Sunday, 6 April 2014

Stamina points. A resource for AD&D and OSR games

I haven't forgotten about doing reviews, but it's getting a little difficult to juggle with my job, so I am only getting in a little bit of reading each night. Soon my friends, soon.

For today, I wanted to give you a quick sub system for OSR games, namely a Stamina system. Many modern RPG's utilize resource systems where the player can expend a given resource to get benefits in the game.

There are good arguments both for and against such systems, which I won't go into here. My intention with this blog has always been to enhance and push what is possible in a D&D or OSR game, and this is one more option towards this goal.


To use this system, each character will have a pool of Stamina points, from which they can draw to achieve certain effects.

Base Stamina is calculated by taking the dice type of the characters class hit dice (if hit points are rolled on a D8 for the characters class, they start with 8 Stamina, for example), adding or subtracting any Constitution modifier to hit points the character has, and adding the characters level of experience.

If the game system used has minimum ability scores required to play certain races, any race with a minimum required Constitution of 8 or higher receives 1 extra Stamina point.


Stamina points may be expended on a number of options. Note that the GM should review these options and only utilize those that seem suitable to their game.

Dash - Cost 1
The character may add 10 feet to any combat movement. This can be done repeatedly in the same round.

Adrenaline Dodge - Cost 3
The character may roll twice for any saving throw based on avoiding a threat that can be physically evaded, such as jumping out of the path of a rolling boulder or dodging a lightning bolt.
A single save can only be rolled twice.

Desperation strike - Cost 3
The character may perform one additional attack this combat round. Desperation strikes are possible even for characters undertaking other actions, such as after finishing a spell for the round, while parrying or otherwise preoccupied.
The strike is made as a regular attack and may be made in melee or with a ranged weapon.
Resolve the attack as normal, but the attack is subject to no bonuses to attack or damage rolls, due to weapon skill, specialization, close range or ability scores.
Bonuses from weapon quality, positioning and magical enhancement apply as normal.
Multiple desperation strikes can be attempted at any time, by paying the Stamina cost.

Power blow - Cost 2
The character may add a +2 bonus to both attack and damage for a single melee attack.
Not cumulative on the same attack.

Power throw - Cost 1
The character may add 20 feet to the range and +1 to the damage for a single thrown weapon attack.
Not cumulative on the same attack.

True grit - Cost 3
If a blow would reduce the character to 0 hit points exactly, the player may select this option to remain at 1 hit point instead.
This may be used any number of times, as long as the Stamina cost can be paid.

Determined push - Cost 1
The character may reroll a failed feat of strength, such as knocking down a door, lifting a heavy obstacle or similar. This may be attempted multiple times.


Stamina is recovered by resting up. A full turn (10 minutes) will recover 1 point of Stamina. At the GM's discretion, a single Stamina is regained at the conclusion of any victorious combat, as the characters rest up and gain a small morale boost from their victory.

If using these rules, time limits should be observed, for example by checking for wandering monsters.