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Old 09-10-2008, 02:57 AM
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Default Fatigue, Lack of Sleep and other enviormental Factors on PCs

Hangfire7 04-28-2008, 01:02 AM Recently I have been dealing with an elderly family member who while undergoing chemotherapy who contracted a cold which turned into pnumonia. End result, I have averaged less than 2.5 hours of sleep per day for closs to three weeks. And it effected me greatly which had me thinking.


Today, after my first bit of sleep that was all of 8 hours I was still staggering and slurring my speach like I was drunk. And I caught myself saying, "We gotta tell the Captain" a bit of a delusion on my part from the fatigue and lack of sleep. I caught myself as I said it.


So, my question, how many of you really incorporate fatigue and sleep deprivation in your campaigns and how do you manifest it?


I in my old chat game had a PC driving a vehicle drive straight when he was supposed to have turned with the road and ran off the road crashing through a rotted wooden fence into a field. <Hey, I was being nice that night>


So, how do you guys handle and show how it affects the PCs?

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Headquarters 04-28-2008, 01:31 AM Use it as a general term that can mean lack of sleep,hunger,physical exhaustion , effects of exposure etc etc ..In general I dole out fatigue points - a penalty to ALL checks made such as initiative,task resolution etc etc teh effecst are accumulative and lack of sleep and hunger will put you at a less than efficient level fairly quickly .After extreme hardship you might end up without any capacity to defend your self or travel..


Its when the GM owes it to his players to bring in the pack of wolves ( on 4 or 2 legs ) and have them stalk and pounce on the PC.


Just to remind the player to plan ahead better th enext time..

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Targan 04-28-2008, 01:36 AM The version of the rules system that I use has detailed rules for fatigue, both the kind accumulated through combat and physical activity and the kind that results from a lack of sleep. Fatigue points affect all skills and also act as a cumulative negative modifier on some checks made against character stats. Possibly this post from me is redundant given that by now most of you would know that the system I use has rules covering just about everything. Sometimes when I gaze upon its beauty I can not help but weep a little.

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General Pain 04-28-2008, 02:47 AM Use it as a general term that can mean lack of sleep,hunger,physical exhaustion , effects of exposure etc etc ..In general I dole out fatigue points - a penalty to ALL checks made such as initiative,task resolution etc etc teh effecst are accumulative and lack of sleep and hunger will put you at a less than efficient level fairly quickly .After extreme hardship you might end up without any capacity to defend your self or travel..


Its when the GM owes it to his players to bring in the pack of wolves ( on 4 or 2 legs ) and have them stalk and pounce on the PC.


Just to remind the player to plan ahead better th enext time..


don't forget to handle out a couple of (in)sanity point deductions now and again...

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Hangfire7 04-28-2008, 03:34 AM Yes, we know the rules and they detract, but I guess I am after how do you or your players handle it as its effects manifest themselves to the characters. Sorry but the okay knock off this or that is pretty dry and unimaginative. I what do you have happen to them other than fall asleep on the spot? Do you have them do delusional for a moment? See things? <Another time when working the night shift on patrol I was doing my papperwork and may have dozed off for an instant, as my head fell I woke up and shaking myself awake looked out my vehicle window and swore I saw a horse looking at me from outside my vehicles window> Things like that, pink elephants, little green men, a parade of dancing girls and clowns? Seeing things that aren't there, or seeing things that are there but thinking they are something else, misspeaking to people who aren;t there, or to someone whom you think is Santa Claus or someone else.

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kcdusk 04-28-2008, 06:13 AM I think fatigue (mental and physical) is huge in T2K. Even a simple farmer, looking after himself and his family, workign the land as if nothing has happened, would suffer mentally in a T2K environment. Little own anyone else for whom the shock/changes would be huge, huuuuuge.


So yes, i think this is something that would apply to all PCs. Mental health issues, and lack of sleep, depression, hunger, suicide, some previously medicated illness no longer being medicated, paranoia.


How would you play it out. I think you almost have your own answer.


Driving along and all is well, but then the PC has a micro sleep and finds themselves in a small accident (roll on the minor hull damage table or something).


Or have a PC on stag, and instead of hours of boredom or perimeter checks, just announce to the player that there shift is suddenly over in what feels like 5 seconds. When the player asks "did my PC fall asleep, or whats happending???", dont give a firm reply. The player is then in two minds, as his PC would be in game world.


Describe in detail what the PC sees (horse running at you! or "charlies in the wire!!!") and then the player has to decide how there PC will play it out (if they react are they doign the right thing or over reacting). The whole point i think would be to have the player in 2 minds - that most reflects what the're PC would be experiencing.


IF your a particularly evil Ref (c'mon, you know who you are!) you can describe the PC seeing an enemy soldier creeping up. The "tired" PC on watch might wake up the men thinking they are doing the right thing ... but in the end there is nothign there ... and so instead of having everyone awake to ambush the enemy you now have the whole party awake and taking fatigue and the guy on watch is ostracised. And if he is on watch again, and sees an ememy soldier, does he cry wolf? Fire off a shot? What???? (dont look at me, your the Ref running this encounter now!).


Play it out, maybe make it obvious for a new player so that it slowly or suddenly dawns on the player what is happenign is because they are tired or hungry or slowly gowing crazy. And its foolproff. The player cannot "cheat", he can choose to react or not to whatever the ref describes teh player as seeing or thinks he see's. So there is a real ownous on the Ref to play fair and not shaft a player because that really could ruin the player/ref relationship.


What i meant to say was - it doesnt have to come down to any die rolls. Describe what hte PC experiences and let the player decide how they react. Maybe even after the Player makes his mind up, then roll to see if the threat is real or not - so not even the ref knows. In this way the player knows he's not at the whim of the ref. Just an idea.

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Targan 04-28-2008, 06:44 AM There was a situation in the Poland part of my campaign in which the PCs had lost all their vehicles and had been forced marching through poor weather. When they holed up in a bombed out village to rest the guy on watch, a Gurkha, was on top of a house roof and thought he saw some movement but he was so tired he thought he might have been seeing things, and a short time later got distracted by another task (drying out a pair of socks IIRC). So the party was taken by surprise when the scouting elements of a Soviet infantry platoon entered the village. Various nastiness involving ammunition expenditure then ensued.

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Milano 04-28-2008, 09:38 AM Another tidbit for the ref is the total loss of reasoning. For example a true story..


we were going though some more training bs for the army and had been awake for 3 days. I can't describe how tired I was because after the first couple it was just auto pilot, if you know what I mean. Anyway, it was late at night and figured it was time to try and rest a bit. we had set security, and thoes who could slept boots were on, and that damned heavy ruck as a back rest. I had first guard and litterally saw my good, sane, friend get up. Walk to an invisable door. Open it. Walk to a big spruce tree. Dig in his BDU pocket and put 50 cents into the soda machine. Push the button for a Coke. And then begin to quietly cuss the machine for eating his last quarters! Myself and another guard ran to him covered his mouth to shut him up and litterally HAD to remind and rationalise with him that we were not in the barracks. He was not asleep he just forgot or was imagining something else.


That was scary.. I mean truely scary. We had never been that tired. Everything had that surreal atmosphere to it. The training ambushes and what have you were easy. It was just drilled into us. Run for cover in 3 second bursts, dive, roll. Cover fire. All that was just rutine. It was everything else. Mathodical thought process.. unbutton before relieveing your self, etc.

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TiggerCCW UK 04-28-2008, 04:43 PM When I was in the cadets we were on an ambush patrol one night, dug in along the side of a path. The path was about 8 feet above a ditch near my positon, so I was keeping watch from the branch of a tree, about 10 feet above my ground level, a couple of feet above the path. Hope that makes some kind of descriptive sense - its not easy to explain without using my hands :smile: The ambush was part of a four day excercise, taking place on the final night when I'd managed about 5 hours sleep in the previous 80 or so hours.


I was perched on my branch when I spotted a movement out of the corner of my eye, slightly behind me at my level. This put it over the field at about 10 feet in height. I turned to investigate and was shocked to discover an old man sitting in the lotus position looking at me. Thankfully I didn't fire a shot and compromise the ambush - mainly because I was too busy falling out of the tree :blush2:


And to top it all off the enemy patrol we were meant to ambush never turned up because they got lost......


Lack of sleep can do all kinds of weird things to your perception.

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Headquarters 04-29-2008, 02:08 AM Yes, we know the rules and they detract, but I guess I am after how do you or your players handle it as its effects manifest themselves to the characters. Sorry but the okay knock off this or that is pretty dry and unimaginative. I what do you have happen to them other than fall asleep on the spot? Do you have them do delusional for a moment? See things? <Another time when working the night shift on patrol I was doing my papperwork and may have dozed off for an instant, as my head fell I woke up and shaking myself awake looked out my vehicle window and swore I saw a horse looking at me from outside my vehicles window> Things like that, pink elephants, little green men, a parade of dancing girls and clowns? Seeing things that aren't there, or seeing things that are there but thinking they are something else, misspeaking to people who aren;t there, or to someone whom you think is Santa Claus or someone else.


usually the penalty against checks /task resolution is bad enough to make my players squeal like little girls and act their PCs like sorry little sissy boys that have just gotten cold and long for home .good role play then -as they know from experience that he who scoffs at the gms fatiguepointing ( a verb -yes ?) them WILL loose his footing and fall at a critical point due to his exhaustion messing with the coordination and what not .


However I have found the occasional hallusination to be quite effective -I have tried forced marches with no food or sleep my self and the effects are really weird sometimes. ( Like the time I thought I saw people up ahead in the night and they were stumps of trees ,or hearing trucks on the road when they were just the sound of our own steps -I will not delve into some of the weirder shit as I really dont want anyone to know


So its great for heightening tensions to have them see lurking figures in the corner of their eyes a couple of times when there really are none..or are there ..`?

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Headquarters 04-29-2008, 02:12 AM Yes, we know the rules and they detract, but I guess I am after how do you or your players handle it as its effects manifest themselves to the characters. Sorry but the okay knock off this or that is pretty dry and unimaginative. I what do you have happen to them other than fall asleep on the spot? Do you have them do delusional for a moment? See things? <Another time when working the night shift on patrol I was doing my papperwork and may have dozed off for an instant, as my head fell I woke up and shaking myself awake looked out my vehicle window and swore I saw a horse looking at me from outside my vehicles window> Things like that, pink elephants, little green men, a parade of dancing girls and clowns? Seeing things that aren't there, or seeing things that are there but thinking they are something else, misspeaking to people who aren;t there, or to someone whom you think is Santa Claus or someone else.



The Norwegian Military academy conducts yearly fatigue and motivation tests to see who should be culled from the classes..one test included scientist from a major medical research organization studying sleep disorders .They hung christmas tree decorations in a wood that the raw and sleep deprived platoons marched through ..very few rapported anything out of the ordinary when they were made to write papers on the last leg of the march right after ..no one wanted to culled as being "out of it " -they just did not trust their own eyes.hehe

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kcdusk 04-29-2008, 05:28 AM usually the penalty against checks /task resolution is bad enough to make my players squeal like little girls and act their PCs like sorry little sissy boys that have just gotten cold and long for home .good role play then -as they know from experience that he who scoffs at the gms fatiguepointing :



I dont mind players knowing you are rolling dice, performing a skill check, when the PCs are making an obvious decision. Such as shooting, driving, maintenance ...


But in this case, where the PCs (& therefore the players) wouldnt know what is going on, they are not conciously aware that a skill check is required, i wouldnt let players know that i was making the check. I would make the check in private, and relay the results. Such as saying nothing if they pass the test, or telling them they see soldiers up ahead if they failed when they are really tree stumps.

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