If the ship a pirate is on is sunk during a PvP battle between two flags at war or while taking part in a sinking blockade or during Sinking monster hunt, that pirate has a very slim chance of getting an injury. The injury will either be in the form of an eyepatch in place of an eye, a pegleg in place of a leg, a hook in place of a hand, or a starfish that is attached to the face. A pirate can only have one of each injury, for a maximum of four injuries per pirate. The 'starfished' injury can only be obtained by sinking in Atlantis. In-game injuries are only cosmetic—they have no effect on the character's abilities or the scoring system of any puzzle, except in rumble. In rumble, a pirate with a hook, but no bludgeon, deals the damage pattern of a gaff, rather than just fists.
For PvP injuries, a pirate's own flag must be involved in a war with the flag whose ship is engaged. Simply jobbing aboard the ship of a flag that is at war is not enough. In a sinking blockade, everybody on the sinking ship has a chance of an injury. Another way to look at this is that in all cases, if a pirate had sailed into the engagement on their own flag's ship, and the engagement would still be sinking, then they risk an injury.
Injuries can also be acquired from booby-trapped (i.e.: series 4) black boxes purchased at a black market. Such boxes have a 0.1% chance of being booby-trapped.
Injuries can be removed by purchasing the appropriate potion from the apothecary and using it.
Ringers will not transfer the injury to an alt, nor will they add an injury for any other reason.
As of release 2008-02-05, a new injury exclusive to Atlantis became available upon sinking while on a sea monster hunt: a starfish clinging to the pirate's face. This "injury" is available for use in portraits, and may be removed at any time by using a starfish repellent potion from the apothecary.
Turning into a ghost
If a ship sinks while in the Haunted Seas, the pirates aboard also have a chance of turning into a ghost. If this happens they will not receive a fish, and this "injury" is temporary -- it lasts only until the pirate in question logs off.
A pirate is at risk of gaining an injury if:
- They enter Atlantis, the Cursed Isles, the Haunted Seas, a sinking flotilla, or a sinking blockade, and their ship sinks.
- Their flag is involved in a war with another flag, and their ship is sunk in a PvP battle.
- Their flag and another flag are each at war with a third flag. They are jobbed aboard the other flag's ship, and that ship is sunk in PvP with the third, warring flag. (This is a very rare situation.)
Prior to the introduction of appearance altering potions, pirates could have an injury removed for the price of 50,000 PoE by a Ringer.