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Determining Wound Level

A given blow will cause a certain level of wounding. In the simplest wound determination system, the GM assesses all of the Wound Factors and announces how bad the wound is. (In some cases, however, the PCs won’t know the precise degree of damage. In those cases, the GM can simply say, “You think you wounded her, but she’s still on her feet,” or, “You don’t notice any effect.”) As an example, the GM thinks to herself, “Okay, the fighter with Good Strength just scored a Great hit with a broadsword. The loser rolled a Fair combat roll, has Good Damage Capacity and heavy leather armor.

Hmmm I’ll say the Strength and Damage Capacity cancel each other, while the sharp sword should be able to penetrate the leather armor if the blow is good enough. A Great hit against a Fair defense is enough, but not really massive: I’d say the loser is Hurt.” This result would then be announced to the loser of the combat round.

The GM can also use a Situational roll to help her. Roll the dice behind a GM screen, and let the result guide you. A roll of -1 to +1 isn’t significant no change from what you decided. But a roll of +3 or +4 adds a wound level or two to the damage.

See Recording Wounds for details on how to keep track of wounds received.

That system, while simple and satisfying to a certain type of GM, doesn’t do much for those who prefer the system detailed in Sample Wound Factors List. There’s no point in figuring out the offensive and defensive factors if you don’t do something with the numbers.

One system that uses the offensive and defensive factors requires finding the total damage factor. This is derived by adding up all the attacker’s offensive factors and then subtracting all the defender’s factors.

Example, first Leroy attacking Theodora, then vice versa:


Good Strength (+1) Scale 0

Broadsword (+2 for size, +1 for sharpness = +3 weapon).

Offensive damage factors = 1+0+3 = 4


Fair Damage Capacity (+0) Scale 0

Boiled leather armor (+2) Defensive damage factors = 0+0+2 = 2.

Leroy’s total damage factor against Theodora is 4-2 = 2.


Superb Strength (+3) Poleaxe (+4) Offensive damage factors = 3+0+4 = 7


Good Damage Capacity (+1) Scale mail armor (+3) Defensive damage factors = 1+0+3 = 4.

Theodora’s total damage factor against Leroy is 7-4 = 3.

Since Theodora’s damage factor is larger, if she hits him, she’ll do more damage to him than he would to her for an equally well-placed blow.

Once these numbers are determined, jot them down so you don’t have to refigure them each combat round.

This system requires each character sheet to have a wound record track which looks like:

Damage: 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9+

Wounds: Scratch Hurt Very Incapacitated Near Hurt Death

The numbers above the wound levels represent the amount of damage needed in a single blow to inflict the wound listed under the number. For example, a blow of 3 or 4 points Hurts the character, while a blow of 5 or 6 points inflicts a Very Hurt wound.

These numbers can be customized by the GM to fit her conception of how damage affects people. Raising the numbers makes it harder to wound someone, while lowering them makes combat more deadly.

Note that there is no number given for Dead. This is left up to the GM, and deliberately not included to prevent accidental PC death.

However, you can’t simply use the damage factor you determined above relative degree is also important.

A relative degree of +1 is treated as a graze see Grazing.

Otherwise, simply add the relative degree to the damage factor. (You may also wish to include a damage roll see Section 4.61, Damage Die Roll.) The result is a number that may or may not be a positive number. If it’s zero or less, no damage is scored.

If the number is positive, look up the result across the top of the wound levels, and figure the wound as described above. If Leroy hits Theodora with a relative degree of +2, he adds that to his damage potential of +2 to produce a damage number of 4. Looking down, we see that a result of 4 is a Hurt result (Light Wound).

Theodora is Hurt, and at -1 until she is healed.

For more detail, see Combat and Wounding Example.

There are other ways to figure damage. A GM who believes the relative degree is more important than the damage factor would double it before adding it to the damage factor. The numbers above the wound levels should be adjusted in this case:

Damage: 1-3 4-6 7-9 10{12 13+

Wounds: Scratch Hurt Very Incapacitated Near Hurt Death

This is a satisfying system that is recommended for those who don’t mind doubling relative degree.

Others feel Strength is more important, and so on. A totally different wounding system is given in Min-Mid-Max Die Roll. Many others have been proposed for Fudge over the years, and it would be easy to import one from another game system. Use what you feel comfortable with.