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Combat Fatigue

From Project: Redcap


In Ars Magica, characters can suffer Short Term Fatigue as a result of strenuous activity, including combat and Certamen[1]; fatigue can be intentionally spent to provide combat bonuses[2] and it is also caused in the non-lethal form of combat known as Scuffle.[3]

Combat Fatigue in ArM5[edit]

Unlike previous editions, ArM5 has no strict rules for characters to involuntarily lose Fatigue Levels in combat. Characters typically become tired only through voluntarily using the Exertion combat option.

The Storyguide can still call for Short Term Fatigue rolls under unusual circumstances, such as when characters are fighting for an extremely long time or under adverse conditions. Such situations are best handled using common sense, with an emphasis on fairness and pacing.

Combat Fatigue in Earlier Editions[edit]

In ArM4 and earlier, characters had to make "Fatigue Rolls" at specified times during battles. The intent of the rules was that characters would gradually tire out and lose Fatigue Levels over the course of a battle. How well this worked in practice is a matter of opinion. Due to the random factor of the die roll, a bad run of luck could cause a character to become exhausted very early in a battle, and conversely a series of lucky rolls could result in a character staying completely fresh while his opponents swooned from exhaustion.

  • In ArM4, combat fatigue was rolled every round, but the character's weapon skill was figured in to the Fatigue Total. This meant that skilled characters could fight for a long time without becoming tired. Some players felt that rolling every round was an inconvenience.
  • In ArM3, characters rolled for Short Term Fatigue whenever they changed actions in battle: switching from missile attacks to melee, changing opponents, and so on. This kept the number of Fatigue rolls fairly low, but led to a a high variability in how quickly characters tired out.[4]


  • Short-Term Fatigue, ArM5 page 178.

See also[edit]

References and Notes[edit]

  1. Ars Magica Fifth Edition, p. 90
  2. Ars Magica Fifth Edition, p. 173-174: "Combat Options: Exertion"
  3. Ars Magica Fifth Edition, p. 174-175: "Non-Lethal Combat" and "Scuffle Effects" sidebar
  4. Ars Magica Third Edition, p. 143; 157-159

Legacy Page[edit]

The history of this page before August 6, 2010 is archived at Legacy:combat_fatigue