Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recovering from Stun

With all this talk of wounding and healing, it dawned on me that stun damage gets left out in the cold a little bit. There's a note in the healing section of the book that notes you can drop a stun wound by 1 per hour of rest, but outside of that, nothing.

The primary reason for this is because my group doesn't deal in nor receive a whole lot of stun. That's partly my fault. After all, I could design opposition that's not using kill tactics, but so far lethal responses have been par for the course in the team's runs. Whether they're breaking into a clinic that's secretly doing blood magic in a secure basement level, taking down a bigoted policlub, or breaking into a megacorp site, lethality seems to be the proper way of things.

Actually, there was one place where tazers and gel rounds were appropriate, which was when the team broke into a publisher's building to steal a manuscript, but they so overwhelmed the opposition between fast talking and local Matrix control that they were in and out without firing a shot, so they didn't deal with stun in that run either.

In fact, since we lost the mage, stun's pretty much disappeared from the game. But it shouldn't, and that's certainly no excuse not to have clearer rules on how to recover from it anyway, because it's a fundamental mechanic and the need for it will arise eventually. Sooner if said rules aren't in place, I'm sure.

The thing is, recovering from stun doesn't have to be hard, mechanically I mean. Stun damage knocks you around a bit, maybe leaves some light bruising, and either gives you a headache or leaves you exhausted, but in the end even the worst of it is still superficial damage. You can drop from it, yes, but you're going to snap back from it pretty quickly.

Recovering from stun wounds is automatic with rest. No rolls needed. How about stun injuries though? I think the easiest thing to do is take the recovery rates for physical injuries and translate them from days to hours. As long as you rest in that time, your injury drops a level automatically. So if a physical injury takes a week to heal, it takes 7 hours as a stun injury. Laid up for a month? That same injury on the stun side sticks with you for 30 hours. In other words, take some ibuprofen and take a very long nap.

And that's stun. Simple and about as complete as you'd ever need. Done and done.

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