The Health Trait measures a character’s physical condition, from perfect health to Final Death. As characters are wounded or otherwise impaired, they lose health levels, then regain them as they heal. A character’s Health Trait consists of seven different “health levels,” and each level applies a different dice pool penalty to any actions taken by the person in question. A character who is Hurt subtracts one die from her action dice pools, while a Crippled character subtracts five dice from her action dice pools. If health level penalties leave a character with no dice in a given dice pool, the character cannot take that action. However, a point of Willpower can be spent to ignore wound penalties for one turn.
A character at the Incapacitated health level is utterly immobilized and can take no action of any kind except healing himself with blood points (if the character is a vampire or ghoul) or swallowing blood that is offered to him. A mortal who reaches this stage is a breath away from death; if she takes any more damage, she dies. If a Kindred suffers an aggravated wound after being Incapacitated, he dies the Final Death. A vampire at the Incapacitated health level with no more blood in his body immediately sinks into torpor.
Note that dice pool penalties from health level loss apply only to actions. They do not apply to purely reflexive dice pools, such as soak dice, most Virtue checks, or Willpower rolls to abort to another action. If a character is Wounded and suffers more non-aggravated damage, he may still soak with his full Stamina (plus Fortitude, if he has it). The health level penalties do apply to damage rolls for Strength-based attacks, but not for mechanical weapons like firearms. Ultimately, this rule must be adjudicated by the Storyteller and common sense.
Dice Pool Penalty
|Bruised||0||Character is only bruised and suffers no dice pool penalties due to damage.|
|Hurt||-1||Character is superficially hurt and suffers no movement hindrance.|
|Injured||-1||Character suffers minor injuries and movement is mildly inhibited (halve maximum running speed).|
|Wounded||-2||Character suffers significant damage and may not run (though he may still walk). At this level, a character may only move or attack; he always loses dice when moving and attacking in the same turn.|
|Mauled||-2||Character is badly injured and may only hobble about (three yards or meters/turn).|
|Crippled||-5||Character is catastrophically injured and may only crawl (one yard or meter/turn).|
|Incapacitated||Character is incapable of movement and is likely unconscious. Incapacitated vampires with no blood in their bodies enter torpor.|
|Torpor||Character enters a deathlike trance. He may do nothing, not even spend blood, until a certain period of time has passed.|
|Final Death||Character dies again, this time forever.|