GURPS101: Battle Fatigue

GURPS After the End 1: Wastelanders brought us the amazing rules modification “Long-Term Fatigue Points.” A system which allows the GM to assess penalties for lack of food, water, sleep, or a comfortable environment without the hassle the regular rules may pose to some.

I’ve repurposed these rules a lot on my blog and in my official work and yet what else could they be used for? Today’s post repurposes the LFP mechanic again – this time for combat.

Battle Fatigue Rules
This is a rather simple switch, but it can have far-reaching consequences – much like my friend +Douglas Cole‘s article “The Last Gasp.” First, using Extra Effort in combat (p. B357) for things like Feverish Defense, Mighty Blows, or Flurry of Blows still cost FP to use, but they also increase your LFP. Next, you lose LFP equal to half the value assessed for Fighting a Battle (p. B426). Finally, recovering LFP lost to battle requires that you stay out of combat for an hour per point of LFP regained. Double this if you are completely away from the front lines or in a otherwise peaceful place. Triple this if you both conditions are true.

Picking Over the Bones
I know this post is short and sweet, but it’s an interesting idea with a lot of implications and not a lot of mechanical “gristle” behind it. The goal of FP loss and any negative “condition” is not to penalize the player to put his character in an unplayable situation, but to showcase how badass that character is for overcoming that condition while still kicking butts and taking names. In the end all players want their characters to be John McClane – beaten, bloody, bruised, but ultimately a scrappy buttkicker that wins in the end.

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