But he can still climb, run, swim, etc just as well. For some people, at least, that is an issue which gets in the way of seeing that he is really suffering from his wounds.At 1 hp, he can't fight as well, because a lucky hit from a goblin can drop him.
Part of the issue is that D&D has a very unstable mix of resolution systems - combat is resolved on a "plot point deletion model", whereas climbing and swimming are resolved on a Runequest or Traveller style "make a sucessful skill roll model". As is pretty notorious, the do don't mix effortlessly.
If natural healing is on a weekly cycle, and healing magic on a daily cycle, the game will always default to high magic and clerics/wands/potions etc.What the healing debate is partially getting at is an issue of pacing: how much time should be spent to get all of your resources back? IMO, this should be a longer timescale, because it reinforces the idea that each encounter is a small part of a whole.
If you want a long cycle on health resources, you have to apply this to healing magic or you won't get it. And once healing magic is on the same cycle, it would make sense to put all other spells on the same cycle (assuming we're going with Vancian "slots").
This is a non-sequitur, as the following example illustrates: Falling can kill you; but it doesn't follow that anything that can mitigate the consequences of a fall has to be able to stop you dying. Because not every fall actually kills you.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.
If HP damage can kill you, then HP healing can undo fatal things.
Also: resting is not something that can actively remove things that can kill you. Resting cannot undo fatal things. You need medicine or (more likely, particularly when we're talking about swordplay) surgery. So the logic of your position is that there should be no natural healing of wounds. Burning Wheel approximates to this approach, but I think that would be too harsh for D&D.
This is just begging a truck load of questions. If it can kill you, but doesn't, then (as I already said) alleviating its consequences need not require the ability to undo mortal wounds.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.
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.
In the case of warlord healing, we don't know whether or not it killed you until the healing is also adjudicated. This is just like a poison save in Gygax's AD&D - we don't know if the stinger broke the skin until after the poison save is adjudicated - but it extends the period for resolution over a slightly longer stretch of gameplay.
I don't thinkk that 4e, nor classic D&D played with strongly Gygaxian hit points, makes the assumptions that you spell out. But they are clearly instances of D&D.It's possible to design a game without these assumptions, but D&D definitely has them