The Importance Of Limb Damage

I’ve searched the discourse and found a few topics tangentially related to this suggestion, but this is more about the engine/modding potential than the particulars of how the “vanilla” game might handle the topic at hand.

Like many Stonehearth backers, I’m a Dwarf Fortress veteran. While I don’t expect this game to match its insane level of detail (which is honestly a good thing), there is one aspect worth mentioning; the injury system. The engagement and story-telling potential that stems from a more detailed wound system is exponential when compared to the dull HP bars we see in other games, even with the band-aid of status ailments added on top. Marrying such a system to a game with more immediate visuals would be incredible beyond words. Having more interesting mechanics to work with in respect to the Physician and other health-care classes is also useful, to say nothing of combat.

However, I don’t suspect most players want the darker side of DF’s wound system; that is, the hideous carnage and blood-splatter that accompanies the detailed vivisection of your precious settlers, their livestock, and (if you’re lucky) enemies in the world. I say most because… well, I like painting with red.

A simple compromise (both mechanically and stylistically) would be tracking arm and leg damage, with accompanying animations; settlers cradling their injured arms/legs and shouting with red “Ouch!” marks, then walking around in an arm sling or with a crutch after a trip to the doctor. Depending on how deep you want to go, you could see an entire cute little triage ward with your soldiers hobbling around with head bandages, eye patches and so forth after a particularly harrowing battle, or even subtler effects like settlers hopping around on one foot after dropping a stone block on their toe. Again, visual immediacy paired with a more detailed injury system has tremendous possibility, so it might be worth looking into!

At a deeper level, however, it might be useful to have limb severing as a mechanic used for not-so-bloody enemies like skeletons and golems. Having this capability in the core engine makes it easier to expand for modders and for vanilla uses. It could be an easy way to handle modular body parts, such as having young deer/etc. start with a “severed” set of horns that grow back in after maturity, or sheep that can have their wool cut off. It’d also give modders a doorway to more… “meaty” applications, but that’s another story.

So, what’s the consensus, if any? Should some form of limb damage be present, if only at an engine level? Are injury subtypes too bothersome to faff about with when HP bars work perfectly fine? I’d love to hear what everyone thinks, especially the devs.


first of all, welcome aboard @LeadfootSlim! :smile:

second, that’s quite the thorough dissertation on limb damage… kudos! :wink:

I think an injury system would be a very good idea, however, maybe a difficulty level where you actually have to worry about something of that sort? like beginner difficult is just the normal mundane hp bars and then you have a difficulty higher then that you start having the injury system integrated into it

I would love for limb damage to be a thing. I agree that it should also be less bloody as-well.

I am in favor of limb damage too. But unlike in dwarf fortress something that actually has effect.
Like eye injury: eye patch + less radius for spotting enemies.
Brain damage: head bandage + less hitrate or parry
foot injury: leg splint + slower movement
torso injury: bandaged + less hp
hand injury: less attack damage

Then you also have the possibility to optimize your army. For example when a soldier has a torso injury (less hp), you dont want to make let him be defender. Or a soldier with hand injury has less benefit being a berserker.


I’m in extreamly in favor of the visual aspect such crutches and slings to signify a very damaged person. I wouldn’t mind seeing some severly hurt soldiers walking on crutches as they slowly heal back to full helth.

Though going further than that would be more realistic, its starting to get a little too much micromanaging in my opinion. At one point I recall Radiant explaining how they didn’t want to be extremely trait based because it limits choices.

I want Brom to be a warrior. He has the most majestic beard and that last name, Burlyhands, that just sounds like a warrior at heart! I can just see him running over a hill with his sword held high, ready to push back the goblin onslaught. But with his traits Brom would be the worst warrior ever. Now I have to choose someone else. . . Now I’m sad. . . <---- That kind of situation.

Slight boosts and traits would be a good thing, but if it gets overly complex it turns the game more into an RTS than a city builder.


@Avairian, I think what @Miturion is talking about is permanent effects of injuries - effectively, acquired negative traits. While traits might exist in some form, I think that’s another discussion altogether - and one I hope would avoid the problem you describe.

In my mind, those types of effects would be fantastic so long as they were temporary - to use Miturion’s example, you might have the tough choice of holding back or using a soldier with fantastic attack stats who is recovering from a chest wound that reduces his health. Unlike DF, however, I don’t think most players here would be amused by their happy little villagers becoming asthmatic cripples for life after an unlucky encounter with a beast or a stray arrow.

Pretty much along the lines I was thinking. Kind of like sleeping on the floor leaves people groggy and lowers their speed for awhile. Those type of effects are fine I believe.

Similar effects to Miturions but temporary.



I actually never meant it as permanent damage. Only as temperary. And healed by time or medic(ine) or something.
So we are all on the same line I think :smile:

2011 called, they want their . . .

Aw, screw it.


Can the current animation system support limbs falling off / replacement limbs?