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Consequences for spending MP?


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Other game systems use fatigue to power spells, which generally has consequences beyond how close to zero one gets. Power Points (a.k.a. Magic Points) have no such effect: at 1 you're fine, at 0 you're out. (Unless I missed something.)

Here's one "remedy" I came up with in the last few minutes: every character has a Major Drain number equal to POW / 2, analogous to Major Wound Threshold. Losing that many PP in a combat round imposes some sort of skill penalty, e.g. all Easy tests become average, all average tests become Difficult, and all Difficult tests are impossible.

If using Fatigue points, perhaps losing more than POW/4 PP at once spent subtracts 1d6 FP. In Legend, one could simply subtract one fatigue level instead.

When a character reaches 2 PP or less he automatically suffers from the effects of Major Drain or hits the penultimate fatigue level before unconsciousness. 0 PP is automatic unconsciousness, as in the current rules.

Certain creatures might be exempt from these effects. Constructs and undead, for example, never tire, and a sapient spell-casting octopus might suffer no physical skill penalties because its arms are largely autonomous.

However, this is just off the top of my head. Are there any play-tested rules that address the relationship between losing magic/psychic/super power and physical/mental weakness? Or am I the only killjoy?


"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
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I think it would depend on a setting's idea of magic, especially whether the spellcaster

uses his own physical or mental strength to power a spell or uses his magical skill to

draw the energy to power the spell from somewhere else (e.g. the local mana field, a

deity's power, or whatever). In the first case the magic points represent his individual

reservoir of power, and reducing the magic points could well have the consequences

you described, but in the second case the magic points represent only his ability to

access a certain amount of power from another source, and this should not necessa-

rily lead to physical or mental exhaustion - the spellcaster uses a kind of magic credit

card to power his spells, and this credit card works well until it is empty.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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