Draft: After-Action Damage Rule

[EDIT: Phil Wright pointed out an error in the original posting example of Horton’s injuries.  It has been revised.]

The idea of a combat system that doesn’t determine the damage to a character during the fight is an intriguing one.  I started thinking about this earlier this week after listening to a cop talking about an incident where he’d been shot but didn’t know how badly he was hurt.  Someone in a real fight doesn’t know how many hit points they have left.

Many many years ago, in a Traveller campaign, there was the story of two player characters who would go down to the cargo hold and practice shooting each other with snub pistols, because a single shot from a snub pistol wouldn’t kill anyone.  So they’d practice until someone was shot, then go rest up, and then do it again the next day.

One of the things that was immediately attractive to me about DragonQuest when I first started playing was that there wasn’t that much difference between a hero and a peasant.  A couple of blows with a sword would kill either one, rather than the hero needing to be chopped like a tree, while a peasant was a one-hit kill.

So, with those ideas in mind, here is a cobbled together a rather quick and dirty draft concept for this for DragonQuest.

Injuries – a DQ rules variant

These rules supercede the regular damage rules from the Combat section of DQ. (Adaptation to use with the magic systems will take some time)

Damage Roll (d10)
 Weapon Damage.....Light.....Medium......Heavy.....Serious
 D - +2.............1-4.......5-7.........8-9.......10
+3 - +5.............1-3.......4-6.........7-8.......9-10
+6 - +7.............1-2.......3-5.........6-7.......8-10
+8 --  .............1.........2-4.........5-6.......7-10

Roll D10 for damage level (Light, Medium, Heavy, Serious); then roll D10 for armor protection.
* If armor value is < weapon damage number, add +1 to damage roll
* If weapon is A Class, add +1 to damage roll
* If an ‘Endurance Hit,’ then add +3 to damage roll
* A ‘Grievous Injury’ is an automatic Serious Injury, and armor protection is not rolled.

Roll D10 for armor protection
*  If roll is a 10 (0), armor is damaged and reduces Prot value by 1 (until repaired), and injury level is automatically Heavy, except if the hit is an ‘Endurance Hit,’ in which case it is Serious
* If roll is =< armor Prot value, then reduce damage class by 1
* If roll is =< half armor Prot value, then reduce damage class by 2
* If roll is =< quarter armor Prot value, then no damage.
* Note: Damage cannot be reduced below Light, unless armor has a Prot value of 4 or more.

Any Serious hit causes the character to be Stunned per original DQ rules.

Track location and level for each injury during combat.  (Stat reduction based on location is calculated after combat when determining injuries.  Table to be completed.)

Damage Roll (d10) and Stat Reduction (d10)
 1-2   Head
 3-4   Upper Torso
 5-6   Primary Arm
 7     Secondary Arm
 8     Lower Torso
 9-10  Legs

Fatigue Track
Damage is calculated at the end of a combat, rather than during the action. Fatigue is used to determine whether the character remains active.

For the first hit to a character, FT is reduced by the number of the Damage Roll. For each subsequent hit, subtract the level number of the damage (ie Light= -1; Med= -2; Hvy= -4; Serious= -8). When FT is reduced below half of the original FT value, the character acts as having 0 Fatigue in original combat rules. When FT reaches 0 or less, character falls unconscious.

(Consider possibility to double the FT reduction for Endurance Hit or Grievous Injury)

The premise behind these rules is that damage and injury keeps you from being at full capacity.  When you are wounded, you aren’t at full strength, you aren’t as quick or as nimble as you would be if uninjured.  So there are reductions to the key stats (not just EN) as part of damage and injury.

Each injury Med level or higher reduces 1 point of a stat until it is recovered.

Calculate recovery time; use the number of days as the percentage chance of having life-threatening injuries.

If the injuries are life-threatening, roll percentile dice.  Multiplier of current EN is the number of points of EN reduced.  Current EN divided by number of EN points reduced is number of hours the individual will live without treatment.

Recovery time
Recovery time = (1 day x Light) + (5 days x Medium) + (30 days x Heavy) + (60 days x Serious)  Divide total recovery time by number of injuries (other than Light). Add any EN reduction to total.  Recover 1 stat point at each interval.

[example: Horton (EN=17; FT=21) suffers 2 light, 2 medium, and 1 heavy injury;
Fatigue Track = -6med, -1, -1, -2, -4, so has 7 FT remaining at the end of combat
damage locations are:  Upper T/Light, Leg/Light, Upper T/Med, Lower T/Med, and Lower T/Heavy
Life threat is 42%; roll is 09, so injuries are life-threatening.
Roll percentile to see EN multiple; roll is 53 (under 4x EN), so also reduce EN by 4.  So, Horton will has 17/4=  4 – 1/4 hours before dying, unless treated to stabilize wounds.

If Horton survives, stat reductions for injuries: -1 PS, -2 MD, and -4 EN.   (2 Light, 2 Med, and 1 Heavy Injury = 42 days recovery)  42 / 7  = 6, so Horton will be able to regain one point every 6 days.

Again, this is still very rough, but putting it out for initial feedback and general discussion.

Downsides: still may be too fiddly with numbers.  

Upsides: scary dangerous to get into a heavy fight, but it’s also pretty hard to kill off a PC (if you have healing/treatment available to you in the aftermath).  However, while you might not get killed, you can be seriously messed up for a while.


One Response to “Draft: After-Action Damage Rule”

  1. rthorm Says:

    (comment originally from G+ responding to issue of fiddly rules…)

    Having hit location is an added complexity that original DQ does not have. Omitting location could simplify it and make it faster and less fiddly.

    Having location seems like a good thing, and could have some bearing on relative fatality (head hits increase fatality; arms and legs less so), but that’s increasing fiddly-ness, not decreasing it.

    Also, in the earlier (lost) draft – beginnings of some notes about dealing with wounding animals, monsters, and opponents. The fiddly detail is generally not needed with them. Mooks and peasants drop, and animals run off at anything more than a medium hit. Only rare monsters and serious, sentient opponents need to determine anything more than the degree of injury, so it’s faster on the NPC side.

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