View Full Version : Simple Massive Damage Rules

2009-05-22, 03:43 PM
These rules are designed to add flavor while having only a minor mechanical impact on the current combat. They were inspired by OotS #655.

Lethal damage from a single attack equal to 1/3 the target's max HP causes a minor special effect. You might also use 1/2 the target's max HP or whatever. I didn't say "critical hit", because I figure you'll only want to pay attention to crits that deal massive damage anyway (and many will). Roll 1d6 for the affected body part, counting from top to bottom and left to right (head, left arm, torso, right arm, left leg, right leg). The type of effect is divided into two situations:

1. Target is still alive (whether conscious or not): Target loses a minor body part such as an eye, nose or finger. This has little or no mechanical impact. In rare cases he might lose both eyes, an entire hand, etc., causing more significant penalties. Either way, a regenerate spell repairs the damage.

2. Target killed: Target loses a more major body part, such as an arm or jaw, and often a great deal of blood. In rare cases he might lose a head, obliterate a vital organ he cannot live without, etc., making resurrection more difficult. In the first case a regenerate spell may be used after the character is raised. In the second case the improved form of resurrection regenerates the damage.

The specifics are up to the DM. A slashing weapon might decapitate while a bludgeoning weapon crushes the skull or a fireball melts skin off the bones. The DM may arbitrarily pick a body part without rolling, or ignore the rule entirely whenever he thinks it's inconvenient. "Rare cases" might be 2/3 of the target's HP, being dropped deep into the negatives, or etc., as determined beforehand by the DM.

2009-05-22, 04:20 PM
Is losing a jaw really that bad? Unless you're a spellcaster you don't really need to speak anyway :smallbiggrin:

2009-05-22, 04:25 PM
Technically you don't need two arms either. But they're nice to have :smallsmile:. I was trying to focus on flavor and to avoid screwing over the player too badly.

Zeta Kai
2009-05-22, 06:03 PM
Not to be rude, but that's not much of a rule. It's much more like "DM kinda does whatever, when they feel like it" than anything else. An actual rule would be something like this:

If you ever sustain a single attack that deals damage equal to or greater than your Constitution score times 5 & it doesn’t kill you outright, then you must make a Fortitude save (DC15). If this saving throw fails, then you die regardless of your current hit points. If you take this amount of damage or more from multiple attacks, no one of which dealt that amount of damage or more itself, the massive damage rule does not apply.

That's the rule at my table, anyway.