The last modified mechanic.
Not all attacks kill. Some just knock someone unconscious. This happens in movies all the time.
Non-Lethal Damage uses the exact same Success Rating method as Lethal Damage (and the rest of the system). Its meaning is slightly different.
|0 SR||Fatigue (2 Stress, 3 if Encumbered)|
Of all the mechanics thus far discussed, this one is the least obvious. That is a weakness, I’ll admit, but the mechanic works, even if the internal logic is a little intricate.
Here’s the logic:
We need to be able to knock people out in one blow, without it being so easy as to make it the go-to move in combat. Low results can’t achieve it, but should do something. Moderate results should do more.
So, Impaired -> Incapacitated -> Unconscious. Doing 3 SR 3 times will knock the person out. (And 4 SR twice, or 5 SR once.)
But why Fatigue? Because enough Stress will cause the target to be Impaired, and even more will cause them to be Incapacitated. Eventually, you can just beat them Unconscious, even if you can’t get 3 SR.
At the lowest levels, Non-Lethal Damage is inferior to straight combat. At moderate levels (3 & 4 SR) it’s a little better, and at the highest level it’s exactly the same. Overall, it’s not notably better or worse than Lethal Damage — in combat.
Out of combat, it meets the design goal: to allow people to sneak up on another person and knock them out. This is possible because of the Total Surprise rule.
Total Surprise means the target can’t defend at all. (No Passive Defense.) So, their Skill Points don’t matter.
Toughness 9, Skill 9 = Defense 18? Not against a Surprise Attack. Against the Surprise Attack, you defend with Toughness 9. That’s 3 SR more against you, enough to turn a 2 into a 5.
(Concluded in part 7.)