Trauma happens. Bad things happen. It can be concerning; it can be scarring, physically or mentally or emotionally. Violence is hard to deal with regardless of who you are — be it the perpetrator or the victim. The difference you see is that the perpetrator will numb himself to the monster he may become, while the victim will likely always bear the burden of what they experienced. In any Fight where someone wins through the use of Violence dice, participants take Trauma and add it to their character sheet. Write down a sentence about the situation that warrants the Trauma! And the Trauma relates back to it. Maybe you now have issues travelling alone at night, hyperventilate on the train, have a bum leg, or can only think about how you look with the stitches in your cheek — Trauma causes problems in your ability to interact with and relate to the world around you.

During play, someone who knows your Trauma can call on it to stop your character from participating in a scene while your character suffers the effects. You freeze up in a crowd of people if that’s your thing, or you can’t keep role-playing a scene because you start having a fit; maybe you can’t draw your gun because you have the shakes. Your Trauma can never be used to stop you from participating in a Conflict that involves your Ties, but it does grant an extra two dice to anyone you’re rolling against in that situation. If someone calls on your character’s Trauma to keep you from interacting with a scene, you have the option to bury that Trauma deep down inside and ignore it… not the healthiest solution, but the option exists. Take one die for each Tie you possess and one Violence die for each point of Depravity you possess and roll them; regardless of success, you can now participate in the scene — however, if success shows on the Violence dice then you only manage to overcome your momentary fit by detaching yourself from the experience, and those around you. Give yourself another rank of Depravity, and the cycle of violence continues.

Be sure to keep track of how much of your Trauma features you as the perpetrator and how much features you as the victim (You should be writing all these down anyway!) because it will be important in the game. At the end of any session where your Depravity increased, you can cross off any single Trauma you possess that your character inflicted. You may never cross off any Trauma you were victim to. Retreating deeper into senseless destructiveness can save you from a lot of heartache, but it won’t save you for too long.

Medical Records
As mentioned above, if your character’s success in a Fight comes from the Violence Dice rolled, then it means he has gone too far. One punch too many, one bottle too conveniently within reach, one moment of violence — and something has gone horribly awry. If you succeed due to Violence Dice, you must decide to send the victim to the Hospital or the Morgue.

The Hospital
When sent to the Hospital, a character cannot participate in anyone’s scenes other than those that take place at the Hospital; he cannot himself even call for any scenes until he has called for a Moment of Silence (see below) at the Hospital. Should there by any Conflicts while at the Hospital, the character cannot Fight or Commit Ultraviolence — they can only use their Ties (which, remember, unless directly threatened are only worth half Points) or Compromise. Sending a character to the Hospital is the “safer” option when you succeed on a Violence die: 1) it removes a character from play for a small amount of time while your character achieves his intention, 2) there is no Depravity requirement as there is for The Morgue (see below). As mentioned above, it gives the victim the opportunity to call for a Moment of Silence.

The Morgue
When sent to the Morgue, a character is removed completely from the game; he cannot call for any more scenes, period. There are no last words in crime tragedy that are not curses and bile. You do not impart some sort of vital knowledge onto those you leave behind; they do not learn from your words, only from your actions — and eventually, your death. If you had something important to say, you probably should have said it before the thug pulled his gun on you. However, you do have one chance to survive. You have to muster all of your will to do it, hanging on for something you love; something important to you.

If sent to the Morgue, you can redirect yourself to the Hospital by sacrificing your highest-ranked Tie (Come Back from the Brink). The life of violence costs you something very dear as your loved ones leave you, your Ma suffers a nervous breakdown, your car is stolen while you were bleeding in the gutter… You come back from the brink, only to find what you came back for no longer wants you. Understandably, you could ruin someone’s life this way. It’s good that you have your brothers backing you up, huh? Right? When you sacrifice a Tie to Come Back from the Brink, you follow the rules above for being sent to the Hospital, with one change. You receive twoMoments of Silence. Role-play them wisely. If you were on your way to the Morgue, chances are you need them.

A Moment of Silence
These are the times of peace in your otherwise hectic, violent, stressful, panicked life. They are likely few and far between. A player can call for A Moment of Silence at any time if they so choose, and the Narrator is expected to frame a scene relevant to the character, his Ties, and the player’s request — typically with a specific Tie in a certain situation. Ideally, A Moment of Silence is a beautiful moment intended to define the character and present a new side of their personality, or a deeper understanding of something already known. The catch is this: a Moment of Silence cannot have any Conflict. If you are taking a Moment of Silence, the Narrator has the right to bring into play a number of facts equal to the Points invested in the Tie present in the scene — he may use other NPCs as mouthpieces for these facts, if he so chooses, but they are incontrovertible without a Conflict as per the normal rules. This is the time for another character to make a play for their Vendetta if they hope to chance no resistance. If the Moment of Silence completes itself without interruption, then the character may shift a rank of his Depravity into one Point with the appropriate Tie; or he may even shift one Point from the appropriate Tie into one rank of Depravity — a Moment of Violence. This is the one of only two way to increase this score without a Fight; at the cost of your Tie. Use this knowledge wisely.

Stay tuned for Part 5