Wednesday 29 June 2011

The Character's Hit Points

My current game goes with the idea that the hit points of player characters and other beings with character levels represent some intangible essence that keeps them safe from serious harm until they fall to zero. Thereafter, a table of serious injuries applies. I have the severity determined by what fraction of the character's Constitution score they take below zero, though for simplicity's sake boundaries at -3 and -6 might also work, or even a die roll modified by the negative damage for real uncertainty.

Here's the table in one page rules format. In play we had some questions about how zero-level NPCs use this chart, so I created a "monster" result for them and monsters. Yep, monsters are going to be somewhat harder to kill now, though they'll at least have the grace to remain stunned for a while. Monsters without the appropriate body part will still be stunned.

click for full size
The one remaining question is what hit points mean under this system ... which I'll happily defer till next post.


  1. Nice chart. I like the idea of serious consequences like missing limbs or eyes for falling below 0 HP and figure it's a suitably permanent consequence that's not quite as far gone as character death.

  2. I've just worked around to almost exactly the same system. But I'm considering using HP (now "luck points") for all sorts of other stuff too - powering spells, heroic acts... a resource to be managed.

  3. This is very nice & fits well with the idea of the "horrible stuff" roll we use in my game ... I'll have to make a write-up of it at some point, but I *just* might nab some of your ideas! :)

    Also, a very nice visual!