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[House Rule] Resolve


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Hi fellow dabblers in the arcane craft of rule design,

after reading through the download section I felt brave and will post a new rule my group will be using in the next campaign.




How determined is a character to accomplish his goal? Resolve(points) are a measure for that. See a friend get killed or multiple plans go south, your resolve decreases. A pat on the back or a rallying speech and up it goes again.


Something that bothered me for a long time is "hero willpower". A pc hero just couldn't be broken or indimidated. Players could restrict themselves, but that needed borderline method acting to be somewhat accurate and consistent.

Why not just POW?

POW has many tie-ins and there is no need to be super tight. PP are used for magic and stunts*, adding another thing would be too much.

*another house rule I shamelessly stole (from Dragon/Fantasy Age)


A character starts with as many Resolve Points (RP) as his highest attribute score. //I'm not married to this, must be something. This sound better than just 12.

Many situations in- or decrease a character's resolve (RP). The mechanism is based on the sanity rules.

1d4 "Uh-Oh" - hit in combat, being frightfully intimidated

1d6 Nasty Suprise - being ambushed

1d8 Major Setback - BBEG kills a hostage

1d10 No Way Out - Huge Beast blocks path


1d4 Pat On the Back - after a victory

1d6 "That went well" - crossed antagonist's plan, a big reward is promised, a skilled rallying speech

1d8 Mission accomplished - long time goal reached

1d10 Unbeliveable Luck - mostly if PC get away with something awesome

Additionally there is the possibility to loose maximum resolve (RP) for example if a friend dies in action. It can increase through major victories - or a simple lengthy break from constant danger.


Do you have used something similar? What are your thoughts?

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It _does_ make sense if you want to portrait characters who are within the human norm. Even trained people can break in combat. However, the loss should only occur if you fail a roll, and the skill should probably be trainable. If you are a killing machine yourself, seeing people dismembered is not likely to have the same effect it has on a rookie.

However, it may become out-of-genre or out-of-context for some kind of extremely heroic roleplaying. For instance, a similar score exists in the new Conan RPG by Modiphius, and while the mechanics is actually neat, I am a bit skeptical about it being in context for the Hyborian. Conan, Fafhrd and other pulp S&S heroes do not breakdown in combat, whatever may happen to them.

So in a few words: it sounds neat, but only if you already have a very clear idea of the kind of heroes you want your characters to be.


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How exactly do the resolve points work. Dpoes someone surrender when they run out? Do they get the spend the points for something?

Hmm, you could tie it closer to the SAN system. For example:

1) Resolve could use a multiple of POW for the base % (say POWx5%)

2) When confronted with a stressful situation the character must make a resolve skill test or suffer a loss of resolve. 

3) When the character does well, his resolve ability could be increased.

4) This could work with Rosen's idea of it being a skill that could be trained, too. A character could work to improve it but could still have it reduced from stressful situations.

5) You could adjust the chance of making a Resolve roll based on the circumstances. A more stressful situation might not only know the ability down by a larger die roll, but be considered more difficult to absorb (half ability). While less stressful situations, might be easy to deal with double ability). 


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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Thanks for your insight. Hopefully I won't sound defensive. 


The point of Conan never breaking morale is absolutly true. Even in D&D heroes shouldn't falter just because the dragon is acutally sacry.

This campaign will tell the story about experts more than heroes. More in a Cthulhu-with- fights kind of way.


To roll or not to roll. I started with unadultered sanity rules, but adding secondary rules leads to resolve becoming as major for the system as sanity is to Call of Cthulhu. 

I would opt for rules-light because the group exists for many years and fixing stuff in the go is cool with everyone. (The joy of house ruling)

Was hard not to inclued a roll for that, it would be appropriate. Same goes with the skill. How resolve is attached to a character and how a player can tweak it are important questions - which I put aside for lack of experience.


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It seems like a decent way to handle "sanity-lite", meaning that players suffer a psychological toll, but aren't going to lost their characters when the become 0 SAN empty shells. I could quibble with some of the effects. For example, killing a hostage might provoke someone to lash out in rage rather than weaken. I'll think over that more.

You might want to look at the quick start version of the new Delta Green ruleset for ideas. It's sanity system is designed heavily around the stresses that combat and danger can take. It also replaces with Magic Points with Willpower, which seems similar to your idea with Resolve. 

Here is a link

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Resolve Points are, in my opinion, quite a good idea that many have tinkered with before, including myself. 

Personally I would not add another complete set of points to the character sheet, but I would still run with the concept.

I would use the actual Power Points tally, even for namesake alone. There's no reason why Power Points can't be used to portray both Resolve and Essence at the same time, plus it also gives non magic users a reason to have Power Points on their sheet.

I have actually done this for my cinematic Pulp Adventure setting, and it has worked well for the past few years. Keep the recovery along the lines of Morale as you have done, but also add a Meditation or Contemplation skill for a quicker recharge for magic users, then you can easily use Power Points for Magic as well as Resolve.

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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I use the SAN system myself as it can be expanded to cover all sorts of other things outside of Mythos nastiness.  Here is an expanded list with some additional rules and things I use.

WIS or POW x 5 = SAN…most people start with ~50 and take damage for years and does not heal

If you lose ½ POW in one day then you are temporarily insane

If you lose 1/5 of your Sanity in one day you are indefinitely insane

If you fall to -0 SAN you are permanently insanity

Hospitalization = 1d3 SAN regained per month on a success, lose 1d6 SAN on a failure

On a critical failure on a save against a fear effect or something similar, lose 1 SAN

On a critical hit on a mental attack, lose 1 SAN

On a critical success on a social attack such as intimidate or seduction or something similar, the victim lose 1 SAN

1/1d2                    Loss of a treasured item

1/1d2                    Loss of job

1/1d2                    Surprised to find mangled animal carcass

1/1d3                    Surprised to find human corpse

1/1d3                    Surprised to find human body part

1/1d4                    Witnessing a death of a person

1/1d4                    Loss of a Parent

1/1d4                    Loss of a Friend

1/1d4                    Finding a stream flowing with blood

1/1d4                    Incarceration

1/1d4                    Severe Injury

1/1d4+1               Finding a mangled human corpse

1/1d4                    Causing a willful death

1/1d4                    Committing torture

1/1d6                    Awakening trapped in a coffin

1/1d6                    Witnessing a friend’s violent death

1/1d6                    Committing murder

1/1d6                    Causing an accidental death

1/1d6                    Seeing a ghoul

1/1d6                    Molestation

1/1d6+1               Meeting a ghost or someone you know to be dead

1/1d8                    Rape

1/1d10                  Undergoing severe torture per instance

1/d10                    Seeing a corpse rise from its grave

1/1d10                  Divorce/Loss of love

1/1d10                  Loss of a Child

1/1d10                  Terminal Illness

1/1d10                  Per week of sustained warfare

1d2/1d8               Sudden betrayal

1d2/1d8               Sudden Poverty

1d2/1d10             First battle         

1d2/2d10+1        Seeing a gigantic severed head fall from the sky

1d4/1d20             Mass casualty event/Natural disaster

1d6/1d20             Being Possessed

1d6/1d20             Near Death Experience or being Resurrected

1d10/d100              Seeing an evil deity


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On 16 March 2016 at 9:24 PM, Mankcam said:


Personally I would not add another complete set of points to the character sheet, but I would still run with the concept.


I thought about this at first. CoC just renamed PP to SAN and spells are paid with it. So it works just fine.

In the end it is setting dependent. In Cthulhu logic spells will cost you your mind. In Nakar, the setting we are playing in, spells will attract demons in 40k fashion. Therefor spells need different mechanics. 

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