Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mortal Wounds

I've been thinking that the Mortal Wounds and Tampering with Mortality tables in ACKS were good in theory, but end up being a pain in the schwartz in practice.   It also seems to me that once one PC cleric gets to 7th level, all the risk goes out of the game (except for level-draining undead).  Basically there are no permanent consequences short of a TPK.  Conversely it kind of sucks that there's no way to get a wounded character back into the action while the melee is still going on.

I though that maybe something closer to AD&D1 might be better.  (I'm not talking about the current campaign by the way, just future theoreticals).

How about something like this:
  •   When someone is brought to between 0 and negative 3 hit points, he's totally messed up, all he can do is crawl at 1/3 his normal combat speed or drink a potion, or activate a magic item that has a single command word.   If he is healed to 1 hit points he's back in the game.
  • If someone goes to negative 4 hit points he's unconscious and bleeding out, losing 1 hit point per round until treated or he reaches negative 10 plus his level, at which point he dies.  If magical healing is used before death, and enough hit points are healed to get him to 1 hit point or more, he's back in the game.
  • Instead of the various wound effects and so forth, how about any time you go to -4 or less, and are saved, you lose 1 point of an ability score at random.  There should be no magic work-around for this.  However, maybe adding an ability score increase at levels, 3, 6, 9 and 12 would mollify it a bit.
  • If you are raised from the dead by restore Life and Limb, you should lose 1 point of Constitution and save vs. death or loose a second.  (Thus Reincarnation becomes really appealing to the frequently bechopped.)
  • Use the Hackmaster reincarnation table instead of the ACKS one.


  1. i like bullet points 1 and 2
    but with number 3 it's so easy to drop below that threshhold with all the effects that are doing multiple die's of damage in one go and with levelling up the only way to improve to improve it can really destroy characters my suggestion on this would be for example if a character ends up losing 1 point of strength it can be earned back at a cost of 5,000 or 10k a month in a strenuous rehabilition gym
    intelligence (university fees)
    agility (cross fit marathon etc)
    constition (hiring a person yoga instructor)
    charisma (elecution lessons or something of the like)
    it would put the character out of comission for a couple of campaigns still no permanent effect

  2. I would just get rid of Restore Life and Limb and replace it with a spell that allows a reroll or a benefit to the roll on the mortal wounds table. Although I like the idea of being able to get a party member back on their feet after going sub-zero too.

  3. how about this for a possibility
    a character is incapacitated if he is healed to 1 hit point before the end of the battle he can rejoin the fight

    if he is still incapacitated at the end of the fight
    he loses ability scores for every point below 0 he dropped (dropped to -5 he loses 5 points randomly from str int wis char con dex) for 1d6 months

    so a character that gets absolutely smashed to a -20 would be pretty much useless for a few months but a character that gets a small scrape could still be used just a bit weaker than usual
    would we allow that this doesn't effect wisdom and intelligence? so a character could just sit back and craft for the couple of months he is out
    should we increase the number of months a character could be out for 1d8 / 1d10
    this could also force us to alternate characters and increase the gold sink from our main characters

  4. I actually would prefer avoiding long down times, sure that's a consequence, but it's also not fun for the player not to be able to use his guy. It's more likely to produce annoyance rather than fear. Right now losing a level from energy drain is truly frightening, I think losing a random score permanently would create the same sort of fear (to a lesser degree). Right now there's no real sense of fear about going below 0, it's just "oh my, I've just been chopped up, I guess I have to wait a half an hour until they throw a spell on me."

  5. would we rule that a class cannot lose points in his primary statistics
    main thing im thinking is the flying creature pack rape of mages
    as there is no way to defend against it unless we introduce net launchers or bolas to ensure such a creature can be grounded