Healing is the reverse of taking damage. Cards are removed from the discard pile and returned to the deck when healing is successful.
The speed at which characters heal is strongly linked to the style of game being played. In dark and gritty games, healing happens at a slow but realistic pace that takes weeks for serious injuries. High octane, cinematographic games may have characters healing in just a few minutes as gunshot wounds miraculously disappear between one scene and the next. The rules presented here represent a middle ground where healing is fast enough to allow the game may move at a fair speed but slow enough that players need to be cautious about taking too many wounds.
First aid and emergency medical treatments cannot heal characters. They can, however, stop situations getting worse: Bleeding wounds can be patched up to prevent further blood loss; Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation may keep a character alive long enough for the paramedics to arrive; The Heimlich manoeuvre may stop a President choking on a pretzel.
Successful use of first aid can make subsequent healing easier. If medical aid is given within an hour of injury the character will gain a bonus to their next natural healing action. The resistance against this medical aid is set by the cards currently in the discard pile which are played in a resistance action against the first aid attempt.
Fast Fingers Freddy has been shot and forced to discard his Speed card worth 7 CP (1d6+2) and his Quick Wits worth 4 CP (1d6+0). Stumbling into the home of the local sawbones, Doctor Johnston, Freddy seeks help.
Seeing the wounds are serious, the Doctor uses his Medicine (1d6+1), Medical Supplies (1d6+0) and Manual Dexterity (1d6+0) to extract the bullet and stitch up the large hole it created. On 3d6+2, the Doctor rolls a below average score of nine. The resistance for the action is the extent of all the injuries - the life cards currently in the discard pile. The Game Leader roles the 2d6+2 and score eleven.
Though Freddy's wound has been treated the Doctor's efforts were not good enough to speed up the natural healing process. The Doctor offers Freddy a chance to stay in his house for a few days until the wound heals.
One of the most useful benefits of first or emergency aid is to stabilise a dying character. This buys more time for the character and gives them a chance of recovery using natural or other healing. See below for details on dying and stabilisation.
All creatures have the natural ability to recover from their wounds if they are given the chance to rest and recuperate. For every 24 hours spent resting in reasonably good and safe conditions, the character can make a natural healing action.
Natural healing is an unconscious action worth 1d6+0 and the character cannot play any additional cards to improve it. Every 24 hours the character picks one or more cards from their discard pile. The Game Leader rolls that cards' action dice and the character rolls their natural healing. If the character's healing score equals or beats the Game Leader's score, they can recover the card or cards. If not, the cards stay in the discard pile.
If the character benefited from first aid when they took the wound, they gain a 1d6+0 situation bonus on their first natural healing roll.
A character in particularly restful surroundings having all their needs catered for may gain a 1d6+0 situation bonus to the natural healing action. It should be noted that hospitals are generally not particularly restful places, especially after battles or major disasters. This situation bonus should be reserved for when the character is being cared for under ideal circumstances.
After 24 hours resting in the Doctor's house, Fast Fingers Freddy starts to benefit from his body's natural healing. Unfortunately the Doctor failed his first aid roll so Freddy doesn't get a bonus from that. Also, last night the house was noisy into the early hours of the morning when two badly hurt sheriff deputies were brought in so Freddy doesn't get a situation bonus to his healing.
With a natural healing roll of just 1d6+0, Freddy decides to recover his Quick Wits card. It is also worth 1d6+0 (4 CP) giving him a fifty-fifty chance of recovery whereas the odds are against him healing his 1d6+2 Speed card.
The Game Leader rolls for the Quick Wits card and gets a two that Freddy easily beats with a five. Well on the way to full health, Freddy takes his Quick Wits card out of the discard pile and returns it to his deck.
Medical treatment from trained practitioners with suitable facilities may speed up the healing rate. For every 24 hours of good quality care an additional healing attempt may be made.
As with natural healing, the character nominates one or more cards they wish to be healed. The healer takes a narrative action, which other characters with healing skills can assist in if appropriate. If the healer's action beats the resistance set by the nominated cards, the healing is successful and the cards are returned to the deck.
This healing process represents 24 hours of care. A character cannot do that for themselves so cannot take part in the healing action.
Despite the two sheriff deputies being brought in for treatment, the Doctor still has time to check up on Freddy, change his bandages and generally treat the wounds. After 24 hours of providing such care, Doctor Johnston makes an attempt to heal the remaining wound.
The Doctor uses his Medicine (1d6+1) and Medical Supplies (1d6+0). After some discussion with the group it is decided that his Manual Dexterity won't help in this situation, but his Pharmacy (1d6+0) will. This gives the Doctor a total of 3d6+1.
Freddy only has his Speed card (1d6+2) left to recover so is feeling confident. The Doctor rolls 12, easily beating the four rolled by the Game Leader. After 24 hours of rest and treatment, Freddy is fully healed.
Magic or high-tech equipment may provide instant healing to wounds. The cards for these spells or medi-packs are played in a standard action against a resistance of one though situation bonuses such as range may increase this.
Unlike natural or medical treatment, the character does not specify which cards they are attempting to heal before the action. Instead, the action's degree of success is the maximum number of CP that a character can remove from their discard pile. Partial cards cannot be removed so it is possible for a character to be unable to remove a card even if the action succeeds.
Ambushed by orcs, Boban and Razir are fighting for their lives. Two minor injuries have already cost Razir his two lowest point cards, Brawn (4 CP) and Self-Confidence (4 CP), when a lucky blow from an orc sword almost splits his head in two. This costs him the rest of his green cards and Razir is in real trouble. One more point of damage will take him down.
Boban's turn is next in the initiative sequence and she realises that they are both dead unless Razir stays on his feet. After using a flow to move a Healing Potion (1d6+3) card from the deck to her dynamic pool, Boban plays the card and pours the potion over Razir's wounds.
Boban rolls the 1d6+3 for the card and scores eight. Razir could remove one of his five or seven CP cards from the discard pile but instead he opts to remove the two cards worth four points each. Feeling much better, Razir starts formulating an escape plan.