D&D (2024) 5.5/6e - Is it time for Wounds/Vitality?

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I guess I'm not convinced that it adds much or that there's any significant demand for this. There's never going to be any system that's particularly accurate (whatever that means), I just don't see how breaking up HP into 2 numbers adds much.

But I also don't see it ever happening outside of house rules.
Pretty much this. I played a good but with wounds vitality and I am not convinced of its value. Not every one want gritty danger in their combats.
 

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Voranzovin

Explorer
In theory, I love the idea of WP/VP. Hit points and their inconsistency bug the he'll out of me.

In practice, though, I think they're actually even worse for verisimilitude then HP are. HP are essentially fictionless. Their saving grace is that they don't actually mean any particular thing, which papers over a lot of bizarre inconsistencies inherent in trying to make meaningful fiction out of the system of DnD. Once you try to make some kind of concrete sense out of HP by turning them into WP/VP, you immediately have to grapple with these issues too. What does it mean to take poison damage, when you know you haven't actually been hit? Why is a cleric using the awesome and miraculous power of a god to make you slightly less winded? How come they have to use extra powerful healing to make more skilled people less winded? How was that monster able to grapple you when we know you couldn't have actually made contact with its acidic tentacles because you haven't actually been burned? How did you get stunned when a monk's fist didn't hit you? Etc etc.

I wish there was a better alternative to HP, but for me, at least, WP/VP isn't it.
 


Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
The thing about Vitality/Wounds is that it doesn't work super well to port directly into D&D. Star Wars d20 made a lot of additional changes that impacted the Vit/Wounds system, including:
  • Crits were a range with damage straight to Wounds rather than bonus/extra damage.
  • In addition, this was back in d20 where crits had to be confirmed, making them relatively rarer
  • Armor was also completely changed, providing damage resistance rather than AC.
  • Defense was now a class feature that went up with level
You could theoretically do one or more of these without using all of them but they really worked out for the best in tandem with each other.
An additional thing I forgot to mention is how much more deadly Star Wars d20 weaponry was. Even a basic blaster pistol was doing 3d6 damage a pop. All of these systems worked together to make Vit/Wounds work incredibly well.
 

Voranzovin

Explorer
An additional thing I forgot to mention is how much more deadly Star Wars d20 weaponry was. Even a basic blaster pistol was doing 3d6 damage a pop. All of these systems worked together to make Vit/Wounds work incredibly well.
It's been a while since I played Star Wars d20, so hopefully I'm remembering correctly, but from what I recall, while WP/VP certainly worked better then they do in DnD, they still led to a lot of weird results that were difficult to describe. As an example, lots of big creatures had heaps of both WP and VP. So if you attacked a Bantha with your lightsaber and only did VP damage...does that mean the Bantha dodged? How?

I suppose this problem cuts right to the heart of the interaction between mechanics and fiction. How does one construct a system for tracking "damage" that both produces genre-appropriate cinematic results and works as a game mechanic? Hit points dodge the problem by punting on fiction completely until you hit 0. I find this unsatisfying, and I'd love to have something that could serve both requirements, but I haven't yet seen a system that felt like it could--there are lots of systems that do a better job producing meaningful fiction but they tend to be deadlier and less "cinematic" than DnD. I'm hardly familiar with every RPG ever published, though, and I'm curious what other options are out there that I've missed.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
It's been a while since I played Star Wars d20, so hopefully I'm remembering correctly, but from what I recall, while WP/VP certainly worked better then they do in DnD, they still led to a lot of weird results that were difficult to describe. As an example, lots of big creatures had heaps of both WP and VP. So if you attacked a Bantha with your lightsaber and only did VP damage...does that mean the Bantha dodged? How?
1657397866335.png

Yeah, it is weird. Part of the problem, however, is also with AC, even in d20 SW. The +10 natural armor for the Bantha above really should be some form of DR. Natural armor should not be "dodging".

But, even so, VP damage is:
1657398068941.png

So, it wasn't so much the Bantha dodging the blow, but turned with it so the lightsaber just skimmed it, causing minor burns, etc. instead of solidly hitting it.
 




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