Add disadvantage to reflect injury

Greetings all.

A thought occurred to me today at work regarding providing a more “realistic” reflection of injury during combat. Please forgive me if this has been addressed before.

As we know, fatigue and injury can negatively impact the combat performance of soldiers in real life. If you are hurt, you can’t swing a sword or throw a plasma grenade as effectively as when you are well and rested.

My proposal for a house rule is thus, when a player (or NPC if desired) reaches a certain threshold, say 50% HP, they are subjected to disadvantage 1. If they continue to fight injured, the disadvantage can increase to 2 (say at 25% HP).

I figured it was a quick and simple way to show the strain of battle during combat.

Any thoughts?


That sounds fine, but it’s something you’d need to be careful about when planning combat encounters because if combat goes badly, then this mechanic makes the combat go from bad to worse, but otherwise, this seems fine.

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This is definitely going to result in a downward spiral as soon as a character reaches 50% of their max HP which is something to look out for. They can be very frustrating and lead to more TPKs. If that is the feeling you want to go for in your campaign, and you want to discourage players from getting into battles, then go for it. Just be aware that it may feel unfair for the players.

I agree that it could easily result in a downward spiral. Once you are behind you just get further behind.

There are already ways to reflect this idea in the system too. Fatigue is literally a bane that exists and can be given out by the GM if it makes sense. Plus Lethal Damage to lower the Max HP.

Here’s the thing a lot of people forget about HP. it is not Health Points, it is Hit Points. It is the ability to remain in the fight, and the lower of Hit Points does not mean an actually “hit” has happened to a character, but rather their ability to remain in the fight has deminished slightly.

When they are “hit” by a damaging attack, it is actually that they just managed to avoid that deadly blow and had to expend their stamina so itdidn’t cut deeply.

Lethal Damage, on the othe hand, IS when they take that big hit and it cuts a bit deeper.

It’s not that the sniper had a direct hit on the person (b/c they’d probably actually be dead or very out of commission), but that the shot was so close to them that their willpower to keep going in the fight has lessened (this is why HP is Fortitude, Will, and Presence, not just Fortitude).

Both Fatigue and Lethal Damage take a lot more to recover from as well, so I’d look at utilizing those more.

And remember, this isn’t a simulist game, and one where people are trying to have fun. Going down a spiral of disadvantage quickly becomes unfun.