8.6 HARDSHIP, ILLNESS, and AGE
Life can be cruel for the living. As we age all sorts of maladies befall us.
From car accidents to bouts with influenza and
even the steady progression of age, it all takes its
toll upon the mortal shell.
By the time we die we've probably needed serious
medical attention half a dozen times or more.
Serious injuries can have
devastating effect on a character.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to quantify
these effects in the game. Whenever a character losses a battle severely (by his
health score or one less), the storyteller should
seriously consider causing some lasting damage to the
there are no hard and fast rules as to how these
disabilities will effect the character and his rolls,
common sense should prevail. A character with a bum leg might have considerable
trouble running, but should have no problem picking up a
gun and firing it. The storyteller can apply a negative
penalty to all rolls that are influenced by this
Illness is another factor the
children of clay must worry about.
Since there are a plethora of diseases out there
it is difficult to make hard and fast rules for them
can be said is this.
At the height of the disease, when the character
is feeling its greatest effects, the disease will in
some manner affect all physical and mental tasks.
This is reflected in a negative modifier to all
general (though not always) physical rolls will be
affected to a greater degree than mental rolls.
These modifiers range from –1 (a very minor
illness) to –5 (a major and even life threatening
Of course the state of medical
advancement in the genre in which you are playing can
make a fantastic difference.
Medicines can help alleviate the symptoms if not
cure the patient all together.
Characters who are taking medicine to alleviate
the symptoms of a disease may not suffer as great a
penalty (or perhaps not suffer a penalty at all) for the
duration of the medicines effect.
Once the medicine wears off, however, they will
quickly return to their previous level of misery.
Age is perhaps the most frustrating
of all hardships the human body can endure.
There is no cure for getting old, and in the end
the ravages of time take a heavy toll on the flesh.
The bones become weaker, the senses dulled, the
memory more vague, and the reflexes a mere shadow of
their former glory.
A character’s aspects should reflect this
The age at which aspects start to decrease will depend on the life expectancy and technological level of the setting the characters are playing in. For the most part, those above the age of fifty will begin to feel the effects. Every few years (anywhere from 2 to 5) of in game time that passes should result in the diminishing of one of the characters aspects by one point. The physical skills of health and athleticism should probably be the first to go, but this is not always a certainty. Additionally, the maximum limit for aspects is reduced as the character gets older. Those who are over sixty can not have aspect scores greater than eleven. Those who have reached the age of seventy cannot exceed ten, and those who are eighty or older cannot exceed scores of nine. Once again, this may very according to the genre you are playing in.