Physical Condition

I was reading through the adventure included in the core rulebook. At one point in the scenario there’s an ornithopter crash that, depending on a test, can either result in the characters becoming “bruised” (with a success) or “battered” (with a fail). This got me wondering how these sorts of physical condition traits are handled in the game.

First, presumably “battered” seems to be the more serious of the two conditions. It also got me thinking about damage that occurs as a result of a failed combat encounter, i.e., character reaches zero or takes significant damage during an extended combat test. In this case it’s not hard to imagine the character could end up with a “wounded” condition trait of some sort.

As I’ve thought about this a bit there are three levers available within the game to create an impact for physical (and mental) conditions - adding to the difficulty of future skill tests and contests, increasing the complications range on future tests, and reducing the character’s max value in future extended tests (e.g., a character who normally has a combat value of six for an extended test, may be held back to a lesser value with a serious physical condition).

There’s a ton of latitude here and not sure about how to use those three levers to create fun/challenging impact for physical conditions. For example, with the bruised trait perhaps future physical tests see the complication range bumped from 20 to 19-20. With battered you’d get a that bump plus maybe a difficulty increase of +1 on physical challenges. Maybe after be knocked out of a combat extended challenge a character ends up with those plus they’re not able to use their full combat value on an extended challenge until the wound heals. Also, here’s where the value of a doctor comes into play. These physical conditions can be made less significant with a passed first aid or medical test.

What are others doing or am I wrapped around the axle on this one?

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This is one of the very narrative aspects of the game.
Essentially its up to the GM how to apply complications, depending on what they think of the name.
While both bruised and battered would have the same effect, the difference is in when they apply as you suggest. The GM might not apply the bruised complication very often, but insist the battered one was applied quite a lot to several rolls.

How each GM hands out complications or groups them is very much up to them. Mental, social and physical is a good shout. We divided the examples up by skill as you’ll be making some sort of skill test when you get them most often. But there is no hard and fast rule.

I’d also recommend GMs write down all the complications they give out and possibly what for to develop their own ‘complication library’ for when they need a new one fast.

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