What is a Wound? An attempt to bridge the divide.

Doug McCrae

Legend
Changing the timescale in either direction, IMO, is pretty simple. And I find the weeklong scale REALLY useful for things like training, dynamic changes over time, things like weather, and even simple verisimilitude: the only time when people are up and at 'em again 8 hours after being nearly killed is when there's magic involved.
For some reason, I feel that hit points and Vancian magic should recover over the same time period, whether that's a day, a week, a session, or an adventure.

Maybe it helps balance magic and non-magic guys better, as it's usually the non-magic guys who lose hit points.

A week is pretty good, gives you time to get to the dungeon and back.
 

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Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Remember, Rolemaster started as a product that supplied optional rules modules for AD&D. Similarly, Runequest started as house rules for D&D (it also has more specific wounds and damage by location). So the traditions of these approaches are part of D&D, back to its early years.

I think the disconnect I'm having is combination of gritty natural healing rates with extremely potent magical healing that refreshes daily like clockwork. If we assume hp as meatspace a 1st level cleric in 3e has the potential to bring someone back from the brink of death ~4-5 times in one day. That doesn't feel particularly gritty to me and assumes a level of power in the fiction that I feel doesn't suit a novice adventurer. AD&D is slightly better here with its limited number of spell slots at low levels and requirement to actually memorize cure spells.

This is another area where I think RuneQuest does gritty low level D&D much better than D&D. As you know magical healing either requires significant investment of a character's magical capacity for the day (common magic) or requires significant effort to replenish for a novice adventurer (divine magic).

There really isn't any reason why renewal of mystical ability needs to be so much faster than natural ability. By definition magic can be whatever we want it to be since we get to define the fiction. If it were up to me I would advocate much longer long rests that require characters to return to civilization. I've done so in 4e and it worked pretty well. I think the idea that a cleric must return to a temple or shrine and supplicate himself before his god to regain his powers to have pretty strong thematic elements. Likewise with wizards who must return to either her tower or that of her mentor to regain their strength and drown themselves in arcane ritual.
 
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Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
I was actually thinking of trying to add Fate's consequences as a wound system. HP would just represent resolve, stamina and battle luck. As long as you have HP you are fine. If an attack would take you below 0, you would take a consequence instead. 5 points for minor, 10 points moderate, 15 serious, 20 critical. You have one slot for each, if you have to take another consequence and the slot is already taken, you have to take the next higher one. Minor would cause a -1 to your checks, moderate another -1 plus long lasting damage, serious another -1 plus loss of function in some body part , critical - your pretty much dead unless stabilized. Of course healing would have to be adapted, i.e. healing spells would remove consequences, why abilities and actions like second wind would be stamina recoveries and affect HP. Short rests would also restore HP completely (1 per minute). You could expand this and for instance have backstab attacks cause consequences direcly, to enable silent take outs.

I proposed something similar here.

-Hyp.
 

nnms

First Post
I think the disconnect I'm having is combination of gritty natural healing rates with extremely potent magical healing that refreshes daily like clockwork. If we assume hp as meatspace a 1st level cleric in 3e has the potential to bring someone back from the brink of death ~4-5 times in one day. That doesn't feel particularly gritty to me and assumes a level of power in the fiction that I feel doesn't suit a novice adventurer. AD&D is slightly better here with its limited number of spell slots at low levels and requirement to actually memorize cure spells.

And in Basic and OD&D, the amount of cleric magic available for healing is even lower. Like none at level 1.

I know AD&D's sales were definitely fueled by an 80s fad, but from what I understand, 1E still remains the best selling D&D and the 2nd best selling RPG (after the pokemon one that wasn't marketted as an RPG, but instead was marketed at parents to do story gaming with their kids).

For a solid period of D&D's history, including the time when the player base was likely the largest, D&D had relatively little in the way of low level healing and HP loss took a long time to recover.

Given how much 5E seems to be trying to appeal to the OSR crowd, I'm surprised they didn't include that approach to HP & magical healing at low levels as well.

There really isn't any reason why renewal of mystical ability needs to be so much faster than natural ability. By definition magic can be whatever we want it to be since we get to define the fiction. If it were up to me I would advocate much longer long rests that require characters to return to civilization. I've done so in 4e and it worked pretty well. I think the idea that a cleric must return to a temple or shrine and supplicate himself before his god to regain his powers to have pretty strong thematic elements. Likewise with wizards who must return to either her tower or that of her mentor to regain their strength and drown themselves in arcane ritual.

I like that as well. I ended up messing with the daily refresh mechanic as well in 4E. It was quite easy to do.
 

Hussar

Legend
I would not be totally averse to something like this, in all honesty, but to agree to something like that, I'd need to see HP scaled way down. I'd still have them increase with each level, as experience and skill adds to the ability to avoid damage, but I would absolutely prefer to see that after two or three critical hits there's an actual wound. To that end, you would have to change the terminology. You can't continue to use the words hit, damage, and healing if they don't actually refer to hits, damage, and healing.

And that, I'm afraid, pushes too far away from D&D identity for most people to agree "feels like D&D."

Well, 3 full damage hits will drop a 4e character, by and large, so, 4e already does this. 3e does as well. A monster which tags you three times for full damage is going to drop just about any PC - I'm presuming that the opponent is pretty close to CR=Level of the PC here.

You could scale either way. Either the monsters do more damage and PC's have more HP, or you scale back HP and scale back monster damage. So long as it's consistent, I think we're both happy. And, yeah, I can see 3 hits being a nice baseline to work from.

As far as changing terminology, meh, I don't think most people get that tripped up over it. A hit is something which reduces your hit points. Damage is the amount that your hit points are reduced by. Healing restores your HP, thus your ability to fight.

I think what should be done is simply state that HP are the measure of your ability to continue fighting. Wounds should be separate from that. That way we lose the vagueness which seems to be causing the issues. You get dropped to zero hp (or whatever threshold you want to use - bloodied, first hit, whatever) and you take a wound or a complication (depending on which system you want). But, wounding and HP loss are kept distinct.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
I've done so in 4e and it worked pretty well. I think the idea that a cleric must return to a temple or shrine and supplicate himself before his god to regain his powers to have pretty strong thematic elements. Likewise with wizards who must return to either her tower or that of her mentor to regain their strength and drown themselves in arcane ritual.
I've been thinking along similar lines for this old school game I'm currently working on. It's very much based around the concept of the frontier. If I use Vancian magic, I was thinking PCs only get to refresh their spells once they've returned to civilization, though I didn't have a good game-world explanation for it. I thought perhaps their spells might come from the king or emperor, Warhammer 40K style. It's also a bit like the border of the Lunar Empire in RuneQuest.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Given how much 5E seems to be trying to appeal to the OSR crowd, I'm surprised they didn't include that approach to HP & magical healing at low levels as well.

I think WotC is kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place here. AD&D, 3e, and 4e share thematic connections, but provide radically different play experiences. I think extremely limited spell slots at low levels would have caused 3e/PF fans to balk, especially in combination with 5e's much stronger spell disruption mechanics and spell saves that are relevant at all levels of play. It might have left the impression that WotC had it out for spell casters. I don't envy the task that lies before them.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Doug McCrae said:
For some reason, I feel that hit points and Vancian magic should recover over the same time period, whether that's a day, a week, a session, or an adventure.

Maybe it helps balance magic and non-magic guys better, as it's usually the non-magic guys who lose hit points.

A week is pretty good, gives you time to get to the dungeon and back.

I'm pretty much on board with that. A wizard can't study his spellbook in a friggin' campsite to cast magic, he needs his powders and potions and cloistered nights...a wizard can't "cram," they need to "study," which is a longer process.

Of course, you could still support the wizard getting back spells at the end of the day, if you want to retain that D&Dism. It's just that, according to how you might balance Vancian casting, they'd basically get one spell per day, since you'll only be expected to do one (or two) encounters per day. Which is FIIINE with me. :)
 

Argyle King

Legend
I'm pretty much on board with that. A wizard can't study his spellbook in a friggin' campsite to cast magic, he needs his powders and potions and cloistered nights...a wizard can't "cram," they need to "study," which is a longer process.

Of course, you could still support the wizard getting back spells at the end of the day, if you want to retain that D&Dism. It's just that, according to how you might balance Vancian casting, they'd basically get one spell per day, since you'll only be expected to do one (or two) encounters per day. Which is FIIINE with me. :)

How would the sorcerer fit into the model?

I'm liking what I'm hearing so far. However, as someone who prefers playing sorcerers (who don't need spellbooks), I'm curious how other magic classes might work with the idea.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Johnny3D3D said:
How would the sorcerer fit into the model?

I'm liking what I'm hearing so far. However, as someone who prefers playing sorcerers (who don't need spellbooks), I'm curious how other magic classes might work with the idea.

Depending on what you want out of sorcerers, it could go a few different ways.

If the idea is that wizards prepare magic while sorcerers have it in-born, you could have a wizard that uses his spellbook magic once per day (selecting from a few spells he prepared in his adventuring spellbook), while a sorcerer would know fewer overall spells, but always have them at the ready. This won't be a dramatic mechanical difference -- essentially the difference between a longsword and a monk's fist -- but it would feel a lot different.

If the idea is that wizards carefully ration their magic, while sorcerers have it oozing outta their pores, you could give sorcerers something like "at-will" magic, and leave the one big spell per day to wizards. This way, sorcerers are always (or frequently) blasting around magic, while the wizard has to carefully ration his one spell per day. This would require developing slightly different spells for sorcerers and wizards, and that wouldn't be a problem for me, at least. :)

Personally, I'm fond of the idea of giving sorcerers different spells: more transmutations, more evocations, more "flashy magic," perhaps tied to a draconic bloodline (my blue dragon blood lets me use all sorts of illusion-deserty-electric jazz! your red dragon blood lets you do all sorts of divination-fiery-strength jazz!), but that's because I think sorcs and wizards need a bit more distinction than they were given in 3e. If you do that, you can have them come back at a different rate and have a different power-level. Maybe sorcerers can do three spells per day, but each sorc spell is about 1/3rd a wizard spell. I'd be cool with that. :)
 

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