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1 Lose an Eye.You have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost eye. If you have no eyes left after sustaining this injury, you're blinded.2 Lose an Arm or a Hand. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.3 Lose a Foot or Leg. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move unless you have a peg leg or other prosthesis. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.4 Limp. Your speed on foot is reduced by 5 feet. You must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw after using the Dash action. If you fail the save, you fall prone. Magical healing removes the limp.5-7 Internal Injury. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. The injury heals if you receive magical healing or if you spend ten days doing nothing but resting.8-10 Broken Ribs. This has the same effect as Internal Injury above, except that the save DC is 10.11-13 Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.14-16 Festering Wound. Your hit point maximum is reduced by 1 every 24 hours the wound persists. If your hit point maximum drops to 0, you die. The wound heals if you receive magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the wound and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After ten successes, the wound heals.17-20 Minor Scar. The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
I don't like that there's no relationship between *how* you lost your last hit points and the injury you receive, but that's pretty typical for how D&D rules tend to work, and it's probably functional enough most of the time.
I do like how it makes falling to 0 hp very scary (and consequential) but effectively relatively toothless if you have access to magical healing.
Does that answer your questions, or not yet?
Ok, right. Fate Core. I remember now: you enter a conflict, and then you can "take" hits to your stress track (basically hit points, except that they don't always add together), or take them as consequence. If you are unwilling or unable, you lose the conflict, instead.I like this approach, and I think it's good, but it's very "meta". We're dealing with positioning numbers on a sheet, balancing advantage against disadvantage, and so on. Here, I wanted to create something really different.
So, issues with D&D hit points:
It's not clear what they represent. Luck, physical toughness, fatigue, armour, etc, etc. Lots of overlapping concepts create the potential for misunderstanding. (Although that can be circumvented by a group that has a very disciplined approach, like your fairly clear stance that "no one gets hit until their hit points are depleted". Still, there are fuzzy areas - you're fighting a Giant Ooze in a right corridor, and you're going to tell me that bringing down its hit points does NOT mean it's getting hit?)
Not knowing what they represent means that rules for things like poisons and healing are generally inconsistent or, similarly, wildly abstract. (e.g. Why is a healing spell more effective on a weak character than a strong character?)
"To-hit" rolls do NOT actually help us figure out whether someone was hit or not. "Missing" can mean the person dodged; but so can losing some hit points. We just don't know!
Armor class, similarly, does not help us decide whether someone actually got hit or not. You can have a high AC because you're very agile, or because you're very sturdy, and they're handled the same way. Especially if you add them together, again, we get no help from the system in terms of imagining what's actually happening.
Finally, removing hit points may or may not mean you got hit, and we have no way to determine which.
Hit points can make some people "invincible" when they shouldn't be (e.g. assassinating the president). Sometimes we don't mind this and we roll with the punches; sometimes we have to make house rules or rulings to make things work out.
Hit points can make people extremely fragile when they shouldn't be. (You have 1 hit point left, and some punches you in the arm. Depending on the edition of D&D, this could leave you dead, unconscious or with a weird injury like "missing an eye".)
Now, I named this thread a "A Descriptive Damage Hack". What makes AW-based games somewhat interesting to a lot of people is that the rules make the description *really matter*. I wanted to bring the importance of the description happening at the table to the forefront with these rules.
(Would that be even better without hit points at all? Definitely, and I've developed rules along those lines before, like hereHERE. But in this case I was curious if I could accomplish anything while *retaining hit points*, just as a design challenge.)
Hit points under this hack are VERY obviously not representative of anything - they are purely abstract, and there is nothing about the ruleset which implies otherwise. There's no chance for misunderstanding or disagreement: the rules never put us in a position where that's an issue (e.g. the assassination of the president).
This solves some other issues, like not knowing whether someone was hurt or not or what kind of damage has been dealt.
We have no issues with things like Armor Class - again, we always know if someone's been hit, so that whole conundrum is no issue.
In this hack, the way hit points interact with the harm move apply equally to an incredibly wide range of effects and situations. We can effortlessly use them for poisons, mind control, curses, maybe even disease, grappling, attempts to kill, attempts to knock out, spells which make you go insane, and so on. This is very appealing to me; this kind of flexibility allows us to venture boldly into all kinds of game territory with great ease.
The detail of narration not only *matters* a great deal, but the system is dependent on it. For instance, if I get hit in a fight, I literally *cannot* proceed until I have some idea of what actually happened.
In D&D it's sufficient to say, "you got hit, take off 5 hit points". In this game, we can't do that. I have no idea how many hit points to spend or which options to choose until I hear a description of what happened. The narration here is vitally important, and can't be skipped, even accidentally! We need those details; the game thrives on them.
My original idea which would be more in line with 5e default would be to make puncture saves an on-hit trigger. So each hit threatened the player and had a chance to harm the space suit.
But put him in a spacesuit, and suddenly he gets hit every time there's a successful attack roll! Even just one successful attack and I could totally ruin his day...
In hack -- roll defy danger+dex. Then roll resist harm+4. Then roll recover harm+41. Rote, "sheet first" play. No teeth.2. Slow -- Many rolls for one blow3. GM whim rules. Why is leg numb? Why not shoulder? Why not tongue?4. Too action hero, ignoring wounds
But back to the main story, about the hack:How is the mechanic helping?It's not filling a purpose, it seems.If the resist/recover rolls are impactful, why even bother with things like axe vs mace, it's all leading to the same mechanic anyway?And if the mechanic is not impactful, why even have it? If it's all SIS based anyway? The ogre chop you, you're chopped. The ogre smashes you, you're smashed.Or if it's a mix, how is the mix not weird? "The chopped arm works for now. Later, it falls off."
Ok, so what I'm wondering at this point is what it adds over the crocodile situation.