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


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cbwjm

Seb-wejem
So, no other thing about it? I mean, other than descriptive, what would be the point?

I figured there was more to it?
Bloodied is often used as a trigger for something else. For instance, gnolls had an ability where they were more effective against bloodied targets. Something g like they deal more damage or can use their reaction to make an attack against someone else who's bloodied.

Dragons were cool, because when they were bloodied, their breath weapon would immediately recharge and they could use it straight away.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Bloodied is often used as a trigger for something else. For instance, gnolls had an ability where they were more effective against bloodied targets. Something g like they deal more damage or can use their reaction to make an attack against someone else who's bloodied.

Dragons were cool, because when they were bloodied, their breath weapon would immediately recharge and they could use it straight away.
So, no general "condition" limits like with the conditions in 5E, then?

Thanks for the explanation!
 

Voranzovin

Explorer
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".

Yeah that seems like importing a DnD mechanic into a genre context it doesn't work in. It makes sense that a dragon's scales can turn a sword thrust. But what is that bantha's hide made out of? Beskar?

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.
So...in other words, it dodged? 😀

I mean, try imagining a bantha doing what you just described, as if it was happening in a Star Wars movie. I can't.

Hit points may not help you create fiction, but they don't hinder you either (well they do some times--falling damage comes to mind--but it's rarer). If a PC is going sword to sword with a humanoid opponent and does damage, I can describe that as forcing the opponent to give ground, with the PC taking the upper hand in the fight. If the PC is attacking a dragon, I can describe them plunging their sword jnto the dragon's side. It roars in pain, but keeps coming because it's a @#!$% dragon. Hit points, in my experience anyway, don't produce situations that can't be described regularly. WP/VP do.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
So...in other words, it dodged?
No, that would be a complete miss, not a hit. ;) The description of Vitality literally says rolling with the attack to turn it into a glancing blow.

Which goes to another issue in D&D and similar games. Don't call a successful attack roll a "hit", call it a "successful attack". It forces the target to react to avoid lethal injury, by expending energy (e.g. Vitality) to avoid the brunt of the physical damage.

Hit points, in my experience anyway, don't produce situations that can't be described regularly. WP/VP do.
I find more the opposite to be true, by experiences differ. :)

For example, falling in d20 SW makes sense with the WP/VP mechanic:
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So, if we assume your typical PC is CON 14, they can take 23 Wound Points of damage before they die! At 1d6 per 4 meters, then an average of 7d6 damage (28 meters or just over 90 feet) would kill most PCs if they failed the DC 17 Reflex Save. (For simplicity, I am ignoring the Tumble check option.)

Of course, they make the save and that damage goes to Vitality Points instead, but there are plenty of cases of people in real life who fall great distances and not only survive, but escape serious injury in the process.
 

Voranzovin

Explorer
No, that would be a complete miss, not a hit. ;) The description of Vitality literally says rolling with the attack to turn it into a glancing blow.
I suppose it's a semantic difference--I'd use the term "dodge" to describe avoiding something by moving one's body, even if the avoidance was not 100% successfull. But regardless of the word used the issue is that it presupposes a bantha--a lumbering creature that moves at a snails pace--reacting nimbly to a fast-moving attack. Whether the attack is avoided entirely or not isn't really germain to the point.
Which goes to another issue in D&D and similar games. Don't call a successful attack roll a "hit", call it a "successful attack". It forces the target to react to avoid lethal injury, by expending energy (e.g. Vitality) to avoid the brunt of the physical damage.
Yes this would help a lot. I wish the terminogy surrounding damage, in whatever way is tracked, didn't immediately suggest that everything is meat points. "Hit." "Take damage." "Healing." "Cure Wounds." Etc. It's been an issue for the entire existence of the game.
For example, falling in d20 SW makes sense with the WP/VP mechanic:
I'll certainly agree that WP/VP make more sense in this instance. Hit points do not do falling well. But I'd say that attacking a monster is a more frequent occurrence, so the issue comes up more often and is more glaring.
Of course, they make the save and that damage goes to Vitality Points instead, but there are plenty of cases of people in real life who fall great distances and not only survive, but escape serious injury in the process.
That's exactly how you'd describe it with hit points too--you just have insane heroic luck, so you somehow always make that save. It's awkward but it's also fairly genre-appropriate to a game of heroic fantasy--something or other broke your fall. I don't think it's nearly as difficult to explain as the bantha example.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I suppose it's a semantic difference--I'd use the term "dodge" to describe avoiding something by moving one's body, even if the avoidance was not 100% successfull.
Fair enough.

But regardless of the word used the issue is that it presupposes a bantha--a lumbering creature that moves at a snails pace--reacting nimbly to a fast-moving attack. Whether the attack is avoided entirely or not isn't really germain to the point.
Oh, I don't know. There are many large creatures in real life which (while normally slow), can be quite quick/agile when threatened or attacking.

Also, one thing you do not know on the attack roll is even if it is a "hit", how much did it "hit" by? How much effort was really required to turn mortal injury into glancing blow?

(FWIW, in my opinion this is where the damage roll is actually the important roll- and why we developed the concept of critical damage for our 5E game instead of critical "hits".)

It's been an issue for the entire existence of the game.
Very much agree here! :)

That's exactly how you'd describe it with hit points too--you just have insane heroic luck, so you somehow always make that save. It's awkward but it's also fairly genre-appropriate to a game of heroic fantasy--something or other broke your fall. I don't think it's nearly as difficult to explain as the bantha example.
Actually, I have never had an issue with the abstract qualities of hit points in D&D. I've always been able to accept the idea that hit points are, along with "meat body", luck, skill, divine favor, reflexes, etc.

The issue more (which most people have) is that you can fall hundreds of feet, taking 70 damage, get up, and walk away without issue if you have any hp left. Now, the same is true of vitality, but if you are taking 70 damage, you made one heck of a Reflex save to keep that damage in Vitality instead of Wounds!!! Because as wounds... well, the fall killed you. ;)

Anyway, I don't see any issue with the bantha (other than the aforementioned AC being too high and needing DR instead...) in regards to avoiding lethal "hits" in the VP/WP dynamic. At least, no more so than such a creature getting "hit" and taking hp damage in D&D...
 

Voranzovin

Explorer
Oh, I don't know. There are many large creatures in real life which (while normally slow), can be quite quick/agile when threatened or attacking.
Sure, a charging elephant would be terrifying, but they only move quickly in straight lines. If you ran up and slashed at an elephant with a sword, I don't think it could dodge, even incompletely. Gore you on the way in, yes probably. But that's a different kind of defense.

Now for some genres a dodging elephant could work! There's no obligation that RPGs adhere to any kind of "realism," and there are certainly "cartoony" genres where that could fit. But it's not consistent with the genre conventions of Star Wars, or of most DnD games.
Anyway, I don't see any issue with the bantha (other than the aforementioned AC being too high and needing DR instead...) in regards to avoiding lethal "hits" in the VP/WP dynamic. At least, no more so than such a creature getting "hit" and taking hp damage in D&D...
What it comes down to, I guess, is that I really do envision what happens during combat as if it were a movie I was watching and describing to my players--in the case of Star Wars, literally a Star Wars movie. I'm in the animation industry, so this comes naturally to me--I can't really stop doing it. Hit points are agnostic to this approach, since you can describe more or less whatever you want, and retcon it later if you need to (oh, you got healed? Well you did take a nasty scratch across the shoulder in that last combat, forgot to mention it. Oh, you spent hit dice? No scratch, you were just winded). I would like a system that helped me with that description and didn't require the retcons, but for me at least, WP/VP produces results that are instead frequently inconsistent with any kind of genre-appropriate cinematic visualization you might try to apply.
 

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