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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Iceland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Fixing Exhaustion

    This is tangentially an expansion on my HP definition. We use the bloodied condition, meaning that the upper levels of HP are more stamina-based and the second half of your hit points is more how beaten up you are.

    If you are running a game where exhaustion regularly reaches 3 levels, this change is not for you. This is more for those that need a simple condition to represent the narrative state of the player characters.
    .
    Exhaustion
    Your hit point maximum is reduced by half.

    My design philosophy is "When something from the narrative needs to be represented within the mechanics of the game, it should be done in the simplest manner possible that remains thematically accurate".

    If you can attribute half your hit points to stamina, it only makes sense that being exhausted removes that resource, effectively representing having no stamina.

    Do you see any obvious problems with this change?

    Spoiler: How to Make Custom Monsters
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    The damage column shows total damage output on hit over an entire round, and is modified based on factors like recharge, AoE etc.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Default Re: Fixing Exhaustion

    Your idea is simple and and nice and easy to implement/remember. The one thing I hate about Exhaustion (by RAW) is how many different effects it has. Exhaustion comes up fairly regularly, but I always feel like I have to look up the chart to remember exactly what it does at various levels. I'd love to have an exhaustion variant that was easier to remember.

    If I were making a change for my campaign, I'd want the effects of exhaustion to be a little bit more wide-ranging: fatigue in real life affects everything from decision-making to reaction time to mental acuity, and I feel that simply modifying HP maximum doesn't have enough verisimilitude for me. On the occasions when I've had to stay up more than 24 hours, while continuing to hike or work on projects, I've found that my behavior and judgment change a lot more than my walking speed or durability.

    Exhaustion should penalize exploration and social interactions at least as much as it affects combat. In combat, humans benefit from adrenaline (it's a hell of a drug), which lets them have bursts of energy even when exhausted, however, outside of combat, an exhausted person is likely to
    - make dumb mistakes
    - say things unintentionally
    - be unable to concentrate
    - have auditory and visual hallucinations
    - forget simple instructions
    - get lost



    Some ideas to throw out there:

    Variant 1, Simple: After 60 hours without a long rest, you become Fatigued: your speed is reduced by half, and you have disadvantage on all d20 rolls you make, including ability checks, saving throws, and attack rolls. Taking a long rest cures this condition.

    Variant 2, Complex: Whenever you go 24 hours without a long rest, you gain a level of Fatigue. Taking a long rest removes a level of Fatigue. For each level of fatigue that you have, your speed is reduced by 5', and you take a -2 penalty to every d20 roll you make, including ability checks, saving throws, and attack rolls.

    Variant 3, Complex: Whenever you go 24 hours without a long rest, you gain a level of Fatigue. Taking a long rest removes a level of Fatigue. For each level of fatigue that you have, your speed is reduced by 5', and all of your ability scores are reduced by 1.

    Variant 4, Complex, brutal: Whenever you go 24 hours without a long rest, you gain a level of Fatigue. Taking a long rest removes a level of Fatigue. For each level of fatigue that you have, your speed is reduced by 5', all of your ability scores are reduced by 1, and your proficiency bonus is reduced by 1.
    Last edited by Tiadoppler; 2019-09-20 at 01:09 PM.
    The battle cry of a true master is "RAW!!!"

    I play Devil's Advocate. Why does a devil need an advocate? Because only bad lawyers go to hell. The good ones find a loophole.

    5e Homebrew: Firearms through the ages / Academian class / Misc. Spells

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Iceland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fixing Exhaustion

    I think that would work perfectly!

    My design philosophy was actually made in response to my players, and not something I decided on my own. I realized that the simplest and most thematic mechanic was usually the one that had the most effect on roleplaying. I just have to give them something to write down, and they pretty much act out the rest. That coupled with the call-and-response, theatre-of-the-mind kind of game we run, I don't need much else.

    "Can I dash after him and catch up to him"
    "Wait, aren't you exhausted?"
    "Oh, right. I take a couple of steps and then stop to catch my breath"

    No further mechanics needed. It really speeds up gameplay, is easier on guest-players and other newcomers, and really grounds (immerses?) you in the narrative.

    I also learned that a certain amount of penalties just has the opposite effect that I want. Instead of powering through, putting all their effort into heroically save the day, they just pack up and go home to sleep.

    "But, but, the vampires are killing the villagers?!"
    "Yeah, but I'm fatigued AF, can't really slay any vampires in this condition."

    But that's the beauty of houserules. You might have just created the perfect mechanic for your group of players. Well done! :D
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-09-20 at 02:06 PM.

    Spoiler: How to Make Custom Monsters
    Show

    The damage column shows total damage output on hit over an entire round, and is modified based on factors like recharge, AoE etc.

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