Choose Your Language

Monday, 7 April 2008

The Hunger & Vigour System

This is a continuation of the Resting & The Passage of Time post.

As you should know by now, control of resting and the general flow of time within the new era of the Althea campaign will be directly in the hands of the players. In theory, there is no need for the DM to be involved in any flow of time, as even in the most unusual cases, where several years may pass, well even that can be a decision made by players in answer to a script to do so. However, I don't expect the need for the passing of years or even months or weeks for the time being (if you pardon the pun), and so the new rest system takes care of all time movements directly from the player's actions. Related to the flow of time, is eating and resting, and this is where the new Hunger and Vigour system come into play.

Hunger & Vigour Overview

There will be a standard 15 minutes real time to one hour game time in the new campaign. This is a simple way of truncating and morphing time to allow for less important activities (where nothing actually happens, like sleeping or waiting around) to be swallowed up in the whole flow of time. Within this main parameter, players may allow their PC's to either rest fully (sleep and recover spells etc.) or simply wait around for a few hours (until dawn or dusk). When they are not resting or waiting, they are "adventuring" and using energy, which gradually decreases their vigour level.

Hunger and vigour share a close relationship to each other and also to resting. In general, as you adventure, your vigour level will slowly decrease, representing a loss of energy and a gradual succumbing to fatigue and exhaustion. This is represented by dexterity and strength decreases as time passes beyond eight hours adventuring. You can eat food to help keep vigour levels higher and fatigue at bay, but eventually, for one reason or another, you will want to rest properly to become fully refreshed.

Vigour Rate

A fully rested and fed PC has 100% vigour. Approximately every 15 minutes game time (approximately 3.5 minutes real time), a PC loses 1% vigour. The first penalties do not come into effect until the PC drops to 65% vigour, which equates to roughly 8 hours adventuring (game time) or after roughly 2 hours of real time playing. This means a player does not need to spend unnecessary amounts of time caring about the PC's vigour levels during each gaming session, as the likelihood is that they will only need to address any such issues once per session.

The player is updated in the chat window with the vigour score every percentage change. It is shown as a progress bar and its current percentage, as in the picture to the left. This shows a vigour score of 66% for the PC called Adaur.

Vigour Effects

Below is a chart to help explain how a PC is affected as time passes. NB: Even though the penalties are not cumulative initially, continued passing below these values (after eating and dropping below them again) will have a cumulative effect. See "Improving Vigour & Avoiding Exhaustion".

Improving Vigour & Avoiding Exhaustion

Vigour can be improved by either eating food rations or fully resting. Fully resting differs from waiting for a few hours to pass and so I will distinguish between these two options as Resting (sleeping) and Waiting (awake).

EATING (Exhaustion Still Possible): If a player chooses to, they can use a food ration and target a PC they wish to feed. UPDATE: Rations target self only now. (No force feeding.) Any targeted PC will then have their vigour level restored to 85%. This is the highest vigour score that eating food alone can take the PC to. NB: If the PC drops below the above penalty percentages again, then they will take further (cumulative) attribute penalties, representing exhaustion because of not resting.

RESTING (Removes Exhaustion): A player can only rest if they have at least one food ration among the PCs that they control. If none of the PCs carry a food ration, then resting to recover from low vigour penalties and recover spells is impossible. Recovery of any sort cannot be done on an empty stomach. If the player has an equal number of rations (or more) than they have PC's, then they will have vigour scores for all PCs restored to 100%. If, however, the PCs had to share the ration(s) due to their being too few to go around, then even though they do still rest (recover spells and have exhaustion penalties removed), they awake with only 70% vigour.

WAITING (Vigour Unchanged): A player can choose to wait around and the vigour score of their PCs does not change, as they are not actively doing anything to lower their vigour score. However, the passing of time can still have an impact if they do not carry any food and more than 3 hours pass, as they can still suffer from hunger. See "No Food (Hunger Damage)".

Zero Vigour

If a player ignores the vigour score of a PC and it reaches zero percent, then the PC will automatically eat a food ration if there is one available within the player's PCs. If this automatic process occurs, then the food ration only restores vigour to 70% as opposed to 85% for a player paying careful attention to their PCs condition and manually feeding them beforehand. If, however, there is no food to eat, then the PC will start to take hunger damage with every hour that passes.

No Food (Hunger Damage)

If a PC cannot find any food among the group of PCs that the player controls, then they begin to take hunger damage for every hour that passes. NB: This hunger damage is NOT temporary damage and must be recovered through rest or healing. However, the survival skill helps reduce the amount of damage taken, and can sometimes even stop it altogether.

WAITING (While Hungry): While a PC cannot rest without food, they can still wait for time to pass. In this case, the PC does not have their vigour reduced (as they are not actively doing anything), however, with each hour that passes, the PC will take extra damage from hunger if they do not have access to any food.

No comments: