In addition to the six main Attributes, Derived Attributes come straight from the choices you’ve already made. You’ll use them to know how quickly your character reacts in dangerous situations and just how much punishment he can take before dropping like a sack of oats. We call them Initiative and Life Points.
Initiative is a roll that tells you who goes first in a given situation. Do you draw first or does your enemy have the drop on you? You’ll make Initiative rolls during combat and other hairy situations where time is a major factor. When the GM asks for an “Initiative Roll,” you roll your Agility + Alertness dice and tell the GM the result. Higher is better. Especially when a Reaver is rushing at you with a machete!
Life Points measure how much damage you can take before passing out or dying. When your character is punched, stabbed, or shot, the damage comes out of your total Life Points. If your damage is equal or greater than your Life Points, you’re out of the action. Calculate your total by adding the die types of your Vitality + Willpower Attributes. For example, a character with d8 Vitality and d6 Willpower has 14 Life Points.
‘Course, it’s helpful to know whether you’ll be needing a bandage or a tombstone. Damage comes
in two types: Stun and Wounds.
If Stun damage puts you over your total, you are only knocked senseless and will recover with rest, though you may have bruises, nicks, and very minor injuries. If you continue to take Stun after being knocked out, you’ll accumulate Shock Points that will keep you unconscious even longer.
Wounds are a might bit more worrisome, as they represent serious injury—everything from flesh wounds to a bullet through the liver. A badly wounded character is distracted by pain and blood loss, so when you’ve taken half or more of your Life Points total in Wounds, you suffer a –2 step penalty on all Attributes until you’ve been patched up. If you’ve taken your entire total in Wounds, you’ll be pushing up the daisies unless you receive help.
It’s easiest to track the two types of damage by representing your character’s Life Points with check boxes in two columns. Track Stun damage from the top going down and Wounds from the bottom going up. When the two columns meet, you pass out. When all the Wounds are checked off, you better hope the doc’s around or it’s time to think up your next character concept.
OTHER DERIVED ATTRIBUTES
Burst of Strength: Strength + Strength – Rolled when you need to perform a brief feat of physical strength, such as shoving a heavy object out of the way.
Endurance: Vitality + Willpower – Rolled when you’ve taken more Wounds than Life Points, to see if you stay alive.
Get Out of Harm’s Way: Agility + Alertness – Made when reacting to sudden danger, such as diving away from a grenade that lands at your feet.
Long Haul: Strength + Vitality – Made when performing an extended feat of strength that has to be maintained more than a few seconds, such as carrying a heavy load up a hill.
Memorize: Intelligence + Alertness – Used to commit important information to memory.
Recall: Intelligence + Willpower – A check to remember an important event or fact.
Resistance: Vitality + Vitality – Made to resist environmental hazards, diseases, alcohol, and toxins.