Chivalry & Sorcery Character Generation Part the Third

Step 14: Determine Character Fatigue Points 

Fatigue Points appear to be pretty much how they sound. To determine them, players have the choice between two calculations, whichever is more beneficial for their characters. Mine is a total of Strength and Constitution, so 30.

A PC can extend this resting period up to a maximum of 1 hour and still recover some Fatigue Points. The recovery rate after the first 10 minutes of rest is 1 FP per 10 minutes of additional rest for a PC with CON 15 or less and 2 FP per 10 minutes of additional rest for a PC with CON 16+. If the PC wishes to recover more he needs to sleep. A character can then recover Fatigue Points at the sleeping rate which has no maximum period for sleep.

If a character does not sleep once after every 24 hour period, the character’s “effective” Constitution is “reduced by one level for every hour he goes past 24 hours without sleep.” There isn’t a mention how long a character must sleep. Here’s an open door for you, Power Gamers!

Step 15: Determine Character Lifting & Carrying Capacity 

In this section appears another one of C&S’s delightful observations:

Not only in modern times but also throughout history, infantry carried a burden of 50 to 100 lbs of armaments, ammunition and equipment. In good condition and with the weight properly distributed by a decent backpack, etc., infantry can march for many miles under that load over all manner of terrain! To reflect this, Carrying Capacity is calculated as 1/2 x LCAP (rounding up).

A casual search doesn’t reveal the thread to me, but the foregoing strongly reminds me of some comments on Encumbrance I received on the Rolemaster boards over a year ago.

If a character exceeds his carrying capacity, he suffers a penalty of –1 Fatigue Point for every 20% of the character’s CCAP that he exceeds it, for every hour or part of an hour he carries it.

Uh-oh. This is the first calculation that has struck me as “fiddly.” Weight calculations are annoying enough, though in this game they are mitigated by C&S’s lenient approach to character penalties. Yet here that generosity seems to be “walking back.”

Note: Naturally I’ve been thinking about the play experience that these rules might accommodate at the gaming table, and it might be that “fiddliness” would be a boon rather than a curse. The types of characters likely to be generated (at least through the random method) encourage careful roleplaying rather than fast-paced action anyway. With the right group, I can see time-intensive considerations of weights and microscopic maneuver calculations as a pleasurable and essential component of the C&S experience. As I’ve been reading, I’ve been thinking that what this game emulates is not something that I would have enjoyed in my youth. It is something I would enjoy as an adult. On the other hand, some of the crunchiness is not something I’m particularly attracted to now, whereas, in my youth, my group would have been just fine spending an hour on something as mundane as totaling the weights of our packs.

Step 16: Define Character’s Jumping Ability 

More fiddliness. It’s Strength + Agility x .25. Then I add 2 for a Human. I get 9.

The rules for Running and Standing Jumping are interesting but a little too much to delve into here.

Step 17: Determine Character’s Movement 

There are two ways of determining Base Action Points. It’s based either on Agility and Constitution or on Agility and Intellect. The selected values are added and divided by 2.

My character is better off using Constitution. 10+12/2=11.

This is the first notice of an action economy system. It is going to be very interesting to contrast this structure with Rolemaster’s.

Step 18: Determine Character’s Horoscope

The designers say that this is optional but highly recommended. It’s another percentile roll. I roll 79, Capricorn. For this, my “Favoured Skills & Benefits” are Charisma and Materia Magica [sic?]. I’ll have to note this for later, when I deal with Skills, because, with this astrological reading, I get to choose two Skills from one category or one Skill from both categories.

It appears that the governing birth sign also awards XP bonuses whenever the character uses Skills affected by this portent. This further is skewed up or down dependent on the character’s Aspect. Finally, bonuses resulting from the use of Magick Skills are parsed away from the others.

My character gets +10% XP from the use of Charisma Skills and +10% XP from the use of Magick Skills.

This causes me to consider if every single action the character performs (such as in early Rolemaster) is going to be tracked in game for the purposes of calculating Experience.

Step 19: Character Age

Also optional. I roll 97. I’m 25 years old and therefore much more “experienced” than characters of the default age of 18. At this time, I’m not sure precisely what this might mean in game terms. It appears I have a lot of starting experience points. Are these to be spent on Skills? I wonder.

The implications of this alternate rule are exciting. I’m imagining, now, of starting PC parties of varying “power levels.” Their compositions would be something akin to Tolkien’s Fellowship which, at times, was comprised of a Maiar Wizard, an ageless Elf, a resourceful High Man and a smattering of others, including four “Level 1” Hobbits. As long as players aren’t concerned with “fairness,” this feature can be inspiring and rich with narrative possibilities.

Step 20: Determine Character’s Personalising Traits

Also (strangely) optional for such a detailed game. This section contains a table of possible physical traits, but it’s not designed to be rolled upon. There might be something like it in the GM book, or there are sources published by other parties that might be of use. This goes, as well, for something likewise surprisingly absent: a table of names, or at the very least a list of some that would be most appropriate for C&S’s default milieu of Europe in the Middle Ages. The player also is encouraged to imagine the Personal Foibles of his or her character.

Character Generation is finished—yes, I know there still is much to be done, but this closes the book’s first section. 

Postscript: The very next section details Special Abilities & Defects. In it I find a description for my character’s Low Metabolic Rate:

The character has a highly efficient metabolism. He requires half the normal amount of food per day to sustain his health and energy levels. His Fatigue Points are restored by 1/3 D10 FP (rounded down) above normal levels per hour sleeping or +1 FP per 10 minutes resting.

5 Replies to “Chivalry & Sorcery Character Generation Part the Third”

  1. Can’t say I’m a big fan of bringing back Fatigue/Exhaustion Points. Did anyone who played Rolemaster like them? More importantly: did anyone actually use them?

    They work fine in videogames, when your computer can keep track of your stamina. But they are far too fiddly for me in a pen-and[paper RPG. I think one of the things RMU has done right is do away with point tracking and just go to checks when needed.

    1. No doubt! I can see how my enthusiasm for this system, so far, can appear all-encompassing. But I’m actually a proponent for “simpler” systems, all things considered (I was running Swords & Wizardry before getting in on the VsD playtest).

      Tomorrow I’m posting which elements of C&S, so far, I’d like to bring into my RM game. I’d appreciate it if you check in and tell me what you think!

    2. The answer is No and No. The only system I have ever enjoyed the exhaustion mechanic was Champions but the idea of herculean effort and exhaustion and having to catch your breath all inside a single combat is very much a Super Hero thing.

  2. We never used Fatigue/Exhaustion points. Never saw the need. As a GM you can simply slow movement rates and create all sorts of issues for characters who feel their Halfling can wear full plate and carry 100 pounds of gear for twelve hours without resorting to a pain in the backside point system.

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