Damage is a card game.
Card hands were used to emoter fields, which in turn influenced the emotions felt by other players. Strength of will was required to resist malicious emotional manipulation and play the game successfully. For example a player might succumb to manipulation and fold a round despite having a strong hand.
Each Player had a maximum of twelve Lives, living pan-humans, used as counters. A Life was killed if a Player did not drop out of a hand early and lost the hand. Players and nearby spectators could also be induced to suicide by the emoter fields.
The game ended when only one Player had a Life left, although in practice games ended before that. Players could, if officials allowed, wager their own lives if they had expended all of their Lives.
Lives could come from a variety of sources. Richer Players could have specially bred Lives, while poorer Players might recruit from prisons or asylums. Depending on the recruitment agreement Lives might be entitled to a portion of a Player's winnings. Lives might will posthumous winnings to others.
Due to the mortality of Damage it was originally only played where law and morality had broken down. While it remained banned some polities allowed it to be played as long as the Lives were all volunteers.