Part 3. (Number 1, 2)
After determining the basic process for rolling dice, I addressed health and damage next. I wanted several ways to overcome opponents in the game, but have all of them work in the same manner. Those tactics were physical attacks, intimidation and confusion.
Each requires an attack roll, defense is substracted from the successes and remaining successes accumulate as damage. With enough damage, a character is taken out. I went for a line of damage boxes with increasing penalties, as found in Shadowrun or WoD.
I only made a single line for all three types of damage. I figured, a character would be more open for intimidation after some beating etc. Players denote the damage taken with a letter (P, I, C).
How many damage boxes should a character have? I wanted an heroic game, and was very partial to 7th Sea, and its character ranks. In 7th Sea, there are mooks, lieutenants and heros/villains. The protagonists are heros of course, lieutenants are weaker and mooks are not individual characters at all. I like the idea, but felt that there should be something more powerful than PCs. So PCs take the middle of Commoners, Master and Monster. They got health tracks like that...
Commoners O O KO
Masters O O L L S S KO
Monsters O O O L L L S S S KO
... with L for light penalties, S for severe penalties.
In many games, like 7th Sea and D&D4, the lowest class of of characters doesn't have Health at all and only a reduced set of other stats. That's a problem, because that approach often results in characters' actions having not the full effect. When a character in D&D4 attacks a Minion, the damage doesn't matter. That means a barbarian or fighter fighting a minion in melee isn't anymore effective than a wizard with a staff (provided the wizard takes melee training). It's similar in 7th Sea, where most Swordmen's knacks won't work against mooks.
So my commoners needed a reasonable health track. They don't get any boxes with penalties to reduce the book keeping. But how should those penalties work? Remembering my three ways of making rolls more difficult, I went with increasing the success threshold to 5+ and 6. This way taking damage really feels like a burden, making every single die worse.
There was some fluctuation over how damage should be healed. At first, I tried to handle all three types differently. Then I made them all the same. At last, I came up with this:
Confusion fades, when it makes sense. Usually when the victim gets new information. Intimidating and physical damage need to be treated. Almost all games I know, assume some degree of natural healing. In B&B, you need a doctor or maybe you remember your first aid lessons. (I'll tell you in a later installment how that works.)