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I don't understand health and healing

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  • I don't understand health and healing

    Just what the title says. I'm a little confused about how health levels are supposed to work generally. Characters have three types of health levels - Bruised, Injured, and Maimed. Simple enough, except weapons with the lethal tag can't inflict Bruised conditions and weapons with the bashing tag can only inflict Bruised conditions. So what happens when a character takes multiple wounds over the course of the battle? Does bashing damage scale up into Injured and Maimed? Does Lethal damage scale down into Bruised? Or maybe, if there's no valid health level for the damage type you just skip directly to Taken Out? Although that seems to make Bashing damage the most powerful of all. And what exactly does Aggravated damage do?

    Also, how does the Damage conversion knack interact with First Aid? Does it downgrade the same health level twice, reducing Maimed to Bruised and taking anything else off completely? Does it automatically affect all wounds and thus is redundant with first aid for one wound per battle?

  • #2
    My interpretation of the Bashing and Lethal tags isn't that they're limited to specific levels of injury condition, but rather that the specific conditions they inflict within each level should be different. i.e. Lethal can inflict "Bruised Injury Conditions" just like the base damage rules say, it just can't inflict specific Injury Conditions such as "Bruised" and "Battered." Using an example that has the same name as a category level is definitely confusing, though. The Lethal tag also lists "Scratched" as a possible Injury Condition it could inflict however, and I'm sure that would be at the 'Bruised' level.

    Unfortunately there aren't any example Lethal damage Bruised-Level conditions in the Resolving Damage section, but there are example Bashing damage Conditions for the higher levels. So basically the only real difference between Lethal and Bashing damage is the fluff around the injuries they cause, which in turn may influence the nature of the penalties they incur. They're otherwise identical, and utilize the same Injury Condition slots and levels.

    Aggravated damage is also identical to Bashing and Lethal as far as Levels of Injury Condition are concerned, as I read it. The only difference is that it can't be healed without magic. Unfortunately, we're again lacking any examples for conditions lower than Maimed level, but just off the top of my head a Zuko-style Burned Face might be a Bruised Injury Condition caused by Aggravated damage. (Basically taking the example Acid Burns condition and scaling it down for lower injury levels and thus smaller penalties.) Could also be niggling injuries that might seem mundane at first glance but just refuse to heal. A lightning attack might cause permanent Nerve Damage. Or you could get esoteric with stuff like Scarred Soul or Permanent Cough. Really depends on the exact nature of the attack causing the Aggravated damage.

    Edit: Forgot about your last questions while I finished up my response, but actually I don't really know. I'd have to go re-read the Knack and rules in question.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SrGrvsaLot View Post
      ...except weapons with the lethal tag can't inflict Bruised conditions and weapons with the bashing tag can only inflict Bruised conditions.
      I believe there's a typo in the Lethal Tag (not sure if this is in the errata or not, should probably go check later).

      The Bashing Tag says, "The tag allows for the Broken and Battered Injury Conditions." Lethal swaps "Bruised" for "Broken" which I think is the mistake that's causing confusion here.

      It's also important to note that the target, not the attacker, decides which level of Injury Condition they take, until their only option is Taken Out. Now, there's exceedingly little reason to not pick the weakest ones first (at least until any sort of 'powered by sacrifice' magic comes into play), unless your SG is up for giving you a Fated Injury (which is a good way to a lucky roll early in a fight to muck things up without just ignoring it). You might also opt to pick a Bashing wound to take up a higher level injury to "use it up" if you're worried about a big bad having access to Agg and are willing to take an underling hit.

      But basically, MalicWanderer is correct. The damage tags are about what kind of injuries they inflict, not which levels they can inflict, and there's just some messing wording involved combined with a lack of examples.

      So what happens when a character takes multiple wounds over the course of the battle?
      The target selects what level of Damage Condition they want to suffer per wound inflicted, and an appropriate specific Condition is selected based on the weapon Tags and narration for each one. Once every other box is full, they have to select Taken Out.

      Tags do not govern which level of Damage Condition is inflicted. You don't have to worry about scaling up or down.

      And what exactly does Aggravated damage do?
      It causes Injury Conditions that can only be healed with magic. If your hand gets chopped off with a Lethal weapon, a skilled mortal surgeon could still reattach it. If you lose your hand to an Aggravated tagged weapon, your hand is gone and beyond the means of mortal techniques to recover. Only healing magic, or magical artifice, etc, will remove the Condition.

      Also, how does the Damage conversion knack interact with First Aid? Does it downgrade the same health level twice, reducing Maimed to Bruised and taking anything else off completely? Does it automatically affect all wounds and thus is redundant with first aid for one wound per battle?
      This is... unclear.

      My best interpretation is that Damage Conversion is meant for non-First Aid situations. I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be the super doctor Knack in the hospital after the fight, with a patient in a safe and secure location, and downgrade all of their injuries by one level, allowing them to recover at remarkable speed (aka removing the "we wait fight weeks for Eric to recover after being Taken Out," issue).

      This is not explicit in the book in anyway, but based on the assumption that the Combat Medic and Doctor's Kit Knacks both specify interacting with combat situations, while Damage Conversion does not.

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