Friday, August 16, 2013

Hit points are for reeling...

As I prepare the last chapter of the Palantir Commission campaign, I am prepping for some extent of high heroics in some dark places. I don't want to loose the gritty touch and the Tolkien feel. This means that heroes in Middle-Earth should be able to shrug off damage without resorting to healing magic and six packs of potions sold by the alchemical ACME company: it just doesn't work with this world.

Wounds are what tracks medium-term character conditions

I see HP as a way to gauge how hard you ought to get hit before it cause long term harm. Buff warrior can take a hit and without flailing, little ones can't. The medium-term effect of a battle is in my opinion the sustained wounds.

HPs are good to track short term conditions

I want to look at HP as "flesh fatigue": a countdown to reeling and the point where a character needs to roll against HT to stay up. For this reason, I decided to buff the first-aid skill as follow:

  • First-aid can be initially delivered to control bleeding and in the process grant up to Margin of Success or 4 (1d6-2 as per TL4 as  per Basic Set), whichever is the smallest. A success by 0 means simply that blooding is under control. This step requires 30 seconds. 
  • After 30 minutes (TL4 delay as per Basic Set). Another First-aid check can be made if the conditions are right, granting again the least of MoS or 4 HP. This step requires clean bandages, splints, balms, and time.
  • Daily healing rates are raised to 2 HT checks per day or rest, 4 for Hobbits. First-aid can only recover freshly lost HPs, not these from previously tended injuries.

This means that as much as 8 HP can be regained within 30 minutes of a wound, assuming a very skilled First-aid deliverer. These recovered HP are, however, not going to negate wounds until all outstanding HPs are recovered. Cripplings are treated normally. I anticipate that wounds will accumulate and force the character out of danger to recover for a few days every now and again.

Addendum, with Nirodel the elf joining the campaign, there will be a bit of healing magic in the commission. 

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