Damage in this game system is relative. There are not “hit points” or damage rolls or anything of that nature. Negative impacts on characters as a result of combat or other actions is represented by Conditions.

Conditions are determined by their severity: Minor, Moderate, or Critical. Minor Conditions are usually temporary, circumstantial, or otherwise fairly straightforward to overcome. Moderate conditions are more challenging, and can be very limiting. Critical Conditions are dangerous, and can represent a serious threat to a character’s life.

There is no hard and fast list of Conditions, nor do they have wildly varying and interacting status effects and counter-effects. They are determined as necessary by the campaign and what is justifiable.

Their effects are intentionally generic to allow for maximum versatility.

Minor Conditions are used to show a hard choice being put to the character. The character must first address or deal with the Condition or the Condition could worsen. You either have to deal with it right now (whatever actions or moves that requires) or you can Defy Danger to try to ignore the Condition and do what you want to do. If the Condition still applies when you embark on a new course of action, you may have to Defy Danger again. The GM will set the stakes for what happens if the Defy Danger move is successful and will clarify what danger the character is trying to defy. Failing the Defy Danger move might mean a Moderate or Critical Condition or something else entirely that makes sense, with or without the mechanical Condition to back it up.
Examples: Dazed, Angry, Tired, Irradiated, Sprained Ankle, Dislocated Shoulder, Pinned Down

Moderate Conditions impose -1 Ongoing to certain actions until they are dealt with. If a character has the Moderate Condition “Broken Arm”, it would not hinder their ability to shoot laser beams from their eyes, so they would not have a penalty to do that. However, if they wanted to punch someone in the face or use a rifle, they would definitely be taking a -1 to it.
Examples: Confused, Raging, Exhausted, Diseased, Torn Tendons, Broken Arm, Blinded

Critical Conditions impose serious penalties that get worse the more Critical Conditions you have. Normally, a player character can only take 3 Critical Conditions at a time and keep fighting. Once they acquire a fourth, they have to make the Last Chance move, and they might not live if they fail.
1 Critical Condition imposes a -1 Ongoing to one specific Approach.
2 Critical Conditions impose -1 Ongoing to all Moves.
3 Critical Conditions impose -2 Ongoing to all Moves.
4 Critical Conditions forces you to make the Last Chance move.
Examples: Hopeless, Berserk, Barely Conscious, Deathly Ill, Paralyzed, Shattered Bones, Concussed.

Because Conditions are relative and based on what kind of action is taken to impose them, there are many circumstances where a Condition you or the enemy wishes to impose doesn’t make a lot of sense for the character it’s being done to. Throwing your fire blasts at a fire elemental, for example, at the very least will have a reduced severity if not being completely useless. It goes both ways, though. Your character may have “Bulletproof Skin” as one of the Simple uses of their Powers on their Power Profile, which means a group of thugs armed with assault rifles don’t pose much of a threat to you at all… until they start throwing flashbang grenades to blind you.

As a result, you will need to be creative with how you use your powers and the environment around you to defeat some enemies. No foe, no matter how godlike they present themselves, is completely without weaknesses. Likewise, there’s no way to completely render yourself immune to harm from a creative GM.

When the GM imposes a Condition on your character, if you feel that the Condition should be negated or at least reduced in severity because of your powers or circumstances, say so. There will also be times when you attempt to impose a Condition and the GM may explain how or why that won’t work as expected, even if you did roll high enough to succeed. In those instances, the GM may permit you to shift the effect to something more useful, unless there was no way for you to know that wouldn’t work besides trying it, or it should’ve been abundantly obvious for the situation.


Resolving Conditions is just as relative as Conditions themselves. The most common way for characters to recover from injuries is by making the Downtime move. Whenever the character has enough time to step out of active duty and relax, they usually have an opportunity to resolve the Conditions imposed on them.

There are also other moves from various Origins and Drives that can facilitate resolving Conditions. Conditions always last until they are dealt with in the campaign. If a character has the Moderate Condition of “Dislocated Shoulder” and another player describes their character helping them out by popping the shoulder back in the socket, even if they don’t have a particular Move that treats the injury, it is reasonable to say that the Condition is resolved. Then again, depending on the situation, the GM might say they need to have previous medical training. It all depends on what’s appropriate and justifiable in the campaign.

Technically speaking, outside of a few Moves within the Origins and Drives, there really isn’t specific Moves or mechanics for recovering from Conditions in the middle of a battle. Even if you have Powers like a healing factor or the ability to heal others with a touch, that doesn’t necessarily automatically mean you can shrug off injuries. Characters with powers like that should define in their Power Profile what the severity of injuries they can heal are. A character with a healing factor might be able to recover quickly from stabs or gunshot wounds, but a severed arm might be another matter entirely. Ultimately, these sorts of Powers can be used to justify removing or being outright exempt from certain Conditions, but it’s all relative to the powers and the circumstance.


Agents of STRIKE MattZenith MattZenith