View Full Version : New Damage/HP System.

2007-06-16, 05:44 PM
The Koga's been expriementing with this idea for sometime now. And he's finnaly starting to master it, now here's the first and most important part.

Con Score is your life:
It couldn't be said more appropiately, rather then have HP, your con-score determines how much damage it takes to kill you. Kindof like with massive damage but no saving throw. If you're dealt damage equal to your con-score, you die.

If you're only dealt half (rounded down) your con score up to -1 your total con-score, you become fatigue for 1d3 hours.

Less then that has no bearing on you and you should RP what happens. Here's an example.

Billy Commoner has a 10 con score, if he's dealt 10 damage, he's dead. Period.
If he's deal 5 to 9 damage, he becomes fatigue.
If he's dealt 4 or less damage, it just hurts and he's pissedoff.

Critical Damage:
This was a new rule The Koga added that he really didn't use before, rather then critical hits doing multiple damage, when you get a critical we all know the auto-success route, but what about also another potential chance to kill?

For example, if you were to hit bareknuckle, it's very doubtful even with an increddibly high strength-score you'd do enough to kill a man. (Less ofcourse you were a monk)

But if you roll that 20, the opponent has to make a fortitude saving throw of 15 or die! So even your barefists or a cruddy weapon always has a 5% chance of risking life.

Some weapons, like the dagger, retain thier critical hit standard that a 19 works just as good as a 20 for dealing auto-hit and auto-life threatning damage.

Weapons don't seem to follow the basic law of economics. So what if the longbow did more damage on a critical and had a long-range? That's no reason for it to almost cost ten times more then a morningstar and deal the same amount of damage! Probably more disturbing was the fact that a quarterstaff was free and so was a club, but innately the staff is more versatile, and the light mace costed so much more but dealt the same amount of damage!

With no longer critical hits defending thier damage value, The Koga would like to go back to the days of AD&D where theoreticaly a weapon could have all sortsof damage die attatched to it. Perhaps something like this:

Lightmace: 1d4+1d6/2 to 10 damage.

Now that's a weapon! And sense staves and clubs deal more damage then knuckles, they shouldn't be free. Maybe cost silvers instead of gold.

You may ask how regeneration works. Well that's simple. When a regenerator would be dealt enough damage to where they would die automaticaly, or fail thier fort save against a critical, they make another fort save equal to damage dealt. If they can succeed at that fort-save. They don't die.

Cure Wound Spells:
Another good question is what becomes of curing wound spells, they could've been ignored completely, but another, more interesting option is to change thier effect to accomodate for the new rules system.

If you roll enough healing on the die equal to thier con score or less:
You relieve them of fatigue (if they currently had fatigue).

If you roll enough healing on the die equal to more then thier con score:
You can bring someone back from the dead. But only if they've been dead for less then an hour, and the dead must make a will saving throw of 19.

So what'chu think of this system? It obviously is going to have to be tested first... Because theoreticaly The Koga was thinking Barbarians would get all the breaks, but then spellcasters damage spells could actually be broken! Only time will tell...

The Point of This System:
The original idea behind it was to make survival less dependant on level and items and more on common sense and team-work! Theoreticaly Billy Commoner could kill Biggums The level 20 Fighter. Even though it's very very unlikely... But it'd be impossible on the HP system.

2007-06-16, 06:29 PM
I think it needs some tweaking so that weak PCs can avoid death from a couple goblins shooting arrows, but I really like it. It would be even more realistic if all of the pinpricks from dagger-type weapons against your 18 con fighter caused blood loss, maybe some temporary ability damage to Con and Str. And if you're already fatigued, does your Con/Str lower more if half of the Con is reached again? I think the whole dependency on fatigue could be avoided by temporary ability damage.

It might also help if talking was more frequently an option, instead of the usual random encounters with monsters that are so frequent in D&D. Too many RPGs make players practically invincible just because they can play the same character for longer. I don't want someone to hold my hands, thanks!

2007-06-16, 11:19 PM
lol, perhaps. But you have to throw the players a bone here and there or else they'll revolt. XD

2007-06-17, 06:33 AM
for the point of realism, yes it will work, but D&D isn't meant to be realistic.
on this way Dwarwen (or gnome) wizard of level 3+ would kill almost everything the encountered and be harder to kill than a human barbarian.
so for game balance i don't think it work

2007-06-17, 08:20 AM
If you want "more lethal" D&D I suggest you search for "Grim'n'gritty" ruleset - it might be a bit hard to find now, but it is probably all you need.

Baron Corm
2007-06-17, 12:53 PM
ever heard of the vitality/wound system? i heard of it from star wars d20 but it might be used elsewhere. basically you get vitality points, which are equivalent to hit points (increased by leveling and Con bonus and so on) except it represents your dramatic ability to avoid damage or something. so if you take damage to your vitality points, you aren't really damaged. but if your vitality points go to 0 or you are subject to a critical hit, the damage goes straight to your wound points, which are equal to your Con score, and that is treated as normal hit points (if it goes to -10 you die). i don't really like (and probably don't understand) the justification for vitality points, but i do like this system.

in star wars d20 no weapon has a x3 multiplier because that's meaningless (critical damage just deals damage to wound points, it isn't multiplied), but for weapons like the longbow just make the range 19-20. for the scythe just make it 18-20.

edit: oh duh it's actually in the srd... right here http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/vitalityAndWoundPoints.htm

since it's in the srd maybe you knew of this but i still think it's a good system and kind of like what you were going for! it's even got that fatigue thing in there. apparantly if you take damage to your vitality points you actually are damaged, but only a little bit, whereas a hit to your wound points could be a big gash or a direct blow to an organ, and fighter-types with higher hit dice are better able to take only glancing blows. this makes more sense than what i said. i like the system even more.

2007-06-17, 08:12 PM
Yes, The Koga's done the vitality system before. He just figured he'd go for something that made people not want to settle thier problems with combat immideatly. XP

But an interesting point was raised. What is the compensate for non-casters? Everyone's equaly easier to kill, so what abilities could possibly compensate for spellcasting?

Well the answer is to nerf spellcasting which The Koga has also considerd.

Instead of spells-per-day, they have to make a spellcraft check DC 11+the spell's level. Sense they could just take skill focus to make this penalty obselete. They also use spellpoint system. Just so they're limited to how abusive they can be.

At the very least casters will have buy some feats and burn skillpoints not to suck.

2007-06-17, 08:33 PM
Yes, The Koga's done the vitality system before. He just figured he'd go for something that made people not want to settle thier problems with combat immideatly. XP

But an interesting point was raised. What is the compensate for non-casters? Everyone's equaly easier to kill, so what abilities could possibly compensate for spellcasting?

Well the answer is to nerf spellcasting which The Koga has also considerd.

Instead of spells-per-day, they have to make a spellcraft check DC 11+the spell's level. Sense they could just take skill focus to make this penalty obselete. They also use spellpoint system. Just so they're limited to how abusive they can be.

At the very least casters will have buy some feats and burn skillpoints not to suck.

Problem is that doesn't really nerf them it just makes them more aggrevating to play or to depend on. their spells are still just as powerful and the fact that they will randomly not be able to cast them just means that they will be really powerful some of the time and absolutely useless other times, with no way to know what will apply when. Sure, there are ways to offset that problem, as you point out, but if what you reall want to do is force them to burn skill points why not do that directly, instead of giving magic a playability nerf?

If anything, it should be tied into the change that you've already introduced. How about, one radical idea, require casters to be at full health to cast any spells. Or have any spell cast cause one point of damage to the caster. or combine your idea and the last idea and force them to make a save = 15 + spell level to avoid taking a point of damage every time they cast. Now casters are more fragile then melee when they are active, without just being arbitrarily denied their core abilities with no way to control it.

I mean, imagine if you decided you were going to double every classes HP rather than shrink it and, when someone complained that melee would unfairly benefit, rather than boosting spell damage or some such, you decided that every melee swing now had a 50% miss chance. That's the paralell to the spell craft check in terms of playability.

2007-06-17, 10:17 PM
This is going to require far far more reworking of both the rules and adventure style than I think you realise.

Can you walk us through what an encounter at 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level would look like?

2007-06-19, 03:00 PM
The possibilities are endless!

At level one you could probably die almost as easily as level 20, maybe a bit more. So instead of monsters accomodating for your power, you're accomodating for thier's. As it should be. The universe should not revolve around the adventurers. So it could be anything you like. The Koga even edited the system a bit but he thinks this might make it a bit better.

If you're dealt less damage then your constitution you make a fortitude save equal to damage dealt, if you fail you become fatigue.

If you're dealt damage equal to your con score or more, make a fort save equal to damage dealt or become unconciense.

If you are more then your con score+3 in damage, you die.

If you roll a critical on attack the foe must make a fort save of 15 or die.

With this evolved version, most times you can avoid becoming fatigue because damage vs a fort save is ussualy fairly low. Even with these new edited damage die for weapons let's say, a dagger. It'll still do 1d4 (cause of it's nice critical and cheap price). So average 2 damage plus modifier if any. That's not a very hard save to make. And hardly enough to kill you normaly.

The dagger then has to depend on it's good critical of 19 or 20 to make you make a fort save of 15 or die.

HP system as more gritty was why The Koga started it.

But to make the weapons more realistic not so much as "real-life" but as "supply/demand" of thier price in gold is what kept him going with it.

2007-06-19, 05:23 PM
So here is a problem.

A L 10 fighter will kill any L 10 fighter he hits.

And that L 10 fighter will hit the target L 10 fighter on pretty much every swing.

So whoever wins initiative, wins.

See the problem?

You have to rework both sides of the damage equation. Spell damage has to be revamped from top to bottom.


You could have a status chain:
Fine: -0 | Scratched: -1
Hurt: -2
Battered: -4
Wounded: -6
Incapacitated -10

First, when you take damage, make a fortitude save against 1/2 of the damage you take. If you lose, you are dead.

If you take damage under 1/2 of your con, you drop to Scratched if you are Fine. Otherwise, you ignore it.

If you take damage at or under your CON, you go 1 point further down the chain.

If you take damage over your CON, you drop 1d4 points down the chain (yes, one hit can knock you out).

K.O.'d people will most likely die if not treated. Every minute roll a Fortitude save against DC 15+1 per minute. On failure, you die. A natural 20 stabalizes you.

Defense bonus: You gain your Reflex bonus, or 1/2 of your BaB, whichever is better, as a bonus to your AC.

Armor as DR: Armor grants 1.5 DR per AC instead of AC. Armor Enchantments grant +2 DR per +1.

Shields as DR and AC: Shields grant AC. Shield enchantments grant +1 DR and +1 AC per +1.

Critical hits bypass normal Armor DR, but not the DR from enchantment.

Other AC sources: Natural armor and Rings of Protection, etc, grant 1 point of DR that cannot be bypassed. Force armor spells (like mage armor) grant 1.5 DR per AC that cay be bypassed. Shield spells (like shield) grant 1/2 their bonus in AC and 1/2 their bonus in DR, rounded up, but cannot be bypassed.

Soak: Soak is damage you can ignore, and refreshes each turn on your turn. Non-leathal damage is stopped by Soak, but does not consume your soak.

Your Soak is equal to:
Con Bonus
+1 for every d12 class level
+4/5 for every d10 class level
+3/5 for every d8 class level
+2/5 for every d6 class level
+1/5 for every d4 class level

So a L 20 Barbarian with 30 Con has a Soak of 20.
A L 20 Wizard with 16 Con has a Soak of 7.

So: L 10 Paladin wearing Full Plate +3 and a Large Shield +3 and 22 Con has:
14 Soak and 21/9 DR.

+10 BaB, so +5 AC innate.
Max +1 dex bonus (Full Plate), so she has an AC of 16.

She has 20 strength, so +15 total attack bonus.

The Padadin charges on a Horse using a Lance+3, for +18 to hit. She has power attack and mounted combat, so can give up up to 7 points of to-hit for damage.

This boosts her str-bonus-to-damage from +5 to +12.

As a two-handed item, this goes up to +18. +3 for the enchantment

1d8 + 21 damage on a hit.

If the hit is normal, that leaves 1d8 damage getting through -- which bounces off her Soak. A critical hit is likely to wound her, because her DR is much reduced.

In addition, she can parry or dodge such an attack.

This indicates that we aren't in insta-gib territory. :)

Power Attack:
Power Attack gives up str-bonus-to-hit for str-bonus-to-damage. Period. Abilities that boost this instead allow you to sacrafice an extra 2 points of str-bonus-to-hit below 0 each, assuming their prerequisits are met.

A character can attempt to Parry or Dodge attacks. One chooses to parry or dodge an attack after it has been determined that they would hit.

Doing so consumes iterative attacks on her next round. A character has 1 free Dodge per round.

One must consume the iterative attacks from the top-down, and the defense takes the same penalty as the attack. Offhand parries are allowed, as are shield-parries.

A Parry is an opposed attack roll.
A Dodge is a Reflex save, with a bonus equal to 1/2 BaB, against the attack roll.

Shield parries gain a bonus equal to the shields AC bonus (including enchantment).

A successful parry or dodge makes the attack miss.


How is that for some revamping of deadlyness?

A L 20 character can strike down another L 20 character in a single blow still, but the defender at least stands a chance!

And fragile classes get hit by:
Less Soak
Less AC
Lack the DR from armor.

On the other hand, spells will be gross. If they bypass non-magic Armor DR:

A L 10 character casting fireball does 35 damage on average. 23 gets soaked by the above paladin, leaving 12 damage -- enough to knock the Paladin down 1 status category.

Ok, that actually works. :)


2007-06-19, 06:38 PM
Really good, but it also sounds like alot to have to remember lol!

2007-06-20, 10:43 AM
Is the game more fun if your characters are dieing all the time?

2007-06-20, 11:13 AM
Usually not, but the game can, if handled properly, be more fun when combat presents a genuine risk to all involved.

2007-06-20, 12:55 PM
Indeed, and the old school ideology expects character death a lot, so that it is rare (and therefore more exciting) for characters to get higher than Level 5. Obviously, not everybody subscribes to this view, and it's certainly not the usual way of approaching the 3.x version of the game.

Yakk put forward some good ideas there; here are some links to previous discussion of the Opposed Roll Parrying mechanic, which you might find interesting or useful:

Talanic & Erk [Interception]
Tough Tonka [D20 Parry]
Elliott20 [Parry System]
Magic8Ball [A parry type feat]
Munchy [Fighter Parry Feats]
Matthew [Active Block]