Damage and Healing
There are two different types of damage in Ask Again Later, Lethal damage and Bruising damage. Lethal damage comes from all weapons and most forms of magic, while Bruising comes from pushing past your limits and untrained fists. Bruising damage is tracked on your Health boxes as a single slash across them, while lethal damage is tracked as 2 slashes in a X pattern over the Health box.
If you character takes a large amount of damage, they begin to accrue penalties. If they only have 3 Health boxes remaining, they have a -1 penalty to all draws as their wounds have begun to impede them. For each additional damage they take, they take a further -1 penalty up to a maximum of -3 when they only have one box remaining.
Once your character’s Health track is filled with damage, count the number of each. If it’s more Bruising than Lethal or an equal amount of both, your character has fallen unconscious. If it’s more lethal that bruising, your character gains the Wounded Condition. If your character’s Health track is filled entirely with Lethal damage, they are dead after 1 round. Death might not happen immediately, but that character will shortly perish at the appropriate dramatic moment.
Your character is bleeding out, gravely injured, or otherwise on death’s door. Choose whether they are going to remain conscious or fall unconscious. Your character’s Bruising damage turns into Lethal damage at a rate of 1 per 15 mins if they choose to fall unconscious, or 1 per round if they choose to remain conscious. Once all of their Health Boxes are filled with lethal damage, your character dies after 1 round. If they are unconscious, this is extended to 15 mins.
Resolution: Medical Attention or death!
Bruising damage can be healed naturally as the game progresses at a rate of 1 damage healed per 15 minutes passing out of character, without requiring your character take any special attention to doing so. If your character decided to rest and take a breather, they can heal it at a rate of 2 damage per 15 minutes instead. Bruising damage can also be healed with a successful Medicine draw, where each success on the draw heals one Bruising damage. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, your character heals all of their Bruising damage between games of a season.
Lethal damage does not heal naturally at all over the course of a season, and instead always requires Medicine draws to heal. Each success on that draw “downgrades” that number of Lethal damage to Bruising damage. If there are any leftover successes after that point, the character begins to heal their newly acquired Bruising damage as above. Lethal damage can also be healed through Downtime actions, such as one in which your character visits a doctor or other health professional. The amount depends on quality of medical care your character receives, though.
In addition, medicine can only move so quickly and do so much at one time. Each injury can only benefit from one successful Medicine draw, regardless of the source, over the course of a game or a single downtime period. In further downtime periods or at later games, more assistance can be provided to your injured character. This restriction does only apply to more conventional modern medicine, it should be noted that magic ignores this rule.