Chapter 13: Health

The physical health of a persona would be a combination of her hit points and her attributes. Acute damage and injuries are kept track of through hit points (HPS). Long term decay is kept track of through dwindling of attributes. From the players’s standpoint how much damage her persona can withstand, how long it will need to heal, and whether or not the persona will die should be answered here. Hit points and attributes are universal values across all three persona types. An anthro, an alien and a robot with 20 hit points have the same amount of resistance to damage. How each persona type is affected by the damage is quite different. Covered here is Damage, Healing, Death and Aging for the three respective persona types. 

Damage

Hit points, also known as HPS, represent the persona’s state of health — the more HPS she has, the harder she is to kill. During persona generation, every player rolls a maximum number of HPS, which her persona can never exceed. Personas are assumed to be at maximum HPS at the start of play. (After all, who in her right mind would strike out on an adventure with a gill infection?). HPS are a dynamic, not a declining attribute, however, and whatever hit points a persona loses she can eventually be gained back again.

The most common damage mechanism is combat. When the persona is zapped by a plasma rifle, she will be hurt, and incur damage based on a die roll determined by the weapon that scored the hit (in this instance 4 to 48 HPS). Damage information is listed with the description of each weapon.  Personas might also take damage from environmental effects — for instance, breathing poisonous fumes, tripping over a hedgehog, wandering into a lit furnace, or impacting a concrete bunker at terminal velocity. Fires, vacuums, hard surfaces, and similar harmful environments are described in Chapter 19: Special Terrain. Dangerous substances like poisons and high-radiation ores require a saving throw, and are dealt with in Chapter 16: Special Rolls.

Anthro Damage

After taking damage, the persona will grimace, scream some sort of oath, and fight back or run away to safety. If a persona takes too much damage at once she can be stunned from shock, fall into a coma, or even die. No matter how the persona loses her HPS the nature of her damage is the same. In an extremely detailed tactical system (see Chapter 27, Tactical Combat), may use hit locations and the persona may have a broken limb or swollen eyelid for a time.  Mostly he merely has fewer hit points to squander in her next encounter, and as long as her total is still positive, she’s fit enough to continue. 

Damage System Shock

The DSS Roll is unique to anthros. Even personas with positive hit point totals can be incapacitated. If a persona loses more than half her current hit points at once, she might fall unconscious from the severity of the blow. The Damage System Shock (DSS) roll determines the chance of the anthro collapsing under the wate of an attack. It’s a decidie roll, in which the player must roll less than her Cox plus thrice her current HPS – “current” meaning what remains after the blow— or collapse, stunned, to the pavement. Aliens and robots never need to make DSS rolls. So an anthro that has a CON of 11 and 9 HPS remaining would need to roll 38 or less on a d100. Otherwise “thud.”

Recovery Roll

The REC Roll is unique to anthros. If a player fails her persona’s DSS roll, she must make a successful Recovery Roll (REC) roll to wake her up again. To do so, she must roll less than her CON plus five times her HPS on decidice — somewhat easier than the DSS roll to succeed at. She cannot, however, attempt the roll every unit, unless her Corr is extraordinarily high. The time between REC rolls is known as the recovery time, and is determined by the persona’s CON. The anthro above with a CON of 11 and 9 HPS of damage would need to roll under less than 56 on a d100 to regain consciousness. DSS and REC are two of EXP’s special attribute rolls, and are described in greater detail in Chapter 16, Special Rolls.

A unit is a short period of time. Even an unconscious persona with 1 HPS and 1 CON, giving her a recovery time of 20 units and the need to roll under 6 on decidice, has a 60% chance of awakening within 10 minutes, and an 84% chance of coming to within 20 minutes. Seems like forever in combat, but not especially long periods when not in combat.  It’s far easier simply to assume that all stunned personas recover immediately once combat has ended, and can join in once again on the game. The referee and players will decide what is the most fun way to play damage system shock and recovery. If the group finds that these rules are slowing the game down, ditch-em!

Alien Damage

Aliens are biological creatures and take damage much the same way anthropomorphs do. However  they never require a DSS roll, and  cannot be knocked unconscious simply by  damage. Upon reaching 0 HPS, an alien is dead, rather than entering into a coma as an anthro would. This often makes aliens often easier to kill than anthropomorphs — but such is the folly of playing an alien. This does not mean that an alien will always fight to the death, but they could if they chose to.

Robotic Damage

Robots do not heal. When one of their peripherals is snapped off at the base, it stays snapped off; if their casing is dented or punctured, it stays dented or punctured. HPS still represent a universal value of injury. 10 HPS of damage to an anthro and 10 HPS of damage to a robot represent the same amount of pain and disfigurement. However an injured anthro will heal. If her finger were injured, could regain its full use by waiting a few days, a robot with a destroyed waldo unit could never use it again. Electrical and disintegration attacks do double damage to robots. A robot does not have damage system shock and can continue combat until 0 HPS. However 

Robots can, however, reroute their entire internal circuitry around a critically damaged component— so while a rodentia without a working heart would be certifiably dead, a robot in a similar predicament would merely malfunction for a while. In game terms, robots, upon hitting 0 HPS, do not die they start to fall apart. A robot reduced to zero hit points will have some peripheral malfunction which will result in an attribute being decreased. When any one of the persona’s attributes is reduced to zero is a robot dead. Some fatal malfunction represented by an attribute value of zero ends to robot’s crazed experience of consciousness.

Which attribute is reduced upon hitting zero hit points is determined on Table 5.27: Robotic System Malfunctions (included here for your convenience). The amount that the affected attribute is reduced is determined on  Table 5.28: Robotic Malfunction Severity (included here for your convenience). The robot persona’s Maximum HPS decreases by 10% every time she is reduced to 0 HPS. So a robot with 110 HPS, upon being reduced to 0, start taking damage again at 99 HPS. Once the 99 HPS are depleted the robot would start again with  89 HPS the third time, she would have 80 HPS and then 72, 64, 57, and so on until being consigned to the slag heap. Each iteration of zero hit points will also damage some attribute. Always round down when calculating a new maximum HPS. If a robot with a HPS maximum of 20 has only 5 HPS left, and takes 17 HPS of damage, it will lose those 5 HPS, jump to a new maximum of 18 HPs, and subtract the remaining 12 HPS from that, ending up with 6 HPS and a malfunction once the attack is over. Easy Peasy. 

Table 5.27 Robotic System Malfunction

Determines what breaks when the robots breaks.
Die Roll (d100)System Damaged Attributes Damaged
Die RollSystem DamagedAttributes Damaged
01-15ArticulationsDEX and AWE
16-25BrainINT; add d6 to CF
26-40Control UnitAll Attributes; add d6 to CF
41-55LocomotionDEX and PSTR
56-69PeripheralsDrop a peripheral
70-75Power PlantPSTR and CON and Duration
76-99SensorsAWE and INT
00Ref's Own Table

Table 5.28 Robotic Malfunction Severity

How severely does a malfunction impact the robot's attributes.
Die Roll (d6)SeverityAttribute Penalty
Die RollSeverityAttribute Penalty
1Lucky0 points
2-5Severe1 point
6Critical2 points

Even when a specific part of the robot has been hit, the system which malfunctions is determined randomly. External and internal injuries do not necessarily correspond: a sharp blow to the robot’s anterior infrared antenna could do nothing to the antenna itself but be enough to dislodge a rusty brain component inside. Fatal malfunctions almost always claim robots sooner than death by loss of hit points.

Die rolls proliferate in robotic combat to such an extent that destroying a robot might seem to reduce playability drastically. If the players and referee gain particular enjoyment out of killing robots, all this extra consultation of tables might not cause a problem, but in the much more likely circumstance that speed is preferred, the referee should prepare a Robot Decay Table. To facilitate combat, a Robot Decay Table calculates ahead of time what peripherals and circuits would be damaged, and what effects this would have on attributes, should the robot take a certain level of damage.

On its top line are the robot’s original attributes, including maximum HPS of 16. The first 15 HPS of damage this robot takes do nothing to its attributes; when it takes a 16th, its locomotion systems are damaged, lowering its DEX to 19, its PSTR. to 11, and its maximum HPS to 14. When its total damage exceeds 30 HPS (16  + 14 HPS of damage) it suffers damage to the brain, and a corresponding lowering of INT to 17 and maximum HPS to 12. Decay continues until the robot has taken 99 HPS of damage, at which point the robot is destroyed by a fatal malfunction of its AWE. All attribute damage has been rolled up in advance, to save time during play.

Table 5.29 Sal's Robotic Decay

Example of how a robot falls apart and eventually becomes scrap.
AWECHACONDEXINTMSTRPSTRHPSDamaged PartTTL
AWECHACONDEXINTMSTRPSTRHPSDamaged PartTTL
9118211801216Nil16
9118191801114Locomotion30
9118191701112Brain42
7118191601110Sensors52
61071815099Control Unit61
61071715088Locomotion69
51071515087Articulation76
41071513086Sensors82
31071512085Sensors87
31071412074Locomotion91
11071411073Sensors94
11071411072Peripheral96
0
scrap
1071311071Sensors98

A completed Robot Decay Table renders maximum HPS calculations needless. If the robot of this example has taken 47 HPS of damage during combat, the referee need only consult its table to find its current attributes, and discover that it can sustain 52 HPS of damage more before malfunctioning — whereas without a table, she would have to subtract 16, the robot’s original HPS, from 47; calculate the new HPS maximum of 14; determine the damaged part and attributes; subtract 14 from the 31 remaining HPS of damage; calculate a second new HPs maximum of 12; determine another damaged part and more damaged attributes; subtract 12 from 17; calculate a third new HPS maximum of 10; determine yet another round of attribute damage; and finally subtract the last 5 HPS of damage from a 10 HPS maximum to get 5, the new HPS total. Clearly, a table represents the simpler procedure.

Healing

Healing is the recovery of lost hit points by natural or artificial means, up to the persona’s maximum HPS level. While robots’ wounds do not heal, those of both anthros and aliens do. With ample rest a body’s organic healing processes can mend torn skin and muscle, patch broken bones, and stabilize damaged organs. If the persona has a negative hit point total, however, her body is too busy desperately maintaining the brain and other essential organs to waste energy on healing; she has suffered serious trauma, and without medical attention will soon die. Aliens with a negative Hit points total are already dead. As we know from above robots are yet another story.

Anthro Healing

To heal damage naturally an anthro must rest completely. This means no combat, no exertion, no late-night standing watch, no carousing, no alcohol, and no other funny business; the persona must remain undisturbed in camp, a hotel room, or an infirmary. If she meets these rest requirements, she will heal 1 HPS of damage upon waking after a good night’s sleep. If intent on recuperating an anthro persona will heal 1 HPS on each of her first seven days of rest, and 2 HPS on each subsequent day. However, even one day’s interruption from this regimen of recuperation will start the cycle anew, with seven more days of 1 HPS per day before the faster rate begins. No persona can increase her HPS level to greater than her HPS maximum.

The persona must have at least 0 HPS to heal. If the persona has negative hit points she is dying, and cannot recuperate without medical attention.

A persona with a HPS maximum of 26, whose current HPS are 11, decides to take a fortnight off to recover from her wounds. For the first week of rest, she would regain 1 HPS each day, until she had 18 HPS. If her convalescence continued uninterrupted, her HPS would increase by 2 each day, and by the end of four more days, she would have returned to full health.

Lying back and resting is not the only way to regain lost HPS. The most common quick fix for wounds is to find a veterinarian, whose class skills include healing procedures, and convince her to help. Nomads can also carry out rudimentary first aidSome pharmaceuticals and other technological gizmos exist to repair damage, but these are almost always accompanied by dangerous side effects. Some mutations can be used to heal personas — but the odds of encountering a being with such a mutation powerful enough to be of any use, compared to those offending a practising vet, are low enough to make the search not that worthwhile.

Trying to repair lost attributes is a completely Repairing lowered attribute scores always requires special medical attention. Rest cannot repair a damaged INT or PSTR attribute. Nor can any amount of rest reverse aging. 

Alien Healing

Alien healing is rather simple. They regain 1 HPS per day regardless of what they are up to. If an alien chooses to rest they will heal 2 HPS per day. Rest means not  hunting, carousing, running, hiding, but leisurely resting. Remember that an alien with 0 HPS is a dead alien.

Robotic Healing (Repair)

Robots cannot heal. Robotic damage actually assists the robot by improving it’s Control Factor (CF). The more damaged the robot the more insane the robot, and the more insane the robot the more personality it has. However excessive damage will start to destroy peripherals and circuitry. Robot repairs are dangerous because fixing a robot makes them more like a robot, and less like a persona. Robots can be repaired by a qualified mechanic using her class skills. A robot will usually avoid repair because the mechanic is more likely to replace the faulty circuits which grant it free will then repair HPS. 

Death

Death in EXP is final. Persona death is big deal for player’s. A player could be losing a persona they have played for years. The philosophy of killing off personas is not discussed here. The mechanics of persona death is discussed here. Most personas die through HPS loss, or attribute loss. Each of the persona types kicks off in a different fashion. Anthros slip into a dramatic coma, aliens drop dead, and robots literally fall apart. 

Anthro Death 

When an anthro reaches a negative HPs total, she isn’t dead yet, but she is dying. A dying anthropomorph loses  1 HPS per game minute (30 units) until she is dead. An anthro with negative HPS is comatose slowly declining into oblivion. An anthro with a negative HPS total  is hurt beyond her body’s healing limit. her natural healing processes have been overwhelmed by damage. Only skilled intervention by a healer can save the anthropomorph’s life. An anthro is dead once her HPS total reaches negative one half her HPS maximum.

An anthro dies when her HPS total drops to negative half her HPS maximum.  A persona whose HPS maximum is 54 would be irrevocably and permanently dead at -26 HPS. And since a persona with negative HPS can do nothing other than lie about and bleed, she will very likely lose that final point. For example a person whose HPS maximum is 54 was smashed by a Garbling Snarfshanker and was left unconscious with -11 HPS, she would be dead in 15 minutes losing 1 HPS per minute. 

Survival is possible: if the anthro receives appropriate medical attention, she can be stabilized, halting her downward slide. Veterinarians are best at performing this stabilization, having a specific class skill for the procedure; in a pinch, biologists and nomads can also tend unconscious personas, although with much greater difficulty.

A successfully stabilized persona will cease to lose HPS at the lethal rate of 1 per minute, but each day she remains unconscious she must make a difficult (d20) CON roll or lose 1 HPS. Once stabilized, however, a persona can be healed as if her HPS total were positive. Her body still cannot heal itself through rest until her HPS total is at a least zero, but pharmaceuticals and quick fixes will still work on her. If stabilization fails, the vet (or other administer of aid) can try again immediately, but the 1 HPS per minute loss will continue until a successful stabilization has been completed or the persona dies.

Anthros can also die from attribute loss. There is no method for healing lost attributes. If any anthro’s attribute drops to zero they are dead. This is most commonly caused by aging, although there are some attacks that reduces attributes directly. For example if an anthro with a AWE of 1 were to somehow have this attribute reduced to zero she would be irrevocably dead. A zeroed attribute represents a faculty which has completely ceased to function — hence a persona with an AWE of 0 has suffered a fatal collapse of her sensory processing system, cutting her off from all outside stimulus; a persona with an INT of 0 has died from a shutdown of the brain. The only exception of this is the attribute of CHA. CHA can be reduced to below zero without death of the anthropomorph.

Alien Death

Alien death is not as dramatic as anthro death. Once an alien’s HPS total reaches zero it is dead. There is no unconscious or savable dying state just a final thud to the ground. Aliens also are dead if any of their attributes are reduced to zero. For example an alien with a MSTR of zero would cease to have any connected consciousness or will and would be irrevocably dead. Attribute death for aliens includes CHA as well. So if any attribute of an alien is reduced to zero it is dead.

Robotic Death

Robotic death is the most complicated of all the persona types. Robotic death is keenly connected to attribute decay and robots are way more likely to die from a destroyed attribute than HPS bashing. As described in Robot Damage above robots do not die when they are reduced to zero HPS. Each time a robot’s HPS total drops to zero she continues to function, however one of her attributes drops. Once a peripheral or system of the robot is utterly destroyed the robot stops working forever. It is recommended to generate a robotic decay table for your referee persona robots to improve the flow of the game.

Aging can remove the ability but not the desire to fight.
Aging can remove the ability but not the desire to fight.

Aging

Eventually, if they escape destruction by any other means, biological personas will die of old age. How old they manage to get depends on three parts 1) persona type 2) their CON attribute and 3) luck. Both aliens and anthros age in the same way. A year is still a year, no matter what your persona looks like. She’s just more likely to die young if she’s a feline than a florian. Robots do not age. Their inorganic parts don’t decay with time, they just get more personality. 

All organic personas progress through five age categories: child, adolescent, adult, older, and aged. For anthros each category is detailed in Table 13.1: Anthropomorph Ages. For aliens an alien specific age category is created during persona creation. As a persona’s category changes, her attributes change as well. A child is much physically weaker, although much cuter, than the adolescent she will become. These effects of aging are presented in Table 13.2: Age Effects on Attributes. These changes are the same for aliens and anthros. These changes are not cumulative. When an adolescent becomes an adult, her CHA increases by 6, not by 1. The start age of a persona, the age at which she first hearkens to the call of adventure, is determined in Section I Persona Generation. Age category attribute changes are NOT applied during persona generation and reflect changes in age. 

If an attribute change results in the change of another attribute it is up to the referee and players to decide if these effects should come to pass. For example an increase in CON also increases the number of dice the persona can roll for HPS. An increase in INT could improve mental strength.

Aliens go through the same five age categories as anthropomorphs do, and suffer the same effects, whether an alien’s start age be 8 or 2012. The age categories for an alien persona are determined with her start age in Chapter 6: Aliens. Robots, on the other hand, do not suffer from biological deterioration, as they have no biology to deteriorate. The nearest equivalent to aging on a robot is the accumulation of malfunctions it undergoes with the loss of HPS. Certainly all robots have an age, but that age bears no relation to their state of disrepair.

Child: The youngest age category is that of child. Children are characterized by dependence on their elders, and generally undeveloped physical and mental faculties. Personas will rarely start as children. If an adolescent were to somehow regress to a child age category her persona would suffer the attribute adjustments listed on Table 13.2. If these adjustments were to reduce a persona’s attribute to zero or less the transition would kill them. 

Adolescent: An adolescent being is suffering through an age of transformation where she becomes sexually mature and begins to assert her independence and identity. This is the start age of most personas. When else would a persona head out on damn fool adventures?  If a persona survives into the the Adult age category her attributes will change accordingly. She will become smarter and stronger. If these attribute changes allow a persona to pursue a new class that is fine. 

Adult and Older: When she becomes an adult, she has reached maturity in all aspects of her existence, and can fully function as an individual in society. So boring. Not much happening here. The transition from adult to older will result in a weaker but wiser persona. The older age category marks the beginning of her biological end, as her health and strength gradually begin to fail. 

Aged: Well now things start to suck. To survive past the older age category is to become aged, and these venerable personas have reached a stage of rapid physical and mental decay. Once reaching the aged category the persona must apply the attribute changes listed Table 13.2: Age Effects On Attributes. So the persona’s CON and DEX will drop, but her INT and MSTR will increase. But it gets worse. For each year in the category of aged the persona must survive a difficult CON roll (3d10). If she fails this roll she must subtract 1 point from the attribute of her choice (except CHA and MSTR). So a feline aging from 66 to 67 with a CON of 11 would need to make a CON check against 3d10 (see Chapter 16, Special Rolls). If she rolls 11 or less, she does not deteriorate. If she rolls 12 or higher one of her attributes will drop by 1. She cannot drop her CHA or MSTR. It must be either AWE, CON, DEX, INT, or PSTR. She could also choose to drop her HPS maximum  by 10%. Whatever age category a persona is in, as soon as any of her attributes reaches zero she is dead. This process is the same for aliens and anthros.

Surviving past the upper limit of aged is truly defying the genetic imperative and things deteriorate rapidly. Each year past the upper limit of aged, the player must make a CON attribute roll on 3d10 (see Chapter 16, Special Rolls). If she fails, her persona will lose 1 AWE, 1 CON, 1 DEX, 1 INT, 1 PSTR, and 10% from her HPS maximum. If the CON roll is successful, none of her attributes will deteriorate. There is a small chance that her MSTR will increase. If the persona made a successful CON roll and makes a successful difficult INT roll her MSTR will increase by one by one. Whatever age category a persona is in, as soon as any of her attributes reaches zero she is dead. This process is the same for aliens and anthros.

Chronologic Versus Biologic: Under normal circumstances a personas chronologic age will equal her biologic age. However there are situations where this no longer is the case. For example if a persona spends a century in cryogenic suspension her chronologic age could jump from 35 to 135 without her aging a day a day biologically. Her attributes would still reflect that of a 35 year old persona.  Conversely, if she was prematurely aged by a psychic attack, she could become fully adult biologically without changing her biologic age. The biological age of a persona, the age her body thinks it is, is the best measure of her lifespan. Instant changes in biologic age are relatively rare, but if the persona has been dealt the years in damage by attack, or by living life, they count the same

Table-13.1 Anthro Age Categories

Determine an anthro persona's stage of development based on their age.
Anthro TypeChildAdolescentAdultOlderAged
Anthro TypeChildAdolescentAdultOlderAged
Aquarian1-45-5455-104105-115116-120
Avarian1-1213-1617-3637-6667-73
Canine1-45-2424-4545-6566-72
Equine1-910-2930-4950-99100-106
Feline1-45-2425-4445-6465-71
Florian1-2021-7071-9091-110111-116
Humanoid1-1213-2021-4041-9091-96
Insectiod1-2021-4041-6061-8081-96
PSH1-1213-2021-4041-9091-96
Reptilian1-2021-7071-120121-170171-181
Rodentia1-45-5455-6465-8485-91
Ursidae1-89-1415-6465-8485-91

Table 13.2 Age Category and Attributes Impact

Time improves some attributes through aging. Eventually time steals them all.
CategoryAWECHACONDEXINTMSTRPSTRHPS max
CategoryAWECHACONDEXINTMSTRPSTRHPS max
Child-1+4-3+2-2-4-3-20%
Adolescent+1-5+2-3-1-2+2+20%
Adult0+1+1+1+1+2+10
Older-10-2-2+2+2-2-10%
Aged-20-3-4+1+1-4-20%