Posing Damage In Combat

The +combat system does a great job of telling you exactly where your character took damage, and how much damage your character took — except it really doesn't, does it? What exactly is a Moderate wound? What's the Chest, and what's the Abdomen? Did that Miss mean the opponent whiffed, or what? This Staff Note will include some examples of various wound levels, some examples of what hit locations can mean, some examples of what Misses and Dodges can be, and a brief note on posing wounds on NPCs.

Wound Level Examples

Wound Level Slashing Stabbing Crushing To the Head
Light Wounds A shallow cut across the skin A shallow stab wound in a non-critical area A minor cracked bone or bone bruise Split scalp, bleeding
Moderate Wounds A cut across the surface of a muscle A badly bleeding stab, but not gushing A broken small bone Minor concussive symptoms
Serious Wounds A slash across a major muscle group A stab near an organ, but not piercing it A break in a major bone A serious concussion
Critical Wounds A gash that has severed a muscle group A pierced organ or blood vessel A compound fracture A cracked skull

In general, Light wounds should be troublesome but characterful; a Moderate wound should impede your character in some noticeable way; a Serious wound should majorly change how your character fights, including vastly limiting their use of a limb (if the strike was on a limb); and a Critical wound should require intensive medical treatment very soon.

This does not mean that your character cannot keep fighting with a Critical wound — PCs are heroes, after all — but it should inform every action they take for the remainder of the combat. Slashing or piercing wounds of Moderate level or higher leave permanent scars, while lesser wounds may leave scars that fade over time.

Hit Location Examples

The code only has a limited number of possible hit locations, but each hit location covers a significant portion of the body, and several of them could easily overlap with one another. Take the opportunity to explore where you think might be interesting locations for wounds — a "narrow cut along the lower ribs" can be a lot more fun to RP having and healing than a generic "slash to the chest" (plus it means that your character doesn't have to have scars stacked all in the same place).

Coded Location Possibilities
Head Forehead, temple, face, nape of neck, scalp
Neck Throat, side of neck, back of neck, nape of neck, collarbone
Chest Collarbone, shoulders, pecs, rib-cage, back, sides, spine
Arms Shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms
Hands Forearms, wrists, palms, hands, fingers
Abdomen Stomach, kidneys, lower back, buttocks, groin
Legs Quads, hamstrings, knees, shins, calves
Feet Toes, feet, ankles, shins

Posing Misses and Dodges

Sometimes, it can be frustrating if your character is missing turn after turn, but misses don't always have to represent something your character is explicitly doing wrong (especially if you just happen to roll poorly against an overmatched opponent). They can also represent the opponent getting out of the way, your character being distracted, a testing feint, a half-hearted attack, or even your character missing because of bad footing. All of these things can happen to NPCs attacking your character too (if you're posing them), which is usually more realistic than just whiffing regularly (again, unless they're wildly outclassed).

Dodges can be tricky too, but they're a great opportunity to pose parries as well as outright dodges. There's very little more badass than catching an opponent's weapon with yours, slamming it aside, and then stabbing them, and Dodges are your opportunity to show off that sort of badassness (provided you also hit them).

Posing Wounds on NPCs

When posing the results of your combat actions (as is often necessary in large combat scenes where the GM is more concerned with large-scale emits than responding to every individual combatant), please keep in mind that there's always a chance that the NPCs can use Luck as well, so you shouldn't generally be posing outright kills, lopped off limbs, shattered rib-cages, or the like unless the blow KOs the enemy and you have gotten the GM's approval for such a pose. Please be respectful of a GM's NPCs, just as you would another PC.

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