Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Messy Tag and You

The rules for the Messy tag, wherever it occurs usually involves something like “it deals damage in a messy way”. Sometimes additional details are included like “it leaves a mess behind—cosmetic property damage, blood and gore, or other bodily produce, or some other kind of mess as appropriate.” There’s a story about the 16 HP dragon from Dungeon Worlds on the internet that suggests the Messy tag could mean dismemberment. Nevertheless, Dungeon Worlds doesn’t make it exceptionally easy to point out what dismemberment actually is or does. The short answer is "Did it happen? Yes. Then it happened." However, that’s massively unsatisfying.

Conditions are Temporary, Semi-Permanent, or Permanent effects that are derived from the unfolding fiction. When you get a Compromise or Failure, the GM may impose a Condition on you as a result of the fictional consequences of your action, or being a victim of the Messy tag, or a specific monster move.

Temporary Conditions usually end after a short period—within a few seconds, minutes or possibly an hour. Typically, Temporary conditions are inflicted by a move that requires the player to Avoid Danger or take the condition. An example would be throwing sand in someone’s eyes.
  • Blinded – You have lost your ability to see properly, possibly as a result of severe trauma. Take -2 ongoing to any actions where sight is a major factor (but doesn’t render the action impossible) until your blindness is treated, or until your normal vision returns.
  • Deafened – You have lost your ability to hear properly, possibly due to extremely loud noises or severe physical trauma. Take -2 ongoing to any actions where sound or vocalization is a major factor until your deafness is treated or hearing returns to normal on its own.
  • Surprised – You cannot act until GM takes a turn with any adversaries.
  • Terrorized – If you fail to Defy Danger vs. the Terrifying Monster Tag, you take -2 ongoing to actions other than fleeing, cowering or Defy Danger until you succeed at Defy. 
  • Knocked Out – If you have been hit by a blackjack or other incapacitating move, but have more than 0 HP, you may be knocked out (depends on Defy Danger with +CON). It takes ~10-Cool minutes of rest to recover Bruises.
Semi-Permanent Conditions could take several hours or possibly even several days to alleviate. In some instances, they may be temporarily treated or removed altogether with the use of medicine and drugs, however. Such a massive concussion from a Compromise that caused temporary blindness
  • Broken Limb – you take -2 to any tasks with the associated limb until it is set and placed in a cast, splint, or sling. After you've been in a cast for a week, roll +CON. On any hit, you take -1 on those same tasks. After the second week, roll +CON again, healing fully on any hit.
  • Exhausted – You are physically spent and your stamina can carry you no further. Get -2 to any actions where physical exertion is a factor until you regain your stamina through the Recover move.
  • Hobbled – Your movement and foot speed has been compromised and you can no longer run, possibly due to severe trauma. Get -2 to any actions where balance and speed are a factor until you take a Recover action.
  • Sick – You are ill. You get -2 to all actions until you Recover.
  • Starving – You are hungry and thirsty. You get -2 to all actions until your hunger is slaked and your thirst quenched. The rule of 3s states you get 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, or 3 minutes without air.
Permanent Conditions usually don’t go away, although some might be treated with surgery, and anything can be treated with Big Magic if it’s in the game.
  • Lost a Limb – If you fail to Avoid Danger vs. the Messy tag, you lost… something. Could be a limb, eye, equipment, etc. If you do lose a bit of yourself, surgery can restore severed fingers, or broken/crushed bones, or give you a prosthetic. You need magic to restore lost arms to function. You take -2 ongoing on related tasks until you get a prosthetic or the Repair spell. Prosthetics come with their own strengths and weaknesses though (might do a post on those, not sure yet).
  • Lost an Eye – When you lose an eye, you’re temporarily blinded from the shock of the thing, and have virtually zero depth perception when you recover. This gives you -2 ongoing on any ranged attack you make. Perhaps even -1 ongoing on a semi-permanent basis until you’ve had time to grow accustomed to the change in perception. In any case, the loss of an eye requires either magic or high tech to restore function, or an eyepatch or prosthetic eye to restore aesthetic.

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