View Full Version : Different rules for exact point of death and major injury.

2007-05-05, 03:03 PM
Posted in Gameplay first in the wee hours of the morning. It probably should have been posted here instead.

Hmm. This is just kicking about for some house rules. In order to make death something more feared but less arbitrary, here goes. Be sure to read to the end, and let me know what you think. I'm starting up a game at home soon and these might make it in as the rules. They could be crazy, though..it is late here as I post it 8)

Reincarnate--stays as-is. It already has sufficient downsides that people fear to use it.

Resurrection is moved to a 9th level cleric spell, and Raise Dead to a 7th level cleric spell. True Resurrection is removed from the game entirely.

The mechanics of death become as follows:

At 0 hit points, the character is staggered and begins losing blood until stabilized. The character can take only partial actions.

At negative constitution modifier, the character falls unconscious and bleeding damage doubles. A successful fortitude save (as stabilizing) reduces the amount of bleeding damage per turn by one, to minimum of zero.

At negative ten (or past negative constitution modifier, whichever is the lowest number) the character has taken serious damage and is in serious risk of death. Bleeding damage increases by one again. The character ceases to heal naturally, if he or she lacks fast healing or regeneration. Magical healing does not work regularly anymore. This is to represent extremely severe injury, including such things as possibly major organ ruptures, internal bleeding, severe blood loss, broken bones, or severe concussion.

The character can regain only one hit point per day due to their serious injuries, until they reach zero. Consciousness is regained at negative constitution modifier, so the character may be completely helpless for several days; even when consciousness is restored, the character is staggered until they have healed to zero hit points. Convalescence is only possible with the victim's wounds being tended by a great healer, as the character is on the very brink of death. The DC for healing a wound up by one point is twenty plus the amount by which the wound is below zero (e.g. if Gort the barbarian has 18 constitution, he is alive at -14 hit points but helpless. A DC 34 healing check will help him have -13 hit points the next day). Every thirty points by which the DC is beaten allows another point of healing to be received that day. The DC to avoid worsening wounds is ten plus the number of days the character has been convalescing.

If a healer prays to the deity of an injured cleric whom they are tending, they may bring increased favor on their healing. Roll two d20s for the healing check and use the better die roll. If the healer and cleric are of the same faith, roll a d6 as well and add its result to the heal check.

Magical healing does not apply normally; instead, roll the heal normally and add what would have been restored hit points directly to the modified healing check. Multiple healing spells can be used, and all stack directly onto the healing check, with two exceptions below.

A Restoration spell gains the ability to heal 1d6 damage to a convalescing character per casting, in addition to its normal effects. A Regenerate spell deals its healing directly, restoring a convalescing character to regular status. A cleric can choose to spontaneously cast Resurrection or Raise Dead on a convalescing character as Regeneration.

Death occurs at negative constitution score, or at negative ((level times constitution modifier) plus ten). I haven't decided which. If constitution is less than ten, death occurs at negative ten.

Ultimately, this makes it slightly harder to die; I considered making the point of actual death instead be ((level * con modifier) + 10). However, it also requires that the characters care more for each other in their injuries if they do reach the point at which they would have died. It's kind of a trait of D&D that if someone isn't outright killed by something, they'll be back on their feet with a good 8 hours rest and a cleric. This is intended to turn that mechanic on its head.

2007-05-05, 08:17 PM
I feel like it's way to hard to convalece. I like the idea of preventing most magical healing from working, and forcing the character to recover slowly, but requiring a very high level character (one able to roll healing checks of 30+ around to recover at all seems a bit much). Your description said "competant healer", but it looks more like "healer supreme". Maybe adjust the healing check to 10+ (negative HP damage).

Also, maybe I missed it, but when does someone actually die? You said you considered ((level * con modifier) + 10), but I'm missing what you actually chose.

Oh, and I assume raise dead/resurrection would bring a character back from this state (otherwise you're in the weird situation where it makes sense to kill someone so you can bring him back).

Maybe add a 5th level Cleric spell (replacing raise dead), that allows a character to be brought back from this state more quickly?

2007-05-05, 10:19 PM
Ooops! Left out: death should occur at negative constitution score. Gort, in the example, was four hp from dying.

The high heal DC is supposed to indicate that only a really really good healer could possibly bring someone back from that point. They're supposed to be effectively dead; in a medieval world, someone with their organs ripped open is likely only to die slower, regardless of medical care. Healing magic modifying the check is what provides the out from this.

The addition of healing makes it work much faster; add in a heal check from a competent healer of level 5 and you'll have a 20 or so average heal check (no skill focus, aid another, or special tools considered), then add in magical healing. Cure Light Wounds adds a minimum of 6 to that from a level 5 caster. I should add to the rule that multiple healing spells continue adding to the healing check, and they do not need to be cast by a single person. Beat the DC by 30 and you heal two points instead of just one. That means several healing spells dumped into the character to restore him to health.

Assuming that a level 1 cleric spends a full day tending one person's wounds, with no bonus spells factored in, he adds 5 to 12 points to the heal check by expending all of his spells. Once the healer gets to cure moderate wounds, it goes a lot faster with just a few spells per day. Three castings will add another point of healing in a day, assuming minimal rolls.

Great suggestion there for raise dead or resurrection. How about the spell Regenerate: It appears to have been intended for something like this that was then cut from the rules. Regenerate would completely convalesce a character, and a cleric could spontaneously cast regenerate from raise dead, if desired.

2007-05-08, 08:08 PM
I thought regenerate was for regrowing limbs. Of course, it could do both...

2007-05-10, 02:11 PM
Well, the problem with regrowing limbs with Regeneration is that the rules have no way for you to lose limbs. It's a stub leftover from mechanics that never really made it to full release, and for seventh level, a very underpowered spell.

2007-05-16, 10:45 AM
I am not entirely clear on what the advanatge of this system is? It makes Healing harder? More realistic?

The way I do it is to divide Hit Points from Injury. Instead, once you reach a negative Score (-1 to -9) you take that penalty to all subsequent actions until healed, even when raised to above 0 Hit Points. It requires five to ten days to recover each point of penalty or the equivalent Healing Spell [i.e. A Character at -9 will have to rest 45-90 days to fully recover, unless he has access to a Ninth Level Healing Spell. After 5-10 days he only needs access to an Eighth Level Spell and so on, lower level Spells have no effect (i.e. you can't use nine First Level Healing Spells to remove the -9 penalty).

2007-05-17, 02:07 AM
It makes it slightly harder to die, but if a character would have died, they require higher level magic or several days of rest with constant tending in order to recover.

2007-05-17, 06:44 AM
Ah right, so you are looking to make it harder for Player Characters to die? I would recommend dispensing with the 'countdown' system. Instead, the negative that a Character is at is the negative he remains at, unless somebody takes action to reduce it further by 'finishing him off'. Characters with -6 or worse injuries will eventually die if left unattended, but in a matter of minutes/hours, rather than seconds. If you use Constitution to modify this, I would be inclined to make Death occur at (-10 + Constitution Bonus/Penalty)