Monday, April 4, 2011

Poll: Every Hit Point of Damage is a...

Seeing a few of the recent posts on 'critical hits' and 'damage below 0' tables, I pulled up an old Trollsmyth bookmark: Playing with Death and Dismemberment. Why I had bookmarked it in the first place wasn't for a critical hit table, but for the novel idea of helm affects that were presented. Something that actually gives a reason for writing 'helm' on the character sheet in Oe D&D!

Now in retrospect, I like the idea of how it strengthens the idea that hit points are not necessarily physical, or at least not major life changing physical, until you get to below zero. I have often toyed with the idea of changing the name of Hit Points to something else, but just could not find the right noun. Besides, I might be burned as a heritic.

With this however, I imagine that armor would be better suited as DR. I don't know. What I am curious about is how do you envision/play-out hit points in your game?

Best,
TB

4 comments:

  1. I picked Option 2, but neither is quite right in my philosophy.

    For a normal man, hit points of damage represent real damage, and not just scratches. The baseline for me is: a successful attack roll means a blow that will probably kill an average man. You then compare the quality of the killing blow to the luck of the victim -- damage versus hit points. A man with 1 hit point is someone who will be killed by any potentially deadly blow, while a normal man with max hit points (for 1 HD) will only be killed by multiple blows, or the most powerful of deadly blows.

    So characters with 2 HD or more have extra luck. In a sense, each point of damage *does* represent scrapes, scratches, and bruises, but not in any one-to-one ratio. Nothing that needs to be kept track of. At the end of an adventure, characters who are alive and haven't taken any special wounds are bruised and cut, but otherwise just as fit for battle as before they were injured -- and a character who has taken 20 points of damage is no more battered than one who has only taken one point. So the damage taken is *also* just an attempt to wear the character down, in complete contradiction to what I said at the beginning of the paragraph.

    In other words, points of damage represent real damage, but not severity of damage.

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  2. Talysman, as always, thanks for the post. Definitely something to consider. I have done it both ways in the past.

    I guess I should have said something similar to "points of damage represent real damage, but not severity of damage" for option 2, rather than " damage later". I can see it as armor glancing, un-footing, blows.

    So far, I am really changing my mind set to; fatiguing, glancing, etc. exchanges. The 1hp commoner is, in my mind, just one truly unlucky chap! If "damage" is not '1', he is run-through, where a 2hd monster can fend of a series of clanking, teeth rattling, armor glancing, assaults.

    HPs represent skill, combat prowess, fate, dodge, etc. I guess overall, I could see Dexterity contributing more to HPs than Constitution. Or, a culmination of all abilities for that matter. It is as much a mind (Intelligence / Wisdom) experience as a Constitutional one... Hmmm, Talysman, you always bring out the annalitical thought in me.

    Best,
    TB

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  3. I didn't see my preferred option on there, which is "a minor physical wound or strain taken in lieu of a larger one thanks to the character's luck/stamina/plot necessity ;)"

    I guess cure spells work to restore lost mojo in addition to healing the lesser injury.

    Of course, a dinosaur's hit points are all meat.

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  4. The dinosaur example gives me pause in my train of thought. When does it go from luck/stamina etc. to 'all meat'? I am just whittling down how I want to explain the Death and Dismemberment table within the rules.

    Thanks Roger,
    TB

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