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Alternate Damage: Shock

Posted: Nov. 27, 2005

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Torg has 3 types of damage: Shock, K/O and Wounds. Two of these, Shock and K/O, both cause the character to fall unconscious. From a game design standpoint, this duplication of effects is unnecessary.

Shock is supposed to represent fatigue or exhaustion. Falling unconscious doesn’t model this very well. When a person runs fast, they get tired, they don’t fall unconscious. When one becomes fatigued, concentrating on tasks becomes harder and the fingers tremble. With a small change, Shock damage can model these effects.

The Rule: Shock damage accumulates until it exceeds the character’s Toughness. Each point above that inflicts a -1 Bonus Modifier to all skill and attribute totals (even Passive Defense).

So a person with a Toughness of 8 and 10 Shock has a -2 Bonus Modifier to every action.

This mechanic better represents the effects of fatigue. It also better represents real world effects, like tear gas. Tear gas incapacitates- the person’s eyes water, they vomit, and they cannot concentrate. A penalty to skill/attribute totals represents this better than falling unconscious.

This mechanic allows us to model drunkenness- drinking to excess affects the ability to concentrate, resist suggestions, and physical coordination (e.g., Shock exceeding Toughness causing skill/attribute penalties.)

This also models a lack of sleep and the fatigue that results. Being tired affects concentration and reflexes.

This rule makes Shock more versatile, models fatigue better, and offers new tools to represent common effects. I have playtested this, and it seems to work well.

Updated: Nov. 27, 2005
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