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Roll Under with 2 Dice: Weapon Severance Rating + Bonus to Sever

One VERY optional damage rule is the use of severance. As the name implies, it involves cutting off portions of victims. While this is a powerfully descriptive tool for exciting role-playing, it has some rather tricky complications that must be carefully dealt with. Referees are encouraged to use this rule with caution.

  • First, as a general guideline: any single hit that inflicts damage equal to the victims total stamina or more can be considered "severance". This means that if you destroy a target with one hit, you can also describe the damage as having removed whatever portion was struck. Heck, if you kill a victim in one hit, the referee should probably be playing up the enormity of the act, or re-thinking what they consider to be a fair fight.
  • Other than monster kill-with-one-hit attacks, a CUTTING weapon is required in order to sever. Cutting weapons include blades, cutting lasers, and those nifty secret-agent-slicing machines that always pop up in Bond movies. Cutting weapons are designated as such in the weapons lists.
  • Weapon severance ratings are also be noted in their descriptions.
  • Bonus to sever is the bonus achieved from the option section when characters acquire a stage of weapon specialist. Of course, that particular bonus must be selected when going up a stage of weapon specialist. I suppose that some really playful referees might also allow a bonus to sever for going up a stage of Artist (barber).

As the formula at the top implies, the attacker rolls two dice (2D6) and attempts to roll UNDER the combined total of the Weapon Severance Rating PLUS their Bonus to Sever. Rolling equal is usually considered to be a gouge deep enough to disable the affected portion, though not actually removing it completely from the whole.


As you would imagine, WHERE the hit lands has some important ramifications.

Vitals (1) Well, if you chop off the vitals, the being is really dead.  Really dead.  For this reason, we usually only allow a vital severance to be successful if the damage inflicted is at least 1/3 of the victim's total stamina.  This means that even if they succeed according to the formula above, the head still doesn't come off if they don't do enough damage.  In this case, where they don't inflict enough damage to succeed, then the referee should make the hit extra effective in some other way - be it extra damage, stunning the victim, or just looking really cool.
Chest (2) and Belly (3) Again, to sever either the chest or the abdomen means the victim is dead - cut in half, for most bipeds.  So we also make this extremely difficult to achieve: the hit must inflict 1/2 the victim's total stamina.  See above for consoling characters that succeed according to the main formula, but don't make the damage requirement for severing the chest or abdomen.
Arm (4) When an arm is successfully severed, the victim loses some manipulating capability.  The amount of the limb lost is proportional to the amount of damage done.  If 1/3 of the victim's total stamina is inflicted, the whole arm is gone from the shoulder (or whatever) down.  If part of the arm remains, it is at the referee's discretion if the victim can still use the stump for anything.
Leg (5) When a leg is successfully severed, the victim loses mobility. 

A hit inflicting 1/2 the victim's total stamina removes the entire limb

at the hip, while a half that (1/4 total) will be from the knee down, and so on.  (Yeah, we know, pretty gruesome.)  Referee's should restrict a severed-leg victim's movement.  Their normal movement should be reduced (usually equal to speed), and any dice put into movement should be less effective.  Beings with both legs severed probably should have severe difficulty moving at all (pardon the pun).