Armor and Wounds

Right, so I’m sitting here Burning all the PCs for a demo game I’ll be running in about two weeks. I’ve built a custom BE character sheet in Word so I can print out nice and clean characters for everyone. As I’m filling in the physical tolerances and Armor Tolerances I’m struck with the following thought…

What happens when the character takes their armor off?

That is to say, by way of example, a character has a Superficial wound tolerance of H3. He gets into a firefight while wearing Anvil armor (AT3). He manages to take an incidental hit from a SCReW gun (H6). Now, thanks to his Anvil armor that’ll count as a Superficial wound instead of an Injury. After the battle the medic has time to check him out and says, “Let’s get that armor of so we can make sure you’re okay.” What happens? Does he still have an H6 when he takes off the armor or is it lowered to an H3 so it’s a Superficial wound as it is with the armor on? Or do we simply not worry about that kind of detail?

While I do realize that the actual recovery rolls are based on the severity of the wound (thus in the above example he wouldn’t have to worry about anything). But what about if he gets back to his barracks, takes off that Anvil armor, and then heads to the bar to relax. While there he manages to get on another grunts bad side and they end up in a fist fight. Does he still have that H6 wound and if so does it affect him as a superficial or an injury?

Just want to get some clarification on the issue because I can really see it working a few ways. Particularly because I ride motorcycles and am all too aware that a head wound can turn into a fatal wound if your helmet is removed at the wrong time or by the wrong people. So that’s a case where I can see the wound being an H8 which is an injury with the helmet on, but if you remove the helmet it turns into a maimed.

Hey man,

We didn’t drill down to that level of detail. A Superficial is a Superficial, period. That’s why there are two separate wound tracks. So if you take an Injury in your armor and take your armor off, it’s still an Injury.

As for Superficials, remember that they go away at the end of the scene. If you take a Superficial in a Firefight, it disappears when the Firefight is finished.

I saw this as well… I find the system for keeping track of wounds to be confusing when armor may be taken (apparently no one ever took armor off during play test!! :shock:

I discussed it here:

Basically all I do is discount the wound by the Armor dice… you wearing AT3 armor? then when you get hit with for a 6 point wound you only mark a 3 down… simple and you never have to worry about your Armor Tolerances vs your Normal Tolerances. Espeically important for Iron where you may have your helemt on or off… you would have to have Human tolerances, Iron Tolerances and Visor Up Armor Tolerances!! :?

So I am just going with my system.

Don’t make this too complicated guys. If you have two Injuries and a Maimed while you’re wearing armor, you still have two Injuries and a Maimed when you take off the armor.

Wasn’t us that made it complicated in the first place :stuck_out_tongue:

I think that it really does make more sense to subtract the AT value from the wound. That way when a wound is plotted on the physical tolerances track, you won’t have to make a special mark to differentiate between a wound taken while wearing and not wearing armor.

While I certainly understand that it’s meant to be abstract and not something that is detailed to death, most players are not accustomed to this style of play. As such, I’m just trying to be prepared for when the 4 people I’m introducing to the game later this month ask me that fateful question; “So, what happens if I take my armor off?” Of course, the GM in me thinks the proper reply should be, “You die moron!”

Any, I’ve got the answer I need so all is well, thanks guys!

If your characters are changing outfits all the time, and you are using custom character sheets, why not make two wound charts? One with and one without armor.

There are already two wound tracks on the sheet, Tim. One for armor and one for without.

Guys, note that the only purpose of the coordinates is to tell you when your character takes a Superficial, Injury, Maimed, etc. result. It has no mechanical significance beyond that. There is no need to “replot” an injury when you remove your armor.

If you take an Injury in your armor. You still have an Injury when you take the armor off. We don’t need to know whether it’s an AT 5 or an AT 8. It’s an Injury.

I understand that Thor, but when I take an injury I do not write down Maimed… I mark it on the Scale and check the headers… This is not so important the night of the injury, but by next week, after the battle, and in the next manuver I am attacked in the halls of my lord on the way to court, I need to know what level of injury that was. In addtion, the whle AT changes depending on if your Visor is up or down, which can change multiple times in a battle, means that it will get more confusing when looking back at your injuries.

I don’t get the confusion here. Don’t you just look at the armor you have at the time you take the hit? If you have your visor up, your protection is reduced for that hit. If your visor is down, you have full protection. The injury has nothing to do with the armor once you’ve determined the severity of the hit. YOU are injured, not the armor.


Yes, you do. The IMS/PTS coordinate exists only to tell you which wound to write down, Injured, Maimed or whatever.

Remember there are no weird positional effects after a wound is scored. So, it doesn’t matter where in the section corresponding to the severity you make your ‘x’.

Of course if you always note it down the number exactly you could just make an ‘a’ for hits taken in armor and ‘x’ for no armor. With ‘x’ you look up to see where the hit falls. With ‘a’ you look down.

Where the confusion seems to be coming in from is how the character sheet is set up. As an example, look at the diagram on pg 541.

Let’s say this guy gets wounded and takes a wound that goes on coordinate 8. The player fills in the dot on the track for that coordinate. At the time, the player knows what armor he was or wasn’t wearing. A week later, the player can’t remember whether or not that filled in dot was for the human scale or the armor scale, which in turn means the dot doesn’t tell him whether he’s got a injured or a maimed result.

If you’re relying on the dot to tell you long term what wounds you have, you’re gonna get confused.

With this sheet, what I recommend Khelek do is that, once you jot down the dot, look down a little bit on the character sheet and you’ll see a section for Notes. Under that section, write down the actual wound word (injured, maimed, whatever). That way, a week later, you can glance at your sheet and by reading your Notes, know that you’ve got say Injured x2 and Maimed x1., or whatever.

EDIT: The_Tim’s suggestion is even better than mine, I recommend using his over mine.

Thank you for that post as it is exactly what went through my head as I was creating my custom character sheet and entering the Human and Armor tolerances for all of the player characters. I figured all along that an Injury in Armor is still an Injury after the armor is removed.

I was always under the impression that the PTS was intended to keep track of your wounds and that you didn’t need to write them elsewhere. The PTS really is little more than a custom chart for the player to refer to when they take a hit so they know how bad it was; it just happens that you can also keep track of this information on the chart.

Also, consider that for a character who is Maimed by an H7 or an H8, it doesn’t matter which one it really is because the numerical part of the wound has no impact on recovery.

I find it silly to write your wounds down under notes. If you’re going to do that, then you certainly don’t need a PTHS chart with little dots that can be filled in. Since I took the time to recreate that feature of the character sheet I want to use it for actually tracking the characters wounds.

Just FYI, I ended up crossposting with The_Tim. If you mark your coordinates with a X for human tolerance wounds and A for armor tolerance wounds, you don’t need to write anything additional down under notes. Nor is a custom sheet needed unless you like making your own sheets anyway, in which case, rock on.

Seriously, The_Tim’s suggestion is far and away, hands down better than mine

I think it’s a good point that the PTHS is meant to track wounds the character has taken so there’s no reason to mark armored and unarmored wounds separately. Seems better just to subtract the AT from the incoming wound and plot it from there. That way all the wounds are relative to the character rather than some relative to the character and other relative to the character in armor.

Furthermore, since the numerical value of a wound has no meaning after determining what type of wound results from it, one could simply fill in a dot anywhere in the appropriate wound range (An Injury is an Injury regardless of whether it’s an H5 or H6). It’s not as if the PTHS has some special rules that say if the filled in dots ever form a ‘+’, ‘-’, or '*" then you’ve lost a limb (+ = Arm, - = Leg, * = Head) or that wounds taken while in armor take longer to heal. So really, a player can take the H8 wound, find that based on their Armor that would cause a Superficial wound, and then plot an H3 since it’s the first Superficial wound dot available (assuming that’s how their PTHS is set up). No need to note if it was taken while in armor or not.

As to the custom character sheet: I have always liked making custom sheets anyway so it’s no big deal. Though in this case there are two other reasons that I did it:

  1. I don’t waste time teaching people how to read my handwriting since I don’t write the number 1 in a way that Americans tend to recognize. Besides, it’s just more professional to give players clean and clear handouts.

  2. I had already made a custom sheet for Under A Serpent Sun (see #1) and had only weeks ago converted that into a custom Burning (Star Wars) Empires sheet. So the work was basically already done save for a few tweaks and removing Force and Lightsaber stuff.