Environmental Damage

Sometimes players may want to use the environment in interesting (and unexpected) ways.

Ultimately, as the Game Master, whatever you feel is fair and appropriate is “the rule.” You have final say. But here’s some recommended guidelines for various situations and events involving the environment and various objects in the world.

Inanimate Objects

Boulders, statues, trucks, buildings… super heroes and villains have been known to pick up, throw, crash through, and be crushed under it all.

How much damage should they cause?

General rule of thumb:

  • Small objects (rocks, knick-knacks, held-held items) = 2d4 damage (2-8 pts; 4 average).
  • Medium objects (fire extinguisher, boxes, garbage cans) = 3d6 damage (3-18 pts; 9 average).
  • Large objects (cars, small trees, small boulders) = 4d8 damage (4-32 pts; 16 average).
  • Massive objects (tanks/trucks, large trees, large boulders) = 5d10 damage (5-50 pts; 25 average).
  • Enormous objects (landslides, buildings, airplanes) = 6d12 damage (6-72 pts; 36 average).
  • Impossible objects (whole mountains, giant space ships, entire cities) = 10d20 damage (10-200 pts; 100 average).

Depending on the circumstances, you may increase, decrease, or multiply any of these. You also decide if the damage goes directly to Health or if it be can reduced by their defenses. It doesn’t always have to necessarily damage their Health either; it might hurt a different stat. Or multiple stats. But if it hurts multiple/different stats, be able to explain why.

Want to make things even more interesting? If you want, you can factor in speed too. How fast was the object moving when it hit the player? If it’s on the slower end, maybe give it 2x or 3x damage. If it’s moving super fast, maybe give it 4x, 5x, or even greater damage if you feel it’s appropriate.

Critical Hits and Critical Fails can be applied too.


The Elements

Raging fires. Freezing blizzards. Getting struck by lightning. Sometimes the elements are even more dangerous than any character.

And unlike inanimate objects (which only hit the player once), these environmental hazards are on-going. Each turn a player remains exposed to the dangerous element, they’ll continue taking more and more damage.

Here are some recommended guidelines, subject to your modification according to the circumstances:

  • Weak/low danger (extreme temperatures, mild voltage) = 1d4 damage per turn (1-4 pts; 2 average).
  • Moderate/average danger (surrounded by fire, unprotected in blizzard) = 2d6 damage per turn (2-12 pts; 6 average).
  • Strong/high danger (plasma burns, high voltage) = 3d8 damage per turn (3-24 pts; 12 average).
  • Extreme/deadly danger (direct lightning strike, volcanic eruption) = 4d10 damage per turn (4-40 pts; 20 average).
  • Only a super would survive (massive explosion, doomsday event) = 5d20 damage per turn (5-100 pts; 50 average).