Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Dialogue

Recently, Alexis claimed to be a D&D snob.  He also claimed that people who play the Red Box edition are “probably retarded or possessing of some other mental deficiency.”  In a later post, he claimed to have said those things “in order to instigate a dialogue.”  Anyway, prior to that later post, Alexis and I engaged in a dialogue.  Alexis has deleted this dialogue from his blog comments.  There's nothing wrong with that; it's his blog and he certainly doesn't owe me anything.  However, for the sake of posterity, I present said dialogue.

I said:
Lack of desire to play 4e is not snobbery; it's a matter of taste. Snobbery is treating as inferior people who enjoy a different style of play.

Alexis said:
Defining the Red Box as a different "style" of play is like comparing T-Ball to Baseball.

Just so we're clear on the treatment of inferior I'm defining.

You know what else is snobbish, O Perdustin? The insistence that one's choices are somehow made more "noble" because they are a choice. I'd like to see one of you "stylers" defend your choice upon some better principal than the fact that you have one.

Choosing to do something moronic is a choice too. Doesn't make it laudable.

I said:
I don't think that the T-Ball/Baseball comparison is apt. T-Ball is intended for a narrow age range (5 – 8) while the Red Box edition is intended – as you said – for ages 10 and up. Monopoly is for ages 8 and up. I find that game to be insipid, but I don't consider adults who play as “probably retarded or possessing of some other mental deficiency.” Nor do I consider their choice to play any more 'noble' or 'laudable' than my choice not to play or your choice to drink vodka.

Why would people choose to play Red Box? Perhaps they feel that the Gygaxian morass of AD&D is largely unnecessary for what they consider to be an enjoyable game.

Alexis said:
So, basically, in attempting to come up with reasons, you've actually managed to come up with a bunch of opinions that still say, "Because I wanna ... wah, wah."

Remember what I said in the post about the DM using that lack of rules to fuck over players? Without situational rules, the players are at the mercy of the DM's personal whim, which means less player agency and therefore a greater degree of Storytime Play, Jurisprudence, Railroading, etc. By having MANY RULES that I have to adhere to as a DM, my players know that I am not fucking them over.

That's why AD&D was necessary. I think the T-Ball comparison is Dead Fucking On ... all the more evident in that you're only response to it is to say, "No its not."

Like a child.

Guess what. You're playing the game that is at your level.

I don't consider rules to be a "morass." Not in D&D, not in the law, not in physics, not in medicine, not in any endeavor that requires EXPERTISE. EXPERTISE always is complicated and difficult, and butt fuck morons who know nothing about such things ALWAYS think it's an incomprehensible morass.

Guess what, dummy? You're just not smart enough.
Here is the response I submitted yesterday morning which Alexis declined to post:
Let us assume that your personal attacks against me are true (other than that I run the YDIS site – I’m not smart enough for that).  That way, my limited cognitive abilities will not be distracted.

I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments about rules and EXPERTISE, except when it comes to D&D.  Law, physics, medicine, et al. have profound real-word implications.  The real-world implications of D&D are limited to a group of people sitting around a table, rolling dice, and pretending to be elves.  I believe the difference is significant, perhaps you don’t.

No set of rules can cover every eventuality, so players can never be invulnerable to “the DM's personal whim,” as you put it.  In fact, no one plays AD&D by the book – not you, not even Gygax.  So we can drop the pretense that the rules for a game are inviolate scripture that must be memorized and followed blindly.  Once we accept the notion that the rules are not perfect, we are faced with the task of paring down the rules so that they are efficient and effective.  As JDJarvis states, “no version of published D&D was good enough.”

One of Gygax’ more cogent quotes was, “The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.”  He didn’t churn out rulebooks to establish an “ideal” to which “real players” should commit themselves; he churned out rulebooks to rake in the cash.  Some people like what the rulebooks have to offer; that’s fine.  Some people would rather not be bothered with ‘alignment languages’ and similar Gygaxian nonsense.
Alexis favors complexity in D&D for two reasons (if I understand him correctly):  (1) more rules mean less “DM's whim” and (2) world-building and rule-making enhance the play experience.

With regard to reason #1:  Rules are not going to protect players from a bad DM.

With regard to reason #2:  World-building and rule-making absolutely enhance the play experience; it's all a matter of degree.  Alexis decries the lack of 'investment' among DMs and players.  Perhaps they're lazy, perhaps they're not very intelligent, or perhaps they have different priorities – they choose to 'invest' in their families or careers or other interests at the expense of a make-believe world of wizards and unicorns.  I suppose such people aren't 'serious' enough for Alexis, yet somehow they manage to enjoy themselves.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Acting Conditions

In the World Action and Adventure role-playing game, the type of character that an actor (i.e., player) chooses to play determines the actor's 'acting condition' (explained below).  SHIELD traits were discussed last week. Have a safe and happy Halloween.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Visit to Mousehole

(No, that's not a euphemism)

As mentioned in an earlier post, Wizards' Realm describes a sample town – complete with map and a building-by-building listing.  The name of the town is Mousehole (pronounced muz'l) and I provide the map here for your delight and edification.

The script along the right side is 'Realm elvish' for Mousehole.  For those of you who choose to enlarge the image, the elvish script beneath the bar scale reads “So it is written = Darkmoon.”  Darkmoon is the wizard character of Niels Erickson, the sole editor, who is also credited as an author and illustrator.  I can only suppose that the map is Erickson's doing.

With regard to building listings, the town is divided into five sections:  a central section and one section for each of the cardinal directions.

The central section consists of two buildings, the Municipal Offices and the Guild-Hall.  Included in the Municipal Offices are “the Lord Mayor's Office, The Municipal Courts, the Constabulary (all eight of 'em). the Town Gaol, the Reeve & Tax Collector, Customs and the Department of Sundry Works.”

To the west of the Mystic River are such locations as:  the cemetery, the mills, the brickyard, the lumber yard, the shipyard, and Barnacle Bill's Boathouse (“Bildor 'Bill' Splayfoot, a hobbit, proprietor”).

East of the river, there are a variety of establishments.  Among them are:  two liveries, Chuffy Fussock's Ropes & Nets (Chuffy is a hobbit), Parkyn Hammersmith the Armourer, Prospero the Potter, Fograk Facewrecker's Bakery (Fograk is half-orcish), and market stalls “where well as fishermen...bring fresh edibles.”

In the northern section of town we find such noteworthy personages as Umma Childlove (midwife), Meldu (undertaker), Demelza the Wise (fortune teller), Olog the One-Eyed (jeweler), Wort (cobbler), and Hultz (barber).  An open-air theatre, the banking house, and the town watch barracks are also located in the north side of town.

The large building at the southern tip of the town is the local Infinity Store.  (The warehouse for the Infinity Store is across town.)  Also in the south side of town are The Three Fates Inn (“The largest and, reputedly, the best public house in Mousehole”), The Chantry and Monastery of the Revered Order of Istys, and the Lazar-House.

It just so happens that – in the real world – there is a town named Mousehole.  It would seem that the real Mousehole inspired the Wizards' Realm Mousehole.  I present a map of the genuine article below.  (Sadly, I could not locate an image with greater resolution.)  The real Mousehole looks more interesting than the 'fantasy' version.

On the reverse of the (fantasy) Mousehole map, there is a “Campaign Map” (shown below).  The Wizards' Realm setting is known as the Middle Kingdoms – “the realms once under the High Crown.”  The book explains:
Only certain major areas are identified on this map, including major terrain features.  The reason for large open areas here is two-fold:  Not only does it give some idea how little a traveller setting out from one familiar part of the world might know of lands beyond his own, but it also provides the GM and players alike with more latitude in shaping the world in which their characters will move.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scores and Ranks

Every so often, your humble host likes to share information from the pages of the World Action and Adventure role-playing game, such as a description of the various Action Guide styles.  Author Gregory L. Kinney's concept of 'Acting Conditions' would be a good topic for a post; however, before taking up that subject, one should be familiar with the notion of the SHIELD traits.

SHIELD is an acronym for the six WA&A primary characteristics – called traits.  These are:  Strength, Health, Intelligence, Endurance, Looks, and Dexterity.  Other than the distinction between Health and Endurance, the traits are self-explanatory.  Health measures a character's resistance to illness.  Endurance, on the other hand, represents several abilities:  patience, movement rate, sanity, resisting physiological and psychological discomforts, need for sleep, and the length of time a character can hold his or her breath.  A character's 'Life Points,' incidentally, are calculated by finding the average of Strength, Health, and Endurance.

Scores for a character's traits are determined by rolling a d20 eight times; any result of 3 or less is considered to be a result of 12.  The two lowest results are discarded and the remaining six are assigned to the traits in the order rolled.  Kinney perceptively notes that “the scale is from 4 to 20.”  However, female characters have their Strength score modified by -2 and their Looks by +2.  Although not explicit, it seems that Strength cannot be lowered to less than four nor Looks increased to greater than twenty.

Scores can be increased with experience, but otherwise remain fixed.  In any event, scores do not measure actual ability, they represent potential ability.  Actual ability is measured by ranks.  Each trait has a 'rank table' where scores for that trait are indexed against a span of age periods.  A character's rank in a trait is based upon her score for that trait along with her age in years.  Ranks range from 2 to 14.

Let's say a character in Age Period 6 has an Endurance score of 15.  According to the table on page 50 of the Official Guide, that character's Endurance rank would be 11.  Such a character could run at 10.5 miles per hour for a maximum of 20 miles.  That character could hold his or her breath for one-and-a-half minutes and is a “short sleeper” for purposes of the Sleep Table in Chapter 9.  Additionally, the character can temporarily endure an “excessive discomfort” for thirty minutes.  Examples of excessive discomforts include “[b]reaking a bone or losing part of the body” and “[b]eing teased and mocked by a group of people.”

“Check-Ups” are an interesting notion, albeit admittedly time consuming in execution.  There are Health check-ups and Intelligence check-ups.

For every year of life, a character undergoes a number of Health check-ups based upon his or her Health rank.  A rank of 2 must undergo 13 check-ups per year while a rank of 14 undergoes only one check-up.  A Health check-up usually means the character suffers some kind of temporary, minor illness such as “slight mental depression” or “diarrhea/ constipation.”  However, it's possible that a check-up may result in a 5% chance of heart attack or a 5% chance of disease.  (A disease list is provided in Chapter 9.)

Unlike Health check-ups, Intelligence check-ups are beneficial.  The number of check-ups to which a character is entitled per age period is based on Intelligence rank.  A rank of 4 provides one check-up per age period while characters with a rank less than four do not receive Intelligence check-ups.  Characters with an Intelligence rank of 14 get five check-ups per age period.  For each Intelligence check-up:  there is a 10% chance of learning 'instrument' (musical instrument?), a 10% chance of learning a language, a 10% chance of rolling twice on the check-up table, a 10% chance each of rolling on three other tables, and a 40% chance of learning nothing.  The three other tables are:  'craft/hobbies,' 'subject,' and 'information about.'  On the 'crafts/hobbies' table are such things as “metal,” “juggling,” and “stunts.”  'Subject' includes things like “reading,” “science,” and “law.”  Finally, the 'information about' table has selections such as:  “A map,” “Something top secret,” and “An important prisoner.”

On page 47, Kinney supplies these helpful observations about intelligence:
The power of intelligence comes from one's mind...A character with weak intelligence is sometimes considered a dunce or knucklehead by others.  Often, he is given less respect than the average person gets.  However, a character with high strength, or high looks score often makes up for the disadvantage of a low intelligence.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

More Magic in Wizards' Realm

In the cosmology of Wizards' Realm, the world is referred to as “the Midgards,” but other notions of Norse mythology are not present.  In contrast to the Midgards, there is “Outside,” a chaotic plane where “spirits” dwell.  According to a passage (not sourced but obviously religious) on page 4, “...the dark and light were separated and the powers that opposed the will of the one were fettered outside...”  The 'energy' of most magic comes from spellcasters in the form of Power Points; however, some magic is powered from Outside.  Magical items powered from Outside are called “Blue Moon” artifacts.  “They cannot be completely controlled” and are prone to random “behavior.”

Here is a sampling of magic items in Wizards' Realm:

PURSE OF GREAT PRICE – The Wizards' Realm equivalent of a Bag of Holding.

WHIMSEY-WAND – A 'Blue Moon artifact' seemingly inspired by the Wand of Wonder.  For any given Whimsey-Wand, the GM lists twenty possible effects. The GM rolls 1d20 whenever the item is activated to determine which effect occurs.

LUCKY DOG – A figurine of a dog that imparts +2 Luck to its possessor. Should the item be lost, the former possessor loses one point of Luck as well as the +2 benefit.

NULL-WAND – Has a 60% chance of draining off Power Points to whatever it touches.  The Power Points are not retained in the wand, but instead go “Outside.”  A “glitch” means that the user's Power Points are drained.

As one might expect given the names of some of the magic items, Wizards' Realm spells are named after the fashion of Tunnels & Trolls spells.  Among the various spells may be found:  'Kiss Me, You Fool' (temporary increase of Appearance Attribute), 'Jonah' (temporary decrease of Luck Attribute), 'Whim-Wham' (paralyzes opponent for three turns), and 'Speak To Me' (“Induces limited speech and intelligence in inanimate objects”).  Perhaps the oddest spell is 'Pelican's Bill' (“temporarily makes a person's mouth like a Purse of Great Price” – see above).

Also of note are the rules for Demonology.  In Wizards' Realm, Demonology covers several abilities; however, for this discussion, I will only regard the summoning of “demons.”  For purposes of Wizards' Realm, demons are spirits from “Outside” and they include “powers Beneficial as well as Malign.”

Demons are rated in terms of dice, specifically d6.  A demon's Attributes are determined by the d6 of its rating and each d6 costs 10 Power Points to summon.  So, if a 2d6 demon were called, the cost would be 20 points.  2d6 would be rolled and the result would be the value for every Attribute; if a 7 was rolled, each Attribute would have a value of 7.

Controlling a demon once summoned costs a number of Power Points per turn equal to the demon's d6 rating.  Banishing a demon costs ten times the number of Power Points needed to summon it.  According to page 31:
If you lack the necessary points to banish that which you summoned, it will attack you, having sensed your lack of power over it at that point.
So, let's say the demon kills you.  Can it then – under its own power – return to whence it came?  Let's say you are controlling a demon and you die from non-demonic causes.  What happens to the demon?  Although Wizards' Realm provides no direction, I would assume that uncontrolled demons can return to their place of origin with no effort; however, if an uncontrolled demon wanted to maintain its physical existence, it would need to spend its own Power Points.

The notion of a demon attacking the summoner when the summoner does not have the power to banish it seems unreasonable.  It suggests that the demon is not actually being controlled, but rather held in check under threat of banishment.  I think a reaction roll might be a better determiner of demon behavior.  Anyway, how would the demon know how much power the summoner has at hand?   After all, Power Points can be stored in various items.  Demons should be uncertain but wary of what summoners are capable.  I like the idea of attempting to bluff a demon.  It might work or it might not, but its better than having a demon attack once the summoner's Power Points drop beneath a certain level.

Demons can “assume any form at will.”  I guess this means the demon acquires the benefits and limitations of whatever form it assumes; a bird-form could fly and a fish-form could (only) breathe in water.  I guess a demon could turn into an elephant, but if the demon had a mere 2 Strength, so would the elephant.  The rules say that demons can be taught spells, but how many spells can they learn and how fast can they learn them?

The summoning of demons is not described as spells usually are in Wizards' Realm; no probability of success is mentioned.  Are all summoning attempts successful?  There is a 'Summon' spell, but the mechanics of the spell make it seem to apply to terrestrial denizens rather than entities from “Outside.”  Is summoning a 'skill' that any Spellcaster can learn or is it an ability restricted to the Necromancer sub-class?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Magic in Wizards' Realm

As indicated previously, Spellcasters in Wizards' Realm obtain spells by purchasing them as skills.  All characters begin with 3 SCs (i.e., Skill Credits) and gain more whenever they attain a new degree (i.e., level).  However, for spells other than those he learns at character creation, the Spellcaster must “seek out such knowledge from other Spellcasters, from books of lore, or through his own effort and experimentation.”  This quote is from the Spellcaster class description on page 13.  That page also states, “The chapter on the use of Magic will explain how to acquire and employ spells.”  There are two chapters about Magic; one contains spell descriptions, the other – in the Gamemaster's section – provides information on gaining spells.

First, a Spellcaster could “go through the process of creating all his own spells from scratch.”  Second, “a student/apprentice type may be taught a spell by his or her mentor.”  Third, Spellcasters can purchase spells if they can afford them (and if they can find someone selling them).  Additionally, “Spells may be found in scrolls or books among lost hoards, ancient libraries or on the persons of fallen foes.”  Lastly, “there is the Book of Spells sometimes entrusted by a mentor, and, rarely, available for a princely sum from an Infinity Store.  The book is most insidious:  Until one has the skill – i.e., the SC – required, the page remains a blank.”

What's an Infinity Store?  Page 22 says the following...
As you find yourself able to better equip your expeditions, you may wish to avail yourself of a much larger, more complete and varied array of goods.  For that we heartily recommend the INFINITY STORE, a marvelous hodge-podge of information, bargains and incredible variety of necessaries – and trivia – with an illustrated catalogue and outlets throughout the Middle Kingdoms...If there isn't an I.S. in your part of the Midgards, you can find the catalogue at your hobby store or by writing us.
That last part makes it seem as if Mystic Swamp intended on publishing an 'Infinity Store' supplement.

Any spell, no mater how powerful, costs one Skill Credit to learn.  Theoretically, if the GM allowed it, a beginning character could learn a powerful spell like 'regeneration.'  However, such a spell's complexity, as well as its Power Point cost, would mean that a beginning character could not employ the spell effectively.

Each spell is rated at one of three levels of complexity:  simple, complex, and multiplex.  Beginning characters have a base 75% chance of successfully casting a simple spell, a 50% chance of casting a complex spell, and a 10% chance of casting a multiplex spell.  At sixth degree, the chances become 85%, 65%, and 30%, respectively.  At twelfth degree the chances are 95%, 75%, and 50%.  (Wizards get better chances because they're special.)  Each additional Skill Credit after the first spent on a spell increases the chance by 10% (to a maximum of 99%).  I would have installed a steady progression of ability; something like:
          Simple % = 30 + ([Luck + Intelligence] x 2) + (2 per degree)
          Complex % = 20 + Luck + Intelligence + (2 per degree)
          Multiplex % = ([Luck + Intelligence] / 2) + (2 per degree)
Upon reaching 90%, each degree would add only 1% (to a maximum of 99%).  Instead of additional Skill Credits adding 10%, I would have it so that each additional Skill Credit would allow a failed roll to be rerolled.  This would be once per day per additional Skill Credit.

The 99% ceiling is important; a roll of '00' when attempting to cast a spell is referred to as a 'glitch.'  A glitch not only indicates failure, “but the Spellcaster experiences a backfire effect of that same spell.”  I would get rid of the backfire effect since not all spells produce negative effects.  Instead, I would have glitches cause Survival Point damage.

As discussed in a prior post, characters have a number of Power Points equal to Constitution + Dexterity + (Intelligence x 10).  (Wizards get more Power Points because they're special.)  This represents the daily amount of 'endurance' Spellcasters have with regard to casting spells.  For each degree he or she advances, a Spellcaster increases his or her amount of Power Points by 10%. Each spell costs a number of Power Points to attempt; these points are spent whether or not the casting is successful.  According to page 31, “[I]t is possible to intensify the effect or prolong the duration of any spell by doubling, tripling or even greater multiplication of [Power Points] expended...”

Spent Power Points are completely restored the next day.  Unspent Power Points do not accumulate; however, they can be stored in “appropriate vessels” that have been “primed” to serve as a reservoir for Power Points.  Such a 'vessel' could be “a ring, wand, staff, or...even a belt-buckle!”  A ring has a maximum Power Point capacity of 500, a wand has a capacity of 1,000, and a staff has a capacity of 5,000.  The capacity for a belt-buckle is not listed – a sad oversight.  (Wizards get special, invisible rings that can store 10,000 Power Points because they're special.)

Spellcasters also have “Magic Detection as an ability.”  This is not listed as a spell so, presumably, it does not cost Power Points to use.  It does, however, have a “basic percentage probability” of 50%.  One might assume that this 'basic' chance would improve as the Spellcaster gains experience, but the rules do not touch upon this.  Is it treated as a complex spell with regard to improvement?  In other words, does the chance increase to 65% at sixth degree and 75% at twelfth?  Does a character have to spend Skill Credits to improve the chance?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Combat in Wizards' Realm

In Wizards' Realm, “combat-turns are reckoned approximately 6 seconds' duration each.”  A character may only fight for a maximum number of consecutive turns equal to his or her Constitution before suffering Fatigue.  Fatigue is represented as one 'Survival Point' of damage per turn exceeded.

In a given turn of armed combat, a character is able to attack once and actively defend against a specific attack.  When faced with multiple attackers, a character may attack once and defend twice at the cost of “incurring Fatigue twice as fast as normal, and at twice the normal penalty.”

An armed attack consists of rolling 1d20, adding the character's Attack Number (the sum of Strength, Dexterity, and Agility), adding the weapon's Damage Rating (dependent on the character's skill with the weapon), and applying modifiers.  This final 'Attack Rating' is compared against the defender's 'Defense Rating.'

The defender determines his 'Defense Rating' against a particular attack by rolling 1d20, adding his Defense Number (the sum of Strength, Constitution, and Agility), adding the Defense Rating from either the character's weapon or his shield (again, depending on the defender's skill), adding the character's Armor Rating, and applying any modifiers.  “Additionally, small helms give an add of +1 to one's [defense] rating; full helmets, +2.”

Armor Rating is 'ascending,' with the absence of armor having a value of zero and “Faerie-fire full mail” having a value of 13.  If the Strength of a character wearing armor is less than the Armor Rating, then the difference is applied as a negative modifier to Agility (and thereby affects the character's Attack and Defense Numbers).

Anyway, if the total Attack Rating exceeds the total Defense Rating, the difference is amount of damage that the defending character suffers.

What if a character is subject to more than two attacks per turn?  This is a good question that the rules do not address directly.  If a character is unaware of an attack, he is entitled to a Luck saving throw roll.  If the roll is failed, only Constitution and Armor Rating are subtracted from the Attack Rating.  So, if a character is aware of a third attack, it seems reasonable that Armor Rating and the entire Defend Number (but neither shield/weapon defense nor 1d20) would be applied against the Attack Rating.

The Wizards' Realm armed combat system seems simple and intuitive; unfortunately, it is unbalanced.  C. D. Martin reviewed Wizards' Realm in issue 26 of Different Worlds (Jan '83).  In this review, C. D. recounts an experiment he performed to test the combat system.  He started with two identical characters – same equipment, same skills, all Attributes at 11.  “Combat was even,” writes C. D., “with a small advantage going to the first blow.”  He then raised one character to “second level.”  (I'm sure he meant to write second degree.)  This gave the character three additional Survival Points and four Skill Credits which were used to increase Strength by one and to provide a +2 bonus with his weapon.  C. D. then used his Apple II computer [!] to simulate “ten thousand combats to the death.”  The result?  “The second-level [sic] character died thirteen times and always took less than half damage from any single blow...Marginally weaker characters are doomed in single combat.”

Weaponless combat is handled similarly to armed combat.  “In a sluggling match,” the attacker rolls 1d20 and adds his or her Strength; the defender rolls 1d20 and adds Constitution.  If the defender result is smaller, the difference is the amount of damage the defender suffers.  However, a character can succeed with an Agility saving roll to avoid being hit.  (I suppose this is in lieu of defending with Constitution and forgoes the opportunity to attack.)  In wrestling, both characters compare Strength + 1d20 “and the better roll has thrown his opponent down.”

Ranged combat is handled differently.  The attacker makes a Dexterity saving roll modified by several factors (such as range and target size).  If successful, the attacker rolls 1d20 and adds the weapon's damage for the indicated range.  When “allowed under the circumstances,” a character may attempt an Agility saving roll to avoid being hit.  Otherwise, the defender subtracts Armor Rating and Constitution from the attacker's damage result; the difference – if positive – is the amount of damage the defender sustains.

“When reduced to 3 [Survival Points] or less,” according to page 24, “a character is in imminent danger of death, and, if reduced to 0, is a goner.”  When a character loses at least half of his Survival Points “at one time,” the character will lose his attack that turn (if he hasn't already attacked) and may suffer additional consequences.  The phrase “at one time” could easily be construed as meaning “from a single attack,” but the Gamemaster's Section suggests otherwise.  According to page 35, there may be additional consequences when a character loses at least 25% of his Survival Points in a single turn – not merely from a single attack.

There are two tables used to determine possible consequences; one table for a loss of 25% to 49% of Survival Points and another table for a loss of at least half of Survival Points.  Are these percentages derived from a character's normal, unwounded amount of Survival Points or is it based upon the number of Survival Points current as of when the damage was inflicted?  Regardless, the 25% to 49% table has “No effect” half of the time.  Possible consequences include being stunned for 1d6 turns, automatic 'initiation' loss, and/or dropping one's weapon.  There will always be a consequence with the 50%+ table; this table has consequences like the 25% to 49% table, but also the possibility of 'passing out' for as many as 1d20 turns.