How do creatures heal?

I recently had some creatures take Wounds during an encounter with the PCs, and then run away. How do you treat their wounds in such a case? They aren't humans, so they won't get medical attention or such.

Do you just hand-wave it, and pick what's reasonable? Or do you make Recovery rolls for the creatures, and if so with what modifier? Or maybe just make a "what's a reasonable Recovery result" estimation? Would an animal will likely die of heavy wounds? Would a dragon die of such wounds?

(Technically, the creatures in this case were elf faeries, and I'm gonna let their Faerie Lord (a Faerie Forest Spirit, really) just use his power of Healing to heal them. But it got me thinking about how to treat such cases more broadly, and I was wondering what other people were doing.)

Exactly. If they just are animals that ran away into the wilderness, you can execute the Stamina stress rolls from the Wound Recovery Table (ArM5 p.179) and see where they lead. Beasts with a wound penalty of 3 or higher (ArM5 p.179) for a few days are unlikely to find enough food, and will likely weaken and starve to death soon unless found and eaten by a predator before.

But Magical, Faerie, Divine and Infernal creatures might have beings to take care of them. And even a cute wounded animal might still be taken in and cured by a soft-hearted and competent being: like the cliché nun, forester's daughter or little baroness.

Many years ago in Sardinia, I found two starving dog puppys with no mother appearing even after a long wait. I then took them back to my public bus, and on the way back the driver and I distributed them to the farm girls on the way.

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They die. Animals that take any real amount of wounds tend to die. Nature is super harsh, and that's why even powerful predators prefer to ambush prey rather than fight it. A lot could manage to survive without hunting with a few Light Wounds, as those heal pretty quick, but a Medium Wound might as well be a death sentence.

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Don't faeries heal completely after the scene, after some indeterminate time? Unless their role requires them to suffer or stay wounded. Might be misremembering.

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Thanks for the input, guys. But that's mostly about mundane animals - what about healing for Magical or Faerie creatures? I mean sure, they can get picked up by someone, but other than that, generally speaking - they don't get to heal? Just like regular mundane beasts?

Yeah, I really dislike the whole "faeries are story-elements" shtick of 5e, and don't use it. There is a line in RoPF, an optional nature of faeries: "Faeries are spirits that treat humans as prey, feeding on spiritual essences". That's basically what faeries are in my saga. Hence - I needed to rethink how they heal, which led to this thread.

I did end up taking much more than I expected from RoPF. I even quantified that whole Vitality thing into points and such. But not that "faeries are stories" angle, no.

There is a bit toward the end of TMRE about magical being healing, specifically because there are several magical beings magi can become.

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Mundane animal healing is mentioned in HP page 130.

Maybe a Magical creature's ability to heal/how it heals is in part based on if it has the Inferiority "Susceptible to Deprivation" or not?

Well, if that's the case, they then can heal right in the middle of the battle, "Faeries are spirits that treat humans as prey, feeding on spiritual essences".

You are granting them a "Donning the Corporeal Veil", in effect. So they can discard their wounded form, whenever, and recreate, as long as they have Might left to do so.

I don't think I've ever given the matter much thought (it hardly matters unless the character is going to reappear in the saga in some capacity.

I suppose, if we're talking about an animal or creature of equivalent intelligence I'd give a normal Stamina roll - they're basically at home in the wilderness so penalties for that would seem unfair to me.

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Thanks, that was an interesting read. So basically, by RAW, all wounds heal in a Season for Magical creatures. I like this rule, I think I'm gonna follow it. I'll need to think whether I want to extend it to Faeries too.

Huh. The HP rules seem to be meant for Magical creatures too, indeed for any Realm. They also contradict the TMRE rules, to some extent. Well, it's another option, but I don't really like it. Animal Handling especially should not serve as Chirurgy or Medicine IMO, that's too big of a stretch.

On the Susceptibility to Deprivation - that's a cool idea.

Yes, that would be the case for RAW faerie spirits. Things don't quite work like that in my own saga, usually - I basically decided it would be more fun to let magi kill the faeries and take their stuff (errg, vis), so changed things up.

If it actually matters, choose what works best for the story. They are NPCs.

If you think that's too contrived, roll healing like humans. I imagine you only want to roll as you want a chance for the creature to die, but you don't want it guaranteed. The rules are pretty brutal for humans, so as you want that death chance, you've got it.

If they don't recover in a few days, you might want to look up the rules for starvation, exposure, etc, as that's what will happen without help.


starvation also depends on the type of animal. A deer isn't likely to starve due to injuries, and it does have a herd that will provide some support (unless a predator chases them, when it becomes the designated sacrifice), where a predator kind of needs to be in peak condition to hunt anything but the weakest prey.

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They heal in the way that fits the story best. If you want the bear to come back it will regardless of the damage it took. The faerie will also come back if that makes the story more fun and interesting... perhaps with a grudge.