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When a character takes damage they subtract the numerical damage dealt from their current HP.  Damage is dealt based on the fiction.  Damage can be assigned even when no move if made if it follows from the fiction. 

Dealing Damage

Damage is determined by the attacker.  Adventurers deal damage according to their class, the weapon used and the move they've just made.  Damage by Class aka Base Damage is as follows:

  • Barbarian base damage is d10
  • Bard base damage is d6
  • Cleric base damage is d6
  • Druid base damage is d6
  • Fighter base damage is d10
  • Immolator base damage is d8
  • Paladin base damage is d10
  • Ranger base damage is d8
  • Thief base damage is d8
  • Wizard base damage is d4

If a move simply says "deal damage" then the player rolls their character's base damage plus any bonuses or penalties from moves, weapons or effects.  If a move specifies an amount of damage, use that instead. Some moves (or tags) tell you to add damage (like +1 damage or +1d4 damage) to the total.  Likewise, certain effects can subtract damage from the total (-1 damage or -1d4 damage).  Damage never goes negative, however. 0 damage is no damage and it doesn't get reduced from there. 

Best and Worst Damage Rolls

Some monsters and moves have you roll damage multiple times and take the best or worst result of the rolls. Its written with the following format: b[2d6] means to roll d6 twice and take the higher roll. w[3d8] means to roll d8 three times and take the lowest roll.  

Monster Damage

Monsters always inflict damage as listed in their description.  Any time a monster takes direct action to hurt someone, even if they use a method other than their normal attack, have the player being attacked make this specified roll and then reduce their hit points accordingly after armor or other modifiers are accounted for.  Monsters generally inflict 1d4 to 1d10 damage depending on size and lethality- a few are even more dangerous, however.  


Damage From Multiple Creatures

If multiple creatures attack an adventurer at once, roll the highest damage listed in all their descriptions and then add +1 damage for each monster beyond the first.  Don't roll separate attacks for each one.  Use the fiction to describe the outcome instead.


Stun Damage 

Stun damage is non-lethal damage.  An adventurer who takes stun damage must Defy Danger to act at all with the duration lasting as long as makes sense to the GM based on the ongoing fiction.  A GM character that takes stun damage cannot resist it but will simply act accordingly, staggering around for a few seconds or collapse in a daze.

  • "You might get Stunned after taking too much Stun damage or you might just be Stunned by something that hits you right in the logic parts of your little adventure brain. I've seen Stun damage from poison, from a hard knock to the head, from a blinding smoke-powder bomb and from magic" - Adam Koebel


Other Sources of Damage

When an adventurer is hurt (often indirectly) by damage from a source like a collapsing tower or falling into a pit, the GM will declare what the player should roll based on these options regarding the source.

  • It threatens bruises and scrapes at worst: d4 damage
  • It might spill some blood but nothing horrendous: d6 damage
  • It might break some bones: d8 damage
  • It could kill a common person: d10 damage

Add the ignores armor tag if the source is especially large or comes from something like magic or random poison . {see Custom Moves like Falling for a non-classical approach}

Armor Vs. Damage

Armor mitigates the damage dealt by subtracting its value on a 1 to 1 basis.  Sources of damage that are N piercing subtract N from Armor before Armor is subtracted from damage dealt.  Sources of damage that ignore armor do exactly that.  


Damage Effects Beyond HP Loss

When fiction (from the GM or player) specifies exactly what harm befell the character, the outcome should be taken into account therafter.  An adventurer with a newly busted arm isn't going to swinging a sword or casting a spell as normal.  They might be able to but the player should be able to explain how and a Defy Danger might well be triggered and need to be addressed first.


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