Incapacitated penalites

Hello all

We had a situation in our saga last night that raised a question.

When you suffer a wound you have a penalty on your actions. This makes it easier for enemies to get more deadly wounds on you since the lower your defense roll, the greater the difference between attack and defence scores and the greater bonus the attacker adds to damage.

So if we take, as an example, a man with 2 heavy wounds. That puts him at -10 on his defense roll. If he isn't a trained combatant, then he could well be rolling a total defense score in the minus'.

But if the same man then takes an incapacitated roll, what kind of penalty does he get on his defense roll?

Obviously he is incapacitated so he can't defend himself. Does he then generate a score of zero for defense? If so then an incapacitating wound might actually be better for his continual survival than a wound penalty which would put his defence score to 0. Or for that matter if he has no combat skill and minus physical stats.

Or is it assumed that any attacker can kill an incapacitated character with a normal attack?
This would mean that crows and cats could slay an incapacitated man. This also doesn't feel right.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

Autohit & autodead if the enemyu wants to hit him hard. Basically, unless the attacker botches, he can inflict the wound level that he wishes on the fallen man.

At least this is how we play it. You do not count as even havi9ng a soak score for that. Once incapacitated, if they want you to die, you die.



If you're incapasitated, and your enemy has time, then you're as dead as he wants you. If the combat is still going on, then oponents would ignore the unconcious character in any event. If someone still insists, then treat the unconcious character as having 0 defence.

Thats what i mean though, a defence of 0 is easily better than the defence you get after a couple of light wounds, leading to the bizarre situation where a man can better defend himself while unconcious than while concious and crippled.

That can't be right.

With enough time to place your blow i'd aloow insta-death. I can foresee situations where the melee is still raging around you and you want to confirm your kill but don't think you'll have time later, e.g. if you will be forced to retreat by enemy numbers but want to ensure that the mage you just incapacitated stays dead.

I think i might house rule that any attack on an incapacitated person with a standard combat attack doubles the total attack score. And the defendant gets a flat 0 on his defense roll. That way, even bob the peasant with a club can do serious damage to an armoured knight, without necessarily killing him instantly, while a competant armed warrior will almost certainly slay his foe.

If the attacker has time to aim his blow, i.e. two combat rounds, he triples his attack score and the defender gets 0.

That way a 200' dragon on incapacitated isn't going to be killed by a 9 year old girl with a stick, but could well be by a man with a sword.

what do folks think?

Considering that defensive botches result in 0 defence total, I'd say incapasitated characters might as well get the same thing...

One way of seeing this is that someone up and moving might help drive the weapon deeper into his body by falling upon it, while someone laying still like a sack of potatoes isn't really going to be much help in this regard...

The wounded may suffer from a defence penalty that brings their defence score to a negative.

So, if my grog has a single weapon defence of 8 but suffers 2 heavy wounds, he's on a -2 before he adds a roll. Let's assume he rolls a 4 to make a defence total of 2. Now he takes a further heavy wound.

Next round, he's on -15 +8 + (roll) 4 = -3. Now, I'm not sure you'd give the attacker all of that bonus (whatever he rolls and then add 3) so you might cap it at 0. I think that's the way it works.

That huge negative bonus though is pretty much the only way aside from jammy double 1 rolls) for non trained combatants to kill some one.

If you are jim the peasant (str 1, non combat skill, +1 damage weapon), you need a difference of 18 between your attack and the other guys defense to be able to kill him. Your wounded warrior capped at 0 is still only 2 points worse than jim, no matter how much more wounded he gets.

Allowing the mass accumulation of wounds allows the weak to kill the strong, but only in large numbers or by jamminess. Which is as it should be.

Combat rules are usually usefull when you need a consistent and logical way to resolve an action in combat that is somehow resisted or difficult.

Thus, I would say that combat rules do not apply when killing an incapacitated creature. You don't really require a legerdemain roll to open a door that is unlocked ! :slight_smile:

If you need to kill someone when his ally are just about to arrive, you could ask for a Qik+weapon skill roll (vs ease factor 9 or so. using judgement)
If an assassin need to kill a fallen knight on the battlefield without being seen it could be a Dex+ stealth roll.

You could rule that it takes 3 rounds for a cat to kill (he is in a hunger frenzy ^^) a fallen knight that has lost his helmet.

If you want a player to make a roll for killing someone incapacitated, you could ask him to make a combat roll against the ease factor that you think is required for that action. i would rule EF = 3.
But I think killing someone incapacitated with a sword require more nerve and cold heartedness than skill ! ^^
You could ask for a personnality trait roll instead...

If someone is incapacitated they can do nothing until sunrise or sunup, where they have to make a roll to see if they improve and the wound moves to a heavy(each would needs to be rolled for individually).

If a grog has taken a bunch of lights, he can have a negative defense score, but he can stilll fight or run away.

Incapacitated people should get a defense of 0 (unles they have other wounds which may give them a minus) if someone is try to kill them while the troupe is in combat.

If the troupe is not in combat, or the fighting is far enough away, the incapacitated person gets his throat slit. Now you know why Timmy cried when Lassie died.

A thought on this old idea and how I've been running it:

Apply the wound penalties to the "defence total" of the incapasitated fellow ignoring any combat skill/stat they have and perhaps adding another -5 to account for the incapasitating wound. This would represent how 'close to death' they are.

Generate attack and defence total as normal. Its still stressful.

Soak as normal.

Additional incapasitating wounds would go on the 'heavy wound' track.
This would leave most humans dead in short order but still take a while on heavy soak monsters as you cut the dragons head to bits.

This assumes you are still 'in combat' and can't for instance, take off your opponents helmet and drive your sword in one ear and out the other.
This leaves Jim the Peasant able to beat the Knight to death after a lucky first blow (they happen) but leaves room for friends to come to your aid ( you cannot be attacked while a 'defender lives).


Good point. an incapacitated character can't dodge/parry/block. No skill/stat added to his defence.
(someone is about to point out that a character with -5 quickness has a better chance of surviving when unconcious).

You migth consider someone with a quickness of -5 unconcious in combat, it is over before he migth react :wink: