Stress Tracks

I currently trying to decide between two different methods of setting up the stress tracks: Spirit of the Century’s method and the method used in Strands of Fate by Void Star.

Spirit of the Century style stress tracks

The Skill rank determines how many boxes you get over the default 5. (Average/Fair +1, Good/Great +2, Superb/Fantastic +3). In The Dresden Files you also gain another Mild Consequence to be used for that specific kind of stress, which I might use if play testing proves to be too lethal.

physical = Stamina

mental = Willpower

social = Presence

So a character with Superb Stamina, Great Willpower and Fair Presence would have a set of stress tracks that looked like this:

Strands of Fate style stress tracks

Strands of Fate uses a tiered stress track, where each tier is a different level of Consequence. You determine the number of boxes by adding 2 Skills together, plus any other modifiers, usually from Power Advantages. Default is one box per tier.

The result is that each stress track (Physical, Mental and Social) looks like this:

On the one hand I like this system. I looks like Exalted’s health track. On the other, Strands uses a completely different Skill system with 12 total Skills. To use it as written would mean either abandoning Evil Hat’s version of FATE in favor of Void Star’s or trying to shoehorn it into Evil Hat’s, neither of which is something I want to do.

I may ultimately try to blend the two different methods together, with tiered stress tracks derived from a single Skill. I’m not sure how well that would work, or if there would be any mechanical advantage besides the ability to have the same level of consequence from different sources (ie. having both a severe physical and mental consequence), something you can’t do in Spirit of the Century.

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One Response to Stress Tracks

  1. zenten says:

    I’m not in favour of having both a severe physical and mental consequence, because consequences don’t fit into categories that nicely (even if their cause does). Say you have a headache as a consequence from getting hit in the head. The consequence might be a valid invocation if you are trying to shoot someone, but it could also be a valid compel to give up on studying something because your head hurts too much.

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