A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default A world where HP is meat

    The standard answer to "what is HP", that HP is some combination of luck, skill, personal energy, and plot armor, plus a little bit of physical endurance has never sat all that well with me. It solves one problem (people "look" more like people) at the cost of making some really really weird worldbuilding contrivances necessary. Poison, Evasion, knives to the throat, etc., all become harder to explain.

    So I'm considering a model where HP is meat. Every "hit" is an actual hit of some sort. May be a glancing hit, may be a solid one, may be partially blocked. But a hit and some physical damage. Of course, that means I have to consider the knock-on effects. Using 5e's system here, with Lasting Injuries (triggered on receiving a crit or being knocked to zero) in play (in the world, anyway, even if they're turned off for PCs just out of game considerations).

    -----------

    The Model: Every living being (and un-living being) has some measure of personal energy, a pool of energy within their soul that can be applied to their body to rapidly heal injuries[1]. This pool depends on the strength of one's soul and physical size--larger beings and more powerful beings have more of this energy. As long as a person has energy remaining, they are difficult to permanently injure (requiring a lucky strike against a vulnerable part[2]) and operate at (near) full efficiency; once this pool is depleted, the soul will scramble to find energy to keep on living, but will often fail[3]. Even if it succeeds in finding energy to survive, any injuries caused by the final strike remain (bones broken heal badly, etc). As the pool is depleted, the body shifts from trying to maintain perfect condition toward only healing significant life-threatening injuries (which results in surface cuts and bruises remaining). Recharging the pool requires rest, so that the soul can draw on ambient energy and format it into the necessary form. Magical healing effectively drops "pre-digested" energy straight into the soul; the body then uses it to heal any existing injuries. Note that this does not remove the pain of being injured. You still feel every blow, but you don't have the lasting damage.

    In addition to this "ready reserve", bodies have deeper reserves that require some time and calm circumstances to pull out and apply to their ready reserve pool. This deeper reserve also does not recharge as fast. The ready reserve is HP, the deeper reserves are hit dice.

    For most people, the amount of energy they have is relatively small. A single blow from a dagger is enough to deplete their pool in some cases; even a hard punch from someone skilled can do it, as can a 10' fall (and a 40' fall is guaranteed to KO a regular person). And their deeper reserves are minimal and easily used up. On the other hand, a powerful individual or monster may have a hundred times as much energy available.

    ----------

    So what are the worldbuilding consequences of this?

    1. People aren't the same as earth humans internally. Tissues must be different (as must biochemistry) to accommodate this fast healing.
    2. Performance doesn't degrade slowly except due to psychological effects (ie the pain is still significant, but the damage isn't).
    3. Damage insufficient to put you down (deplete your HP pool) generally doesn't leave you bleeding out (or internally). This changes battlefield medicine as well as first aid, and especially triage. Unless someone's completely down, they'll heal naturally if left alone--instead, focus on healing those who are downed.
    4. Characters that know they're strong can meaningfully choose to tank the hit for someone else/grab at the knife at the throat, knowing that it probably won't kill them.
    5. There have to be some changes to physics[4]--this model means that if you tank a hit from a dragon's tail or a giant's club, you're really tanking that hit, yet it doesn't (normally) shove you around outside your space.
    6. Characters who expect to get injured frequently must have crazy-good pain tolerance.
    7. Societies have to deal with the fact that some people are just crazy durable. Even a guard (11 HP) is roughly 3x as durable as a common citizen (4 HP). And a high-level barbarian (~200 HP) is basically a tank, especially when raging (~400 effective HP).
    8. ??

    [1] sort of a limited Wolverine Healing Factor, operating on a short timescale (seconds or minutes at most).
    [2] a critical hit can cause lingering injuries; the idea must be that if you deal enough damage just right, you can sever a limb and it won't just regrow. Or put out an eye, etc. So the healing factor must be limited in what it can handle acutely.
    [3] death saves, roughly a 30% chance of death (not doing the math, but it's a bit lower than 45% due to 20s and 1s not being symmetric).
    [4] there already had to be, otherwise giants and dragons themselves have severe issues. But that's a different matter.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    What is the "level distribution" of your world?

    If a professional soldier is a CR 1/4 guard, they have 11 HP. A critical hit with a sword drops them to 0 HP.

    Under such a model, characters who are tougher than that -- most over level 1 -- can require such explanations. A level 5 fighter with 44 HP is superhuman, able to take a sword to the gut and survive. But a typical soldier is not.

    Then move to something like gritty rests, and recovery times aren't completely off either. Still a bit fast, but not crazy.

    My slight of hand is to provide in-world justification for why PCs end up being superhuman by the end of T1.
    Last edited by Yakk; 2022-01-03 at 12:55 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    What is the "level distribution" of your world?

    If a professional soldier is a CR 1/4 guard, they have 11 HP. A critical hit with a sword drops them to 0 HP.

    Under such a model, characters who are tougher than that -- most over level 1 -- can require such explanations. A level 5 fighter with 44 HP is superhuman, able to take a sword to the gut and survive. But a typical soldier is not.

    Then move to something like gritty rests, and recovery times aren't completely off either. Still a bit fast, but not crazy.

    My slight of hand is to provide in-world justification for why PCs end up being superhuman by the end of T1.
    Generally, the distribution peaks around "level 0" and falls off roughly exponentially. >1 standard deviation are T1-equivalent or lower. So experienced soldiers are either guard NPCs or veteran NPCs, most nobles are Noble stat blocks, most casters can cast at most level 2 spells. T2 is still available, but rare. T3+ are basically legendary.

    So for most people, they end up being pretty close to human. They can take a weak hit, but one good hit or a couple weak ones will take them out.

    The big distinguishing factor is speed of recovery. I don't use the gritty rules for many reasons. So generally, people are OK after a night's rest, unless they were taken out and have some form of lingering injury. And when they have lingering injuries, no amount of regular rest will (by itself) heal that. That broken leg from the fall that took you to 0? Unless you had medical attention to set it before you got back to 1 HP, it will have healed in its broken state, leaving you partially crippled. And to break it and re-set it will take a lot more work.

    As for why some people grow so fast and so far while others plateau, I've got an explanation around logistic growth rates and plateauing. Basically, PCs are always drawn from the set of people for whom the onset of diminishing returns is much higher than others. For most people, they've hit diminishing returns to growth (at least direct soul power) by the time they've reached adulthood. A wizard can learn more spells, but he won't get new spell slots very fast if at all. But some people (among whom PCs fall, because that's interesting) have higher "set points" and can keep growing much faster for longer.

    I do have the in-universe "convenient effect" that when a PC retires from active play, they also (conveniently and totally coincidentally, of course) hit their plateau. Because it's an ongoing world where PCs from old campaigns stick around as NPCs, I don't have to worry about them leveling up in the background. Once they retire from play, they stop progressing.

    I have ideas around the influence of risk and sacrifice on this whole process, but they're not very well formed. Basically "more risk == faster growth." So academic learning == slow growth; being out in the field risking your life means faster growth...until the risk catches up and you die. And with an escalating amount of risk needed to grow further, most people aren't willing to undertake the risk. So if you "farm rats" beyond the point where it's a substantial risk (and "substantial" increases with your personal power), your progress drops off. You have to move up the risk scale to keep going. But that's not entirely well formed yet.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    It's very wuxia/anime, with attacks being absorbed by the user's Ki field or spirit field. Not saying that is bad, but it has different implications then ye olde instantly dying wizard setting. I would be removing a lot of the difference between spells and mundanes then, since everyone is innately magic.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    It's very wuxia/anime, with attacks being absorbed by the user's Ki field or spirit field. Not saying that is bad, but it has different implications then ye olde instantly dying wizard setting. I would be removing a lot of the difference between spells and mundanes then, since everyone is innately magic.
    For me, that last part's very much a feature, not a bug. And something I already want--if it's a fantastic world, I want it to be fantastic at the core, with "magic" woven in and through everything.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    For me, that last part's very much a feature, not a bug. And something I already want--if it's a fantastic world, I want it to be fantastic at the core, with "magic" woven in and through everything.
    I am totally on board there, I'm just saying it would require some reworking because currently the mundane/arcane split is fairly central to the system.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I am totally on board there, I'm just saying it would require some reworking because currently the mundane/arcane split is fairly central to the system.
    See-I don't see it. I see 5e at least better represented by "they're already superhuman/beyond-the-mundane" as a standard. Sort of 4e's power sources, just more descriptive vs prescriptive.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    I always operate on a similar model when playing D&D. (I mentioned that recently. Did you read that thread or is this just chance?) I just feel that is the world that is implied by the mechanics, not the one in the official explanation. Although I don't go for the pool of healing, just general faster healing of physical trauma (for the faster recovery) and a level 20 barbarian is just that tough after everything they have been through. It is kind of the difference between superhuman and supernatural.

    That's as much detail as I go into, as I was not trying to launch into a rewrite, just patch over the major issues.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I always operate on a similar model when playing D&D. (I mentioned that recently. Did you read that thread or is this just chance?) I just feel that is the world that is implied by the mechanics, not the one in the official explanation. Although I don't go for the pool of healing, just general faster healing of physical trauma (for the faster recovery) and a level 20 barbarian is just that tough after everything they have been through. It is kind of the difference between superhuman and supernatural.

    That's as much detail as I go into, as I was not trying to launch into a rewrite, just patch over the major issues.
    That thread prompted me to mention it here, but this is a long-standing model. It's actually tied heavily into the metaphysics of my setting--everything is made out of the same energy, the stuff of souls. Why do wizards have fewer HP than barbarians? Because wizards have to channel some of their "soul energy" into spell slots and spell patterns, while barbarians channel it all into their physical structure. Why do spells like fireball not ignite worn equipment? Because it's protected by the same aura/energy pool that the body is--effectively the soul sees it as "part of itself". That's also how attunement and recharge for magic items work--it's drawing on/bonding with the soul via this channel.

    Basically, I split the "soul" into three parts--
    1. The body. This is physical, condensed anima[1]. It's the interface with the physical world. Some memories and personality are copied here.
    2. The nimbus. This is immaterial, diffuse anima. It's the interface with the non-physical world/magic (among other things) and the interface between the spark and the body. It's where spell slots, HP, HD, etc are "stored".
    3. The spark. This is the "immortal self", the seat of personality and volition. Peculiar to mortals[2], it is what creates all the anima that exists in the universe by learning and growing and changing.

    Undead are bodies animated by mockeries of sparks, anti-life, entropy elemental-like things called jotnar. A ghost is the nimbus, etched into space and trapped between worlds.

    [1] the stuff of existence. When condensed and aspected in various ways, we get all the matter we know. It's created by mortal souls and pumped around the universe by the Great Mechanism; aspected by the elemental planes and brought back in the form of air, fire, water, etc. This replaces all the "natural" cycles on earth.
    [2] immortal beings (specifically ageless ones) have replaced their spark by something else. For devils and angels and gods and elementals, that "something" is a True Name, words of creation that serve almost like a spark...but with much reduced creativity and spontaneity. For demons, it's a jotnar bound to their souls, which they have to regularly feed other souls to prevent it from eating them. Everyone has to get their energy from somewhere, and there's a whole power economy in the other planes. Some of it based on worship, others on payments for actions.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    You could combine that with making XP a real thing in world. By killing things, you literally eat part of their soul, which strengthens your energy field. And by measuring yourself against the world, you train your energy field.

    Alternatively, you could epxlain it as mana, in the religious sense I can't discuss here. By committing great deeds, you gain spiritual power.
    "Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the sky."

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    You could combine that with making XP a real thing in world. By killing things, you literally eat part of their soul, which strengthens your energy field. And by measuring yourself against the world, you train your energy field.

    Alternatively, you could epxlain it as mana, in the religious sense I can't discuss here. By committing great deeds, you gain spiritual power.
    I don't want to go down the xp for killing things route, because I dislike (and don't use) combat-based XP. Instead, OOC leveling happens after a number of sessions: MIN(4, current level), so 1 session to level 2, 2 to level 3, 3 to level 4, and then 4 from then on. Takes the "farm things for XP" urge out and encourages people to take other approaches and to dabble in the setting without feeling like they're getting penalized.

    The core idea is that your spark produces anima by putting yourself at risk and learning and discovering new things (even if they're only new to yourself). All mortals do. But for most mortals, the amount of anima they can actually incorporate into themselves and use is sharply limited--every spark is different. Although the limit is more a diminishing returns point, where your ability to hold in the anima you're creating starts losing efficiency. For most people, they hit this point by the time they're fully adult; eventually age starts constraining the capabilities even more, which causes aging and senescence and death. That's one reason that resurrecting someone who has died of old age is so difficult--their soul is old and so they just don't have the ability to hold onto the body very well any more[1].

    Some people (of whom PCs are always) have much higher limits and (for whatever personal reason) can produce and hold onto anima much more efficiently. Effectively, where other people start hitting the breakeven point around "2nd level" (where they can't produce anima fast enough to grow beyond the natural losses of living), these "special" people can grow further.

    One side effect of all of this is that it's possible to measure (in a rough way, at least), the "strength of soul" someone has by testing how their nimbus interacts with the outside world. Not too hard to fool, though, either. And pretty rough--it can generally tell if you're "common" (ie < 2nd level), strong (3-5th level), exceptional (5-9th level), or off the scale (10+).

    [1] one strong theme of the setting (the First Law, in fact) is that All that is Mortal Must Die/Only that that is Mortal May Create. Attempts at bodily immortality either involve trading away your mortality (and thus your ability to grow without stealing energy from someone else, your ability to create net anima) or end very very very badly. You can ascend (in any number of directions), trading your spark for a True Name (and the bindings that come along with it), or you can go the demon route , trading your spark for a jotnar and becoming bound to its insatiable hunger (and being bound to the Abyss unless summoned), or you can try to become one of the "ageless" undead...which involves having a jotnar inhabit your dead body and binding your soul to it. Which also has strong problems (involving having to feed it souls so it doesn't eat you, corrupting the landscape around you, and the fact that you're kill on sight for everyone, whether evil or good) and kills your creativity. Immortality is a trap option.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Right behind you

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Soul metaphysics 101: an introduction
    If you haven't played it/aren't familiar woth it already, you might want to try Pillars of Eternity, or at least read up on its metaphysics: it also has all its classes function by way of anima/"soul power", and the godlikes function in a similar matter as your angels/demons, with their souls bound to a given god by way of a "chime". I imagine you'd find their use of souls as a carrier/means of power interesting, at the very least.

    As for me, I really like your conception of hp here. Makes for a compelling unification of mechanics, gameplay and lore, when executed the way you describe.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    This sounds like what I've come to think of as the "anime version" of HP as meat. People just get scuffed up until suddenly they're dropped.

    The alternative is what I think of as the "Horror/Comedy" interpretation, where every wound leaves the expected mark or something near to it, and so a character with high HP may exit battle looking like they should have been killed several times over (because by all rights they indeed should have)

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    This sounds like what I've come to think of as the "anime version" of HP as meat. People just get scuffed up until suddenly they're dropped.

    The alternative is what I think of as the "Horror/Comedy" interpretation, where every wound leaves the expected mark or something near to it, and so a character with high HP may exit battle looking like they should have been killed several times over (because by all rights they indeed should have)
    You'd literally have to turn a high level barbarian into mincemeat. As in, they could stand there and take it as the local butcher hits them with their cleaver a few dozen times. (1d6+2 damage (estimated), average 5, 200-300 hit points, so about 40-60 hits).
    "Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the sky."

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Land of Cleves
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Another big advantage to the "HP as meat" model is that people look more like people. The world where badasses take ludicrous amounts of damage, that would kill ordinary people many times over, is our world. Real-world badasses really do survive things like critical hits from high-power rifles.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

    Chronos's Unalliterative Skillmonkey Guide
    Current Homebrew: 5th edition psionics

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Yes, but they don't survive sprinting over lava naked.

    Mid-level meatshields do. 20d6 damage per round, about 70 average. With d10+4 hit points (average 9.5 per level), an 8th level fighter can attempt sprinting across a 120 foot caldera (30 ft. base speed, x4 for running) and expect to live, unless the DM demands further checks like athletics or acrobatics (not unreasonable.)
    Last edited by Eldan; 2022-01-17 at 09:38 AM.
    "Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the sky."

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Yes, but they don't survive sprinting over lava naked.

    Mid-level meatshields do. 20d6 damage per round, about 70 average. With d10+4 hit points (average 9.5 per level), an 8th level fighter can attempt sprinting across a 120 foot caldera (30 ft. base speed, x4 for running) and expect to live, unless the DM demands further checks like athletics or acrobatics (not unreasonable.)
    20d6 per round is for submersion. How can you run if you're submerged? I thought you needed a Free Movement spell to do that. At that point why not just cast a fire protection spell?

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Eh, Submersion isn't even a thing, anyway. You can't sink in lava, it has the density of rock. You can walk across it, though.

    I mean, if we model walking across lava as 2d6 damage, that's even worse. At that point, the fighter can basically camp out on a lava lake. (10-20 rounds easily.)
    Last edited by Eldan; 2022-01-17 at 12:45 PM.
    "Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the sky."

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Eurus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    I've always found the lava submersion rules kind of funny too. You could be buried in lava, I suppose, if it fell on you?
    Avatar by araveugnitsuga.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Yes, but they don't survive sprinting over lava naked.

    Mid-level meatshields do. 20d6 damage per round, about 70 average. With d10+4 hit points (average 9.5 per level), an 8th level fighter can attempt sprinting across a 120 foot caldera (30 ft. base speed, x4 for running) and expect to live, unless the DM demands further checks like athletics or acrobatics (not unreasonable.)
    Note: 5e, not 3e. So slightly different numbers involved.

    The line for "wading through lava" (which I think is the appropriate one here) is 55 (10d10)/round. An 8th level fighter moves at 60 ft/round (dash), with an additional 30 ft on one round if he action surges and dashes again. So say two rounds of damage guaranteed (one round takes him at most 90 ft', taking the first instance of damage, starts 2nd turn and takes damage again). That's (average) 110 HP of damage. An 8th level fighter with +3 CON (unlikely to be higher) has 69 (10 + 5*7 + 3*8) HP. So he dead unless the damage rolls are really scanty (which with that many dice is highly unlikely). Or at least is at 0 HP and failing 2 death saves per turn (unless the DM says "ok, you sink and die").

    But sure, he can (unless the dice are really against him) cross 55 ft of lava. A bear-totem barbarian (78 HP, effectively 156 due to rage giving resistance to everything but psychic) can make the full dash with only marginal risk.

    Personally, I'm totally fine with that. I'm absolutely fine with a world where higher-level people are just that durable. Where a barbarian can tank a dragon's breath on his bare chest and go "Is that all you've got? I've had candles hurt more!". Where no, that dagger to the throat isn't a substantial risk to a high-power person (PC or not), so assassins have to get creative.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NW PA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    I don't know if this will help you or not. We had an older system of wounds and stun which we modified from the original GURPS rpg that worked well in AD&D. We then adapted it to 5e. Be warned that this adds both lethality AND crunch, but maybe this will give you some ideas.

    Hit Points:

    These are basically "less lethal damage" like bruising, shock, and disorientation. When you are hit, this is the primary damage rolled for. You just keep rolling up HP the same as always with one exception. We always gave maximum HP for the character's 0-Level training. Thus, a 1st Level fighter would start with 10 + a roll of 1D10 HP. When you reach 0 Hit Points, you make ONE SAVING THROW ROLL. If you fail, you are knocked out and unable to act.

    Wounds:

    Wounds are represented by your CON score. That's all you have and all you'll ever get. IF you really want Wounds to scale, just give the Character 1 Wound per level gained. Whenever you get hit, IF the Hit Point damage EQUALS OR EXCEEDS THE HIT DIE YOU USE (ie D4, D6, D8, etc...), you suffer a WOUND. If you suffer a large amount of damage (like 2D8, 6D6, etc...), those Hit Points are divided by your Hit Die number and rounded down. This is the number of Wounds inflicted. When you reach 1/2 your CON in wounds, you suffer a -1 to all your dice rolls and initiative. When your wounds exceed 75% of your CON, the penalty increases to -2. When you get to 1 wound left (90% of CON for most), you suffer a penalty of -3 to the items listed above. IF your drops to 0 CON or less, you must make a PAIR of Saving Throws (rolled together on two different colored D20s). IF you succeed at the FIRST Saving Throw, you are able to remain active at -5 to the above items. IF you fail the FIRST Saving Throw, you fall unconscious. IF you fail the SECOND Saving Throw you are dying whether you are active or not!

    Healing:

    We use the Hit Dice as a guide to healing as well. You get a number of HD equal to your level to use every day. When you take a Short Rest (which is approximately 1 hour in our 5e games). You can try to roll to recover Hit Points. This requires a CON Save and will net you 1 Hit Die rolled for recovered HP. That HD is now "used" until you take a Long Rest (which is sleeping at night in our 5e variant). Anyone with the Healing Proficiency can use a charge from a Healer's Kit (our kits contain 10 uses) to heal ONE Hit Die of damage on any SINGLE COMBAT INJURY, once per Long Rest. If they succeed at their Proficiency check, the PC regains 1 Wound and rolls their Hit Die for HP regained. Magical Healing will heal HP/Hit Die (rd) in Wounds and can be used as often as you like. On a Long Rest, you will regain one Hit Die of HP per hour of sleep using the PREVIOUS DAY'S remaining Hit dice FIRST, then you start using that night's/day's Hit Dice to make up the difference. You must then Roll a Save versus CON (with ADVANTAGE if a Healer passes a Procifiency check and expends a use of the Healer's kit) to also heal 1 Wound per Hit Die used during that Long Rest. Please note that Hit Points come back regardless of the Saving Throw for Wound recovery. They basically represent a type of fatigue and pain that diminishes with time.

    We also limit the paladin to restoring ONE [of their] HIT DIE per Level between long rests when they lay on hands.
    Last edited by olskool; 2022-01-17 at 02:55 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by olskool View Post
    I don't know if this will help you or not. We had an older system of wounds and stun which we modified from the original GURPS rpg that worked well in AD&D. We then adapted it to 5e. Be warned that this adds both lethality AND crunch, but maybe this will give you some ideas.

    Hit Points:

    These are basically "less lethal damage" like bruising, shock, and disorientation. When you are hit, this is the primary damage rolled for. You just keep rolling up HP the same as always with one exception. We always gave maximum HP for the character's 0-Level training. Thus, a 1st Level fighter would start with 10 + a roll of 1D10 HP. When you reach 0 Hit Points, you make ONE SAVING THROW ROLL. If you fail, you are knocked out and unable to act.

    Wounds:

    Wounds are represented by your CON score. That's all you have and all you'll ever get. IF you really want Wounds to scale, just give the Character 1 Wound per level gained. Whenever you get hit, IF the Hit Point damage EQUALS OR EXCEEDS THE HIT DIE YOU USE (ie D4, D6, D8, etc...), you suffer a WOUND. If you suffer a large amount of damage (like 2D8, 6D6, etc...), those Hit Points are divided by your Hit Die number and rounded down. This is the number of Wounds inflicted. When you reach 1/2 your CON in wounds, you suffer a -1 to all your dice rolls and initiative. When your wounds exceed 75% of your CON, the penalty increases to -2. When you get to 1 wound left (90% of CON for most), you suffer a penalty of -3 to the items listed above. IF your drops to 0 CON or less, you must make a PAIR of Saving Throws (rolled together on two different colored D20s). IF you succeed at the FIRST Saving Throw, you are able to remain active at -5 to the above items. IF you fail the FIRST Saving Throw, you fall unconscious. IF you fail the SECOND Saving Throw you are dying whether you are active or not!

    Healing:

    We use the Hit Dice as a guide to healing as well. You get a number of HD equal to your level to use every day. When you take a Short Rest (which is approximately 1 hour in our 5e games). You can try to roll to recover Hit Points. This requires a CON Save and will net you 1 Hit Die rolled for recovered HP. That HD is now "used" until you take a Long Rest (which is sleeping at night in our 5e variant). Anyone with the Healing Proficiency can use a charge from a Healer's Kit (our kits contain 10 uses) to heal ONE Hit Die of damage on any SINGLE COMBAT INJURY, once per Long Rest. If they succeed at their Proficiency check, the PC regains 1 Wound and rolls their Hit Die for HP regained. Magical Healing will heal HP/Hit Die (rd) in Wounds and can be used as often as you like. On a Long Rest, you will regain one Hit Die of HP per hour of sleep using the PREVIOUS DAY'S remaining Hit dice FIRST, then you start using that night's/day's Hit Dice to make up the difference. You must then Roll a Save versus CON (with ADVANTAGE if a Healer passes a Procifiency check and expends a use of the Healer's kit) to also heal 1 Wound per Hit Die used during that Long Rest. Please note that Hit Points come back regardless of the Saving Throw for Wound recovery. They basically represent a type of fatigue and pain that diminishes with time.

    We also limit the paladin to restoring ONE [of their] HIT DIE per Level between long rests when they lay on hands.
    I'm glad it works for you. But it's absolutely antithetical to my style. For a lot of reasons.
    1) I want to keep the current mechanics and make no mechanical changes. The point is to explain the mechanics in a coherent way at the world-building level, treating the mechanics as fact.

    2) Tons of extra crunch. That's horrible for my style. Lots of contingent rolls (do this if that, but only if the dice say XYZ).

    3) Extremely more restrictive. I like high-flying heroes who can take tons of damage and don't have long-term consequences. I don't want realism. Because fantastic things should be fantastic, and I'm more interested in exploring the "what if" than trying to model something real. Because I understand reality adequately; there's little there to surprise me in the way I want to be surprised. Trying to model reality is also incoherent (I've talked about this elsewhere)--the presence of magic means that we have to refactor everything. The surface may be similar, but the roots are different. And if we're doing that anyway, we might as well do it right.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    I've always found the lava submersion rules kind of funny too. You could be buried in lava, I suppose, if it fell on you?
    A lot of D&D operates by cartoon/Hollywood/comic book logic. Lava behaves like water, you can drown in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Personally, I'm totally fine with that. I'm absolutely fine with a world where higher-level people are just that durable. Where a barbarian can tank a dragon's breath on his bare chest and go "Is that all you've got? I've had candles hurt more!". Where no, that dagger to the throat isn't a substantial risk to a high-power person (PC or not), so assassins have to get creative.
    Oh, I am too. I'm totally fine with mid-level characters being superheroes and high level ones being demigods. I'm just saying, it's not really anything like the real world, just because real world people have survived high-powered gunshots.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2022-01-18 at 05:22 AM.
    "Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the sky."

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    A lot of D&D operates by cartoon/Hollywood/comic book logic. Lava behaves like water, you can drown in it.

    Oh, I am too. I'm totally fine with mid-level characters being superheroes and high level ones being demigods. I'm just saying, it's not really anything like the real world, just because real world people have survived high-powered gunshots.
    I think it's fine if a setting has it possible for people to be that durable.

    What bothers me is when we see people being that durable, AND we're told it's the real world or just like the real world.

    Both cannot be simultaneously true.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Oh, I am too. I'm totally fine with mid-level characters being superheroes and high level ones being demigods. I'm just saying, it's not really anything like the real world, just because real world people have survived high-powered gunshots.
    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I think it's fine if a setting has it possible for people to be that durable.

    What bothers me is when we see people being that durable, AND we're told it's the real world or just like the real world.

    Both cannot be simultaneously true.
    Agreed with both. One of the core goals of my setting is to make one that explicitly says "this is not the real world." And then try to figure out what that means. 99% of this never makes it in front of the players, but it's interesting for me, so it's worth it.

    --------

    I've been thinking about what has to change as far as medicine and first aid, as well as what role diseases and poisons/venoms/non-disease toxins would play. My initial thoughts (not scrubbed for quality yet)

    Diseases: Diseases that directly cause damage to tissue act more like poisons, except that they stay resident. As long as the frequency and damage is low enough, it mainly just causes pain and makes one more susceptible to other sources of damage (ie lower resilience). But the worse diseases are those that have a spiritual component--they can attack the body-nimbus connection. Things like preventing or hampering recovery (which in this world would be really bad).

    I haven't worked out exactly how infections would happen, but I'm leaning away from a microbe theory and toward a "bad air/vapors" theory. More to fit the generally "early medieval alchemist model" scientific aesthetic I've got going.

    Toxins: generally do prompt damage and go away. So creatures that rely on toxic bites to hunt need massive quantities of venom or need to have parts that attack the nimbus (creating conditions that aren't just pure physical damage). But this option does allow for toxins that can attack the spirit, which makes some of them usable on things that don't have conventional flesh. Mechanically, I'd model those as dealing necrotic damage, not poison damage.

    First Aid: Triage becomes very important, but fairly binary. If someone's still able to move around, they'll heal (at least if their spirit is intact). But people who are "downed" need prompt attention. Not just because they might die[1] in ~30 seconds, but because any trauma (such as broken bones) that aren't set right before they start to recover stay that way, and re-breaking the bone to set it is difficult. I think you'd get a lot more people who were lame or have non-working limbs due to this, since it would take KO'ing the person to fix it.

    Medicine generally. You'd not have as much focus on small issues, but pain management would be a big thing. Generally, having someone who can easily stabilize someone would be a major help--spare the dying would be a prime pick for priest-candidates[2]. Focus on dealing with disease and lasting conditions like that would be more prevalent than ambulatory trauma.

    Warfare: Casualties would tend to be more binary. Either you're dead/dying or you'll be (mostly) fine tomorrow. Or you're maimed.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    A lot of D&D operates by cartoon/Hollywood/comic book logic. Lava behaves like water, you can drown in it.
    Your meatahield is probably wearing steel armor, which has a density of 7.85 grams per cubic centimeter, compared to lava's 2.5 to 3.2 g/c^3

    Sources

    https://www.kloecknermetals.com/blog...ainless-steel/
    http://ruby.colorado.edu/~smyth/G101-4.html


    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Oh, I am too. I'm totally fine with mid-level characters being superheroes and high level ones being demigods
    More like they're going from substandard superheroes to proper superheroes. And honestly, even at level 20 your barbarian is probably still going to be closer to being Mister Furious than he is to being The Incredible Hulk
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2022-01-18 at 02:34 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A world where HP is meat

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Your meatahield is probably wearing steel armor, which has a density of 7.85 grams per cubic centimeter, compared to lava's 2.5 to 3.2 g/c^3

    Sources

    https://www.kloecknermetals.com/blog...ainless-steel/
    http://ruby.colorado.edu/~smyth/G101-4.html
    Note: you can't simply add densities. If the base person has a mass of ~100 kg (numbers chosen for ease) with a base density of 1.0 g/cm^3 and wearing 20kg of armor with a density of 8 g/cm^3, the total density is only 1.17 g/cm^3. Probably more realistically, the total density wearing armor is ~1.5 g/cm^3.

    Which is why I used the "wading through lava" numbers, because while you're not likely going to sink, you're also going to sink some.


    More like they're going from substandard superheroes to proper superheroes. And honestly, even at level 20 your barbarian is probably still going to be closer to being Mister Furious than he is to being The Incredible Hulk
    Correct. And I'm fine with that. Going from action hero (slightly tougher than regular joes, slightly better, but not much) to mid-grade superheroes. Settings shatter when you go too much higher, in my experience.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

Posting Permissions

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