The Damage Dice in Coffins and Tombstones
Today we are going to take a look at the damage dice for Coffins and Tombstones and the Spectrum System. Each die is a six sided die with seven possible results. Seven possibilities on a 6 sided die? That’s madness! Not at all. Let me explain, but first I better talk about how you determine the number of damage dice you roll.
Each cowpoke has a Grit score. This is how resistant the cowpoke is to injury. The higher the Grit is, the tougher the cowpoke. This attribute can be increased with experience points earned in the various scenarios in the game, provided of course your cowpoke doesn’t run afoul of Boot Hill. Now, when your cowpoke gets hit in combat, his Grit score is compared with the weapon’s damage rating. If the scores are equal, you just roll one damage die. If the Grit is higher, you’re going to roll 2 damage dice, and the cowpoke getting hurt gets to choose which die to use. If the Grit is double, or more than the weapon rating, 3 damage dice are rolled, and the cowpoke gets to pick the result that goes into effect.
Now that you understand that, let me explain the reverse. Some weapons are just plain lethal. If the weapon rating is higher than the Grit, 2 damage dice are rolled and the attacker gets to choose the effect. If the weapon rating is double or more than the cowpoke’s Grit 3 damage dice are rolled and the attacker gets to pick the result.
Pretty simple, pretty easy. Your cowpoke will probably live through a stabbing but getting hit with a shotgun or dynamite is likely to bury the cowpoke. Now let’s look at the dice faces that will determine your cowpoke’s fate.
#1 The wound result
The wound result is simple. If this is the result chosen, your cowpoke takes a wound. If that’s your cowpoke’s 3rd wound, he’s out of the game. He might live, he might die, and we’ll figure that out after the battle. If it’s not his third wound, good news! He can stay in the fight.
#2 The two wound result
This is like the previous result, but your cowpoke will take two wounds. If it’s his third or more, he’s removed from play. One factor that can change the outcome of a two wound result is cover. If your cowpoke was attacked and was under any kind of cover, the cover will absorb some of the damage. Your cowpoke only takes one wound.
Good news and bad news on this result. The good news is that your cowpoke didn’t take any wounds. The bad news is he’s so scared he’s going to run for the hills. On his turn, he runs away from the battle. If that runs him off the map he can’t come back until the next fight. If he’s still on the battlefield after running, he can make a Guts check to see if he can compose himself.
#4 Knocked Prone
This attack didn’t hurt your cowpoke, but to avoid damage he had to throw himself to the ground. That means on his turn, getting up is going to cost him his move action.
This attack didn’t cause any permanent damage to your cowpoke, but it knocked him for a loop. The attacker gets to move your cowpoke 3 inches in any one direction. Most of the time this might not be a problem, but if your cowpoke is near a window, or on a roof, or at the top of stairs, this could potentially be very dangerous.
Well, you are probably wondering where we got the title of the game. As you can probably guess a coffin result is an instant kill in the game. It bypasses all wounds and kills the cowpoke outright in some dramatic fashion. He’s removed from your posse and all the experience points spent on him are lost. There is a catch though; the attack has to be a critical attack for you to count the coffin. Remember that seventh possible outcome on the 6 sided die? If the attack wasn’t critical, the cowpoke just takes a wound. We’ll talk about critical attacks next week when we go over how to make an attack in Coffins and Tombstones. You’ll learn where we got the second half of our title.
Until then cowpokes, thanks for making the Old West fun!