When characters get physically hurt, they rack up harm. If they take too much, they can possibly die.

The harm clock looks like this:


Damage Move
When you take physical damage from something, roll+Armor. On a 10+, you absorb or avoid the blow entirely. On a 7-9, the MC chooses 1:

  • You lose your footing.
  • You lose your grip on whatever you’re holding. Lose an item of gear.
  • You lose track of someone or something you’re attending to. Take 1 less harm.
  • It’s a glancing blow. Take 1 less harm.
    On a miss, you suffer the full brunt of the damage.

PCs die when they take their 6th harm (The move Fitness increases this to 8). Other NPCs may take as much harm as the MC deems appropriate. Maybe the MCs dorky class kid gets hospitalized or even killed at 2 harm, but a werewolf biker whose been around the block takes 5 to go down.

When a PC takes 6 harm, they immediately die, unless:

  • they become their Darkest Self
  • they lose all strings on all characters

They can choose each of these once per session. If a character is already their Darkest Self, they cannot choose that as an option. If a character has no strings to sacrifice, they may instead give each PC two strings over them. In each case, gain the condition drained after cheating death.

1 Harm

  • kicking
  • glass bottle
  • nut shot

1 Harm is the type of stuff that would be gossiped about in the changing room.

2 Harm

  • giant claws
  • aluminum bat
  • surviving a fire

2 Harm is the type of damage that gets someone hospitalized, will have cops called if its reported, and requires medical treatment.

3 Harm
Worse than all above. It’s pretty bad.

Healing Harm
Harm never heals on it’s own. However, once per session, you can:

  • Rest and tend to your wounds. Heal 1 harm.
  • If someone else tends to your wounds, delicately and intimately – perhaps with an erotic subtext – you may heal an additional 1 harm.


Monster Hearts In Space Alcarda