Healing and clerics

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JRR
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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by JRR » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:53 am

geordie racer wrote:
JRR wrote: But a simple compromise would be recovering 1/4 of hit points lost in the prior combat after a 10 minute rest. Simple and no convoluted system required.
But what do these hit points represent if you don't want them to equal fatigue. Is it wounds that are just shrugged off ? Because at higher levels, surely a static proportion like 1/4 reinforces the D&D aesthetic of the tank that can shrug off greater and greater damage - which I don't see in Appendix N where fighters get more experienced rather than more physiologically enhanced.
Hit points were always a measure of actual wounds and skill. As I said above, the 1d8 sword blow is likely fatal at first level, due to the pc's lack of skill. At higher levels, he manages to turn the blade at the last moment, sufferring a shallow gash instead of a foot of steel in his gut. It's not fatigue, and it needs no other mechanic to represent that. I merely presented the 1/4 recovery option above as an alternative to horrid healing surges.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by JRR » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:59 am

I could also get behind a warhammeresque mechanic. Have characters top out at 20 or so hit points. Maybe 30. Then it can represent actual damage only. To mitigate this, you'd also have to have an armor as dr mechanic. But no naked dwarf snydrome, please.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:20 pm

JRR wrote:Hit points were always a measure of actual wounds and skill. As I said above, the 1d8 sword blow is likely fatal at first level, due to the pc's lack of skill. At higher levels, he manages to turn the blade at the last moment, sufferring a shallow gash instead of a foot of steel in his gut. It's not fatigue, and it needs no other mechanic to represent that. I merely presented the 1/4 recovery option above as an alternative to horrid healing surges.
I think the issue is being a little confused by terminology. I'm thinking of it as more of non-lasting damage and lasting damage. The difference between just barely being missed by an attack or just being scraped by one or taking a bruise versus having an elbow smashed or receiving a laceration.

Hit points try to accomodate both. But can't adequately accomodate either, in the end. The damage sustained from hit points doesn't offer any penalty to action due to loss. Hence some have said they'd like to see penalties against actions once a character is reduced below X hit points. Also, the damage heals -- even at one point a day -- far too rapidly to represent any real wounding but far too slow to represent fatigue, skill or just being a little banged up.

If we rely solely on hit points, we're just carrying over the same problem that D&D has had since the very beginning. A contradictory ablative mechanic that tries to do two things at once but wind up doing an adequate job at neither.

Why else do people have so many house rules around fatality and hit points? Remember "going negative" was a house rule at first, until it was adopted in AD&D. Most people inflate hit points to one degree or another. This is because, despite hit points' claims, the mechanic is far too lethal at low levels and not nearly lethal enough at high levels.

That's what I think we're trying to reconcile in this discussion.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:48 pm

JRR wrote:I could also get behind a warhammeresque mechanic. Have characters top out at 20 or so hit points. Maybe 30. Then it can represent actual damage only. To mitigate this, you'd also have to have an armor as dr mechanic. But no naked dwarf snydrome, please.
If coupled with your earlier suggestion of a short rest recovering 1/4 of total hit points, I could see limiting total hit points to the 30 point range as viable. Armor DR in D&D is messy. I've seen it in Conan d20 and several other d20 variants. What it equates to is more math that translates to not a whole lot.

Maybe if armor dropped die types of damage? One advantage DCC has over other D&D variants is a full spectrum of dice. So maybe plate mail drops damage 3 die types. So a short sword would only do (1d6 -> 1d4 -> 1d3 -> 1d2) 1d2 points of damage.

It's still math. But a little different. And it guarantees that at least some damage happens. That 1d2 short sword would get to do at least 1 point plus whatever the opponent's STR rating was. As opposed to DR, which either is so high that a character takes no damage -- or a minimum of only one point. Or, in reaction to the untouchable tank, is so low that it is relatively meaningless.

Take Conan d20, for example. Chainmail might reduce damage by 4 points each time but they increased the damage of weapons across the board -- for the most part.

And while enforcing an upper limit on hit points handles the issue of non-lethality at higher levels (the old "My Barbarian jumps off the side of a cliff to get away" thing), it doesn't address lasting damage. Nor the issue of high lethality at lower levels. Sure, chainmail might give you DR3 or 4. But if you've only got 1-2 hit points... well... it won't help that much.

So while definitely viable, limiting hit points and adding DR would still need some other system to address the concerns I've had running around in my head. Whether it's the idea of a Death Roll or Death Save or Stamina damage or Wound/Vitality or Grace/Health... I guess what I'm saying is that it's an option. And I think it's a good one. But it doesn't hit all the bases, yet adds heft to the existing mechanics of D&D.

Still I'd prefer it to D&D's vanilla treatment of hit points. And also Vitality/Wound points -- which I feel introduce a completely separate set of challenges while leaving pretty big questions up in the air.

I'm actually unclear on which option would be the "best" one. I'm not sure it's come up yet. All have merits. All have drawbacks. None of them perfectly address everything in a way that meets my own criteria for elegance and simplicity.

Given DCC's critical hit system (and assuming that attribute damage results from it), it's possible that all DCC needs is something like the Death Save/Roll thing to keep PCs from charging off into the Great Hunting Grounds at the drop of a hat. Or even a set of "Wound Levels" that get checked off by certain events -- like the Consequences end of the Stress/Consequences mechanic in FATE.

Which is another option that hasn't been discussed: Allowing PCs to voluntarily take levels of "Consequence" to avoid damage, failure, etc. I'm not a huge proponent of FATE. But I think the Stress/Consequences system in games like Starblazers and Legends of Anglerre is really good. Still seems to me like Attribute damage is the natural choice for things like "consequence". But it might be just as easy to have the levels of consequence give a flat penalty.

Of course, it flips the dying question back on to hit points. Consequences become more about taking harsher and harsher penalties to stay above zero hit points. But that might not be a bad thing. It would also prevent attributes from being overloaded and stave off the math associated with wildly swinging Stamina scores.

At this point I'm trying to clarify and stick to what I see as the "Big Problem" with damage and hit points. And then throwing ideas out there to see what sticks. I'll let this FATE-ish thing bounce around in my brain a bit and see if I can put it into terms that might be usable in D&D.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by JRR » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:03 pm

Honestly, the only problem I have with hit points as they are in any pre 4e edition is that there are way too many of them. I don't see the abstractness of hit points as a problem to be fixed.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:48 pm

JRR wrote:Honestly, the only problem I have with hit points as they are in any pre 4e edition is that there are way too many of them. I don't see the abstractness of hit points as a problem to be fixed.
Fair enough. I don't expect everyone to have the same issues with hit points that I do. I appreciate those who have engaged in the discussion. It helps me to have ideas challenged and refined. And for new approaches to be revealed as a result.

I've found there are a lot of intelligent people on this forum who seem to be open to discussion and banging ideas around. And there are also many great ideas I've picked up just from the discussions that will get a fair shake at the table some day soon.

I don't mean to dismiss Vitality/Wound Points or DR out of hand. I ran 3rd edition in various incarnations for a decade. I used Vitality/Wound Points for over 3 years in a number of d20 variants. I also ran games that used DR, like Conan. I have what I feel is a good understanding of their limitations, as well as their strengths and appeal.

That's why I've been focusing more on things I haven't tried in regards to 3e. Things from other systems. Things that reflect improvements in 4e that might have been taken too far (IMO). Things that haven't seen a lot of time at the tables for me that might be "the answer" to this puzzle (for me) or may just be another path in the wrong direction.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not 100% sold on anything. Hence, I'm probably a little scattered to follow. And I could see how that could be frustrating. Or just verbose. So thanks for hanging in there for all who have. I hope there's been some value among the buckshot of consciousness that I contributed to this thread.

I'm futzing around with the FATE consequences thing. I'll post that here when I mess with something long enough that it appears it could work.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by DCCfan » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:46 pm

smathis wrote:As I mentioned earlier, I'm not 100% sold on anything. Hence, I'm probably a little scattered to follow. And I could see how that could be frustrating. Or just verbose. So thanks for hanging in there for all who have. I hope there's been some value among the buckshot of consciousness that I contributed to this thread.
It's been fun to read so keep firing. :D
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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by bwatford » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:32 pm

I was thinking that since it sounds as if DCC RPG is going to have some randomness to it with the crits and fumbles etc. then if we base physical injury (actual wounds) on CON damage as some suggest then why not a table to roll off at certain levels of CON loss with each one getting worse. That way abilities could be reduced or impaired because of injury.

Have say 3 tables, when your CON drops to say 3/4 then you roll off table one which may give you a leg gash etc... slowing movement or something similar. When you get to 1/2 then roll of table 2 that may give you a broken bone or rib etc. Giving attack penalties and the like. When you get to 1/4 you roll of table 3 which would give you a major wound, ex. Head Trauma, Gaping wound etc. where you are pretty much in trouble and disabled, unconscious etc. Then when you reach 0 you would be DEAD.

Now of course this was based off the theory that another mechanic is used to determine Grace/Luck/Hitpoints etc that would have to fall to 0 before you started taking CON damage.

But the way I described it would certainly be more realistic than anything we have now for real wounds/damage.

Of course I used CON as the theoretical ability that would be used for wounds but its something to kick around.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by geordie racer » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:25 am

Interesting. You could just roll all combat injury on a table, with the difference between the number to hit and the number rolled giving you the nearest dice type. The table has ascending severity - damage could affect different attributes (Strength, Agility, Stamina).

The Venusian sellsword needs 12 to hit, rolls 16, allowing a roll of 1d4 on the injury table - rolls with the result that the victim gets -1 Agility if a character or a penalty to movement/initiative if a monster.

I've no great problem with Hit Points but I think discussion is definitely worthwhile.
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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:11 am

bwatford wrote:Have say 3 tables, when your CON drops to say 3/4 then you roll off table one which may give you a leg gash etc... slowing movement or something similar. When you get to 1/2 then roll of table 2 that may give you a broken bone or rib etc. Giving attack penalties and the like. When you get to 1/4 you roll of table 3 which would give you a major wound, ex. Head Trauma, Gaping wound etc. where you are pretty much in trouble and disabled, unconscious etc. Then when you reach 0 you would be DEAD
That's intriguing, bwatford. I'll have to give it a spin. Thanks!

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:12 am

geordie racer wrote:Interesting. You could just roll all combat injury on a table, with the difference between the number to hit and the number rolled giving you the nearest dice type. The table has ascending severity - damage could affect different attributes (Strength, Agility, Stamina).

The Venusian sellsword needs 12 to hit, rolls 16, allowing a roll of 1d4 on the injury table - rolls with the result that the victim gets -1 Agility if a character or a penalty to movement/initiative if a monster.

I've no great problem with Hit Points but I think discussion is definitely worthwhile.
Wow. Another good idea to try. Thanks to you both! Keep 'em coming!

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:21 am

As mentioned yesterday, I plinked around and came up with a system for a FATE-inspired wound system. The difficulties with it would be that it is a new mechanic. It's not complicated. But there isn't much in vanilla D&D to base a comparison on. It could probably stand to be simplified. But I was trying to stay as close to the source as possible while making something that addressed my earlier concerns. I also wanted it to be as plug-and-play as possible, so some of the complexities were necessary to give us as accurate an idea as possible of how weighty the mechanic would be in play.

The interesting bit about the mechanic is that zero hit points still represent death yet wounds prevent a character from hitting zero. The way it represents injury, however, still frees up hit points to recover more easily through a 10-minute rest, Dutch Courage or other means. The way it's set up doesn't appear to impact how high or low hit points go.

It's funny because it doesn't do anything to alleviate the internal conflict of hit points I've been chirping about. But it appears to move the goalposts so that the question is less important. Whereas hit points ask us whether they are fatigue or trauma, these "wounds" say "Never mind that, here's this other thing over here".

Kinda weird. But maybe not without merit.
When a character takes damage, a player may choose to take a Wound to reduce the amount of hit point damage of an attack. The goal is for a player to keep his character ABOVE zero hit points. At zero hit points, the character is dead.

Wound Level
There are four wound levels, each representing a different severity of wound. A character can only have three wounds at any one time and no more than one wound of each level -- so only one Minor, one Light, one Moderate or one Critical. But no more than three total.

Penalty
Each wound level gives a penalty to all actions. These penalties are cumulative to all actions to which they might apply. So a character with a Minor and Moderate Wound would have a -5 to all applicable rolls. The player decides what type of wound the penalty represents when taking it, although the DM should make the determination of whether the wound is appropriate to the damage soaked.

Max Movement
This is the maximum movement allowed to a character suffering from a wound of the corresponding level. If a character has more than one wound, then they use the lowest Max Movement listed. Any movement penalties due to encumbrance are applied to the Max Movement listed. So if a character has a normal movement of 30' but is encumbered to 50% movement and then takes a Moderate wound, he would be limited to 10' per round. The 50% reduction from encumbrance is applied to the wound level's max movement.

Damage Reduction
This is how much taking the Wound will reduce the damage of the attack. A Minor Wound will lower the damage by 2 hit points or 10% -- whichever is greater. Multiple wounds can be taken to reduce the damage of one attack. The highest Wound Level's reduction is applied first, with the lower Wound level applying its reduction to whatever is leftover.

Code: Select all

Wound Level	Penalty		Max. Movement		Damage Reduction	Example
Minor		-1		None			10% or 2 hit points*	A little woozy or winded or frightened, a sore muscle, a cut, a lump on the head, a black eye
Light		-2		30'			25%			A sore back, a slight fracture, a deep cut, a pulled muscle, slight burns, scared
Moderate	-4		20'			50%			A concussion, scared ****less, a sprain, a minor fracture, painful burns, profuse bleeding wound
Critical	-8		10'			90%			A punctured lung, a gunshot, catatonic, a broken limb, 3rd degree burns, a severed appendage
Example
Frederic the Foolhardy is a 0-level Gong Farmer who has decided to take up his hand at dragonslaying. He has 3 hit points. He is caught in the line of fire of a dragon's breath weapon and takes 28 points of damage. Is Frederic fried? Maybe not. First he takes a Critical Wound of "Burned" that reduces the damage to 2.8 -- or 3 -- hit points. Then he follows that with a Minor Wound of "Seriously considering a return to Gong Farming" to reduce the damage to 1 hit point. Frederic's current hit point total is 2. He has a Maximum Movement rate of 10' and a penalty of -9 to all actions. He should seriously consider getting out of there.

Example
Alaric the Prestidigitator is nursing a Minor Wound of a "sore ankle". He is 2nd level and has 8 hit points. Suddenly, a fight breaks out in the tavern. Alaric is reduced to 4 hit points before being whacked by a Barbarian with a chair for another 4 hit points of damage. Unsurprisingly, Alaric doesn't want to be killed in this bar fight. If he did not already have a Minor Wound, he could take one to only take two damage. But… he's already got that sore ankle. So he has to take either a Light or a Moderate Wound. If he takes a Light Wound, he'll reduce the damage to 3 hit points and be left with 1 hit point remaining and a -3 penalty to all actions. If he takes a Moderate Wound, he'll be at a -5 penalty but will have 3 hit points left. Which would you choose?

Healing Wounds the Natural Way
Minor wounds go away after one night of rest. It doesn't matter if a character is in a dungeon, an iron maiden or a five-star caravanserai. The time to heal all other wounds varies by the level of the wound. See the following chart.

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Wound Level	Time required to drop to next level
Minor		1 day
Light		1 week
Moderate	2 weeks
Critical	1 month
Example
Frederic the Foolhardy crawls out of the dragon's lair with his Critical Wound of "Burned" and Minor Wound of "Considering going back to Gong Farming". His considerations about returning to Gong Farming are gone the next morning. He just can't face up to the feces. But his burns are nearly unmanageable for a full month. He remains bedridden in the loft of a barn belonging to the friendly villagers who found him smoking just outside the forest. After a month of scabbing and eating gruel, the burns drop to a Moderate Wound of "Recovering from really nasty burns". After a couple of more weeks, the burns become a Light Wound of "Tender Nerve Endings and Scar Tissue". At this point, Frederic decides he's healthy enough to go back for the dragon. Sometimes the title lives up to you.

Healing Wounds the Magical Way
To heal a wound using magic, roll the amount of hit points recovered. The hit points may be added to the character's current hit point total like normal or towards "buying off" a wound. Buying off a wound removes the wound's penalties from the character altogether but the character cannot take that kind of wound again until he's had a good week of rest in non-life-threatening surroundings. The bought-off wound will also count towards the character's total of three, even though he's not suffering any penalties for it. The gods frown upon those who abuse their grace. And, frankly, healing potions make people high and slightly stupid. Meaning those who indulge in either are more apt to achieve the Great Reward. Moderation is the key.

Code: Select all

Wound Level	Hit Point Buy-Off
Minor		1
Light		5
Moderate	15
Critical	25
Example
Alaric the Prestidigitator wound up taking a Light Wound and got out of the tavern as best he could. The next day, he's at around 5 hit points, his Minor Wound of "sore ankle" is gone but his Light Wound of "Chair to the Head" is still hampering him. His party had planned to dive down into a dungeon today. But having Alaric at -2 to everything simply won't do. They can't have him toasting the party because he got whacked on the head by a Barbarian with a Chair. So the party Cleric -- Healbot Cureall -- casts Cure Light Wounds on him. Healbot rolls 7 hit points for Alaric. Alaric spends 5 to buy off his Light Wound and applies the other two to bring up his current hit points. But he leaves his box for "Light Wound" checked. He won't be able to take another Light Wound until he's out of the dungeon and put danger far behind him. And that bought-off Light Wound will also count to his maximum of three.

Thoughts for Variants
  • Vary the limitations on wounds by race. So maybe a Dwarf can take up to +1 Total Wounds and has the option to take up to two Light Wounds.
  • Vary the limitations on wounds by Stamina or Luck. Maybe a character with an 18 Stamina can take up to two Minor Wounds and 4 Wounds total (instead of 3).
  • Being "Poisoned" or "Drugged" could be represented by taking a type of wound.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by bwatford » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:35 am

Well on the grace/luck versus injury thing.....

If you based it on the to hit die roll then if the fighter needed a 12 to hit and rolled within 4 like 12-16 then it would do grace/luck damage if the foe had any grace/luck points left. Then say 17-19 was a wound as mentioned in earlier post that would require a wound table and 20 was a critical hit.

So then combat has more meaning than just hit or miss.... did you get a glancing blow/luck or actually make solid contact with your blade/wound or did you get a critical strike.

The wound table could be very deadly for the PC's, however incorporating armor type into the table to determine the effect. Obviously someone with a solid breastplate is not going to take one to the chest. Or if a helm is worn it should help with head trauma etc. However with non armor wearing classes then wounds should be quite heavy when sustained. As they would be in real life. Thus a fighter who can take more damage than a wizard etc.

So then the armor selections get some respect instead of I pick the best armor on the list. Each have benefits (AC) with drawbacks for certain types of wounds.

Again just kicking the can down the street.... and no I ain't moving.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:53 am

bwatford wrote:If you based it on the to hit die roll then if the fighter needed a 12 to hit and rolled within 4 like 12-16 then it would do grace/luck damage if the foe had any grace/luck points left. Then say 17-19 was a wound as mentioned in earlier post that would require a wound table and 20 was a critical hit.

So then combat has more meaning than just hit or miss.... did you get a glancing blow/luck or actually make solid contact with your blade/wound or did you get a critical strike.
I like the degrees of success here. The idea that an attack roll is not a binary hit/miss. That's nice.

As an addition to the FATE/Consequences/Wounds thing, I'd also like to add...
Taking a Wound to Increase a Die Roll
A player may opt to take a Wound to increase a (non-damage) die roll. Basically, any skill check, attack, spell roll or save. The bonus gained is equal to two time the penalty. So taking a Minor Wound would give a character a +2 to a roll. Taking a Critical Wound would increase a die roll by +16.

Wounds taken in this way count as normal wounds, count toward the total allowed and heal in the same fashion.

Example
Alaric the Prestidigitator has a Light Wound that was magically healed and nothing else. In the dungeon, he barely misses a spell roll. Not wanting to take Spell Burn at this time, he opts to take a Minor Wound giving him a +2 -- just enough to not fail the Spell Roll. Now Alaric has two of his three maximum wounds accounted for. And has a -1 penalty to all actions until the Minor Wound clears up the next day.
What I find interesting about this addendum is that it introduces the idea of "Pyrrhic Victories" to D&D. Now a Fighter could, in theory, land a telling blow at the cost of taking a knife to the gut. In some situations -- like Finding a Trap or Picking a Lock, making a sacrifice greater than a Light Wound wouldn't make much sense. But I think it could add a new wrinkle to D&D combat.

I don't think it would intrude on the Spellburn mechanic all that much because using it is self-limiting. It can only be used three times and the Minor Wounds are the only ones really worth using up regularly. Using it for Spellburn also limits its use as a damage soak in combat, meaning a Magic-User who dips too much into Wounds instead of Spellburn will quickly find himself dead.

Another thing I've been exploring is how this mechanic irons out at higher levels. The result, as far as I've been able to determine, is that higher levels is that Severe and Critical Wounds are less likely to be needed when characters have considerably more hit points. The idea of a Fighter with 100 hp will need to pull a Critical Wound means the damage inflicted is around or in excess of 100. That's rare. Really rare.

So it's more likely that the Fighter with 100 hit points will use hit points to soak more damage, while the wounds will be used to supplement hit points or mitigate really nasty attacks. In a way, this supports one of the default assumptions of D&D. The same attack that would cause a Critical or Severe wound on a lower level character would only inflict a Light Wound on a higher level one. That's kind of neat. And unexpected (for me).

So, there ya go. I think we've done a lot of exploration. It could be interesting to compile these ideas into usable sub-systems to contrast and compare. Maybe that's another thread?

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by Hamakto » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:44 pm

Ok...

There have been many ideas posted here for HP's in the DCC RPG. I myself have another thread where I posted a wounds/vitality type concept.

I have always thought that DnD needed the wound/vitality concept to limit stupid character actions (i.e. I have 100hp... jumping off of a 100' cliff... no big deal). But after reading my posts, replies to them and even posts in this thread, I think we need to have something far simpler. At the rate we are going, I am afraid we are going to have a d20 version of Rolemaster. :)

So how about this for quick, simple and hopefully balanced:

HP's are calculated and acquired in the same way as 1e DnD... there is really an upper limit to character HP's as the progression flattens out after level X.

This keeps HP's and damage output in respectable ranges and limits power-creep in damage necessary to hurt characters with hundreds of HP.

Damage is incurred as normal and applied against the generic HP (physical, luck, skill, etc) pool. When you hit zero you are dead (or dying)

Recovery of HP:

1. 8 hours of good rest: Recover 1/2 the difference between your current HP total and maximum HP ( or minimum of your character level)
2. 4 hours of good rest: Recover 1/4 the difference between your current HP total and maximum HP( or minimum of your character level)

Magical healing: (DnD Centric)

1. Cure Light Wounds: Recover 1/4 of the difference between your current HP total and maximum HP or a minimum of 4 hp
2. Cure Serious Wounds: Recover 1/2 of the difference between your current HP total and maximum HP or minimum of 12 hp
3. Cure Critical Wounds: Recover 3/4 of the difference between your current HP total and maximum HP or minimum of 16 hp

Note: Minimum numbers are slightly below average dice rolls for the 1e versions of the spells)

What effect does damaged have? To steal a concept for 4e (ack... I cannot believe I said that)...

At 1/2 damage you are bloodied and take -2 on every action, save, die roll, etc...
At 3/4 damage you are 'seriously bloodied' and take -4 on every action, save, die roll, etc...

By going with this concept above, you can do some interesting things:

1. If the party is in a desert traveling without water, they can take 'damage' from the environment. If they have a save haven at night (i.e. Oasis), they can recover most of the drain. If not, then they would not receive 'good' rest and would not get HP's back.

2. Poison can now do % HP damage instead of points of damage. When a character fails their poison save vs. death poison, they could take 1/2 of their remaining HP in damage each round (minimum of X points) until they die. The provides a mechanic in the game to allow the party to 'suck the poison out', neutralize poison or do something else before the character dies. It also greatly weakens the character in combat

3. Sickness can just knock off X% of a characters maximum HP. A serious case of the flu could reduce a characters HP to 50% of normal while sick. That means he is running at a constant -2 modifier until he is well. Plus, with the slowdown of reflexes and such... he is easier to kill because he has less HP.

4. Criticals can do % damage with a minimum damage number. Example: Crit strike to the temple would do 100%/10 damage. If the character had more than 10 hp, he would drop to zero and be knocked out/dying. If he had less than 10 HP, he would just take the damage and go negative.

5. Troglodyte stench: If the character started to retch due to the stench... the character would temporary lose 50% of their HP (jotted on the side) until they are away from the stench (restored right away).

Just something to throw out there for an attempt at making HP meaningful in DCC RPG.
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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:47 am

Hamakto wrote:There have been many ideas posted here for HP's in the DCC RPG. I myself have another thread where I posted a wounds/vitality type concept.

I have always thought that DnD needed the wound/vitality concept to limit stupid character actions (i.e. I have 100hp... jumping off of a 100' cliff... no big deal).
Massive Damage Threshold (from CoCd20) also handles this quite well. And, IMO, with a lot less of a hassle regarding what gets healed by what and when than vitality/wound points.

Come to think of it, that might be decently applicable to that Wounding stuff I've been messing around with. I'll post again with a tweak. I haven't been enjoying the percentages in my previous post all that much.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:15 am

Wounding, sans percentages that had been bothering me. Reading Hamakto's last post made a lightbulb go off in my head about MDT and a portion of the Wounding thing that had been bugging me. Not because it was giving me a problem. But because it wasn't simpler overall.

This is simpler but I'd have to put it in front of players to see how wildly it could be abused. I'm thinking it wouldn't be too bad, though.
When a character takes damage, a player may choose to take a Wound instead of applying damage to his character's hit points. The goal is for a player to keep his character ABOVE zero hit points. At zero hit points, the character is dead.

Wound Level
There are four wound levels, each representing a different severity of wound. A character can only have three wounds at any one time and no more than one wound of each level -- so only one Minor, one Light, one Moderate or one Critical. But no more than three total.

Penalty
Each wound level gives a penalty to all actions. These penalties are cumulative to all actions to which they might apply. So a character with a Minor and Moderate Wound would have a -5 to all applicable rolls. The player decides what type of wound the penalty represents when taking it, although the DM should make the determination of whether the wound is appropriate to the type of damage it's used against.

Max Movement
This is the maximum movement allowed to a character suffering from a wound of the corresponding level. If a character has more than one wound, then they use the lowest Max Movement listed. Any movement penalties due to encumbrance are applied to the Max Movement listed. So if a character has a normal movement of 30' but is encumbered to 50% movement and then takes a Moderate wound, he would be limited to 10' per round. The 50% reduction from encumbrance is applied to the wound level's max movement.

Soak
This is the range of hit point damage a Wound can be used to soak. If damage exceeds this range, then a player must choose a Wound one level higher. If damage falls within this range but a character already has a Wound at this level, then the player must choose the next highest Wound level available.

Code: Select all

Wound		Penalty		Max. Movement	Soak	Example
Minor 		-1			None				1-9	Winded or frightened, a sore muscle, a cut, a lump on the head, a black eye
Light 		-2			30'				10-14	A sore back, a slight fracture, a deep cut, a pulled muscle, slight burns, scared
Moderate	-4			20'				15-19	A concussion, scared ****less, a sprain, a minor fracture, painful burns
Critical	-8			10'				20+	A punctured lung, a gunshot, catatonic, a broken limb, 3rd degree burns
Example
Frederic the Foolhardy is a 0-level Gong Farmer who has decided to take up his hand at dragonslaying. He has 3 hit points. He is caught in the line of fire of a dragon's breath weapon and takes 28 points of damage. Is Frederic fried? Maybe not. He takes a Critical Wound of "Burned". Frederic's current hit point total remains 3. He has a Maximum Movement rate of 10' and a penalty of -8 to all actions. He should seriously consider getting out of there.

Example
Alaric the Prestidigitator is nursing a Minor Wound of a "sore ankle". He is 2nd level and has 8 hit points. Suddenly, a fight breaks out in the tavern. Alaric is reduced to 4 hit points before being whacked by a Barbarian with a chair for another 4 hit points of damage. Unsurprisingly, Alaric doesn't want to be killed in this bar fight. If he did not already have a Minor Wound, he could take one. But… he's already got that sore ankle. So he has to take a Light Wound.

Time Heals All Wounds
Minor wounds go away after one night of rest. It doesn't matter if a character is in a dungeon, an iron maiden or a five-star caravanserai. The time to heal all other wounds varies by the level of the wound. See the following chart.

Code: Select all

Wound Level   Time required to drop to next level
Minor         1 day
Light          1 week
Moderate   2 weeks
Critical       1 month
Example
Frederic the Foolhardy crawls out of the dragon's lair with a Critical Wound of "Burned" and a Minor Wound of "Considering going back to Gong Farming". His considerations about returning to Gong Farming are gone the next morning. He just can't face up to the feces. But his burns are nearly unmanageable for a full month. He remains bedridden in the loft of a barn belonging to the friendly villagers who found him smoking just outside the forest. And we're not talking Marlboros. After a month of scabbing and eating gruel, the burns drop to a Moderate Wound of "Recovering from really nasty burns". After a couple of more weeks, the burns become a Light Wound of "Tender Nerve Endings and Scar Tissue". At this point, Frederic decides he's healthy enough to go back for the dragon. Sometimes the title lives up to you.

Healing Wounds the Magical Way
Magical healing can "buy-off" a wound. Buying off a wound removes the wound's penalties from the character altogether but the character cannot take that kind of wound again until he's had a good week of rest in non-life-threatening surroundings. The bought-off wound will also count towards the character's total of three, even though he's not suffering any penalties for it. The gods frown upon those who abuse their grace. And, frankly, healing potions make people high and slightly stupid. Meaning those who indulge in either are more apt to achieve the Great Reward. Moderation is the key.

Code: Select all

Wound Level   Hit Point Buy-Off
Minor         1
Light          5
Moderate   10
Critical       20
Example
Alaric the Prestidigitator wound up taking a Light Wound and got out of the tavern as best he could. The next day, he's at around 5 hit points, his Minor Wound of "sore ankle" is gone but his Light Wound of "Chair to the Head" is still hampering him. His party had planned to dive down into a dungeon today. But having Alaric at -2 to everything simply won't do. They can't have him toasting the party because he got whacked on the head by a Barbarian with a Chair. So the party Cleric -- Healbot Cureall -- casts Cure Light Wounds on him. Healbot rolls 7 hit points for Alaric. Alaric spends 5 to buy off his Light Wound and applies the other two to bring up his current hit points. But he leaves his box for "Light Wound" checked. He won't be able to take another Light Wound until he's out of the dungeon and put danger far behind him. And that bought-off Light Wound will also count to his maximum of three.

Thoughts for Variants
Vary the limitations on wounds by race. So maybe a Dwarf can take up to 4 Total Wounds and has the option to take up to two Minor Wounds.
Being "Poisoned" or "Drugged" could be represented by taking a type of wound.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by Hamakto » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:45 am

Please do not take offense at this, but I am not sure of the benefits of a full wounding system in DnD. They work really well when characters have a finite number of HP (i.e. Shadowrun, LoTR). And the damage is scaled to apply off of that limited/fixed HP pool.

But in DnD, a mage could of 30hp and a fighter could have 100. The value of soaking damage to a fighter is minimal as he is going to continually take more damage than a wizard. 5hp to a 100hp fighter does not mean much when he takes tons of combat damage each round. Plus, with a true wound system (yes I know I advocate it), we are back to the realm of giving out bonus HP's to low level characters and making the game less deadly. (i.e. with soak from that table, a 1st level fighter could have an extra X hp by soaking damage).
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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by smathis » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:59 am

Hamakto wrote:Please do not take offense at this, but I am not sure of the benefits of a full wounding system in DnD. They work really well when characters have a finite number of HP (i.e. Shadowrun, LoTR). And the damage is scaled to apply off of that limited/fixed HP pool.

But in DnD, a mage could of 30hp and a fighter could have 100. The value of soaking damage to a fighter is minimal as he is going to continually take more damage than a wizard. 5hp to a 100hp fighter does not mean much when he takes tons of combat damage each round. Plus, with a true wound system (yes I know I advocate it), we are back to the realm of giving out bonus HP's to low level characters and making the game less deadly. (i.e. with soak from that table, a 1st level fighter could have an extra X hp by soaking damage).
No offense taken. The point of the Wounds thing is to separate the idea of scrapes, scratches and near misses from wounds. Hit Points currently try to address both. And do a good job with neither.

I don't think it's a big deal for a fighter and wizard to have such disparities. The Fighter not needing to take Wounds because he's better at fighting and avoiding attacks is kind of the point.

The fighter at 100hp would apply 25 points of damage to his hit point total. No big deal. He just barely got out of the way. That's what the hit points represent.

A Wizard is not so good in combat. He'd either take a 25 hit point loss or a Critical Wound. Going off the severity of a Critical Wound, I'm willing to bet the Wizard would take the hit point loss if he can. At least that's how it's been playing out for me. So now the Wizard has 5 hit points left. He dove for cover and just barely avoided the blast.

Both get hit by Orcs the next round for 6 hit points. To the Fighter, this again is no big deal. After a 6 point loss, he still has 69 hit points. The Fighter blocks the attack with his sword (represented by the hit point loss). But the Wizard would have to take at least a Minor Wound or die. Suddenly, the situation is far more dire for the Wizard. And it will only get worse for him unless someone assists him.

I think it's a valid criticism that this equates to "extra hit points" for characters. But I think that doesn't take into consideration the cost. Wounds carry penalties. Sure, you could use up a Critical to avoid a loss of 50 or 60 hit points.

But you'd also be -8 at everything and could only effectively crawl at 10' per round unencumbered.

For the next month.

Then you'd improve to -4 and 20'.

In most cases, taking a Critical Wound ends the delve. It's something no one should want to do. So it's not like the rule says "Here, avoid 100 or more hit point loss. On me. Keep the change. (wink)" That said, I think one of its strengths is it's completely optional. Players are not obligated to take wounds to keep a character alive. So if I have three 0-level guys and one that I don't care for so much gets dropped to zero hit points, no big. I can let him go off to the Great Reward. I like that aspect of it, personally.

So, in summary, this Wounding thing can make characters more durable. But it's not free. It gives players an option to keep their characters alive, if barely. The best one by far is the Minor Wound. It's the only one I'd qualify as a "freebie". And that's intentional. The rest are a downward spiral of suck.

And suddenly hit points are open to represent fatigue, mental state, combat prowess, skill, good fortune and all that other stuff -- like Orcus intended.

It might not be to everyone's tastes. But it's hitting a lot of high points for me. And there are a number of things it could do well including...
  • Electing to take a Wound for a one time bonus to an attack or skill roll equal to the absolute value of the Wound's penalty times two. So, taking a Light Wound (a -2 penalty) would give a +4 to one die roll. Electing to take a Critical Wound would give a +16! Pyrrhic victories right there. As well as "Skillburn".
  • Representing Fear with Hit Point loss. No need for a Sanity mechanic or Will Saves. Seeing a Ghast does 1d4 damage in the first round -- whether that causes a character to be "Frightened" as a Minor Wound is entirely up to how seasoned that character is. Higher level characters are like, "Ugh. It's a ghast. I hate those things." While low-level characters poo themselves and potentialy take a "wound" of "frightened" just from seeing the things.
  • Having diseases, poisons and drugs eat up a Wound slot. So, a serious disease might check off a Light Wound slot. That slot would be unusable by the character until the disease is cured. And the character would have to abide by its penalties. Getting messed up on Black Lotus might be a Moderate or Critical wound. Suddenly no need to worry about hit point damage of poisons or complicated systems of "you get worse, you get better" with primary/secondary/tertiary saves.
I don't know the state of the rules in DCC. But I think this would work for most versions of D&D. It's a little bit too far out there to be an "official rule" in my opinion. But as a variant or a rules option, I think it has merit. I've played around with it at the table with a small group and people seemed to like it. Especially the "skillburn" thing. I'd like to try it out with a larger group at both high and low levels. I have some mechanical twinks that would really strain it hard. And I'd like to see if/when/how it breaks before I fall in love with it.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by fireinthedust » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:41 pm

Smathis: love the wound chart idea. It reminds me a lot of the SWSE Condition track, that gives a penalty to characters who lose X % of their total hp in one shot, or have other effects (force powers, poisons, etc.) that don't do hp damage.


Ability Score Damage: I'm in the "this is horribly annoying to track" school of thought. I don't like that or negative levels, as I don't want to re-think max hp while the effect is in place. I prefer penalties across the board (like Negative Levels give a flat -1 penalty each, that stacks until death) rather than saying "okay, this is -3 to Stamina, so consequently he's just that much worse with total hp, swim skill, running, etc."

Wounds/Health: This also is silly. Suddenly no solid hits that *aren't* crits cause bleeding of any sort, they're all near-misses. And one solid whack of 12-20 damage with a crit (1 in 20 chance) will instantly kill even higher level characters wearing plate armor (1 in 10 with improved critical or a higher-crit weapon, in 3e).
Also, I bought the Critical Hits/Critical Fumbles decks. I like the randomness, and I'd rather have those than juggle a dozen abstract sets of numbers.

Health should be abstract in a storytelling game.

Healing at all is a silly idea mid-adventure.

Healing surges aren't so bad, though lack of immersion comes in, sure. This, however, comes from ANY of the D&D systems. Heck, you might as well complain about the XP system: three days in a dungeon are not enough to gain mastery of Knowledge: Arcana, simply because you helped stab some bandits, goblins, and a lizard with wings. Floor by floor I'm getting smarter? I'm writing my dissertation between encounters? I was thinking about different historical contexts for things I won't come across for another three floors, but I'll master the information despite being an apprentice only two floors up? NO REASONABLE TIME HAS PASSED and I spent 0 time in a library or University/study group/job training session.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by fireinthedust » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:50 pm

One more thing:

If I was doing this I'd have HP and I'd have an Injury track. The Injury track would be a list of all the penalties I'd gotten from critical hits, from falling, from poison, and especially from dropping below 0hp and being brought back.

It would not have to do with HP directly, as I could be full HP but have a broken leg.

Injuries: A broken leg would reduce speed. A broken arm can't weild weapons or bear magical items. A concussion would give penalties on reaction time and perception checks.

Clerics have HP healing as an ability, but it takes a full round action. It is otherwise unlimited.

ANOTHER CONSIDERATION: what if the Cleric doesn't have a limit to the number of spells they cast each day? Like the Wizard, they could simply have spells they know. One of them happens to heal HP. Others are to remove injuries. HP could be called "rejuvenate"; removing injuries could be called "healing", but this gets done outside of combat(?).

I think we need to base our suggestions in part on what we know of this system: what it is and what it isn't. It isn't like other DnD systems, where spells are cast-and-forget or a non-renewable resource, in the same way.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by JRR » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:27 pm

Hamakto wrote:Ok...

There have been many ideas posted here for HP's in the DCC RPG. I myself have another thread where I posted a wounds/vitality type concept.

I have always thought that DnD needed the wound/vitality concept to limit stupid character actions (i.e. I have 100hp... jumping off of a 100' cliff... no big deal).
The solution to this is to not have mechanics that reward stupid behaviour. I use Gary's original falling damage - 1d6 per 10 feet, cumulative. A 30 foot fall is then 1d6 + 2d6 +3d6 for a total of 6d6. A 100 foot fall is certain death with that mechanic.

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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by Hamakto » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:49 am

JRR wrote:The solution to this is to not have mechanics that reward stupid behaviour. I use Gary's original falling damage - 1d6 per 10 feet, cumulative. A 30 foot fall is then 1d6 + 2d6 +3d6 for a total of 6d6. A 100 foot fall is certain death with that mechanic.
That was just one example... here is another. Running into a burning forest fire... Yes you could take 2d6 damage per round of damage (lethal to level 1 toons), but a higher level character can safely ignore it for a few rounds to do something. Not to jump threads here, but in the second case putting a wet cloak over your body could do DR5 fire for 2-3 rounds until it dried. (plug for DR in DCC RPG)
fireinthedust wrote:It would not have to do with HP directly, as I could be full HP but have a broken leg.
But that is the point. HP is not just physical damage... it encompasses dodge, skills, luck, meta-physical forces... etc

If you have a broken leg, you would NOT have full HP. Because HP are made up of dodge and skills. You cannot exercise your dodge/skills if you cannot move around. You do not have balance, etc.

I know DnD has abstracted that and that is where the problems lie.

100hp fighter with a leg in a cast. He is just as effective in combat as the fighter that does not have a leg in a cast. Ok... the cast might give him a AGL mod of -2 or -4. But he could still take a tremendous beating.

If you go with a % type loss for crits... while the leg is broken, the character only has 50% of their normal max hit points. Yes, he can go and fight. But he is going to go down faster than otherwise due to his injury. That is more realistic and dangerous than applying a -4 to his combat rolls.
fireinthedust wrote:ANOTHER CONSIDERATION: what if the Cleric doesn't have a limit to the number of spells they cast each day? Like the Wizard, they could simply have spells they know. One of them happens to heal HP. Others are to remove injuries. HP could be called "rejuvenate"; removing injuries could be called "healing", but this gets done outside of combat(?).
See 4e for an example of ritual casting to see how broken/wrong/annoying it can be (I really dislike it... it was one of 4e's more epic fails in IMHO). Part of dungeon delving is surviving a series of encounters with ever decreasing resources. Fights that would be easy at the beginning of the day, become increasingly tougher to survive as the adventure grinds on.

If you get unlimited healing between combats, you change the entire dungeon delve dynamic and every single encounter needs to be challenging to a fully rested party with full HP.
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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by geordie racer » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:05 am

If a character has a leg in a cast, surely the penalty from that crit would be rolling on a lesser dice type in subsequent combat until healed. No need for extra modifiers, this is not D&D, you could just use the dice.
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Re: Healing and clerics

Post by mntnjeff » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:50 am

Hamakto wrote:If you get unlimited healing between combats, you change the entire dungeon delve dynamic and every single encounter needs to be challenging to a fully rested party with full HP.
Not thread-jacking here, but this is the difference between strategic v. tactical. And THAT's my big beef when it comes to some of the newer iterations of D&D.

In terms of the HP system and healing, I think there have been a ton of really wonderful ideas put forth in this thread.

Here's what I'd do though:
1. Slow down / stop HP progression at a certain level (9th in AD&D....)
2. Equalize HPs a bit more (d6 with pluses for different classes, or d6 and d8)
3. Con damage as the great equalizer. You jump off a cliff you're going to take con damage (as well as HP damage). You run into a forest fire naked, you're going to take con damage. Some types of undead deal con damage. A critical deals con. 0 con = D E A D
4. Clerics can not spontaneously cast. (DCC has taken care of that w/ their new spell casting system)
5. You can regain 1/2 your con in HPs w/ either Dutch Courage, or some other method, after a particularly grueling endeavor 'X' times / day.
6. Weapons do different dice of damage in different classes hands. A dagger in a fighter's hands is a whole lot more scary than in a mage's hands.
7. Con heals back at 1 / day. HPs are healed back at 1/2 per night. Clerics can heal either w/ a cure spell but only at 1 point of con / dice.

Nothing new. Nothing groundbreaking.

Now grappling rules.... and how that applies to health, I like the Mighty Deeds for that. Besides, what's the real difference between a carnivorous ape rending you limb from limb versus Conan getting hold of you w/ his hands?

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