Towards an OSR fatigue rule

I’m cleaning up my Point Nemo material, and one of the elegant rules I borrowed from GLOG was the Fatigue rule: It’s simple enough, certain actions result in gaining a level of exhaustion, which takes up an inventory slot.

In GLOG, you have a number of inventory slots equal to your Strength score (or Strength+2), and unless you have a very high score, you’ll likely be operating near your full encumbrance a lot of the time. The fatigue rule connects resource management and adventure pacing to choices taken in the course of play.

How would you transfer this over to other OSR systems without slot-based inventory? I’m looking in particular at S&W, which has a hard 300lbs encumbrance limit, albeit with smaller Strength adjustments. S&W encumbrance affects both what you can carry as well as how fast you move, so having points of Fatigue add weight to your encumbrance mimics the effects of Fatigue in GLOG, where going over Encumbrance gives penalties to movement and stealth.

How much weight should be added for a point of fatigue? I’m leaning towards the 50-60lbs range, so each point actually has a solid chance of pushing you into the next encumbrance bracket.

What else can you think of? Maybe just moving Fatigued players into the next encumbrance bracket automatically?


At some point I’ll blog about my encumbrance system which is slot-based but broadly compatible with S&W (using Delta’s stone-based encumbrance as a major source of inspiration).

It all depends on the granularity you’re after, I guess, but the most compatible way of doing this I would say is indeed pushing someone down one level of their move score when they gain fatigue. Working it in via the inventory would be less direct, and less compatible.