Conflict: other ways to get hurt


No game is complete without falling damage rules. And there are, of course, many other ways to get badly hurt, such as vehicle collision, suffocation, drowning, electrocution, flammable liquids, poison and disease. Cold, heat, thirst and hunger are also relevant, especially in a game of modern warfare, but we'll leave those till later and deal with immediate violence both accidental and deliberate.

These are abstracted with the wounding system, using the hit locations and wound effects

Falling causes one blunt wound to a random location for each 3m fallen onto a medium-hard surface like grass. This may be protected against with body armour, with the falling injury using the "frag" category. A hard surface like concrete or metal adds a wound. A soft surface like a mattress subtracts a wound, as does being drunk. 

The Athletics expertise has a familiarity breakfall, which automatically turns the first wound from falling onto the back - this always counts as level 1 armour, which is why people instinctively curl up into a ball falling a distance or on being knocked down in brawling combat. A throw of 10+ using Athletics/Breakfall will subtract a wound. 

Falling example: returning to her pub brawl after laying out slapper Ginger, we find Merkava still hunched behind the bar under a rain of bottles, cans, drink coasters, and stools. There were in fact weapons sitting behind the bar, but since she is three sheets to the wind, she does not find either the shotgun nor even the cricket bat. And so she waits for a pause in the rain of bottles and mugs and chairs over the top of the bar, then leaps out and ran for the doorway.

Unfortunately the pub is on the first floor above the ground level, and people are coming up the stairs. She decides to leap off the first floor balcony, which is 3m above the ground of the car park below. She is drunk, giving her DM-3 to all actions, and already has an untreated trunk WIA from slapper Ginger hitting her with the bottle of Vickers, giving her DM-2 to all actions. 

Below her is a large skip bin, one lid open, the other closed. To one side of it is a nature strip of grass. Both sit on the edge of a car park. She does not have Athletics/Breakfall familiarity. She could try it, but it requires a 10+ throw with modifiers, and her only modifier is DM-3 for being drunk - and she cannot throw 13+ on 2d6. 

The fall is 3 metres, which would inflict 1 wound as a base. Should she land on the skip's lid, this counts as a medium surface to land on, so we are left with 1 wound. If she targets the open side of the skip, it may be a soft surface beneath with all the rubbish in it, which would subtract 1 wound leaving her unwounded - but in the poor light she can't see - and if there's not enough rubbish in there, the metal would make it a hard surface and 2 wounds. If she lands on the grass this also counts as a medium surface, and again just 1 wound. If she leaps over the lot to land in the car park, the asphalt counts as a hard surface, which will add a wound, giving her 2 wounds. However, she is drunk, and so all the cases have one wound subtracted, so that only landing in the open side of the skip if it is empty, or landing on the asphalt, could cause any wounds. 

And so we are left with the possibilities: skip closed 0 wounds, skip open 0 or 1 wounds, grass 0 wounds, asphalt 1 wound. 

The referee informs her that targeting a particular place to land on counts as a ranged attack, requiring a 10+ throw, "But I guess it's kind of like wrestling, you're throwing yourself at someone... something..." and so she can add her Brawling expertise of DM+3. Normally she adds her Strength expertise to her Brawling, Strength adds to Brawling because it lets you hit harder, and she does not want to hit the ground harder. However her drunkenness gives her DM-3, and her existing trunk WIA injury another DM-2. And so she will need a 12+ throw to successfully target. The referee rules that if she succeeds in her throw she'll land where she wants to, if she fails she'll land on a random one of the other three. 

She decides to go for the grass, and leaps over the railing, and her player throws 7 - a fail. Throwing for which of the other three places she comes to, she lands on the closed lid of the skip - but it's only a thick plastic lid, so it collapses under her and she falls roughly into the skip. She is now covered with empty pizza boxes, plastic bags and putrefying food rubbish, but she has no new wounds.

Vehicle collision works much like falling. A collision up to 40km/hr will not normally cause any wounds. In the 40s causes 1, in the 50s causes 2, and so on. A motorbike is 1 less wound, and a truck 1 more.  Again, being drunk is 1 less wound. A pre-1980-design vehicle, or a military vehicle or truck, will add 1-3 wounds depending on its size; vehicles later are designed so that pedestrians will roll off the vehicle rather than go under it. 

Being within the vehicle, seatbelts (about 1970 onwards), crumple design (1980), airbags (1990) and roll cages (specialist) each subtract 1 wound. If the two vehicles colliding are both moving, their velocities are subtracted, for example a car going at 100km/hr striking another from the rear going at 40km/hr is the same as a car going 60km/hr striking a stationary one, while if the two are coming towards each-other the effect is of a 160km/hr collision. 

Vehicle collision example: Merkava drags herself out of the skip, and hearing shouts of pursuit from the pub above decides to leg it. She flees across the car park at speed. There are of course vehicles moving about which a normal person would stop and look for, but she is neither sober nor a pacifist so she simply pelts it. 

The referee decides that at any given moment there is a 2 in 6 chance of a vehicle coming in or out of the carpark, and throwing the dice finds that there is one. Half the time they will be coming in, which usually means they are going slowly since they're looking for a car park, but the other half the time they're on the way out and they're usually quicker. The referee throws the dice and finds the vehicle is on the way out. The referee further decides that about 1 in 6 cars driving around will either be from before 1980, or poorly-serviced and thus lacking many effective safety features, 1 in 6 super-modern with all the available safety features, and throwing the dice finds it's an old one. 

The referee decides to use the surprise rules to see if she notices the car moving through. She has Readiness+2, Observation/Tactical+1, and is drunk for a DM-3 and still WIA for DM-2, and so it's a d6-2 throw for her. The light in the car park behind the London pub is of course not great, but the driver has his headlights on so it balances out. He is of course not trying to hit her, and is a normal peaceful untrained middle-classed middle-aged civilian called Barry with Readiness+0, and so he adds nothing to his throw. He throws 4, and she 3 adjusted to 1, and so he has three rounds of surprise - he hits her. 

He is following the speed limit in the car park, and so is just over 40km/hr. This will normally inflict 1 wound. He drives a rather beaten-up Bristol 412 from 1975, which is good for another 1 wound. This comes to 2 wounds, but again her drunkenness subtracts 1, leaving her with a single wound. A throw of 6,2 indicates an INC - incapacitating wound on her left leg. His vehicle front strikes her in the side, causing a left leg fracture, and she goes flying to one side and falls to the ground.

Merkava now has bruised ribs (WIA, trunk) and a fractured bone somewhere in her left leg (INC, left leg). She is also covered with bits of rotten food and other rubbish from falling in the skip. The driver Barry still has two rounds of surprise; normally with Readiness+0 he would get no actions, but with surprise achieved he does. Barry chooses to equip and move - he undoes his seat belt and opens the car door, and steps out to look at her. He then stands stupidly by his car staring agape at Merkava rolling around on the ground in pain. 

A person suffering an INC wound may act on a throw of 12+ with a DM of Health (hers, +2) and Readiness (hers, +2). With a throw of 11+4=+15, after those two rounds of surprised pained inaction she picks herself up, ignoring the appalled Barry, and limps on. Note however that untreated her INC wound will worsen to a KIA wound in 2d6+HT hours; the referee throws secretly and notes that she has 12 hours to get medical attention or things get even more nasty. 

Poison & disease all work in similar ways in game terms. Poisons and diseases have a source, a vector and an effect. The source is an animal or plant or substance. The vector is either aerosol (in the air), subcutaneous (gets into skin by bite, injection or cut), dermal (on skin), or gastric (consumed). The player throws 10+ with a DM of Health to avoid, and suffers an effect: either 1+ wounding attacks, or a DM malus due to pain, nausea, etc. 

Poison example: Merkava limps out of the car park. At some point during the pub brawl the barmaid fled to the office and called the police, which is why Merkava was able to jump behind the bar. A foot patrol went to the area, and had been radioed that the offender had fled on foot. A senior Constable Jenkins (Presence/Leadership+1, Readiness+1) has arrived with a newly-sworn Constable Milly (Readiness+0 - she's had some training, but not enough to count towards weapon skills, nor experience of trauma). They are looking for a muscular woman who is suspected to have caused grevious bodily harm to slapper Ginger. Paramedics are on their way. The rather beaten-up and dishevelled Merkava limps towards them since that's the way out between some buildings. 

The police approach cautiously, ensuring they are in plain sight of the suspect so as not to panic her. That is to say, they decline the opportunity to surprise. "Get your baton, Milly," Jenkins says, making a Presence/Leadership throw to give Milly +1 to her Readiness. He succeeds, and Milly draws her baton. Jenkins approaches Merkava, one hand on his belt, the other outstretched, hand held up, "Miss, you're injured, let's take you to the hospital, yeah?"

Merkava staggers on. "Bugger off, plod," she snarls drunkenly. She raises a hand to swat Jenkins away. They throw for initiative. Merkava still has Readiness+2, but also has two separate wounds for -4, and is of course still drunk, for -7 in all. Jenkins has Readiness+1 and Presence/Leadership+1 for a net +2. Given the thow is d6 vs d6, the police will certainly act first.

Without consciously thinking about it, Jenkins goes through his use of force options. He has no firearm and in any case nobody's life is in danger so firearms would not be legally justified. She is already injured and is not directly threatening the police or anyone else, so use of a baton would be excessive. The taser has similar rules of engagement as for firearms, and so he cannot use that. That leaves only the Captor (capsicum) spray and physical restraint. Even small individuals when intoxicated can be difficult to restrain with bare hands, and this one, Jenkins can see, is built like a Soviet brick shithouse, and he doesn't think Milly will be much help to him. 

That leaves the Captor spray, which he will follow up with physical restraint - equip the Captor in this round, fire (spray) and then fire (Brawling/Wrestling) in the next rounds. In his round, he will have an equip action for his spray, ready for use next round if necessary.

For her action, Merkava simply walks by Jenkins further towards Milly who is holding back. Worried what the suspect might do to his new Constable, Jenkins intends to spray her in the next round, where he again will automatically have initiative. Captor spray now out, he sprays Merkava. 

She needs a 10+ with a DM of her Health+2 to avoid the effects of the spray. With a throw of 4,3+2 = +9 she just fails. Capsicum spray causes blindness and a DM-4 to all actions for 3d6 minutes - throws of 2,1,2 indicate she will suffer this for 5 minutes. She screams in pain. Notwithstanding her blindness and pain and snot streaming down her face she is determined to sort out Mr Plod. Having been wounded - or not wounded, but capsicum sprayed, which comes to the same thing - she has just Readiness+1 this round, and 1 action. 

She tries to grapple Jenkins. She has Brawling expertise giving her DM+3, and Strength expertise for another +3. She is also drunk and twice-wounded for DM-7 in all, a net DM-1. She needs to throw 10+ and does so. For wounding she throws 1,4 - a INC result on the head. With a grapple, an INC result means a lock which the victim may try to break each round with a 10+ throw. 

Suffocation - when deprived of air, each combat round the victim must throw 10+ with a DM of HT to remain conscious, or 12+ if they are exerting themselves at all. Should they have air restored to them they will awake by themselves in 2d6 minutes with a headache but otherwise unharmed, or in 1d6 minutes if given oxygen. If deprived of air past unconciousness, they must make a 10+ throw with a DM of HT, or acquire a KIA wound (notionally to head or trunk). 

Suffocation example: Now having a lock on Constable Jenkins' head, Merkava intends to choke him out. He attempts to free himself, but has no Brawling or Strength and nothing else to help him, and with a 4,1 fails to throw 10+ on 2d6. He remains in her lock. 

Now she squeezes, and he must throw 10+ with a DM of his Health+2 (he's active, but not athletic) to remain conscious. With a 5,5 and +2 he easily makes it. 

In the next round he wins initiative again, and giving up on escaping the lock for the moment, calls "Milly, get her!" Since she has Readiness+0, he must lend her some some of his own Readiness using his Presence/Leadership+1. With a throw of 3,5 +1 he just misses. Milly hesitates and stands there gaping, holding her baton uselessly. 

Merkava keeps squeezing and this time he fails and passes out. Still blinded, Merkava hears his gargle and feels his body go limp. She lets him drop to the ground not particularly carefully. 

Constable Milly sees this and now remembering what Jenkins had told her, calls on the radio, "I need three patrol cars her, we've got an officer injured and a Charlie Whiskey Bravo out. Caucasian, 5'8", 12 stone... armed? She is armed with arms. She's a fucking tank and she fuck fuck fuck -" this last as Merkava staggers past uncomfortably close. "Out of my way, you silly cow," she mumbles. Milly steps out of the way and then rushes to Jenkins' side. He will wake in 2d6 minutes, the referee throws and finds it'll be 8 minutes. 

Remembering her first aid training, Milly turns him over onto his side in case he vomits; vomiting while on his back would also be a test of the suffocation rules, since if suffocated beyond unconsciousness the person must throw 10+ or suffer a KIA wound to the head, which will cause death in several minutes. 

Three other police cars with a total of six officers will arrive in 2d6 minutes. Now that she's choked out a police officer, they will have no hesitation in using tasers and batons. If she's really lucky they'll send out police dogs, too. With 3 minutes having passed since her being sprayed, Merkava's eyes will be clear in 2 minutes. She will still have her trunk WIA and left leg INC injuries giving her DM-4, and will still be drunk giving her DM-3. She is covered in filth and snot and has a distinct appearance, and is not moving well or quickly. Once her eyes clear, it's probably time for her to phone a friend. 

"Bloody hell," she mutters to herself, "all I did was pash a bloke." 

Later a co-operative Barry the Bristol driver is interviewed by police, and tells them how he attempted first aid on the woman but she threatened him. Milly later writes in her report about trying to free Jenkins. In time, both come to believe their stoies. Nobody thinks they have Readiness+0. 

In conclusion, all games need rules for the many and various ways players will find to injure their characters and foes. As previously noted, this may be dealt with entirely abstractly - the terms KIA, INC, WIA and so on need not have concrete meanings attached to them. But some examples may liven up the game. 





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