Sometimes fire rains from the sky or a chupacabra gets the jump on the hunter in a dark alley. The life of a Firewatcher is just dangerous, and occasionally your character will get hurt. Characters can suffer three types of damage. Fists and feet, along with other kinds of low-impact trauma, deal bashing damage. This type of trauma represents injuries that leave a nasty bruise but the body can recover from quickly. Brass knuckles, knives, and speeding trucks deal lethal damage. Fractures, breaks, tears, lacerations, bullet holes, broken knee caps, cracked orbital sockets, and many forms of torture are considered lethal damage. Human characters always take lethal damage from weapons. Some horrifying supernatural powers deal aggravated damage. When something deals aggravated damage directly, it’s quite obvious. Flesh bubbles and sloughs away. Foaming pustules taint the victim’s flesh. Blackened veins streak out from the site of the injury. This form of injury is difficult to treat or recover from.
A character’s Health track contains a number of boxes equal to their Health trait, determined by their Stamina + Size.
When a character suffers bashing damage, mark it with a slash (/) in the leftmost empty box of their health track. When a character suffers lethal damage, mark it with an X in the leftmost box of their health track.When a character suffers aggravated damage, mark it with a large asterisk (*) in the leftmost empty box of their health track.
As a character takes damage, it impairs their ability to act. When one of their three rightmost Health boxes has damage marked, they suffer a penalty as their wounds impede their actions. When damage is marked in the characters third to last healthbox they suffer a -1 penalty to all actions. When damage is marked in the characters second to last hitbox they suffer a -2 penalty to all action. When their last healthbox is marked the character takes a -3 penalty to all actions they perform. This does not include penalties to stamina draws to stay conscious, which a character must now do if their healthbox is full. The character requires a success on their Stamina draw to stay conscious.
Full Health Tracks and Upgrading Damage
If a character’s Health track is filled with bashing damage, each point of further bashing or lethal damage upgrades the leftmost point of bashing damage to lethal — turn one of the slashes into an X. If a character’s Health track is filled with lethal damage, each point of further damage upgrades an existing point of lethal damage to aggravated. Turn the leftmost X into an
asterisk. When a character’s rightmost Health box has lethal damage marked in it, the character begins bleeding out. They upgrade an additional point of damage, from lethal to aggravated, every round or minute (combat time versus dramatic time) until they receive medical attention. If a character’s health track fills with aggravated damage they are dead.
Your character will need time to heal after they have been beaten to a pulp. A mixture of time and medical care is needed to set broken bones, stitch wounds closed, and soothe black eyes. When healing naturally the characters heal their rightmost hitboxes first, and at the rate listed in the table below. Medical attention can accelerate this healing however.
- Bashing Damage – 1 point per hour of dramatic time
- Lethal Damage – 3 points per week
- Aggravated Damage – 1 point per week
Medical attention can be used to speed the healing process. A character with the Medical skill can make make a draw to tend to a patient. In the field or the ER the skill pool is Dexterity + Medicine. In ICU or long term care the pool is Intelligence + Medicine. Conditions suffered as a result of failures or dramatic failures usually affect the patient not the caregiver, but this is at Storyteller discretion.
Each success on the draw downgrades damage one step. Medical attention prioritizes the characters worst wounds, prioritizing the downgrade of damage. Aggravated turns to lethal, lethal to bashing, and bashing disappears. Conventional medicine can only do so much at a time so each injury can only benefit from one successful Medicine draw.