Tracking Damage

As promised, I’m going to explain all those wacky boxes on the character sheet I posted. In Tangent Space, characters have 2 primary tracks that determine their current state. Endurance exists to protect the character’s Life, while Resistance exists to protect the character’s Mind. They both work similarly, so I will start with explaining Endurance.

Endurance is derived directly from the character’s Vigor attribute, which both have a maximum of 12. So, if the character has a Vigor of 7, the Endurance section would be filled out like this:

Endurance: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

The values for 8 thru 12 are left blank. When the character takes damage, they lose one of their endurance values according to the amount of damage they have received. Let’s hit this character for 6 damage:

Endurance: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [X] [7] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

The 6 value has been crossed out. If the character is hit for 6 damage again, it would find the 6 value has already been crossed, so it would continue down the track, crossing out the 7 next:

Endurance: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [X] [X] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

If the character is hit for 6 damage yet again, it would find the 6 crossed and also the 7. There are no more Endurance values after 7, so the character now has a strike against their Life:

Endurance: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [X] [X] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]     Life: [/] [ ] [ ]

When a character has a strike against their Life, they are now Wounded. Wounded characters only get half their Action Points each combat round. When a character has 3 strikes against their Life, they are Dying:

Endurance: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [X] [X] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]     Life: [/] [/] [/]

Dying characters are completely incapacitated, incapable of performing any actions at all. At the beginning of each turn, they cross one of their Life strikes unless they have been Stabilized by an ally:

Endurance: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [X] [X] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]     Life: [X] [/] [/]

When a character crosses all three strikes against their Life, they are Dead. There is no coming back from death. Resistance and Mind work exactly the same way with Resistance being derived from the Willpower attribute. A strike against a character’s Mind puts them in the Imposed state, which has the same penalties in combat as the Wounded state. If a character has three strikes against their Mind, they are Broken, with the same penalties in combat as the Dying state, except that Mind strikes are never crossed. You don’t die from being mentally broken.

Armor is used to protect your Endurance from being damaged and works similarly to Endurance and Resistance with a few small differences. The different types of armor provide differing levels of protection. The values shown here are for Composite Armor:

Armor: [3] [3] [3] [4] [4] [4] [5] [5] [6] [6] [7] [8]

All armor has 12 values, but the actual numbers depend on the armor size. When damaged, the armor behaves the same way as Endurance, though armor can have multiples of the same value in the range they best protect against. If the armor takes damage below its listed values, it simply removes the lowest available value. For example, lets deal 1 point of damage to this armor:

Armor: [X] [3] [3] [4] [4] [4] [5] [5] [6] [6] [7] [8]

You’ll notice that the lowest value, 3, was used to stop the attack for 1 damage. If armor is damaged beyond its capacity, the highest available value is used to mitigate the damage with the remaining damage getting through to hit Endurance. For example, if this armor is hit for 10 damage, the highest available value, 8, is used to mitigate the damage and the remaining 2 get through to hit the Endurance:

Armor: [X] [3] [3] [4] [4] [4] [5] [5] [6] [6] [7] [X]

Endurance: [1] [X] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

Barrier is yet another layer of defense on top of the Armor. Barrier is generated one value at a time, up to twelve total values. If a character generates 5 barrier three times:

Barrier: [5] [5] [5] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

If this character then takes 4 damage, they lose one of the Barrier values large enough to negate the incoming damage:

Barrier: [5] [5] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

If this character then takes 6 damage, both 5 values are lost. Barrier MUST negate all the damage, even if that means losing more Barrier than the damage dealt. Any damage that cannot be negated by the barrier goes on to strike the Armor:

Barrier: [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

And there you have it! There are special damage effects that change the way damage interacts with these layers, but this is the standard process. It is my hope that this will make combat fast and deadly, while giving players a math-lite visual way of assessing their combat state.