From Obscura

Wounds are cards given out that represent an injury, curse or other affliction. The wound has a description of what the wound is and how it affects you, both mechanically and in terms of roleplaying. The wound will also have a method of treatment.

Some wounds are "mortal" wounds, and are the means by which your character can eventually become terminally wounded and die.

Mortal Wounds and Terminal

Characters have a limited number of Mortal Wounds they can sustain before dying.

  • PCs and resilient NPCs will become Terminal once they take 4 mortal wounds
  • Most other NPCs will die immediately after taking 2 mortal wounds.
  • Mortal wounds are marked with red, pink or orange marker.
  • Not all wounds are mortal wounds. Wounds that aren't mortal don't contribute to your death track.

Mortal wounds are generally given out with the WOUND call. If you have, and need to ask for, more mortal wounds than you are capable of sustaining, then you immediately become Terminal. If you take your final WOUND as a direct result of performing a skill (such as a ritual causing fallout) the skill still works and if applicable you can deliver its effect before becoming terminal as long as you do so immediately. Becoming terminal removes all wounds.

While Terminal you should act as though dying, and can’t take any actions unless it's a skill explicitly usable while terminal. You can't be healed from this state by any normal means. You can move slowly, or can move at normal speed if assisted, or can be restrained by another character with continuous appropriate roleplay. You will die at a dramatically appropriate time of your OC choice before the end of the next interactive you attend, unless you can find some way to avert your fate.

When playing an NPC and you haven't been briefed otherwise, you should die immediately when you receive your second mortal wound rather than becoming Terminal. This means an otherwise healthy NPC human should survive simple incapacitation with a wound to commemorate their defeat, but will die if wounded further.

Suppression and Treatment

  • Wounds can be temporarily suppressed with skills such as Patch Up.
  • Treating a wound is more involved, and can often only be done in an interactive.
  • Treating or suppressing a wound replaces the acute effect with the lingering effect.
  • Treated wounds fully heal at the end of the event.

Wounds have fairly potent "acute" effects and having fresh wounds will severely limit your effectiveness. Suppressing or treating a wound replaces the acute effect with the lingering effect, which remains until the wound fully heals. A lingering mortal wound still counts towards your death track until it fully heals.

Wounds need to be treated fully before they can heal. The requirements for the wound treatment are on the wound card. Many wounds can only be treated properly in an "appropriate venue" (usually the interactive), but can still be suppressed while on linears.

Not all wounds are mortal, and those that aren’t don’t count towards your death track. Wounds given out as a result of ritual mishaps (that aren’t fallout) will usually not be mortal wounds. Non-mortal wounds can also happen at dramatic points in combat, either given out ad hoc or with the CURSE call.

All treated wounds fully heal at the end of each event.


Resilient characters die when they reach the end of the terminal state, either because they choose to die or run out of time (or, exceptionally, are instructed to by a ref). Non-resilient characters usually don't become terminal and will die immediately upon sustaining their limit of mortal wounds.

Reanimation can temporarily restore a terminal character to full functionality, but they will still die at the end of their terminal state. There is currently no known way to completely restore a terminal person to life, but legends speak of people making pacts with elementals in return for returning from the brink of death, but the price described is always dire, and they say they never quite came back the same...

There is no way to "execute" a character to push them from terminal to dead. You should factor this in if you plan to murder someone; that it may be difficult to impossible to silence them depending on their resilience, and that all player characters are resilient. If a player abuses this by being disruptive rather than dramatic in their terminal state, attract the attention of a ref and if appropriate they will step in and instruct them to wrap things up and die.

Once a character has gone from terminal to dead, there is absolutely no way to resurrect them. Reanimation can still allow a conversation with the corpse (with the player's agreement).

Example Wounds

Broken Arm

This is an example of a physical wound that might be given out after a dramatic moment in combat

Acute: Your arm has been severely damaged and you cannot use the arm for anything except holding things.

Treatment: In an appropriate venue a surgeon must spend a minute setting the arm.

Lingering: Your arm is still weak. You are unable to make calls other than SINGLE with a melee or thrown weapon used only in broken arms.

Punctured Lung

A more severe physical wound, which might result from a dramatic defeat, or an experiment gone awry.

Acute: Your breathing is laboured, you may not speak louder than a whisper and you are unable to use any Techniques, Tricks or Focus Powers, or perform any roleplayed skill that requires a minute.

Treatment: In an appropriate venue a surgeon must spend a minute relieving the pressure in the chest.

Lingering: Your chest is still heavy, you find it difficult to raise your voice, taking twice as long to use the Second Wind and Recharge skills.

Elemental Stress

Thaumaturgic enchantments reduce your ability to endure mortal wounds by causing "elemental stress". These are mortal wounds that have only roleplaying effects.

Acute: Roleplaying effects in line with the appropriate element.

Treatment: Always fully heals at sunrise.

Lingering: None.

Strange Fungus

This is an example of a wound that might be given out by special enemies with the CURSE call.

Acute: A strange fungal growth has embedded in you and is expanding under your skin, leeching your vitality. You are WEAKENed. If this has not been treated or suppressed at time out, see a ref.

Treatment: In an appropriate venue you must spend a minute in a consecration of Destruction while the growth recedes to the infection site, then a surgeon must remove the growth.

Lingering: You have one fewer stamina and can't use Quick Wits.