Losing a hand !

Hi everyone,

How should I represent one of our TB character’s loss of a hand ?

He’s an Elf, so there’s enough of an impact on spell and weapon use that I’ld like to model it well through mechanics. I’m thinking the Injured condition straight off, lose the use of a Hand slot, and gain a Trait like ‘Maimed’ or ‘Ugly Stump’. I suppose the way in which the ‘Injured’ condition is healed may inform the Trait gained.

Does this sound good, or might there be a better way ?

Here below is how it came about - I also invite opinions on if this seemed a fair escalation of events, or was I being overly harsh ?

The players were trying to determine the maximum cash they could get out of some casks of Famed Sour Beer, to see if it was worth lugging the bulky things around the place. Some Haggler-with-Smuggler-wise twists later, we had determined that …
… these casks very clearly marked as part of a Guild order …
… Guilds are utterly ruthless when it comes to their stolen / salvaged gear
… the only safe way to try and sell these casks would be via the Trader dad of one of our Dwarven Adventurers.

Later, heading back to town with beer casks (and blatantly carrying the inn’s rug over one shoulder), the relevant player is accosted by bailiffs, searched, identified as a thief of Guild goods, is unable to persuade the bailiffs as to his innocence, and has his hand chopped off as summary justice. (They were making camp within sight of Town walls to create an opportunity to spend a Persona point, so one player could level up in Town -> So, still in the Adventuring Phase, they failed a Survivalist roll to find safe and covert camp outside walls, were jumped by bailiffs as dodgy-looking -> he decides to lie his way out, and fails the Manipulation roll with his hand clearly on the line -> Chop !) We finished the session there, about to enter Town.

Thanks for any and all feedback !

I just think you missed a step. I don’t think the twist for failing a social test should generally be physical injury. Did you give the player a chance to run away, drive them off, or kill them? If you did and they just chose to submit to the law, then I think it was fair. If not, I do think it’s a bit harsh to go straight from lying to one less hand, unless of course you were already tied up with a machete on your wrist and one last word to convince the man not to do it.

>>>Jovialbard said : I just think you missed a step. I don’t think the twist for failing a social test should generally be physical injury. Did you give the player a chance to run away, drive them off, or kill them?

Oh yes, we had got to the point where the bailiffs had surrounded, over-powered and restrained the characters (utterly exhausted, sick, angry and afraid)- and the “You know what happens to thieves …” chopper was being meaningfully brandished. The player specifically decided to go for the lie-his-way-out, where I think the consequences of the roll had been made very clear. Running away, bribing and other forms of persuasion looked like viable options too.

I take your point on the social-test->physical-injury leap, I’ll watch for that in future. Thanks ! Any thoughts on mechanical effects of hand-less-ness ?

Being unable to use two handed weapons and that inventory slot being gone would be rough enough to be going on with — it’s also not entirely clear to me that you can inflict more than Injured.

>>>Wombleton wrote : … it’s also not entirely clear to me that you can inflict more than Injured.

That … didn’t even occur to me. Kinda makes sense though, that all suffering might have to be captured with the condition states provided, like a Quantum Theory of Hardship.

Hmmm, I’ll have to have a re-think about this - thanks !

Axe the slot (for some things) sounds good to me, and then give a trait in Winter if the tale is told. I don’t see why it’s a problem that the elf lost the hand; it was very clearly foreshadowed, and within the scope of authority to do it. Though, I bet the player could still try hanging a lantern off the stump or something. Maybe get a guildmember to fashion a prosthetic that can hold something crudely?

If you made the stakes very clear, you were 100% in the right of that. You’re not removing the hand because you applied the Injured condition (which would imply a success), you’re applying the Injured condition because they just got a hand chopped off. Which is admittedly really harsh.

Two things:

  1. A new trait is definitely the way to go: Lackhand, Stumpy, Gimpy, etc.
  2. Because of the way failure works in Torchbearer, when the player fails a test like this, you can either give him a condition (like Injured) and allow the character to succeed at lying to the guards or you can invoke a twist and have the guards cut his hand off. You can’t do both. Maybe they cauterize the wound and leave him in some hole to recover before they toss him out.

A new trait does sound fun. Thanks for the clarification on the Either/Or - that does seem more fair. The search for prosthetics should be entertaining too :slight_smile:

Totally agree with Thor. Also not having the hand slots, not being able to use two handed items or different weapons during conflict is a huge disadvantage, you shouldn’t “punish” his character further.

Stay cool :cool:

Incidentally, this is something Luke and I came up with back in February and have been noodling around with:

If You Lost a Kill Conflict but Earn a Major Compromise
(New option by way of Mouse Guard 2.0)
You are killed but you maim your opponent–chopping off an arm or leg or otherwise doing permanent injury. The maimed character must immediately take a Level 1 trait to reflect his or her new status!

Hook-hand (new weapon)
Your missing hand was replaced by a wicked steel gaff. Your new hook gives you -1D, +1s to Maneuver or Defend—choose the benefit when declaring weapons. It is an ineffective tool for manipulating objects.

(from upcoming Outcasts)

Great! I’m gonna test it with the orc blacksmith I’m introducing in the dungeon I’m writing for my next session.

Stay cool :cool:

Also, if you’ve read Game of Thrones, you know exactly how losing a social conflict can lead to this sort of thing.