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3/16/2014 3:45 am  #1


Alternative to Lifeblood

A friend of mine doesn't like 'hit points' as a method of recording damage on a character, so I've come up with an alternative, feedback welcome.

If we look at melee weapons all weapons damages are 1 to 6  plus Strength

So for all starting characters their damage range is 0 to 9

If we gave characters a 'toughness' of 3 plus Strength then toughness for all starting characters would be 2 to 6.

If you hit and damage rolled (as normal) is above their toughness they receive a permanent penalty 'wound' dice, if damage is below toughness then they receive a temporary penalty 'distracted' dice (used once then disappears).

Wound penalty dice should be a different colour, if snake eyes come up on wound dice, the character is 'dying'.

Thoughts?

 

3/16/2014 6:24 am  #2


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

I like it. How would you see armour and shields working? I'd like to think something more interesting than simply adding to "toughness"... 

 

3/16/2014 6:47 am  #3


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

Thinking about it, you might have to simplify armour further - maybe light and heavy only.

You could perhaps ignore the temporary ("distracted") penalty if any armour is being worn at all.

Or, make the distracted penalty last three rolls if unarmoured, two rolls if lightly armoured and just for the next roll if heavily armoured.



 

 

3/16/2014 10:12 am  #4


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

I was initially thinking that it would be a modifier, however I like your alternatives!

     Thread Starter
 

3/16/2014 10:13 am  #5


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

I cross posted on G+, heres some concerns with my comments:

I have only posted my first thoughts with the main idea to be developed, so to answer your concerns:

This method won't work well with creatures that have more than one damage die.
Creatures with more than one damage dice would keep those multiple dice, they would inflict a wound dice for every multiple of toughness.

And what will you do with arcane power since this has to be kept track of too.
I have no issue with Arcane Power.

Another point why use a penalty die if damage isn't high enough? Why bringing this in? If you lose one point of lifeblood you won't get a penalty either.
and
I don't see the necessity in this. The stats are so low that it isn't hard to bookeep. It's not like throwing numbers in the hundreds or so.
It's not about booking keeping, it's the fact that from their full Lifeblood down to 1 Lifeblood there is consequence to the character.

And the character only dies if he takes an action. What if a player with 6 wound dice won't do anything, that means he won't die either...
What's the problem with this, dice rolls are only called for when something dramatic happens, if he's not under pressure / resting then he could be considered as being 'stable'. If he has to walk a mile with 6 wound dice, then that is dramatic and would require a roll.

btw, I realise that this won't suit everyone's play, if you like hit points, then stick with them!

     Thread Starter
 

3/16/2014 6:36 pm  #6


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

I always endorse tinkering as it is what brings about new ideas and eventually new games. I am going to disagree with your thought pattern here not based on system mechanics but rather based on genre. The "death spiral" of wound penalties is not suited to swords and sorcery where badly injured hero`s commonly ignore their wounds and press on to be victorious. I think this would be well suited in a gritty dogs of war setting though  (happy)


Coins, cleavage, and carnage...the three C's of Swords & Sorcery.
 

3/17/2014 3:01 am  #7


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

Nox wrote:

I always endorse tinkering as it is what brings about new ideas and eventually new games. I am going to disagree with your thought pattern here not based on system mechanics but rather based on genre. The "death spiral" of wound penalties is not suited to swords and sorcery where badly injured hero`s commonly ignore their wounds and press on to be victorious. I think this would be well suited in a gritty dogs of war setting though (happy)

Agreed, specially the first. I play Ars Magica regularly, that uses a death spiral mechanic and it is extremely dangerous (also becuase recovery can be extremely lethal ith gangrene and all that). While cool, that mechanic does not meet the standards of S&S at all.

You can always use a system of consequences. When you lise a combat round you accumulate a consequence. When consenquences are equal or higher than your main characteristic (use strength for combat), you are knocked out/lose the engagement. Or something like that.

Xavi

 

3/17/2014 7:20 am  #8


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

Nox wrote:

I think this would be well suited in a gritty dogs of war setting though  (happy)

 
Which is exactly what it's being used for!

I dont expect everyone to like it, nor use it there games. I'm just after feedback on the mechanics for those that might.

     Thread Starter
 

3/17/2014 7:23 am  #9


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

Savage Worlds is often cited as a good 'Conan system' and it uses such a 'death spiral', so not sure if it's inappropriate for S&S...

     Thread Starter
 

3/17/2014 11:23 am  #10


Re: Alternative to Lifeblood

Murgh Bpurn wrote:

Savage Worlds is often cited as a good 'Conan system' and it uses such a 'death spiral', so not sure if it's inappropriate for S&S...

While this is true, it also uses a "Shaken" mechanic which adds drama to the combat but can allow the characters to avoid the death spiral. The soaking of wounds is also important in Savage Worlds. BoL allows a character to use Hero Points to shake off wounds as well and, as has been said, a death spiral is probably not a good thing in a S&S game like BoL. Personally, I'd revisit Honor + Intrigue and look at using the Advantage system - it works really well.

 


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

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