Vox Mundi is, generally speaking, likely going to have three different skill frequencies:
Per battle – These will be the kind of bread and butter skills you’re going to use in pretty much every fight. In most cases, you’ll get between 1-3 free uses per battle (depending on how many times you buy the skill), and then you can optionally spend Focus to use it again. This will include really standard stuff like basic damage and healing.
Focus – These skills cost Focus every time you use them. You’ll get about 50 Focus for the entire weekend. These will be bigger skills with more oomph to them, like takeout effects, big damage, Avoids, that sort of thing. There is no reset aspect to Focus or these skills… You just have your pool for the weekend, and when you use it up, it’s gone. It’s up to you how you manage your Focus budget.
Per Event – These are big explodey showoff skills. You save these for when the stuff really hits the fan, you need to try to solo a lieutenant or help take down a boss, really punch a line, half your mod group is down, etc. Some of these you might be able to use up to three times an event (depending on how many times you buy it), while others might be one only. There will not be a Karma style mechanic to use per event skills again, since most of them you can buy more than once.
I’m pretty happy with this general spread, though I may tweak how I execute it a bit to try to simplify and make it more consistent. I like the basic dynamic of always having basic stuff you can do every battle, but having to be strategic about when you use your bigger stuff, with the option to really pull out the stops and have a crazy badass heroic moment if you want to blow your clip all at once.
One thing I’m trying to decide is how to handle the per battle skill reset mechanic. I’ve seen this executed a variety of different ways in the games I’ve played, from a 5 minute reset anytime and anywhere, to a reset only in a specific location, etc.
Originally my thought was to have it require 5 minutes of rest in any situation where you are not near enough to a battle to be potentially involved in it, basically. I figured this would allow people to reset while just casually RPing around town without letting them reset in most mods or battles (unless we deliberately put in a break to give them the chance to do so).
However, now I’m wondering if I should just keep it simple and make that five minutes of rest anywhere, anytime, and if you really want to do that in a module, go for it. Honestly, if it’s the kind of encounter where you feel the need to spend 5 minutes resetting your skills, probably you need them. And since the heavier hitting stuff will all be Focus driven anyway and not require or be reset by a per battle reset, it doesn’t seem like getting your basic healing pool or a few 3 Damages back is going to unbalance anything. Plus, letting PCs do their per battle resets in a mod or field fight if they really want to ensures that no one will become completely tapped to the point where they’re just luggage… and it takes the burden off Plot to remember to reset PCs in really long mods or fights.
Am I overlooking anything? Is there a reason I’m not thinking of why making per battle resets REALLY per encounter rather than resetting with 5 minutes rest is better? Thoughts welcome!