, and I'd be looking for ways to encourage that or allow it to happen more frequently. Then, you get scenes where the mage is fighting to remain conscious because they're sustaining a spell that's weakening the big monster just enough for everyone else to take it down. You have someone in a psychic duel that is getting worn out keeping their mental defenses primed, but they can't risk taking a few moments to focus and reset them. In those cases, you have opposing needs and a difficult choice - hot, fresh drama.

 

This is just a suggestion, but first thought would be to allow sustaining past the first damage round (provided the acting character is still standing). You can even keep increasing the Stun damage each following round, but would create a choice with some benefit: "do I want to risk damage to keep this going one more round?" If the effect is automatically dropped, then it would feel more like a punishment than anything to me as a player.

 

A couple alternatives I'd propose (which could be combined with the above however you like):

 

-Make starting a power more challenging. Have it be the only action that can be taken in a round (no defense or anything requiring action), have a "cool down period" where it can't be used (a few round or minutes, maybe), or have an innate cost (spending a finite resource, such as a pool of Mana Points or mystic doodads that get consumed).

 

-Make it difficult to use a sustainable ability in a way where its "safe" to let drop. In the above "make weakening a monster" bit, maybe the effect keeps the caster front and center, in claw and bite range when it gets loose. Otherwise, just put the PCs up against threats that wouldn't give them a chance to pull off the effect a second time.

 

this is why I am happy to have found this board.

 

I was planning on spells when cast have a possible stun affect.

psychic abilities would be weaker but no stun test starting.

the idea to keep the ability/spell up and just keep resisting the stun is a good dramatic effect and I like it.

 

something like I can sustain it a few round or so then the strain gets to great I start taking damage (or testing for) each round.

 

a part that I didn't think of is when things are maintained in the round order. having played MtG I should have thought about that.

 

hmm nice I let it trigger damage at end of round so the final round you still get the benefit and your actions before taking the damage.

but you could drop it as your 1st activity and not take the stun or MAP for your rounds actions?

 

or

 

nasty, and the bad stuff happens at the start of your actions.

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Yeah, I, too, am puzzled by the auto-failure of the spell in the 4th round AND the suffering of potential damage. Why in the world would a person EVER keep it up if the failure is automatic AND there is damage to resist?

 

You need to determine if the benefit of the spell is worth enough for the person to keep it up, regardless of the pain and suffering they might experience. At the same time, don't have the spell automatically fail if they go over. Only have it fail if they fail to resist the damage inflicted upon them by holding that spell up even into the threshold where pain starts impacting them.

 

So if the spell was, say, "Fast Speed" and a person got to double their movement each round, but didn't have to make checks for the increased movement, they might not want to keep that power up if it starts to cause damage to them. However, if they are being chased by a cybernetic ursine that intends to shred them, they may feel the need to resist that 22 Stun damage is worth keeping it up because the alternative would mean being torn apart by the metallic bear.

 

Also keep in mind that you can't necessarily have the same effects for keeping spells up. Inflicting "stun attacks" against a person for keeping spells active might be rather mundane if there is a spell that increases a character's endurance to resist damage to a significant degree. So maybe some could affect the body, while others affect the mind. Imagine a mental check that, upon failure, causes the person to lapse into a sleep-like blackout stage for a number of rounds. So it doesn't physically damage them, other than they might fall down, but their brain is hindered to the point that they shut down.

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i didn't state but I ment for the damage from over exerting yourself with spirit based abilities would be resisted with willpower a skill based off of spirit. going to have to recruch some thoughts and post some changes.

 

I need to do some other thinking also. like ranges for magic and psychic abilities.

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this is why I am happy to have found this board.

 

I was planning on spells when cast have a possible stun affect.

psychic abilities would be weaker but no stun test starting.

the idea to keep the ability/spell up and just keep resisting the stun is a good dramatic effect and I like it.

 

something like I can sustain it a few round or so then the strain gets to great I start taking damage (or testing for) each round.

 

a part that I didn't think of is when things are maintained in the round order. having played MtG I should have thought about that.

 

hmm nice I let it trigger damage at end of round so the final round you still get the benefit and your actions before taking the damage.

but you could drop it as your 1st activity and not take the stun or MAP for your rounds actions?

 

or

 

nasty, and the bad stuff happens at the start of your actions.

 

I'm glad you found the discussion helpful.

 

Also keep in mind that you can't necessarily have the same effects for keeping spells up. Inflicting "stun attacks" against a person for keeping spells active might be rather mundane if there is a spell that increases a character's endurance to resist damage to a significant degree. So maybe some could affect the body, while others affect the mind. Imagine a mental check that, upon failure, causes the person to lapse into a sleep-like blackout stage for a number of rounds. So it doesn't physically damage them, other than they might fall down, but their brain is hindered to the point that they shut down.

 

i didn't state but I ment for the damage from over exerting yourself with spirit based abilities would be resisted with willpower a skill based off of spirit. going to have to recruch some thoughts and post some changes.

 

I like the idea of alternate "risk" effects for sustaining abilities - that could be fun to implement in a setting with multiple "magic" systems.

 

If you're concerned about one or more powers assisting with resisting any of these effects, you could probably just set the ground rules that you can't use those powers to resist stun from sustaining spells (and what have you). For example, Shadowrun sets the guideline (in every edition I'm familiar with) that magic healing cannot heal stun or physical damage taken from spell Drain (damage from casting a spell in that system jargon). Its a quick, functional solution, but you could probably come up with a more thematic way to handle it within the setting if you wanted.

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when spirit activities that cause fatigue are sustained, keep the first roll and just keep adding the fatigue modifiers until the difficulty exceeds the test result, then they take a stun attack (resisted with willpower) equal to the modified difficulty, this stun keeps happening every round with greater difficulty until the char falls unconscious or stops maintaining the ability.

 

base difficulty 13

test result was 20

on second round +3 fatigue no fail

3rd round +3 more fatigue still no fail

if the char drops the activity all good

if not on 4th round +3 fatigue total is now 22 and the char must resist a stun attack of 22 using willpower.

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