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How it Works
This rule is that one can perform strenuous activity uninterrupted for 1 round per con score before having to make a fortitude save.
Examples of strenuous activity:
Attacking in melee
Casting spells in combat
Performing a combat maneuver
After your con score is reached, for the next round, a DC 10 fortitude save vs fatigue is necessary. Every additional round is +1 DC. Endurance type bonuses apply to these saves.
If you fail once, fatigued condition applies. You may keep fighting on, and the save DC continues to increase by 1 per round. Failing a second time applies the exhausted condition. Failing a third time offers the staggered condition.
For every 1 round spent fighting, 2 rounds must spent not doing strenuous activity to recover. Taking the full defense action counts as non strenuous activity, as does the withdraw action.
Coming from a background in Thai kickboxing and Minami Ryu Jiu Jitsu, trust me when I say, that fighting gets exhausting and quickly so! Everyone can conceptually agree in the need for a way to get tired from fighting. But most fights in this game system are over so quickly that it never becomes relevant.
Since I have implemented measures such as shield-blocking and armor as DR rules, my hope is that some fights will last longer. In that event, scenarios where the fighters get tired may well come up!
As to whether or not these rules seem about realistic, keep in mind that one can perform easier and more leisurely paced endeavors to prevent getting winded. Running for more than 2 solid minutes at the hardest sprint one can manage is actually more difficult than it may conceptually seem, for example.
The recovery rates represent my own experience, as well as mirrors that of recovering from the fatigue of ending a barbarian rage for mechanical rules similarity.