Effects which are dangerous to the character are expressed as two damage values: Stun and Injury. Stun hurts, and you get it primarily from blunt violence like punches, kicks, falls and clubs. Injury means more slow-healing, lasting injuries such as cuts, bullet wounds and broken bones.
The higher the value of the Stun or Injury, the more dangerous they are to the character. When a character is injured, the incoming Stun and Injury values are compared to her Damage thresholds.
The worst Damage threshold not exceeded by the damage value determines the degree of Stun or Injury.
For instance, if an attack's Stun value exceeds a character's Moderate but not her Serious Stun threshold, then she suffers Serious Stun.
Example: Jessica receives an Injury of 12. Her Minor damage threshold is 10 and her Moderate threshold is 16. Since the incoming Injury is above her Minor threshold but below her Moderate, she receives an injury of Moderate degree. This means she will get a -4 penalty to all rolls until the injury is healed.
After a successful Attack, the attacker has either rolled below or equal to the relevant Target number with one die or with two. A successful attack roll where one die is successful is called a “Hit”, while one with two successful dice is called a “Full Hit”. A Hit simply deals damage, regardless of the purpose of the attack. A Full Hit may have additional effects, depending on the attacker's intention:
If the attacker does not specify an intention, it is assumed that the goal is to inflict the most severe damage possible.
If the target is wearing an armor, the first thing to determine when resolving an attack is whether or not the armor protects. If the white die is higher than Coverage, the attack strikes where the armor does not protect.
In all other cases, the armor protects.
Bypassing armor in close combat is difficult. The procedure often involves grappling and inflicting Stun damage on the opponent with punches in order to wear down the Defense.
If the attack strikes armor, the weapon's Penetration is compared to the Deflect, Stop and Slow values of the target's armor:
When an armor is damaged, check the highest empty Coverage square. This indicates that part of the armor has been destroyed. Only blank squares count as Coverage.
If the armor is damaged by multiple attacks, such as a burst of automatic fire, each Hit counts as a separate damage to the armor.
Volt makes an exception for hardened armor, noted in the tables as “hard”. When an attack achieves the Stop level of hard armor, the armor is damaged. This also applies for firearms that strike Flexible Ballistic (F.B.) armor.
If the character wears several types of armor, and several of them were hit by the attack as per the coverage rules, the attack only hits the covering armor with the lowest Coverage Sum.
Example: Fritz's bullet-proof vest Coverage 8, his leather pants have Coverage 12 and his steel helmet 13. An incoming attack's white die will hit his vest at 1-8, his leather pants at 9-12, and his helmet at 13. If an attack's white die shows the value 11, for example, it is lower than both the helmet and the pants, but higher than the vest. This means it will hit either the helmet or the pants. Since the Coverage of the vest is lower than that of the pants, the attack hits the pants.
If one type of armor in a stack of Coverage is damaged, also draw a horizontal line through the rightmost square of each armor type with a higher Coverage Sum than the damaged one. This is not damage, but a way of simulating that when a part of your armor is damaged, the total Coverage Sum is reduced. When the armor is repaired or replaced, the horizontal lines that the damage caused are also removed.
If it ever becomes relevant to separate or repair two damaged overlapping layers of armor, they are of course both considered damaged.
The white die symbolizes Stun, the black one Injury. Like with the usual Attribute rolls, the goal is to roll as high as possible below or equal to a Target number - in this case, the weapon's damage values. The difference here is that there are generally two Target numbers, since most weapons have two damage values: one for Stun and one for Injury. They symbolize the weapon's ability to cause Stun damage and Injuries, respectively.
If it is possible to add an even multiplier of 20 (20, 40, 60…) to the result and still end up below or equal to the damage value, do it.
Example 1: The Stun value is 32. The Stun die result is 10. 10+20 is 30, still below the Stun value. The Stun damage is 30.
Example 2: The Injury value is 49. The Injury dice result is 8. 8+20+20 is 48, still below the Injury value. The Injury damage is 48.
Example 3: The Stun value is 25. The Stun dice result is 16. 16+20 is 36, which is above the Stun value. The Stun damage is 16.
Maximum damage: In a Full Hit with the intention of causing maximum damage the roll is made like a regular damage roll. The difference is that die that yields the highest result for Stun and Injury is used, disregarding the color of the dice.
Example: The attack has Stun 16 and Injury 23. The black die comes up 15 and the white one 8. The highest Stun that can be achieved is 15. Stun is 15. The highest Injury that can be achieved is 15. Injury is 15.
Bypass armor: Normal Hit damage. If either die is higher than the target's Coverage, the armor is bypassed.
Disarm: Normal Hit damage. If either Stun or Injuries is Serious, Severe or Critical, the target drops what was held in a hand of the attacker's choice and is unable to use it until the wound heals. Mark the Injury in the Arms column, and mark it again as a Serious Injury in the main Injury column. A Critically injured arm is either crushed beyond repair, severed or torn off.
Immobilize: Normal Hit damage. If either Stun or Injuries is Serious, Severe or Critical, the target falls to the ground, unable to stand up until the wound heals. Mark the Injury in the Legs column, and mark it again as a Serious Injury in the main Injury column. A Critically injured leg is either crushed beyond repair, severed or torn off.
There are five levels of Stun and five corresponding thresholds. In order to determine how Stunned the character becomes, compare the incoming Stun damage from the previous step with the character's Stun thresholds. If the Stun damage is equal to or lower than a specific Threshold, then the character is Stunned to the corresponding degree.
Minor, Moderate and Serious Stun are various degrees of dizziness that inflict penalties to everything the character attempts to do, but they are not very lasting (see Recovery).
Severe Stun knocks the character to the ground, only vaguely aware of her surroundings. Severe Stun permits the character to crawl a meter each Turn. No other Actions are possible.
Critical Stun is unconsciousness. The character may not act in any way whatsoever. This occurs when the incoming Stun is higher than the character's Severe Stun threshold.
Example: Jessica also suffers a Stun of 8. This is higher than her Negligible Stun threshold, but lower than her Minor level. This results in a Minor Stun.
There are also five levels of Injuries, each with their own threshold. In order to determine the level of Injury sustained, compare the Injury value of the incoming attack to the character's Injury thresholds. If the Injury value is equal to or lower than a specific Threshold, the character receives an injury of the corresponding level.
Injuries are recorded by striking a horizontal line through the corresponding circle in the Injuries table.
Additional injuries are not recorded if they are of a lower level than the previous injury.
Example: Jessica receives an Injury of 6. This would be a Minor injury, but as she's already got the Moderate level, the new injury is not recorded.
Negligible: Bits of hair or clothes chopped up, possibly a bruise. Doesn't break the skin.
Minor: Injuries limited to skin and surface muscle tissue. Except causing pain, they don't limit the usability of the body part and will often heal quickly.
Moderate: Might be cracks in or chipping of the skeleton, significant crushing or cutting damage to the muscles - limiting, but not completely eliminating, the usefulness of the body part.
Serious: Extensive fractures and/or partly severed muscles. The injured limb works very badly, if it works at all, and any movement causes extreme pain.
Severe: An injury is Severe when the character has received life-threatening damages, or an arm or leg has been completely disabled. Examples include severed tendons, an arm being broken in several places, or a blown kneecap. Severe injuries will not heal without surgical procedures.
Critical: These injuries are blatantly destructive in a permanent way: Bowels are all over the floor or half the cranium smashed in. This occurs when the incoming Injury is higher than the character's Severe Injury threshold. Critical injuries that are the result of Disarm or Immobilize result in a Missing Limb Trait. Non-Disarm or Immobilize Critical Injury is instantly fatal beyond repair, unless genre-specific, high-tech or magical intervention is available. Some genres even lack a Critical damage level altogether.
Bleeding, in Volt, refers specifically to life-threatening loss of blood. Minor Injury or worse does mean that blood is shed, but unless potentially fatal, the system will not consider it Bleeding.
Bleeding is determined both by the damage level of the injury and which damage dice are odd. Minor and Moderate injuries do not lead to serious blood loss, while Serious, Severe and Critical do.
Bleeding is noted as the amount of time before the character bleeds to death. It is always a multiple of the value of the white die of the damage roll, in minutes. A higher bleeding time is better, since it means there is more time before death occurs due to massive blood loss.
If you incur multiple bleeding injuries, only use the worst one to determine the time before death occurs. They do not “stack”.
Example 1: Alice receives a Serious injury, with damage dice results 4 (white) and 6 (black). This means she will begin to bleed quite a lot, giving her about 40 minutes (4*10) before she dies, unless she receives medical attention.
Example 2: André receives a Severe injury, with damage dice results 7 (black) and 13 (white). Both are odd, so André will bleed to death in 13 minutes.
Bleeding may be stopped by a successful Medicine roll (one roll per bleeding to be stopped):
|Bleeding:||Modification to the Medicine Target number:|
|in arm or leg||+2|
|< 5min left||-2|
|< 30s left||-5|
These modifications are cumulative, when applicable.
If a character suffers both Stun and Injury, she only receives penalties for the highest of the two. Penalties from Stun and Injury are never added together.
If the level of the incoming injury is equal in level to an injury previously sustained, it is usually ignored, as described above. There are, however, two exceptions: Moderate and Serious. When sustaining an additional injury of Moderate or Serious level, the new injury is recorded as one level higher - however, it still bleeds like the original Injury's level.
Example: Jessica receives another Moderate injury. This is, decidedly, not her day. The additional Moderate injury is recorded as a new Serious injury.
Note that additional Moderate injuries do not turn into Severe injuries. Injuries are only ever “raised” one level in this manner.
The above also applies to Stun, with the addition that two Severe stun damages add up to Critical stun. If the level of the incoming stun is equal in level to stun damage previously sustained, Moderate, Serious and Severe Stun will increase one level.
Injuries heal after successful Recovery rolls, which are made using Constitution.
There are three types of Stun Recovery:
A character that suffers Critical Stun makes a Recovery roll the next Turn, with Serious Penalties. A success lowers it to Severe Stun.
An Injury will, during the process of recovery, be Vulnerable. A Vulnerable Injury's recovery is very easily undone - each time the same hit location gets a new injury (of any level), one level of recovery is undone. Any straining beyond light physical therapy might call for a Constitution roll to ensure the Injury's recovery isn't undone.
The penalty incurred from the injury on all actions involving the limb is based on the latest level to be Vulnerably recovered, not the level of the highest actual injury.
Critical and Severe injuries will not heal without medical treatment, otherwise the original injury determines how often a Recovery roll may be done:
A successful Recovery roll lowers the effective Damage level of the injury one level. This recovery is Vulnerable, which is recorded by making a vertical line through the horizontal one used to mark the original injury. If all levels are healed this way, the most severe level is completely removed (both the vertical and horizontal lines)
In order for it to even be possible to make Recovery rolls for Severe injuries, a medically competent person is needed - as well as the right circumstances, such as peace and quiet in a structured environment and access to the applicable tools.
The medically competent person makes a Medicine Attribute roll. Missing tools or unfavorable circumstances mean negative modifications on the roll. If the roll succeeds, the injury is lowered to Serious (vulnerable) and may begin healing naturally.
Critically injured arms or legs do not grow back without magical or high-tech interventions. The procedure of the controlled amputation of a critically injured limb follows the same rules as Severe injuries: Surgery reduces it to a Serious injury, and after that recovery rolls are made to close the wound one level at a time.