Copyright notice

© 1994 by Scott Gray and Sharon Tripp. These pages may not be reproduced for profit. They may be copied, provided they are not altered and the authors' names remain attached.

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In Dominion, people play the part of characters. Each player speaks in his/her character's voice, and acts out his/her character's actions. The player is responsible for deciding how the character perceives the world, and what things to do as the character.

Characters often take action -- searching buildings, running after an escaping villain, persuading a group of people to join the rebellion, etc. In general, a character may do anything which the player can do. In turn, the player must act out anything which his/her character attempts. The player must actually search the building, run after the other player, or give a speech praising the rebellion.

There are some actions and occurrences that cannot be easily acted out. The rules in this manual are designed to cover these exceptions, to allow characters to do things which:


To represent combat, players spar with safe boffer weapons. Advice on weapon construction can be found in the Props section.

A strike from a melee or entangling weapon can be considered to hit if the arc of the swing is at least 45 degrees, and hits, rather than skims, a legal target area. Hits to illegal target areas (head, groin, hands, and neck) do not count. If such strikes are intentional or occur with any frequency, they will result in disciplinary action against the player.

A strike from a missile or thrown weapon can be considered to hit if the projectile strikes the opponent or any of the opponent's equipment other than a shield. It is theoretically possible in real life to block an arrow or thrown dagger with a sword. However, the slow speed of boffer projectiles would allow such blocks to occur unrealistically often; and so a projectile blocked by a weapon is considered to hit its target.

Shot from a firearm is considered to hit its target if the opponent or any part of the opponent's equipment is struck. Shields do not protect against firearms at all; the shot is too fast and too powerful to be stopped by a shield.

Special attacks against a weapon or shield (such as disarm or shatter) must hit the weapon/shield.

Illegal Moves

People wearing white "out of game" headbands or neon orange "non-combatant" status headbands may not be attacked. A character played by a person who is non-combatant status can be subdued by any character (other than another NC) who points a weapon and announces "I subdue you." The NC may then be dealt with as with any subdued person, and may be killing blowed or wounded.

For a strike to count as a hit, the swing must be at least 45 degrees and clearly connect with the target. Swinging a weapon with more force won't make the weapon do more ingame damage! Swinging harder than necessary will get a player's rights to participate in combat (and possibly anything) in the game revoked.

"Machine Gunning" is a term which refers to a succession of unrealistically quick strikes in combat. The requirements of a 45-degree swing, and clear annunciation of damage and type ("2 steel," "3 wood," "2 body steel," or whatever) should prevent this from being a problem.

No weapons may be used to trap other weapons. Any player who uses a weapon or shield to pin or hold another player's weapon in place is trapping that weapon. In real combat, there are maneuvers which can counter trapping -- such as kneeing the attacker. However, because safety considerations prevent such tactics against trapping in a boffer game, trapping must also be disallowed.

Rushing or charging into combat is not allowed. Charging is moving into combat so quickly that an opponent is forced backward to avoid physical contact between players.

Head, neck, groin, and hands are illegal targets. To keep from hitting people in sensitive areas, players must fight carefully. Players should always be certain that they can see what their opponents are doing, and where any blow may land with each strike.

Players may not strike at an opponent that can't be seen (it's too dark, (s)he has been blindfolded, whatever). A person might accidentally be struck in the head, or the person may be a non-combatant or a spectator.


The safety guidelines outlined in this manual must be adhered to. The mention of certain safety regulations in this game should not be construed as a claim that such safety guidelines are complete. There are innumerable safety issues that must be addressed, moment by moment, by each player and organizer of a live-action boffer game. Insuring safety is the responsibility of the players and organizers of such games; there is no way in which a book of any size could thoroughly address each and every safety issue which might come up over the course of play.

The "time out" rule must be followed. If someone calls "time out" all action in the area must cease immediately. A player should call time out if (s)he has been hurt or sees a person who has been hurt or is in danger of physical injury.

After a time out has been called, activity will start again when all players involved assent to the action beginning again, and the person who called the time out calls in a loud, clear voice "3, 2, 1, time in." The only circumstance in which another person may call a time in is if that person checks to be certain that no one objects to him/her calling it.

If a combat is taking place too close to a dangerous area (or a character is about to take the opening swing in such a combat), players should call a time out and move all affected players a safe distance away from the area.

Safety guidelines for weapon and armor construction must be followed, and the GM or an approved safety referee must check all weapons before they are brought into play each event.

Non-combatant Status

Sometimes, a person who has some physical limitation (sprained limb, broken nose, pregnancy, parents concerned about the player's safety, blindness, arthritis, whatever) wants to play in a live action game, but even the very carefully monitored rules for safe combat aren't safe enough

For this reason persons are allowed (and sometimes required) to play "non-combatant status" (or NC). A person who is playing non-combatant status may use no weapons, no armor and no close-contact abilities such as pickpocket or waylay. A non-combatant may perform a killing or maiming blow only if there is no longer any battle taking place in the area.

An NC must wear a neon-orange headband at all times ingame, so that other players can see that this player is a non-combatant.

An NC character can be automatically subdued by any other character (with the exception of another NC) who points a weapon and announces "I subdue you." The character is then subdued, and may be killed or maimed after a normal count. The non-combatant must be within a few feet for another player to "attack" him/her in this manner; across a room is not acceptable.

Non-combatants need permission to have a character with empathic healing. This is to prevent all the NCs in game from being healers who follow around and heal other characters at little "real" cost to themselves. If an NC has a true "character concept" for a healer, (s)he will likely be granted the ability. A person who must temporarily play an already existing character as a non-combatant keeps all the same abilities, but may not use the close-contact or combat abilities; in such an instance empathic healing may still be used.

Calling Damage

When swinging a weapon, the attacker must let his/her opponent know how much damage (s)he is potentially doing to him/her by calling (in a voice loud enough to be heard by the target) the number of points of damage (s)he is doing (based upon the weapon's base damage and any weapon abilities, strength, mastery, or other abilities being used).

If the attack does damage to health (because the attacker is using a vitals hit or attack, or a bow, etc.) the attacker should call "body" to let his/her opponent know that the damage ignores fatigue points.

The weapon's material should also be called; some special creatures -- or even mages -- may have resistances to certain materials or take more damage from others.

Some calls that may be heard are "4 iron," "1 leather," "2 body wood," or "32 body steel poison."

One may choose to call less damage than (s)he could call, to represent pulling a blow or aiming for a less vital area. This may not be done when using a special attack which does a set amount of damage, however; sever limb, for instance, does five points of health damage in addition to the loss of the limb -- the damage cannot be increased or decreased.

Most special abilities (such as vitals hit) which are usable only a limited number of times can be blocked. When using a special ability, a player is best off calling his/her damage as the blow connects rather than before it does -- to prevent it from being needlessly expended if the blow is blocked.

Untrained Combat

Any character may pick up any weapon and use it, calling one point of normal damage ("one [material]") -- not calling body damage, or special maneuvers such as disarm or shatter. A character who is untrained can use a poisoned weapon, and call "one [material] poison." Note that missile weapons and firearms used untrained also call "one [material]," not "one body [material]."

There are two exceptions to this rule: entangling weapons and weaponless combat. An untrained person attempting to use either of these will swing for zero.

Any character may defend him/herself with a single weapon or shield. Off-hand weapon ability is required to use a shield when fighting, but any untrained person may solely defend him/herself with a shield. Off-hand weapon ability is also required to use more than one weapon.

When using a weapon with which the character has no training, bonuses from strong blows or strength may not be applied. Unless the character is trained in the use of the weapon being wielded, (s)he may not attempt to subdue his/her opponent.

Taking Damage

When hit by a weapon, a person first subtracts the total value of his/her armor from the damage called. If this brings the sum to one or less, the weapon only does one point of damage. This damage might represent the force of the blow impacting through armor, or the blade slipping between plates of armor.

The damage is then deducted from the total hit points of the person being attacked, subtracting first from fatigue and then from health. (Hit points are the total health points plus fatigue points.)

If a weapon is poisoned, the poison will have no effect unless the weapon does health damage. Armor negating all but one point of damage does not protect against this -- if that one point does damage to health, the poisoned weapon is considered to have done the damage by breaching the armor, not merely battering the combatant through the armor. Poison does not have immediate effects; only after the combat is over does the poison begin to take effect.

If a player blocks a melee or entangling weapon attack with a melee weapon or shield, then the character takes no damage. The parry and dodge abilities are used to allow a person's character to parry or dodge more often than the player can in real life.

If a character reaches zero health points, (s)he will remain unconscious for ten minutes. At the end of ten minutes (s)he will be conscious, with one health point.

If a character reaches negative health points, that character is dying. Certain abilities or skills may prevent this, but if no assistance is given the character will die after a death count of six minutes. Note that after the fifth minute, only empathic healing will prevent the character from dying.


There are three force ratings of armor (the force rating is how much of a blow is absorbed by the armor). Force 1 armor is the weakest, and includes such things as leather or padded armor. Force 2 armor includes chain mail and scale mail. Force 3 armor provides the best protection; plate armor, or force 2 armor stacked with force 1 armor.

Example: Captain Fenkirk is wearing chain mail (force 2). Ishmael (self-proclaimed leader of the resistance) swings a sword at him for 3 points of damage. Fenkirk subtracts two points for the chain mail, and so only takes 1 point of damage. Captain Fenkirk draws his own sword and swings for 8 steel, barely missing Ishmael. Ishmael decides to spare Fenkirk's life, for now, and dashes off into the night.

If the armor rating is greater than or equal to the amount of damage being called, there is still a base damage of one.

Example: Ishmael comes back later, again attacking the captain for 3 points of damage. Captain Fenkirk is now wearing plate armor (force 3), but still takes one point of damage.

Armor will reduce damage from any weapon, whether it is normal damage or damage to health. There are two exceptions to this. Attacks which have caught the player by surprise are assumed to have caught the character by surprise, and will not be reduced by armor -- his/her opponent was able to strike an unarmored portion. Certain special battle moves which do permanent physical damage (such as "break limb") do a standard amount of damage straight to health, which is not reduced by armor.

Armor provides protection only against physical attacks. It does not reduce damage from magical spells, such as weaken creature or death. Armor will defend against magically-aided physical attacks, such as someone with inhuman strength attacking with a weapon.

Armor usually has no effect on trap damage, but each trap will have its own rules for that.

Armor is ranked for the suit as a whole, not piece by piece. If a player is wearing a chain mail shirt with short sleeves, and is awarded two points for his/her suit, (s)he will subtract two points from any blow regardless of where it lands. It doesn't matter whether the blow hits him/her in the chest (where the player is armored out of game) or in the forearm (where the player is not armored out of game).

Rating Armor

Armor is rated as a full suit if it provides protection for the torso (front) and at least three of the following locations: arms, legs, groin, head, or back.

Armor is rated as a half suit if it provides protection for the torso (front) and one or two of the following locations: arms, legs, groin, head, or back. This gives protection of one rating lower than full armor; a half suit of force 3 armor acts as force 2, force 2 becomes force 1, and force 1 no longer has armor value.

Stacking Armor

Stacking two suits of armor is possible when the two suits are different types (not leather over leather or chain over chain, but chain over leather). The higher force suit must be worn over the lower force suit. (If the two are equal, the one which would be higher force if both were full suits must be worn on the outside.) The value of the two suits is additive, but cannot be more than force 3. Wearing a full suit of padded (force 1) under a full suit of chain (force 2) would give armor with a total value of force 3. Wearing a partial suit of chain (force 1) over a full suit of padded (force 1) would give armor with a total value of force 2.

Force 1 = Full leather or padded, chain mail shirt, etc.
Force 2 = Full chain, full leather & chain shirt, breastplate, etc.
Force 3 = Full leather & full chain, full plate

Metal armor may not normally be worn while using the abilities of escape, waylay, or pickpockett. However, a skill, stealth in armor, exists to allow metal armor to be worn while using these abilities.


It is possible for a character to bring down an opponent without doing physical damage. This is referred to as subduing. Subduing may be attempted with a melee weapon, entangling weapon, or weaponless combat, if the character has the appropriate weapon ability.

To represent subduing with a melee weapon, the player calls "subdue [strength + 1]" with the first strike that hits. With each following hit, the number called is incremented by one; the player calls "subdue [strength + 2]" with the second blow that hits. Only strength adds to the call -- the strong blow ability does not. Some entangling weapons will add to subduing calls. The overbear ability also adds to subduing. To land a subduing hit with a melee weapon, the attacker must hit either his/her opponent or the opponent's shield (not the opponent's weapon, however).

Subduing with an entangling weapon is similar to subduing with a melee weapon, with the following exceptions: strength does not apply to subduing with an entangling weapon, and hits to an opponent's shield do not count as subduing hits with an entangling weapon.

Subduing with weaponless combat is similar to subduing with a melee weapon. The only difference is that weaponless combat masteries (but not proficiencies) can be applied to the subduing calls.

Subduing represents not a normal attack, but an attempt to frighten, back into a corner, grapple, entangle, or otherwise disable an enemy without doing any damage to him or her. Each creature will require a certain number of "subduing" hits in order to be subdued.

Subduing Threshold

The number of subduing hits which a human can withstand is equal to his/her hit points at the beginning of the battle (health points plus fatigue points). When the number called by the subduer equals the number of hit points the character entered combat with, the character is subdued.

If two characters are trying to subdue the same opponent simultaneously, (s)he is not subdued until one of the characters has scored the requisite number of hits.

If away from the subduing character for a full minute, prior subduing hits are ignored. Subduing hits may not be parried or dodged.

Subdual Effects

It is assumed that the subduer has the subdued person either held physically such that (s)he can't escape, or in a hold which could kill the victim if (s)he tried to break free.

The subduer may do a quick killing blow ("three killing blow, two killing blow, one killing blow") to the subdued at any time; the subduer need not have the quick kill skill for this. However, the subduer must hold his/her target until dispensed with (tied up, killed, maimed, transferred to another character to hold, whatever). The person playing the subduer should keep one hand on the shoulder of the subdued. The subduer may continue to use his/her free hand, but cannot move faster than a slow walk while "holding" the subdued character, or hold any weapon or shield in the hand being used to hold the subdued.

A subdued character may do nothing to directly break out of the grasp of the subduer, but may attempt to use any ability or skill that his/her current wound level will allow -- as long as it can be completed before the subduer finishes a quick killing blow.

Note that a character who has been "subdued" by a waylay is not conscious. The subduing threshold is only used to determine whether or not a waylay has been effective. A successful waylay leaves the victim at zero fatigue, unconscious for ten minutes, and down one health point.

Offensive Maneuvers

The major types of attacks which a person may be affected by are as follows:

Damage. Most damage is first subtracted from fatigue, then from health. All damaging attacks include both the number (amount of damage) and the material (what the weapon is made of) in the call. If the attack has any special effects, those will be referred to in the call, including "body," "poison," "sever limb," etc.

Body damage. Some things (some weapons, some special combat maneuvers, most traps) do damage straight to health, ignoring fatigue. In such a case, the damage will be called as such ("3 body steel" instead of "3 steel"). The damage is taken solely to health points, bypassing fatigue. If a character is brought to zero or less health, (s)he is unconscious, regardless of whether or not (s)he has any fatigue points left.

Disarm. Disarming forces an opponent to drop his/her weapon and not pick it up again for at least five seconds.

Shatter. If a character has the shatter ability, (s)he may attempt to break an opponent's weapon in combat. The character should call "shatter," and strike his/her opponent's weapon with his/her own. Some weapons are not usable to shatter (see the weapon list), and some weapons and shields are not shatterable by this means. The target of the shatter should drop the rep for his or her weapon for the remainder of combat, and any tags for the weapon should be notated as "shattered" at the end of combat, or ripped in half. Shattering might represent any number of things: the blade being detached from the hilt, the metal of the blade splintering, the wood being chopped in two, etc.

Tangle arm. A character using an entangling weapon with the tangle arm ability may attempt to ensnare one of his/her opponent's arms. If an arm is successfully tangled, the victim cannot use that arm until his/her opponent drops the entangling weapon or the entangling weapon is cut. Taut leather entangling weapons may be easily cut by any bladed weapon, destroying the entangling weapon and freeing the entangled arm. To represent this, simply strike the entangling weapon and call "cut."

Subduing. It is possible for a character to attempt to overpower an opponent without hurting him/her. The complete rules for this are covered in the Subduing section. If the number called by a person using subduing is equal to or greater than the total health and fatigue the opponent entered combat with, the opponent is subdued. In order to subdue someone, the subduer must have at least base ability with the weapon being used for the subduing.

Poison. If, as part of weapon damage, "poison" is called, the effects of the poison can be ignored until after the combat. If the poisoned blow did health damage, then as soon as the character is finished combatting the foes present (s)he will be under the effects of the poison -- and must be certain to find out the effects of the particular poison.

Though there may be exceptions, most poison will be used up on first contact with an enemy -- whether or not the blow does body damage. If an opponent dodges or parries the poisoned blow, however, the poison remains on the blade.

Permanent battle damage. Some skills exist which cause permanent damage. If a "break limb" is called, and the weapon hits a limb, the limb it hits is unusable for the remainder of the combat and afterwards until treated by a chirurgeon. If "sever limb" is called, the limb is missing from the point of impact down, and may never be restored. Other skills which create permanent battle damage may exits.

Intrinsic killing blow. An intrinsic killing blow will affect a character only if the hit drops his/her health points to zero or negative. If the character is at zero or less health, (s)he dies instantaneously, without possibility of first aid or healing.

Surprise attack. If an attack catches the player by surprise, the character is also caught by surprise. Surprise attacks may not be dodged, parried, or otherwise defended against. Armor will not reduce damage from a surprise attack. If the player was caught off-guard, so was the character, and the full effects of the attack are taken. The exception to this is if the surprised player has purchased the sixth sense benefit for his/her character, in which case surprise attacks may be dodged or parried as usual, and damage may be modified by armor.

Defensive Maneuvers

There are a number of means of stopping or mitigating damage and combat effects. The maximum number of combined dodges and parries that a human may use in one battle is five. There is no limit on the number of grips a character may use. The major defenses against attacks and damage are as follows:

Physical blocks with melee weapons. Any melee weapon, entangling weapon, or natural weapon may be physically blocked. Thrown weapons and projectiles which hit an opponent's weapon (or any other equipment) are assumed to have hit the opponent. Note that characters using weaponless combat (fists, teeth, and other) will take damage if the "weapon" (represented by red duct-taped boffer weapons) is hit. Attempting to block a shatter, disarm, or tangle arm attempt with a melee weapon is counter-productive. Physical blocks with melee weapons and weaponless combat will block a subduing strike (the subduer must not advance the number). Entangling weapons, because they are not rigid, cannot be used to block.

Physical blocks with shields. Firearm projectiles (bullets or shot) which hit shields are assumed to have hit the target. Any other weapon may be physically blocked with a shield. If a shield is struck by a disarm, the shield must be dropped. A shield can block a tangle arm attempt. A shield can block a subduing strike from an entangling weapon, but not a subduing strike from any other kind of weapon.

Metal shields will block shatter attempts, but wooden shields can be shattered.

Armor. Reduces all damage taken, whether normal or body, unless the damage is part of a special attack (break limb, sever limb or scar), or the attack was by surprise. Note that armor may never reduce damage below 1 point.

Dodge. Using one dodge will allow the character to avoid one strike from a melee, entangling, thrown, or natural weapon. No damage will be taken from the blow, and any special attack called by the attacker is expended. Using a dodge will prevent a shatter, disarm, or tangle arm attempt. If a character uses two dodges instead of one, damage from one hit by a missile weapon or firearm will be prevented. The dodge ability does not counter subduing.

Dodge-intercept. A character can use his/her dodge ability to intercept a blow intended for another (preventing the person being defended from taking damage). This can be used on any attack which a single dodge from the victim could normally block. The character intercepting the blow will take the full damage of the blow to health, whether or not the damage was called as body. (S)he may ignore any special aimed effects, such as break limb, scar, or intrinsic killing blow; but not poisons or other effects which need not be aimed. Dodge-intercept may not be used to block attacks against weapons, such as shatter or disarm.

Parry with melee weapon. Using the parry ability will prevent any damage, normal or body, from one hit by melee weapon, entangling weapon, or weaponless combat. Using a parry will prevent a disarm, but not a shatter or a tangle arm attempt. The parry ability does not counter subduing.

Parry with shield. A character using a shield who uses a parry ability may defend against the same things as parry with melee weapon; (s)he may also prevent damage from one hit by a missile weapon or thrown weapon (but not firearms). The parry ability does not counter subduing, or a tangle arm attempt. If a person uses a parry with a shatterable shield to counter a shatter, the shield is shattered instead of whatever was struck; if the shield is unshatterable, the shatter is parried.

Grip. May be used to defend one's weapon or shield from a disarm or shatter attempt. This ability does not prevent a tangle arm attempt.

Sixth sense. This benefit allows a character to use his/her defensive maneuvers, and other defenses, against attacks which came from surprise. This includes armor, dodges, parries, grips, or dodge-intercept.


The below conditions apply only when a character is not at full health. If a character has fewer than ten permanent health, his/her wound level isn't calculated until (s)he is actually wounded.

The number to the left of the wound rating is the number of health points the wounded character has.

10+  Scratched.  The wounds are scratches, nicks, or bruises, and
do not affect the character to any great extent.

8-9  Lightly wounded.  No empathic healing or magical powers
which require an expenditure of health points may be used.  An
already prepared power may used, as long as no further health
points are necessary to activate it.

5-7  Moderately wounded.  No damage bonuses (including damage
bonuses from skills or benefits).  Strength and strong blow
abilities/benefits are lost.  The character may perform no vital
blows or special maneuvers.  The loss of strength and strong blow
abilities may preclude the use of certain abilities (such as
waylay) or weapons (such as a zweihander or composite bow).

2-4  Heavily wounded.  No passive defense (armor, fatigue, sixth
sense) or defensive maneuvers.  If the character is wearing
armor, (s)he will function as though severely wounded until it is
removed.  No running or quick movements.  The character's fatigue
immediately becomes zero, and does not regenerate with rest.

1    Severely wounded.  No abilities or skills may be used at
all.  Movement is limited to a slow walk.  A character may still
engage in combat, but uses the untrained combat rules, doing no
more than a point of damage.  The character functions as though
(s)he were a zero point character, unable to use any abilities;
and unable to focus or concentrate well enough to use even
abstract knowledge skills.

0    Unconscious.  When first brought to zero, the character will be
unconscious.  An unconscious person may be revived, in which case (s)he may not move but may
speak softly.  A character at 0 health will revive naturally after ten
minutes, regaining one health point after regaining consciousness. 

-1   Fatally wounded.  Even if revived, the character cannot move
under his/her own power.  Unless first aid is given within five
minutes, or empathic healing within six, the character dies.

Health may never drop lower than -1; if a character is wounded for more health points than (s)he has, his/her health becomes -1, regardless of whether the number called would technically bring him/her lower. No more than one point of healing is ever necessary to stop a character from dying.

The effects of wound levels are cumulative. A character wounded to four health points would have all the problems of having light wounds, moderate wounds, and heavy wounds. (S)he would be unable to use empathic healing or health point activated magical powers, unable to use most offensive maneuvers, and unable to use defensive maneuvers.

Those health effects which do not cause immediate unconsciousness may be ignored until the end of the battle in which they were incurred. Adrenaline keeps the character going until the immediate threat has passed.

When health loss occurs in non-combat situations, such as from poisoning or trap damage, the wound effects take place immediately.


A person may never be healed, whether by chirurgery or by empathic healing, for more than his/her total permanent health.

Quick Healing

A character who is tended for one minute by a person with first aid ability will be brought to zero health points from negative health points. A character at zero health will become conscious again, and gain one health point, after ten minutes.

An empathic healer may grant a wounded person health (at a cost to the healer's own), by spending one minute per health point healed. These points are all transferred at the end of the healing, not at the end of each minute. The only points usable by a healer to heal others are his/her own points gained through rest. No healer may heal his or her own wounds.

If bedridden for one hour, and under the constant supervision of a person with chirurgeon ability (who may supervise no more than four patients at once), a character can receive up to five health points. This requires the expenditure of medical supplies. A chirurgeon may heal him/herself over the course of an hour, but for no more than three points, and (s)he may not attend to other patients at the same time. Like all abilities, using chirurgery is subject to the level of wounds which a character has.

If a character has both the chirurgeon ability and any level of healing ability, (s)he may add seven points to a patient under his/her supervision for half an hour; however, that patient must be the healer's only patient. This requires the use of healing supplies, only useful for this type of healing. These special supplies cannot be used for regular chirurgery. No healer may ever heal him/her self by this means. A healer and a chirurgeon working together may produce the same effect, though still only adding the points to a single patient.

When using first aid or chirurgery to heal a character, the character with the medical ability must inspect the wound(s). The player of the wounded character should briefly describe the type of wound to the person administering aid. This allows the chirurgeon to roleplay the treatment more accurately. Sometimes a character may choose not to treat particular types of wounds. (If, for instance, the wounds appear to have come from flogging, and it is a criminal offense to render aid to those punished for a crime.)

Overnight Healing

After a character has slept for a few hours, (s)he receives additional health equal to half his/her fatigue points (rounded up). A character with the heal quickly skill gains additional points. This healing can only be added once per 24 hour period. The points awarded are calculated based on full fatigue -- not the level being used due to health wounds. All points from rest are considered to have been added just before midnight, for purposes of determining which powers could be prepared.

In many large scale games, and some small scale games, players will have to turn in food tags to logistics in order to receive any health points from overnight healing. These might be bought ingame from a vendor, given by another character (such as in the mess hall for characters serving in the army), green, red, or yellow food tags (green ones may only be picked up by those with botany ability, red only by those with zoology ability, yellow by anyone, as per components) left in the wilds, purchased directly from logistics (representing what the player chooses -- perhaps (s)he purchased the food, or perhaps hunted it, or grew a vegetable garden, etc.), or other means.

Any character who has a wound for an extended period of time may develop an infection. When characters come to logistics to receive their overnight healing, the GM should check for the possibility of infection (after the new health points are received). If a character has 9 health points, the GM should roll a 5% chance of infection setting in. If the character has only 8, the GM should roll a second time for the additional missing health (at 5%, regardless of the outcome of the first roll; a character can get multiple infections). For each point less, the GM should make an additional roll for infection setting in. Though there are never open wounds associated with empathic healing, using empathic healing leaves characters weaker and more susceptible to illness; so infection should still be rolled for.

If infection does set in, the GM should choose (randomly or by decision) from the different strains of infection which to apply.

Other Healing

The above sections have dealt primarily with concussion wounds (damage from battle, falling, spellcasting, and the like). Non-concussion wounds require different treatments. Empathic healing deals only with concussion wounds; chirurgery is necessary for treatment of other types of injuries or illness.

Chirurgery skills may exist for such things as setting broken bones or treating illness, infection, or fever. Which chirurgery skills exist will depend in part on what sort of non-concussion injuries and ailments exist in the campaign.

Healing and pain levels

Neither chirurgery nor empathic healing may be used to directly reduce pain. That is, they will not reduce pain (or "effective wound level") caused by the affected by silver disadvantage, the curse of pain spell, the aftermath of using the heroic endurance skill, or other effects that cause "non-specific" pain unrelated to health point loss.

If physical wounds are the cause of the pain, then the pain will be reduced appropriately if chirurgery or healing is used to close the wounds. In some campaigns the GM might approve chirurgeon or healing-based skills which relieve pain.

Killing Blows

If an opponent is completely helpless, a blow may be struck to kill him/her. This requires keeping the striking surface of one's weapon against the opponent's chest for 10 seconds, counting down "10 killing blow, 9 killing blow," etc. until "1 killing blow" is reached. To represent a killing blow without a weapon, the player should place his/her hand on the target's shoulder whilst doing the killing blow count. Any character who is unconscious or restrained, as well as any character at zero health points or below, may be slain in this manner; as long as no one is attempting to prevent a killing blow from being delivered, which requires knocking the weapon away from the intended victim. The killer may defend him/herself with a shield in the other hand, but may not use any abilities (parry, dodge, whatever) without breaking the killing blow.

The quick kill skill allows a character to killing blow in only three seconds, calling "3 killing blow, 2 killing blow, 1 killing blow."

Some characters can also deliver "intrinsic" killing blows. An intrinsic killing blow is called during battle by calling damage with the words "intrinsic killing blow" added on. The intrinsic killing blow will not affect the target unless the damage done by the strike brings him/her to zero or negative health points.

Maiming Blows

The maiming blow operates like a killing blow, except that it brings the victim to negative health points and allows the removal of a limb, tongue, eye, etc., or scarring. The count is done "maiming blow 10, maiming blow 9," etc. Skills which shorten the time necessary to deliver a killing blow do not shorten the count for a maiming blow.


A character is unconscious if any of the following occur:

  1. (S)he is brought to zero or fewer health points.
  2. (S)he is brought to the "unconscious" wound level by the "low pain threshold" disadvantage, certain poisons, or other effects; even if the character's health points are greater than zero.
  3. A poison or illness does as much or more temporary fatigue damage than his/her total permanent fatigue.
  4. His/her permanent fatigue is brought to zero.
  5. A waylay or choke hold subdues him/her for his/her total hit points or more.
  6. The GM, or an LC whom the GM has authorized to make such rulings, says so.


Any character may "revive" an unconscious character (unless peculiar circumstances -- such as unconsciousness from disease, spell, or coma -- dictate otherwise). Up until the end of five minutes, a fatally wounded character may still be "revived" -- though the revived character may still be dying, (s)he will be able to communicate until the end of the fifth minute. The character who is trying to revive the unconscious character must spend at least thirty seconds doing so. A revived character who is still at zero or negative health may not move at all, except to speak slowly and softly. The character so revived will remain conscious until (s)he has been at negative health points for five minutes. If a character has been at negative health points for more than five minutes, (s)he may not be revived.


A character is dead if any of the following occur:

  1. (S)he has been at negative health for six minutes or more.
  2. (S)he has been killing blowed. To be killing blowed, the character must:
    a) be unconscious or asleep
    b) be restrained
    c) be at zero health or less, or
    d) allow it
  3. (S)he was brought to zero or negative health by something which did an intrinsic killing blow.
  4. His/her permanent health is brought to negatives.
  5. The GM, or an LC whom the GM has authorized to make such rulings, says so.

If a character is brought to zero health points, (s)he will remain at zero until healed or allowed to recover normally -- coming back to one health point after ten minutes. A character at zero or negative health points may be brought back to consciousness without being healed; see the section above on reviving.

If at negative health points for less than five minutes, the character may be healed through first aid, empathic healing, or other mechanisms as approved for the campaign by the GM (such as magical healing potions, or futuristic slap patches), as long as the treatment is begun before the end of the five minutes. If at negative health points for between five and six minutes, the character may be healed by empathic healing. If a character is left at negative health points for more than six minutes, that character is dead.


It is incumbent upon the player of the fatally wounded character to keep track of the death count. The "death count" refers to counting off the six minutes until the character is dead. Unlike the counts for killing or maiming blows, the death count must be done silently. The killing blow count is done aloud so that other players are aware that they see one character preparing to kill another. In the instance of a character bleeding to death, however, other characters have no idea how close the character is to death without examining the body.


Once a character has been killing blowed, or been at negative health for six minutes, (s)he is dead. The player should continue to play the corpse for a while. When the player stops playing the corpse, (s)he should put on a white out-of-game headband and go to the GM. The player will usually be given LC roles for the remainder of the event.

If the corpse is not disposed of, the player is encouraged to continue to play it for as long as (s)he wishes. If the body is discovered, there are a few methods of finding clues as to the identity of the killer.

Determining cause of death

Chirurgeons with the forensic medicine skill can tell what killed a character (roughly what type of weapon, or creature using natural attacks, or poisons, etc.), as well as the cause of other damage that was not directly related to death. A chirurgeon cannot tell whether wounds were magically inflicted; they will still appear as whatever form they were intended to appear as.

Another means of discovering the cause of death is magically. A mage with the power "determine cause of death" can sense who committed the murder, as well as how.

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