As the game plays out, the PCs will get more stressed out and their condition will worsen.
When a PC accumulates stress, their actions are limited because of the narrative restrictions their condition creates.
Not every action will go well, and failing an action has consequences, which in turn will affect the characters for some time. The stress clock is used to track exactly this.
Things will eventually go back to normal, and the PCs will recover. But for the recovery to happen, it needs to happen in the fiction first.
Recovering in the Fiction
When a player wants their character to recover stress, there needs to be downtime in the fiction.
If the group spends 3 sessions battling monsters in an epic dungeon, and tension is always through the roof, then the fiction doesn't allow for the recovery process to begin.
That being said, downtime doesn't mean that all the PCs have to sit down by a campfire and talk until they are all at "full health".
In Charge, the structure of a session isn't enforced, so the PCs can do what ever they want, whenever they want. This is why there will be moments when it just doesn't make sense for the PC to recover at that time.
So the only way to recover from stress is in-fiction. You can either rest, lay low or seek medical attention. When doing so, the GM will look at the fiction and tell you how much stress (1-4) you clear on your stress clock.
As your character gets better, you also need to update your condition to represent your character's current state.
We aren't using dice to support this mechanic because we don't believe luck should generally factor in the healing process. Of course, there are moments where it could. If you want, you can use the Fortune Roll mechanic to resolve this type of situation.
Use this to heal and recuperate.
- When resting, laying low or seeking medical attention, clear between 1-4 segments from your stress clock and update your condition.