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

Argyle King

Legend
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. :)


I could possibly get on board with that. I could see bloodlines functioning in a manner similar to clerical domains. I felt as though the manner in which 4E pacts worked for warlocks would have been pretty well suited to sorcerers.
 

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erleni

First Post
Related to my above post (and perhaps clarifying it a little):

Anything that can do HP damage can kill you.

So anything that heals HP damage needs to be able to actively remove things that can kill you.

That is, if a hit with a sword deals HP damage, it can kill you. And if an effect heals HP damage, it can mend sword wounds. Permanently. You get those points back, after all.

This looks at the debate in a slightly different light: anything that heals HP is an effect that undoes something potentially fatal. Even if everything but your last 1 HP is all luck and plot points, if a shout from a warlord heals HP it does undo the wound that drops you from 1 hp to 0. You don't just ignore it, you don't just power through it, it effectively never happened.

If HP damage can kill you, then HP healing can undo fatal things.

It's possible to design a game without these assumptions, but D&D definitely has them, and if you want to keep HP as they have been, you need to make sure that (1) nothing is dealing HP damage that is not in some way deadly (forex, cat scratches), and (2) anything that is healing HP is something that can heal potentially fatal injury (forex, magic, guts, regeneration, etc).

I think that tyou're getting close to what the point is.
We all agree (I hope) that the number of hit points you have at any time, as long as they are positive, does not impact any of your abilities, and this is true in all editions.
This means that there is a clear difference between the sword thrust that brings you from 20 to 15 HP and the one that brings you from 3 to -2 HP.
The first one can be refluffed in any way. It doesn't even have to hit you narratively (you can refluff it by saying that to avoid being skewered you dodged so fast that you twisted your knee and now you'll find more difficult to dodge more). The second one cannot be refluffled too much: first of all you're unconscious and you may die of bleeding damage. This second part is crucial. If you were only unconscious then you could refluff easily this attack (the goblin hit you on the head and you went KO but got no "real damage", as a boxer who goes down but can then stand up again and maybe still win the match). Anyway an hardcore 4e player (and I am one) could even argument that as long as you did not die you can always refluff damage as temporary incapacitation (4e characters are like John McLane).

I think WOTC should simply offer two standard possibilities:

1) Wounding and healing are "simulationist":
- Hits are always hits
- Damage until 1 HP is cut and bruises
- Healing is slower (long rests no more heal you completely)
- The blow that brings you below 0 HP is a real bloody wound
- Only magical healing or very long rests can bring you from negative to positive HP

2) Wounding and healing are "cinematic":
- Hits are whatever you refluff them into
- Damage can be refluffed
- Healing is faster
- The blow that brings you below 0 HP only incapacitates you (unless you die of bleeding damage)
- Non magical healing can bring you back to positive HP

The only thing these two systems agree upon is what happens when you get to minus your Con score plus your level. As always, death is the same for everybody.

To me these two options are so important that they should both be in the core game. You simply select one and be aware of the consequences. Trying to find a middle ground will anger too many people. In this way we could get rid of the problem, consolidate the fan base upon 5e and move on to other discussion.
For official play like RPGA or Encounters the "house" hosting the game should simply declare in advance what set-up is used, so that players could decide whether that suits them or not. Or you could run some table with one option and some others with the other one.
 
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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Johnny3D3D said:
I could possibly get on board with that. I could see bloodlines functioning in a manner similar to clerical domains. I felt as though the manner in which 4E pacts worked for warlocks would have been pretty well suited to sorcerers.

Sure! As long as the sorcerer has a smaller, tighter list of spells that they can maybe use more often, I think they hit the mechanical niche we're looking at.

erleni said:
1) Wounding and healing are "simulationist":
- Hits are always hits
- Damage until 1 HP is cut and bruises
- Healing is slower (long rests no more heal you completely)
- The blow that brings you below 0 HP is a real bloody wound
- Only magical healing or very long rests can bring you from negative to positive HP

2) Wounding and healing are "cinematic":
- Hits are whatever you refluff them into
- Damage can be refluffed
- Healing is faster
- The blow that brings you below 0 HP only incapacitates you (unless you die of bleeding damage)
- Non magical healing can bring you back to positive HP

The only thing these two systems agree upon is what happens when you get to minus your Con score plus your level. As always, death is the same for everybody.

I think that's a real solid look at it. Since the timescale of an extended or short rest is very flexible, those two solutions might work just fine. It does sort of imply that non-magical (or at least, non-wahoo) healing effects are an option you can add, rather than something that the game assumes. Which is probably fine, if they're going for inclusiveness: it's something a lot of folks love about 4e, so it's a popular view, but it's not something that's probably necessary to the D&D feel.

I personally don't think healing has to be mostly magical in the first version, necessarily, but that's probably easier. :p My ideal might mostly keep the rate of return as in option (1), but give fighters things like Second Wind. I'd still probably steer away from a warlord's yell healing HP.

But that's the promise of modularity, no? I can customize that to my tastes, and someone who thinks that's absurd and unrealistic can take a more hardline option, and someone who wants things to be cinematic and badass can take the faster option, and we can all play the game we want. :)
 

Hussar

Legend
Is it possible to have two modules side by side? In other words, neither is the "baseline", but, they're mechanically compatible (not the same, of course) enough that you simply pick one or the other?

I do really like erleni's approach.

And, I think the advantage to this is no one gets shoved out the door. Everyone is served. Both camps get exactly what they want.
 

Is it possible to have two modules side by side? In other words, neither is the "baseline", but, they're mechanically compatible (not the same, of course) enough that you simply pick one or the other?

I do really like erleni's approach.

And, I think the advantage to this is no one gets shoved out the door. Everyone is served. Both camps get exactly what they want.

Yes, and it work beautifully. I kind of do this in our bedrock products. No one likes doing damage the same way. Some people need there to be a baseline of about three hits before you die, some want every strike to be potentially lethal and some actually want a mix (lethal under the right conditions). We started with about three hits baseline, but presented two options to permit the other approaches. Over time they have all become defacto default where the group simply selects which one it prefers (a bit like how the different skil options were available in 2e). As time has gone on I have realized that allowing players an GMs to set this dial for their own group is the best way to go, they are smart enough to know what works for them (and if they try a dial that ends up not working they can always switch). In future products, these will all be presented as equal options (and as I said even with the "optional" tag, they have become three alternate defaults to select from. I would totally be onboard for something like this with Next.
 

Harlekin

First Post
Is it possible to have two modules side by side? In other words, neither is the "baseline", but, they're mechanically compatible (not the same, of course) enough that you simply pick one or the other?

I do really like erleni's approach.

And, I think the advantage to this is no one gets shoved out the door. Everyone is served. Both camps get exactly what they want.

What are you going to do with healing by inspiration? As long as we assume that loss of HP means physical injury and gain of HP is equivalent to the disappearance of that injury, nonmagical abilities that replenish combat in the middle of combat such as the Warlord's don't make sense.

But having non-magical "healers" is important to many players, so simply not including the Warlord may not be an option.
 
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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Hussar said:
Is it possible to have two modules side by side? In other words, neither is the "baseline", but, they're mechanically compatible (not the same, of course) enough that you simply pick one or the other?

The distinction is a little academic at a certain point, but here's what I see:

First, there's "natural healing," which we have divided into two different periods: a short rest, which recovers some of your HP, and an extended rest, which recovers it all. The rate at which this occurs is arbitrary, as long as we have a short(er) and a long(er) rest. D&D doesn't have to assume one day or one week, and they can let it be either one.

Second, there's "spike healing," which comes from potions, poultices, warlords, clerics, vampires drinking blood, etc. This is a little messier, since if one character can shout another back from the brink of death, it forces #2, regardless of anything else in the game. The only kind of HP that it makes sense to have for "inspirational healing" is #2, and it cannot exist in #1.

However, that doesn't, IMO, force magical, clerical, healing. Second winds and the like are easy to explain away, since by definition, those actions can only be performed when you are above 0 hp and conscious enough to use them yourself. "You take a standard action, spit on a rag, and stick it in your sucking chest wound" is mostly fine. Similarly, herbs and poultices and even sheer grit and toughness can explain someone healing themselves with their mettle and ruggedness. It's a bit "mythic" sometimes (a game that wanted to model realistic medieval combat wouldn't want it), but I think it fits with the iconography of D&D nicely.

The problem comes when others heal you, especially back from the brink of death. If you're going to leave room for #1, a warlord's high-pitched girly squeals can't heal HP. They can do other things -- negate attacks, for instance, or give you actions to spend, or grant temp HP -- things that are functionally equivalent to healing on most practical levels, but they can't restore HP for you. There's no outside energy being given to you.

That kind of healing-by-inspiration needs to come in a module, in order to leave the first view viable.

There's a lot of folks who want that sort of healing, so it needs to be something you can put in. But if you put it in by default, it hurts those who can't stand the thing, ruling them out of the game.

That means we need to start with #1 (because we need some way to describe and define all the effects in the game that can heal you), and allow #2 as a switch you can flip, for a more cinematic, more dramatic, possibly less magical kind of game.
 
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erleni

First Post
What are you going to do with healing by inspiration? As long as we assume that loss of HP means physical injury and gain of HP is equivalent to the disappearance of that injury, nonmagical abilities that replenish combat in the middle of combat such as the Warlord's don't make sense.

But having non-magical "healers" is important to many players, so simply not including the Warlord may not be an option.

The second set-up is basically fourth edition so no problems with a warlord. In the first case the warlord will be limited as he can cure only PCs that are above 0 HP. But it would make sense with that mindset.
 

Hussar

Legend
What are you going to do with healing by inspiration? As long as we assume that loss of HP means physical injury and gain of HP is equivalent to the disappearance of that injury, nonmagical abilities that replenish combat in the middle of combat such as the Warlord's don't make sense.

But having non-magical "healers" is important to many players, so simply not including the Warlord may not be an option.

I'd say Erleni has it right. Those who want HP=Wounds, probably don't want warlord healing anyway, so, if you take that option, the warlord goes out the door. Or, you put thresholds on the warlord for when he can heal - target must be able to actively hear him, for example, if the group still wants the warlord class, but only has issues with the non-magical healing.

I mean, you could probably take a bard and turn it into a warlord type character (tactical commander) and then you get magical healing with a warlord. Heck, even a simple reskin - warlords have limited command of magic - and that would probably go a long way to reconciling issues.
 

FireLance

Legend
What are you going to do with healing by inspiration? As long as we assume that loss of HP means physical injury and gain of HP is equivalent to the disappearance of that injury, nonmagical abilities that replenish combat in the middle of combat such as the Warlord's don't make sense.
I think inspiration and warlords could work with #1, but would not be able to provide actual healing. Some of the ideas that have been suggested is that they could provide temporary hit points (or vigor points, or vitality points, or some other death avoidance points, as long as they are distinct from actual hit points). A warlord could also perform damage mitigation, i.e. allowing a character to reduce the damage he sustains at the point that he takes it, effectively "healing" the character by avoiding damage instead of restoring it after the fact.
 

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