Thursday, 11 April 2013

Discrete Injury table

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So the endless tinkerency of the rules to stop the voices continues.
Hitpoints. I'm liking having it being extremely easy to heal hitpoints. Like if you can catch your breath, you can restore 50% to full and less than 50% to 50%.

That "catch your breathe" thing means you need a safe environment (like if it was a stupid movie one of the characters would say "we are safe here for the moment" and everyone would talk about their feelings for ever), like hiding in a closet wouldn't do it. The characters need to feel that they can reliable drop their guard. So the rooms exits are firmly secured , or the surrounding area is known , cleared and patrolled. Basically imagine if you were your character.
Could you imagine yourself being able to have a hour long nap where they currently are? (and presuming you do not suffer from narcolepsy)  

It's hitpoints firmly in the  "luck and confidence  and minor scratches" end of the  spectrum.

It's only when your hitpoints run out that your meat starts falling apart. That's when the
"oh god man down man down, I can't stop the bleeding WHY WHYWHYA RGHHnew feierland is the worst why did I come hereARGHH" stuff starts happening

I am of the firm belief that players will always engage with the most amount trouble they think they can handle (and then push it anyway) . SO having them in full health the majority of time does not mean they will merrily go off to steam roll all the giant rats in the vicinity. It means they will go straight into the giant hatchet spiders nest and lose an arm or two.

Disclaimer this is coming out of my bias of play style  (impatient)  and a general dislike of resource management heavy ,  slow pressure build , gritty but petty dungeon crawling.

Also I hate clerics and even when I don't hate them , I hate how they have to fill up most of their spell slots with healing spells because that is the only reliable source of healing available. Especially if the heal hit points per day of rest thing is not scaled per level. Like healing 1 hit point per day when you are a fighter with 30 hit points is frustrating, when the wizard is pretty much ready to go again with a days rest.

Hitpoints being the fighters "encounter currency" like you will lose hitpoints in every fight, (unless you spend the entire game session setting up the perfect ambush or something. Which is great once in awhile but will bore me to fucking tears if it's every fucking session) so while everyone else recovers their encounter currency fairly effortlessly , if you don't have a cleric handy you will have to be CAUTIOUS and SHIT. Ugh. Man like I have to use so so much diplomacy and guile to survive in my day to day life , can't I just smash the shit out everything with the big numbers on my character sheet already?

Then there's the malarkey with "let's clear out 2 rooms and return room" (fuck that) or "let's sleep for a week in a 10 by 10 by 10 room" (again, fuck that)

IS it bad to be trying to make the perfect system for your own joneses as a player? WHO KNOWS

 ANYWAY you run out of hitpoints. You start to have negative hitpoints. IF these get lower than your constitution score or half your maximum hit point (which is ever is less), you are now dead.
Go to page 14.
IF you are not in that dread realm  you still need to make a con check modified by you hitpoint total or lose consciousness. (you will wake up after a number of rounds = how much you failed the con check by).

 As well , every time you take damage that puts you into (or further into) negative total hit points , a hit location dice gets rolled , either you have custom die for this or
1 left arm
2 right arm
3 left leg
4 right leg
5 torso
6 head

and roll a die to see how much that area is fucked up .
 d10 is rolled
10-5 it is damaged , 4 -2  is severely damaged and on a 1 it is completely destroyed.

Now here I had a thought. By doing it this way different attacks could be deadly or less deadly. I can't really see any massive advantage in getting too persnickety but rolling a d20 for bare hand attacks and a d8 / d6 for some kind of vorpal weapon or elite murderism seems cool.

I think for now, I will play around with the d10 default and d20 "non-lethal" attacks.

I still am going to try out rolling a 20 means an automatic roll on this table. It seems to be a cool idea, and the chance of instant kill is pretty dang low (about 1 in 500 I think?).

NPCS and monsters will general just die at negative hit points unless particular interesting or important. Because Feng Shui has warped my way of thinking forever.

Damaged: Fractured, deep lacerations (but not an artery) , needs stitches, splints etc. The arm cannot be used effectively, -2 to all actions, and possible off hand penalties. This will take about a month to heal. If it is not attended to at least a day after happening (cleaned, bandaged, stitched , braced etc) your con is at -4 for that month. If that puts you con at zero or less I guess you die from the resulting infection

Severely Damaged: Artery severed, tendon damaged, greenstick fractures etcs, as above but you are losing 1 hit point per round until bandaged/attended to. This will take 3 months to heal.
Even after bandaged any exertion will make the bleeding start again.
(yeah I'm kinda playing fast and loose grouping greenstick fractures and artery bleedings here. ANd tendon damage is unlikely to heal fully functionally, but like this already getting into rolemaster territory )

Destroyed: As above but that arm is not ever coming  back. The -2 penalty lasts a month after which you have more or less adjusted to the balance change.

as per arms but half movement as well
Severely damaged:
as arms but can't stand up without support, movement is a crawl at best.
Destroyed: As above but your movement is now half (with crutches) or 2/3 slower (with a pegleg and 3 months adjustment) or a hop, which is as fast as slow walk with a dex check each round or you ass over.

Damaged: Possibly cracked rib, definite heavy bruising , deep puncture (but not enough to reach an organ), -1 to all actions. Roll twice for strength or constitution checks and take the worse result.
A month to heal

Severe: as above but internal bleeding 1 per hit point per round , on a successful con check (with the roll twice take worst) it stops, but starts again if you exert yourself. This is stuff like visible intestines, sucking chest wounds, cracked ribs puncturing lungs etcs. WELL maybe those last 2 would be far more mechanically severe. 3 months to heal

Destroyed: Evisceration, massive internal hemorrhaging , punctured  heart etc. Basically, you are dead

Damaged:  blinded for one round and stunned for 1d6 rounds. For the rest of the day any wisdom, charisma or intelligence checks are rolled twice with the worst result taken.

Severely Damaged: As above but  this is stuff like detached corneas , broken jaws, ruptured ear drums etc.
If you are knocked out by this blow you are in a coma for a week , and will be in a coma until you succeed a con check (one per week) each time you fail , you lose one point of either intelligence or wisdom. Otherwise -2 to all actions and randomly determine a sense (1 sight 2 hearing 3 taste and smell 4 balance) that barely works for 3 months (automatically fail any rolls to do with that sense)
Destroyed: yeah.. throat torn upon , stabbed through the eye,  fatal aneurysm , or just plain gone. You is dead.

Magical healing as well as restoring hitpoints will restore some of the physical damage. For each level of the healing spell , that many "categorys" are healed. So a cure light wounds can restore a damaged leg to normal or severely damaged arm to just a damaged arm. In case of multiple injury sites the levels will have to assigned as the healer thinks best. So a cure critical wounds (level 4) on some one with 4 severely  damaged limbs  could restore each limb to damaged or 2 limbs to full health. Anything destroyed requires a Heal or Regenerate spell. The Heal spell restores all categories and the regenerate spell can restore any one area to full even if destroyed.

Healing via the wonder of waiting around for stuff to grow back on and the risk of infection.
NOW I was so tempted to get all stimulationlist and go "oh burns are fucking horrible for infection but slash wounds are fairly quick, while puncture wounds can get all complicated if they have introduced foreign material deep enough so it can't get bleed out".
 But I managed to resist.

So  let's just say you make a  con check for every week you are healing and if you fail you lose a point of con (which will be recovered with a further weeks rest) and if you roll a 20 it's now one stage worse (severe becomes destroyed etc) And wilderness conditions is +4 to the roll while having a healer in attendance is -4 and in between stuff is in between.
Oh and maybe +2 if there was a decent first aiding done at the time, and -1 to -4 if it was particular infectious environment (sewers, jungles) or nasty wounds (burns of all kinds, poop covered arrows)

I had this all done in note form and then was looking through the 52 pages rule book and noticed that they had something very similar. So go look here if you want something more tidy than what I just wrote
Also I'm going to do a review soon about that pdf, because I used it up in Wellington with new players  and it had a lot of merit.
Check it yo.

Also their background/skill system in this document has also more or less scooped me on something I had sketched out but not finished yet.


  1. I run a similar simple, fast and brutal game - but I use my "table of horrible things" any time a character loses half their hp in one blow (i.e. system shock) and any time a character goes below 0 hp, with the amount below 0 being a penalty to the "horrible stuff" roll.

  2. Nice may steal. Add to save vs death mechanic, use to encourage 'orrible scars and multiple pcs.

  3. Very nice! I was coming from a very similar philosophy when I made my Table of Death & Dismemberment. The one at the link is probably a bit too brutal unless you're players are all about each of them having a stable of characters in hand and ready to play. However, it did get very fun reactions from my players.

    So yes, I absolutely think you're barking up the right tree here. Just feel free to fiddle with your table until it fits your style properly. I found this version superior for one-shots and may move to it entirely.