In the heat of battle, is hit point loss a wound?

In your mind, in the heat of a battle, what do hit points represent?


FireLance

Legend
Well, since pemerton game me a mention, I thought I'd chip in.

I consider hit points to be almost completely skill, endurance, vigor, luck, etc.

That said, a character who takes hit point damage from a physical source should probably have a minor scratch, cut, bruise or some other sign of that damage to account for stuff like poison.

That said (again), the scratch, cut, bruise or other sign of physical damage would be so minor that it wouldn't even be worth one physical hit point. Give the same injury to the weakest (1 hp) person in the world, and it wouldn't kill him. For that matter, replicate all the minor scratches, cuts and bruises sustained by a high-level fighter in a duel that takes him from 200 hp to 1 hp on that 1 hp commoner and the commoner would still be alive, conscious and at 1 hp.

The only time that I would narrate a character taking a serious injury is if he was reduced to 0 hit points or less. And even then, if he was brought back to positive (or even full) hit points by mundane means, I would continue to narrate that the wound existed, but it somehow (good bandaging and other mundane medical care, the PC's on willpower and determination, inspiration from another party member, or some combination of these and other explanations) wasn't hindering him in any way.

That is just my personal choice, however, and a DM who doesn't want to deal with that could simply require a week of bed rest for any character who has dropped to 0 or fewer hit points and had no access to magical healing.

Or he could complain that all his PCs have magical regenerative capabilities. Whatever floats his boat.
 

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Mercutio01

First Post
I had a longer response, but I'm sure it would fall on deaf ears. So, I'm bowing out of this discussion because it's ridiculous, and because it has circled yet again (again, again, again) and we are starting back at the top of CleverNickName's chart.

Suffice to say I am no more convinced that sleeping for 8 hours should heal everyone with no mechanical indications of injury than you all seem to be that hit points ARE mechanical indications of injury.
 

Hussar

Legend
mercutio01 said:
Yes, the 5 days (or 9) of complete bed rest is unrealistic, but not nearly as stupidly fast as 8 hours. It's the difference between 8 hours and 120 (or 216) hours. That's 15 to 27 times longer. And that's if we're not considering characters that are still actively moving and fighting and taking more damage along the line.

See, and that's the crux of the issue. 9 days or 1 day, why does it matter? They are both ridiculously fast. Anything less than a month is ridiculous.

This is why people have such a difficult time coming to any sort of agreement here. 1 day or 9 days? It's like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Who cares? If realism is the issue, both rules are about equally realistic. No matter how much you want to play with numbers.
 

See, and that's the crux of the issue. 9 days or 1 day, why does it matter? They are both ridiculously fast. Anything less than a month is ridiculous.

This is why people have such a difficult time coming to any sort of agreement here. 1 day or 9 days? It's like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Who cares? If realism is the issue, both rules are about equally realistic. No matter how much you want to play with numbers.
I disagree slightly here. Players will sit their character's out a day if they know they will be at full capacity and "insta-healed". They won't sit out 9 days though and instead they'll seek their nearest depository of magical healing. The end result is that both groups will be ready to go the next day. However, the first will be "magically" healed while the latter group will be magically healed and feel like they've spent resources to get back in the action. The feel of each scenario is quite different. One feels like healing for free but the other feels like healing has at least been paid for; and that some sacrifice to the god of resource management performed.

Anyway, you and I have had fun discussing this previously and I think we both agree that neither 3.x or 4e had a logically consistent way of dealing with healing and damage. I'm really hoping they come out with a rules module that takes a better stab at this crucial part of the game.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise
 

Derren

Hero
See, and that's the crux of the issue. 9 days or 1 day, why does it matter? They are both ridiculously fast. Anything less than a month is ridiculous.

9 days or longer is downtime from adventuring for the characters to recover which is most of the time only possible when they currently do not have a quest as in 9 days the PCs will have missed a deadline.
It also gives the PCs time to do something else than constant dungeon crawling. YOu know such things as social contacts etc.

1 day means its just a matter of locking the doors and posting a guard and on the next day the party continues to hack their way through hordes of XP bags. That leads to non stop dungeoncrawling reducing the PCs from characters to robots.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
See, and that's the crux of the issue. 9 days or 1 day, why does it matter? They are both ridiculously fast. Anything less than a month is ridiculous.

This is why people have such a difficult time coming to any sort of agreement here. 1 day or 9 days? It's like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Who cares? If realism is the issue, both rules are about equally realistic. No matter how much you want to play with numbers.

Because we have thresholds where the acceptable becomes unacceptable. There comes a point where willing suspension of disbelief crosses over into "aw, come ON!" Plus, you have the change in behavior between just spending an overnight and spending several days. I'm not sure that you need to have realistic times past a certain point - you'll get changes in strategy either way.
 

To me the problem is that 8 hours is almost literally nothing. It's the time you spend asleep. Even one full day of rest (two nights) would be massively better.

I have exactly the same problem with the wizard and cleric. It's the time you spend asleep plus a token amount of time while everyone else is cooking breakfast/striking the tent. The wizard and cleric get given their spells just for shirking chores.
 

airwalkrr

Adventurer
Personally, I have always perceived hit points as more about skill than anything else (and to a lesser extent endurance). A commoner with 2 hit points has very little combat skill. If he gets hit, almost any wound is going to be potentially mortal. A fighter on the other hand, even a level 1 fighter, has a great degree of skill with which he is able to turn what would be a mortal wound to a commoner into a mere scratch. I ascribe to the philosophy that any hit point loss involves physical damage of some kind. But the seriousness of the physical damage is directly in proportion to the character's total hit points. A high number of hit points indicates a high level of skill at turning otherwise nasty blows into flesh wounds, cuts, or scrapes that can be easily recovered from with enough rest or magical healing. A low number of hit points indicates a lack of fighting skill and low tolerance for telling blows.

As for the type of injury, that depends on the attack. If you are being attacked by a sword, you likely sustain a cut. If you get clobbered with a mace, then you are bruised and contused. If you have your mind blown by a psychic, you suffer brain hemorrhage. But all of these injuries are minor until they take you to 0 hp or below. That is the only point at which they become life-threatening. My favorite system was from the 3.5 Unearthed Arcana where attacks that brought you to 0 hp or below required a Fort save to see how bad the attack was. This way there was not such a narrow field between disabled and unconscious.
 

Uller

Adventurer
See, and that's the crux of the issue. 9 days or 1 day, why does it matter? They are both ridiculously fast. Anything less than a month is ridiculous.

Precisely. I served in the Infantry in the US Army in Iraq. In the first week there we had a guy break his foot...just a hairline fracture. He was out of action for THREE MONTHS. Real, life threatening wounds take soldiers out of action for at least the remainder of their tour more often than not. This is with the best modern medicine has to offer (i.e. "magic"). When a warrior receives an incapacitating wound, there is no mundane healing that is going to put him back in the game at full capacity that could in anyway be called "realistic" and "fun" at the same time. Not in an hour, a day, a week, a month...so you are arguing about one unrealistic model over another.

These arguments always boil down to people saying "my style should be core. Your style should be a house rule because mine is better."
 

Derren

Hero
These arguments always boil down to people saying "my style should be core. Your style should be a house rule because mine is better."

Its more a question of "I want the PCs to be hack&slash machines who clear dungeons non stop" or "I want PCs to be (very powerful) humans who still need resting and down time between adventures and thus have to manage the "resource" healing and time.
 

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