There are two major terms used for damage in Android: Netrunner. Effects can "do" damage to the Runner or cause the Runner to "suffer" damage. Damage that is dealt to the Runner results in the Runner suffering that damage, but not all damage that is suffered is dealt. Both dealt and suffered damage can be prevented.

"Taking" damage is rarely used, but it is synonymous with suffering damage.


I've been seeing some weird conversations crop up about damage. First off, my understanding is there is a clear difference between "suffering" and "doing" damage. Generally speaking, when the source is from the Runner or if the Runner has a choice in the damage, the Runner will "suffer" damage (examples being Tri-maf Contact or Cerebral Cast respectively). Otherwise, if the Corp damages the runner directly with a card ability, the damage will be "done" (as in "do # damage"). I hope these generalizations aren't too restricting, but this is the pattern I've seen. Is this (for the most part) a correct way to look at "suffering" and "doing" damage?

Second, I've noticed that "doing" and "suffering" damage are not synonymous. For example, The Cleaners will not add one damage to Tri-Maf Contact being trashed because the damage is "suffered" by the Runner rather than "done" to the Runner. The agenda Sentinel Defense Program only deals net damage if the runner "suffers" a brain damage. No Ice currently cause the runner to "suffer" brain damage. Say that you "do 1 brain damage" with Viktor 1.0. Should Sentinel Defense Program not trigger because the runner did not "suffer" a brain damage? I guess my point for this paragraph is "we know suffering isn't equivalent to doing, but is doing equivalent to suffering"? (not all fingers are thumbs, but all thumbs are fingers) The utility of Sentinel Defense Program is extremely limited if the Runner "suffering" brain damage does not include "doing" brain damage.

Now I'd like to add the term "taking" damage into the mix. What is the difference between "taking" and either "suffering" or "doing" damage? It seems to me the logical thing would be that "taking" damage is the actual act of randomly trashing a card from your hand (or flatlining if you can't resolve "taking" all of the damage). Is this true? The core rules say the following:

"If the Runner takes more damage than the number of cards in his grip, or if he has a maximum hand size of less than zero at the end of his turn, then he is flatlined and the Corporation wins the game."

Note: the following questions might be rendered moot or just trivial based on your answers above!

Is there some sort of order to "suffering/doing" and/or "taking" damage? When you are "done" or "suffer" 4 damage with only 3 cards in hand, do you immediately flatline? Or do you "take" 4 damage which resolves in the ordered fashion the core rule book suggests (Trash cards one by one, then when you go to trash the 4th card, you lose)? At what point do/can you prevent damage? While it's being "done/suffered" or being "taken"? If you prevent the brain damage "taken" from Wotan's subroutine, do you not get to End the Run?


Tybb-sly “Doing” damage results in the Runner “suffering” damage, but “suffering” damage does not mean the damage was dealt. So however the Runner gets the brain damage for Sentinel Defense Program it will result in 1 net damage, but as you note The Cleaners will not give extra damage to Tri-Maf Contact. “Taking” is synonymous with suffering, but is not used frequently and should probably not exist as a term.

You can prevent or avoid damage when it is being dealt or suffered and before it resolves. If you do not prevent or avoid enough damage so that you have fewer cards in hand than the amount of incoming damage, then you flatline without trashing the cards one by one (because the game is over and the order of cards in the heap is not important). If you prevent the brain damage from Wotan the run does not end from that subroutine.


Posted to BoardGameGeek by Bradley Galbraith on February 3, 2015

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