Durability is a general ranking of how tough you are and how capable you are of surviving harsh conditions and, damage and wounds. In a basic sense, the Durability skill does one thing: it adds to your Endurance step when calculating your Unconsciousness and Death Ratings. The GM might occasionally call on you to make Durability checks to resist pain and that sort of this, but that's going to be fairly rare.
Still, just because you'll probably never make a Durability check doesn't mean the skill is useless. Think that's pretty well obvious. I do want to take this point that the AR combat system is not as abstract as AD&D's or other HP systems. Damage taken is usually from small to medium cuts, scrapes, bruises, fatigue and the like. If you ever get really hammered by something, you'll pick up a wound as well as taking damage. Damage isn't done for the 'barely got out of the way of that' school; if something hit you for 9 points of damage, you got hit in the exact same way regardless of how much damage you can take. In essence, this means Durability indicates how much you can get the crap kicked out of you before you fall over.
Durability sub-skills indicate a greater ability to resist environments without being damaged, heal quickly and push your body beyond its normal limits.
Whenever you take damage from extremes of temperature (including open flames), make an Endure Temperature test and subtract the result form the damage taken. You can use this Rank times per day.
With combat healing you can recover your breath and shake off damage even in the middle of combat. Spend one round making a combat healing test (and not attacking!) and recover that amount of damage. This can only be used once per battle, and counts as one of your recovery opportunities for the day.
As soon as your current damage is higher than your death rating, make a Resist Death check. Reduce your current damage by the amount rolled; if this new Current damage is less than your death rating, you don't die. Resist Death can't restore you to above your Unconsciousness rating, but you end up right below it. This can only be used once a day.
By spending one round psyching yourself up, you can induce a state of berserk fury, from which nothing short of an immediately fatal wound will kill you. Roll your step in Berserk Fury and add it to your Unconsciousness Ratingthis may very well push your Unconsciousness Rating above your Death rating, in which case you will stay up and fighting until the new Unconsciousness rating is reached, and then drop dead. This costs nothing when started, but when it wears off in an hour, the temporary health vanishes (along with a like amount of damage) and your Unconsciousness rating drops to normal. Then you take 7 points of damage, which may knock you out or kill you.
By unleashing a loud yell, you can focus all of your strength into a single action. Use your Focusing Yell step +2 as your new step for any strength related task for that round, be it lifting something huge of pulverizing an enemy. Note: this is not quiet or subtle.
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Copyright © 2000 Brian Rogers