Fatigue and (Extra) Power Points

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Fatigue and (Extra) Power Points

#1 Postby Dhraakellian » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:49 pm

A week or so ago, I was talking with a friend about his dislike of the Savage Worlds magic system. At some point, I brought up Soul Drain, and he scoffed at it. A seed of an idea was planted, and, several days later, the following emerged and started to grow.

The Fluff
A spellcaster who is running out of power points can reach into his soul to find additional power. However, this is very tiring and makes his casting more difficult, even dangerous if he's already fatigued!

Also, spellcasters who are already fatigued for other reasons (staying up too late studying ancient texts, gaoler in the BBEG's dungeon not providing enough gruel, nasty rival casters playing shenanigans, etc) just don't have as much energy to put towards their spells.

The Crunch
A spellcaster has three supplies of power points: the standard allotment we see in the core rules and two smaller reserves, corresponding to the two levels of fatigue penalty.

When you gain a level of fatigue for any reason, voluntary or otherwise, you immediately switch to using its power point reserve.

Normal supply:
  • Standard allotment of power points.
  • Backlash shakes you, as per Savage Worlds core rules.
  • You may voluntarily incur a level of fatigue to switch to the next reserve.
Fatigued (-1) reserve:
  • Half the standard allotment of power points
  • Backlash now increases your fatigue level to -2 in addition to shaking you as normal.
  • You may voluntarily incur a level of fatigue to switch to the next reserve.
Fatigued (-2) reserve:
  • Half the standard allotment of power points.
  • Backlash knocks you unconscious for 1d6 hours.

If you need more power points than you currently have available, you can dip into the reserves for the next fatigue level by making a Spirit roll minus the number of additional powerpoints you wish to use.
  • Failure: you take the fatigue level before casting
  • Success: you take the fatigue level after casting
Doing this from Fatigued (-2) is possible, but with more deleterious effects:
  • Failure: immediately fall unconscious for 2d6 hours, without being able to cast the spell.
  • Success: the spellcasting roll is made with an additional -1 penalty (as if at -3 fatigue), and you fall unconscious for 1d6 hours immediately after casting
  • Raise: the spellcasting roll is made with no additional penalty, but you still fall unconscious for 1d6 hours immediately after casting
  • Backlash on the spellcasting roll: you immediately fall unconscious for 2d6 hours and take a wound.

Regeneration of power points continues at the standard rate, no matter the fatigue level.

If and only if spellcasting was the only cause of a given fatigue level, when its reserve is fully recharged, that level of fatigue disappears, and the previous level's reserve starts recharging.

Removal of fatigue levels independent of power point regeneration:
  • If fatigue was incurred by non-power-point means, restore the previous level's power point reserve, minus the Power Points spent from the current level's reserve, to a minimum of zero.
  • If fatigue was voluntarily incurred for Power Point access, the current fatigue level's reserve is replenished, and the previous fatigue level's reserve remains empty

  • Normal(8/10) —non-PP-fatigue—> F1(5/5) —spend-2-PP—> F1(3/5) —non-PP-fatigue-removal—> Normal(8/10) with F1(3/5) —> Normal(6/10) with F1(5/5)
  • Normal(0/10) —voluntary-fatigue-to-access-F1-reserve—> F1(5/5) —spend-2-PP—> F1(3/5) —non-PP-fatigue-removal—> Normal(0/10) with F1(5/5)

Example Power Point Trackers
edit: Multiline would probably be easier to update when taking the More PP edge; single-line is nice for paperclip tracking.

F2: O O O O O | F1: O O O O O | Normal: O O O O (5) O O O O (10)

Normal: O O O O (5) O O O O (10)
F1: O O O O O
F2: O O O O O

F2: O O O O (5) O O O O (10) | F1: O O O O (5) O O O O (10) | Normal: O O O O (5) O O O O (10) O O O O (15) O O O O (20)

Normal: O O O O (5) O O O O (10) O O O O (15) O O O O (20)
F1: O O O O (5) O O O O (10)
F2: O O O O (5) O O O O (10)

The Ponderings
Although these rules would replace the Soul Drain edge, I do not think the extra reserves should require a new edge to access, given that any non-voluntary fatigue also switches the caster over to them removes access to the normal supply of power points. I'm not entirely sure, however, whether (or how much) this should affect the number of power points granted by the initial AB edge.

I think I've closed most loopholes in the rules and made them fit my intentions, but I do worry slightly that I may have added a little too much complexity (although, as shown by the PP trackers, hopefully not too much extra bookkeeping). I would appreciate commentary on this. Does it look Fast, Furious, and Fun enough to everyone?

Finally, I would like to thank GamerDude, entonfire, and Apathy Jeff from the #SavageWorlds IRC channel for initial criticisms and suggestions.
Last edited by Dhraakellian on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#2 Postby UmbraLux » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:28 am

Interesting. It looks fairly workable, though it would make any fatigue causing situations / tactics / weapons* more dangerous.

*I'm thinking of modern campaigns where a taser often causes fatigue.

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#3 Postby Lord Lance » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:50 am

I can see too much crunchiness to stay in the original FFF philosophy. Finally, you have to take a good look to general re-balancing, 'cause fatituing effects can be more valuable now. Venoms, new powers that does fatigue, the Succor power to easily get rid of fatigue etc.
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#4 Postby Sadric » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:08 am

Its somewhat rare that my players spend all powerpoints. Maybe 3x3d6 blast spell could drain them, but most of the time after such a battle there is enough time to regenerate some spellpoints.
With your fatigue reserve you double the spellpoints. Thats a lot!

maybe you should lower the "normal" spellpoints to counter this

Maybe something like
Normal spell points 70%
Fatigue 1 40%
fatigue 2 25%

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#5 Postby wmarshal » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:08 pm

I would use something much more limited and simple. Basically, allow a caster to convert each level of fatigue into 1 power point. This would max out to include being incapacitated so a "fresh" character could spend up to 3 points using this method.

I'd allow the character who's going to become incapacitated to still get the power off, but then he collapses in a hopefully dramatic fashion.
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#6 Postby Clint » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:34 pm

Not a bad idea, but yeah, I'd simplify it significantly and change the base amount of PPs as well.

First, change the total base number of PPs to 80% of what is currently listed or 4 for every 5 points (base Magic would be 8 PPs and +4 PPs for the Power Points Edge).

Then a caster can choose to gain a level of Fatigue to gain more points equal to one quarter of their total points.

Whenever they choose to access those PPs, the fatigue level is applied immediately after casting the spell that uses the first of the additional points.

Example: By this system, Matt the mage has AB (Magic) and has taken the Power Points Edge twice, so he has 8+4+4=16 total PPs. he can take a level of Fatigue to gain +4 PPs. If he was down to 1 PP and wanted to cast a maxed out Bolt (6 PPs), he could do so with no penalty, but immediately afterwards, he would take two Fatigue levels and be left with 3 PPs (1 base + 4 for one Fatigue level + 1 from the next Fatigue level with 3 remaining).

If Matt had no Fatigue levels, he would be Exhausted, if he had one already, he would be Incapacitated after casting, and if he had two existing Fatigue levels, he would kill himself casting this final spell.

Then as noted Fatigue from "Soulburning" (or whatever it is termed) would recover in sync with Power Point recovery. So if the character recovered 1PP/hour, and as above was 1 PP into the second Fatigue level (and not dead), they would recover that 1 PP and the Fatigue level after one hour. The next level would require 4 hours to recover fully, and then he would start recovering his base PPs.

Anyway, my two cents. ;)
Clint Black
Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager


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