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A Semi-Cumulative Wounding System

In GURPS, wounds accumulate in a linear fashion, purposes but that does break the skin, such as the
with undesirable effects occurring once you pass set bites of many animals, or flanged maces, or war-
thresholds. In real life, wounds do not accumulate like hammers, is recorded.)
this. People can take many small wounds without any
real danger - twenty chicken pecks, bruises or cigarette If the damage is 1/4xHP or more but less than
burns do not accumulate and cause unconsciousness 1/2xHP, you take a Moderate Wound.
or death. With gunshot and knife damage, the place- • You will have a -3 shock penalty to DX and IQ on
ment of the individual wounds is all important. People your next turn.
can survive many ill placed stabs or shots, but a single • Blows to the head and vitals require HT rolls to
penetrating blow to a major blood vessel or vital organ avoid knockdown and stunning, as above, but the
is deadly. roll is at -2. Failure by 5 or more on the stunning roll
However, damage clearly can accumulate to some causes unconsciousness.
degree. When you chop down a tree, you don't go for a • If you fail your impairment roll (see below), you suf-
single well placed or exceptionally powerful blow. In- fer from moderate pain, and are at -2 to DX, IQ,
stead, you whack away until enough of the tree is miss- skills, and self-control rolls. You must succeed a will
ing that it falls over. Likewise, if you shoot a person roll to use any limb or extremity with a moderate or
enough, eventually he will be blasted into hamburger greater wound. If the wound is to a leg, your move is
even if, miraculously, every single shot misses the halved.
heart, brain, spinal column, and major vessels. This
latter effect can be important when dealing with con- If the damage 1/2xHP or more but less than 1xHP,
structs and undead that lack blood and vital organs, or you take a Major Wound.
when you are being eaten alive by rats. • On your next turn, you have a -4 shock penalty to
Here, then, is a system for tracking wounds that falls DX and IQ.
somewhere between the linear "ablative hit point" mod- • An extremity is crippled by one major wound; an
el of GURPS and an independent wound system pro- arm, by two; and a leg, by three.
posed by some other authors. • Make a HT roll to avoid knockdown. Make a second
When you take damage, compare the points of HT roll to avoid stunning. These rolls are at -5 if the
damage sustained to your HP score. Do not subtract injury occured to the head or vitals. Failure by 5 or
from your current HP! Under this system you always more on the stunning roll causes unconsciousness.
have "maximum HP." • If you fail your impairment roll (see below), you are
in severe pain, and take -4 to all IQ, DX, skill, and
If the damage is 1/16xHP or more but less than self-control rolls. In addition, if you are impaired your
1/8xHP, you sustain a Scratch (you can simply ignore move and dodge are also halved.
all damage less than 1/16xHP).
• You take a -1 shock penalty to DX and IQ on your If the damage is 1xHP or more but less than 2xHP,
next turn. you take a Critical Wound.
• Do not record scratch wounds from crushing dam- • You take all the effects of a Major Wound. If you
age. The wound is too trivial to worry about. Even if failed your impairment roll (see below) you are in
you do not record the wound, the shock penalty still terrible pain (-6 to DX, IQ, skills, and self-control)
applies. (Damage that is technically crushing for and you must succeed a HT check before you take
game purposes but that does break the skin, such any physical action or Do Nothing that turn. High
as the bites of many animals, is recorded.) Pain Threshold gives a +2 to this HT check, Hard to
Subdue is added to it.
If the damage is 1/8xHP or more but less than • If wound was from a single the blow to the vitals,
1/4xHP, you take a Minor Wound. you must pass a HT check or you will either lose 2
• You take a -2 shock penalty to DX and IQ on your FP per second from bleeding or you are permanent-
next turn. ly paralyzed (GM's option, or roll randomly). If the
• If struck in the head or vitals, make a HT roll to wound was from a single wound to the brain, you
avoid stunning and a HT roll to avoid knockdown. If must pass a HT check or immediately die. A critical
you fail the sunning roll by 5 or more, you are wound resulting from a single blow to the neck re-
knocked unconscious. quires a HT check, failure means you are either
• Do not record minor wounds from crushing damage permanently paralyzed or lose 1 FP per second
delivered by blunt attacks. You may get bruised, but (GM's option). The Hard To Kill advantage adds to
take no real injury. You are still affected by shock, HT for this roll.
stunning, and knockdown caused by the blow, how-
ever. (Damage that is technically crushing for game
• An extremity is dismembered by one critical wound; wound. Once out of combat for a minute, the effects of
an arm, by two; and a leg, by three. A dismembered adrenaline and endorphins wear off, and you automati-
extremity or limb can take no further damage. cally suffer from impairment. Notes - High Pain Thresh-
• Three critical wounds to the neck caused by cutting old halves the penalty from pain and gives you a +2 to
damage causes decapitation. This is usually instant- resist impairment. Hard To Subdue adds to your HT to
ly lethal. resist impairment. If you have Injury Tolerance (unliv-
ing, homogenous, or diffuse) you never suffer from im-
If the damage is 2xHP or more but less than 4xHP, pairment.
you take a Massive Wound. Once you take a wound, you can ignore shock pen-
• This causes all the effects of a Critical Wound. alties from equal or lesser wounds.
• You must make a HT check. If you fail, you break. If An option to reduce the granularity of this system is
you are broken, you are immediately incapacitated if you take damage that is one quarter of the way or
and automatically lose 2 FP per second from bleed- more from one wound threshold to the next, take two
ing. Inanimate objects are useless for their intended wounds of that severity instead of one. If the damage is
purpose. halfway or more from one wound threshold to the next,
• This much damage to the head destroys the head, take three wounds. If it is three-quarters of the way
severs the neck, or causes instantly fatal brain from one threshold to the next, take four wounds. Only
damage, as appropriate. This much damage to the roll once for the bad effects of these multiple wounds -
vitals destroys a vital organ, causing 2 FP per sec- the only effect of taking multiple rather than one wound
ond or permanent paralysis (GM's option, or roll is for wound accumulation purposes, crippling, dis-
randomly). memberment, and bleeding (see below). When round-
ing to whole numbers of HP, the threshold for one
If the damage is over 4xHP but not over 8xHP, you wound always takes precedence, then for three
take a Gawdawful Wound. Major structural elements of wounds.
your body are destroyed. Keep track of each wound individually. However, if
• This causes all the effects of a Massive Wound, but you take six wounds of the same severity to the same
HT checks to avoid breaking are at -4. location (head (including brain, eye, face, and neck),
• Even if you do not die, you are at half Move and torso (including vitals), right arm, right hand, left arm,
Dodge. You are at -1 to DX for every Gawdawful left hand, right leg, right foot, left leg, left foot), they
wound you have. Inanimate objects are so badly combine to form one wound of the next higher severity.
damaged that there is a -1 to skill to use the object Erase those six wounds that were combined. Immedi-
for every Gawdawful wound it has. ately apply all effects of the higher severity wound you
just took instead of the effects of the lower severity
If the damage is 8xHP or more, your body is de- wound. To conveniently keep track of these wounds,
stroyed, either crushed to a pulp, chopped to bits, you can write out a chart on your character sheet or a
blasted to shreds, ripped to pieces, burned to ashes, or separate sheet you keep with your character sheet:
whatever. Death is automatic, there is simply not
enough of you to keep functioning. Wound HP Hit Location
Severity 1 2 3 4 Head Torso
Impairment: When you are first injured for a Moderate
Scratch __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
or greater wound, make a HT roll. If you are not in an
emergency situation you have a -3 on this roll. If you Minor __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
succeed, you are so juiced up on adrenaline and en- Moderate __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
dorphins that you feel no pain. If you fail, you suffer Major __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
from the effects of pain. The degree of pain depends on Critical __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
the injury you took. The penalty from the pain does not Massive __ __ __ __ [ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
stack with the shock penalty; use only the larger of the Gawdawful __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
two. Only make additional impairment rolls when you
Destruction __ __ __ __ [ ]
suffer a wound of greater effect that what you have al-
ready taken or every time you take a critical or greater

Wound HP Hit Location


Severity 1 2 3 4 R. Arm R. Hand L. Arm L. Hand R. Leg R. Foot L. Leg L. Foot
Scratch __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Minor __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Moderate __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Major __ __ __ __ [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Critical __ __ __ __ [ ][ ] [ ] [ ][ ] [ ] [ ][ ][ ] [ ] [ ][ ][ ] [ ]
Under the HP column, write the HP threshold at Bleeding
which you take one, two, three, or four wounds of that Wounds bleed to cause FP. The rate at which you
severity. Simply mark off the appropriate entry as take FP depends on how badly you are wounded. You
wounds occur. Once you fill up one row for a particular bleed separately from each wound.
body part, if you take another wound of that severity Severity 1 FP lost every
erase all the wounds on that row and mark off one
Scratch 1 day (cutting damage only)
wound on the row below it. Note that this can lead to a
cascade effect if all five wounds of that severity are al- Minor 6 hours (not crushing)
ready filled. Moderate 1 hour
Major 10 minutes
Large-Area Injury Critical 2 minutes
When you take large area injury as defined on p Massive 30 seconds
B400, roll damage once but apply it to every hit loca- Gawdawful 5 seconds
tion. DR protects each location normally. Reduce
wound severity by one for the head, arms, and legs, For the purposes of bleeding, all bites are treated as
and by two for the hands and feet. cutting even if they technically cause crushing damage
in game terms.
Fatigue You can avoid fatigue from bleeding by making a
Rather than treating fatigue beyond -1 × FP as a HT roll plus any levels of Hard to Kill. If you succeed,
wound, use the following rules: you do not take any FP this time interval for that partic-
• FP lost never cause HP of injury. ular wound. If you critically succeed, or succeed nor-
• At 0 or lower FP, you must make a HT roll to do an- mally twice in a row, your rate of bleeding for that
ything other than talk or rest. If you succeed, you wound decreases by one level of severity. Exception:
can act normally. If you fail, you must Do Nothing For Minor wounds and Scratches, roll every hour. Any
that turn. Hard to Subdue adds to this roll. one success means you do not take FP this time inter-
• Your accumulated FP can fall below -1 × FP. Make val. Any two successes means the bleeding stops. For
a HT roll when you reach -1 × FP and every addi- simplicity, you can ignore bleeding from Minor wounds
tional ½ FP thereafter. On a failure, you fall uncon- and Scratches unless you have the disadvantage He-
scious. On a failure by 5 or more, you die. You are mophilia. A hemophiliac always fails HT rolls to avoid
at -5 on this roll for every additional -1 × FP taken bleeding.
(i.e., -5 at -2 × FP, -10 at -3 × FP, etc.). Hard to Bandaging a wound will make it bleed at one level
Subdue helps this roll for the purpose of falling un- lower severity if the bandager makes his First Aid roll.
conscious, Hard to Kill helps for the purpose of dy- This takes one minute. By spending extra time as listed
ing. on the First Aid Table p B424, the healer can make a
• If you are below 0 FP, "normal" fatigue recovers at 1 second First Aid roll to stabilize his patient and prevent
FP per hour. It can take over a day to recover from any further bleeding. These First Aid rolls are at -2 for a
complete exhaustion! Critical wound, -4 for a Massive wound, and -6 for a
Gawdawful wound. Only one bandaging and one stabi-
Any attack that causes "fatigue" type damage and lization attempt are allowed for any given patient.
that is not resistable does not cause fatigue directly. Surgery can be used to completely stop bleeding.
Roll damage normally and find the wound severity. Do This takes one hour, with the penalty to Surgery skill for
not mark off this wound; its only effect is to tell you how wound severity the same as for the First Aid rolls. On a
much fatigue is lost: success, the patient no longer bleeds.
Severity FP Lost Fatigue from bleeding does not recover normally.
Scratch 0 Make a HT check each day. On a success, you recover
Minor 1 1 FP. On a critical success, you recover 2 FP. The
Rapid Healing advantage will affect this normally. If you
Moderate 2
get blood transfusions of the correct blood type, all your
Major 5
bleeding fatigue is recovered as soon as enough blood
Critical 10 is put back in your veins.
Massive 20
Gawdawful 40 Poisons and Disease
Destruction 80 Only poisons or disease that causes actual physical
damage will cause HP of damage and thus wounds.
Rattlesnake venom, spider venom, caustics such as lye
or acid, and flesh eating bacteria fall into this category.
All other diseases and toxins cause FP instead of HP.
Symptoms occur either when you reach a certain frac- Those with Injury Tolerance (homogenous) have all
tion of your FP or when you take a wound of a given the benefits of unliving injury tolerance. In addition,
severity. piercing, impaling, and tight beam burning attacks
cause only one point of damage per die. Inanimate
Recovery homogenous objects take a flat three points of damage
Every week in which you are wounded, make a HT per die from all other damage types.
roll for each wound. On a success, that wound de- Those with Injury Tolerance (diffuse) have all the
creases in severity by one level. All wounds heal at the benefits of homogenous injury tolerance, and never
same time. If you do not have sufficient rest, food, and take worse than a Minor wound from any single blow,
water, you are at -4 on the HT roll. unless the injury was from an area effect, cone, or ex-
If you are under the care of a competent healer, you plosion attack.
get a +1 on your HT roll for recovery. In addition, the Fragile (unnatural) characters die when they take
healer can roll periodically to help you recover. The their first Critical wound to the head or torso.
frequency at which the healer rolls depends on TL: Treat Regeneration as follows:
TL Frequency of Healing Rolls • Those with Slow Regeneration have each wound
decrease in severity by one level every three days,
0-3 Monthly
in addition to normal healing. Fatigue from bleeding
4 Every 3 weeks is recovered at one point every 12 hours.
5 Every 2 weeks • Those with Regular Regeneration have each wound
6-8 Weekly decrease in severity by one level every six hours.
9 Every 3 days Fatigue from bleeding is recovered at one point eve-
10 Every 2 days ry hour.
• Those with Fast Regeneration have each wound
11 Daily
decrease in severity by one level every six minutes.
12 Twice daily Fatigue from bleeding is recovered like any other fa-
tigue.
Other Notes • Those with Very Fast Regeneration have each
Those with Injury Tolerance (unliving) never suffer wound decrease in severity by one level every six
from shock penalties, impairment, knockdown, or stun- seconds. Fatigue from bleeding is recovered like
ning. However, unliving characters take full damage any other fatigue.
from piercing and impaling attacks. This form of Injury • Those with Extreme Regeneration have each
Tolerance (unliving) includes High Pain Threshold, do wound decrease in severity by two levels every
not purchase it separately. second. Fatigue from bleeding is recovered like any
other fatigue.