After my recent posts about Ability Pools and their use, including as a resource opponents can target, I thought I would do a bit of simple analysis to see if things are sane or not.
So far, I think they are.
In this article I am exploring only the effects of ability damage in Echelon, not Ability Pool expenditures such as various talents use. I am also not considering effects that can increase Ability Pool values, permanently or temporarily. Also, I am not at this point considering the effects of being larger or smaller than medium size; that will be explored in another post.
I was thinking about how Ability Pools will be used. There are some obvious uses such as fueling talent abilities (such as Spot talent’s clairvoyance), they are a way to measure (and mitigate) conditions and ability damage. I love that they should get rid of ad hoc adjustments during play.
It occurred to me that instead of just spending them we could reserve them for later use. For instance, a barbarian might reserve a certain amount of his Constitution Pool for use as emergency healing while raging. Given a spontaneous spell casting system that draws from the Intelligence Pool to fuel spells, perhaps you can reserve a certain amount of your Intelligence Pool to prepare a quickened spell (so you can have fireball or globe of invulnerability or whatever usable as a swift or maybe even immediate action) or to ready a counterspell (reserve the points specifically for counterspelling; unlike the quickened spell you don’t have to prepare a specific spell but you can only use these points for counterspelling). Perhaps almost anything that is a standard action that draws from an Ability Pool could be so prepared for immediate use, without necessarily impeding normal actions.
The reserve might count as spent (reserve six points and they are not available for use for other things decided when needed) and do not recover until you release or use the reserve. If you have a base Intelligence Pool of 15 and a quickened fireball in reserve (which costs 8 points, say — adjusted spell level) you might have only seven points of Intelligence Pool remaining for use (or damage) before you suffer a condition effect. You might end up not using the quickened fireball during an encounter and decide to hold it ready until you need it, so you don’t recover the eight points you have reserved.
Similarly, the barbarian mentioned earlier might carry a Constitution reserve at all times to help prevent dying in an ambush — if he gets damaged he can recover from it as an immediate action (spend the reserve on healing).
Just an idle thought before I leave work for the day, but I’m curious about the response to the idea.
I have mentioned in previous posts the possibility of using ‘ability pools’ to fuel various powers and as a replacement for ability score damage and temporary effects. I wrote up a first draft at Echelond20.org that I will summarize here.
Echelon does not inherently need ability scores, and I have considered a few times removing them altogether. However, since I am trying to model a better version of D&D 3.x (which has ability scores) and I think I can gain some significant benefit from their inclusion, I will use them.