Going to mix things up today and have a guest writer behind today's post, Chris Scaturo.
Linger- v. to be slow to disappear
Sasha looked down. The stone golem lay battered and broken; it would move no more. Unfortunately, her foot was in a pretty similar condition. It hurt. It really hurt. Clyde’s simple prayer to Pelor wasn’t going to fix this one.
Lingering injuries can add a dynamic that improves the combat narrative as well as the story arc. When presented with a long term penalty, characters are forced to make decisions. Suddenly, the formerly simple path becomes more complex. Combat tactics will change and the games narrative may be forced into a detour as an immediate concern becomes more pressing than the overarching plot.
L’tera wasn’t sure what to do. The scrolls needed to be delivered but Sasha’s injury was slowing them down. They were able to fend off the Bugbear ambush without her usual mobility but if something more powerful attacked, they were in trouble. Clyde’s spells were helping but not fast enough, her foot was still a mess. They needed Sasha and she needed more time.
The trick is to make them linger. They should be neither permanent nor easily curable. If a simple Cure Wounds or Lesser Restoration can remove the penalty, no wounds will last more than a day if the party has a 3rd level Cleric.
Clyde knew she was tough. That injury would have killed a lesser woman. Pelor’s blessing was helping poor Sasha’s foot but it was going to take time. If he expended all of his divine gifts for the day maybe Sasha’s foot would be fine but that would put the rest of the group and their mission in jeopardy. She needed someone who knew how to set the bones. Sometimes you need a doctor not a priest.
Lingering injuries have a Injury Point Value. Actions taken to heal the injury reduce the point value. When the injury is reduced to zero points all penalties are removed and the character is healed. As a general rule, lingering injuries should start with points equal to twice the character level plus 1d6.
Horace hated these dilemmas. He didn’t even like Sasha but he knew they needed her. There was no way they could make it back to Trenton without her and at this pace they wouldn’t make it back by the deadline. They wouldn’t earn the reward if these scrolls weren’t back in three nights, yeah, and the ghouls might be unleashed as well. He hated to do it but he needed to call in a favor and have the centaur “doctor” take a look at Sasha. The “office” wasn’t far from here. What a waste of a favor….
While magic shouldn’t be an immediate fix, it should help. Others factors used to heal these lingering wounds are long rests (time) and medicine skill checks (knowledge).
The pain was unbearable but for a guy with hooves, the “doctor” (Sasha sure wished the other centaurs would stop calling him a Vet) knew what he was doing. She passed out after the “surgery” but when she woke up in the morning she could run on the foot. She wasn’t perfect but she was an awful lot better! Maybe Horace did serve a little purpose.
The following actions reduce the Injury Point Value:
1 point/spell level
Medicine Check DC 15
Medicine Check DC 20
Medicine Check DC 25