Over the course of an adventure, a character can have experiences that permanently damage them mentally, physically or emotionally - this is simulated with trauma. Additionally, while in combat, certain effects can occur to disrupt a character, often as a result of a critical success result in a challenge.
Temporary damage is used to simulate non-lethal damage, such as embarrassment (temp EQ damage), exhaustion (temp BQ damage), fear/pain (temp IQ damage) or demoralization (temp MQ damage). For example, an enemy aims a gun at Shane and has a positive VM of +2 with an intimidation challenge will result in Shane incurring 2 temporary IQ damage due to fear. This situation also gives the enemy many more options for threats or just shooting, but if the situation is resolved peacefully, Shane will recover from the temp damage after the encounter.
Temporary damage acts like locking that number of trait. E.g. 3 temp damage to BQ will lock up 3 points of BQ until the end of the combat. As with normal damage, if this causes a trait’s modifier to decrease, then they use the lower modifier for the rest of the encounter.
In this system, trauma means a long-term effect from stressful situations – usually combat, but this can also include other events. The Megacorp RPG divides trauma up into minor and major categories for each trait.
EQ trauma can represent a loss of confidence, for example, a fear of public speaking, obsession with appearance, or an irrational love or hatred for something.
MQ trauma is generally reputation damage; this also includes psychoses that affect a character’s morality, for example, kleptomania, becoming paranoid, or becoming a compulsive liar.
IQ trauma can result in more insanity effects, like schizophrenia, hallucinations or a specific phobia (spiders, heights, etc.)
The tables below can be used to randomly generate minor or major trauma, or use it as a guide to potential injuries choose an appropriate trauma to go with the given situation the character has found themselves in.
|1-2||Minor phobia (scared, but can still act)||Uncomfortable with strangers – developed shyness||Character never appears sincere (gives out an aura of untrustworthiness||Broken bone - roll on location table|
|3-4||Obsessed with personal appearance||Dislocated joint - roll on location table|
|5-6||Disfiguring injury - roll on location table|
|9||Roll on major trauma table instead||Roll on major trauma table instead||Roll on major trauma table instead||Roll on major trauma table instead|
|0||No trauma||No trauma||No trauma||No trauma|
|1-2||Major/ paralysing phobia (roll on phobia table below)||Cannot talk to people||Compulsive liar||Amputated body part - roll d10/2, then find on location table,|
|3-4||Shizophrenia||Racist hate (player can choose target)||Kleptomaniac (compulsion to steal)||Developed heart condition|
|5-6||Debilitating flashbacks of trauma event||Paranoia||Spinal injury|
|9-0||Roll on minor trauma table instead||Roll on minor trauma table instead||Roll on minor trauma table instead||Roll on minor trauma table instead|
|Roll (d10)||Phobia||Body Location|
|1||Nyctophobia - darkness||Arm/elbow|
|2||Acrophobia - heights||Leg/knee|
|3||Bugs/snakes/spiders, etc (pick one)||Finger/toe|
|4||Claustrophobia - enclosed spaces||Hand/wrist|
|5||Monophobia - being alone||Ankle/knee|
|6||Xenophobia - strange/foreign things||Pelvis|
Note that trauma should generally occur after the encounter – adrenaline, and concentration during combat is likely to keep any immediate effects down. Minor trauma can occur when a character takes a significant amount of damage (10-20 for example) to a specific trait in a short period of time, or of course, when a traumatic event occurs during roleplay. Major trauma is a very rare occurrence and should generally only happen if the trigger occurs over an extended period, for example, if a player is captured and tortured, or if someone is repeatedly bullied and attacked over the course of months.
Trauma is not necessarily permanent. If an effort is made to seek medical or psychological help then after a recovery period, a minor trauma can be mitigated and will no longer affect a character. Alternatively, a character can decide to try to turn a traumatic experience into an asset for themselves – a disfiguring injury would likely give a bonus to intimidation skills, or someone listening to the voices in their head may sometimes learn something useful if they can deal with the negative aspects of the trauma.
In the Megacorp RPG, crits in combat do not give a damage multiplier – damage is determined by the VM, after all – but instead allow for a potential combat injury (trauma) or a status effect that disadvantages the target.
When a player achieves a Critical Success VM, their initial intentions should partially determine the effect of the critical. Crits are reasonably rare – a critical success will occur around 5% of the time in challenges where both parties have a similar modifier to the roll and letting the player that rolls the crit have input is great for engagement and roleplay. Here are several examples of potential crit effects:
INTENT: get rid of opponents weapon, Critical effect: Dismemberment (hand is cut/shot off) or weapon is broken.
INTENT: shoot opponent in the eye, Critical effect: partial blindness (one eye) or even total blindness.
INTENT: push opponent back, Critical effect: opponent is pushed back 1m (or more) or opponent falls over.