Thoughts on Damage.

This is not intended as a replacement for the main Conan OGL damage system. It is, instead, a kind of "anti-mook" rule, intended to give PCs and important NPCs both a little more durability, and a more interesting pallette of responses to taking serious damage than "I fall down, go Boom!".

I should emphasize that these rules are intended only to be used in the case of Characters where you care whether they took a nasty cut on the leg, taking weeks to heal, lost an eye, got their hand cut in two and crippled or got their head bashed in. If you aren't planning to bring the character back after the fight, you should just use HP and Massive Damage as normal and leave these rules alone.

The core rules are adapted from Bastion Press' Torn Asunder, which is an excellent resource for anyone thinking of using this system.

The basic concept is that: for Important characters, Hit Points are not any reflection of the "true physical reflection of a creature's health." Instead, they are solely and only the ability of a heroic fighter, by luck or skill, to turn what would be notable damage into an ingnorable bruise, slight cut, nick or near miss. As a consequence, characters using this system who fall to 0 hp or below, or who fail a Massive Damage save, are not Disabled or Dying, but instead take a Wound.

Character's intended to use this system have a base Massive Damage number of 20 + their base Hit Dice over 1, and a new statistic - Wound Tolerance, which is equal to their CON score + their base Fortitude Save + their base Hit Dice over 1. Additionally, 2 subscores are calculated: a Moderate Wound Score of 1/3 their Wound Tolerance (FRU), and a Serious Wound Score of 2/3 their Wound Tolerance (FRU).

For example a human Barbarian 6, with Con 16 would have:
Hit Dice - 6d10+18, Fort Save +8, base Fort Save +5, Average HP 56, Massive Damage 20, and Wound Tolerance 21. His Moderate Wound would be 7, and his Serious Wound 14.

Another Example: a 5th level Werehyena Nomad with Con in human form 14, and in Hyena form 18, would have.
Hit Dice 5d10+10+3d8+12, Fort Save +11/+13, Base Fort save +9, Average HP 67, Massive Damage 20/22, and Wound Tolerance 23/27. In Human Form, his Moderate Wound is 8, and his Serious Wound 16. In Hyena form his Moderate Wound is 9, and his Serious Wound is 18.

Using these rules a character suffers a Wound whenever his HP are reduced below 0, or whenever he fails a Massive Damage save. He then compares the amount of damage that exceeded his HP, if he went below 0 HP, or the base weapon damage plus strength bonus minus DR normally applied, if any to his Wound Tolerance score.

If the amount of damage taken is Zero or less (perhaps due to Armor or other DR), then no Wound is taken. The Character lucked out.

If the amount of damage taken is Greater Than Zero, but Less Than his Moderate Wound Score, then the character takes a Mild Wound. He rolls on the Hit Location Chart, below, or located in Torn Asunder, and applies the "Mild Wound" result.

If the amount of damage taken is Equal to or Greater Than his Moderate Wound Score, but Less Than his Serious Wound Score, then the character takes a Moderate Wound. He rolls on the Hit Location Chart, below, or located in Torn Asunder, and applies the "Moderate Wound" result.

If the amount of damage taken is Equal to or Greater Than his Serious Wound Score, but Less Than his Wound Tolerance, then the character takes a Serious Wound. He rolls on the Hit Location Chart, below, or located in Torn Asunder, and applies the "Serious Wound" result.

If the amount of damage taken is Equal to or Greater Than his Wound Tolerance, then the character takes a Serious Wound, and in addition is Disabled, and must roll for Stabilisation or become Dying. He rolls on the Hit Location Chart, below, or located in Torn Asunder, and applies the "Serious Wound" result, he also immediately loses any HP he had remaining, and drops and falls semi-conscious unless he has a feat or ability that overrides this result. If the character does have such an abilty, such as Ferocity or Unconquerable he may act as the abilty allows, but must roll for stabilisation after each further loss of HP, no matter how great, and becomes Dying whenever he fails his save.

The Hit Location Table for Basic Humanoids:
(On 1d8)
1 = Right Leg
2 = Left Leg
3 = Right Arm
4 = Left Arm
5 = Torso
6 = Torso
7 = Head
8 = GM's Choice or Roll again, or Two Locations.

(Note that the GM may and must overrule the chart if an impossible result occurs.)

Wound Results: (The results tables in Torn Asunder are far more complete.)

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For Arms and Legs, a Mild wound levies a penalty of -2 to Certain skills: Balance, Climb, Jump, Tumble and Move Silently for Legs; Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Forgery, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand and Use Rope for arms.

A Moderate Wound levies a penalty of -8 to the above skills, and in addition reduces speed by one half if to a leg, and the wounded character must make a DC17 Fort Save or fall down every round he attempts to move without a crutch or other brace; or, if to an arm, must a make a DC17 Fort Save every round he attempts to manipulate something with the arm, or take any strenuous action involving the arm or fail the action, and drop anything that hand was holding.

A Serious wound levies penalties of -8 to the above skills, and in addition renders the limb useless for all purposes, requiring a DC 20 Fort Save to avoid going into Shock and becoming Disabled, with the requisite stability roll involved.

A Mild wound caused by Bludgeoning damage implies deep bruising and cracked bones, a Moderate wound implies at least one clean fracture, and a Serious wound implies multiple broken or crushed bones.

A Mild wound caused by Piercing damage implies a deep stab, a Moderate wound implies full impalement and some muscle, nerve or ligament damage, and a Serious wound implies both impalement and significant damage done while the weapon was in the wound.

A Mild wound caused by Slashing damage implies injured muscle, a Moderate wound implies damage to a joint or ligament, or total severance of a muscle, and a Serious wound implies a severed limb.

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For the Torso, a Mild wound levies a penalty of -1 to Attacks and certain skills: Balance, Climb, Jump, Tumble, Escape Artist, Ride, Swim and Move Silently.

A Moderate Wound levies a penalty of -5 to Attacks and the above skills, and in addition reduces speed by one half, and requires a DC 20 Fort Save to avoid going into Shock and becoming Disabled, with the requisite stability roll involved.

A Serious wound to the Torso renders the wounded character Disabled immediately, without a Save.

A Mild wound caused by Bludgeoning damage implies deep bruising and cracked ribs, a Moderate wound implies several broken ribs, or damage to the spine, and a Serious wound implies a crushed ribcage or broken vertebra.

A Mild wound caused by Piercing damage implies a stab to the chest or gut, a Moderate wound implies full impalement and some organ damage, and a Serious wound implies both impalement and significant damage done to vital organs.

A Mild wound caused by Slashing damage implies injured muscle, a Moderate wound implies a deep slash that leaves open ribs visible, and a Serious wound implies disembowlment, or similar damage.

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For the Head, a Mild wound levies a penalty of -2 to certain skills: Balance and Listen.

A Moderate Wound caused by Bludgeoning Damage crushes the victim's Jaw, rendering him mute. A Moderate Piercing or Slashing wound causes Eye damage, levying a penalty of -4 to all ranged Attacks, Search checks and Spot checks. Any Moderate wound requires, in addition, a DC 20 Fort Save to avoid going into Shock and becoming Disabled, with the requisite stability roll involved.

A Serious wound to the Head renders the wounded character Disabled immediately, without a Save.

A Mild wound caused by Bludgeoning damage implies deep bruising and possibly concussion, a Moderate wound implies a broken jaw, and a Serious wound implies a crushed skull or broken neck.

A Mild wound caused by Piercing damage implies a stab to the scalp or cheek, a Moderate wound implies a punctured eye cavity, and a Serious wound implies both impalement and significant damage done to vital organs.

A Mild wound caused by Slashing damage implies injured muscle in the cheek or jaw, or a bleeding scalp wound, a Moderate wound implies a deep slash across eye and cheek, and a Serious wound implies a deep wound to the skull, or a severed throat.

(Bleah. That was alot of typing. Seriously, folks, Torn Asunder is kind of a must if you're contemplating this kind of thing.)

Here endeth the post. Next Prog: healing the Wounds you just took.
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
:)

Speaker, I have a fair amount of respect for your talents (such as you've displayed on these boards) and for the amount of work and thought you put into these alternate rules and other ideas. But at some point – and for me that point is now – it's time to say that you're better off just making your own game product rather than posting your work in a public forum dedicated to somebody else's game product. The gigantic posts you make would be better suited to an article in a magazine or as part of a sourcebook.

Come on, dude, we're still arguing about the applications of the rules presented in Mongoose's excellent, if flawed, Conan game. House rules are often a handy thing, IMHO, but your extensive rules overlays muddy the waters.

No offense meant, though. You turn out a lot of good work fairly quickly, and it seems you care about flavor as well as technical matters. You and Iron_Chef should get together and play golf sometime...
 
I think this kind of approach is too complex and long winded to work. It can seem very complete when written out, but in a game it would slow down things enormously to almost no benefit.

Normally the *problem* in combat is that high level characters can effectively ignore mooks, if that is not possible in Conan then I consider that a major feature!

I think you could achieve something just as interesting and far more simply by saying that every time a massive damage check is failed a PC recieves a nasty wound (cue descriptive effects), or if you really want to use a descriptive wound system use the "damage saving throw" variant from Unearthed Arcana/Mutants and Masterminds.
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
Hi Speaker-to-Dreamworlds, I've been looking at adopting a form of critical hit system, like Bastion Press' Torn Asunder, for my own campaign. I think I won't introduce it at once though, as I want to feel out the RAW first.

I will definitely try to adopt a simpler system than what you have outlined, probably just attach something on top of the crit RAW. I.e. simply roll on a chart for critical hit location and cross-reference that with your damage multiplier and type of weapon (slashing, bludgeoning, or piercing) and use this to describe the crit, along with the lasting effects of it. However, I will first see if there's a real need for system like this.

As an alternative I might just roll for a detailed critical each time someone fails a massive damage save. This will probably be much simpler and less to keep track of during combat, as the effects of the injury won't come into play until after the combat.

I can appreciate the rules you've designed, and hope you enjoy them. I just need some time with the RAW before I add to much to the game. :)

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
I for one was impressed with Speaker's knowledge and his ability to translate that into game rules. He made my new weapons thread so much better; many wonderful people contributed, but his contributions were the most extensive with the most detailed and well-reasoned arguments. I hope he hasn't been driven off the boards by the cold reception his sweeping change proposals have received. I do think that he may have caught offguard and consequently overwhelmed many boardmembers with his rapid-fire posts proposing extensive changes to the Conan armor/damage mechanics. I was overwhelmed myself! I'm not in favor (at least at this point) with making Conan combat much more complicated than tossing in a simple two page critical hit/fumble table
( http://dndadventure.com/ftp/critical_hit_table_2e.zip ).

I am interested in hearing Speaker's helmet ideas, as Conan's rules on them are possibly too simplistic.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
I tend to concur, Chef. I think Speaker's obviously knowledgeable in the area of melee weaponry, and many of his ideas mesh well with my own. However, I'd like to run with the rules as written for a while, then slowly adjust them until they fit what I desire.

His armor rules are very similar to my own, though. Just before Conan was released, I was working on a replacement armor system for my Hyborian campaign, and it's eerily similar to Speaker's.
 
If the truth be told, I'm really just trying to work out the consequences for myself by putting them down somewhere. Playtest over IP, you could say. I don't have a group just at the moment, y'see.

It would be more helpful, tho, if people could make some more substantial comments than "looks hard"....
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think it looks ok but if torn usunder is kind of a must why not just use that?
I've got a couple of questions/feed back with what you posted.

"If the amount of damage taken is Zero or less (perhaps due to Armor or other DR), then no Wound is taken. The Character lucked out."
But surely if the character took no HP damage there wouldn't be a question of wounds?

Do wounds of the same level stack together to create a larger wound. ah la Shadowrun for example?
How do I kill someone if I'm not using a big weapon or have a high ST bonus. With the barbarian example if I have no ST bonus and stab him with a poniard the best I can achieve is a Mild wound and even if I criticale d I could only achieve a moderate wound.
I think there probably should be some attack penalty when your arms and legs are wounded and did you mean to have the same penalty for both moderate and serious wounds on these locations?
Wounds to the head could possibly call for FORT saves to avoid being stunned.
It really doesn't look like that much extra work and can leave a nasty reminder of the fight for a character which I quite like.
 
Well, as to the first question: two reasons. First, not everyone has Torn Asunder, and its rules are optimised for vanilla 3.0/3.5 D&D anyway, so some changes are appropriate. Second, because Torn Asunder for all its grooviness, still involves several tables, and I'm trying to cut them diwn toi just one. Something I can memorise, y'know.

"If the amount of damage taken is Zero or less (perhaps due to Armor or other DR), then no Wound is taken. The Character lucked out."
But surely if the character took no HP damage there wouldn't be a question of wounds?

Okay, I guess I didn't make that perfectly clear, did I? An example would help too, but I'm still writing that up.

What causes you to take a Wound check:

1) You take HP damage past 0 HP. The damage you took is applied directly to the check. There will always be a wound of some sort, in this case, obviously.

2) You fail a Massive Damage save. You roll the weapon's base damage again. You then subtract armor from that damage per the usual rules. If you made a sucsseful Finesse attack to cause the MD check, then armor wouldn't count; if your AP beat his DR then the armor counts half, etc. You also add your STR bonus, your Specialation feat, etc. Basically, everything except Critical Hit bonus damage, Sneak Attack damage and things like that. Obviously, sometimes this will result in your actually not doing any damage, in which case you take no Wound. You still take the HP damage that triggered the MD check in the first place.

The rationale is: for characters who use this system (which, again is not intended for everybody), not making a Wound check indicates that the damage didn't actually hurt you i.e. in normal usage, if an arrow, say, does a critical hit and does 20 points of damage it would be assumed that you've now got an arrow actually stuck in you, yes? In this system, you've only got an arrow stuck in you if you make a Wound check and take an actual Wound. If you don't take a wound, it was just a near miss. A really nasty near miss, considering it caused you to take a MD save, but a near miss. A graze. A flesh wound. It whichked right past your eye. Whatever. You don't have an arrow actually stuck in you, and the GM doesn't have to come up with reasons why having an arrow stuck in you isn't, y'know, bothersome, like.

If you do have an arrow stuck in you, then you have taken at least a Mild wound, and you have the penalties appropriate to that.

So, to recap: until you fail a MD save or run out of HP, no damage effect actually did more than graze you or give you a mild bruise. Whenever you fail an MD check, it means that despite your great skill at hairbreadth escapes, this time an attack got through and actually scored deeply: you are now hurt. And if you run out of HP, it means that you are out of luck and out of time, and all further attacks will now get through. Capiche?

And the reason that you can take no actual damage from a wound check is that sometimes the arrow hits, but sticks in you armor. And in that case you don't actually get hurt by it.

As for stacking, and high fort save characters being hard to hurt ... yeah. The thing is - once their HP go to zero you apply whatever damage you actually did to their HP: so critcals appy at that point. And yes, a certain number of wounds should raise the gain to the next level, so to speak.

I'm still considering whether or not to keep adding the base Fort save bonus, if the truth be told. On the one hand it is ucky to calculate, and it does have some difficulties at higher levels, but on the other hand it feels right, to me at least, that higher level characters should be able to take harder knocks.

That's why this is a work in progress, after all.

Oh, yeah: per your last question I did put down that Medium wounds to head or torso require a Fort save vs. 20 to avoid becoming Disabled from shock. Serious wounds to those areas Disable you without save.

HETP, and such.
 
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