Body & Mind

I want to share one of the systems in Tangent Space: Health Points and Mind Points.

Health Points (HP) work very similarly to other RPG games. Each character has a number of health points determined by their constitution. These are lost whenever they take damage from enemy attacks or the environment. These are of primary concern during combat where characters attack one another until one side surrenders or is defeated. Depending on where in the galaxy the story takes place, this could be the most common type of conflict characters experience. When all health points are lost, the character enters the Wounded State.

Wounded characters are being seriously affected by their injuries. The amount of Action Points they have each turn is reduced by 3. (Each character usually has 6 Action Points to spend on their turn, with actions requiring differing amounts of them to be used.) The character’s health is now going into the negatives with any further damage they receive. This happens automatically at a rate of 1d6 health lost each turn as they bleed out. The character leaves the Wounded state when their health points are returned to positive numbers. Once a character has gone negative equal to their maximum health, they enter the Critical State.

Critical characters are dying. They are completely incapacitated and cannot make any actions. A character in critical condition needs to be rescued by their allies and stabilized or they will die! Depending on how they entered the critical state, the game master may have certain medical requirements for the character to return to active duty. These may include cloned organs or cybernetic limb replacements. A character could come back from near death looking like Darth Vader…

Mind Points (MP) are the psychological counterpart to health points. These are derived from your Willpower stat and are rolled defensively whenever the character is in a situation that affects them mentally. This could be walking through a massacred colony, having a diplomatic meeting, haggling with a black market dealer, holding your ground against a giant space monster, or resisting telepathic attack. Whenever you roll a mind point defense, you lose one point regardless of if the defense was a success or a failure. This represents the strain that your mind is under as you try to maintain your mental composure. Some telepathic attacks directly drain mind points from the target. When all mind points are lost, the character enters the Imposed State.

Imposed characters have been significantly affected by an outside influence and are now susceptible to further imposition. For example, it is the goal of interrogators to bring their subjects to this state as this is when information can be freely extracted. A smooth talking scoundrel may try to seduce a character into the imposed state so that they are more cooperative and trusting. There are also telepathic skills that have special functions against imposed characters, or may only be used on imposed targets. A character leaves the Imposed state when their mind points return to positive numbers, which is possible through Willpower rolls and telepathic assistance. Mind points can also go into the negative numbers, and when they go negative equal to your maximum mind points, the character enters the Broken State.

Broken characters have had their mind and will shattered. This is a harsh and cruel thing to do to someone as they are completely incapacitated by mental collapse, losing direct control over their own actions. Depending on the type of mental stress that caused the break, the character could be running in circles screaming, sobbing uncontrollably in a corner, or even completely enthralled by another character as characterized by Stockholm Syndrome. (It is unnecessary to bring a character to this state in typical social conflicts. Imposing a character is usually more than enough.) Telepaths are most known for causing this state in their enemies through mental combat, either to remove a combatant from the fight, or even to seize control of their mind. Broken characters need serious emotional therapy to recover from this state.

Mind Points and Social Conflict: Social conflicts happen when people disagree with you and are measured on a sliding scale, going +1 or -1 in each character’s favor depending on their success or failure on each Influence skill or Mind defense roll. Once someone has 3 points in their favor, they win the social conflict and get what they want. Social conflicts against entire opposing groups are much more challenging and should be left to talented speakers and leaders. If a character isn’t even interested in having the discussion, failing even once will end the social conflict. Social conflicts can quickly become a combat encounter if you don’t choose your words wisely. Trying to convince a pirate captain to give you his ship is almost guaranteed to get you shot rather than a civil discussion.

I hope this gives some insight into the base rules that Tangent Space is built upon. I look forward to sharing more soon!

Note: This system has been changed significantly since this post.