Stamina and Injuries in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

Stamina and Injuries

Every combat encounter involves Adventurers and their adversaries trying to dish out more damage than they receive, but damage can take many forms. Some of these forms are more dangerous than others. Some types of damage are more effective against certain opponents, others may have little or no effect at all. The following sections describe each type of damage and how it affects a target.

Stamina Points, Injuries, and Death

Damage can be of two types. Most combat weapon damage causes Stamina Drain, reducing the number of Stamina Points the target has remaining. The stress and strain of wielding a weapon while avoiding the blows of an adversary can wear down a character quickly making injury - or worse - more likely. Usually, a character whose Stamina Points are reduced to zero is not dead, and not even unconscious. They are exhausted, however, and now prone to serious injury. At this stage, Direct Damage results from further attacks.

Direct damage causes Injuries. When a target sustains Direct Damage, one of its Inventory slots is converted into an Injury. If the slot had an item in it, that item is dropped - and possibly itself damaged or destroyed. When all inventory slots have been converted to Injuries, the target is dead.

Some attacks do Direct Damage immediately. Falling damage, for example, is applied immediately as Direct Damage even if the victim has Stamina Points remaining. Other attack types, such as fire or acid based attacks, will also specify this treatment. This means it is possible for player characters, most NPCs, and even some monsterrs to die with Stamina Points still remaining! A creature that does not have inventory/injury slots applies double the specified damage to Stamina Points, and dies immediately when its Stamina Point count drops to zero.

Unless an attack or damage specification indicates that it does Direct Damage, assume that it does Stamina Drain.

Forms of Damage

Damage comes in different forms, the nature of which determines whether or not it causes Stamina Drain or Direct Damage, and whether or not it may have an affect on the equipment a character is carrying.
General Combat Damage
Combat with weapons, including natural weapons like claws, fists, and teeth, can cause three types of damage:

  • Piercing damage involves thrusting some sort of pointy object directly at an opponent. Weapons such as swords, daggers, spears, arrows, and teeth are the typical sources.
  • Slashing damage involves swinging or swiping at a target with a blade of of some sort. Swords, axes, daggers, and claws are typical examples of slashing damage producers.
  • Bludgeoning damage is done by blunt weapons such as hammers, maces, and fists.

  • Usually, though not always, Piercing, Slashing, or Bludgeoning damage is first applied against a target's remaining Stamina Points before causing Injuries. General Combat Damage that causes Stamina Drain does not affect a character's gear in any way, though it may once Direct Damage comes into play.

    Some weapons, such as swords or daggers, can deal multiple types of combat damage. Piercing and slashing is a common combination. Players and gamemasters are free to decide whether a specific attack must announce which damage type is being attempted, or whether to simply apply the type most advantageous to the attacker.
    Elemental Damage
    Many magical effects, either from spells or from enhancements placed upon weapons, deal damage associated with some form of Elemental energy. There are specific subtypes of elemental damage: Acid, Fire, Cold, Concussive, Electrical, Light (or life), and Draining (or darkness/death). Unless otherwise specified by the effect causing the damage, elemental damage is immediately applied as Direct Damage rather than reducing Stamina Points, and could affect the target's equipment as well.

    Some creatures, especially magical or extra-planar creatures, may be resistant or immune to specific elemental damage types, and/or weak against others. Creature descriptions will indicate these situations. Items in inventory slots converted to injuries may be susceptible to destruction from specific elements. (A scroll, for example, will be destroyed by acid or fire, but will not be harmed by any of the other elemental forms. A potion may be frozen, and thus ruined, by cold damage.
    Psychic Damage
    Some magical effects target the minds of those it is directed at. Psychic damage is only ever applied to Stamina Points; if an attack brings a target to zero Stamina Points, any excess points are simply ignored. A character or monster whose Stamina Points are reduced to zero, however, is immediately rendered Unconscious.

    In order to be affected by psychic damage, a target must have a mind of some sort. Some creatures such as oozes, jellies, and the "mindless" undead such as common skeletons and zombies, are completely immune to such attacks.
    Poison Damage
    Poison damage can take many forms, depending on the nature of the poison used. Each specific poison will dictate whether or not it affects Stamina Points or inflicts Injuries. Poisons will also usually have additional special effects.

    Damage Level Multipliers

    As characters gain levels, the amount of damage their attacks deliver increases. The type of damage dice used (e.g. d4 vs d8, etc.) is determined by the weapon or magical effect causing the damage, the number of dice rolled is determined, in most cases, by the Damage Level Multiplier of the creature inflicting the damage according to Table ?? below.

    Magical Weapons

    Usually, a magically enhanced weapon simply increases the amount of damage the weapon does, without affecting the nature of that damaage. For example, the additional damage from a Battleaxe+1 is simply more Slashing damage. Some magical enhancements may, however, introduce an additional damage type entirely. A creature struck by a Sword+1, Firebrand, however will have the slashing or piercing damage of the sword strike applied against Stamina Points, but the additional Elemental Fire damage will be immediately applied as Direct Damage.

    Resistance, Immunity, and Weakness

    Some creatures, and even some player characters, may not suffer the effects of some forms of damage the way others would. Resistances, Immunities, and Weaknesses will specific these differences. All three apply to specific types of damage, which will be indicated whenever the situation warrants.
    A creature that is resistant to a particular damage type still feels its effects, just less so than usual. Any damage done to a creature that is Resistant to that form of damage is halved before it is applied.
    A creature that is immune to a particular damage type does not feel its effects at all; attacks simply "bounce off". Any damage done to a creature that is Immune to that form of damage is simply ignored.
    A creature with a weakness toward a particular damage type feels the effects of that type moreso than most. Any damage done to a creature that is Weak to that form of damage is doubled before it is applied. (This doubling even applies to Direct Damage.)

    Special Situations

    There are many instances where it is unclear whether a damage effect should be applied to Stamina Points or as Direct Damage. The rule of thumb to follow is that if the damage-causing effect is unavoidable, Direct Damage should probably be applied. Following are some specific situations that demonstrate this.
    Falling Damage
    Falling from a great height will produce Bludgeoning Damage, but a character that steps off a 60' cliff has no way of avoiding, dodging, or parrying the onrushing ground. Falling damage is always immediately applied as Direct Damage. The distance fallen will determine the amount of damage. Some Gamemasters may choose to use a simple formula for Falling Damage, such as 1d6 per 10' (3m) fallen. Alternatively, the following table may be used, which reduces the chance of a high level character walking away from a fall that clearly should be fatal.

    Note that since a character can never have more than 20 Injury/Inventory slots, a fall of 50ft (15m) or more is probably fatal for any character.

    It may be possible to mitigate falling damage depending on the situation. A character may grab at protruding rocks or vegetation along the cliff face, thus reducing their rate of descent. Specifics are left for Gamemasters and Players to agree upon.
    Area of Effect Elemental Damage
    Attacks such as Fireballs and Dragon Breath cause some form of Elemental Damage in a targeted area. As such, characters and creatures may have an opportunity to dodge or shield themselves from the effect. These attack forms all include Saving Throws - usually Dexterity-based to either avoid the effect completely, or to reduce the damage, usually by half. Remember that Exhausted charactersrs or creatures (i.e. those reduced to zero Stamina Points) cannot use their Dexterity Bonus for these Saving Throws.
    Drowning and Suffocation
    When exposed to conditions that preclude a character or creature from breathing normally, they are capable of holding their breath for a period of minutes equal to 1 plus their Constitution Bonus. This applies not only to situations such as a Human underwater, but also to fish or other water-breathers taken out of their element as well. Some non-human species may have other breath-holding durations explicitly specified in their description; these would override this general rule.

    Any character or creature that continues to be exposed to a non-breathable environment beyond their limit is immediately rendered Unconscious, and suffers one Direct Damage point per minute that they remain in that environment. Gamemasters can decide whether or not specific resuscitation efforts are required or not to rescue an unconscious character or creature.

    If the environment itself specifies additional effect (e.g. poison gas), these are also applied.


    The Laurels and Loot Rule System is published by Bob O'Brien
    It is available to all in accordance with the Creative Commons (Attribution) license
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    Laurels and Loot Rules are derived in part from the following sources:
    Knave 2.0 TTRPG System Rules published by Ben Milton
    in compliance with
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

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    b0red from Pixabay (treasure chest image)
    Gordon Johnson from Pixabay (laurels image)

    The side panels are composed with art attributed to:
    Evelyn Chai from Pixabay (dungeon passage)


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