Wound System
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  1. #1

    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



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    Wound System

    So, this idea is not at all original. It came from Keith Baker. I just wrote it up in a slightly more "formal" way, and included the idea of players accepting wounds voluntarily (which I also stole, from the upcoming A Song of Ice and Fire RPG). Please let me know if these seem balanced, usable, etc.

    -- 77IM




    Wounds
    Some stories are more interesting if the protagonists suffer grievous wounds in the course of their quest, and must cope with broken arms, internal bleeding, and dizzying blows to the head. Because of the fast-paced action-oriented nature of D&D, these rules assume that wounds are a somewhat rare occurrence. A player facing a difficult encounter can choose to become crippled rather than face defeat, and it's possible to deliberately wound someone, rather than slay them. Both options are meant to use wounds as interesting plot elements, not simulate tissue trauma in general (the hit point system already does a sufficient job of that).

    Characters who are severely damaged can elect to take a wound instead of hit point damage. Wounds cause long-lasting penalties and may hamper the character's performance over the course of many adventures. Wounds are similar to diseases in many ways, including the use of a "wound track," but they are not diseases -- immunity to disease does not protect against a wound, and the Cure Disease ritual does not affect wounds.

    SUFFER WOUND: Free Action
    • Negate Damage: Use this action when you take damage. You negate damage from a single source, up to your healing surge value. For example, if your healing surge value is 14, and you fall off a cliff for 19 damage, you would only suffer 5 damage for the fall.
    • Stabilize When Dying: You can also use this action when you are dying. You heal an amount equal to your healing surge value (as though you had rolled a 20 on your dying save). You must use this action before you are actually dead (you can't fail your final death save and then decide to suffer a wound).
    • Costs a Healing Surge: Suffering a wound uses up a healing surge, but you don't get the normal benefits of using a healing surge. You must have at least one healing surge available to suffer a wound.
    • Gain a Wound of the DM's Choice: You immediately gain a wound. The DM selects the type of wound based on manner in which you took damage. The level of the wound is equal to the level of the creature, trap, or hazard that inflicted the damage, or equal to the level of the encounter if it wasn't inflicted by a creature, trap, or hazard. If you suffer a wound outside of an encounter, the DM selects the level of the wound.


    INFLICT WOUND: Part of an attack
    • Declare Before you Attack: You must declare your attempt to wound an opponent before making your attack roll. You must also specify what type of wound your attack will cause.
    • Damage Penalty: Your attack takes a damage penalty equal to the victim's healing surge value. Unlike most damage penalties, this can reduce the damage from your attack to 0 (but not below 0).
    • Damage Causes the Wound: If your attack deals at least 1 point of damage (after applying the penalty), your victim suffers the wound you specified, in addition to the damage. If the damage was reduced to 0, the victim doesn't suffer the wound -- they are too tough, or they were able to evade your fancy maneuver.
    • Wound Level: The wound's level is equal to your level.


    Wound Effects
    Any sort of wound hampers your mobility a bit, imposing a -2 penalty on all Acrobatics, Athletics and Stealth checks. Each wound has additional penalties, based on the part of the body it affects.
    • Head Wound: You suffer a -2 penalty on Perception and Insight checks, and on all attack rolls based upon Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. You can only suffer one head wound at a time.
    • Arm Wound: You can no longer hold a shield in that arm, and take a -2 penalty on all attack rolls using a weapon held in that arm, and a -2 penalty on Thievery checks using that arm. You can have one arm wound per arm.
    • Leg Wound: Your speed is decreased by 2. You can have one leg wound per leg.
    • Vitals Wound: You take a -2 penalty to your Fortitude, Reflex, and Will defenses. There is no limit to the number of vitals wounds you can suffer.

    Penalties from multiple wounds stack.

    Curing Wounds
    Wounds use a wound track, similar to the disease track. Unlike a disease, the penalties from the wound don't get any better or worse at each stage in the track. You suffer the full penalties from the wound until you are cured.

    Cured <- Initial <-> Worsening -> Permanent

    After each extended rest, make an Endurance check.

    Stable DC = 10 + 1/2 the wound's level
    Improve DC = 20 + 1/2 the wound's level

    If you beat the wound's improve DC, your wound moves one step up the track. If you beat the wound's stable DC, nothing happens. If you fail to hit the wound's stable DC, you move one step down the track. Your wound starts in the initial state. When it moves into the cured state, you no longer suffer any effects from the wound. If it reaches the permanent state, you no longer make Endurance checks after extended rests.

    Another character can use the Heal skill to treat a wound. This works exactly like using the Heal skill to treat disease.

    There is also a ritual available, Cure Wound. This ritual is identical to Cure Disease in every way, except that it cures wounds instead of diseases. It is a separate ritual from Cure Disease (knowing one ritual does not mean you know the other -- you must learn them both separately).

  2. #2

    Acolyte (Lvl 2)



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    Can you provide a link back to Keith's original description of the idea?

    I like it (especially for times when the party is low on healing) - or rather I like it better than any of the other suggestions I've seen for wound type effects and it may break my longstanding objection to wounds.

    Carl

  3. #3

    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Yeah, pretty cool, definitely a better option to take than dying, and it fits in with the idea that HP represent near misses, scratches and close shaves until being seriously hit when you drop to 0. So, what are the effects of each wound wosening and becoming permanent and do you have a table for the wound level and the wound caused... I guess I'll just just make my own. cheers for posting the idea.

  4. #4
    At higher levels these become trivial as the Heal skill goes up? Is that per plan or per side effect of the escalating skills? Granted the character would suffer the ill effects until the extended rest but a Trained Healer with a decent stats is quickly going to be able to cure these with a reasonable percentage of time.

    Given the ability to heal is always going to be based on a person's body more than any doctor's skills, what about the Heal check adding a bonus to the characters endurance check to actually heal?

    D

  5. #5

    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Quote Originally Posted by DanmarLOK View Post
    At higher levels these become trivial as the Heal skill goes up? Is that per plan or per side effect of the escalating skills? Granted the character would suffer the ill effects until the extended rest but a Trained Healer with a decent stats is quickly going to be able to cure these with a reasonable percentage of time.

    Given the ability to heal is always going to be based on a person's body more than any doctor's skills, what about the Heal check adding a bonus to the characters endurance check to actually heal?

    D
    But the wound adds the monsters level that made the wound, and as you go up level the monsters you fight would also be a higher level so the wound is harder to cure, which means even though your heal skill goes up too healing wounds shouldnt become trivial, at least thats how i understood it.

  6. #6
    Ahh, I missed that part. It takes care of the scaling skills although in an odd fashion in terms of verisimilitude. (A axe blow from a human militia < axe blow from a minotaur)

    What about falling down a cliff? 1/2 height divided by 5?

    All kidding aside, it does seem worthy of playtesting at the very least even with the extra bookkeeping.

    Without a trained healer though, it might be impossible for a character to ever improve outside rolling a 20?

    Improve = 20+1/2 creatures level.

    Level 3 Whosit nails the Petey the 1st level Mage with a grievous blow and rather than dying he takes a wound. Petey isn't trained in Endurance and has a 10 constitution. His target DC is 21. The best he can do is a natural 20. Unless 20's always succeed on these he'll never heal and on average he'll need 10 days or so to get his natural 20.

    Granted that in a 'normal' group there should be someone with Healing trained.

    That gives us a +5 so Petey recovers roughly every 2 days on average.

    If said healer also has a high wisdom we get a +9 and Petey recovers slightly less than once every day per wound.

    I had thought to ask, reaslistically the more wounds a person has the harder it'll be for them to heal as their body has to split resources but that just sends the odds of recovery spiraling down rather quickly.

    Honestly this is the one time I might go with Wizard's new chart and make the DC's a 5 for Stable and a 15 for Improve. That means under the care and guidence of a trained healer the character doesn't worsen which is realistic and again with the help and care of a trained healer the character has a better than average chance to recover.

  7. #7

    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    I guess if none of Peteys friend are healers, they can try and keep him stable while they take him back to town to see the doctor. I, personally, would allow an improve on a natural 20 whatever the situation.

    As far as multiple wound recovery, maybe the DC increases by 2 for each wound. I dont know if you can make a roll for each wound or only one each day. Wounds tend to recover simultaneously, so it makes sense to make a seperate roll for each.

    Petey has a broken arm, a punctured lung and serious concussion after a heated discussion with his unhappy half orc girlfriend.
    Under the care of the hot half elf neighbourhood priest (reason for the initial discussion) he makes a roll for each wound once each day. with 2 extra wounds each roll as made at DC +4. He recovers quickly from the cuncussuion, his lung stabilses but his arm has gone numb and has a funny smell. Now with one extra wound (apart from the first) to recover from, he makes two recovery checks daily at CD +2...
    Soon he's up and about, with a few gorey scars to tell the tale, and all is well until Petey sneaks back home to pack his suitcase and flee, when suddenly the bedroom door creaks open...

  8. #8
    Overall I like your implementation. A few thoughts.


    Quote Originally Posted by 77IM View Post
    ...
    SUFFER WOUND: Free Action
    • Negate Damage: Use this action when you take damage. You negate damage from a single source, up to your healing surge value. For example, if your healing surge value is 14, and you fall off a cliff for 19 damage, you would only suffer 5 damage for the fall.
    • Stabilize When Dying: You can also use this action when you are dying. You heal an amount equal to your healing surge value (as though you had rolled a 20 on your dying save). You must use this action before you are actually dead (you can't fail your final death save and then decide to suffer a wound).
    • Costs a Healing Surge: Suffering a wound uses up a healing surge, but you don't get the normal benefits of using a healing surge. You must have at least one healing surge available to suffer a wound.
    • Gain a Wound of the DM's Choice: You immediately gain a wound. The DM selects the type of wound based on manner in which you took damage. The level of the wound is equal to the level of the creature, trap, or hazard that inflicted the damage, or equal to the level of the encounter if it wasn't inflicted by a creature, trap, or hazard. If you suffer a wound outside of an encounter, the DM selects the level of the wound.
    I would specify that you still take a minimum of 1 point of damage to coincide with the inflict wound below. Otherwise, a player might argue that he shouldn't receive a wound if he took no damage.

    INFLICT WOUND: Part of an attack
    • Declare Before you Attack: You must declare your attempt to wound an opponent before making your attack roll. You must also specify what type of wound your attack will cause.
    • Damage Penalty: Your attack takes a damage penalty equal to the victim's healing surge value. Unlike most damage penalties, this can reduce the damage from your attack to 0 (but not below 0).
    • Damage Causes the Wound: If your attack deals at least 1 point of damage (after applying the penalty), your victim suffers the wound you specified, in addition to the damage. If the damage was reduced to 0, the victim doesn't suffer the wound -- they are too tough, or they were able to evade your fancy maneuver.
    • Wound Level: The wound's level is equal to your level.
    One concern I have is that inflicting a penalty is, in general, better than doing damage. Obviously, the tougher the opponent, the better to wound. It's hard to imagine that PC's wouldn't want to give your elites/solos some vital or arm wounds at some point. However, I know their HP can be out of this world so perhaps I'm worried over nothing. Personally, I would do one of the following:
    • #1: Make the ability to wound 1x/encounter rather than at-will.
    • #2: Create special powers that wound. This way, not all characters can inflict wounds. The rogue, ranger and fighter seem the most likely candidates (in that order). This would probably go well with #3 below.
    • #3: An interesting twist would be to allow your BBEG to take a wound just as a pc could. I'd limit this to 1x/encounter. Or you could allow all elites/solos this ability. The monsters probably shouldn't get up after they've been taken down, but perhaps it could be an automatic elite/solo ability when a creature would otherwise be reduced to 0 hp.
    • #4: Don't allow the PC's to choose what kind of wound they can inflict. The vitals wound in particular looks especially tempting.

    Wound Effects
    Any sort of wound hampers your mobility a bit, imposing a -2 penalty on all Acrobatics, Athletics and Stealth checks. Each wound has additional penalties, based on the part of the body it affects.
    • Head Wound: You suffer a -2 penalty on Perception and Insight checks, and on all attack rolls based upon Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. You can only suffer one head wound at a time.
    • Arm Wound: You can no longer hold a shield in that arm, and take a -2 penalty on all attack rolls using a weapon held in that arm, and a -2 penalty on Thievery checks using that arm. You can have one arm wound per arm.
    • Leg Wound: Your speed is decreased by 2. You can have one leg wound per leg.
    • Vitals Wound: You take a -2 penalty to your Fortitude, Reflex, and Will defenses. There is no limit to the number of vitals wounds you can suffer.

    Penalties from multiple wounds stack.
    A head wound should give a penalty to constitution attacks. (looks at the warlock). Also, shouldn't the head wound give a penalty to all knowlege-like skills? I've had a concussion and I tell ya, it does feel like the intelligence gets knocked out of you. I wouldn't want to have to take a math or history test afterward.
    Also, to go with the abstract nature of D&D, perhaps arm wounds could give a -2 penalty to Str/Dex attacks (as well as thievery checks). The shield penalty seems harsh as it penalizes one combat style over others. I know it sounds weird, but I'd make this a 1x injury (one arm could be badly injured or both mildly injured.
    Curing Wounds
    Wounds use a wound track, similar to the disease track. Unlike a disease, the penalties from the wound don't get any better or worse at each stage in the track. You suffer the full penalties from the wound until you are cured.

    Cured <- Initial <-> Worsening -> Permanent

    After each extended rest, make an Endurance check.

    Stable DC = 10 + 1/2 the wound's level
    Improve DC = 20 + 1/2 the wound's level

    If you beat the wound's improve DC, your wound moves one step up the track. If you beat the wound's stable DC, nothing happens. If you fail to hit the wound's stable DC, you move one step down the track. Your wound starts in the initial state. When it moves into the cured state, you no longer suffer any effects from the wound. If it reaches the permanent state, you no longer make Endurance checks after extended rests.

    Another character can use the Heal skill to treat a wound. This works exactly like using the Heal skill to treat disease.
    Personally, I think the penalties imposed by wounds should get worse if they move in the wrong direction.
    There is also a ritual available, Cure Wound. This ritual is identical to Cure Disease in every way, except that it cures wounds instead of diseases. It is a separate ritual from Cure Disease (knowing one ritual does not mean you know the other -- you must learn them both separately).
    [/QUOTE]
    I don't think there should be a cure wounds ritual simply because wounds are a player choice. If a pc could choose to gain a disease instead of death the cure disease ritual would become a lot more valuable. I think a ritual of this nature defeats the purpose of the mechanic.

    However, an interesting idea would be to give specific diseases/maladies in lieu of the 'permanent' affect. For example, if your arm reaches the 'permanent' tier, it becomes gangrenous (I know I saw a gangrene disease somewhere around here). This is a disease that can be treated in the normal way. If the disease is treated (via heal or ritual) then the arm could go back to 'worsening' if you don't really want permanent injuries (as the introduction of a 'cure wounds' suggests) or just make it permanent.

  9. #9
    With the way monster HP are in 4e I think it is going to be too difficult to intentionally wound an enemy, you would be much better off just killing it normally.

    A 40HP monster, you would need to do more than 10hp of damage to wound it (difficult but not impossible)
    A 80HP monster, you would need to do 20 (much more difficult).

    Damage per hit doesn't scale up as quick as hp per level, the reason being as that as you increase in level you have more encounter and daily powers than you do at lower levels, so over the course of many rounds you can do more damage.

    If you can handle the book keeping then the system looks fine for PC's, but you might want to run the numbers a bit more at higher levels to check if the system is still viable to use against foes.

    I could see the system being fun though - "kick in in the voonerables!"

  10. #10
    An 80 HP monster is roughly 6-7th level. With a daily or 2W encounter power, it is not terribly difficult to do 20+ damage in a single attack, and a Brutal Scoundrel Rogue (Dex 18/Str 16) should be able to do it routinely at 6th level: 1d4 (Dagger) +4 (Dex) +1 (Light Blade Focus) +2 (+2 Enhancement) +2d8+3 (Brutal Backstabber Sneak Attack) for 21.5 on average. A 1st level Dwarf fighter averages 22.5 damage with a Brute Strike and that's reliable.

    Putting wounds on high level solos and elites will likely require critical hits, or not be possible at all (Elder Green Dragons (lvl 20 Solo) have 910 hits points, and I don't think anyone can do 227 points of damage in a single hit). Which is probably fair. High level solos are already subject to too many Daze and Stun effects.

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