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Injuries and trauma

Damage in this system is applied not to hitpoints, but directly to attributes in the form of injuries (physical damage, reducing physical attributes) and trauma (mental damage, reducing mental attributes). I&T can also be brought about by exertion on the character's part; several abilities cause self-damage in return for some kind of special effect. If an attribute is brought to zero, the character can no longer make checks in it!

Attacks, particularly from firearms, sometimes have a minimum damage (MD) rating- the type of injury (or injuries) automatically applied to a character, no matter how well they roll with their Resistance check.

Damage comes in three categories; temporary, normal, and Edge. These are usually reduced to single letters as shorthand; i.e., 2N means 2 normal injuries, MD1T means a minimum damage of 1 temporary injury, etc. Each I&T reduces an attribute by 1 point.

Injuries and trauma afflict a randomised attribute unless the attacker (or defender) has abilities that allow them to pick a specific attribute to reduce. Roll 1d3:

Result on 1d3 Injury Trauma
1 Vitality [VIT] Intellect [INT]
2 Strength [STR] Willpower [WIL]
3 Agility [AGI] Focus [FOC]

In the case of normal damage, the total number of injuries a character can suffer before succumbing to them and being rendered comatose is limited by their VIT (and INT for trauma), even if the specific injuries reduce attributes other than their VIT or INT.

Severity

Every injury and trauma has a severity rating; this doesn't alter the penalty applied to a character's attributes, but it determines how hard it is to get rid of them! When a Resistance or Resolve check fails to beat incoming damage, the bleed-through (i.e., the value that the damage beat the check by) determines the severity. If an attack has a minimum damage rating, the automatic injury has a severity equal to the attack power that delivered it. If a severity rating is reduced to 0 by time or healing, the associated injury is removed.

Temporary damage

Temporary damage is recovered with relative ease and is never permanent. Temporary traumas can be caused by sudden shocks or even humiliation, temporary injuries might be stubbed toes and bruises and mild abrasions. Temporary injuries have no upper limit, although in practical terms a character whose attributes have all been reduced to zero or lower cannot do anything.

If a temporary injury has a severity of 11 or more, it is automatically upgraded to normal damage.

Normal damage

Normal damage requires expert attention. Broken bones, deep cuts, internal injuries… or mortal terror and severe psionic incursion. Normal I&T are limited by the character's Vitality and Intellect, respectively; if a character suffers enough to exceed the appropriate attribute, the character is neutralised and defenceless and liable to be killed or driven insane.

If a character is capable of defending themselves and isn't immobilised or ambushed or similarly put at a disadvantage, they may deliberately apply an injury to Strength to avoid losing Vitality, or deliberately apply a trauma to Willpower to avoid losing Intellect.

Edge damage

Edge "injuries" are usually even more abstract- crippling morale failure, terrible luck. The exception is for cyborgs and mechs, where Edge damage is dealt by ion and EMP attacks in order to represent energy loss. If a character has zero Edge and suffers an Edge injury, they instead suffer a normal injury or trauma to a random attribute.

Resilience and Conversion

Resilience aspects reduce injuries that have already been suffered. A Resilience aspect is either an innate part of the character's build or an effect brought about by equipment or a special technique or power.

Conversion is a lesser form of damage reduction that shifts a normal injury into the less-threatening temporary category, a rating that is found in the statistics of some suits of armour and other defensive equipment.

A weapon's minimum damage is still subject to being reduced or nullified by Resilience or conversion. In other words MD ignores Resistance (or Resolve) as stated, but is affected by other forms of damage reduction as normal.

Resilience and conversion effects apply only if the character's armour is unbeaten; any attacks that bypass their total armour rating are also assumed to have bypassed their Resilience, negating any damage reduction. This means that a Resilience aspect is worthless if the character has no armour rating to support it!

For example; a character is wearing a padded vest with an armour rating of 4, granting Resilience -1T and conversion 1N.

If attacked with a heavy pistol (average armour piercing level of 5), the armour rating is defeated, negating the -1 reduction to temporary damage and preventing the conversion of 1 normal injury to temporary status; and since heavy pistols tend to have minimum damage ratings, this means the character is virtually guaranteed to suffer a wound.

But if struck by a falling chunk of masonry, allowing 12 damage to bleed through after deducting the 4 for the armour rating and making a Resistance check, the end result would inflict one normal injury (severity 10) and one temporary injury (severity 2)… but because the vest's armour rating wasn't bypassed, this becomes a single temporary injury (severity 10); the N damage was converted, and the T damage was negated altogether by the armour's Resilience.

If a normal injury with a severity of 11 or higher is converted into temporary damage, its severity is reduced to 10.

Note that Resilience and conversion do not stack, in the sense that an injury cannot be converted and then negated by Resilience in its reduced form!

Healing

Injuries and trauma can be defeated with time, the attention of an expert, the application of a healing item or the expenditure of an Edge point.

Rest

At the end of a full eight hours of rest, a character may make a Resistance check (for temporary injuries) and a Resolve check (for temporary traumas) to determine how many they recover from; these checks subtract from total severity. For example, with three temporary injuries all of severity 5, rolling a 12 would cure two and reduce the last to a severity of 3.

If a character rests while in the care of a specialist, their Medic speciality is added to all recovery rolls and the character may also make an additional and separate roll to recover from normal I&T. Access to the technology and resources of a clinic or modern hospital can greatly increase this bonus.

Medicine

Mundane painkillers apply a temporary retroactive Resilience aspect and reduce the severity rating of injuries, but cannot remove them permanently. High-tech regenerative medicines (symbiotic bacteria, nanotech, other miracle treatments) are rarer but can potentially reduce severity and cure injuries/trauma entirely.

For example, a myre shot heals for 1d6 points- get lucky and roll a 6, and all injuries are reduced by this amount, curing some and making it easier to remove others next time. Again, with some items a user's Medic speciality acts as a further bonus. Characters with the [[Medic]] speciality can heal adjacent allies, reducing total injury severity (in a similar manner to resting) by an amount equal to their Medic PDC.

Surge and Survive

Surge and Survive are both Edge powers that affect injuries and trauma. Surge is used to address I&T that have already been suffered; expend a point at the end of a turn and reduce the severity of all injuries or trauma by 1d10 points (roll for each I&T).

Survive can be used after the fact, or used immediately to resist I&T as they happen; expend an Edge point and nullify up to two temporary I&T, or one normal I&T. Some aspects can improve or alter these abilities.

However, these abilities cannot be used in order to oppose an incoming attack that is itself powered by the expenditure of an Edge point! In other words, a Maximised attack will prevent the use of Surge and Survive, as well as dealing the highest possible damage.

Example damage resolution

The below applies to a standard attack, but the same principle could be used for psionic damage, except challenging Resolve instead of Resistance.

  • Assuming the attacker hits their target they roll for damage, applying any modifiers. Let's say it's a two-handed weapon dealing 3d6 damage and the attacker rolls a 15.
  • The defender makes a Resistance check (1d10 + VIT or STR + their Resistance speciality rank, if any) in order to beat this amount. If they beat the value, the incoming attack power is reduced by a value equal to their base Resistance (i.e., not including the 1d10 value). If they fail the damage goes through unfiltered. In either instance the difference between their Resistance check and the incoming damage is used to determine the severity of the injury, to a minimum severity of 1. Here they roll a 9, so the rules dictate that they're saddled with a temporary injury with a severity of 6.
  • The attacker's sword has MD1T; minimum damage 1 temporary injury. So the character suffers a second temporary injury, also with a severity of 6.
  • The defender has the misfortune to not be wearing armour, and therefore they have no Resilience aspect or conversion rating to directly reduce or nullify these injuries.
  • The defender rolls 2d3s in order to determine which attributes are reduced, and gets two 3s. So by sheer fluke both the temporary injuries apply to their Agility attribute, which has a score of 2; the human average. With two -1 reductions this becomes zero, rendering them incapable of walking, let alone evading future attacks.
  • Realising this would leave them at a severe disadvantage the defender chooses to expend an Edge point and uses their Survive power, nullifying both temporary injuries.
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