Hearts and effort for supply


I’m going to be running a game tonight where certain resources are finite and have to be conserved for the right moment.

I was thinking of a supply mechanic that would fit in with the core mechanics of the game and I thought why not use Hearts for the amount of supply a device has to start with (it’s power reserve). When the player uses the device you roll Effort and subtract that from it’s Heart.

The beauty of this system is you can alter the amount of effort used depending on how hungry the device is on the battery or the environmental conditions. For example it would normally it would be Weapon Effort, but what if you were using it for prolonged used, roll Magic or Ultimate Effort.

In this way it is another choice for the players, do they use the device in question now, risk burning it’s uses up or save it for later when needed.

So you can vary the Hearts on how much supply it starts with and alter the effort depending on the mood of the situation or your game. I would not want to use it for supply for everything as it would get tedious tracking several different items, but important equipment that adds tension to the game.


I think this is an elegant solution that preserves the spirit of the game’s mechanics. As you’ve said, the key will be to not overuse it.


This would be inline with the core mechanics I think, but I am not a fan of EFFORT everything. I’ve been using a dice chain usage roll d20->d12->d10->d8->d6->d4 ->all gone. This can be tedious as you say if you run many of these (like for supplies, arrows, food, magic item charges, etc).

I am toying with the idea of making everything a flat d6 and calling everything “durability” for brevity sake. The idea is that everything has a max 5 durability. When used, roll d6. Rolling equal or over decrements the durability until all gone.

If d6 proves to restrictive, then I could easily up it to d8 and make max durability 7, or on up the chain. I think the key is to keep it the same for “all the things” which would be in keeping with the easy factor of ICRPG.

This would cover just about everything. I could assign this to weapons, for example, and force a durability roll on failed ATTEMPT of 1 - 3 . Used with supplies, arrows, etc in place of the dice chain just eliminates the tedium of tracking different dice. Just roll and subtract.


@Shadymutha used dX for ammo. So for a revolver it would be D6 for a certain shotgun a d4 for a pistol with 17 in the magazine it might be a d12. At the end of the encounter (or you could apply a timer to this) or you might have them roll at the end of their turn if they engaged with the weapon.

You roll you dice for the ammo If it comes up with a 1 or a 2 you have to reload. That adds to the feeling that during a firefight you are not counting rounds.

Now for high skilled “operators” the moment they have a breather, they top off and dump their not quite empty mag into a dump pouch. Later when somewhat safe, they consolidate.

But we are not going for simulation, we are going for feel. Does the method add to the feel you are going for, or does it detract?

Even starting with a heart. It equals 10. Now I as the player can check off 3 based on the attack type I used, or in your proposal roll a die to determine how much I loose.

I don’t like it for most things cause all it adds is chance, and doesn’t make things faster or easy to track.

With @Shadymutha ‘s system that I think was modified from a different mechanic, it is quick, simple, binary. You are ready to go, or you are not and need to reload.

I would use your system for magic equipment or high tech that the users don’t fully understand.

Or a high level military type game, where supplies get stolen, burned, sabotaged, lost, routed to the wrong place.


I’ve previously run a mechanic where resources were a pool. When you used the reources, you rolled that many d6, and on a 1, the pool was reduced.
You have AMMO 3, you roll 3d6 at the end of combat, and each roll of 1 reduces the pool. Same goes for food, charges in a battery, wealth etc.
The numbers numbers were never high. But it did a good job of reflecting that with more ressources, you aren’t that concerned with how much you use, but when you are down to 1, you can possibly squeeze out a lot.
Like a tube of toothpaste… It empties out quick, but that last bit lasts a long time.:grin:
However, this mechanic only really shines when you play games where resources are scarce and hard to come by.


I like the OP’s suggestion as it sticks with the verbiage and mechanics of ICRPG which should make it pretty easy for players to grasp. I imagine using it to represent fuel in a vehicle for example. If you were to run out you need to source some more to “refill” the HEART.

Aside from this, others in the community have turned me on to the resource management in the Black Hack RPG. It really is tremendous for minimal upkeep while still getting to have the feel of limited resources.


Vihar, I am really loving this d6 durability die idea. Have you actually done this in your game? If so, what’s it like?

I want to play a game where the party has to worry about torches while they go deeper into the dungeon and food/supplies as they travel farther from town. I feel like this durability scheme (maybe combined with something like OSE’s dungeon turns and wilderness adventuring travel days?) could be a really satisfying way to do it.

Armor and Weapons When you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll or defense attempt, roll d6, trying to roll under durability. Weapons and armor break and are unusable at durability 0. It takes one heart of effort to repair and increase durability score by 1.

Food When you travel for a day, roll d6 trying to roll under durability. When you travel with 0 food, you take damage or exhaustion levels. It takes one heart of effort to hunt/fish/forage and increase food durability by 1. PCs can trade units of durability between one another’s food supplies.

Ammunition When you finish a combat, roll d6 trying to roll under durability. You are all out of ammo at durability 0.

Light Every GM turn, roll d6 trying to roll under durability. You are out of torches, lantern oil, etc. at durability 0.


I used it once. I haven’t had much opportunity to play though. But the d6 everything was very easy to track and it felt like it kept the “easy” aspect of icrpg. We tracked with circles on paper, but this could easily be an actual d6 that just gets its face turned each time it decrements. I don’t always trust players though lol