Dawnmourne, City of Rogues
Some injuries a character suffers are exceptionally dangerous, potentially leaving her lame, disfigured, addled, or crippled. These severe injuries can permanently reduce the character’s capabilities and abilities, and are beyond the power of all but the most skilled physicians or healers to repair.
Risking and receiving severe injury
Characters risk severe injury whenever they are the recipient of a particularly powerful attack that overwhelms their ability to withstand pain and trauma. If an attack is a critical hit and the damage dealt by that critical hit is equal or greater than the target’s massive damage threshold, the target has suffered a potential severe injury. Before determining whether the attack caused a severe injury, the target must make her massive damage save as usual. She then makes a Fortitude save against the same DC (usually 15). If she is currently at negative hit points (due to failing her massive damage save or simply to accrued hit point loss), the DC of this second save increases by +5. If the character succeeds in this second save, she avoids suffering any additional effects from the attack. If the save fails, she suffers a severe injury.
Effects of Severe Injury
Severe injuries deal 2 points of ability drain to one of the character’s ability scores, determined by rolling on Table: Severe Injuries. The ability score affected can also suggest the nature of the injury. If the character is still engaged in combat, this reduction of an ability score can have immediate effects (such as to the bonus on melee attack and damage rolls caused by a loss of Strength). If the character’s Constitution falls, she loses an appropriate number of hit points, which may be enough to kill her outright in the wake of the initial damage of the severe injury.
Table: Severe Injuries
1d6 (Ability) Possible Reasons
- (Strength) Severed muscles in arm or leg; fractured vertebrae
- (Dexterity) Shattered kneecap; neural damage and loss of muscle control
- (Constitution) Punctured lung; crushed ribcage presses onto heart
- (Intelligence) Fractured skull; brain damage affects memory
- (Wisdom) Damage to eyes or ears; brain damage affects concentration
- (Charisma) Hideous scarring; brain damage causes personality changes
Treating Severe Injuries
One of the reasons severe injuries are so debilitating is because they cannot be treated by mundane medicines. Only magical effects that counteract
ability drain, can restore a character’s ability scores and heal the severe injury. While such magic is not out of the reach of mortals, it is difficult enough that few have such capability. Those who do are typically rare and scattered across the continent. A deal with a Devil Is often quicker if not dangerous solution..