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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Using Injuries and Wounds

Durability is handled very differently across the vast array of RPGs. Some use hit points or health, some use stamina or chi, and other simply layer on drawbacks or consequences. If your system of choice is one that represents durability with health or hit points, might I suggest occasionally adding an injury or wound instead?

Dungeon World has this type of mechanic, where players can choose for their characters to sustain an injury rather than lose health points. I'm a fan of that concept, and thought I'd share some of my own ideas here for implementing that in the d20 system.

Injures and Wounds

  • Fractured arm makes it difficult to hold items or cast spells (-2 attack, worth 10 hp)
  • Fractured leg makes walking or running difficult (base speed -10 ft., worth 10 hp)
  • Fractured ribs make it hard to do anything (-2 Str and Dex penalty, worth 10 hp)
  • Mild head trauma impedes focus (-1 attacks, skills, saves, and ability checks, worth 15 hp)
  • Broken arm cannot hold weapons or shields or cast spells (arm cannot be used in actions, worth 30 hp)
  • Broken leg cannot support weight (base speed = 5 ft., worth 30 hp)
  • Broken ribs impede nearly all actions (-6 Str and Dex penalty, worth 30 hp)
  • Severe head trauma halves capability (take either a move or a standard action each round, worth 50 hp)

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