Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    In my Domain.
    Gender
    Male

    Lightbulb D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    First,a brief introduction. I'm Freelance GM. I've been playing and DMing D&D 3.5 for three years, and I've been using Pathfinder for a year. I'm also one of three DM's for D&D Encounters at our local store, and I've played but not GM'd games of Dungeon Crawl Classics and Warhammer: 40k: Dark Heresy. So I've got a pretty good amount of DM'ing and roleplaying experience under my belt.

    What I have here for you all to read and review is a revised HP system for just about any D20 system, but it was specifically designed for a Pathfinder campaign I'm going to be running soon.

    Has the blatant presence of Critical Existence Failure in D&D ever bugged any of you? As long as a character has 1 HP, they can fight as well as they can if they had full health. For me and some of my players, especially the non-casters in the group, this becomes very frustrating after a few rounds of Combat with higher-level enemies. Questions like, "How does a human being survive three hits from a crossbow and a direct hit from a longsword!?" are very frequent. So, I put together a system inspired by Alternity's "Mortal Damage," and combined it with it's D20 counterpart, the Vitality/Wound point system, and D20 adaptions of Dark Heresy's Critical Hit Tables, provided by "We Burn Down the Inn," to make every single attack a potentially fatal blow.

    Here's how it works:

    Everyone has the same number of hitpoints as they normally would, but also a number of "Mortal Hitpoints (aka Mortality Points) equal to their Constitution. This function replaces Negative HP. Nonlethal Damage will not usually cause Mortal Damage (see Regeneration.)

    As with Alternity, anyone who takes Mortal Damage is considered "Dying" and when you're out of Mortal HP, you are dead. However, any time you take Mortal Damage, the DM rolls for where on your character's body the Mortal Damage is dealt. Then, there's a sadistic little chart provided by "We Burn Down the Inn" for what gruesome side-effect accompanies the amount of Mortal Damage the player receives. See it here: http://weburndowntheinn.blogspot.com...s-for-d20.html

    Very frequently, these side-effects are instant, gruesome, and painful death.

    What Deals Mortal Damage?

    Any attack that deals more Damage than the target's Constitution deals Mortal Damage equal to the excess damage. For example, an attack that deals 15 Damage to a Wizard with 12 Constitution deals 3 points of Mortal Damage. (15-12 = 3.) So, the player loses 3 points of Mortal HP, and you roll for a body part on the chart, and find the resulting side-effect for 3.

    Critical Hits automatically deal random amounts of Mortal Damage. Upon confirming a Critical Hit, and dealing the extra damage to normal HP, roll a D10 on "We Burn Down the Inn"'s chart for the amount of Mortal Damage. If a Critical Hit deals more damage than the target's Constitution, then you deal X additional Mortal Damage, with X being the amount of damage exceeding the target's CON, added to your roll. Suppose the 15 Damage in the above example came from a Critical Hit on the same unfortunate 12 CON wizard from the above example. The DM rolls for the location of the blow, and then rolls 1d10 on the Chart, but adds +3 to the result, because of the 3 points of Mortal Damage the target would be taking normally.

    Spill-Over Damage, my term for Damage that would normally bring players into the Negatives, is dealt as Mortal Damage instead. So, if a character with 6 Hitpoints takes 10 points of Damage, then instead of dropping to -4 HP, they take 6 point of normal HP damage, dropping them to 0 and rendering them unconscious, and then they take 4 points of Mortal Damage.

    Massive Damage, if you're using that rule, still provokes the Save vs Instant Death, before the DM rolls for an effect on the chart. If they pass the Save, then they are reduced to 0 HP and fall unconscious. If they fail, then it counts as "An attack that deals more damage than the victim's Constitution," only the amount of Mortal Damage a Massive Damage attack does is so far above the average PC's Constitution (the original rule has a minimum of 50 damage) that it is instant death.

    Death Effects from Spells DO NOT deal Mortal Damage. Wail of the Banshee, Finger of Death, Symbol of Death, and Power Word: Kill do not deal any Mortal Damage, and if the target successfully saves against the spell, then they save against it. If they don't, then they die suddenly, and magically, without any harm to the body. Death Ward does not protect you from Mortal Damage.

    Healing Mortal Damage:

    Mortal Damage recovers at a rate of 1 point for every 24 hours of bed rest, regardless of Level or HD. Magical Healing restores 1 point of Mortal Damage per spell level, in addition to however much HP it would have healed. So the Level 0 Spell, Cure Minor Wounds, wouldn't cure any Mortal Damage. However, Cure Light Wounds would restore 1 point of Mortal Damage. Cure Serious Wounds can heal 3 or 4 points depending on the class of the caster. Class Features that allow healing will heal Mortal Damage equal to half of the Caster's level. This includes abilities like Lay on Hands for Paladins, or Channel Energy for Pathfinder Clerics.

    Monsters and Mortal Damage:

    Any type or subtype of Monster that has 0 Constitution cannot take Mortal Damage, and dies when it is reduced to 0 HP.

    Any type or subtype of Monster that is immune to Critical Hits still has Mortal HP equal to its Constitution and can still take Mortal Damage from other sources.

    A type or subtype of Monster that has no Constitution and is immune to Critical Hits is immune to any type of Mortal Damage, and dies when it is reduced to 0 HP.

    Regeneration:

    Regeneration is tricky. According to normal SRD rules, any type of damage that doesn't cancel out the creature's regeneration is converted to Nonlethal Damage. But in this system, that would mean that it couldn't ever lose its limbs in the first place, and that takes away half the fun of fighting a troll. So, instead, a creature that can Regenerate does not take Mortal Damage, but will still suffer the side-effect. Creatures with Regeneration do not go into Shock, and any effect that would otherwise cause instant death (I.E annihilation of a troll's head) make it unconscious, rather than dead, until its head regenerates. (3d6 minutes, for a troll.) However, only damage that it cannot regenerate will deal actual Mortal Damage to a creature with Regeneration, instead of just the side-effects. The side effects of Mortal Damage of a type that the creature cannot regenerate can cause the creature to go into shock, and can kill it outright.

    Rending and Mortal Damage:
    The nature of a Rending Attack makes it sound like it would deal Mortal Damage. So, anything that deals Rending Damage deals X points of Mortal Damage, with X being the number of attacks needed for the attack to Rend. (Usually 2 attacks, therefore 2 points of Mortal Damage.)
    If the Rending Attack also deals Mortal Damage, then the attacking creature adds +X to the Mortal Damage being dealt, with X being the number of attacks needed for the attack to Rend, instead of just dealing X points of Mortal Damage.

    Weapons, Armor, Enchantments, and Mortal Damage:
    A weapon that deals x3 Damage on a Critical Hit gets a +1 bonus to its random Critical Hit rolls on the chart.
    A weapon that deals x4 Damage gets a +2 bonus to its random Critical hit rolls on the chart.
    Magic Weapons add their Enchantment bonus to the amount of Mortal Damage they deal.
    A Vorpal Weapon always strikes the opponent's head on a Critical Hit, but can hit other limbs any other time it deals Mortal Damage. It gets to add its +5 Enchantment bonus to the random Critical Hit effects.
    Armor of Fortification uses its Enchantment bonus as a penalty to Mortal Damage. Armor of Light Fortification has a 25% chance of ignoring critical hits, but also reduces the amount of Mortal Damage taken by 1, while Armor of Moderate Fortification reduces it by 3, and Armor of Heavy Fortification reduces it by 5.

    Alright, well, that was a lot of text. In theory, this system speeds up combat by quickly killing enemies. It also makes the combat more intense, because the players can be killed just as quickly as the enemies, even at higher levels, and because the enemies are killed quickly in violent and dramatic ways. Your players should always be haunted by the fear of gruesome death every time they enter combat, making this system helpful in horror or low fantasy campaigns. The nature of the system makes it compatible with any D20 system, including Star Wars, D20 Modern, even your Homebrew systems.

    However, I haven't tested it yet. Like I said, I'll be testing it soon, but I've posted it hoping that some of you could test it out with your players, and let me know what you think about it. If any of you have suggestions for revisions or additions, or if you notice any loopholes or find something I missed, please comment and let me know.

    Thanks!
    No plan survives first contact with the PCs.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Seerow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    So I'm confused... you took the normal vitality/wounds system and decided it wasn't lethal enough for you?
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Somewhere Warm
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Wouldn't anything that did damage equal to twice your Con kill you instantly?
    If I don't respond to a game I'm in for awhile, please PM me.

    I'm forgetful and lazy. I need to be prodded into doing things.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Siosilvar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    CDT
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Most crits are now instantly lethal at any level.

    That's... not good. Making combat more lethal and/or more gritty is a fair goal, but getting one-shotted is never fun.
    Avatar some unholy combination of Winthur and Gato Muerto's ideas.

    +++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    TuggyNE's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pondering turns of phrase
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Do critical hits still do extra regular HP damage, and still spill over into mortal damage? If so, that's too abrupt; see the following table for examples.

    {table=head]Normal|Con|Normal Mortal|x2 Crit Mortal|Notes
    1d8+3|12|<0|~8.5|Longsword vs. lowbie PC
    2d6+5|12|~0|~17.5|Weak CR 1/2 orc with falchion, splatter on crit regardless of HP
    1d12+10|16|~0.5|~22.5|Greataxe and a bit of strength destroys nearly any creature not immune to crits or with lots of Con
    2d10+11|22|~0|~27.5|Iron golem crit, no power attack, insta-kills even very sturdy PCs without heavy fort[/table]

    Basically if this is the way crits work, it vastly encourages heavy fortification out of all reason; that becomes perhaps the most important item around, and is a no-brainer for any PC. Generally no-brainer options should be avoided in design wherever possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
    Projects: Homebrew, Gentlemen's Agreement, DMPCs, Forbidden Knowledge safety, and Top Ten Worst. Also, Quotes and RACSD are good.

    Anyone knows blue is for sarcas'ing in · "Take 10 SAN damage from Dark Orchid" · Use of gray may indicate nitpicking · Green is sincerity

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    In my Domain.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    @ Seerow: Yes.

    @ Zale: Whether or not an attack dealing Damage greater than or equal to the victim's Constitution kills them outright depends on which version of the Massive Damage your GM is using.

    @ Siosilvar: There is a pretty good chance of a Critical Hit one-shotting a player, true. In my opinion, this can let players get all of the powers of a higher-level party, while maintaining the lethality and constant fear of death of a Level 1 party.

    @ Tuggyne: Good point. Admittedly, this was the first draft of the rules. I'm still trying to decide how much sources of Mortal Damage should overlap. Originally, the damage would spill over, in which case, yes, the Iron Golem would be able to kill players outright. In a low fantasy setting, though, there is sort of a "what kind of sane man would try going toe-to-toe with that thing!?" mindset that, hopefully, will encourage some creative strategies and and clever maneuvering, rather than the typical "I hit it with my sword!" routine my players have fallen into. The Fighter doesn't stand much of a chance, but could draw its attention while a Druid hits it with Rusting Grasp, or the Wizard hits it with electrical spells. The smartest thing to do would be to slow it down and stall for time while the party either a) runs away or b) tries to find the controller.
    Last edited by Freelance GM; 2012-07-10 at 09:44 PM. Reason: New post while the original reply was being written.
    No plan survives first contact with the PCs.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Seerow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Are you planning on making any other changes to the system at all?

    Because seriously, 60 damage in a single hit is easily doable pre level 10. With these rules, that 60 damage hit will kill almost anything.


    I mean just taking straight up: Large creature with a greatsword, 3d6+12(str)+30(leap attack)+2(enhancement)+5(collision) = 59.5 damage. Anything with less than 30 con is dead instantly. I don't believe many CR10 or less enemies, much less players, fall into that category. And this is with very minimal optimization.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    In my Domain.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    @ Seerow:

    This was designed with medium-sized humanoid enemies around CR6 that our group believed should be dying a lot faster, such as the well-trained, but otherwise normal human warriors of an elite cult. The party Paladin was upset that the human enemies didn't die when she repeatedly hit them with her +1 Longsword of Frost, on the grounds that humans generally die when they're sliced by a sword, and the Cleric was annoyed that his big hammer didn't kill stuff faster, for similar reasons.

    Now that I think about it, they don't usually end up fighting that many non-medium humanoid creatures in my campaigns. The most recent one that immediately comes to mind was a single troll vs. 3 players in a random encounter at Level 2, in a campaign that went to Level 6. This is an entirely unrelated issue, though. I can criticize my own DM'ing on another thread.

    Anyway, if my players want a more realistic game where the humans die in one slice, I'm okay with that, as long as they agree not to get upset when their (human) characters also die in one slice. The question isn't if the system is balanced, or fair, it's obviously slanted towards instant, gruesome, and painful death, and unbalances a lot of Spells, Enchantments, and optimized builds. The question is if the system will work the way I hope it will (making the game much more intense and strategic by knowing that any enemy can kill you), and whether or not there's any rules or exceptions I failed to address.

    I could bring the Fortification enchantment back to its normal D20 version if you think that it's that much of a problem, but some Items/abilities for dealing with Mortal Damage should be implemented to offset the sadistically high chance of P.C death. This will probably come in the form of protective amulets, and local Clerics whose Neutral Good Alignment allows them to save dying players without being too upset about the players not being able to pay them. Maybe I could throw in a sort of Luck/Fate point system?

    Also, in retrospect, should I decide to keep the rule that HP damage from a Critical Hit can spill over into additional Mortal Damage, then the bonus that x3 and x4 Critical Weapons get just becomes redundant overkill.

    I'd also like to remind everyone that Critical Hits aren't that frequent. The majority of attacks have a 1 in 20 chance of becoming a Critical threat, then you still have to make another roll to confirm the Critical Hit. Because of the increased lethality of this home-brew, it's pretty safe to bet that the players are going to be dumping points in Dex, heaping on armor and boosting their A.C as much as possible. Things should be pretty normal until the Attack bonuses of the players and the enemies start to outweigh the average A.C of the party. My players aren't that creative. They never noticed the whole "The Wizard can't really wear armor, so he's relying on his Dex bonus. Wait, he can cast Cat's Grace on himself to boost his Dex, increasing his A.C!" thing. Hopefully, this will be like shock therapy to get them thinking like that.
    Last edited by Freelance GM; 2012-07-10 at 10:32 PM. Reason: New ideas.
    No plan survives first contact with the PCs.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Somewhere Warm
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Freelance GM View Post
    @ Zale: Whether or not an attack dealing Damage greater than or equal to the victim's Constitution kills them outright depends on which version of the Massive Damage your GM is using.
    That's not what I meant.

    You have 18 Con. You must take more than 18 damage to take mortal damage.

    If you take 36 damage or more, you will die instantly because you just took 18 Mortal Damage.

    If you wanted lots of sudden deaths, then you got it.
    If I don't respond to a game I'm in for awhile, please PM me.

    I'm forgetful and lazy. I need to be prodded into doing things.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    TuggyNE's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pondering turns of phrase
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    If you wanted lots of sudden deaths, then you got it.
    Yes, this sums it up. Also, have you evaluated the UA wounds/vitality system yet?

    I'm not sure I'd recommend this if your goal is to teach your players basic optimization; it will tend to skew things a lot. A milder form of Tucker's Kobolds might work better, actually, repeated as needed. Or just let well enough alone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
    Projects: Homebrew, Gentlemen's Agreement, DMPCs, Forbidden Knowledge safety, and Top Ten Worst. Also, Quotes and RACSD are good.

    Anyone knows blue is for sarcas'ing in · "Take 10 SAN damage from Dark Orchid" · Use of gray may indicate nitpicking · Green is sincerity

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    In my Domain.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    @ Zale: Ah, ok. My bad. Yes, in this system, taking damage equal to twice your CON would be instant death, unless we throw in the new idea at the bottom of this post, in which case it will only be instant death at lower levels.

    @ Tuggyne: I haven't actually used the Vitality/Wounds system in a game, but I am familiar with it. I only have one issue with it: Wound points are only damaged once the character is out of Vitality, or on a Critical Hit. Even though this would be more lethal, my players are expecting anything that is remotely human to die from one good hit from a normal longsword. With the Vitality/Wounds system, they still have to hack and slash their way through a couple dozen hitpoints before they can deal actual damage, unless they get lucky and land a Critical Hit.

    Also, I checked out Tucker's Kobolds.... That's awesome. If I can get half of the utterly terrified reaction those players had to Tucker's Kobolds, I'll be content.
    Ruthless enemies has been a pretty major theme in this season of D&D Encounters. Our store's three DM's have gotten at least one TPK almost every week. My last session ended with the Drow minion enemies making use of their poisoned hand-crossbows and executing the last two surviving players via firing squad as they frantically tried to lift the iron portcullis between them and their two unconscious casters. I haven't had the opportunity to implement that level of ruthlessness into one of my normal campaigns yet, since we're on break, but I've been planning to.


    On another note, I got another idea: perhaps the amount of Mortal Damage players can take could go up with their level? Perhaps by their CON bonus? That would give a CON16 Fighter about 28 Mortal points by Level 4. Perhaps the characters can also subtract their HD from any amount of Mortal Damage they take? That would make it a lot less lethal at higher levels, since you would have to deal at least 22 points of Mortal Damage to instantly kill a Level 12 PC. Perhaps the side-effects listed on "We Burn Down the Inn's" charts could cap out at 5 for anything other than a Critical Hit, or a Massive Damage (with the 50 point minimum) hit?

    In Tuggyne's Iron Golem example (a CR13 enemy,) the Golem could deal 27.5 Mortal Damage on a Crit. If I was using the Golem as a boss, alone against the players, then they should all be around Level 10 (The Golem's CR being Average Party Level +3) in which case they take 17.5 mortal Damage instead of 27.5, and will have between 20 (CON10) and 54 (CON18) points of Mortal Damage to lose.
    Last edited by Freelance GM; 2012-07-11 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Change in perspective, grammar corrections, and bad math.
    No plan survives first contact with the PCs.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Problems:

    1) As was pointed, it is TOO lethal, and you can be one-shoted too easily. It can be good for realistic grindy games, but D&D doesn't work that way.

    2) Way too much complication and new stuff everytime someone is hit. People avoid having so much more book keeping. 4E's "bloodied" condition was the closest that ever came officially.

    3) It doesn't really deal with the Critical Existence Failure problem. Someone that was just pelted down with scratches down to 1 HP and rolled luckly fights better than the fighter with 100 HP that just rolled badly on the table.

    Something better would be to split the HP in 4 "levels", with everytime you go down a level you suffer added problems.

    Using the Con value in place of negative HP was suggested once when 4E was being made, and is an interesting mechanic, though.

    Member of the Hinjo fan club. Go Hinjo!
    "In Soviet Russia, the Darkness attacks you."
    My friend's quote: "Rogues not only have a lot more skill points, but sneak attack is so good it hurts..."
    Class variant:Fighter
    Fun Stuff:Mushrooms

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    In my Domain.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    @ Roderick_BR

    1) I'm working on the "too lethal" aspect.

    2) Yes, it does get complicated as soon as Undead or Regeneration get involved. As far as gameplay goes, I could just have a little card with the PC's CON on hand, so that I can tell them how much HP, Mortal Damage, and any related side effects they get in one narration.

    3) The character brought down to 1 HP by scratches wouldn't have taken any Mortal damage, while the fighter who gets pummeled and rolls badly would. Critical Existence Failure is still present when it comes to normal HP damage, but when Mortal Damage is dealt and severed arms go flying, the Critical Existence Failure is addressed. A lot of the things in the chart can cause stunning, sickness, bleeding, trauma, broken/severed limbs and shock.

    I really like the "4 Levels" of HP suggestion. As far as I can tell from D&D Encounters, the bloodied condition is a big, red sign saying, "Look! I'm below 50% HP!" that tells your allies to heal you, your enemies to target you, and may or may not unlock some of your deadlier powers. What I can imagine for the 4 Levels are stacking penalties to Attack Rolls, Dex, and movement speed, and a growing potential for injury. I'm thinking something like:

    Unscathed: Above 75% HP.
    While Unscathed, the character can resist 5 points of Mortal Damage per attack, and suffers no penalties caused by damage.

    Injured: Above 50% HP, below 75% HP.
    While Injured, the character's resistance to Mortal Damage drops to 3. They also suffer a -1 penalty to Attack Rolls and Dexterity, and their Movement Speed drops by 5 feet. These conditions remain until they are restored to at least 75% of their normal HP value.

    Bloodied: Below 50% HP, above 25% HP.
    While Bloodied, the character's resistance to Mortal Damage drops to 1. The -1 penalty to Attack Rolls and Dexterity becomes a -2 penalty, and their movement speed is reduced by another 5 feet. These conditions remain until they are restored to at least 50% of their normal HP value.

    Beaten: Below 25% HP
    Once Beaten, the character loses all resistance to Mortal Damage. The -2 penalties to Attack Rolls and Dexterity increase to -4, and their Movement is increased by -5 again. These conditions remain until they are restored to at least 25% of their normal HP value.

    That initial -5 resistance to Mortal Damage can turn a lethal hit into a very painful one, and should prevent a character from being one-shotted by anything that shouldn't normally be one-shotting them. Yeah, a player hit by a large creature with an enchanted large greatsword doing a jump attack, such as in Seerow's example, will still be very dead. However, a Level 1 bandit with a dagger who just gets lucky on a Critical Hit (1d4+1 Str, for 10 HP damage, then rolls a 10 for a Headshot, then rolls a 10 for random Mortal Damage on the Piercing or Slashing table for instant no-save death) instead would be doing 10 points of HP damage to the player's head, but doesn't do worse than slicing off an ear, dealing 5 Mortal Damage, deafening the unfortunate player, and potentially dazing them for several rounds. If we keep my "Subtract HD from Mortal Damage" idea, then the blow can't do worse than 4 Mortal Damage, which can either stun the player or slash out an eye. Lost eye beats decapitation and death without a save any day.
    Last edited by Freelance GM; 2012-07-11 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Grammar, poor phrasing.
    No plan survives first contact with the PCs.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Yeah, it looks good. Makes HP matter on how vulnerable you are to lethal hits.
    I'll maintain that too much book keeping is annoying, but that's true to any set of rule. I do like how this is shaping up, though.

    Member of the Hinjo fan club. Go Hinjo!
    "In Soviet Russia, the Darkness attacks you."
    My friend's quote: "Rogues not only have a lot more skill points, but sneak attack is so good it hurts..."
    Class variant:Fighter
    Fun Stuff:Mushrooms

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, UK

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    I'm Freelance GM
    Whats that? so people pay you to DM? Sweet job

    Anyway,

    This is not a system I would use and I’m not entirely sure it will meet your goal of a more intense game either.

    Basically put the threat of imminent death is something you can better handle with the tone and descriptions of your encounters first, before making a new and rather dramatic mechanical system to "fix it".

    If your players point at a figure and say "I attack him" and roll a dice before saying "I got a 19 does that hit?" and you reply "yes, roll damage".... you are not going to make a more intense experience no matter how high the resulting damage roll is.

    I'm not saying this is how you DM, but if it is this is definitely something you should take on board before moving to change the system.

    Also the idea that systems should always be the same for both players and npcs is, in my experience, false... they should merely “appear” to be the same. This is what your DM shield is for, fudging a couple of roles or altering the damage points (or hit points) of creatures on the fly is something not outside your power. The trick is to not let your players know about it, which should not be to hard.

    Ultimately your players want to end the session feeling like they have experienced an epic adventure with all the ups and downs one would expect from a good story. Implementing this is your job... through good narrative, cunning objective setting and creative game craft. Having a random, nameless npc kill your beloved character because they scored a lucky hit is not epic. Also never forget that death is not the only way to invoke fear or other emotions in your players/characters… pull on the heart strings and use their back stories against them.

    Additionally I strongly recommend you avoid mobs of identical npcs... your players will have an idea of their hit points and AC after they hit the first guy and from there on it’s a board game of “can I roll a 14 this time?”. Instead make all your groups more organic "this guy is heavily built while this one is leaner with sharp watchful eyes" (better worded of course). In reality both these npcs have the same stats… until you decide that they don’t. Also never use monsters from the books and if you do don’t use their names or descriptions (people can look them up and call you out on your jim-pokery).

    I would go on but I’m sure you are aware of all this stuff… needless to say my advice is to be honest and analyse your DMing before making drastic changes. Be humble in this regard and you will find that you will reap the rewards in the long run!

    Best of luck!
    OMFGWTF!!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    In my Domain.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    @ Kanachi:
    I just go by Freelance GM on this forum, it's based on the title, Freelance Artist, that I earned among my friends in middle school for making comics. I don't actually get paid to GM (that would be awesome), but Wizards of the Coast does send me free stuff for D&D Encounters. That sort-of counts, I guess.

    Your advice was very good. You guessed right, though, and I have already tried a lot of these things. My NPC's have as much HP as the plot demands. I avoid mobs, mainly because they take forever to kill, rather than the "Can I roll a 14" issue you pointed out; bigger monsters are generally more fun than mobs, anyway. Players who actually write a backstory are rewarded by having it laced into the plot somewhere. Also, I go out of my way to describe their rolls based on how close they were to hitting, i.e a miss by only one would glance off of the enemy's armor or shield, or a fail by 5 or more misses the enemy entirely.

    As far as my DM'ing goes, I can easily identify a few of my flaws:
    • Too chivalrous to fudge enemy's bad attack rolls on Rule of Drama.
    • Stories take too long to build up.
    • Loot is few and far between, but when you get it, it's worth it.


    However, my players are wrapped in a really uninspired and very meta-game attitude that their high A.C's and HP will protect them at lower levels, and that nothing can stand before their wrath. To add credibility to their disillusioned mindset, they run away from any encounter that they don't believe they can handle, while complaining that Kobolds are too weak, but the evil cultists and the Bugbears don't die fast enough. Every time an enemy actually scores a hit on a tank, they stare in disbelief. Every time I target the weaker ones, they accuse me of being spiteful.

    The point of this system was to appeal to their Meta-gaming sides with an actual system to make the enemies die faster, only it applies to them, as well. My descriptions of traps and combat are widely ignored on the grounds of "Ooh, big deal, I've got heavy armor and a tower shield, and I still have hitpoints left!" This system makes everything as fatal as I make it sound in the descriptions, giving the meta-gaming players meta-game reasons to take warning.
    No plan survives first contact with the PCs.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    In my Domain.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    So, I tested out the "Four Tiers" system without using Mortal Damage at all, and it was quite effective.

    The movement penalties generated a unanimous "Oh crap" as battered player's attempts to run away were made significantly more intense, but no one died, and there was much rejoicing.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Roderick_BR.

    In the mean time, I'm making a much lighter injury system to go with this, which, rather than killing you outright, just inflicts conditions. For example, randomly determined hits to the stomach can sicken a character, while shots to the head can daze, or potentially blind them.
    No plan survives first contact with the PCs.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ashtagon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hillvale, Isle of dawn
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    As others have said, vitality and wounds already exists.

    I think part of the problem lies in how you understand hit points. My personal take is that hit points are a "hero shield", and represent not actual hits, but the amount of effort, chi, ki, stamina, inner beauty, divine providence, whatever, that went into avoiding the attack. Once you run out of hp, and go into negative hp (or body points, as I like to call it), you take real injuries. I have my own critical hit table that applies to any hit soaked by bp.
    Indigo is a much more appropriate colour for sarcasm, don't you think?
    Blue is strictly for emphasis.
    And grey is kind of like an aside to my main point.

    Avatar by The Succubus

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: D20 System: Revised Hitpoints and Mortal Damage

    Hey guys im chris from we burn down the inn. This is my first post, hope you enjoy my tables.

    My humble suggestion concerning larger critters aligns with the HD effecting potential mortal damage downwards if you are still going to run with hit die. That or give huge gribblies an extra "Unnatural Toughness" stat (basically extra con bonus) which prevents them taking huge amounts mortal damage. This is what I am doing for my homebrew which the tables are being used for.

    Furthermore in terms of Undead and daemons etc, I would give them and extra special quality along the lines of "Undead Resilience: This creature does not suffer from bloodloss, fatigue and automatically passes all constitution checks it is required to make due to criticals. It does not receive horrifically scarring and is not phased by loss of limb. It does not die of shock or from any other reason on the critical table. Only complete destruction (a 10 on the sonic or acid tables or some of the others) kills it, any other result and it fights on regardless of the horrific nature of its injuries, whether it be a single crawling limb, or a half of a zombie."

    At least thats how I am running it with Undead. With daemons and elementals and stuff I run it the same, but when the blood loss result is rolled or blood goes everywhere I make it appropriate to the creature, eg: a Babau and everyone takes acid damage, or more recently fire elementals, where their firey life-liquids set fire to a 6 metre area whilst the players were in it.

    Just my two cents.
    Last edited by setenta; 2012-08-11 at 01:57 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •