Monday 1 April 2024

BREAK??: Cartoon Slapstick Injury Table

Today marks the first in what I hope becomes an April Fools tradition here at the devblog: BREAK?? will be entries with rules in them that are silly and certainly not meant for regular use, but still viable for those who want to find a place for them. Today's entry is on injuries of a distinctly non-fatal variety.

(There is also a secret, incongruous bit to the language to this entry as well, bonus points if you're the first to catch it) 

Cartoon Slapstick

Magic flows and can effect the world in strange and myriad ways. Occasionally when things are just right (or wrong, depending on your view on things) the consequences of physical injury become impermanent and somewhat...animated.

When the Cartoon Slapstick rules are in play, the following rules apply:

  • Whenever a character or adversary is reduced to zero Hearts or otherwise needs to roll on the Injury/Damage table, they instead reference the Cartoon Slapstick Injury Table.
  • Each one of these results remove the character from action for a bit. Either until the end of combat/perilous situation, OR until every other character currently involved has taken an action if the injury is incurred in a calmer situation. At these points, the injury is simply removed without further fuss.
  • Player Characters and their named companions can be restored from these injuries early if they Finish the gag as noted in each individual entry. 
    • Most of these won't apply to a Bio-Mechanoid or similar character, who instead can be restored to form (with two hearts) if someones uses their action and expends the use of a gadgeteering toolkit.
  • If subject to a Burning/Caustic Injury, instead apply the same rules as the Fragmented result, save the target is burnt into a neat little pile of ash. They are still inexplicably fine after the duration.

Cartoon Slapstick Injury Table

  • (1-5) Bonked: A blow to your noggin has sent your head spinning (sometimes literally) and after stumbling about for a bit and saying something like "You should see the other guy" you slump to the ground, small cherub versions of the party's least cute member circling your head.
    • Finish the Gag: You can be brought back into the fray with two Hearts restored if someone grabs you by the collar, shouts "SNAP OUT OF IT" and throttles you about a bit. This requires their action.
  • (6-10) Perforated: Lo, you are ruptured. That last series of hits filled you full of holes, or a single large one. You take a moment to stare in awe before focus is taken elsewhere and you're perfectly fine without explanation when the injury is removed normally.
    • Finish the Gag: If you take the time to drink a potion (or something similar) so it can proceed to leak out as if it was poured into a sieve, you regain two hearts and rejoin the action immediately.
  • (11-15) Squashed: Your body, or a significant part of it, has been squashed flat like a pancake or  silly putty. You remain inert for the duration, once again inexplicably fine once the excitement has passed.
    • Finish the Gag: You are restored and regain two hearts immediately if subjected to the Ballooned status ailment.
  • (16-20) Fragmented: Crack! A solid strike has caused to shatter like glass, or a series of cuts has literally sliced you into ribbons. You fall into a neat pile on the spot, and (say it with me now) are inexplicably fine once things are finished
    • Finish the Gag: You regain two hearts and can act again immediately if someone takes an action and expends a unit of glue or a use from a mending toolkit of some kind to put you back together.

 OK, really though...

These rules are intended as a silly gag, but if you've read this far and would like to actually use them in your game in some capacity, here are some suggestions:

  • A particular adversary or type of adversary (such as a very strange unshaped, or magical creatures created with pen and ink) might use these rules instead of being dispatched normally, needing some special method to deal with them permanently. 
  • An imbued item or potion might provide these effects as a "benefit" when used or imbibed.
  • A wacky Elsewhere might use these rules for everyone within it to reflect it's strange nature.
  • These rules might apply to an adventure site under the effect of a whimsy stone.

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