Health and Consequences
Instead of Stress boxes, each character has Physical and Mental Health tracks.
When a character takes damage from a failed Defense roll, the damage is measured as the result of the Attack roll - the result of the Defense roll. This damage can be soaked up by reducing the relevant Health, or by accepting a Consequence.
Health is a bit of a misnomer - you can be at 0 Health and still as functional as you were at maximum. It represents an abstract combination of stamina, willpower, and adrenaline keeping you spry and able to avoid harm. You can spend Health on a one-to-one basis to reduce damage, but if you do not have or do not wish to spend enough Health to reduce the damage of an attack to 0, you must accept Consequences or be Taken Out.
Physical Health is determined by your Physique skill. You have 3 Physical Health by default, plus your Physique stat. Mental Health is driven by Will in the same way.
All Health is restored at the end of a conflict or other such scene - you just need some time to catch your breath.
Consequences are a form of temporary Aspect. They come in various levels of severity and must be attended to in order to recover. Each character has a finite number of Physical and Mental Consequence slots - if a slot is filled, damage must be absorbed by Health or a higher-tier slot. By default, characters have 1 Physical Consequence slot and 1 Mental Consequence slot of each tier.
Like any Aspect, they represent something that is true (and might prevent or make difficult tasks that would otherwise be within a character’s capabilities) and can be invoked by or against the character.
Recovering from Consequences requires an Overcome roll for medical or therapeutic attention and replaces the Consequence with a new Aspect in the same slot - for example, a Broken Arm Consequence could become Arm in a Cast. The recovering Consequence stays in that slot for an amount of time based on the severity of the Consequence. Attempting to recover your own Consequence (instead of getting help from an ally) adds +2 to the Overcome target.
A Mild Consequence is a nuisance or minor complication that can be easily ignored. Absorbs up to 2 damage. Examples: Bruised, Winded, Temporarily Blinded, Irritated, Flustered. Characters with 5+ Physique have an extra Physical Mild Consequence slot. Characters with 5+ Will have an extra Mental Mild Consequence slot. Recovery requires an Overcome roll with a target of 2. On a successful recovery, removed at the end of the scene.
A Moderate Consequence is a serious impairment, the kind of thing that you really can’t shrug off. Absorbs up to 4 damage. Examples: Deep Cut, Exhausted, Drunk, Terrified. Recovery requires an Overcome roll with a target of 4. On a successful recovery, removed at the end of a “session”. Our sessions are shorter than average; I’m generally going to treat individual missions as sessions for the purposes of tracking time even if they take 2-3 actual game sessions.
A Severe Consequence is something that would ordinarily lay you out or keep you out of action, but that doesn’t fully take you out of the game or conflict. Absorbs up to 6 damage Examples: Compound Fracture, Second-Degree Burn, Traumatized, Gutted. Recovery requires an Overcome roll with a target of 6 On a successful recovery, removed at the end of a “scenario”. By the book definition, our scenarios run long (the assassination of Onox and by extension your entire stay in Twinpyre is one scenario!) so I might allow recovery during significant downtime as well.
An Extreme Consequence is a player-exclusive lifeline. You stay in the conflict, but the harm is so severe that it permanently changes you on some level. Absorbs up to 8 damage. Instead of taking a slot, you replace one of your Aspects besides your High Concept with something reflecting the harm. Examples: Lost Limb, Serious Pyrophobia, Crippling Self-Doubt, Cursed Spirit. Instead of normal recovery, once a major milestone is reached, you can replace the Aspect with a new one that reflects your having overcome the vulnerability to some degree. You cannot bring back the lost Aspect in this way. A “major milestone” is basically the end of a long arc of the game at which some significant goal is reached. Everything you’ve done so far in the Torch Empire could be considered one such arc! You can’t take more than one Extreme Consequence per major milestone.
If the damage cannot be soaked up or the character chooses not to take Consequences, the character is Taken Out of the conflict - the attacker chooses how.
You can also Concede a conflict at any time. You remove yourself from the conflict somehow - running off in shame or collapsing under the weight of your injuries or whatever makes sense. You can do this whenever (even before an attack, though once the dice are rolled you still have to accept the damage or be Taken Out). This is generally better than being Taken Out - you choose how you’re removed, you don’t have to fill your Consequence slots for it to happen, and you get a free Fate Point for your trouble.