Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > The Fantasy Trip > The Fantasy Trip: House Rules

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-10-2018, 07:58 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Using ST-Based Hit Points & Fatigue Points Instead of Fatigue-ST

NOTE: This post consolidates, revises, and re-presents some previously scattered posts on alternative rules for recording the loss of Fatigue-ST (Fatigue Strength) from spell casting and exhaustion.

The intent is to make fatigue loss less deadly, add flavorful character options, and encourage non-lethal brawling and striking to subdue. Hopefully the rules will be easier to use by being revised and presented in a single post.
"What you don't know can't hurt y ... OUCH!"

Last edited by flankspeed; 09-10-2018 at 08:27 PM.
flankspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2018, 07:59 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Using ST-Based Hit Points & Fatigue Points Instead of Fatigue-ST



More flavor and more tactical options can be added to the game through a slightly different take on Fatigue Strength. This can be accomplished without adding a fourth stat such as Health in GURPS. Every character, wizard and warrior alike, would find some use for Fatigue.

In a sense, Strength generates a secondary stat of equal value called Hit Points because even though ST equals the Hits a character can take, accumulated damage is never said to reduce ST for carrying capacity or wielding weapons. Strength could also generate another secondary stat of equal value called Fatigue Points. Thus a character with ST=12 would have HP=12 and FP=12.

The use of Fatigue Poiunts gives all players a way to track Fatigue loss without having it affect Hit Points. Wizards would be able to mark off Fatigue Points from spell casting without the loss putting them closer to death. This would not give them more Fatigue Strength than they had under the original rules, but it would allow them to use their Fatigue more freely.

When temporary effects increase or reduce ST, the GM may rule that maximum HP and FP also increase or decrease at the same time to the same number. This depends on whether the effect is merely changing a figure’s lifting and carrying capacity or also affecting actual health, constitution, and endurance.

Only the ST attribute can be directly raised through experience and character advancement unless the GM decides to implement special exceptions not included within these rules. Whenever ST permanently increases, then HP and FP increase to the same number. If ST permanently decreases for some reason, then HP and FP decrease to the same number.

The GM may use Fatigue Points during game play, perhaps ruling that every six consecutive turns of combat and/or running at full Movement Allowance (such as during a chase sequence) costs 1 Fatigue Point.

One option is to put out a six-sided die at the end of the first turn of combat/movement with the 1 side facing up. Increment the die by one at the end of each turn. When the 6 side shows up, all involved figures take -1 FP and the die resets to 1 at the end of the next turn.


When Fatigue Points fall to 2 or less, the character is extremely tired and suffers -2 to any roll against an attribute, whether attacking, casting a spell, or making a saving throw. This would be cumulative with the -3 for Hit Points falling to 3 or less if the character is also seriously injured.

When Fatigue Points fall to 0, the character collapses from exhaustion, falling prone in the current hex. Make a 3d6 vs ST save to remain conscious. Failure means the character will pass out and enter forced rest until they regain 1 Fatigue Point, at which time they become conscious again and are at -2 to attribute rolls until Fatigue recovers to 3 or higher.

A Critical Failure roll of 17 means the character passes out and is dying from exhaustion unless someone renders medical aid (3d6 vs IQ for Physicker or Master Physicker) within 5 minutes, which expires before the character is able to recover 1 Fatigue naturally from 15 minutes of rest. A Critical Failure roll of 18 means the character dies immediately from exhaustion.

Success on the 3d6 save means the character stays conscious, but is forced to remain prone for that turn. On subsequent turns, the character may sit up or kneel or crawl, but is unable to stand and move on foot unless another 3d6 vs ST save succeeds (or Fatigue recovers to 1 or higher), permitting the character to stand up again. After standing with Fatigue Points at 0, the character suffers -2 to Movement Allowance until Fatigue recovers to 1 or higher and remains at -2 to attribute rolls until Fatigue recovers to 3 or higher.

A character at 0 Fatigue Points who losses any further Fatigue begins to suffer Hit Point damage instead. The Fatigue loss is equivalent to Hits of lethal damage. This is how a character in extreme situations can gradually die from exhaustion. If the GM is permitting use of Fatigue Points for heroic extra effort or allowing wizards to cast using Hit Points after Fatigue Points are depleted, then any loss or use of Fatigue after Fatigue Points are at 0 inflicts Hit Point loss instead.


The GM may rule that when wizards have exhausted all Fatigue Points, they can continue spell casting using Hit Points, sacrificing pure life force and risking death. They may do this in one turn by casting a spell that takes Fatigue Points to 0 while also consuming enough Hit Points to finish powering the spell. The GM may limit the amount of points that can be spent at once so this system is not abused, such as limiting Missile spells to 5 ST points or something similar.

Once the wizard casts the spell and both Fatigue Points and Hit Points have been marked off, the wizard would then collapse as described above when a character’s Fatigue is reduced to 0. If Hit Points are reduced to 1, then the wizard falls unconscious, and if Hit Points are reduced to 0, then the wizard has died from the shock.


Characters could expend a Fatigue Point to put forth an extraordinarily heroic effort for one turn, gaining +1 to a specific hit roll, damage roll, or saving throw. Also, characters could expend a Fatigue Point to add +2 to Movement Allowance for one turn.

Characters who are armed with a melee weapon (or a missile weapon, but GM may rule it risks breaking), are using a shield or main-gauche, or who are unarmed but know Unarmed Combat, Brawling, or Acrobatics could expend a Fatigue Point to put forth extraordinary defensive effort for one turn, gaining an extra -1 Hit of damage stopped from a specific incoming damage roll. This effort may be applied to melee attacks and thrown attacks, but only using a shield or knowing Unarmed Combat or Acrobatics would apply to missile attacks.


Fatigue Points are an expendable resource that allow for heroic effort in times of need, but players must use them wisely. A wizard can’t afford to waste too much Fatigue on such heroic effort, but warriors have a fair amount of freedom to put in a little bit of extra effort that may turn the tide of battle.

This take on Fatigue makes it harder to die from exhaustion, but offers more flavor and more tactical options for characters to choose from. A character lost in the desert may last a bit longer, but will still be in grave danger of death.

The defensive option to allow an extra -1 Hit of damage for 1 FP was chosen because the original rules for shields, main-gauche use, Two-Weapon Fighting, etc., always refer to stopping hits of damage. They never mention applying a minus to an opponent’s DX. If the GM wishes, 1 FP could impose a -1 DX on a single enemy attack.



Giving characters separate HP and FP allows for most unarmed fighting to be non-lethal by default, inflicting FP loss instead of HP loss. Only after FP=0 or when a character specifically states an intent to inflict permanent bodily injury would damage reduce HP as per normal, armed combat.

Characters may also strike to subdue with blunt parts of their hand weapons so long as the attack does not include any fire-based damage (fire always inflicts lethal damage unless there are extenuating circumstances). Subdual attacks do only FP damage rather than HP damage, but the damage is halved (round down).

If the weapon has no blades, spikes, or pointed edges (such as a sap, club, staff, or blunt training weapon) or if the weapon/attack is unusually suited to doing non-lethal damage (such as a rock, boomerang, sling bullet, Magic Fist spell, low-ST Lightning Bolt, Taser, or beanbag shotgun round), then the attack inflicts full FP damage (not half).

Pacifist characters will be sure to use only blunt weapons striking for non-lethal damage, priestly wizards might rely on Magic Fist so as not to kill a potential convert, and everyone will find non-lethal weapons/attacks useful for capturing prisoners.

Note that when FP=2 or less, the character is at -2 to Attribute rolls, and when FP=0, the character falls prone and must roll 3d6 vs ST to remain conscious. On subsequent turns, if still conscious, the character may attempt to stand up by succeeding on another roll of 3d6 vs ST. Note also that wound effects of taking 5 Hits of FP damage in one turn will cause a -2 DX on the next turn, and 8 Hits of FP damage in one turn will cause the character to fall prone.

Any excess FP damage after reducing FP to 0 is carried over to HP as lethal damage. This is how continued beating of a helpless foe may result in death, whether intended or not. One cannot keep kicking someone on the ground or stoning someone in the biblical sense without almost certainly killing them.

When an attack inflicting non-lethal FP damage scores a critical hit of double or triple damage, any excess damage beyond FP=0 carries over to become HP damage instead. Alternatively, the GM may rule that a double-damage result inflicts full, normal, lethal HP damage that is not doubled, and a triple-damage result inflicts the full, normal amount of damage rolled (not triple) to BOTH of the character’s FP and HP simultaneously. Any excess FP damage would become HP damage as usual.

Now go enjoy the relatively friendly fisticuffs of a good-natured barroom brawl! And as long as you’re taverngoing, you might as well also enjoy some rules for intoxication by yours truly:

Tavern Fun Time: Alcohol, Drinking, Intoxication, and After Effects
"What you don't know can't hurt y ... OUCH!"

Last edited by flankspeed; 09-10-2018 at 08:31 PM.
flankspeed is offline   Reply With Quote

brawling, fatigue, knockout, strength, subdue

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.