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Variant Rule for HP by Location

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Is there a variant / house rule for hit point by location, where instead of tracking HP by location, you just have a pool of HP but different combat maneuvers and other situations have special effects that affect body parts?

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Yes, there is. It is called "the basic rules" :) If you check the rules on page 106 and 107, you will see that there are several cases in which you may aim at a specific location, or define a specific location as having suffered a wound, even when you use non-localised damage as the default. The rules allow you to use hit locations as much as you like. You may even use non-localised for mooks and localised for major characters, the game will still work smoothly. There are two or three different ways of using "Aimed Blow" when using non-localised damage, emulating the "search for the weak spot" without having to keep track of location damage.

There are two important points that may not beĀ  immediately evident from the rules as written and did not fit in the sidebars for reasons of space:

1. RD100 does NOT use the classic approach of BRP where you either have mandatory locations (as in RQ and Mythras) or you have major wounds (as in OpenQuest or Stormbringer). The suggested approach is much more similar to the one used in GURPS, which, in my opinion, with all due respect for good ol' Steve Perrin and his intuition that using a locational damage system feels more realistic, works better. This means that locations are a "tag" applied to the wounds, not a separate entity you have to keep track. Even in the published stat blocks, the detail about the locations is there more to describe armour, not Toughness: toughness is always -1 for legs/head, -2 for arms.

2. Although stats are organised to look like "nothing has changed" to avoid cultural shocks, Revolution D100 actually does not use hit points. There is no "pool" of points that you consume because of attrition, but a threshold beyond which you are actually wounded. Below the threshold, no book-keeping: just lose temporary Strike Rank for the pain, but nothing else. Once you are wounded, you mark the wound, not the hit points you have left: you may even have a 0-point wound. All figures are similar enough that you can easily swap the stat blocks between RD100 and other BRP-based games, but the system works very differently.

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