Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rethinking Stress and Consequences(sort of)

I have been mucking about with stress and consequences for a while now. I have played with the idea of not having stress, or only having stress when certain conditions are met, using alternate tracks and simplified tracks. I have never been all that excited about the two stress tracks listed in the main Fate Core book. It just always felt off to me. In analyzing my issue with the stress tracks I came up with a thought on a solution to my problem, or at least a solution to one corner of the nebulous issue I have yet to fully comprehend(on a side note, I hate it when I have a problem but I cannot properly define the problem).

OK so here is the thought:

Conflict and stress tracks work as normal..sort of. You can take multiple stress boxes to absorb stress. You cannot take consequences during the conflict. I would probably increase teh number of stress boxes by one or two, or perhaps grant more lower tier stress boxes in order to make the characters more durable.

At the end of conflict you only get your stress back if you take a consequence that is worth as much as the highest level of stress box you have marked.  So consequences allow for refresh of stress and provide lasting impact for stress in a new(ish) way.

This would require some rejiggering of the stress and consequence mechanics, but would be interesting. During a conflict you may not notice the damage you are taking(mentally or physically) but after wards when you have a chance to reflect and notice things you will find the damage. Or you could not do that and just repress, however that makes it easier to stress you out in the future. This would allow for some different trade offs and tactics in play, while giving stress tracks a little more focus in play. Heck you could then get a stunt that allows you to refresh stress during a conflict by taking a higher consequence.

That is that idea. Pretty simple, not all that novel, really. However I like the concept and would like to discuss it. What do you think? Would it work? What are some problems you see with it? What might it work best for?