Bleedin', Squealin', and Healin'
Once you’ve hit your target, you need to know how big a hole you put in it. Whether you sank an artillery shell into some ornery critter or buried your battle-ax in its backside, figuring damage is handled in the same way.
Once you’ve figured out where an attack hits, it’s time to roll the damage dice. Every weapon in Deadlands has a listing for “damage.”
This is the number of dice you roll whenever you score a hit.
Don’t read this roll like a normal Trait or Aptitude check. Damage dice are always added together. You can still reroll any Aces and add them to the final total, however.
Firearms have fixed damage, such as 3d6 for large-caliber pistols. When you’ve hit your target, roll this many dice.
Weapons that rely on muscle — like arrows, spears, or knives—have fixed damage dice to which you add the result of a regular Strength check. Roll the weapon’s dice and add them to a normal Strength roll. This way a character with 4d6 Strength should usually do more damage than one with 1d6 Strength.
Noggins & Gizzards
A hit to a vital spot causes more trouble than a hit to the little finger.
Whenever a character is hit in the gizzards, add 1 extra die to the damage roll. A hit to the noggin adds 2 extra dice.
The die type is the same as whatever other dice you’re rolling. For hand-to-hand weapons, use the weapon’s die type.
(Ahem.) Once you have your final damage total, tell the Marshal. For every full multiple of your target’s Size you do in damage, your attack causes 1 wound. As always, remember to round down any fractions.
Most humans have a Size of 6, but critters vary considerably. Unless you’ve taken the scrawny or big ’un Hindrance, or the brawny Edge, your character has a Size of 6 as well.
Everyone—scavvies, critters, and mutants alike — can take the same number of wounds in each body area: five to be exact. How much damage it takes to cause a wound is another matter.
Most survivors can shrug off a single wound, but more than that starts causing a whole lot of trouble. Check out another of our famous tables to get a better picture of what we’re talking about.
Light wounds are bruises, shallow but irritating cuts, and muscle strains.
Heavy wounds are sprains, deep but nonthreatening cuts, or multiple bruises.
Serious wounds encompass fractured or broken bones or deep and bloody cuts.
Critical wounds are compound fractures, internal bleeding, or life-threatening cuts across major arteries.
Maimed is, well, maimed. If a character’s wounds reach the maimed mark in his guts or noggin, he’s kicking buckets, pushing daisies, buying farms, and the like. You get the idea. If a leg or arm becomes maimed, it’s severed, crushed, burned to a charred stump, or whatever.
Another wound level beyond maimed to a limb means it cannot be healed by medicine or even magic. It could be replaced by very powerful technology or magic, however. Such wonders are rare, but they do exist—as does resurrection, or so it’s rumored.
Deadlands character sheets make it easy to track wounds. Attach colored paper clips to your sheet to keep track of wound levels. The clip’s color tells how bad the wound is in each area.
For Wind, slide a single clip down the chart until you hit 0. If the Wind is negative, just slide the clip back up the other way to keep track.
Now things get a little trickier. You need to keep track of damage in six different locations: head, guts, right arm, left arm, left leg, and right leg. Wounds taken to the gizzards and upper and lower guts go to the guts area. We break them up only to help figure extra damage (for the gizzards) and hit locations. The character sheet has an area for you to keep track of your hero’s pain and suffering.
Wounds are only added together when they’re taken in the same location. For instance, a character who takes a light wound to the right arm in one round and a heavy wound in the same arm later would then have a serious wound in that arm. If a character takes a light wound to the head and then takes a heavy wound to his leg, they aren’t added together.
A character can’t be killed by wounds to the arms or legs. She can take enough Wind to put her out of action, but she can’t die until she bleeds to death or someone plugs her in the head or guts.
Wounds really aren’t much fun, especially if you’re on the receiving end. Blood drips in your eyes, broken fingers make it hard to yank triggers, and crunchy ankles make it a real pain to run from angry varmints.
As you might have guessed, the pain and suffering that result from wounds can really affect a character’s dice rolls. The exact penalties for each level of wounds are shown on the table below.
Wound penalties are never subtracted from “effect” totals such as damage or magic effects, but they do apply to everything else, including Quickness checks and Strength-based damage rolls.
|Maimed (limbs)||– 5|
Wound penalties aren’t cumulative. The modifier depends on the highest-level wound your hero has suffered. If he has a light and a serious wound, for instance, subtract the penalty for the serious wound (– 3) from all his action rolls.
Where the wound is doesn’t really matter for penalty purposes unless it’s a maimed result. A maimed arm can’t hold or use a weapon or any other device. Go figure.
A single maimed leg reduces the character’s Pace to half. Two maimed legs means the character can only crawl a single yard per round (and maybe it’s time to retreat, friend).
Maiming wounds to the head or torso mean the hero’s dead. Thanks for playing.
Another word on all this pain and suffering business. Whenever a character takes damage, there’s a chance he might miss the next action or two kissing his missing finger or holding in his entrails. It’s funny what massive amounts of pain can do to even the hardest hombres.
When your hero takes damage, he has to make a “stun” check. Stun checks are made by rolling the character’s Vigor against the wound’s level, as shown on the combined Stun and Recovery Table. Don’t forget to apply your hombre’s wound penalty as well.
If you make the roll, nothing happens. If you fail, your character’s stunned and can only limp a few yards and cry like a baby until he makes a recovery check (see below).
Unless he’s already stunned, your character needs to make a stun check every time he takes a wound. Taking another wound while you’re already stunned has no further effect as far as stunning goes, though it may make recovery harder if the wound is greater than one suffered previously.
Your hero must try to recover from being stunned. He can’t choose otherwise. This is called a “recovery check,” and it takes an entire action. A recovery roll is made just like a stun check, except the difficulty is your highest current wound level.
One last thing. Your character goes unconscious immediately if you go bust on any stun check. He stays down 1d6 hours or until someone makes a Fair (5) medicine roll to revive him.
It just keeps getting better.
Every time your character takes a wound, she also takes Wind. Wind is shock, fatigue, and — in the case of wounds — trauma associated with losing bits and pieces of your favorite body parts.
For every wound level your character suffers, she also takes 1d6 Wind. Like damage, this roll is open-ended. That means it’s possible for a shot that only causes minor damage (a light wound) to actually put your hombre down for a while because of an unlucky Wind roll.
When a character is reduced to 0 Wind or lower, he becomes “Winded.” This doesn’t necessarily mean he passes out, but he does feel like crawling into a hole and dying, or curling up into a ball and whining like a baby.
Winded characters might lose consciousness for a few minutes, fall to the ground, trying to catch their breath, or collapse from sheer fatigue and exhaustion. It really depends on the situation. Most of the time, characters Winded from wounds simply collapse into the nearest corner and vainly try to stop their bleeding and spurting.
Winded characters get no cards and can’t perform any actions unless the Marshal feels like letting them whisper or crawl a short ways at the end of the round. On the plus side, Winded characters generally fall by the wayside and don’t get beaten on anymore.
Characters who continue to take Wind after they run out of it might die. This is usually caused by things like bleeding or drowning.
Every time a character’s negative Wind is equal to his starting Wind level, he takes another wound to the guts. A character with 12 Wind, for example, takes a wound when his Wind reaches – 12, another when it reaches – 24, and so on.
A fellow using his intestines as a belt probably ought to see a sawbones. With a little luck, a good doctor can shove his squirmy insides back in his gut and sew him shut in time for chow.
Wind loss is easy to get rid of. On a Foolproof (3) medicine roll of any kind, someone can bandage scrapes or give the sufferer some water, restoring all lost Wind. This takes about a minute.
Real wounds are trickier. A medicine roll can be made up to one hour after an injury. Sawbones call this the “golden hour.”
A character with the medicine: general Aptitude can heal light and heavy wounds. Only a sawbones with medicine: surgery can heal more severe wounds.
The doctor has to roll once for each area wounded in the golden hour. If successful, the roll reduces the area’s wounds by one level. The TN and the time it takes to heal someone depends on the wound level. Maimed limbs cannot be healed by normal means, but the doc can still try to stop the bleeding.
If the treatment isn’t started within the “golden hour,” a wound can only be healed by time (or certain arcane processes). Doctors really can’t do a whole lot for a broken bone that’s surrounded by swollen tissue, or a gash that’s already started to heal on it’s own.
Going bust when trying to heal a wound or Wind causes an extra wound level to that area.
Heroes recover Wind naturally at the rate of 1 per minute of rest. That means they have to sit, drink a little water, and put some bandages on their scrapes.
A wounded character makes a healing roll every 5 days by making a Vigor roll against the difficulties listed on the Healing Table. Add + 2 if under a doctor’s care.
If the roll succeeds, the wound improves by + 1 level. The Vigor roll is made for each area. A character with wounds to an arm and his guts would roll twice, possibly improving the condition of each location by + 1 step.
Remember that both upper guts, lower guts, and gizzards all count as the “guts” area. Roll once for the entire guts, but roll for each wounded arm or leg separately.
|Maimed (limbs)||13||1d6 + 1 hours|