|Casualty. by Heather Nicholson|
That's all very well and good, but what about situations where your character is actually folded, spindled, and/or mutilated? I guess the easiest thing to do would be to reflect that condition with Ability Damage. That has two advantages:
- It doesn't require the addition of a new damage mechanic to the rules, and
- Ability damage is scary and hard and expensive to fix, and it can give combat meaningful consequences (and thus a good reason to find ways to avoid it if possible).
Anyway, the actual focus of this rambling is that I think it is wise to distinguish from the outset between RECOVERY and HEALING.
- Recovery is what your character does when resting, or when a fighter gets their second wind or what-not. If all you're doing is getting back hit-points, you're recovering, not healing.
- Healing is what you have to do to cure Ability Damage (in which I include such conditions as deafness or blindness, or loss of mobility due to injury or disease or whatever).
Magical healing, in the sense I've been using it here, is less easily categorized, though it doesn't take a lot of thought on a case-by-case basis. Heal, Restoration and Regenerate are three spells that spring immediately to mind; I haven't looked thoroughly enough through the current spells lists to be definitive. Generally, I'd say that if the wording of a healing spell indicates other effects over and above simple hit-point recovery, it's probably appropriate.
Natural healing can be handled by the GM pretty much as a matter of common sense. Broken bones will take a month or two to heal, while blindness caused by having one's eyes gouged out probably isn't going to get better on its own. Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about gross stuff like secondary infections and gangrene and so forth; it's just not very heroic or mythic to succumb to septicaemia after weeks of lying in your own pus. However, your mileage may, as they say, vary.