This is my first post to this Forum, and I’ve but together a long one, so please bear with me…
I’m trying to get a systematic understanding of Injuries and related topics from the Star Trek Adventures Core Rulebook while considering the consequences on story narratives. I look forward to any comment on my thoughts, especially if you think I’m off. I consider the following 3 types of injuries:
Minor Injury (Complication): This is one possible result of Avoiding an Injury by accepting a Complication (p 176)
- Effects: From the included “Rescue at Xerxes IV” Mission, p349 indicates a Minor Injury causes +1 Difficulty on all Tasks. I couldn’t find anything else in the CRB about how this Complication is applied.
- Remedies: Removing a Minor Injury Complication requires a successful Healing task (Control + Medicine with a base Difficulty of 2) (p177). (Note that a First Aid Task does nothing for a Minor Injury and, as a Complication, a Minor Injury cannot be Ignored).
- Narrative considerations: So, a Minor Injury implies that the Character Avoided an Injury (perhaps even a Lethal Injury) and thus prevented incapacitation. That, in itself, changes the Narrative (e.g., a “successful” energy weapon attack becomes unsuccessful as the Character sees the weapon raise and moves just in time to avoid a direct hit, but the partial energy of the blast causes a nasty burn to the right shoulder). Because it is a Complication, it should be consistent with an Injury that lasts until treated. In this way, the player can keep the Character in play during Combat, but in return receives a Complication that must be removed with a specific Task. Minor Injuries, therefore, have longer-lasting effects than Non-Lethal Injuries but avoid incapacitating the Character. That should inform the development of the Narrative when a Minor Injury is taken.
Non-Lethal Injury: If the first Injury a Character receives is from a Non-Lethal attack, it is a Non-Lethal Injury
- Effects: The Character is incapacitated and cannot perform any Tasks or Minor Actions (p176). A Threat Spend of 1 is required to target an Incapacitated Character.
- Ignoring the Injury: by spending a point of Determination (no Value needed), a Character can ignore an Injury (p177). This removes the incapacitation but also removes the related protection (the need to spend Threat to target an incapacitated Character). Although Ignoring an Injury also increases the difficulty of the Healing Task by +1, Non-Lethal Injuries do not require Healing (see below).
- Remedies: Non-Lethal Injuries themselves go away at the beginning of the next Scene (but Complications caused by them can linger). Note that First Aid does not directly change the state of a Non-Lethal Injury; however, the rules say that after a successful First Aid Task, 2 Momentum can be spent to get the Character back into play just as if they Ignored the Injury (p174). I assume this applies equally to Non-Lethal and Lethal Injuries.
- Narrative considerations: There are some odd things to consider here. A Non-Lethal Injury causes no long-lasting effects as the Injury goes away at the start of the next Scene. Further, First Aid can be attempted, but (unlike stabilizing a Lethal Injury — see below) the First Aid does nothing for a Non-Lethal Injury unless an additional 2 Momentum are spent to Ignore it (which is the same cost for a Lethal Injury). It seems that Non-Lethal Injuries are largely limited narratively to being knocked (or stunned) unconscious! HOWEVER, the GM could increase the seriousness of the situation by adding a Complication. ONLY THEN could a more long-lasting Non-Lethal Injury be inflicted (like a broken bone, for example), requiring an actual Healing Task to remove (outside of Combat).
- SUGGESTED ALTERNATE RULE: The First Aid rules seem to have been developed with only Lethal Injuries in mind since the primary use is to stabilize that kind of injury (see below). I suggest that a successful First Aid Task on a NON-Lethal Injury should allow the Character to Ignore the Injury WITHOUT spending 2 Momentum (as would be required for a Lethal Injury).
Lethal Injury: If the first Injury a Character received is from a Lethal attack OR the Injury is any Injury after the first Non-Lethal Injury a Character has received, that Injury becomes a Lethal Injury (p176)
- Effects: The Character is incapacitated and cannot perform any Tasks or Minor Actions (p176). A Threat Spend of 1 is required to target an Incapacitated Character. Further, the Character will die immediately if they receive another Injury of any kind, and they will die at the end of the Scene unless they receive a successful First Aid Task.
- Ignoring the Injury: by spending a point of Determination (no Value needed), a Character can ignore an Injury (p177). This removes the incapacitation but also removes the related protection (the need to spend Threat to target an incapacitated Character). Ignoring a Lethal Injury also increases the difficulty of the Healing Task by +1.
- Remedies: A Lethal Injury must be treated with a successful First Aid Task (Daring + Medicine, Difficulty 1) before the end of the current Scene or the Character will die (pp 174 & 177). First Aid only stabilizes the Lethal Injury and does not remove it. A successful Healing Task (Control + Medicine with a base Difficulty of 2) is required to remove the Injury (p177).
- Narrative considerations: Narratively, a Lethal Injury can be any Injury that threatens life but could be Ignored for a short time if the Character is determined to do so. It may be a bit more challenging to turn the second Non-Lethal attack into a Lethal Injury, but a little imagination can do the trick. One interesting question of Narrative is this: What happens if a Healing Task on a Lethal Injury fails? Though not explicitly stated in the CRB, the obvious answer may be that the injured Character simply dies. However, the GM may want to allow other possibilities depending on the circumstances. For example, perhaps the GM rules that the Injured Character remains unconscious for another full Scene, adding a Complication and giving the Characters a chance to try the Healing Task again in the next scene (perhaps where medical facilities will be more readily available).
That’s it. Any thoughts or corrections would be appreciated.