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Introducing... wound threshold: a change in major wound.


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Now... I'm all for grittiness, blood, gore and painful combat. Certainly, its one of the reasons I so much enjoyed MERP, Rolemaster (RMSS) and HARP. Penalties, bleeding, stunning blows to the face. Yes. I like.

Now. BRP has all this, more or less, but I would actually say its a lot "worse"; meaning more deadly and mean...

During the first session I tested BRP I quickly decided to use Total HP. After hit with a cutlass over the face one of my players (would've been unconscious had I read the wound rules properly prior to the session, luckily for them I hadn't) was close to death at 1 HP and a slash over the nose... a pretty face no more.

So I decided, still not having read the wound section properly to introduce total hp, effectively doubling hit points in the group. After the addition of some new players I decided to base the Major Wound threshold on 1/4 of the total HP, so to make scarring and penalties still prevalent, yet not killing people too quickly. (One of them has insanely high HP due to some mutations.. effectively barring most attacks from causing major wounds - fair enough, but he should still scarr and bleed and potentially become an ugly faced warrior too, without having to lose 20 HPs(!) in the process).

So now the other day, while addressing the issues coming up next session and preparing the long journey into the forbidding Torum mountains towards White Peak Keep (oh cliché of clichés), I decided to set some angry and hungry bears upon them. So when looking up stats and deciding upon the "battle ground" where the fight will happen, during night, I decided to look up the wound rules (can't think of why exactly)... suddenly I realise I've been doing it "all wrong"... meaning, I have done it more like a standard fantasy game, with a little bit of "gritty", but not nearly enough according the rules... so I want a bit of this grittiness, it makes my insides all happy to think of the faces my players will make as their characters drop from shock... without no resistance roll or anything, the joy! >:>

Still, I want to differentiate between the Major Wound category, and the Major Wound table. If that makes sense to ya'll.

So my idea is this.

Introducing Wound Threshold at 1/4 total hp. When damage equals or exceeds this, roll on the major wound table, now perhaps dubbed the "critical table" ? (include the accompanying luck roll for permanency of loss), but ignore rules for shock and the like.

If the character receives minor wounds equal to or exceeding his Major Wound number, of HALF hit total HP, he rolls as BGB says about minor wounds equalling a major wound.

If the character has received a Wound Threshold (1/4) + enough minor wounds to equal a major wound, or just two wound thresholds (which would be at least 1/2 total HP) follow the Major Wound rules for shock and unconsciousness.

Does this make sense? and does it make for gritty, yet heroic, adventuring fun you think? I know it might be complicating matters to a degree that many don't like, but I don't consider that to be an issue really, I like it complicated, it makes it more fun ;D (my players don't really care much, as long as I update them and keep track of the rules, and as long as the rules are fair --> goes both ways [or in their favour... this seems to be "fair" to them sometimes]).

Thoughts? Insight? Suggestions or the like?

Next installment might be on my notion of a more "granular" difficulty system:

"No more boring "Easy, Normal and Difficult"!!! Lets make it more complicated, use our brains and turn heads as we introduce new levels of difficulty, for those situations where a doubling or halving of a skill is just not enough! Introducing additional levels of difficulties: Simple (x1 1/2 skill)! Hard (3/4 skill%)! And VERY difficult (1/4 skill%)!!"

Rated: PG.

Edited by Jegergryte

"What about the future...? We only hope, we cannot however account for the minutiae of the quanta, as all accidents in an infinite space are inevitable."

Jegergrytes Creative Cubicle

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That sounds good.

The option that I've used is to use Hit Locations. Rather than use Location Hit Points, the value becomes the Major Wound value for that location. If the character receives a single wound of that value or higher (after armor), Bad Things happen (CON rolls, unconsciousness, falling down, etc.). Easier than tracking individual location points along with Total HP, but still introducing bad things for larger single wounds. Players (and major NPCs!) can be essentially taken out of the fight without killing them.

I also use a tiered system for opponents. Mooks use standard HP ((CON + SIZ)/2), and can only really take a single Major Wound hit under the above rules. Sergents can make Con rolls, etc, like a normal character, but still use Standard HP. PCs and Major NPCs use the Heroic HP (CON + SIZ).



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Sounds like 7th Sea :) Yes, I have the same notion going on, and I like your solution, I think I will steal.

NPCs only used for random or "stalling-"encounters are easily or more easily "offed" than those that matter. So I have mainly gone with a division into two. Encounters that I've planned and are needed for the story arc to progress and set the tone and mood are "main-NPCs" that are hard or semi-hard (similar to your sergeants, but until now I haven't used those rules, now I think I will), while encounters triggered through other means by the players themselves and their more or less ingenious ways of going about the world are often (CON+SIZ)/2. Main villains and character the players might end up in conflict with through stupidity and rashness are going to be treated like PCs in that matter.

Thanks for a nice solution to unforeseen potential troubles.

One question, the way you do the mooks are still "stronger" than the lesser foes, or brutes or whatever they're called, in Dragon Lines yes?

"What about the future...? We only hope, we cannot however account for the minutiae of the quanta, as all accidents in an infinite space are inevitable."

Jegergrytes Creative Cubicle

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For years I've been using the Location HP as a 'wound threshold' rather than a declining pool of HP. It saves alot of book keeping, and sounds similar to SDLeary's idea. If I remember that a character has been wounded in the same Hit Location previously during that combat scene, I ask the character to make a Stamina Roll, with failure indicating that this 'wound threshold' is half their usual HP for that location during that scene.

I have been using the AH RQ3 rules for the outcome once the threshold is reached, so that's CON rolls etc depending upon the location.

It means the player-characters tend to lose limbs much less than the rules would otherwise indicate, although its still quite easy to be temporarily disabled in combat, and combat is still quite a dangerous affair.

I have had a 'Mook' rules kicking about for a few years as well, which I throw in when I want the combat to be a bit more pulpy. The 'mooks' have the same Total HP, but their Location HP are half the usual value. They don't get killed any easier, but they sure can be disabled much quicker in a fight, which is my intention.

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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