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HPs Lethal vs Nonlethal

 
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Dark_Lord_Galen
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: HPs Lethal vs Nonlethal Reply with quote

Just some out of the box thinking and in need of a roundtable to evaluate the thoughts...

We collectively, thru many revisions of game machanic, have seen the old jokes on hit point loss.

We may have even seen attempts to add realism by dividing HPs to body regions, %, etc. or temporary reductions in attributes to simulate reduced mobility, virility, or conciousness. All seemed cumbersome and thus supported by few but the die hard "questers of realism".
I have, on occassion, attempted the various cures for realism.. and abandoned them...
While glorious to fight till the last drop (hitpoint) it is a bit out of balance. I have, with this in mind, given thought to a slight modification.
The Game as Is

The current guideline for 3.5 has nonlethal damage. It is defined as roughed up or weakened with the recovery of Non-leathal damage at 1hp/hr per lvl. (PHB3.5 p146)

What if applied "spell cures" simply turned lethal into nonlethal damage? Thus removing the eminent lifethreatening damage, but causing the wounded to be subject to easier subduals, capture, and requiring rest after those combats?
Would not the recipient of such healing powers still be weakened from the ordeal?
It would change the circumstance of capture, the tactics of wounded fighting, the use of clerical, druidal and Arcane spells. Make better use of the Cure Minor, Cure Light spells as well as heal skill.

Thoughts?
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I think that is a very good theoretical solution, DLG. However, as you mention, it will seriously change lots of combat-related issues to the game, which I don't want to have to tackle. So, I'll wait to hear how it works for you. Wink

One thing that comes to mind is that the PCs will be killing fewer of their opponents in combat. That would be fine in a scenario where they are fighting evil humans and demi-humans that can be arrested and taken to jail, but doesn't seem to be a good idea when battling a tribe of orcs. The PCs will either have to leave a bunch of live enemies behind them as they advance through the lair/adventure, or stop to slit the throats (murder!) all the fallen enemies. I think that presents a potentially game-killing ethical delima for me and my players, at least.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the player POV, I was never partial to the cleric class (aka medic) to begin with (from my 1e bias), and reducing the effectiveness of healing makes the only-slightly-more-palatable-3e cleric less desirable to play.

From the DM POV, I would be interested to see how your plan works. The classic HP Dilemma is VERY pronounced in 3e+.
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Dark_Lord_Galen
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirXaris wrote:
Actually, I think that is a very good theoretical solution, DLG. However, as you mention, it will seriously change lots of combat-related issues to the game, which I don't want to have to tackle. So, I'll wait to hear how it works for you. Wink

Ive yet to discuss or even playtest this with my players, I wished to cold eye review pros / cons here with my learned colleagues. So would be curious as to those "issues" you see as unwilling to tackle.

SirXaris wrote:

One thing that comes to mind is that the PCs will be killing fewer of their opponents in combat. That would be fine in a scenario where they are fighting evil humans and demi-humans that can be arrested and taken to jail, but doesn't seem to be a good idea when battling a tribe of orcs. The PCs will either have to leave a bunch of live enemies behind them as they advance through the lair/adventure, or stop to slit the throats (murder!) all the fallen enemies. I think that presents a potentially game-killing ethical delima for me and my players, at least.
SirXaris

While it certainly presents a new dynamic, the one you mention actually already exists via coup de grace yes?

And would certainly further separate those that fluctuate in the role-play of alignments as well. As well as certain faiths (ie St Cuthbert maybe) take no prisoners in times of war? hhehehe

jtylerk wrote:
the effectiveness of healing makes the only-slightly-more-palatable-3e cleric less desirable to play.

I get your point, but would say as a counter it wouldn't make the cleric type PCs less valuable, infact it would make them more valuable. It would certainly make lesser magics and skills such as heal, and cure minor wounds more important, it brings feats such as self sufficient, toughness, endurance, brew potion, scribe scroll, and would inspire greater need for potions and scrolls. Further, spells like aid, goodberry, bears endurance, regenerate, heal (just to name a few) are far more likely to end up in the arsenals of the casters as well.
All of which would curb the 3.5 player from solely building around offensive skills, feats, or spell sets.

One of my contemplations is if I reduce the effective "healing powers" of the cure spells (but not those that specifically address restoring fatigue )do I follow suit with the inflict group as well???...... leaning toward no, but undecided.
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Dark_Lord_Galen
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sprung this on my Players for a discussion topic for our next session. One of the elements countered by one of my players was a line in the 3.5 e under healing non-letheal damage which reads
Quote:
When a spell or a magical power cures hitpoint damage, it also removes an equal amount of non-lethal damage. 3.5eDMGp146

I take that to mean that a spell (or anthing else similar) that has the ability to heal can also heal nonlethal damage (in the same amounts) as well, though it doesn't specify in its discription. She interprets the line to mean when healing someone utilizing a spell (or other means) it heals lethal AND nonlethal wounds in equal amounts with in a single casting.

Example
Rog the Fighter (HP20) takes 6 lethal points in damage from a knife wound and an additional 6 in nonlethal during grappling the thief that tries to rob him....
In my interpretation, the cleric casting Cure Light Wounds (for 6HP) can heal Rog for either 6 points of lethal OR 6 points of non-lethal.
In her interpretation, the healing of the 6 points of lethal would also remove the 6 of nonlethal with one spell.

I can see the confusion.... but as I countered with her, if that were true, then why would they 1> not mention that effect in the Cure Light Wounds Spell? 2> Because they mention it able to do so in the spell Heal? I suspect this is poor editing from edition to edition.... though I haven't back read all the renditions of "healing spells to 1e as of yet.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:
Sprung this on my Players for a discussion topic for our next session. One of the elements countered by one of my players was a line in the 3.5 e under healing non-letheal damage which reads
Quote:
When a spell or a magical power cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of non-lethal damage. 3.5e PHB p.146

I take that to mean that a spell (or anything else similar) that has the ability to heal can also heal nonlethal damage (in the same amounts) as well, though it doesn't specify in its description. She interprets the line to mean when healing someone utilizing a spell (or other means) it heals lethal AND nonlethal wounds in equal amounts with in a single casting.

Example
Rog the Fighter (HP20) takes 6 lethal points in damage from a knife wound and an additional 6 in nonlethal during grappling the thief that tries to rob him....
In my interpretation, the cleric casting Cure Light Wounds (for 6HP) can heal Rog for either 6 points of lethal OR 6 points of non-lethal.
In her interpretation, the healing of the 6 points of lethal would also remove the 6 of nonlethal with one spell.

I can see the confusion.... but as I countered with her, if that were true, then why would they 1> not mention that effect in the Cure Light Wounds Spell? 2> Because they mention it able to do so in the spell Heal? I suspect this is poor editing from edition to edition.... though I haven't back read all the renditions of "healing spells to 1e as of yet.


There is no such mention under the heal spell:

Quote:
Heal
Conjuration (Healing)
Level: Clr 6, Drd 7, Healing 6
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

Heal enables you to channel positive energy into a creature to wipe away injury and afflictions. It immediately ends any and all of the following adverse conditions affecting the Target: ability damage, blinded, confused, dazed, dazzled, deafened, diseased, exhausted, fatigued, feebleminded, insanity, nauseated, sickened, stunned, and poisoned. It also cures 10 hit points of damage per level of the caster, to a maximum of 150 points at 15th level.

Heal does not remove negative levels, restore permanently drained levels, or restore permanently drained ability score points.

If used against an undead creature, heal instead acts like harm.


Nothing about non-lethal damage there at all. None of the healing spells mention non-lethal damage, but regenerate does; probably because most people don't think of regenerate as a healing spell, but as a limb grower/re-attacher spell, so it is good to point it out in that particular spell. Otherwise, the non-lethal damage rules on p. 146 of the PHB (fixed that source for you Wink) tell us exactly how such damage is healed, in very clear language. The heal spell doesn't remove all non-lethal damage either, "just" 10 hp of lethal + non-lethal damage per caster level. Granted, a minimum of 110 hp of lethal + non-lethal damage being healed will usually do it, but the 200 hp raging Barbarian who has been in a bar brawl with the entire city watch, and who has taken 200 hit points of non-lethal damage (and who will be Staggered) from having every table and bar stool broken over his head, won't be. That non-lethal damage being healed will certainly remove the Staggered effect though, but only because the non-lethal damage total has been lowered, not because a heal spell inherently removes the Staggered condition (because it doesn't).

So, don't get in a boxing match with a Troll. Laughing
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Dark_Lord_Galen
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st.... Thanks for the rapid response on this one Brian.... ehhen... I mean oh great and Powerful purple lightning wielder Big C ... heheh
But am confused I guess... (must be the 2e/3.5e migration headaches returning Shocked )

If non-lethal damage is not mentioned (in heal even, thanks for the reference correct... Wink ) the how is it applicable? I get the regenerate (as you have enlightened it is listed there) BUT if we apply 1st rule of thumb (as in numorous case within the forum and elsewhere) if it does not specifically say, then the answer is no, yes?
Your rebuttal seems to suggest, the spells (other than regenerate, and maybe otheres unmentioned) do not include non-lethal in their repertoire. Yet, you then supply a response based on their applications?

So, I assume (yea I know), that your interpretation of p146 is that healing spells DO apply AND are compounded (meaning both lethal & Non at the same time, not one OR the other), which is fine, but this, IMO, would fall under the neglect of the editors and proofreaders to add it to the effects listed within those spells than in ONE obscure place on ONE page.
**EDIT**
meant to query to your last comment.... so you are also suggesting that the Trolls regen abiliy restores Non-lethal as well?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My interpretation of the non-lethal damage rules has always been that it is healed in addition to the amount of lethal damage healed. This just seemed like common sense because non-lethal damage heals quickly naturally anyway, so the healing spell might as well speed this up as a bonus ability.

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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that I can read the authors' minds or anything, but I don't think that the lack of mention of non-lethal damage in the various healing spells was editorial neglect. Remember that the rules were written for neophytes, meaning they probably didn't want to confuse any of them by telling them there a two kinds of damage when they can save that mostly for a section of its own. most beginners comments upon encountering a hostile foe are not, "My fighter will punch it until it goes unconscious!", but "My fighter pulls out his ax and chops its head off!" Sure, those new players will eventually find out about non-lethal damage and how it works, but most will not see it as a necessity to know about it at the outset, and so its explanation is suitably reserved to its own section.

That would be the "give-them-the-benefit-of-the-doubt" explanation at least, but I think it is the right reason. Well, that and the established precedent of earlier editions that also don't specifically mention non-lethal damage under healing spells. Earlier versions of the heal spell mention that it heals all injury, which logically would include non-lethal damage; regenerate mentions nothing at all (it is just the limb re-grower spell).
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:
Not that I can read the authors' minds or anything, but I don't think that the lack of mention of non-lethal damage in the various healing spells was editorial neglect. Remember that the rules were written for neophytes, meaning they probably didn't want to confuse any of them by telling them there a two kinds of damage when they can save that mostly for a section of its own. most beginners comments upon encountering a hostile foe are not, "My fighter will punch it until it goes unconscious!", but "My fighter pulls out his ax and chops its head off!" Sure, those new players will eventually find out about non-lethal damage and how it works, but most will not see it as a necessity to know about it at the outset, and so its explanation is suitably reserved to its own section.

Point taken
Cebrion wrote:

That would be the "give-them-the-benefit-of-the-doubt" explanation at least, but I think it is the right reason. Well, that and the established precedent of earlier editions that also don't specifically mention non-lethal damage under healing spells.

Mostly
Cebrion wrote:
Earlier versions of the heal spell mention that it heals all injury, which logically would include non-lethal damage; regenerate mentions nothing at all (it is just the limb re-grower spell).
Which is why the was no reason to mention in detail. ALL pretty much covers it.


<General>
I am now torn as to support the idea of Non-lethal in the light of "split division" (lethal vs non for curative spells application) since, in the light of what all collectively present, would be taking something away from the PC healers, not better defining how it was applied (which was partly the goal).

Re-RE-rE-RE reading the Non-lethal Damage Sub-paragraph, it has dawned on me what my problem is with it...... they (the edit team) should have used the wording Total, not Current.

3.5e PHB p146 ORIGINAL wrote:
NONLETHAL DAMAGE
Sometimes you get roughed up or weakened, such as by getting clocked in a fistfight or tired out by a forced march. This sort of trauma won’t kill you, but it can knock you out or make you faint. If you take sufficient nonlethal damage, you fall unconscious, but you don’t die. Nonlethal damage goes away much faster than lethal damage does.
Dealing Nonlethal Damage:
Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage, such as a normal human’s unarmed strike (a punch, kick, or head butt). Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you’ve accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not “real” damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered, and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious. It doesn’t matter whether the nonlethal damage equals or exceeds your current hit points because the nonlethal damage has gone up or because your current hit points have gone down.
Nonlethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Lethal Damage: You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll because you have to use the flat of the blade, strike at nonvital areas, or check your swing.
Lethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Nonlethal Damage: You can use a weapon that deals nonlethal damage, including an unarmed
strike, to deal lethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll because you have to strike only in the most vulnerable areas to inflict lethal damage.
Staggered and Unconscious: When your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered. You’re so roughed up that you can only take a standard action or a move action in each round. You cease being staggered when your current hit points once again exceed your nonlethal damage.
When your nonlethal damage exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious. While unconscious, you are helpless (see Helpless Defenders, page 153). Spellcasters who fall unconscious retain any spellcasting ability they had before going unconscious.
Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. For example, a 7thlevel wizard heals 7 points of nonlethal damage each hour until all the nonlethal damage is gone.
When a spell or a magical power cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.


Now Re-read with the alterations

3.5e PHB p146 ORIGINAL(substitute Total) wrote:

NONLETHAL DAMAGE
Sometimes you get roughed up or weakened, such as by getting clocked in a fistfight or tired out by a forced march. This sort of trauma won’t kill you, but it can knock you out or make you faint. If you take sufficient nonlethal damage, you fall unconscious, but you don’t die. Nonlethal damage goes away much faster than lethal damage does.
Dealing Nonlethal Damage:
Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage, such as a normal human’s unarmed strike (a punch, kick, or head butt). Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you’ve accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your total hit points. It is not “real” damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered, and when it exceeds your total hit points, you fall unconscious. It doesn’t matter whether the nonlethal damage equals or exceeds your current hit points because the nonlethal damage has gone up or because your current hit points have gone down.
Nonlethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Lethal Damage: You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll because you have to use the flat of the blade, strike at nonvital areas, or check your swing.
Lethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Nonlethal Damage: You can use a weapon that deals nonlethal damage, including an unarmed
strike, to deal lethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll because you have to strike only in the most vulnerable areas to inflict lethal damage.
Staggered and Unconscious: When your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered. You’re so roughed up that you can only take a standard action or a move action in each round. You cease being staggered when your current hit points once again exceed your nonlethal damage.
When your nonlethal damage exceeds your total hit points, you fall unconscious. While unconscious, you are helpless (see Helpless Defenders, page 153). Spellcasters who fall unconscious retain any spellcasting ability they had before going unconscious.
Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. For example, a 7thlevel wizard heals 7 points of nonlethal damage each hour until all the nonlethal damage is gone.
When a spell or a magical power cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.


I realize it might be spliting hairs, but the change in verbage I propose changes the dynamic of how nonlethal damage could effect combat.


Meaning, If Rog the Fighter has the afore mentioned HP20 with 6 lethal wounds and 6 nonlethal wounds from his encounter with the thief, leaving him 14 current HP.
He becomes staggered if:
a>he takes 4 HP damage more in lethal or nonlethal, 6+4=10hp equaling his current HP status for nonlethal staggered.
or
he could be incompassitated (rendered unconcious) if he took 14 more HP in (any combonation of lethal or nonlethal) damage.

Thoughts?
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:
Meaning, If Rog the Fighter has the aforementioned HP20 with 6 lethal wounds and 6 nonlethal wounds from his encounter with the thief, leaving him 14 current HP.
He becomes staggered if:
a>he takes 4 HP damage more in lethal or nonlethal, 6+4=10hp equaling his current HP status for nonlethal staggered.
or
he could be compassionate (rendered unconscious) if he took 14 more HP in (any combination of lethal or nonlethal) damage.

Thoughts?


Now you've got it! Happy So, don't have a boxing match with troll that is wearing a ring of shocking grasp, as your character will get staggered and then incapacitated all the more quickly. Evil Grin
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:

Now you've got it! Happy So, don't have a boxing match with troll that is wearing a ring of shocking grasp, as your character will get staggered and then incapacitated all the more quickly. Evil Grin

It wasn't a lack of understanding, it is however, the problem of resolution just as it is written. Currently, the only way the PC is stunned is to tie his current HP(in the case as written, total HP) or if the value exceeds he falls unconscious.
In this example 20 and 21 (or more) in nonlethal respectively.

In the proposed "correction" The character could be stunned in ANY case where his current(not total) HP equals his nonlethal damage.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is how it already works. A character is only Staggered when their nonlethal damage = their *current* hit points, not total hit points.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duh,,, my hairlings are rubbing off on me...... you are, ofcourse, Spot on... thanks for your patience at my temporary insanity....
Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It happens to all of us. Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I like the vitality/wounds system employed by star wars d20.

Rather than lethal and non-lethal you have vitality (HP) and wounds (Con score)

So say you have a 4th lvl fighter with 16 con. Using max then half+1 method (point buy style) he would have 50 Vitality and 16 wounds.

Any attack comes off of vitality and critical hits come directly off of wounds. Also after vitality is depleted then any additional attacks come off of wounds. Additionally if a character is down to 0 vitality then they become staggered, or if they are under half their wounds (in the aforementioned case 8 wounds or less).

This requires a lot of adjustment to many things but I like the system personally.

You would mainly have to adjust critical hits. There are multiple ways to do this, one is require all crits to be a 20.

What I did was lower the critical threat range of all weapons by 1.

I.E a longsword crits on 20 instead of 19-20

then take any weapon that criticals on a 19-20 and change the crit to 20 and give it a +2 on confirming rolls (thus it still has some kind of critical advantage over say a club).

Any weapon like a rapier which has 18-20 simply now critical threats on a 19-20, since these weapons were designed for weak spots.

Critical hits are no longer doubled, instead they are taken directly off of wounds

Also any weapon such as an ax which has a X3 multiplier add +2 to wound damage instead, and a X4 modifier adds +4 to wound dmg etc.

So a Longsword would critical threat on a 20, and add +2 to confirm
A Rapier would critical threat on a 19-20
An axe would critical threat on a 20 and add +2 to the damage roll

Undead do not have a con score, therefore they have no wounds and cannot be "critically hit."

This rule also increases the effectiveness of critical nullifying armors and whatnot. It also adds a touch of realism in that any character no matter how proud and strong can still succumb to a lucky blow.

Another change I made was toughness/improved toughness.

Toughness now adds +1 vitality per level and is a prereq for Improved Toughness, and improved toughness adds +3 wounds (basically flipped the feats kind of made them linked)

Cure spells heal vitality (HP) as normal, or they can heal 1 wound per level of the spell + the caster's wisdom modifier
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have looked at thier methodology (and others) and found them interesting, yet as you have already pointed out, would require quite a bit of mechanics modification, of which I am hoping to avoid.

But dont let my comments deter your own... keep em coming.....
Cool
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