Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I expect there to be three main types of damage which can be inflicted upon a PC, NPC or critter. One for Hit Points, one for Save Throws, and one for Wounds. Hit Points will essentially be a measure of skill, attrition, energy and so forth. Save Throws will be for most specifically effects, as in a Basilisk gazes upon you, Save or Turn to Stone. Wounds will be descriptive effects that will actually injure and kill your PC.

Save Throws will be the same as in B/X rules. Hit Points will be identical as well with two large exceptions; Hit Points will replenish if the PC can rest (essentially the same as spells). Hit Point do not denote death when a PC reaches zero (zero hp does kill npcs and monsters however). The reason for this is that I want to keep the flow of adventure without needing a pocket healer at all times. This is particularly an issue with solo play where a PC would practically need a weeks rest after every fight.

So with those Hit Point changes, we still need to make combat deadly and have some attrition as well. With that in mind the table above is intended to do this. This table assumes takes into account four things; worse armor means lower rolls will hit, high damage rolls will incur greater wounds, high die rolls are not heavily weighted but still a factor, and finally you won't even need this table if you miss so I see no need to use hit die/level or actual AC in the table.

For the wounds table, each letter will be a random chart for incurred effects.
  • Green - Light blows. Minor imparing effects, smashed noses, dazed, stunned, bruising.
  • Yellow - Telling blows. Limbs wounded, serious bleeding, serious imparing effects.
  • Orange - Mortal Blows. Death unless magically treated, missing limbs and so forth.
  • Red - Instant Death.
  • Purple - Attrition blows. Bleeding, flesh wounds, accumulated injuries.
The lower the letter the more serious it will be in the tree. I will probably do a basic table for the wounded effects but it is not necessary to use. It would more be of a lazy-mans guide, but that would be useful in repetitious combat (which I hope to avoid anyhow).

As you can see, getting hit for a large amount of damage with a low roll is very bad. This should only happen to unarmored characters against very powerful critters. Or perhaps armored PCs against extremely powerful critters. In that sense things that do 15+ damage (Dragons..) will be a serious threat to even powerful PCs. Note that 'roll' applies to Save Throws that incur damage as well as to-hit rolls.

Lastly, should the PC be hit into negative Hit Points it will apply onto table above. Example: Vesper is at 5 Hit Points and is struck for 12 points of Damage. Since it knocks him into -7, 7 is added to the 12 for a total of a 19 on the 'Wound' table. The table will extend down, I cut it off at 15 for now since I did not want to post a big ass chart here. Anyhow, it would be very clear Vesper is certainly dead after such a blow, even with a high roll.

It may seem a little odd that high rolls are actually worse for striking Wounds, but I am taking into account that high rolls hit armored players much more easily and I want armor to play a factor. It is unlikely a Kobold will one-shot a dude in plate, however if several bring him down to zero hit point is certainly is not looking good for our armored friend. Likewise, those with no armor are open to serious wounds much more easily, which is what I intended.

Also note that this table will likely only be used against PCs, not monsters. If it is used against monster it would mainly be for flavor effects. Otherwise it would likely drag combat on too long for my liking.

So, I will play-test this and see how it does. I could naturally be making some bad assumption but its a start. I don't have a huge grudge against standard B/X combat, so I am keeping that in the back of my head. My main issue with it is that it is not particularly solo-friendly so I would need to stack up NPCs in this case to some extent. I suppose that is not a horrible thing, but it does feel like a crutch.

What I think will happen is that I will indeed use something like this, but leave it as 'advanced rules', and even then only as a general guide. It almost certainly would be a bad idea for large groups, especially in live session play. However for my uses during the Valley of the Blue Snails campaign I think it would fill a niche.

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