Sunday, November 24, 2013

Death and Dismemberment

So what happens when your old-school dungeon explorer reaches 0 Hit Points? Instant death never really sat well with me, and the oh-so-very-common house rule about bleeding out until you hit -10 (or whatever) is so damn boring.

That means it's time for the wild and unpredictable world of Death & Dismemberment Charts!

Adventurer Conqueror King has a really swell chart for death and dying, but it's a tad too complex and involved for what I want to do with my Labyrinth Lord campaign. A few years back, Trollsmyth posted a nice little chart for death and critical wounds. What I've done here is take bits of both and mooshed them all together with a couple of my own ideas.

These ladies had to make some rolls.
The basic idea is that reaching 0HP is bad but not necessarily deadly, at least not instantly. Even if you survive, you'll probably wind up battered and scarred. If you wind up too crippled or maimed, you might think about retiring your character and becoming the patron of a worthy protegee (replacement PC). Rook's Landing is full of people like this.

I'm eager to see how these rules work out, once I start my Abaddon campaign.

Death & Dismemberment

Blogger does funny things to tables. You can read these rules as a Google Doc if it's easier.

These rules are mostly intended for PCs, but important or powerful NPCs might use them, too.

There are no negative Hit Points.
When brought to 0HP, roll on this table. (2d6 and 1d4)
Each subsequent roll while still at 0HP gives a -1 penalty to the 2d6

Instant Death
Heart punctured or ruptured
Brain destroyed
Torso rent in half
Fatal Wound
Guts spilled onto ground.
Jaw ripped off
Back shattered
Lungs  crushed
Critical Wound
Brain Damage
(-1d4 INT)

Arm severed or crushed
Crushed or pierced lungs
(-1d4 Con)
Leg severed or crushed
Serious Wounds
Lose an eye.
(-1 to ranged attacks)
Badly scarred
(-1d4 CHA)
Bad Back
(-1 Stone carrying capacity)
Damaged Joints
(Go last  on your side’s initiative)
Light Wounds
1d6 teeth knocked out
1d3 fingers lost
Cosmetic scarring
Noticeable limp
I’ve had Worse
KO’d for 2d6 rounds
KO’d for 1d6 rounds
Stunned for  2d4 rounds
Stunned for 1d4 rounds
Ain’t got Time to Bleed
Still holding on. You bounce back with 1 hp
Not as bad as it looks. You still have 1d4 hp + CON bonus
Adrenaline Surge! 1d4 hp per level. After combat you return to  0hp and pass out for 2d6 turns.
Avenging Angel!
Visions of Death empower you. You will die in 2d6 rounds, but for now you are up, awake, and have  +2 to hit and damage.

Fatal Wound
Down. Save vs. Death -3 or KO’d.
Will die in 1d6 rounds unless Wish or Heal is applied.
Require 1d4 months of bed rest.

Critical Wounds
Save vs Death -2 or KO’d.
Will die in 2d6 rounds unless healing magic or first aid is applied (1-in-8 plus WIS mod)
Spells used for this will not restore lost hp.
Require 2d4 weeks bed rest

Serious Wounds
Save vs Death -1 or KO’d
WIll die in 3d6 rounds unless healing magic or first aid is applied (1-in-6 plus WIS mod)
Spells used for this will not restore lost hp.
Require 1d4 weeks bed rest

Light Wounds
Save vs Death or KO’d
Will die in 4d6 rounds unless healing magic or first aid is applied (no roll needed)
Requires 1d8 days bed rest

Even if they remain conscious,a character suffering from these wounds is helpless and can take no action until they recover from bedrest.