Trauma for Only War?

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Publisher of the Crimson Exodus sword & sorcery style roleplaying game, the stand alone wound encyclopedia Trauma, and the Fantasy Dice game system known for fast and simple game mechanics with lots of tactical depth.

Trauma for Only War?

Postby Unahim » 6:24pm on 23 Aug 15

I'm running an Only War (sister system of Dark Heresy, one of the 40k RPG by FFG) campaign, and interested in incorporating Trauma into it. On the whole it doesn't seem too hard, it's just converting damage into a wound severity and there you go.

I'll likely keep hitpoints as a bonus to healing rolls or something, to keep something of the inherent toughness of some classes over others.

There are some things I could use some help with, though:
- Energy weapons (lasers, plasma, and so on). Something with burns, I guess?
- Explosive damage. Was thinking of just making injuries resulting from explosions harder to heal, using piercing damage for bolt weapons (which fire rounds that penetrate and explode inside the body), crush for shockwave explosions, slash for shrapnel, etc...
- There's some mind-attacking "psychic" powers in this system, which cause hitpoint damage through mental attacks. I could continue to use HP for those things, but it sounds a bit boring and dissonant with the rest of the players then. Any ideas for that?
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Re: Trauma for Only War?

Postby Claus » 5:21pm on 01 Sep 15

Hi there!

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

I'm not familiar with the system you use, but perhaps you can get some ideas from my conversion guide for a few other systems:

This is not the first time laser damage has come up and your suggestion of burn trauma is exactly what I've said previously.

Lasers will probably cause serious burns, but being highly focused the burn would only affect a very small area. It might cauterize bleeding, but the artery would still be severed and if a major artery, like the aorta, this would still be fatal. Furthermore, blood leaks into the burnt tissue and so extensive burns can lead to serious blood loss. A simple way to handle this could be to reduce bleeding by one degree of severity as long as the burn is from a focused beam. If the burn is over a large area the blood loss would actually be greater.

Lasers cause trauma by burning through tissue in a focused beam. Likely not extensive enough to be the major issue, although it may complicate treatment as burnt tissue is more likely to be infected and may need to be removed (debrided). The real issue will be how deep the laser penetrates and what tissues and organs it burns through and this can be determined as for pierce trauma. If the beam is continuous it could potentially slice a person in half and would inflict slash trauma instead and also more extensive burns.

Your idea for explosions is exactly how I would do it. If it is useful to you, this is how it is handled in my Fantasy Dice system (slightly edited):

An explosion causes crush trauma from the sheer force of the explosion and burn trauma from the heat and flames. Any character close enough to the explosion to roll for trauma is either hurled back or knocked over depending on its strength. They will be covered in burns and bruising, but the crushing trauma is the most severe and for simplicity the only wound resolved for an explosion apart from possible shrapnel trauma. The wound severity of this crushing trauma is reduced by one for every three meters from the explosion's centre. Armour is ignored.

Anyone hit by the explosion must make a knock out roll as if hit to the head, regardless of the location rolled for the wound.

Most explosions scatter deadly shrapnel in a wide range. Whether splintered wood, metal or whatever else contained the explosives. Anyone less than twelve meters away must roll 1D12. If they roll above their distance from the centre, they are pierced by a piece of shrapnel causing a piercing wound with the full severity of the explosion at the centre. Armour does reduce the wound severity, but because of the force of the explosion the shrapnel has a penetration rating of 2.

A shrapnel bomb built to generate a lot of shrapnel adds another die to the roll. This die also inflicts a wound if greater than the distance from the explosion's centre, and so a shrapnel bomb may inflict two piercing wounds.

I'm not familiar with the sort of psychic damage intended by Only War/Dark Heresy, but I'd likely impose something like fatigue or stress that can turn fatal due to stroke, heart attack or brain hemorrhage. External signs might be subtle with such things as dilated pupils and nosebleed. - Crimson Exodus and Trauma
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