Home >Gamemastering >Other Rule Systems >Variant Rules (3rd Party) >4 Winds Fantasy Gaming >

The Loss of a Body Part

There are immediate life-changing consequences to losing any limb, the details of which vary based on which limb has been severed. Menial tasks, like cooking, jogging, swimming, and jumping, once simple, now need constant adjustments to complete. Complex tasks, such as combat, item creation, riding, and climbing, need to be relearned completely. This is not to say someone who has lost a limb or was born without one is somehow inferior. It is simply saying that there is a period of adjustment in which to grow accustomed to an altered state.

Hand

Since a person’s manual dexterity comes primarily from the opposable thumbs interacting with the fingers and palms, the loss of a hand limits how complex items are used and how items are carried.

A character who has lost a hand incurs the following penalties:

  • -5 penalty on Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Sleight of Hand, and Use Magic Device skill checks;
  • -4 penalty on grapple checks;
  • Must make a caster level check to cast spells with somatic components;
  • Unable to wield two-handed weapons or make two-weapon attacks, but may still wear a shield on the affected arm;
  • Carrying capacity is not reduced. However, the maximum weight a character can lift over head or off the ground is reduced by one third, as shown on Table: Modified Lifting Capacity: Hand (for medium creatures). These penalties do not stack with other penalties for losing limbs.

A character who has lost both hands, or one hand and one arm, cannot use any of the listed skills, make attacks, cast spells with somatic components, or handle objects, without the aid of prosthetics or magic.

Arm

Losing an arm at the elbow (or higher) severely limits what that side of the body can do. With a markedly shorter reach and range, the arm is practically unusable.

A character who has lost an arm incurs the following penalties:

  • -10 penalty on Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Sleight of Hand, and Use Magic Device skill checks;
  • -8 penalty on grapple checks;
  • Must make a caster level check at a -5 penalty to cast spells with somatic components;
  • Unable to wield weapons two-handed or make two-weapon attacks, and may not wear a shield on the affected arm.
  • Carrying capacity is not reduced. However, the maximum weight a character can lift over head or off the ground is halved, as shown on Table: Modified Lifting Capacity: Arm (for medium creatures). These penalties do not stack with other penalties for losing limbs.

A character who has lost both arms cannot use any of the listed skills, make attacks, or use objects, without the aid of prosthetics or magic.

Table: Modified Lifting Capacity: Hand

Strength Lift Overhead (lbs.) Lift off Ground (lbs.)
1 7 14
2 14 28
3 21 42
4 28 56
5 35 70
6 42 84
7 49 98
8 56 112
9 63 126
10 70 140
11 81 162
12 91 182
13 105 210
14 123 246
15 140 280
16 161 322
17 182 364
18 210 420
19 245 490
20 280 560
21 322 644
22 364 728
23 420 840
24 490 980
25 560 1120
26 644 1288
27 728 1456
28 840 1680
29 980 1960
+10 x4 x4

Table: Modified Lifting Capacity: Arm

Strength Lift Overhead (lbs.) Lift off Ground (lbs.)
1 5 10
2 10 20
3 15 30
4 20 40
5 25 50
6 30 60
7 35 70
8 40 80
9 45 90
10 50 100
11 57 115
12 65 130
13 75 150
14 87 175
15 100 200
16 115 230
17 130 260
18 150 300
19 175 350
20 200 400
21 230 460
22 260 520
23 300 600
24 350 700
25 400 800
26 460 920
27 520 1040
28 600 1200
29 700 1400
+10 x4 x4

Foot

Keeping upright becomes a chore with the loss of the foot. Uneven legs, no pivot point, and a smaller base affect land movement.

A character who has lost a foot incurs the following penalties:

  • -5 penalty on Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, Stealth, and certain Perform skill checks (GM’s discretion).
  • Cannot run.
  • Cannot bull rush or overrun and takes a -4 penalty to resist these combat maneuvers.
  • Land movement rate is reduced by half, and characters can no longer benefit from the fast movement class feature.
  • Carrying capacity is reduced by one third and the maximum weight a character can lift over head or off the ground is halved, as shown on Table: Modified Lifting Capacity: Foot (for medium creatures). These penalties do not stack with other penalties for losing limbs.

A character who has lost both feet, or one foot and one leg, is always considered flat-footed, cannot use any of the listed skills, and can only move 5 feet as a full round action, without the aid of prosthetics or magic.

Leg

Losing a leg at the knee (or higher) strips it of its fundamental purposes. Walking is replaced by hopping, standing is replaced by balancing, kicking becomes impossible. Very little can be done in an upright position without aid from a prosthetic, magic, or fellow adventurer.

A character who has lost a leg incurs the following penalties:

  • -10 penalty on Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, Stealth, and certain Perform skill checks (GM’s discretion).
  • Cannot run or charge.
  • Cannot bull rush or overrun and takes a -12 penalty to resist these combat maneuvers.
  • Speed is reduced to 5 feet, and can no longer make a 5-foot step.
  • Carrying capacity is reduced by two thirds and the maximum weight a character can lift over head or off the ground is halved when sitting, impossible when standing, as shown on Table: Modified Lifting Capacity: Leg (for medium creatures). These penalties do not stack with other penalties for losing limbs.

A character who has lost both legs is always considered flat-footed and prone, and can only move 5 feet as a full round action, without the aid of prosthetics or magic.

Table: Modified Lifting Capacity: Foot

Str Light Load (lbs.) Medium Load (lbs.) Heavy Load (lbs.) Lift Over Head (lbs.) Lift Off Ground (lbs.)
1 1 2-4 5-7 5 10
2 4 5-9 10-14 10 20
3 7 8-14 15-20 15 30
4 9 10-18 19-27 20 40
5 11 12-22 23-34 25 50
6 14 15-27 28-40 30 60
7 16 17-31 32-47 35 70
8 18 19-36 37-54 40 80
9 20 21-40 41-61 45 90
10 22 23-44 45-67 50 100
11 26 27-51 52-77 57 115
12 29 30-58 59-87 65 130
13 34 35-66 67-101 75 150
14 39 40-78 79-117 87 175
15 44 45-89 90-134 100 200
16 51 52-102 103-154 115 230
17 58 59-116 117-174 130 260
18 66 67-133 134-201 150 300
19 78 79-156 157-234 175 350
20 89 90-178 179-267 200 400
21 102 103-204 205-307 230 460
22 116 117-231 232-347 260 520
23 133 134-267 268-401 300 600
24 156 157-311 312-467 350 700
25 178 179-356 357-534 400 800
26 204 205-409 410-614 460 920
27 231 232-463 463-694 520 1040
28 267 268-534 535-801 600 1200
29 311 312-622 623-934 700 1400
+10 x4 x4 x4 x4 x4

Table: Modified Lifting Capacity: Leg

Str Light Load (lbs.) Medium Load (lbs.) Heavy Load (lbs.) Lift Over Head (lbs.) Lift Off Ground (lbs.)
1 1 1-2 2-5 5 10
2 2 3-4 5-10 10 20
3 3 4-6 7-15 15 30
4 4 5-8 9-20 20 40
5 5 6-11 11-25 25 50
6 6 7-13 14-30 30 60
7 7 8-15 16-35 35 70
8 8 9-17 18-40 40 80
9 10 11-20 21-45 45 90
10 11 12-22 23-50 50 100
11 12 13-25 26-57 57 115
12 14 15-28 29-65 65 130
13 16 17-33 34-75 75 150
14 19 19-38 39-87 87 175
15 22 23-44 45-100 100 200
16 25 26-51 52-115 115 230
17 28 29-57 58-130 130 260
18 33 34-66 67-150 150 300
19 38 39-77 78-175 175 350
20 44 45-88 89-200 200 400
21 51 52-102 103-230 230 460
22 57 58-115 116-260 260 520
23 66 67-133 134-300 300 600
24 77 78-155 156-350 350 700
25 88 89-177 178-400 400 800
26 102 103-204 205-460 460 920
27 115 116-232 233-520 520 1040
28 133 134-266 267-600 600 1200
29 155 156-311 312-700 700 1400
+10 x4 x4 x4 x4 x4
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Strategists and Tacticians. Copyright 2010, 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming; Author Ryan Costello, Jr.