Glad to see that this idea is getting some feedback ((Even Inadequate’s)) The whole idea behind suggesting strain was to expand upon the fact that performing melee and other strenuous tasks is a rather shallow system as of yet.
As for Aether’s questions, I’ll do a quick run down.
Will each action itself strain only after a certain point- that is, a threshold where continuing is strenuous, yet prior to the threshold is easily maintained (ex. walking or jogging vs sprinting)?
We don’t currently have a system for sprinting, until such time as we do I can’t really see moving tiles increase strain. For actions tied to a skill ((Dodging, Melee)) these should benefit more from a higher skill than raw physical power. But I could see wielding heavy weapons, swimming, dragging heavy items dependent more on the player’s strength ((And possible mutations)) than anything else.
-Athletic individuals handle physical strain much better than nonathletic ones. I can run a mile in 9-10 minutes, whereas others call it at 13, and a few can make 6 minute runs consistently, and still have energy left. Why would strength not matter in the strain limits?
Athleticism should be tied directly into max HP, as far as I’m concerned, for the lack of an actual endurance stat. So hand in hand strength increases strain burn-off, as would traits that increase max HP and drugs/CBM’s that boost that max HP through raising strength. This way you could have two characters, both with near identical health ((One is high strength the other high dex with the tough trait)) They’d still burn off strain at about the same rate–but assuming they had the same skills one would increment strain slightly slower through actions that require Strength ((Breaking Grabs, Melee)) and the same could be said for the Dex build ((Dodging, moving over difficult terrain.))
Mind you could actually make for strong yet out-of-shape characters via an actual Endurance stat.
-How are we going to determine what starts straining an individual? People have very different thresholds based on physicality. Once it drops below the threshold, it normally clears up at a rate proportional to the degree of the strain, correct?
The idea is that while you continue to preform pretty much any action you burn off strain proportionally to a certain percent of your max hp. Something low enough that you’d never get to a point where performing an action raises strain less than your natural recovery rate. Resting however would recover it much faster ((Passing a turn)) but with a small caveat. Catching your breath like this should give snowballing returns.
Example: You get 3% of the default 84 hp as a return for average Joe’s base strain burn off. That’s 2.5. If he rests a turn it raises to 5%. (4.2) The next could bump it up to 7%. b[/b]. That’s a net drop in strain of 10 by raising burn off 2% each turn of consecutive rest. The player would need four turns of moving around to do the same, should they need to dodge, block, attack, smash a window or move over difficult terrain during that time it would more likely be a deficit.
This way activity will always give even fit, experienced individuals strain–but they would be able to perform difficult actions better for longer than an unskilled or unathletic character. Simply from the fact those actions strain them less based on physicality (How much strain they burn off)) and experience ((Knowing how to do something properly = less strain for doing it.))
This also means that fast, harassing enemies like zombie dogs would be great at keeping players from recovering as other Z’s close in.
-How will adrenaline interact? IRL it can allow people to preform physical feats well above their norm, ignoring most limits- except those causing direct musculoskeletal damage, even ignoring pain or trauma.
If possible I’d like to see things like high-adrenaline and the adrenaline injector flat out drop your current strain by a large amount, but heap the same number back on when they run out. A crash if you will.
-How will injury interect with strain? I suspect it'll spike it rather painfully- proportional to both the actual damage and the pain experienced.
As injury already hampers the player enough, I think we can begrudgingly let that issue slide. After all, I proposed hitting the strain ceiling of 100+ actually damage your character. If injury raised strain it would be a viscous circle.
As always feel free to suggest changes or alternative systems. This is after all a suggestion for a working stamina system, all things considered.