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Steel Mirror
2017-01-04, 12:45 AM
So I'm trying to get a rules conversion going for a modern game using the basic D&D 5E ruleset. One of the issues Iím coming up against is that guns do a lot of damage. At low levels they can easily one shot even a tough character, and crits remain one hit KOís well into the early heroic phase.

On top of that, the way they interact with hp just isn't satisfying for a lot of my players on a gut level. For some reason, it's harder to accept getting up after a night's rest and being cured of your gunshot wound than it is do the same for a stab wound in a fantasy setting.

Leaving aside the realism discussions, about which I'm not remotely interested for the purposes of this thread, I decided to try my hand at a simple but satisfying system that gives characters two durability resources: HP, which is identical to how it works in D&D, and Wounds, which represent actual lasting bodily harm which needs time or magic to heal fully. I believe that Star Wars d20 did something very similar, and Iím sure other games have done something similar too, and this is my version. If you know of other ways itís been done Iím happy to hear about them, and Iím even happier to hear what you think of the way Iíve decided to try going about it.

Without further ado, the rule.



Wounds

While hit points are an abstraction which measures a combination of physical and mental resilience as well as willpower and luck, wounds are a separate resource which represents purely the amount of physical harm a body can take before it becomes nonfunctional. It is still an abstraction, of course, but it is a more lasting one, and suffering one or more wounds is an ordeal which your character may require significant time and care to recover from.

A player character can endure a maximum of 3 wounds. A player character with a Constitution modifier of +4 or higher instead can take a maximum number of wounds equal to their Constitution modifier. Class traits, racial traits, feats, magic items, and other effects may alter the maximum number of wounds a player character can sustain.


Wounds and Damage
Whenever you take damage from a source, you may choose not to deduct the damage from your hp and instead suffer a single wound. You suffer one wound no matter how much damage you would take from the source, whether it be 1 or 100. If a source would do enough damage to inflict instant death (see Instant Death, PHB 197), then choosing to suffer a wound does not prevent the damage from killing you. Keep in mind that whether to take a wound is always a choice made by you as the player. Once a character has sustained their maximum number of wounds, any further damage that they take must be applied to hp.

If you are reduced to 0 hp, you fall unconscious as normal. So long as you have not sustained your maximum number of wounds, however, you do not have to roll Death Saving Throws (taking damage when at 0 hp still makes you suffer from a failed death saving throw, unless you elect to prevent the damage by taking a wound instead). If you are reduced to 0 hp and have sustained your maximum number of wounds, then you follow the rules given on PHB 197 about Dropping to 0 Hit Points.


Recovering from Wounds
Whenever you complete a long rest, you may make a single Constitution save to attempt to recover a single wound. The DC of this save is equal to the amount of damage you prevented by taking the wound. Rolling a natural 20 automatically recovers a wound of any DC, but failing the save means that you donít recover any wounds and must try again at the end of the next long rest you complete.

A character with proficiency in first aid kits, medical devices, or certain other tools can attend to a character during a long rest in order to grant them advantage on their Constitution save to recover a lost wound. A character who does so may not benefit from their own long rest during the same time period, as their attention is taken up by their patientís needs.


Variant Rule: Running Wounds in a D&D Campaign
This rules module is intended to work with a modern setting at lower levels than is common from D&D fantasy campaigns (from around level 1 to 10, with generally low levels of magic). If you wish to run a game at higher levels, where the ability of characters and monsters to deal damage quickly outpaces the growth of Constitution save bonuses, consider running this variant.

The DC for recovering from a wound is always 15.


An Example
Elaine is in a furious gunfight. She has 17 hp remaining and has not taken any wounds. An enemy scores a critical hit on her dealing 15 damage, and she decides that sheíll take that as a wound instead, marking one wound down and leaving her with the ability to take 2 more wounds and still be at 17 hp. She records that the wound prevented 15 damage on her sheet, then continues with the fight.

Later on, she has been reduced to 1 hp during the battle but there is only one foe left standing. The enemy hits her with barely a graze-a measly 2 damage. However, this would knock her unconscious, and Elaineís player wants to finish the fight. She decides to take another wound and record the 2 damage that it prevented. On her following action she easily defeats the last foe and emerges victorious.

That night, Elaine gets some well deserved relaxation (she takes a long rest). Her player rolls her Constitution save and easily overcomes DC 2 to recover the lesser of the two wounds, but still has a DC 15 wound remaining. The next night, she rests again and this time rolls low, merely a 10. The lost wound remains, and will continue to do so until she manages to roll high enough on her Constitution save to recover from the fight completely.


Magic and Wounds
Because wounds add an important new resource to the game, certain spells and abilities which were written for the default game may have odd interactions when used with characters who have wounds as well as hp. The DM always has the final say when adjudicating such situations, but a few of the most common interactions will be addressed here.

Greater Restoration
Add the following option to the list of effects which the spell can have:

Remove one wound that the target has suffered.

Heal
Add the line: "This spell removes any wounds which the character is currently suffering."

Disintegrate
Add: "If the target of the spell wishes to take wounds instead of deducting the damage from its hp, it must take 2 wounds instead of 1 (both with a DC equal to the total damage dealt). If it cannot do so and its hp is reduced to 0, it is disintegrated."

Harm
Add the line: "Damage dealt by this spell cannot be prevented by taking wounds."



Variant Rule: Debilitating Wounds
If you want wounds to be even grittier and more serious in your campaign, you can use this variant rule. With Debilitating Wounds, every time a character suffers a wound, roll on the following table using 1d20 + the amount of damage prevented by taking the wound - your character's level. Each result yields a unique penalty which is applied to the character until they are able to recover from the wound.




1d20 + damage dealt - your level
Wound Penalty



5 or lower
But a Scratch. No penalty.



6
Booboo. While you are not at full hp, you suffer -1 to Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration.



7
Gash. Whenever you roll a natural 20 on a Strength check, reroll it and use the new result.



8
Leg Hit. You suffer disadvantage on Dexterity checks to keep your balance.



9
Swollen Eye. You suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks involving sight.



10
Distracting Wound. Whenever you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll, you suffer disadvantage on the next attack roll you make.



11
Finger Wound. You suffer disadvantage on Dexterity checks made using your left (if damage dealt to receive this wound was even) or right (if odd) hand.



12
Shallow Breathing. You can only hold your breath for half the normal time before dropping to 0 hp, and you have disadvantage on Constitution checks to exert yourself for long periods.



13
Muscle Pain.You suffer disadvantage on Strength checks to jump.



14
Limp. Your move speed decreases by 5 feet.



15
Back Pain. Your carrying capacity and your push/drag/lift capacity are all halved.



16
Tender Ankle. Moving through 1 foot of difficult terrain costs 3 feet of movement instead of 2.



17
Shallow Head Injury. You suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks.



18
Oozing Wound. Whenever you spend a hit die to recover hp, you gain only half the benefit (round up).



19
Jaw Blow. You are unable to clearly speak. Spells with Verbal components can still be cast without penalty.



20
Hip Fracture. Standing from prone requires all your movement instead of half.



21
Rattled. You suffer disadvantage on all Intelligence checks.



22
Unfocused. You suffer disadvantage on all Charisma checks.



23
Weakened. You suffer disadvantage on all Strength checks.



24
Blood Loss. You suffer disadvantage on all Constitution checks.



25
Concussion. You suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom checks.



26
Disoriented. You suffer disadvantage on all Dexterity checks.



27
Lamed. You may not take the Dash action.



28
Seeing Double. You suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls.



29
Pulled Muscle. You cannot take the Disengage action, and Opportunity Attacks made against you have advantage.



30
Deafened. You are deafened.



31
Excruciating Injury. You have disadvantage on all saves and ability checks to avoid being pushed, knocked prone, grappled, or restrained.



32
Cracked Skull. You suffer disadvantage on all ability checks and attack rolls made as part of a Reaction.



33
Cracked Ribs. Whenever you move during your turn, you suffer disadvantage on attacks until the end of your turn.



34
Gushing Wound. Whenever you roll a natural 1 on a physical ability check or attack roll, you take 1d6 damage.



35
Spinal Injury. Whenever you roll maximum on a damage die, you must reroll it and take the new result (even if the new result is also maximum).



36
Critical Arm Wound. You cannot benefit from advantage on any attack roll made using your left (if damage dealt to receive this wound was even) or right (if odd) arm.



37
Heart Pain. You suffer from disadvantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws.



38
Flensing Wound. You gain vulnerability to the type of damage dealt by the attack which caused this wound (if multiple, choose one).



39
Internal Bleeding. Your maximum hp is reduced by 1d4 per 10 damage the wounding attack would have dealt.



40
Glassy-Eyed. Whenever you take damage which reduces you to half hp or lower, you must make a Constitution save (DC 13) or be poisoned for 1 round.



41+
Shock. You suffer 1 level of Exhaustion which cannot be removed by any means until this wound is healed. (This effect can be rolled multiple times and stacks)

Sad Tyrant
2017-01-04, 10:36 AM
you can maybe home-brew guns, like have a peashooting .22 or 5mm deal 1d4+ Dex mod, while a 9mm deals 1d8 + dex mod, or a 12.7/.50 deals 2d10.

now only the main stuff

this Wounds system seems interesting, however there are some concerns. what if they get a wound that would not kill them but would be impossible to recover from like a 30 or 40.

What I propose is, set a base DC, like for Concentration checks, e.g. "10 or damage which ever is higher",but when they take a long rest and they are not exhausted, they can attempt to recover a wound, but if they fail, to show the progression of time, the DC gets easier for the next time they attempt e.g."gets lowered by half their level" but can't go lower than the base DC.

and there is a way to incorparate the variant rule as well If they fail two to three times, they get a Debilitating wound.

Steel Mirror
2017-01-04, 11:02 AM
you can maybe home-brew guns, like have a peashooting .22 or 5mm deal 1d4+ Dex mod, while a 9mm deals 1d8 + dex mod, or a 12.7/.50 deals 2d10.That's definitely an option, though then I run into issues like a 9mm doing less damage than a sword. I could lower the damage on melee weapons to compensate.

That wouldn't change the other issue of not really feeling like there is ever any lasting damage from fights though, which is part of what this rule is angling for. It's a good point though, so thanks for bringing it up.


this Wounds system seems interesting, however there are some concerns. what if they get a wound that would not kill them but would be impossible to recover from like a 30 or 40.You automatically succeed any DC by rolling a natural 20; that's included in the rule there already!


What I propose is, set a base DC, like for Concentration checks, e.g. "10 or damage which ever is higher",but when they take a long rest and they are not exhausted, they can attempt to recover a wound, but if they fail, to show the progression of time, the DC gets easier for the next time they attempt e.g."gets lowered by half their level" but can't go lower than the base DC. One version of the rule had the DC decreasing by 2 every time you fail a save to recover a wound. I might still do that, but I was thinking that truly grievous injuries only having a 5% chance to heal on their own (about 10% if you have someone who can do some medicine at you) means you can expect to spend a couple weeks recovering from a truly bad injury, which seems about right.


and there is a way to incorparate the variant rule as well If they fail two to three times, they get a Debilitating wound.That's a good idea for a slightly less harsh version of the variant rule, I'll think about including it as a possibility too once I get some work on that debilitating wounds table.

Thanks for looking!

PotatoGolem
2017-01-04, 11:11 AM
Two issues:

1. This adds way more bookkeeping, because you need to track the exact damage per wound, and you'll always be gaining/losing some. I'd make it a flat DC- maybe 15.
2. It seems like you could choose to always take HP damage, even if you're at 0, with no consequences. That needs to be fixed.

Steel Mirror
2017-01-04, 11:22 AM
Two issues:

1. This adds way more bookkeeping, because you need to track the exact damage per wound, and you'll always be gaining/losing some. I'd make it a flat DC- maybe 15.That's a possibility, but I don't think it's too much bookkeeping. You just mark off a wound and write a number right above it. Once the wound is recovered, the number can go away. That's not so bad, I think?

2. It seems like you could choose to always take HP damage, even if you're at 0, with no consequences. That needs to be fixed.Good point. What if I add that the Damage at 0 Hit Points rule from the PHB applies even if you have wounds available? So if you suffer damage while you have 0 hp, you suffer a death saving throw failure. You can take a wound to prevent that as normal. Would that work?

Flashy
2017-01-04, 02:08 PM
I really like this system but I think it's worth poking at its edges. I'm very much of the opinion that it's important to consider how new mechanics will impact the tone of play, and I'm wondering how well Wounds will interface with existing 5e systems from a tone perspective. Specifically...


I was thinking that truly grievous injuries only having a 5% chance to heal on their own (about 10% if you have someone who can do some medicine at you) means you can expect to spend a couple weeks recovering from a truly bad injury, which seems about right.

Basically, what do you consider a truly grievous injury? Situations that could lead to a natural 20 only recovery include:

1. Character failed their save against a Lightning Bolt and took average damage (8d6, DC 28).
2. Character took slightly above average damage from a single attack by a mummy (5d6+2, DC 21+).
3. Character took average damage from a rock thrown by a giant ape (7d6+6, DC 30).
4. Character was struck by a 2nd level magic missile which had been rolled using the rule interpretation where you only use a single d4 roll, which inflicted max damage (DC 20).

I think these are all potentially reasonable, I just think it's worth considering if it reinforces the tone you're looking for. There's also the other side. Do you want characters to be able to shrug off 6th level spells like Harm and Disintigrate at the cost of a single wound? I'm not seeing anything that would specifically prevent it.

Steel Mirror
2017-01-04, 02:26 PM
Basically, what do you consider a truly grievous injury? Situations that could lead to a natural 20 only recovery include:

1. Character failed their save against a Lightning Bolt and took average damage (8d6, DC 28).
2. Character took slightly above average damage from a single attack by a mummy (5d6+2, DC 21+).
3. Character took average damage from a rock thrown by a giant ape (7d6+6, DC 30).
4. Character was struck by a 2nd level magic missile which had been rolled using the rule interpretation where you only use a single d4 roll, which inflicted max damage (DC 20).

I think these are all potentially reasonable, I just think it's worth considering if it reinforces the tone you're looking for. There's also the other side. Do you want characters to be able to shrug off 6th level spells like Harm and Disintigrate at the cost of a single wound? I'm not seeing anything that would specifically prevent it.
I should mention that, for this particular game, the level cap is going to be about level 10, and that would be a truly powerful individual. It's also in the modern world, so if they run across something like a lightning bolt, a mummy, or a giant ape tossing VW bugs around as missiles, I actually do think that it's thematically appropriate to have the resulting injury be fairly severe (though they could also just let the damage go to hp, sometimes).

Unrelated: I really want to throw a giant ape hurling cars at them now.

That also somewhat deals with the question of shrugging off Harm or Disintegrate, just by virtue of the fact that they are unlikey to ever encounter something like that. However, in the interest of answering the question more generally, because I do think that it might be fun to consider how this rule would work in a normal D&D game, I think I would handle those specific situations by amending something in the actual rules text of the spells.

For disintegration, add something like "If the target of the spell wishes to take wounds instead of deducting the damage from its hp, it must take 2 wounds instead of 1 (both with a DC equal to the total damage dealt). If it cannot do so and its hp is reduced to 0, it is disintegrated."

For harm I think I would add "Damage dealt by this spell cannot be prevented by taking wounds."

It's a tad bit clunky, but I think it would be okay because I would also add the ability to recover from wounds to certain spells, like Heal and Restoration. So as long as I'm adding a few lines of rules text to those spells, I think it makes sense to add some text to a few of the iconic spells to keep them working about as intended.

If I were running this rule in a 1-20 game, though, I might just set the DC at 15 and call it a day. By the time you reach high levels damage escalates beyond all reason and Constitution saves do not, so the rule would probably stop working as intended if I ran it the way it is written. I'll probably throw that up as an optional rule, as well. But for the 5E modern 1-10 game I'm planning it for, I think this still works fine.

Awesome examples though, and I'll be adding a section about Wounds and Magic and Wounds and Monsters soon.

Sad Tyrant
2017-01-04, 02:42 PM
One version of the rule had the DC decreasing by 2 every time you fail a save to recover a wound. I might still do that, but I was thinking that truly grievous injuries only having a 5% chance to heal on their own (about 10% if you have someone who can do some medicine at you) means you can expect to spend a couple weeks recovering from a truly bad injury, which seems about right.


I'd say 1 every time they fail, however a successful medicine check could decrease it by 2, and a Natural 20 on medicine could take 5 or 10 (Hurray Brainstorming)

Steel Mirror
2017-01-04, 02:46 PM
I'd say 1 every time they fail, however a successful medicine check could decrease it by 2, and a Natural 20 on medicine could take 5 or 10 (Hurray Brainstorming)
I like how the idea works, but I also like simplicity. Rolling over and over means you'll eventually succeed (especially with someone taking care of you), which is basically what incrementally lowering the DC is trying to do, as well. For the sake of less text and fewer lines of rules I'll keep it as is for now, but it's an idea I'll keep in my back pocket in case I change my mind.

Potato_Priest
2017-01-04, 02:54 PM
Why should you avoid having wounds? It seems to me they are just a cool extra damage absorption pool, with no mechanical debuffs attached.

Steel Mirror
2017-01-04, 03:15 PM
Why should you avoid having wounds? It seems to me they are just a cool extra damage absorption pool, with no mechanical debuffs attached.
That's basically true, the only reason to avoid taking them with the basic rule is the opportunity cost of not being able to soak a larger hit later. It's just a resource management and risk assessment minigame that you play every time you take damage, which also serves to make characters more durable.

Those were all my basic design goals when I set out to make the system, so that's all working well then.

If you prefer that they have some debilitating effects, that's what the variant rule listed at the bottom there will be. Once I get the table up, it will have effects like taking disadvantage on Dexterity checks that use your hands, deducting 5 ft from your move speed, making you mute, on up to things like decreasing your max hp, giving you a level of exhaustion which can't be removed until you heal, making it so that you get disadvantage on any roll you make as part of a reaction, and so on.

Keep checking back for when I eventually get that gritter rules option up there for you to see!

Steel Mirror
2017-01-06, 01:40 AM
I finally made some time to work on the Debilitating Injuries rules variant, and I worked up the following table. It's obviously not complete yet, but I wanted to put what I have done out for the GitP population to look at and share what you think.

Particularly, I was trying to sort these injuries in order of approximately ascending brutality. The low options are basically just inconveniences (and I didn't spend as much time on them, I could probably come up with enough to fill out that area of the table but I was focused on other stuff), but things get more serious the higher you roll. By the time you get to the 30's, the effect are much stronger, with the final few in particular being potentially very tough for a character who becomes afflicted with them. On the other hand, you have to take a significant amount of damage and/or roll fairly high to get to that level, so I think it's about right. I'm very interested what you think, though.

If you have quibbles with individual wound effects I'm interested to hear them, and if you have ideas for wound effects to round out the table I'd love to hear those, too.

I'm also thinking of modifying the way you roll on the table slightly to fight back a tiny bit against the "higher levels yield higher damage per hit means that wounds will become more brutal and debilitating for higher level characters than for lower level ones" effect. That variant might be something like you roll (1d20 + damage dealt - your level) or even (1d20 + damage dealt - (your level x 2)). That way at level 20 you might be taking 50 damage a hit, but you're also subtracting 20 or more to keep things even. If you have thoughts on that idea, please share as well!

As always, thanks for reading!




5 or lower
But a Scratch. No penalty.



6
Booboo. While you are not at full hp, you suffer -1 to Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration.



7




8




9
Leg Hit. You suffer disadvantage on Dexterity checks to keep your balance.



10
Swollen Eye. You suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks involving sight.



11
Finger Wound. You suffer disadvantage on Dexterity checks made using your left (if damage dealt to receive this wound was even) or right (if odd) hand.



12




13
Muscle Pain.You suffer disadvantage on Strength checks to jump.



14




15




16
Tender Ankle. Moving through 1 foot of difficult terrain costs 3 feet of movement instead of 2.



17
Shallow Head Injury.



18
Limp. Your move speed decreases by 5 feet.



19
Jaw Blow. You are unable to clearly speak. Spells with Verbal components can still be cast without penalty.



20
Hip Fracture. Standing from prone requires all your movement instead of half.



21
Rattled. You suffer disadvantage on all Intelligence checks.



22
Unfocused. You suffer disadvantage on all Charisma checks.



23
Weakened. You suffer disadvantage on all Strength checks.



24
Blood Loss. You suffer disadvantage on all Constitution checks.



25
Concussion. You suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom checks.



26
Disoriented. You suffer disadvantage on all Dexterity checks.



27
Lamed. You may not take the Dash action.



28
Seeing Double. You suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls.



29




30
Deafened. You are deafened.



31
Excruciating Injury. You have disadvantage on all saves and ability checks to avoid being pushed, knocked prone, grappled, or restrained.



32
Cracked Skull. You suffer disadvantage on all ability checks and attack rolls made as part of a Reaction.



33
Cracked Ribs. Whenever you move during your turn, you suffer disadvantage on attacks until the end of your turn.



34
Gushing Wound. Whenever you roll a natural 1 on a physical ability check or attack roll, you take 1d6 damage.



35
Spinal Injury. Whenever you roll maximum on a damage die, you must reroll it and take the new result (even if the new result is also maximum).



36
Critical Arm Wound. You cannot benefit from advantage on any attack roll made using your left (if damage dealt to receive this wound was even) or right (if odd) arm.



37




38
Flensing Wound. You gain vulnerability to the type of damage dealt by the attack which caused this wound (if multiple, choose one).



39
Internal Bleeding. Your maximum hp is reduced by 1d4 per 10 damage the wounding attack would have dealt.



40
Glassy-Eyed. Whenever you take damage which reduces you to half hp or lower, you must make a Constitution save (DC 13) or be poisoned for 1 round.



41+
Shock. You suffer 1 level of Exhaustion which cannot be removed by any means until this wound is healed. (This effect can be rolled multiple times and stacks)

Arkhios
2017-01-09, 05:34 AM
I found the thread highly interesting, as I've been trying to come up with a similar rule set for my post apocalyptic setting (more information on that can be asked via PM).

Anyway, I haven't read the whole post yet, but I had to say this before I forget it:

I find it slightly odd talking about "losing wounds". I would rather revert the thought process to gaining wounds instead. While in context I understand what you mean by it, wouldn't it make more sense to say that you can have a number of wounds up to your Constitution modifier, effectively starting at 0 and ending up to 5 wounds (or more, if a class feature etc. alters your maximum Constitution value)?

So, when you drop to 0 HP, but you also haven't gained enough wounds, you'd remain stable until you gain the maximum amount of wounds for you.
Essentially same as you put it, if I understood correctly, but to me at least, it would make more sense to read it that way.

I'll read the post through when I can, and will probably edit this post, so watch this space.

:smallsmile:

Steel Mirror
2017-01-09, 01:29 PM
I see what you are saying with taking on wounds from 0+ as opposed to deducting them from 3- or whatnot. I had some of the same unease when I was first writing it up, but I ended up going with the same way that the book describes hp both for consistency and because it reads a little better (to me) once you are talking about being at 0 hp with your wounds depleted. However, if I were to rephrase things, it would probably look something like this:
Wounds

While hit points are an abstraction which measures a combination of physical and mental resilience as well as willpower and luck, wounds are a separate resource which represents purely the amount of physical harm a body can take before it becomes nonfunctional. It is still an abstraction, of course, but it is a more lasting one, and suffering one or more wounds is an ordeal which your character may require significant time and care to recover from.

A player character can endure a maximum of 3 wounds. A player character with a Constitution modifier of +4 or higher instead can take a maximum number of wounds equal to their Constitution modifier. Class traits, racial traits, feats, magic items, and other effects may alter the maximum number of wounds a player character can sustain.


Wounds and Damage
Whenever you take damage from a source, you may choose not to deduct the damage from your hp and instead suffer a single wound. You suffer one wound no matter how much damage you would take from the source, whether it be 1 or 100. If a source would do enough damage to inflict instant death (see Instant Death, PHB 197), then choosing to suffer a wound does not prevent the damage from killing you. Keep in mind that whether to take a wound is always a choice made by you as the player. Once a character has sustained their maximum number of wounds, any further damage that they take must be applied to hp.

If you are reduced to 0 hp, you fall unconscious as normal. So long as you have not sustained your maximum number of wounds, however, you do not have to roll Death Saving Throws (taking damage when at 0 hp still makes you suffer from a failed death saving throw, unless you elect to prevent the damage by taking a wound instead). If you are reduced to 0 hp and have sustained your maximum number of sounds, then you follow the rules given on PHB 197 about Dropping to 0 Hit Points.

What do you think? Look any better?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts! I'm hoping I'll have some time later to finish up the debilitating wounds chart, so once I do that I'll post another update here and see if anyone has any comments on it.

Arkhios
2017-01-09, 02:47 PM
I see what you are saying with taking on wounds from 0+ as opposed to deducting them from 3- or whatnot. I had some of the same unease when I was first writing it up, but I ended up going with the same way that the book describes hp both for consistency and because it reads a little better (to me) once you are talking about being at 0 hp with your wounds depleted. However, if I were to rephrase things, it would probably look something like this:
Wounds

While hit points are an abstraction which measures a combination of physical and mental resilience as well as willpower and luck, wounds are a separate resource which represents purely the amount of physical harm a body can take before it becomes nonfunctional. It is still an abstraction, of course, but it is a more lasting one, and suffering one or more wounds is an ordeal which your character may require significant time and care to recover from.

A player character can endure a maximum of 3 wounds. A player character with a Constitution modifier of +4 or higher instead can take a maximum number of wounds equal to their Constitution modifier. Class traits, racial traits, feats, magic items, and other effects may alter the maximum number of wounds a player character can sustain.


Wounds and Damage
Whenever you take damage from a source, you may choose not to deduct the damage from your hp and instead suffer a single wound. You suffer one wound no matter how much damage you would take from the source, whether it be 1 or 100. If a source would do enough damage to inflict instant death (see Instant Death, PHB 197), then choosing to suffer a wound does not prevent the damage from killing you. Keep in mind that whether to take a wound is always a choice made by you as the player. Once a character has sustained their maximum number of wounds, any further damage that they take must be applied to hp.

If you are reduced to 0 hp, you fall unconscious as normal. So long as you have not sustained your maximum number of wounds, however, you do not have to roll Death Saving Throws (taking damage when at 0 hp still makes you suffer from a failed death saving throw, unless you elect to prevent the damage by taking a wound instead). If you are reduced to 0 hp and have sustained your maximum number of sounds, then you follow the rules given on PHB 197 about Dropping to 0 Hit Points.

What do you think? Look any better?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts! I'm hoping I'll have some time later to finish up the debilitating wounds chart, so once I do that I'll post another update here and see if anyone has any comments on it.

I prefer the rephrased version.

When you look at things at the normal state, having maximum hit points is a normal state. Likewise, having 0 wounds is a normal state. To me, it makes sense that if you suffer damage, you subtract it from hit points, but if you gain a wound, you're adding wounds to your body, not subtracting (=removing) wounds.

I guess it's small potatoes, but to me that makes more sense.

Steel Mirror
2017-01-09, 02:52 PM
I guess it's small potatoes, but to me that makes more sense.
Small potatoes perhaps, but clarity is very important and I don't mind (in fact I really appreciate!) people giving me some pointers on how to write rules text more concisely and clearly. RPGs are complicated beasts, after all, and every little way that we can make it easier to understand the rules helps people spend less time rules lawyering and more time gaming. Plus, as homebrewers, it's good for us to be as simple and intuitive as possible, because I find that I at least am predisposed towards crafting awesome, intricate, beautiful rules...which nobody ever reads because who has time for that? :smallbiggrin:

I'm leaning towards doing it the way you suggested, I'll probably update the original post with the modified language later today.

Arkhios
2017-01-09, 11:35 PM
I'm leaning towards doing it the way you suggested, I'll probably update the original post with the modified language later today.

Sorry for this little nitpick-ish notation, but isn't the Elaine's example still in old format? :smalltongue:

Steel Mirror
2017-01-10, 12:20 AM
Ah yeah, I hadn't edited any of the new language in yet. I just did so, so it should all be 0+ now. If you see any other places where I use the old terminology, that's a legitimate oversight. :smallbiggrin:

Steel Mirror
2017-01-10, 04:27 PM
All right, I finished the random table for wound penalties with optional debilitating variant. If anyone has the time to give it a glance, I'd be very grateful!


1d20 + damage dealt - your level
Wound Penalty



5 or lower
But a Scratch. No penalty.



6
Booboo. While you are not at full hp, you suffer -1 to Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration.



7
Gash. Whenever you roll a natural 20 on a Strength check, reroll it and use the new result.



8
Leg Hit. You suffer disadvantage on Dexterity checks to keep your balance.



9
Swollen Eye. You suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks involving sight.



10
Distracting Wound. Whenever you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll, you suffer disadvantage on the next attack roll you make.



11
Finger Wound. You suffer disadvantage on Dexterity checks made using your left (if damage dealt to receive this wound was even) or right (if odd) hand.



12
Shallow Breathing. You can only hold your breath for half the normal time before dropping to 0 hp, and you have disadvantage on Constitution checks to exert yourself for long periods.



13
Muscle Pain.You suffer disadvantage on Strength checks to jump.



14
Limp. Your move speed decreases by 5 feet.



15
Back Pain. Your carrying capacity and your push/drag/lift capacity are all halved.



16
Tender Ankle. Moving through 1 foot of difficult terrain costs 3 feet of movement instead of 2.



17
Shallow Head Injury. You suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks.



18
Oozing Wound. Whenever you spend a hit die to recover hp, you gain only half the benefit (round up).



19
Jaw Blow. You are unable to clearly speak. Spells with Verbal components can still be cast without penalty.



20
Hip Fracture. Standing from prone requires all your movement instead of half.



21
Rattled. You suffer disadvantage on all Intelligence checks.



22
Unfocused. You suffer disadvantage on all Charisma checks.



23
Weakened. You suffer disadvantage on all Strength checks.



24
Blood Loss. You suffer disadvantage on all Constitution checks.



25
Concussion. You suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom checks.



26
Disoriented. You suffer disadvantage on all Dexterity checks.



27
Lamed. You may not take the Dash action.



28
Seeing Double. You suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls.



29
Pulled Muscle. You cannot take the Disengage action, and Opportunity Attacks made against you have advantage.



30
Deafened. You are deafened.



31
Excruciating Injury. You have disadvantage on all saves and ability checks to avoid being pushed, knocked prone, grappled, or restrained.



32
Cracked Skull. You suffer disadvantage on all ability checks and attack rolls made as part of a Reaction.



33
Cracked Ribs. Whenever you move during your turn, you suffer disadvantage on attacks until the end of your turn.



34
Gushing Wound. Whenever you roll a natural 1 on a physical ability check or attack roll, you take 1d6 damage.



35
Spinal Injury. Whenever you roll maximum on a damage die, you must reroll it and take the new result (even if the new result is also maximum).



36
Critical Arm Wound. You cannot benefit from advantage on any attack roll made using your left (if damage dealt to receive this wound was even) or right (if odd) arm.



37
Heart Pain. You suffer from disadvantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws.



38
Flensing Wound. You gain vulnerability to the type of damage dealt by the attack which caused this wound (if multiple, choose one).



39
Internal Bleeding. Your maximum hp is reduced by 1d4 per 10 damage the wounding attack would have dealt.



40
Glassy-Eyed. Whenever you take damage which reduces you to half hp or lower, you must make a Constitution save (DC 13) or be poisoned for 1 round.



41+
Shock. You suffer 1 level of Exhaustion which cannot be removed by any means until this wound is healed. (This effect can be rolled multiple times and stacks)

Arkhios
2017-01-10, 06:43 PM
I just took a glance and I think it's fine, although I'm not sure if a single damage roll will ever go that high that the high end of the table would see any use. Might just be my inexperience of high level play thus far.

Steel Mirror
2017-01-10, 06:57 PM
I just took a glance and I think it's fine, although I'm not sure if a single damage roll will ever go that high that the high end of the table would see any use. Might just be my inexperience of high level play thus far.
Twentyish damage with firearms isn't terribly difficult, which is part of why I wanted this rule in the first place, so that a single crit doesn't down the big tough guy on your team. Even without a crit, a 2d8 gun rolling max does 16 damage, and that's without modifier, so you can climb up into the 30's on the chart fairly easily with a high roll. There are things in the MM even at the lower to mid CRs which can do the same thing, but yeah they are relatively rarer. But guns are the main thing which I'm expecting to dish out that kind of damage in a game like this.

Thanks for reading!

Ninja_Prawn
2017-01-12, 03:41 AM
*pokes head in*

So, I like the debilitating injuries table. I don't think I'd run this system without it, because in my experience PCs are durable enough already and don't need an extra resource in that area. I get that firearms change the picture a bit, but there are things PCs can do to limit the risks even then (find cover in a firefight, don't start pointless battles, use Fog Cloud more often).

What do you think about Power Word: Kill? I'd have thought it should be subject to the same 'two wounds' rule as Disintegrate.

As an aside, we at Middle Finger of Vecna will be releasing a gunslinger base class, our own set of firearm rules and a pack of wild-west-themed subclasses, items, spells and monsters soon, so you might want to check those out. The full pack will be a Patreon exclusive, but the firearm rules (http://www.middlefingerofvecna.com/2016/12/firearm-rules.html) are available now!

Arkhios
2017-01-12, 09:59 AM
I think I'm going to agree with Ninja_Prawn, not only because what she (he?) said, but also because such amount of work would be shame to be left out! :smallbiggrin:

Overall, the system is amazing, and I will potentially use it in my aforementioned campaign.

I've had this thought of implementing an option for instant death rule (since in that campaign magical healing is spread far and wide, overall rather scarce): instead of dying from massive damage, the character may choose to lose a bodypart, and later have a mechanical prosthesis implanted (which, obviously, leads to somewhat marvellous advanced technology!)

Steel Mirror
2017-01-12, 01:29 PM
*pokes head in*

So, I like the debilitating injuries table. I don't think I'd run this system without it, because in my experience PCs are durable enough already and don't need an extra resource in that area. I get that firearms change the picture a bit, but there are things PCs can do to limit the risks even then (find cover in a firefight, don't start pointless battles, use Fog Cloud more often).

What do you think about Power Word: Kill? I'd have thought it should be subject to the same 'two wounds' rule as Disintegrate.

As an aside, we at Middle Finger of Vecna will be releasing a gunslinger base class, our own set of firearm rules and a pack of wild-west-themed subclasses, items, spells and monsters soon, so you might want to check those out. The full pack will be a Patreon exclusive, but the firearm rules (http://www.middlefingerofvecna.com/2016/12/firearm-rules.html) are available now!
Thanks for reading and the comments! And yeah, as I've actually made the debilitating injury table I've warmed up to the idea of using it. Originally I thought it would be antifun for lots of players in the same way that people tend to dislike critical fumble tables, but I think people are a little more okay with it when a) it's your choice when to roll on the table and b) it doesn't make your character look like a dumbass for being so clumsy, it makes them look like a badass for taking a gunshot to the leg and saying "WHAT ELSE YA GOT".

I really do have to look at the rest of the spells to find any others that conflict, thanks for pointing that out. As a 9th level spell which is supposes to just straight up kill weak things, letting someone take wounds to negate it would actually significantly change how it works (1st level characters could now survive it by taking wounds). I think it might actually be okay as is? Yeah it kills stuff without needing to go through their wounds as normal, but it already kills stuff without having to go through 100 of their hp. And it is a 9th level spell. I'll think about it, but since this one doesn't technically deal damage, as written wounds don't currently interfere with how it works.

Those firearm rules look sexy! I'm running a fully modern game, so I'll need to add some more powerful modern weapons, but I'm in the middle of messing about with that stuff at the moment so I've actually been already looking at those rules as a baseline to work from. :smallbiggrin: I'm also not worrying too much about balancing damage output with melee, since guns are just more deadly in modern settings and there is no point beating around the bush on that subject, but there are reasons to get close and personal, especially when you start dealing with monsters that just can't be permanently killed with conventional firearms. But it's a good set of rules, and I'm mighty interested to see what comes out of the wild west stuff. I've always wanted to play D&D in the Weird West, never gotten around to it.

I think I'm going to agree with Ninja_Prawn, not only because what she said, but also because such amount of work would be shame to be left out! :smallbiggrin:

Overall, the system is amazing, and I will potentially use it in my aforementioned campaign.

I've had this thought of implementing an option for instant death rule (since in that campaign magical healing is spread far and wide, overall rather scarce): instead of dying from massive damage, the character may choose to lose a bodypart, and later have a mechanical prosthesis implanted (which, obviously, leads to somewhat marvellous advanced technology!)
Thanks! I actually really, really love your bodypart loss rule. Death from massive damage hardly ever happens in my games, but maybe guns would make it more common. But I'm totally going to shamelessly copy you on that houserule the next time I run any setting with automail or the equivalent, it's ridiculously cool.

Potato_Priest
2017-01-12, 11:24 PM
Gushing Wound. Whenever you roll a natural 1 on a physical ability check or attack roll, you take 1d6 damage.

Should probably specify the type on that. Necrotic or acid is the most accurate.

Steel Mirror
2017-01-12, 11:59 PM
Should probably specify the type on that. Necrotic or acid is the most accurate.
Is untyped damage still a thing? I was thinking untyped, since it seems to best match plain blood loss and because otherwise you could lower it with resistance.

Arkhios
2017-01-13, 12:43 AM
Is untyped damage still a thing? I was thinking untyped, since it seems to best match plain blood loss and because otherwise you could lower it with resistance.

Not sure if untyped is a thing anymore, but damage which can't be reduced in any way is.

Besides, I agree that these debilitating wounds shouldn't be able to be handwaved by resistances or immunities.

Flashy
2017-01-13, 10:02 PM
Not sure if untyped is a thing anymore, but damage which can't be reduced in any way is.

Besides, I agree that these debilitating wounds shouldn't be able to be handwaved by resistances or immunities.

This is correct with the clarification that untyped damage is definitely not a thing anymore. Not that it really matters if you want to introduce it.