Wolves in Wolf's Clothing
Health is determined by adding your character’s Strength + Size (average human size is 5)
A character’s Health trait reflects their body’s capacity to cope with injury and remain functional. As your character suffers damage, whether accidentally or in combat, each point of damage inflicted lowers their Health by one. When your character’s Health points are reduced to three, they suffer a negative modifier to their dice pools. As their Health points continue to decrease, this negative modifier increases as they are slowly overcome by shock and physical trauma. When all of your character’s Health points are marked off as aggravated damage, they are dead. Obviously, the larger and more robust a character is, the more damage they can withstand before dying.
Health is marked on your character sheet and has both a permanent and a temporary rating. Your character’s permanent rating is filled in on the dots of your character sheet. His temporary points are recorded in the corresponding boxes. Every time your character loses a Health point to damage, mark off the kind of injury inflicted from left to right. When dots and filled boxes are equal, your character is badly hurt or dying.
Your character regains lost Health points at different rates based on the type of damage inflicted. When points are recovered, the Health boxes on your character sheet are emptied from right to left.
Your character sheet offers a chart for keeping record of your character’s changing state of being. The dots are filed in from left to right, one for each Health that your character has. The squares shown are used to gauge his current condition — their Health points. If they have no injuries at all — no squares are checked off — your character is in perfect condition. Each time they suffer damage, mark a square from left to right across the row. Multiple points on a damage roll inflict extensive harm. For example, if your character’s opponent achieves one success on an attack roll and your character is currently in perfect condition, that damage is marked in the left-most box on your sheet. If in a subsequent turn they suffer two more damage, you mark off the second and third boxes.
The more injuries your character suffers, the more impaired their actions are. Penalties are imposed on your dice rolls thereafter. The more damage your character takes, the more difficult it becomes for him to act at full capacity, as follows. Remember that wounds are marked off from left to right on your character’s Health chart, so the wounds on the right of your character’s chart indicate whether they suffer any penalties from injuries.
|Health Boxes Marked||Penalty|
Subtract the dice penalty listed for your character’s current Health from your dice pool for every action they perform (including Initiative rolls, but excluding Stamina rolls to remain conscious until the wounds heal).
So, if your character starts with 7 Health and suffers five points of damage (there’s a wound mark in his third-to-last box), their actions suffer a -1 wound penalty until that fifth Health point is recovered.
Should your character take more damage, he suffers a -2 and then a -3 penalty as the second-to-last and the last of their boxes are checked off.
Wound penalties also affect movement, reducing your character’s Speed trait by the amount listed for the right-most box filled on your character’s Health chart. Wound penalties do not apply to your character’s Defense or other Resistance traits — Stamina, Resolve, or Composure — when those traits are subtracted as penalties from opponents’ dice pools.
The injuries that your character suffers are recorded on your character sheet by filling in the squares of his Health chart. Bashing wounds are marked with a “/”, lethal wounds are marked with an “X” and aggravated wounds are marked with an “*”. As injuries of different severity are suffered, lesser wounds shift right. You don’t have to erase and re-draw every wound on your Health chart, though. You can transform a bashing mark into a lethal one by drawing an criss-crossing line to create an “X”. You can turn a lethal wound into an asterisk by drawing a horizontal and vertical line through the center of the “X”. Just be careful not to “lose” any wounds in the translation. When your character heals and recovers from wounds, you do need to erase those marks.
Three different types of damage can be inflicted: Bashing,lethal, and aggravated. Bashing damage includes any wounds inflicted by blunt instruments, punches, kicks or other similar trauma. Lethal damage comes from knives, bullets, or any type of attack that actually pierces or cuts flesh. Aggravated damage is usually reserved for supernatural sources — forms of harm that exceed the mundane or even reality as people know it. Anyone can incur aggravated harm, however, when bashing and lethal injuries turn so grievous that a victim falls into a coma and/or bleeds to death.
All types of injuries are cumulative and the resulting total determines your character’s current Health points. Specifics on each type of damage are provided below.
When marking your character’s damage in the Health chart on your character sheet, record a “/” for bashing, an “X” for lethal, and an asterisk (“*”) for aggravated damage.The last is best described as drawing a cross (“+”) on top of an “X”, for an eight-pointed star. These marks go in the boxes of your character’s Health chart.
When it comes to your character’s long-term survival, lethal damage is crippling and aggravated damage is ultimately fatal. If your mortal character’s Health chart is filled with X’s, they’re on death’s door. They’re horribly beaten and in a coma, barely holding onto this mortal coil. Any subsequent injuries upgrade boxes with X’s in them to asterisks. Once all boxes are filled with asterisks, your character is dead and gone.
When your character acquires a mixture of bashing, lethal, and/or aggravated damage, mark the most severe damage at the left in their Health chart; it pushes any lesser damage right. For example, if you mark that your character has taken a point of bashing damage in the left-most box, and they then take a point of lethal damage, mark the left-most box with an “X” for the lethal damage and move the bashing damage right one square by putting a “/” in that box. Any further bashing damage goes in the third box and keeps going right. Any further lethal damage pushes the entire thing right again until all the boxes are marked with either an “X” or “/”.
Aggravated damage works the same way. Say your character has already suffered a point of lethal damage (first box) and a point of bashing damage (second box). They then suffer a point of aggravated damage. As the most severe injury that they’ve incurred, the aggravated goes in the left-most box, the lethal moves right to the second box and the bashing moves to the third. Any more aggravated points suffered continue to push those lethal and bashing injuries right.
And that’s the first rule of tracking your character’s Health: A more severe wound always “pushes” a less severe wound to the right. Wounds that are “pushed off” the right edge of the Health chart as a result are ignored.
Remember that before any wounds are “upgraded” in severity, all of your character’s Health boxes must be filled and there can be no less severe injuries to push to the right.
It’s possible that your character might acquire extra Health dots that make them more robust for a temporary period of time. A spell or supernatural effect might increase their Stamina, Size or even their Health trait directly. These bonus Health dots are added to the right side of your character’s Health chart, and each also has a corresponding box where any wounds are recorded. The question arises, though, if they incur wounds in such extra Health and then the spell wears off, what happens? While their extra Health dots are lost, any wounds in them are not. Your character returns to their normal Health dots. Any wounds that were assigned to their bonus points now upgrade the least severe wounds that they already have, from left to right on their Health chart.
Any kind of damage that does not pierce the body but that batters against it is considered bashing damage. This includes most harm from brawling combat, punches, kicks, beatings with a blunt instrument, and even falling or being thrown into a brick wall. Certain targeted bashing attacks may cause lethal damage, at the Storyteller’s discretion.
Attacks made with piercing or cutting weapons — knives, guns, crossbows, or swords — deliver lethal damage. Fire also causes lethal damage.
The creatures that lurk in the world’s shadows work in ways that most people cannot comprehend. They have their own mysterious agendas and miraculous capabilities. Among the latter is the capacity to inflict crippling harm on other beings and mortals. These otherworldly attacks sometimes prey upon enemies’ inherent weaknesses, such as silver for a werewolf. Or they involve dark magic and unfathomable might, inflicting horrifying injuries.
Werewolves are capable of absorbing huge amounts of physical punishment without dying. Their bodies quickly rebuild, with even deep gashes and broken bones healing in minutes, leaving no lasting indication. While werewolves can be killed by conventional means, it’s much more likely that an assailant simply sees an Uratha slump over and change to human form. and then is unpleasantly surprised when the werewolf flies into frenzy again a moment later. Only silver provides a reasonably foolproof method of slaying werewolves.
Regeneration, like healing, always occurs from right to left on the Health chart. Bashing wounds are regenerated first, then lethal wounds.
Regeneration always occurs at the beginning of a character’s action in a turn.
All werewolves regenerate one point of bashing damage per turn. This healing occurs regardless of whether an Uratha rests. They regenerate bashing damage at this rate even in the heat of battle, as an automatic, reflexive action.
An Essence point may be spent for a werewolf to regenerate one point of lethal damage. This is a reflexive action. If a character’s Primal Urge is sufficiently high that multiple Essence can be spent in a single turn, one Health point lost to lethal damage can be regenerated per point spent. A player may even spend Essence reflexively to regenerate points of lethal damage when her character is unconscious and bleeding to death. Healing any lethal wounds by spending Essence replaces the bashing wound that would normally be recovered in a turn. That is, a bashing and lethal wound aren’t both healed in the same turn.
Without the expenditure of Essence, werewolves heal lethal damage as quickly as humans heal bashing damage: One lethal wound is healed every 15 minutes.
Regenerating lethal damage (by spending a point of Essence or not) can break the “right to left” rule for healing somewhat. A werewolf might have several bashing wounds on the right side of her Health chart, but when a lethal wound is healed, a Health box to the left is cleared before all those bashing injuries are alleviated. When your character has multiple lethal wounds, the right-most of them is always healed when a point of Essence is spent.
If your character’s Primal Urge is sufficiently high that you can spend two or more Essence in a single turn, you could also spend two points to regenerate her two lethal injuries in one turn.
Werewolves don’t regenerate aggravated damage. They must let it heal naturally (at the same rate that humans heal aggravated damage) or use supernatural means such as the Rite of Healing.
Regeneration occurs regardless of form. A werewolf in Hishu form heals just as quickly as one in Gauru form. This is one of the reasons that werewolves have difficulty in their human lives after the Change. It’s all too easy to suffer an accident and then heal rapidly in front of witnesses, thus jeopardizing the secret existence of the People.
Werewolves who haven’t yet undergone the First Change heal as humans do.
If a werewolf is knocked unconscious or killed, they immediately revert to Hishu form.
Some forms grant a character extra Stamina and/or Size dots. That means Health dots increase while those forms are maintained, the bonus ones being added to the right end of your character’s Health chart. If wounds are incurred in the corresponding extra boxes, your character risks unconsciousness or even death if they assume a form that grants fewer Health. To avoid such a fate, a werewolf usually seeks to regenerate harm suffered in extra Health boxes before assuming a form with less overall Health. Choosing the time and place to assume a “lesser” form is not always an option, however, especially in the case of Gauru form.
Werewolves are immune to conventional infection, sickness and disease. They can still be affected by illnesses that are supernatural in origin, however.
A Werewolf’s regeneration is sufficient in most circumstances to stabilize any wound short of death. Werewolves do not additional damage from bleeding out and do not bleed to death when their boxes are filled with Lethal damage.
A werewolf who possesses the Quick Healer Merit heals lethal damage at the rate of one point every eight minutes, and one point of aggravated damage every four days. The ability to regenerate bashing damage or to heal lethal damage by spending Essence is unaffected.