World of Esaene (ENWorld)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I'm sticking to a blend of Elements of Magic (Revised) for the magic system. I've made a few changes, but overall I think it will work well. If you haven't checked it out, I highly recommend it. It's published by ENPublishing (of Enworld) and is a nice alternative magic system.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Damage and Endurance

I've decided to tie magic into endurance, a stat (like hit points or vitality, although I'm not using hit points) easily managed during the game. A lot of this ties into the damage accounting system I'll be using too. I'll explain it as clearly as I can without doing a full rules review.
Damage (above) is charted on a little graph easily tracked on a character sheet. The penalties listed are to attack, defense, skill checks, saving throws, ability checks, etc. When a person reaches "Mortal", they make a saving throw each round they take damage to see if they are dying or flat out dead.
Endurance is also charted like this. Whereas every character has a Toughness score that mitigates incoming damage (modified by armor, etc.), every character also has an Endurance score or vitality pool. When this pool is expended (round of combat, extra exertion, spellcasting) it bleeds over into the chart. The penalties incurred are the same, but when the character reaches Exhausted, they make a save to avoid being stunned or unconscious.

I'm happy with how it is looking so far and I believe I may be ready to do some serious alpha testing with it soon. It has the feel I'm looking for. The endurance system can be incorporated into a lot of interesting ideas for combat and general use.

For instance, theoretical combat has some elements of simulationist gaming and some elements of narrative gaming.

I'm thinking, currently (so subject to change) that each attack and defense roll a character makes will cost 1 Endurance. So someone who is being harried by multiple attackers is more likely to tire first. This way you don't have to keep track of consecutive penalties (-1 per extra attacker) or anything like that - it's easily tracked.

Certain abilities may also have an endurance cost, not just casting spells. Maybe something like power attack (since with the relative degree mechanic it is rendered somewhat impotent) could be an endurance for damage tradeoff. Combat movement will probably also cost endurance, so it will build up quickly. Recovering is fairly easy (a round of rest will get you back some) but it does require some thought as to how you would go about your plan.

A character's endurance pool is easily replenished, but penalties from going overboard take more time. Therefore, someone with 18 endurance can go hard and become winded (maybe 2 blocks in), rest for a few rounds to regain their endurance, but still be considered winded (the penalty remains). They are "catching their breath", although they remain tired still.

Dealing with magic, this allows someone to cast indefinitely if they have the time and space to do so - as long as they can rest relatively short periods of time between spells, they'll be alright. It is far too easy, however, with high powered magic to become tired and start taking penalties. The endurance costs are very high and will cause problems. I'm still working out the specifics, but the concept is solid.