I am writing an adventure for STA and one important aspect of the overall design is to impart a sense of time pressure. The PCs will have to be solving mysteries while being stalked by an invisible adversary while stranded on a space station. Pretty classic. They will need to perform task checks, extended work tracks, and other actions within a certain amount of time before it runs out and calamity strikes the station.
Since this is being run on the “clock” as it were, the PCs will need to be utilizing their time wisely. With the day/night cycles programmed to keep everyone on a normal biorhythm at the station, the PCs can, if they wish, “push themselves” to keep working problems throughout the night. With that possibility I wanted to design a Fatigue system. I took ideas from the Conan Fatigue design and gave it a little twist. I didn’t see something in the books I have, and I did search these forums for some other ideas, if there are any I missed please point me to them.
In the meantime this is what I have so far with an example of a PC pushing themselves to “do more”. After 16 hours (8 intervals) of activity, they start to feel the effects. Below is the rule text followed by an example chart.
Note: A cycle = 12 intervals (1 standard day), 1 interval = 2 standard hours.
Humans, Andorians, Klingons, etc: For every interval after being active for 8 intervals, Fatigue points are gained cumulatively and increase linearly for successive intervals of activity. For example, interval 9: +1 point, interval 10: +2 points (total 3 points), etc. Each Fatigue point reduces Stress by 1. When Stress is reduced to 0, the PC is exhausted beyond any ability to continue and is incapacitated for that interval and must subsequently Rest.
Denobulan PCs can ignore the effects of Fatigue for adventure purposes unless their hibernation cycle Is part of the plot. Vulcan PCs can ignore Fatigue effects for up to 14 cycles.
For every 3 Fatigue points gained, Control, Insight, Reason and Fitness are -1 to a minimum of 7 (In my mind these are the attributes that would be affected by Fatigue; dulling the PCs capabilities, I refer to these collectively as the “attributes”).
For every interval spent resting (can be sleep or inactivity, species dependent/GM decision), Fatigue points are recovered increasing linearly for each interval of Rest. After 1 interval of Rest, Fatigue gain is reset, any Fatigue points accumulated and attribute effects remain. After 4 intervals of continuous rest, all Fatigue points are recovered and attributes return to normal.
For example, a PC starts a cycle fully rested with no fatigue. The PC is active for 8 intervals then pushes themselves for another 4 intervals gaining 10 Fatigue points and their attributes are reduced by 3. Their Stress is reduced by 10 (Stress reduction tracks Fatigue). The PC then has two intervals of uninterrupted rest recovering 3 Fatigue points bringing Fatigue down to 7, (Stress regains 3 points, remember Stress loss tracks Fatigue gain) and the reduced attributes gain back 1 to a -2 penalty. The players decides they need to back into the action and decides to have the PC return to activity. At the end of their first interval they suffer 1 Fatigue point (bringing Fatigue to 8). The PC continues to push for another 2 intervals, suffering an additional 5 Fatigue points (13 total), and their Stress level and attributes take a pummeling: they are incapacitated for the next interval. They’ve been going for 32 hours with only 4 hours of rest! After the Incapacitation interval the player decides their character will Rest for the full 4 intervals to recover completely; ready for new adventures.
I am sure there are flaws here and other ways to design this. Species play a significant part to how fatigue would be modeled so I made those exceptions for a couple. What do you think?