Attacks come in two forms: lethal and nonlethal. An attack does damage
equal to its base damage (a constant for guns, Bod:Str plus a modifier
for melee) plus the outcome of the attack check, usually minus Bod:Tgh.
Lethal attacks inflict all lethal damage. Nonlethal attacks inflict
nonlethal damage, except that for every five full points of damage in an
attack, one points is lethal.

A character's incapacitation level is equal to her Bod:Con plus her
Mnd:Wil. Her impairment level is half that (round up). When the total of
a character's lethal and nonlethal damage equals or exceeds her
impairment level, she is impaired and takes a -2 penalty to all AVs.
When the total reaches her incapacitation level, she is unconscious. If
lethal damage alone equals or exceeds her incapacitation level, she is
mortally wounded or revivifiably dead; if the lethal damage reaches
twice her incapacitation level, she is permanently dead.

Nonlethal damage goes away between fights. Lethal damage only goes away
between adventures, or with explicit medical treatment. (If exact times
are important, call it Bod:Con per minute for nonlethal, and Bod:Con per
week for lethal; halve these rates if the lethal damage equals or exceeds
the character's impairment level.)

Unarmed attacks do nonlethal damage equal to the attacker's Bod:Str.
Melee weapons add 1 to 3 points to this, depending on how big they are,
and do nonlethal or lethal damage depending on how sharp they are. Gauss
or energy weapons do lethal damage of about 12-14 for pistols and 16-18
for rifles; chem-powered weapons do about 3 points less.

With named characters having an incapacitation level of at most 15-20,
something is clearly needed to keep them from dying off the instant
combat is joined. That something is Escape Points.

The function of escape points is to allow named characters to be shot at
and not die. In character, this can be represented by an amazing ability
to dodge, a habit of staying behind solid cover, outstanding cleavage,
or even armor. Mechanically, several implementations are possible.

* One EP, spent after the attack roll is made, negates one point of damage.
  An attack reduced to 0 damage is presumed to have missed.

* One EP spent when an attack is declared causes the attack to miss.
  Explosions or other hard-to-avoid attacks require two; "No one could
  have survived that!" takes three.

* EPs spent when the attack is declared reduce the final damage on a 1-1
  basis. Only half of any excess EPs spent are returned, so good guessing
  is important.

If it's important for the GM's conception of the genre for PCs to be
knocked out and taken prisoner (for later use in harems, death traps,
frame-ups, etc), then there are several possiblities. An obvious one is that
EPs can't be spent to negate nonlethal attacks, or can't be spent
against surprise attacks. Or it could take more EPs to defend against
such attacks. In the latter case, EPs will have to refresh fast enough
for the PCs to be ready for the climactic battle.

Note that if Feng Shui is used as the base system, EPs will not normally
be needed against mooks. Depending on whether EPs are spent before or
after the attack is rolled, this might make lucky shots by mooks quite
dangerous.

The scale of the number of EPs a character has depends on how many EPs it
takes to negate a typical attack, and how many attacks a character is
expected to be able to handle before going down. The exact number could
be based on attributes (Chi:For (if such a thing exists) and Ref:Spd seem
plausible), on equipment (armor, battle bikini), on some combination
(battle bikini allows you to add Mnd:Cha), or just a flat allotment per
character. The rate at which they refresh depends on how many times per
adventure the characters are expected to go down.


This file was last modified at 1024 on 22Aug00 by trip@idiom.com.