Action: Standard • Range: Close • Duration: Instant • Cost: 1 point per rank
You can inflict damage on a target by making a close attack. The exact nature of your Damage is up to you, with the GM’s approval; it can be anything from a powerful impact to razor claws, energy fields, or some other damaging medium. The target resists with Toughness:
Toughness vs. [Damage rank + 15]
Success : The damage has no effect.
Failure (one degree): The target has a –1 circumstance penalty to further resistance checks against damage.
Failure (two degrees): The target is dazed until the end of their next turn and has a –1 circumstance penalty to further checks against damage.
Failure (three degrees): The target is staggered and has a -1 circumstance penalty to further checks against damage. If the target is staggered again (three degrees of failure on a Damage resistance check), apply the fourth degree of effect. The staggered condition remains until the target recovers (see Recovery, following).
Failure (four degrees): The target is incapacitated .
The circumstance penalties to Toughness checks are cumulative, so a target who fails three resistance checks against Damage, each with one degree of failure, has a total –3 penalty.
If an incapacitated target fails a resistance check against Damage, the target’s condition shifts to dying. A dying target who fails a resistance check against Damage is dead.
Strength provides a “built-in” Damage effect: the ability to hit things! You can apply effect modifiers to the damage your Strength inflicts, making it Penetrating or even an Area effect! You can also have Alternate Effects for your Strength Damage; see the Alternate Effect modifier for details. Like other Damage effects, a character’s Strength Damage is close range and instant duration by default.
If you choose, a Damage effect can be Strength-based—something like a melee weapon—allowing your Strength Damage to add to it. You add your Strength and Damage ranks together when determining the rank of the attack. Any modifiers applied to your Damage must also apply to your Strength rank if its bonus damage is to benefit from them. However, any decrease in your Strength reduces the amount you can add to your damage, and negative Strength subtracts from your Damage! Likewise, anything that prevents you from exerting your Strength also stops you from using a Strength-based Damage effect. If you can’t swing your fist, you can’t swing a sword, either. On the other hand, a laser blade or thuderbolt staff does the same damage whether you can exert your Strength with it or not.
Objects (targets lacking a Stamina rank) take damage similar to other targets. Dazed and staggered results have no real effect on inanimate targets, since they do not take actions. Constructs, capable of action, are dazed and staggered normally (see Constructs).
Inanimate objects are defenseless by definition and therefore subject to finishing attacks (see Finishing Attack in Action & Adventure): essentially, you can choose between making your attack on the object as a routine check or, if you make the attack check normally, gaining an automatic critical hit if your attack hits, for a +5 bonus to effect.
Attacking an object held or worn by another character is a smash action (see Smash in Action & Adventure for more details).
If an attacker’s intention is to bend, break or destroy an object, then two degrees of failure on the Toughness check results in a bend or break (such as a hole punched through the object) while three or more degrees of failure means the object is destroyed (shattered, smashed to pieces, etc.).
Example: Lady Justice, rescuing people from a tenement fire, is hemmed-in by collapsed debris. Her player decides to simply punch a path through. Since she’s going for maximum damage, she decides to make the attack check normally (rather than a routine check). Given her attack bonus, she’ll only miss on a natural 1 anyway. She succeeds and does her Strength in Damage, +5 for the automatic critical. The GM decides the brick, mortar, and heavy beams have Toughness 9 and makes a Toughness check, rolling a 7, against DC 30 (Lady Justice’s Damage + 15). A 15 result is three degrees of failure, so she easily smashes through the debris and clears the building, carrying people to safety!
The Toughness ranks of some common materials are shown on the Material Toughness table. The listed ranks are for about an inch (distance rank –7) thickness of the material: apply a +1 per doubling of thickness or a –1 per halving of it. So a foot of stone is Toughness 8. Equipment has Toughness based on its material. Devices have a base Toughness equal to the total points in the device divided by 5 (rounded down, minimum of 1).
TABLE: MATERIAL TOUGHNESS
Living targets remove one damage condition per minute of rest, starting from their worst condition and working back. So a damaged character recovers from being incapacitated, then staggered, dazed, and finally removes a –1 Toughness check penalty per minute until fully recovered. The Healing and Regeneration effects can speed this process. Lasting or more serious injuries are handled as complications (see Lasting Injuries in Recovery section of Action & Adventure).
Objects, having no Stamina, do not recover from damage unless they have an effect like Regeneration. Instead, they must be repaired. See the guidelines under the Technology skill when repairing damaged objects.