I recently got to thinking about HP loss versus fictional damage. Now, HP loss is not traumatic. It’s just a number on a sheet, and fixed by a first level spell or a potion. No big deal. (I like Robert E. Howard’s explanation of how HP works: https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/5663wv/read_robert_e_howard_if_you_want_to_understand/ )Debilities are significantly worse, since they both give you a penalty to a stat and require downtime to heal. But what about fictional damage? Goblin arrows put out your eye. A razor boar’s tusks cut off your arm. What tools do we have to deal with such things?
Fictionally, the effect is obvious; you’re down an eye or a limb. but what can be done about this type of fictional damage? Does the loss of a limb cause death by exsanguination? (It should, but that’s another argument.) The player might resent that their character has been irrevocably crippled. What tools do you use to represent treatment/healing of a maiming injury like the above? Obviously, it would be preferable for such things to feel dangerous, enough that most PCs would react more cautiously to going into battle against such a foe if they knew there was a good chance they could be maimed. But at the same time, we want to be fans of the characters and see them succeed. Getting maimed shouldn’t feel like spine or a consequence of bad luck. What can be done?