Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
warheart

Damage dealt by social encounters

Recommended Posts

I'm sure many of you have already read the newest announcement regarding the use of the dice pool system. In there, the card Howl of Chaos has an effect where a successful hit deals 2 wounds to a given target.

While I understand that Howl of Chaos is a spell, I was wondering how you guys interpret damage story wise dealt by social skills. By damage, I mean negative effects like stress, fatigue and wounds which are dealt to an opponent such that the opponent is knocked out. While a war cry for example may deal enough stress to knockout the beastman, how do you gm's describe this in game? Does the beastman just faint outright out of fright? What I am interested in are interesting ways to describe these kinds of effects on the opponent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DC Heroes/Blood of Heroes had something that worked along those lines. Your spirit could be reduced/affected by charisma and interaction related events.

Im not sure of all the stats in WFRP 3E, but you could have it that if someone gets a number of successes against you that is higher then your willpower, you effectively have one level of stress of something like that.

That might be a cool new rule for 2E, RT and DH as well. Gain a level of fatigue for something similar.

Hmmmm.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's difficult to make this game situation look 'real' if a literal reading of the rules is followed.

Imo the GM should take licence with the system. Essentially when a character exceeds x2 Tou/Will in Stress/Fatigue they should be incapacitated or otherwise made ineffective. Overstress might make them frozen in shock and indecision - or it might make them run or cower. In a social situation it should (imo) well lead them to 'lose control'. i.e. they are incapacitated socially - physical attacking, broke down crying, fleeing in embarrassment.

Over fatigue might make them dizzy and nauseous. It might give them muscle spasms.

Imo as long as the character is no longer a threat in the context of the situation - the primary purpose of the mechanic is served.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Howl of Chaos spell obviously is an ear-splitting, brain-rattling sound and I don't have any problem translating that to physical damage.

If you've ever been in shock, or seen someone who's been in shock, it's easy to understand how excessive stress can take a person out of action. You feel physically weak, sweaty, sick to your stomach, and on the verge of passing out. If you're already in that state and even more stress or fatigue is incurred, your body will shut down to protect itself.

It doesn't take a major injury to go into shock; it can happen from a very small wound or just a close call, or even just seeing someone else have a close call. I suppose you consider your own mortality in those moments, and because we're usually wired to be empathetic to others, it's easy to see yourself in their situation. If you're not very strong-willed (or are already under a lot of stress) it can push you beyond your limits and you may faint.

Combat is extremely stressful. You're already pumped with adrenalin, and could be within inches of your life for as long as you're in that situation. It could be a series of system-shocking, terrifying moments that you're lucky to survive. While that adrenalin can keep you alive by heightening your alertness and physical ability for a while, it takes a toll on your system. Once that adrenalin rush starts to wear off, you can be really drained, but the fight might still be going on.

If you're already on the ground, exhausted from the fight, barely able to catch your breath and fearful for your life, and your opponent is stalking toward you with enough strength to let out a yell... it's easier to give in to the exhaustion than stay awake for what's going to happen next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sticks and stones may break my bones but... waitamminit.

Harsh words hurt folks. Believe me, I know. Nothing like being laughed at by the popular kids in school after asking if I could come to the next party. sad.gif

...But they'll pay. THEY'LL ALL PAY. Next social encounter, I'll roll higher initiative and boy howdy will they rue the day they crossed ME!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Fatigue is an indication of being tired and I'm surprised you can't think of a single situation that would cause you to be fatigued. You can look up wikipedia for a more comprehensive answer regarding what situations can cause fatigue.

I can think of many social situations that would cause me fatigue. Discussing a never-ending beat-the-dead-horse topic makes me yawn with exhaustion. Having to engage with some rabid zealot is physically draining (as its not really a mental challenge, but a matter of fortitude).

If one's involved in a heated discussion one doesn't come out of it feeling refreshed, as if you'd just had a night's rest. Imagine having to argue your innocence in front of a two trigger-happy witch hunters. I would definitely come out of it feeling fatigued and in need of some rest. That's what's being reflected by fatigue in game.

As for wounds, you'll have to provide examples of where purely social cards are dealing wounds. All mentions of wounds I've seen have been in spells or combat oriented cards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wounds are also an abstraction in the system, representing damage to your character's well-being. I can see many effects as being represented with wounds. Another thing to bear in mind is that wounds are a more permanent effect and require REST to get rid of. Fatigue and Stress are immediately recovered (in great measure) after the end of the encounter.

So with that in mind, don't take wounds literally to mean "a cut", "bruise" or even "a broken femur". But just damage in general to the organism. If you don't use wounds then you couldn't have a frail person die from a heart attack due to a very stressful situation. Bear in mind you can recover your toughness rating in wounds after some well deserved rest (if I'm not misremembering the rules).

So think of a keg party and characters are involved in some heavy drinking. In that case, assigning wounds would seem like an accurate representation of that social encounter. Much more so just using fatigue or stress, since after all people can and will die from alcohol poisoning. I'd be hard-pressed to label a party as a "combat" situation, so that's a social encounter example.

Some others off the top of my head:

A heated argument with lots of screaming. I'd represent a character losing his voice from so much screaming with a wound. Likewise a character hyperventilating or becoming incredibly distressed. Fatigue and stress work as general indicators of the pressures on the system, but to me they're more ephemeral, whereas a wound can stick with you for a while. Someone that screamed to much can go on for several days with their voice breaking or inaudible.

Another example might be engaging in an extreme eating contest. Anything from stomach problems to being constipated can be modeled with a wound. You might even get an obstruction in your bowels. Seems like a perfect fit for wounds. It all depends on the food and rate of consumption.

Social situations like staying up all night arguing, keeping watch or doing some form of sport are also applicable. A character running a marathon at full speed is going to be hurt the next day. His muscles will be sore and full of micro-tears and his body is going to be physically strained. Slap on a wound or two.

I also wouldn't hesitate in attributing wounds to characters that weren't getting sufficient rest or nourishment in an extended social encounter.

And never mind other obvious examples like torture and sporting events.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone - great discussion so far. You're right that wounds should be treated as an abstraction of the various negative effects that one goes through in the game, instead of actual open flesh damage. And yes, I am aware that Howl of Chaos has a magical component to it, hence the wounds it causes are well justified- I was using it as a lead up to my question, so apologies if I confused anyone. I was actually referring to the rules where stress or fatigue assigned to henchmen/enemies are converted into wounds, but the discussion so far is certainly still relevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...