As part of the development of Verge, we’ve developed similar yet distinct systems for managing the morality of both Superheroes and Supervillians. This system is divided into three sub-sections, Fortitude, Stress and Thrill.
Fortitude is an Iteration’s inner strength and emotional resolve. In this sense, Fortitude is a measure of the Iteration’s ability to endure Stress and carry on no matter how bad things get. When an Iteration’s Stress exceeds their Fortitude, the character suffers a two card penalty on all Draws, seeing the character physically exhausted and emotionally drained.
Most heroes possess a strong moral code, a sort of ad hoc and unspoken chivalry of the streets that sees the hero fight to protect the weak and innocent whilst reframing from engaging in the terror and murder that defines their enemy. When this code is challenged or outright violated – killing a foe, witnessing or realizing the death of an innocent by a foe, failing or refusing to aid an innocent in need – a character gains a point of Stress.
When an Iteration’s Stress exceeds their Fortitude, the character suffers a two card penalty on all Draws, seeing the character physically exhausted and emotionally drained.
Stress is for heroic characters only. For the villains, we have Thrill:
Villains always get a kick out of chaos and danger, a thrill-seeker urge and unfulfillable, ultimately selfish desire for conquest that blinds them to the plight of the weak and innocent whilst engaging in an aberrant morality of terror and crime. When this urge is fulfilled – killing a foe, committing or realizing the death of an innocent by their own hand, successfully committing a misdeed, undertaking a personal act of revenge – a Villainous character gains a point of Thrill. Thrill is rated from zero and upwards, seeing the character physically exhilarated and emotionally charged. Thrill is reduced by one per hour of rest or downtime. When a Villain’s Thrill is below their Fortitude, the Iteration suffers a two card penalty on all Draws.
On a sidenote, the Thrill is not just for non-player characters and the Game Master. Rather, Verge contains a special appendix for playing Supervillians.