Tuesday, October 18, 2016

FP and my DF game

As one of my players noted on a prior post, I do tend to forget to assess FP costs to the PCs. As a result, the only real costs are:

- FP from fatigue-based attacks

- FP costs from repeated Muscling Through attempts

- supernatural power costs (spells, Chi powers)

- costs imposed by supernatural powers (Great Haste cast on you by another).

Many of those come back quickly - 2 minutes or 5 minutes is pretty typical (the former for Recover Strength-20 and the latter for Fit.)

I rarely remember to enforce:

- FP costs after combat (per p. B426)

- Running (every 15 seconds)

- Hiking (hourly)

I could blame this on my players, but honestly, no one is motivated to remember bad stuff that applies temporarily, especially if they expect to get it back right away. And I'm supposed to be the one telling people the effects of their actions.

I decided the simple way to do this is three-fold:

1) Announce FP Costs Immediately. Like it says - when fights begin, I'll remind people that at the end of the battle they'll need to mark off FP equal to 1 + Encumbrance Level unless they manage to avoid making any attack or defense rolls.

I'm more likely to remember at the start, when I can pause the action, then after, when people are running to the bathroom, getting a drink, making plans, announcing who searches what and counting off healing spells and so on. If I announce it at the start of each fight, we're all more likely to remember.

2) Have a FP Assistant. I'm going to ask one player each session, one of the non-spellcasters, to remind everyone to knock off FP at the end of the fight. If that person wants to track everyone's FP, like they track treasure, etc., that's fine, but all I'm asking is to make sure everyone knows to knock off some FP.

3) Start Fights Down FP. Unless you've been doing nothing prior to the fight or only traveled a short distance and short time after a rest, I'm going to assume you are down the usual FP for hiking - FP equal to 1 + Encumbrance level.* That's how it should be, assuming the costs for hiking.

For most people, this won't be a big deal. For some, it might be an annoyance (i.e. casters who always assume they're at full FP and won't expend any after fights), but in general, it should be a workable approach.

We'll see how it goes in play. FP shouldn't be a freebie because the GM has too much going on to track it for everyone himself.

* Yes, even guys who Levitate to get around. You don't fall into pits, suffer from bad footing costs, auto-detect No Mana Zones (heh), have 3D movement, ignore tripwires, etc. but you aren't traveling effortlessly.


  1. No extra effort?

    I thought post combat FP required long combats of 10 or more rounds, so why not announce on 10th round?

    1. My players turned down allowing Extra Effort in Combat. Outside of combat, it's actually pretty rare in my games. So rare I think people just flat-out forget about it or where it is (it's p. B357).

      While "announce it on the 10th round" - assuming you mean, after everyone's 10th turn, since (pedant mode on) GURPS doesn't have rounds - sounds good, it's dependent on me remembering to tick off a turn marker on my note sheet every turn. I don't always remember to keep track of all of the details I need now, so adding one isn't a good idea. The player designated for #2 would benefit from doing that, though.

    2. Well, true. I love the concept of rounds though, so I wedge them in anyway

      I even will often formally announce them 'Round 5, Good guys vs Trolls . . . Ready? (Wait a few moments to see if anyone objects) Fight!'

  2. Ah, Running. I forgot about that one, I think. Maybe I had everyone start the second combat last time down some FP; I don't remember.

    FP *for* fighting won't come into play too often, since the PCs will usually have rested and gotten back those FP afterwards. Unless I'm missing something, which I might be.

    I'm used to marking off travel FP. For fights in the dungeon, might I offer up this:


    1. The thing you're missing is Wandering Monster rolls, which have a bonus to frequency after combat in my games. 9 or less is 12 or less after a fight, 15 or less after a big long one . . . things come to see if they can pick up the pieces, or pick off the survivors.

      I saw your post, I think it's a good one. I'm instituting something similar in my own game starting next session to formalize my time tracking, which might partly clear up this issue (except for the combat FP, which #2 above should help with.)

    2. Excellent point, and I do roll WM checks after combats in dungeons as well, though I don't change the frequency (1-in-6 on 1d with a clue on 2 if moving, or under 8 on 3d with a clue on 8 if moving); just having another check is enough in my book. And most of my combats are outside of dungeons anyways.

  3. My first suggestion: write a big FP in Hi-Liter over every loot list in your dungeon notes, because loot is where you look after a battle.

    If this somehow doesn't fit how you organize stuff, maybe figure out what players want at the end of every combat, and link it to a phase where PCs deduct FP: go through enemies' pockets, pick up quick-release backpacks, reload weapons, retrieve thrown daggers, refill potion belts from reserves, adjust armor straps, or even minimize wounds using whatever rules are in effect (Flesh Wounds, quick bandaging, rolling HT to realize crippling injuries were just cramps, whatever).
    It doesn't need to be all of those (sometimes time won't allow it), but if they skip it, you can hit them with some surprises. I'd tend to err on the side of "what's reasonable to forget" and mostly not leave their backpacks, but the mere threat of the other stuff (that is, when you remember) might work.

    1. I play off of my laptop with a Word document, so yeah, that would be tricky. I'd have an unmanageable number of highlighted FPs to put in. Having a reminder is a good idea, though. I might just need to put a sticker on my laptop for a session or two, and end all fights with, "Everyone take fight FP."


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