In The Dark Eye/ Das Schwarze Auge v5, there are multiple 'status effects' (Zustände) a hero can be in.
One example would be "poisoned", or "afraid", or "in pain", all having consequences on the ability of a hero.
Checking the rule-book, I have not found a state like "tired". However, I want to include it to make my game more realistic, i.e. the same person can't be on watch two nights in a row because it would have major effects on their skills. I came up with this:

TIREDNESS I (<4 hours sleep at night):
KL (Smartness) -2
GW (Agility) -1
All talents -1

TIREDNESS II (<2 hours sleep at night or <4 hours sleep at night and TIREDNESS I):
KL (Smartness) -3
GW (Agility) -2
All other abilities -1
All talents -2

TIREDNESS III (no sleep at night or <4 hours sleep at night and TIREDNESS II):
KL (Smartness) -4
GW (Agility) -3
All other abilities -2
All talents -3

TIREDNESS IV (<4 hours sleep at night and TIREDNESS III):
The player is unable to act, and HP -5 per day.

Can anyone who knows TDE say whether this is balanced or not?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ As a general remark: maybe it's just me, but I'm not very charming when I'm tired, or strong either. Restricting physical exhaustion to a single mental attribute seems to be wrong in reality. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 9:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, the strength doesn't really depend on that. But Charisma and Intuition should definitely be taken account of as well! \$\endgroup\$
    – Narusan
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 9:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, in RPG rules, strength is the measure how well you can do strength related tasks. A gross simplification. In reality, pure muscle force is only one point in doing a strength related task. Leverage, laws of physics are just as important. If your strength task isn't extremly simple and boring, you will be less effective if tired. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


This already exists

Take a look at Page 32 of the GRW (Grundregelwerk) for DSA5 (german version) - It is called Stunned ("Betäubung")

This might not sound at all like what you are looking for, but the description text says that you can get this condition by "too much wine, tiredness or a good brawl".

The penalties are more in line with what I would have chosen, too. The condition only gives penalties to all tests ("Proben") depending on the level of the condition (1 to 3), and stops you from doing anything at level 4.

Regarding your homebrew idea:

Attribute penalties are not a good idea

Take a look at the other conditions, like wounded ("Schmerz") or disorientation ("Verwirrung"), they don't give you any penalties to attributes, only to stuff like initiative, attack, parry and the like. This is (probably, as I can only guess the designers intentions) to prevent the players from having to do any math with their attributes, like reducing some derived values (Hit Point max, Astral Energy max and so on) as a result of loosing points in an attribute. This takes away time and confuses people. "Do my current astral points or hit points go down, too?" is only one question that I heard people asking in DSA4, where attribute penalties happen relatively often. And the book had no real answer for that.

Take your time with homebrewing, get to know the game first

In your other question you state that you and especially your group are new to DSA. I would recommend you to follow this advice: get to know the game first, before trying to hack (to homebrew) it

I can tell you from experience that this will work out much better, as having an understanding of the rules will allow you to better decide for yourself if something is balanced or even (like in this example) needed. Trying to make a game even better is a good and cool thing, but without a good understanding of not only how the game works but also how different pieces of the game work together, you are going to throw stones in your own path and make the game even more complicated than it already is. If you play DSA5 for a bit and decide you want more complicated rules (I would not really call it "realistic", personally, but your opinion may vary), you can still switch to DSA4.1

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I have the rulebook myself, but the shortened version and "Betäubung" only says "punch on the head or drunkenness". \$\endgroup\$
    – Narusan
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 20:16

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