Resource Pool Extra
A Charge RPG meta-extra that helps you build your own Resource extra.
- By Logan Bowyer
This meta-extra helps you create a Resource extra to supplement Momentum and refine your playstyle.
Resource Pool Rule
- The first step is to determine what kind of resource fits your genre. Are you playing an Old West game that uses Grit? Does your game take place in a wizarding college where Mana would be more appropriate?
It's important to limit the number of Resource Pools you create so you don't give your players too much to keep track of.
- Next, determine whether the resource is Shared or Personal. Something like Expedition Funds might belong to party, while something like your Android's Battery Power might be personal. As a general rule, either all players have a personal pool, or none do. Note that not all players have to use the same personal pool.
You might also determine whether the resource can be taken or given, like siphoning off a tank's Petrol Reserves.
- Ask yourself, how will your players get it and how much will they get? Does your Cowboy get one point of Grit when he takes damage? Maybe your Android has a solar panel it uses to recharge. Are there multiple ways to get it, like drinking a Mana potion or resting for eight hours?
Do you want getting it to require a roll, like filing a university funding proposal for Expedition Funds using a Sway roll? If it does, how much do you want your players to get? A good rule of thumb is to let your players roll for resources with their best actions and reward a single serving of resources on a partial success, a double serving on a full success, and a triple serving on a overwhelming success. If players feel like they don't have enough of a resource or they can't get enough of it they'll start hoarding it and never use it.
- Most importantly, what happens when your players consume it? Maybe your Cowboy can spend 2 points of Grit to ignore a consequence for one turn. What if Mana is used to power a special action like Burn or Transmute? Can your tank's Petrol Reserves be put into your flamethrower instead?
Does your resource replace an established mechanic? Maybe your group doesn't like tracking items and spending Expedition Funds lets them have what they need.
- When can your players get it back? Maybe Expedition Funds can only be replaced between expeditions. What if some of the treasure you find can be sold and converted to Expedition Funds? What's the conversion rate? Can a mage drink more than one mana potion a day or does it give them mana sickness?
Do you want your players to be able to retain a resource? Maybe rolling a full success on a Transmute action doesn't use Mana. This is a good idea to help your players stretch their resources further if they can't get them back right away. On the other hand, maybe your players are hoarding a resource. A good solution to that is to let all or part of a Resource Pool expire after a certain condition is met.
- Lastly, It's important to clarify if your Resource has any special qualifiers. We've already touched on a few ideas, like how Expedition Funds might replace item management. What if each point of Mana lets you add a d6 to your Transmute action dice pool? Should you cap the rolls at 3d6 (3 points of Mana?)
Feeling generous? Fortune dice rolls can be used to give out Resources at opportune times. Maybe a mysterious benefactor chose to donate to your upcoming expedition (1 point for every full success on a 3d6 roll.) Or what if instead your android found a spare battery with 4 charges?
Here are a few of the examples we already talked about in greater detail along with a new one:
Each Cowboy has a personal pool of Grit. Each time you take damage, gain 1 point of Grit. Spend 2 points of Grit to ignore the narrative restrictions of a consequence for 1 turn reflecting your tough "shrug it off" demeanor.
Expedition Funds Example
Everyone in the party helps draft a University Funding Proposal by rolling Sway. For each partial success gain 1 point in a shared resource pool called Expedition Funds. For each full success gain 2. For each overwhelming success, gain 3. Spend 1 point whenever an action would require a specific, notable or unique item. Expedition Funds can only be recovered between expeditions.
Mad Scientists can Tinker during their downtime to create a Mutagen. Mutagens are tied to a biosignature, and can only affect the creature they are made for. Consuming a Mutagen changes your biological makeup permanently, allowing you to move two action dots and rendering subsequent doses fatal. Crafting a Mutagen requires an incredibly rare catalyst unique to each individual.
Each Mage gains 4 points of Mana after 8 hours of uninterrupted rest. Mana can be used to fuel your Magic action. For each point of Mana you spend that turn, add a d6 to your Magic action dice pool. Rolls are capped at 3d6. Mana potions can be consumed on your turn to restore 2 points of Mana. Consuming more than 1 mana potion between rests inflicts the consequence Mana Sickness which causes intense headaches and nausea until you get 8 hours of uninterrupted rest.
Name your Resource. Avoid making too many.
Determine if it's shared or personal. Can it be taken or given?
Ask yourself how your players get it. Does it require a roll? Can they get enough that they won't feel the need to hoard it?
Figure out what it's used for. Does it replace an existing mechanic?
When can your players get it back? Can they retain it? Or will it expire?
Don't be afraid to add any special qualifiers.