Monthly Archives: November 2014

Simple injury rules

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Injury threshold (IT) = constitution divided by 2, round up.

A character that takes IT (or more) physical damage at once sustains an injury. This injury affects one of the physical ability scores: strength, dexterity, or constitution (determine which randomly). The afflicted score is decreased by 1d6 points.

Further, if the damage causing the injury reduced the injured PC to zero HP, immediately reduce the stat maximum by one permanently.

If the injury is not treated by a doctor or healer during or before the next downtime, the stat reduction is permanent. Put another way, it is dangerous to spend the downtime following an injury in an uncivilized or poorly equipped location.

Any permanent stat reduction from injury results in a visible scar or maiming of some sort. The player may decide how this manifests, or defer to the referee.

A mental injury threshold (MIT) could be handled in a similar manner.

I have been thinking about using a Call of Cthulhu rules base for a dark fantasy survival horror dungeon crawl game. The above injury rules were inspired by reading various Basic Roleplaying variants. Following is the original version I developed for use with BRP.

Damage from a single attack that equals or exceeds a target’s injury threshold (which is half maximum HP) causes an injury. An injury reduces one physical characteristic (appearance, constitution, dexterity, or strength) by 1d6 points. If not treated promptly, this decrease is permanent. Injuries may have additional consequences, such as shock or ongoing damage from blood loss, as determined fictionally.

Biological imagination

Orc Stain is a book by James Stokoe put out by Image Comics during the period from 2010 to 2012. There were only seven issues, and the story was left unfinished. Thank Pearce for drawing my attention to this during some G+ conversation about comics. Though this post is image-heavy, I have barely scratched the surface. Similar quality can be found on average at least every second or third page.

There is so much raw creativity here it is hard to know where to start. The protagonist orc One-Eye has a knack with a hammer. He can see faults in just about anything, and knows exactly where to hit and with how much force in order to make something fall apart.

2014-11-26 18.08.42 orc stain

The detail work is amazing (pencil example from the author’s blog). The entire series is cast in a distinctive green, purple, magenta, red palette which is like seeing the world through a bruise-tinted lens.

2014-11-04 20.22.07 orc stain

The best part though? It is the amoebic, organic quality to everything. This extends from the depiction of tools and technology to the texture of everyday objects. Birds are axes. Safes live. An orcish telephone is a person strung up like a puppet who transmits information over cables by twitching (or something).

2014-11-04 17.37.23 orc stain

2014-11-04 20.21.14 orc stain

The raw and sometimes gory action goes down smoothly because of the humor. This is no grimdark mire. Similarly with sexuality. The orcs have love nymphs in bondage and their currency uses petrified genitalia. That’s right, there is plenty of orc dick to be seen here and the funny thing is that it’s so skillfully woven into the setting, story, and humor that it doesn’t seem excessive or out of place. When you read it, it’s just like: yup, orcs.

2014-11-04 17.45.30 orc stain

2014-11-04 17.46.26 orc stain

2014-11-05 11.47.47 orc stain

Bowie the poison thrower (clearly played by Helena Bonham Carter)

2014-11-05 11.48.05 orc stain

Though the series is premised on inverting fantasy cliches, it does not accomplish this by presenting traditionally monstrous creatures as misunderstood and unfairly vilified, as is often done. Orcish culture as shown is rather terrible, but amusingly and endearingly so, even when (sometimes especially when) it veers off into absurd cruelty and ultra-violence.

2014-11-26 18.18.07 orc stain

On Twitter, on November 15th of this year, the author wrote that he had finally finished inking issue 8, so it looks like there is hope that Orc Stain has not been completely abandoned, though it probably makes sense to calibrate expectations due to the rate of release so far.

2014-11-26 18.06.35 orc stain

You can buy issues digitally from Comixology, which is what I did. Because of the Image policy on DRM, this also means that you get unencumbered PDF versions in addition to the “guided view” feature available in their native reader (which is quite nice).

Highly recommended if you like anything you have seen here even a little bit.