Here's an idea:
* EDIT: in case you havn't figured it out yet, red is health, green is morale *
Lets say your mage starts the day with 100 fatigue (or 1000.. higher numbers might be better for balancing and nuances)
He and the party go traveling. They've been on the road for 2 hours and the mages maximum fatigue has gone down, so now he's at 90/90.
Max fatigue goes down as the day goes by and as you do physicly demanding things (long journesy, running, etc..). Even if you don't cast any spells, you will need sleep.
So your group runs into some orcs. Battle starts. You launch a pretty powerfull spell that costs 15 fatigue. Roughly 10% of that costs is drawn from MAX fatigue. Your max fatigue has now dropped down to 88. However, your regular fatigue will regenerate by roughly 1 point per second. In 15 seconds the mage will be at 88/88. He can cast antoher spell immediately or wait.
Had he/she cast a less pwoerfull spell, the max fatigue would have been reduced only by 1 point. Either way, as time passes and the battles go on, the MAX fatigue drops. At 25% the character (any character, fighter or mage) becomes tired. It's harder to focus, but not by much. At 0% the characte is dead tired. He cna still continue to fight and move, but the penalties become severe. Miscasting becomesalmost a certanty.
The only way to recover MAX fatigue is by resting.
Resting should be a part of any true RPG. It gives inns and villages a clear purpose. It is a safe haven to gather information, prepare, stock up, rest and heal.
I'd propose even healing to be very difficult. A natural and slow process. Healign spells don't heal fully - they give back only a small amount of HP (and a character cannot be healed over 50% wihout rest), but increase natural regeneration. - Note it would still take hours for critical wounds to heal. Without healing magic it might take days.
This even more gives a feelign of a real adventure and resource managment. Pulling back and regrouping becomes not onnly a valid tactic, but sometimes necessary (realistic, no?).
Also, leaving a wounded companion in the inn to recouperate while you take another companion with you for a while becomes an enticing prospect.
Personally, I'd rather have a few powerfull spells that I can't cast all of the time, and having to resort to a crossbow/staff/sword often enough, thanto have easily spammable low-level spells. That just sucks.
More like Gandalf, less like Hawke.
Edited by TrashMan, 02 October 2012 - 12:03 PM.