Following up on this thread, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to have a Power or Energy stat which would be rolled for Fight and Unleash Your Powers moves, but could also be expended for a special effect. Everyone would be expected to use this stat, so you aren’t choosing if you want to specialize in it or not (the basic stats are about personality types, emotional/mental/social approaches, etc. and have less to do with physical ability). It’s essentially like a “mana” stat, but doubles up as being both a resource and your modifier on these rolls.
I imagine it going something like: everyone starts at +2 after a rest. They can roll the Fight or Powers moves with this stat (2d6+2) and as long as it’s at +2, it represents that they’re still strong and full of energy (as they’re more likely to succeed at these rolls). A basic roll doesn’t require any energy to be spent-- fictionally, they’re using their powers at a steady rate such that it’s not noticeably tiring. Then, someone could decide to spend 1 of this stat to do something particularly grand with a burst of energy-- they’d achieve this special effect, but having spent one energy, they would now be rolling at 2d6+1 for the foreseeable future-- they’re a little worn out now, slightly less likely to succeed at these actions.
I like this idea thematically for my setting and genre, which is science-fantasy and has a focus on magitech. There are person and vehicle-level layers and everyone/thing is running on some sort of magic energy or fuel, so being conscious of energy levels is appropriate. It would also ideally play out as a form of pacing and stakes-setting, where characters reach 0 energy after a significant period of action and feel appropriately worn down and on their last leg.
I’m having some problems figuring out the specifics of all this though. I’m not sure what’s an appropriate effect to achieve when you expend energy. Some basic options I could imagine:
- pushing a roll result up one tier (a 6- becomes a 7-9, so on)
- an automatic success on a roll
- pick more items on a move result list (functionally similar to getting a higher tier of success, maybe)
- give yourself advantage (roll 3d6, take highest two)
- something more fictionally interesting than those-- use some special power you couldn’t otherwise (maybe add tags to an attack or action?)
Assuming the +Power stat would at most ever be +3, you only get a few of these to spend per significant period of action, and giving yourself consecutive -1’s to future rolls is a fairly significant penalty. I don’t want it to be the case that people decide to never spend any energy because it’s actually clearly superior to just keep rolling 2d6+3, for example.
I really like this idea in theory but I’ve been stuck on the specifics of how it could actually work for a few weeks now. Does anyone have any thoughts about a stat as an expendable resource as a concept?