Monday, October 6, 2008

Revising Hit Points

[From the same rules tinkerings, some different rules for hit points in D&D]

Hit Points represent all factors that stand between your character and death – physical health, ability to defend oneself, luck, etc. During the game, particularly during combat, your character will suffer Hit Point (hp) attrition. This is not a serious problem until hp begins to run low.

Light Wounds. Most hp loss reflects light wounds – scratches and bruises, or may reflect other factors, like fatigue. The Dungeon Master may be as descriptive as he likes, but light wounds do not typically alter game mechanics.

Serious Wounds. No matter how many hp a character has, it is the last three hp that matter most. These points represent the physical body and the loss of any of these points means serious physical injury. The character must make a saving throw vs. paralysis, poison (see Saving Throws) at once or fall prone. The character can choose to spend a round standing up, but will suffer a -1 penalty to all rolls until he is healed to more than three hp.

Unconsciousness. If a character is dropped to exactly zero hp, that character is unconscious until healed, or enough time passes to heal.

Critical Wounds. A character who has been reduced to -1 or -2 is critically injured and will soon die unless magically healed. The character must make a fortitude saving throw or will lose consciousness. The character must receive magical healing during the combat in which critically injured or in the round immediately after the battle, or the character dies.

Death. A character dies if left crucially wounded too long, or as soon as brought down to -3 hp. At these levels, characters are very unlikely to find a way to cheat death. Players are advised to work out details with the other players as to what will become of the character’s possessions in case of death. If not claimed by the other players, the player could will their possessions to a new character.

Healing. A character, if not magically healed, will heal after normal rest at the rate of 1 hp per night of rest (CON will determine how many hours that requires). There must be some degree of comfort for healing (soft surface, no loud, sustained noise, and no breaks for combats with wandering monsters) to take place at this rate. Wearing armor while sleeping also adds one hour of rest required per point of Armor Class.


Restless said...

What happens if your first level character only has three hit points or less?

Scott said...

I'm not used to finding comments on my blog!

PCs with 3 hp or less, like many 1st-level magic-users (when not played with a house rule that gives max hp at 1st level), would *always* be seriously injured by any attack.

One could argue the inherent unfairness of being a low-level m-u with low hp here (it's an age-old debate), and I suppose this would be one more reason for those in that camp to complain, but I think it's a relatively fair trade off for turning hp into a slightly more realistic and useful combat mechanic.