Relaxed Recovery Rules

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This is an alternate method of handling extreme wounds in Burning Wheel, with the intent of keeping the wounded character in the game. Severe wounds still suck, but I feel that the 18-20 months of recovery time (for at least 4 of which the character is comatose) suggested by the Anatomy of Injury section of Burning Wheel (pp 199-201) is not really appropriate for this game.

First, some background. According to the book, here are the Health test obstacles and minimum recovery times for each category of wound:

Wound Type Health Ob Recovery Time
Superficial 1 immediate or 10 - Forte hours
Light 2 immediate or 24 - Forte hours
Midi 3 2 weeks
Severe 4 1 months
Traumatic 5 2 months
Mortal 6 4 months

Mortal wounds are a special case; after recovering from the Mortal wound itself, the character must also recover from each lesser wound successively.

For these new relaxed rules, the following changes apply:

  • I will use the minimum recovery times for each stage (the times listed above).
  • Full die penalties apply to physical attributes: all those except Will, Perception, and skills rooted in those and no other stats. Those mental attributes are at -1D. Though in constant pain, the character can still speak and think with difficulty. (Recall that Health and emotional attributes are never affected by wound penalties.)
    • The absence of Steel from the list of "mental" attributes is deliberate. A paralyzed character who fails a Steel test clearly cannot Run Screaming, but may Writhe Screaming instead.
    • Although he cannot make any tests with physical stats, the character may take small physical actions (Ob 0) appropriate to someone in their weakened condition.
  • A character still in the Mortal stage of recovery is entirely helpless; physical stats and skills are at 0. The character fades in and out of consciousness; if it is important that they be conscious right now (i.e., there are time complications), an Ob 1 Health test is required to maintain awareness.
  • Until the character's physical die penalties reach -1D, they are also subject to constant pain equivalent to a Superficial wound (+1 Ob).
  • The -1D and +1 Ob of mental penalties are subject to the Clearing the Cobwebs and Gritting Your Teeth rules (Ob 2 and 4 Health tests, respectively), allowing them to be negated for the duration of a scene.
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