Into the Darkness
Damage and Healing
To inflict damage, simply make that roll and subtract the results from the target’s Health. If the target has armor, though, subtract their Armor Rating from the damage before reducing Health, unless the damage is “penetrating” damage, in which case armor is not helpful. When a character has Health 0, he is dying. (There is no negative Health.) A dying character can talk, but otherwise take no actions. Unless he receives first aid to increase his Health, the character dies in a number of rounds equal to 2 + his Constitution. The GM may rule that NPCs simply die when their Health reaches 0, rather than bothering to wait the requisite number of turns.
However, combatants can also always elect to incapacitate rather than kill their Health 0 enemies when they would otherwise inflict a killing blow.
Health and Healing
Health measures a character’s fitness and wellbeing. A character with full Health is vigorous and ready for action. A character with less than full Health is fatigued or wounded. A character reduced to 0 Health is dying. Unless healing is received in 2 + Constitution rounds, the character dies. Health is fairly abstract by design, as is the nature of the damage received. When a character takes damage from a sword hit, for example, it can represent bruising, fatigue, loss of breath, or actual wounds. It would be tedious to track each cut or broken bone, so the rules sacrifice realism for the sake of playability. The exact nature of the damage isn’t important. You just need to watch your character’s Health and be careful when it gets close to 0. When your character is wounded, there are several ways to heal.
• Another character can aid you with a heal action. You must be adjacent to your ally and you must have bandages ready. This is a TN 11 Cunning (Healing) test. If you are successful, your ally gets back an amount of Health equal to the Drag on Die + your Cunning. A character cannot benefit from another heal action until he takes additional damage.
• You can take a breather after a combat encounter. This is a 5-minute rest that lets you catch your breath, tend to minor cuts and abrasions, drink some water, and so on. After a breather, you get back 5 + Constitution + Level in Health. You can only take one breather after an encounter. If you were at 0 Health when the combat encounter ended, you cannot take a breather at all.
• You can get some sleep. If you can get at least 6 hours of restful sleep, you gain 10 + Constitution + Level in Health.
• You can receive magical healing. This is most commonly the mage spell heal.